Disclosure: Hosting Canada is community-supported. We may earn a commission when you make a purchase through one of our links. Learn more.
Best Free Website Builders – 2 Winners and 4 Losers
Finding a free website builder is a smart decision for a lot of people.
Sinking money into something that you don’t quite know what you’re doing with yet isn’t the best idea. Most people like to drive a car before buying it so why not drive a website builder before buying?
There is no website builder dealership to go to. Where the heck do you start when building a website? If you have no prior experience it can be really confusing.
What does hosting mean? Do I have to learn how to code? Why is there a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org? It is pretty confusing which is why starting out for free is not a bad idea at all.
The great news is there are some awesome options for free website builders and it’s as easy as pie. I don’t even know how easy pie is – this might be easier.
Our Top 2 Choices for Best Free Website Builders
The first place you should go to use a free website builder is Wix. The awesome thing about Wix is that it is also our pick as the best website builder in general. The fact that they offer a free version of their service is just icing on the cake (I don’t know why deserts have so much to do with website builders).
Using Wix is the easiest way to get a website up and running for free with no added complications.
1. Wix – Best Builder for Canada (Includes Free Hosting)
Wix isn’t some free software that works half as well as the website builders people pay for.
Wix is the industry leader when it comes to website builders. They also just so happen to offer a free version of their service.
There are limitations on the free version of the service but it will get you started with building your website. Not having to pay any money to figure out what you’re doing is a huge value add.
|Domain||Assigned URL: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress||Connect a custom domain|
|Wix ads||Wix ads appear on every page & favicon in URL||Remove Wix ads|
|Storage||Up to 500MB||Over 500MB available|
|Bandwidth||Up to 500MB||From 1GB and up available|
|Online payments||Not included||Included with Business Premium Plans|
|Customer support||Available||Premium & VIP support options including faster response time|
|Google Analytics||Not included||Included|
None of the aspects of the free plan should dissuade you from using it. If you decide you need the premium features in the future you would have gotten to the point of figuring out if the website is what you actually want.
Ease of Use
There are actually easier to use website builders. With that being said – Wix is still pretty easy to use.
You can build a website with mass customization, without coding, and without extra headaches. There are ways to ignore the mass customization and just build a professional looking website without doing too much as well.
There are numerous website development services that have drag-and-drop functionality. All this means is that you drag something you want to use and then you drop it. It’s as easy as it gets.
This is ideal for editing that prioritizes speed and ease of use.
Not Starting from Scratch
Wix has this awesome functionality called Artificial Design Intelligence. Basically what the ADI does is ask you various questions and applies that to an algorithm that creates a site for you. It takes all the options of element, themes, and layouts out of your hands and grabs from every combination.
Rather than taking the time to look through all of the themes and layouts the software picks for you based on preferences and questions asked. It’s a timesaving and decision mitigating feature.
Wix is for people who want to create a website that is unique to them without having to deal with all the extra stuff that comes with running a website.
For more info, read our detailed Wix review.
2. WordPress – Bigger Learning Curve, Total Customization (Requires Paid Hosting)
Wordpress is another great option if you’re looking for the best free website builder. It’s not as intuitive and easy for beginners as Wix but it does allow for a lot more customization (at a cost).
If you’re looking for to build a site for the long term and can afford the 10-15 hours of learn how to use WordPress probably it’s definitely the better choice.
Before jumping into the benefits of WordPress we should clarify what the difference is between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is similar to Wix. You go to the website, sign up, and start making your website. It is super simple.
When using Wix – Wix itself is hosting your website. What this means is that Wix is actually providing the technologies and services needed for the web page to be viewed on the internet.
WordPress.com does the same thing. It hosts your website for you and also provides you with free website building. It also offers premium versions of it’s website builder and a bunch of premium options.
You can just jump on the website and get started for free today to check it out.
This is the WordPress most people are talking about when they talk about WordPress.
This version is completely free to use with premium options such as themes and apps. It also works differently than the WordPress.com version and Wix.
Rather than WordPress hosting your site you have to go out into the great wide web and find your own hosting service. This is simple but it does add an extra step and level of complication to the process. Any good hosting service costs money but there are a few free versions out there that can be used.
How WordPress Works
Contrary to what a lot of people think – you don’t need to know how to code to use WordPress. A lot of themes allow a lot of the functionality that Wix offers with the ability to customize further with code.
Themes are different than Wix. On WordPress you have to choose a theme to build your website. Themes are basically what Wix already has built in to the software. They are the bones of your website. Each theme has certain constraints on how your website will look but you can select where all of your elements go on the web page as well as the color scheme.
Each theme will have its own functionality and will limit customizability – especially the free ones. Free themes are constraining but they can still allow you to build a beautiful website.
Free Version of WordPress.com
|Domain||Assigned URL: sitename.wordpress.com||Connect a custom domain|
|Storage||Up to 3GB||Unlimited storage available|
|Advertising||WordPress.com advertising and banners||Remove WordPress.com ads|
|Customer support||Community Support||Email and live chat support|
|Apps and Features||Jetpack essential features||Payment options and thousands of apps|
|Design||Basic design customization||Advanced design customization|
One thing to keep in mind is that the WordPress.org version is always free. The only thing you have to pay for besides hosting are any premium themes and apps you might want.
For simplicity’s sake it just makes more sense to use Wix if you’re looking for a free version of a website builder.
Honorary Mentions For Other Free Website Builders in Canada
Wix and WordPress are our first choices for free website builders and you can feel free to check out our longer and more detailed comparison of the two options.
They aren’t the only free options out there. There are actually a bunch of free website builders. Most aren’t great. It’s hard to offer a fantastic service for free. However, there are two other options worth mentioning: Weebly and Droopal.
Weebly is easy to use, simple, and straightforward with a simple interface. It almost made the cut of being a recommendation but it’s basically just a worse version of Wix. Still, if you want an alternative to Wix. Don’t get us wrong we still think Weebly is a great builder but it lacks the full functionality of Wix.
Weebly – Another Great Free Website Builder
Weebly works a lot like Wix and it probably is the third or fourth best website builder on the market.
When it comes to free website builders it is the second or third best website builder depending what you consider WordPress to be categorically.
How it differs from Wix
Weebly is easy to use – everything makes sense. The issues with the builder is that the end product always looks a little off. When you’re done with a Wix website you can confidently say it looks good or make the adjustments to make it look good.
With Weebly there is a high probability of looking at the end product and feeling kind of meh about it. It will just be okay.
The theme customization on Weebly is rather limited especially when compared to a blank canvas type editor like Wix. While it is easy to use there just aren’t that many options to go with.
One thing Weebly does do better than Wix is keep everything neat and tidy. Wix can be a little overwhelming with the countless options to drag around. Weebly feels more organized which can help a lot with stress and anxiety around building your website.
The free version of Weebly offers enough to get started. Upgrading is easy once you’ve figured out if you like the platform. Getting your feet wet is definitely worth the small time commitment.
|Domain||Weebly.com subdomain||Connect a custom domain|
|Storage||500MB||Unlimited storage available|
|Advertising||Display Weebly ads||Remove ads|
|Apps and Features||No apps and other features missing||Use of apps with many other premium features|
I don’t necessarily recommend these options but they definitely are alternative options.
Ucraft: Free plans allow you to create a custom domain. The block-based website design is kind of limiting. Some people love it but I find drag-and-drop builders a little more user friendly.
Strikingly: Strikingly does have pros. For example, you can sell one singular product on your web page. They specialize in making one page websites so themes and design aren’t as important.
SITE123: A great option for the least tech-savvy of us. SITE123 has a template system called design assistance. It makes it almost automatic to make a website that looks pretty good. If you want to have any creative input into your website SITE123 isn’t the best choice.
Jimdo: Free plans on Jimdo come with some cool features like eCommerce capabilities and embedding videos. The design interface isn’t the best but you can make an average looking website with it.
When it comes down to it – if you’re looking for a free website builder you’re probably not looking to over complicate the decision.
It’s easy to try out every option above as it is free to sign up and try out any of them. That would be the best way to figure out which one you like the best.
If you don’t feel like doing that then just use Wix. It simplifies things by just going there and getting started. It takes a lot for a beginner to be dissapointed by Wix. For more info check out our gigantic article on the best website builders.
Free Website Builder FAQ
Are there any good free website builders?
Yes! Wix and WordPress are both great options for free website builders.
What is the easiest free website builder?
The easiest to use free website builder is SITE123. Easiest isn’t always best though. Wix offers the most features while also being relatively simple.
Is Wix better than WordPress?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is that it can be. If you’re looking to highly customize your website without a solid learning curve then Wix is better than WordPress for you. WordPress is a deep dive into website building whereas Wix is kind of like wading into the shallow end and flirting with the idea of swimming into the deep end.
Is Wix really free?
Wix has a free version but your domain name will have this format: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress. To use a custom domain and unlock a lot of feature you will have to select a paid plan
How do I get a free domain name from Wix?
A free domain name is available after selecting a paid plan. You still have to pay for the Wix plan but they throw in a domain name for free – for a year
What is the best free website builder for small business?
We recommend WordPress for small businesses as their are more features for payments, analytics and tracking. Read our small business review.
Add your own review: