Are Free Website Builders Worth Trying?

Jan 4, 2023

If you want to start your own business, you probably know you need to get online. When it comes to business success, having a solid online presence is a given in this day and age.

For many new small business owners, getting a website can be overwhelming. Maybe you’ve looked at some web designers’ prices and decided to stick with Facebook to save money.

However, the good news is that it has become much easier than it used to be to create your website without spending a lot or even any money at all. Free website builders are now more accessible than ever. The best part is that for most you don’t need any design skills for most of them and that you can have your business website up and running without dipping into your business budget.

Can You Build a Free Website?

There are several building tools available that allow you to build a website for free. They are usually a no-cost option for a more extensive website-building platforms such as Wix or Weebly. Thus, it’s entirely possible to build a free website, whether you want a hobby website or are considering starting a new blog or portfolio. Most often, free website builders are used for blogs or a simple informational or ‘brochure’ sites to provide further information on a small business. But you can also use some options to sell products online and set up your online store free of charge.

What is a Free Website Builder?

A free website builder is exactly what the name suggests – a tool allowing you to build websites for free. While some options are standalone, others are often free plans the plans that are available from a website building platform that offers a range of paid plans s great for business owners just starting as there is always the option to easily upgrade to more features from a paid plan if you decide to scale your website up in the future and invest more into it.

Website Builder Free – Common Restrictions

Before you start with checking out some of the best free website builders available and choosing the one that is the right fit for your business, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are often restrictions on what you can do since you’re getting the service free of charge. You will likely not be able to use a custom domain name such as when using a free website builder, as most will have you use theirs – for example,

Along with domain name restrictions, you are likely to be restricted when it comes to the number of pages you can add to your site, whether or not you’re able to sell products, and, if so, how many products you can sell, and which features you can use. Many free website builders allow access to basic features, but you’ll need to sign up for a paid plan to get the more advanced ones on offer.

Some of the Best Free Website Builders

  1. Wix

Wix has a very easy-to-use interface and is hugely popular, with hundreds of free design templates to choose from and customise. Wix will likely have a suitable template for you no matter your industry, and the simple drag-and-drop editor doesn’t require you to have any previous design or coding skills.

  1. Weebly

Weebly is a free website builder that has been around for quite some time and is one of the most popular options. There are no hidden costs involved in allowing you to create your website for free, with premium and eCommerce paid options that you can upgrade to in the future if you wish. The simple drag-and-drop interface is very easy to use and perfect for beginners.

  1. SquareSpace

This professional website-building platform is a popular choice among the creative industries and is ideal for creating your first free portfolio website. It offers a range of highly visual templates that are perfect for creatives, although they aren’t as customisable as some of the other options.

  1. SiteBuilder

This tool is one of the simplest and very intuitive web design platforms you can use for free. It offers a range of tools for getting your business website up and running and includes basic eCommerce features. You can upgrade to a premium plan to access different custom design tools.

  1. WordPress

This platform is a favourite with small businesses for lots of good reasons. The free version is one of the easiest web-building platforms for beginners to get to grips with, and there are hundreds of free templates on offer that are well-designed and fully responsive. It also offers a range of handy, free analytics and automated SEO tools that are great for tracking your site’s performance.

What to Consider Before Choosing a Free Website Builder

With lots of great free website builders to consider, there are definitely some factors to keep in mind before choosing the right one. Consider how easy the builder is to use and how much experience you have. Something that allows you to make changes to a pre-designed template or use a simple drag-and-drop editor that offers a fool proof experience might be the best option for you if you have little to no design experience and want to build your website yourself.

Along with this, learning basic design principles before you start will help you get the most from whichever free website-building tool you choose for your business. There are tons of handy guides online that you can turn to, many of which are customised for using certain web-building tools, to help you get the desired results.

Choose an Ad-Free Website Builder

Before choosing a free website builder, it’s a good idea to find out more about whether or not ads will be displayed on your website. Many options don’t do this, but some do. Since you’re getting the service for free, they might sell ad space on it as a way of making some money from it. Others might use your site as an opportunity to place a subtle ad for their own platform, such as a note in the footer that lets visitors know which platform you used to design the site.

Free Website Builder for eCommerce

If you want to sell products online, your options will be limited as most free website builders do not offer eCommerce on the free plan. That being said, you can use the free plan to build the basics of your site before upgrading in the future when you are ready to start adding and selling your product ranges. Lots of website building tools that offer a free plan, such as Weebly, have eCommerce plans that you can seamlessly upgrade your site to in the future in order to access more premium, online selling features.

Free Online Website Builder for Bloggers

If you want to start a blog, then there are lots of options to choose from. Generally, WordPress is accepted as one of the best options for bloggers. When you start a free blog with WordPress, you will also have the advantage of being able to add lots of blog posts, compared to others that might have tight page restrictions. However, the only downside is that when you sign up for a free WordPress site, you will not be able to use a custom domain. That being said, if this is something you want to do in the future when your blog has gained some readership and you have had a chance to see how it will perform, you can very easily upgrade, and even buy your custom domain name from WordPress themselves within the interface.

Are Free Web Builders Worth Using?

So, are free web builders worth using? The answer is that it depends on what you want to do with them. If you’re looking to set up an advanced eCommerce store with the option to sell lots of products and fully customise your design, then you’re probably not going to find a free website building tool that is going to offer the functionality to do this without upgrading to a paid plan.

On the other hand, if you are creating a hobby website, a blog, or an informational website as a starting point for the online presence for a new business you are in the process of launching, a free website builder might have everything that you need right now. It’s a good idea to look at any premium, paid plans offered to make sure that you are happy with what’s available and the price should you decide to upgrade in the future.

Getting a website set up for your business doesn’t have to cost you anything. Thanks to these free website builders, a simple website to start your online presence can be free to build and easy to set up.

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