Of these free website makers, we’ve ranked Wix, Weebly and SITE123, as the top three because of a few important factors. Wix has a very generous free plan, which is super easy to use – it combines creative freedom with tons of features. Weebly’s simple, stylish designs and handy tools make it ideal for small businesses. SITE123 is very beginner-friendly, with a focus on helping you get online.
There are more than a hundred free website builders available online, and new ones keep popping up every year. According to my research, the percentage of sites developed using online website builders (including free ones) is catching up with the percentage of websites built using popular CMS with open code as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and the like.
Hi Gina, Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Hiring an expert developer is always good, but it does have its challenges. Financial investment is just one of them. It's not a big problem if a company is well established already and is cash flowing to re-invest its profits into technology. But not all companies have that level of budget to commit, and not all companies are well established (yet). A lot of users are just starting out and just don't have that level of resource to get their websites off the ground. In such circumstance, I think our list above makes a lot of sense. No doubt, your comment is also valid, but I think that's more applicable for well established businesses. We have a full discussion of the cost of building a website that compares the cost of hiring a developer versus using a DIY website builder such as the ones I suggested above. I also wrote an article about the idea of hiring a designer / developer - when it's appropriate, and when it isn't appropriate. It's just my own view and what I would advise my friends and family if they were to ask me. Of course, every single person that's looking to build a website has different needs, motivations and resources. Thanks for adding to this discussion! Jeremy
Absolutely. You have the option to customize your website based on your business needs. You can add site content wherever you’d like in a variety of sections; from multiple site pages, to scrollable sections that you can add to each of those pages, to a gallery of images, menus and price lists, and YouTube or Vimeo videos. Each section in your website is customizable as well, from the name of the page, to your website’s navigation bar. You’ll also have the ability to change text colors, styles and font. It’s important to make a responsive website that is mobile and desktop friendly. With Website Builder you’ll be able to choose tablet and desktop layouts to give your visitors the experience you want them to have.
WordPress is an online website creation tool. It is a powerful blogging and website content management system, which is a convenient way to create and manage website. WordPress powers over 25% of websites on the internet. Most hosting providers will tell you right away if their plans are WordPress-compatible or not. The simple requirements for hosting your WordPress websites include: PHP version 7 or greater; MySQL version 5.6 or greater.
Best WordPress Web Hosting | An Honest Comparison
Drupal is another alternative to WordPress which is more digital. Being preferred for digital solutions Drupal is not suitable for beginners to use. The various advantages of Drupal include creating blogs, personal websites, forums, and even social networking sites. It also has several modules and themes which have various features and help in enhancing the looks of the site. It can handle huge amounts of data and hence makes it useful for different corporate and enterprise websites. The varied kinds of modules make it user-friendly. The modules that are present in Drupal can instantly help you in handling the non-English sites by just activating them. With the perfect prototyping options, it can help you in creating complex sites in a very short span of time. Having the complexities of digitization, Drupal is ideal for being used for highly advanced websites. Learning it initially is a bit difficult but once you get the hang of it you can easily understand how extensible this is. You can use contributed modules and start a completely blank site and extend Drupal to see how your requirements fit in.
WordPress is also teaming up with other platforms like BigCommerce to bring deeper e-commerce functionality to its offerings. 39% of e-commerce merchants reported they recently lost money due to performance or stability problems. Combining the front end functionality of WordPress with the backend power of an e-commerce platform is an excellent option for scaling growth.
WordPress VIP offers everything that a web developer would want, but all these advanced functionalities and amazing features are overkill for an average website owner. The price is also a huge obstacle, and no small business would be willing to pay that. It is merely a VIP option for WordPress users that takes them to the next level of web services.
Video backgrounds and animations are no problems whatsoever. This website builder gets SEO right, too. Portfolio pages, in particular, turn out really good, and most importantly, without being difficult to create. They have many business-focused apps (e.g. for hotels or restaurants) that can make your life easier if you are in one of these industries.
After Joomla, another name that pops up as a great WordPress alternative is Drupal! It is also an open-source CMS that you can use to deliver a more ambitious digital experience. Although it is suitable for almost everyone, it is not as beginner-friendly as users would prefer. Mostly recommended for experts, Drupal lets you create blogs, personal websites, forums and even social networking sites.
“I moved all my client’s WordPress websites to SiteGround hosting a few years ago and it was the best decision I ever made. I can now easily add new clients, new websites, SSL certificates and other features from one dashboard. Through the staging environment, it’s easy to test new features on your website. With one click you can upload it to the production site. If this fails after all, there’s a daily backup that covers you with a one click restore option.”
I have personally built two different sites using WordPress and found it very easy to use, setup and configure. Once it is initially setup, maintaining the site is as easy as logging into the WordPress admin site and adding your content. I was initially very surprised by the ease of the setup to get my sites up and running. I was able to get the site online and running on a customer domain within 15 minutes. This was a welcome surprise to me the fist time I used WordPress. While WordPress sites are not as simple as drag and drop configuration for the novice computer user, average users will find it easy to edit text and add content using the built in templates. The price is possibly the most attractive feature of WordPress. The word free will often attract users but the usability and ease of the software is what will make users stick with the platform. After building two sites on WordPress, I would strongly recommend it and will surely use it for my future website building projects.
Got products to sell? Online Store has you covered. Create a sleek-looking online store, sell on marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy, track inventory in one place, choose from flexible shipping and payment options, even let customers book appointments online. Whether you sell products, services or digital content, GoDaddy Online Store has everything you need to successfully sell online. Features available with paid plans.
We believe in democratizing publishing and the freedoms that come with open source. Supporting this idea is a large community of people collaborating on and contributing to this project. The WordPress community is welcoming and inclusive. Our contributors’ passion drives the success of WordPress which, in turn, helps you reach your goals. More Info »
Unlike other sites, e-commerce sites also require alterations and demand to have something easy. Among all these WordPress alternatives, Shopify is the best alternative to WordPress in this regard. It is simple and helps in growing your business the easy way. It is user-friendly and assists entrepreneurs in focusing on their products and promotions. It is easy to manipulate and offer varied kinds of themes. The added advantage of Shopify is that it integrates with social media which helps in selling the products on these social networking sites. As it is meant for e-commerce websites it is integrated with PayPal and can use it for simple and easier transactions. It helps in displaying an unlimited number of items as it has unlimited disk space. It also has advance shipping options and discount codes available.
Great writeup Tom! What do you think of clickfunnels as a website builder? A lot of my friends keep telling me to use it but I don't think its a website builder from what I can see. I'm willing to pay the money for only if it's a good website builder. I was doing some research and found these share funnel things. I like that fact that I can import template that are all ready to be used. What do you think of it? Just trying to look for some real opinions so doing some research first.
All that being said, October’s gets pretty rough the closer you look. The community isn’t deep or broad enough to support a wide enough range of prebuilt plugins or themes, and to make that worse the October crew has set up a weird cloud-based “project” validation thing, in the interest of being security conscious I believe. Regardless of the intent, it makes it super-difficult for newbies to figure out how add, update, or edit any of the plugins on their site. And heaven help you if you decide to ‘detach’ your site from a project … ::sigh::
Finally, I would like also to draw attention to another interesting CMS that I used a decade ago and really enjoyed using at the time: it was originally known as Article Manager, and its current incarnation is CMS Builder, from InteractiveTools (a company based in Vancouver). At the time I was using it, I remember that the developers were very helpful, and the forum was lively and helpful too. Now that I am using WP, I would not really consider moving to CMS Builder (although I own a license), since WP offers much more in my view. But some people might have reasons to prefer it. However, one should pay attention to the fact that some of the add-ons can make it more expensive than the initial $200 price for a single site.
Wix supplies built-in Google Analytics to monitor your site, and even offers additional apps for individual preferences. If you want, Wix can even design your site for you. The biggest downside of Wix's free version is it doesn't come ad-free, and each page of your site will have a prominent Wix ad. Ad-free is only an option if you pay for the premium version.
Another amazing thing about this website builder is that it also enables the users to animate texts and other elements. This surely adds to the efficiency and intriguing factor of this builder. With amazing options and tons of features to get you that perfect website, Wix is a great WordPress alternative as a website builder. With the latest update, you also get the feature ADI. This enables the user to add a website link so that the tool builds the exact website version for you to edit and customize.
WordPress is software designed for everyone, emphasizing accessibility, performance, security, and ease of use. We believe great software should work with minimum set up, so you can focus on sharing your story, product, or services freely. The basic WordPress software is simple and predictable so you can easily get started. It also offers powerful features for growth and success.
Weebly has a similar ‘drag-and-drop’ editor to Wix, which is extremely user-friendly. Combine this ease of use with its great SEO tools, plus lots of room for growth to scale your website, and Weebly stands out as the best free website builder for small businesses. It achieved the best features score of any builder we’ve tested (4.2/5). If you’re in the US, you can even sell from your free Weebly site, although you’ll pay a 3% transaction fee on each sale.
In all Website Builder plans any data transmitted from your site will be encrypted using a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. Your SSL will establish an encrypted link between your web server and the browser of the person visiting your site. This means that all data will be kept private; which is important if you want visitors to your site to be safe. If you want to sell products or services in your store, you will want to have a SSL since it protects credit card and bank numbers from being intercepted by hackers.