If you own a small business, you need a website. That might sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With one of the many free website builders available today, you can have your business up and running in under an hour—and it won’t cost you a dime. In this review, we’ll take a look at the top free website builder options for small businesses. We’ll focus on the features and things that small businesses care most about, like ease of use, pricing, and selling tools.
Top Free Website Builders in 2024
GoDaddy’s website builder allows you to take the next step in building your online brand. Many online entrepreneurs use GoDaddy to purchase domains for brands they’ll or won’t ever build.
A free plan allows you to create a website with the drag-and-drop editor and pre-made themes. You can create an online store and accept PayPal payments. Upgrade to include more payment methods.
With a free site, you get a free domain name like yoursite.gdsites.com. With a paid account, you get a custom domain for free for a year starting from INR 6.960.11/yr ($83.88).
Whether you’re looking for content, coaching, or products, GoDaddy’s site builder is designed for any type of online business. However, it’s the e-commerce features and customer service capabilities that make it the best choice for online stores. If you’re okay with accepting PayPal payments, you can create an online store for free.
Wix is a website builder that comes with a free version and several paid tiers that you can upgrade to as your business expands.
The free version has a similar experience as the paid version. You can choose from a range of customizable drag-and-drop site templates, including free stock images, as well as web hosting, mobile responsive design, email marketing, SEO tools, and client management tools. You’ll use an assigned address for your account, which is a bit of a hassle compared to competitors.
For example, if you have an account name. wixsite.com /site address, you’ll need to use an assigned address. You get up to 500 MB of storage and 500 MB of bandwidth with a free account. Like many free websites, Wix displays ads on your site. The only difference is that the ads appear next to the URL instead of your logo.
Whether you’re an accounting firm, a financial planning firm, a small law firm, or another service, Wix can help you create a digital presence for your business.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms in the world. It has become the go-to platform for all your email marketing needs.
With Mailchimp’s free website builder, you get a drag-and-drop editor with the same UX features as Mailchimp’s email management service. Plus, you get free themes and color palettes to choose from, and you can customize your color scheme to fit your brand.
The builder of Mailchimp does not come with a domain. Therefore, you cannot get a Mailchimp domain for free. You will have to purchase a domain from a third party. The cost of a domain is usually around Rs. 829,77 ($10) per month for 1 year. Once you have purchased a domain, you will need to follow the instructions on how to point it to the Mailchimp website.
A Mailchimp website offers free online shopping and appointment scheduling, making it ideal for microbusinesses that sell physical goods or coaching services.
Weebly was acquired in 2018 by Block, a payment processing company formerly known as Square, Inc.
Weebly’s free website builder has all the features you need to sell physical products. You can use it to create an online store with unlimited products, item badges, and options. You can also use it to manage your inventory, issue coupons, and use Square gift cards to sell your products.
The free Weebly website builder also includes an SEO tool and lead capture. You can also upgrade the Weebly site builder so you can use it for email marketing, social media marketing, and more.
Weebly’s powerful e-commerce features make it a great choice for anyone who wants to sell products online. The free version allows your customers to order items online and pick them up in your store, but you can also upgrade to include selling digital goods, calculating shipping costs, and printing shipping labels to ship products directly to customers.
WordPress has long been the leader in free website development because WordPress.com was one of the first professional website builders to provide you with the domain, hosting, and design you needed to get started completely free.
Using the WordPress.com builder in the cloud, you can create a free site with a drag-and-drop editor with hundreds of themes, yourite.com domain, and hosting.
Ads are shown on your free WordPress website, and you cannot use e-commerce features without paying for a paid plan. However, you can upgrade at a much lower price than most of your competitors. The cheapest plan on WordPress is priced at INR 3982.90 ($48) per year. You can remove the ads and collect the payments.
You can also create a self-hosted WordPress site with the software provided by WordPress.org, which allows you to create a more customized site with the full range of open-source plugins that WordPress is renowned for.
WordPress.org is most well-known for its free website builders, the software can be used for free as well. You’ll need to find a free or low-cost web hosting provider, and you’ll be able to use the free WordPress themes that are available to use. You can also use the free drag-and-drop editor and CMS, but you’ll need a lot more technical know-how to do that. That’s why you’ll probably have to hire a professional WordPress developer to help you set up your site.
Webflow is a drag-and-drop, no-code website editor that provides more design customization than most of its competitors. The builder is easy to use and can be adopted by almost anyone on your team, with an editor that is similar to word processors.
The builder can also be used to create website animations and parallax scrolling for a modern and dynamic look and feel.
The backend is simple. Webflow comes with a built-in content management system (CMS) to manage your blog or other website content, including SEO capabilities. However, its capabilities are not as strong for content-driven sites as a CMS like WordPress.
Webflow is one of the most popular web design solutions among new tech startups. With its modern design options, Webflow helps you stay ahead of the competition—without having to spend all your time on website design and upkeep.
Ucraft is an all-in-one free website builder that includes a drag-and-drop editor, hosting, content management system (CMS), and e-commerce features. You can create and publish a free website and link it to your domain—an uncommon feature for completely free site builders.
The platform also comes with a logo creator and a paid blogging platform, so you’ll have all the tools you need to get your new business up and running for a low monthly fee.
If you’re looking for a low-cost static website for your small business, Ucraft might be a better option than Squarespace. It’s free to use, and it’s a great way to get an online presence without breaking the bank.
SITE123 is an all-in-one site builder that’s easy to use and comes in a variety of packages. You can get your site up and running for free with a free subdomain named site123.com, or upgrade to the premium plan for extra features and a free, custom domain per year. The SITE123 site builder is designed for small business owners, e-commerce sites, bloggers, and more.
SITE123 also provides website templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch with your design. However, these templates have simple, outdated designs that are not up-to-date with the latest trends that some of your competitors promote.
SITE123 can be a convenient and cost-effective solution for small businesses or projects that need a fast and simple online presence.
The builder allows you to add an e-store or appointment planner for a monthly fee of INR INR 1493.59 ($18). You do not have to pay any transaction charges for online orders. Jimdo’s logo creator is free to use. You can create a logo and get all the file formats required to advertise your business online and print.
Jimdo is an easy-to-use, budget-friendly online retail platform for start-ups. Whether you’re relocating your existing physical stores online or launching an entirely new online retail business, Jimdo could be the simplest and most cost-effective way to go about it.
Strikingly is an easy-to-use website builder with easy-to-build landing pages, easy-to-implement mobile-friendly e-commerce, and blog designs. With Strikingly’s Simple Store feature, you can easily add an E-commerce store. You can sell up to 1 product with your free account.
Strivingly provides everything a small business could need to get online. However, its design options are not very impressive. You can create a basic page. However, the platform does not offer modern design features such as animation and more intricate layouts.
Strikingly is ideal for small businesses that want a straightforward online presence and don’t have a lot of design tools.
How To Choose a Website Builder for Your Business
The right website builder for you and your team will depend on the needs of your business. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting the right tool:
Hosting and Domain
Is the free builder compatible with shared hosting? Does it offer a free domain option? The simplest way to get your website up and running is by using a website builder with hosting and a short-term domain. To keep your brand consistent, you should also be able to register a domain via the builder or connect one of your own to a third-party provider. How much traffic can you expect to get from a free site? Do you need to upgrade quickly to a paid site to accommodate your traffic volume, or can you keep using a free site indefinitely?
Does the free site offer themes, templates, and customization options that match your brand? Or do you have to sacrifice your brand to use a site that offers free features? For instance, do you want the website builder to offer your brand’s preferred font?
Ease of Use and Support
How easy is it to update and change a website? If you’re using a free site builder, you may not have the time or resources to hire a professional web designer or any other specialist to update your website. Make sure it’s something that you or your current team can easily update when you need to.
Mobile-responsive design should be built into every modern website builder so that no matter where your visitors are viewing your site, they’re getting the same (if not the same) experience. If that’s not the case, use a different builder.