Our Top Picks

Duda Logo
Duda
4.6
  • Robust e-commerce tools
  • Receives regular updates
  • Sell products through Google, Facebook, or Instagram
Best for E-Commerce
Visit Duda
Duda is an incredibly popular website builder that comes with other services, such as client management, collaboration features, and integrations with third-party platforms, and tools like AMP and the Google Search Console. It also provides a comprehensive e-commerce suite that includes SEO functionality plus product listings, real-time shipping quotes, support for more than 40 payment methods, and social media sales through Google, Facebook, and Instagram. While some other website builders provide basic e-commerce tools, Duda was an easy selection as the best website builder for e-commerce in 2021.

We were also impressed by Duda’s unique commitment to improvement, with new features being released seemingly every week. In August 2021, Duda introduced URL redirects via application programming interface (API), support for the IfthenPay, Eupago, and Rapyd payment gateways, and the ability for bloggers to set custom meta titles.

The Basic Duda tier costs $19 per month and limits subscribers to one website and email support. Subsequent plans are available for $29 per month (Team) or $59 per month (Agency). These tiers add extra features like chat and phone support, team and client management, and an extensible widget builder. There are also custom enterprise solutions available for larger businesses. Unfortunately, Duda currently doesn’t offer any free plans beyond a 14-day free trial of the Team subscription.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Robust e-commerce tools
  • Receives regular updates
  • Sell products through Google, Facebook, or Instagram

Cons

  • No free tier

What Customers Are Saying

Along with its e-commerce features, Duda customers also appreciate the platform for its site editor and deep selection of templates. We were also impressed by virtually universal praise for Duda’s quick response times and helpful support team.

Summary

  • Upgrade Options
    • Basic: $19/month
    • Team: $29/month
    • Agency: $59/month
    • Custom: Custom Quote
  • Deployment
    Web-Based
  • Support Options
    Business Hours, Online
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.6
GoDaddy Logo
GoDaddy
4.0
  • 24/7 phone support at no charge
  • Supports PayPal payments plus email and social media marketing
  • Comes with templates for a wide range of websites
Best Sales and Marketing Features
Visit GoDaddy
While GoDaddy is only one of many free website builders, it stands out from competitors in both sales and marketing. Unlike most other free alternatives, GoDaddy offers PayPal payments for both free and premium users along with basic features for email and social media marketing. You can even access 24/7 phone support without a paid subscription — most providers don’t even offer that to paying members. All things considered, GoDaddy is the most robust free website builder when it comes to marketing and sales.

Furthermore, GoDaddy is adding new features constantly to its website builder and other online services, including web hosting and digital marketing tools. In 2021, it added GoDaddy Payments for payments and invoicing, a new set of WooCommerce extensions, and online pay links that enable small businesses to accept payments without creating a website or online store.

The GoDaddy website builder is completely free, but paid plans introduce extra features like recurring appointments, dedicated product listings, and higher limits on social posts and email marketing sends. After an introductory offer for 30% off, premium subscriptions range from $9.99 to $24.99 per month. While there’s no free trial or money-back guarantee, you can use the free option for as long as you want before deciding whether to upgrade to a paid plan.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 24/7 phone support at no charge
  • Supports PayPal payments plus email and social media marketing
  • Comes with templates for a wide range of websites

Cons

  • No third-party plugins

What Customers Are Saying

While GoDaddy is better known for web hosting than its website builder, most users find its website building interface relatively approachable. The main downside to GoDaddy compared to alternatives like Wix and WordPress seems to be the lack of a third-party marketplace for apps, themes, and extensions.

Summary

  • Upgrade Options
    • Basic: $9.99/month
    • Standard: $14.99/month
    • Premium: $19.99/month
    • Ecommerce: $24.99/month
  • Deployment
    Web-Based, iPhone / iPad, Android
  • Support Options
    24/7 (Live Rep), Business Hours, Online
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4
Joomla Logo
Joomla
3.5
  • Built for free users
  • Recently updated to Joomla 4
  • Totally open source
Best Free Plan
Visit Joomla
While many of the providers on this list offer some features for free, Joomla is one of just a few website builders that feels built for free users. You can pay extra for extensions, automatic updates, priority customer support, and other helpful tools, but the free tier doesn’t come with Joomla branding, restrictive caps on storage space, or any of the usual limitations. There’s also an extensive library of free extensions available to boost the base Joomla platform. Given its unique focus on free users, Joomla is our choice for the best free website builder in 2021.

Joomla announced the release of Joomla 4 on July 29, 2021, representing a major shift from the previous Joomla 3. Since then, it has put out Joomla 4.0.1 and 4.0.2 to fix some bugs that were left in the original version. You can find the latest release of Joomla on the brand’s website.

As mentioned above, Joomla is totally free for indefinite use, so you don’t need to spend any money if you’re content with the free features. The Personal subscription costs $99 and comes with extensions, automatic updates, and 72-hour support turnaround times for 12 months on a single site. At $199, Business cuts support times to 48 hours, offers support for up to five sites, and comes with other advanced features. Finally, the Agency tier comes in at $399 for unlimited sites, 24-hour support ? including weekends ? and even customer service from Joomla directly to your clients.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Built for free users
  • Recently updated to Joomla 4
  • Totally open source

Cons

  • No web hosting

What Customers Are Saying

Even though some users report a learning curve, most Joomla users agree that it’s more than sufficient as a free website builder. However, it does warn future users to look out for plugins that are no longer current as the Joomla marketplace isn’t as active compared to alternatives like WordPress.

Summary

  • Upgrade Options
    • Free - open source
  • Deployment
    Web-Based
  • Support Options
    Not provided
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    No
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 3.5
Squarespace Logo
Squarespace
4.1
  • Incredible template selection
  • Users can now switch templates after creating a site
  • Commerce plans come with advanced features like gift cards, subscription sales, and abandoned cart recovery
Best Template Selection
Visit Squarespace
If you want to build a website quickly, you’ll need to start with a professional template that matches your theme and content. While many of the website builders on this list offer some templates, Squarespace stands out from the rest due to both the quantity and quality of its templates. Squarespace provides templates for a long list of fields, including design, politics, food, education, fitness, health, gaming, photography, travel, and music.

For a long time, the one downside to Squarespace’s template design was that you couldn’t switch from one template to another after getting started. Instead, you would have to either work within the existing template or start from the beginning with another template. Squarespace introduced version 7.1 in 2020, which added a variety of new features, including a single Master Template, which shares features and style options in common with all individual templates. Squarespace 7.1 makes it easier than ever to switch templates on an existing Squarespace site.

Unfortunately, Squarespace doesn’t offer an ongoing free plan — just a 14-day free trial to give you a chance to test out the service. From there, personal subscriptions start at $16 per month, with the Business tier adding fully integrated e-commerce and a free year of Google Email. The top two tiers come in at $35 and $54 per month, but all subscriptions come with a 25% to 30% discount when paid annually.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Incredible template selection
  • Users can now switch templates after creating a site
  • Commerce plans come with advanced features like gift cards, subscription sales, and abandoned cart recovery

Cons

  • No free tier

What Customers Are Saying

While Squarespace is more expensive than the other services on this list, most users are satisfied with the price they pay for more sophisticated features. Squarespace is an especially strong option for e-commerce vendors and bloggers, who can easily write posts and schedule them to be published at a later time.

Summary

Squarespace Logo
Squarespace
  • Upgrade Options
    • Personal: $16/month
    • Business: $26/month
    • Basic Commerce: $30/month
    • Advanced Commerce: $46/month
  • Deployment
    Web-Based
  • Support Options
    24/7 (Live Rep), Business Hours, Online
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.1
Website X5 Logo
Website X5
4.6
  • Two available lifetime licenses
  • Receives regular updates
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Best Lifetime License
Visit Website X5
One of the main downsides to most website builders is that you’ll have to continue paying for them every month or year you keep your site online. Website X5 offers an alternative, with a limited free option and two premium lifetime licenses that introduce various additional features for one-time payments of $79.95 or $219.95. That might sound like a lot up front, but the cheaper plan works out to less than $1.35 per month after just five years. This makes Website X5 the most affordable option when it comes to the long-term cost of a website builder. On the other hand, the free features may be more than enough for some site owners.

We also found that Website X5 has been actively updating the platform for years. It added preset product page templates in the March 2021 update, with five new templates introduced in February 2021. Website X5 received a total of six updates between June 2020 and June 2021.

As mentioned above, you don’t need to spend any money to use the Website X5 builder. Free users are restricted to 15 templates, 10 total pages, and limited customer support. Evo offers access to 100 templates, unlimited pages, SEO features, and blogging tools for a one-time payment of $79.95. At $219.95, Pro adds digital product sales, discounts and coupons, Google AMP posts, and other advanced tools. Both premium licenses come with 30-day money-back guarantees.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Two available lifetime licenses
  • Receives regular updates
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Free plan limited to 10 pages

What Customers Are Saying

Website X5 receives high marks for its popular site themes, with more than 100 available with either of the paid licenses. Users also like the platform’s e-commerce features including physical and digital products, credit card and PayPal payments, and inventory management.

Summary

Website X5 Logo
Website X5
  • Upgrade Options
    • WebSite X5 Evo: $83.87
    • WebSite X5 Pro: $238.46
  • Deployment
    Windows
  • Support Options
    Business Hours, Online
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.6
Weebly Logo
Weebly
4.0
  • Decent free tool
  • Robust SEO capabilities
  • New e-commerce features
Best for SEO
Visit Weebly
No matter what type of website you’re building, you’ll need SEO tools to make your site as visible as possible. SEO is all about finding ways to improve your site and make it appear higher up on Google and other search engines. Both free and paid Weebly subscriptions come with a powerful suite of SEO features, and premium plans also include extra features like lead capture, Instagram marketing, and pop-up notifications. With free SEO tools, strong praise from the vast majority of users, and robust SEO guides on its blog, Weebly is the best free website builder for SEO in 2021.

Additionally, Weebly has added several new features to help vendors maximize sales in the pandemic environment. In 2021, it introduced curbside pickup, announcement banners, and online purchases through pay links or even quick response (QR) codes.

The free Weebly plan is designed for basic use, but it still comes with a decent set of tools like products, SEO, and a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate. At $9 per month, the Personal tier supports custom domains plus digital product sales, shipping calculations, and pop-up notifications. Subsequent tiers offer extra tools for $16 or $29 per month, but you can get a few dollars off the monthly fee by paying annually. With that in mind, there’s a Weebly option available for every website.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Decent free tool
  • Robust SEO capabilities
  • New e-commerce features

Cons

  • Limited plugin selection compared to WordPress

What Customers Are Saying

Weebly users are happy with the platform’s ease of use and simple, yet effective SEO features. They also like having the option to start for free and then upgrade to a paid subscription when they need more tools.

Summary

  • Upgrade Options
    • Connect: $5/month
    • Pro: $12/month
    • Business: $25/month
  • Deployment
    Mac, Windows, Web-Based, iPhone / iPad, Android
  • Support Options
    Business Hours, Online
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4
Wild Apricot Logo
Wild Apricot
3.5
  • Built for organization management
  • 30-day free trial with no credit card required
  • Monthly updates
Best for Organization Management
Visit Wild Apricot
Wild Apricot is a membership management platform specifically designed for clubs, nonprofits, and other organizations. Subscribers can store member data in the cloud, create exclusive pages for group members, and set up automatic renewals and payment reminders. The platform also comes with helpful email tools, including mobile-responsive templates and tracking for opens and clicks. With the best features for groups of all kinds, Wild Apricot is the best website builder for organizations in 2021.

The Wild Apricot theme integrates with popular applications through the Integromat platform. We also noticed that Wild Apricot releases a monthly update with bug fixes and new features. Its August update introduced a new Knowledge Panel that offers contextual assistance throughout the Wild Apricot interface.

Organizations with fewer than 50 contacts can use Wild Apricot forever at no charge. From there, pricing starts at $48 per month for up to 100 contacts and goes up to $720 per month for as many as 50,000 after a 30-day free trial. You’ll save 10% if you pre-pay for a full year and 15% if you prepay for two, bringing the most affordable plan as low as $40.80 per month. Unlike some of the other website builders we looked at, Wild Apricot doesn’t offer any lifetime licenses.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Built for organization management
  • 30-day free trial with no credit card required
  • Monthly updates

Cons

  • Plans start at $40.80 per month for organizations with 51 to 100 contacts

What Customers Are Saying

Wild Apricot customers like the platform’s organizational tools such as registration, email management, and custom branding. They also appreciate the platform’s responsive customer service team, which is available from 10 AM until 5 PM EST on weekdays.

Summary

Wild Apricot Logo
Wild Apricot
  • Upgrade Options
    • Personal: $40/month
    • Group: $50/month
    • Community: $90/month
    • Professional: $160/month
    • Network: $290/month
    • Enterprise: $350/month
    • Global: $600/month
  • Deployment
    Web-Based, iPhone / iPad, Android
  • Support Options
    Business Hours, Online
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 3.5
Wix Logo
Wix
3.6
  • Straightforward, intuitive interface
  • Supplement the basic Wix toolset with third-party applications
  • More than 800 unique templates
Best User Interface
Visit Wix
Wix is one of the most iconic website builders on the internet, and it’s famous for its intuitive interface. While some site creators may prefer certain aspects of other platforms, Wix is an easy choice for the best user interface and overall experience. It’s designed to be as accessible as possible to nontechnical users, and its classic drag-and-drop design is now the standard among website builders. Right-click on an element to access context-specific tools — there isn’t an easier way to create a professional-quality website.

It’s also worth noting that Wix is constantly adding new features. In July alone, the platform released more than 10 new functions, including a pricing plans widget, automatic tax calculation and invoice generation, Wix Payments support in Canada, and the ability to stream meetings and webinars directly from your site.

If you’re interested in Wix, keep in mind that many of these tools are restricted to paying subscribers. Free users can only access 500 MB of storage and bandwidth, and they’re limited to a Wix-branded site on a .wixsite.com domain. Premium plans start at $14 per month for basic websites and $23 per month for online stores. Paid subscribers can remove Wix ads and acquire a custom domain with a free domain voucher for one year.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Straightforward, intuitive interface
  • Supplement the basic Wix toolset with third-party applications
  • More than 800 unique templates

Cons

  • No switching between templates

What Customers Are Saying

Wix is one of the most popular website builders currently available, and most customers agree that the Wix interface is unmatched. It also comes with a deep collection of templates that fit a wide range of use cases and can easily be customized to the needs of your site.

Summary

  • Upgrade Options
    • VIP: $24.50/month
    • Unlimited: $12.50/month
    • Combo: $8.50/month
    • Connect Domain: $4.50/month
  • Deployment
    Web-Based
  • Support Options
    Business Hours, Online
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 3.6
WordPress Logo
WordPress
4.5
  • The most popular blogging platform
  • Incredible library of third-party extensions
  • Deep collection of free website themes
Best for Bloggers
Visit WordPress
WordPress advertises itself as the most popular website builder in the world, and it’s particularly well-suited to bloggers and other content creators. Each WordPress site comes with native SEO, social media integration, intuitive content management, website statistics, third-party integrations, and other powerful features. While some of these tools are limited to specific paid subscription tiers, you can easily create an incredible WordPress blog for free, which made it our clear choice as the best website builder for bloggers.

The immense popularity of WordPress has also made it a hub for third-party extensions. These free and paid tools give the platform an incredible degree of flexibility for nearly any type of website. Every WordPress plan — including both free and paid tiers — also comes with built-in web hosting.

Free WordPress users get 3 GB of storage, access to a variety of free themes, and basic tools for SEO and marketing. Like many other platforms, WordPress restricts free users to a WordPress.com subdomain and applies WordPress branding to its site. The Personal tier, at $4 per month billed annually, removes these limitations and allows creators to accept payments on its site. WordPress also offers custom design services for an additional charge.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The most popular blogging platform
  • Incredible library of third-party extensions
  • Deep collection of free website themes

Cons

  • Free tier comes with limited customization tools

What Customers Are Saying

In contrast to more basic free options, consumers agree that WordPress is a highly scalable website builder that can be as simple or as sophisticated as you need. While there’s a learning curve associated with the more complicated aspects of WordPress site building, you’ll be able to customize nearly every aspect of your site, especially once you start working with third-party add-ons.

Summary

WordPress Logo
WordPress
  • Upgrade Options
    • Free
  • Deployment
    Web-Based
  • Support Options
    Online
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.5
Zoho Sites Logo
Zoho Sites
3.0
  • Custom forms through Zoho CRM
  • Integrates with other Zoho services
  • Member portal available with Pro plan
Best for Zoho Users
Visit Zoho Sites
Zoho is a digital platform that offers online services for everything from email marketing and conversion optimization to customer relationship management and help desk software. Its website builder, Zoho Sites, integrates seamlessly with other Zoho tools, including Zoho PageSense, Zoho CRM, Zoho SalesIQ, Marketing Automation, and Social Auto Publish. While other users may be better off with another website builder, Zoho Sites is the best option for existing Zoho customers due to its powerful connections with the rest of the platform.

Zoho Sites subscribers can start the website building process using templates from one of nine categories: restaurants, architecture and interior, health, well-being, businesses, events, photography, services, and blogs. Of course, templates can also be customized more thoroughly to match the specific focus of your site. While Zoho Sites hasn’t received any new features since March 2021, it got regular updates for several years leading up to that time. The most recent changes include A/B testing, responsive images, and the addition of 35 templates.

After a 15-day free trial, you can maintain access to Zoho Sites for $5 per month billed annually (Starter) or $17 (Pro). Starter includes support for up to five pages plus 500 MB of storage, 10 GB of monthly bandwidth, and five custom forms through Zoho CRM. Pro introduces support for 50 sites along with 100 GB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, 50 forms, social shares, and additional tools. Unfortunately, Starter is even more limited than other budget options in some ways — WordPress Personal, for example, comes with 12 times as much storage for an even lower price.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Custom forms through Zoho CRM
  • Integrates with other Zoho services
  • Member portal available with Pro plan

Cons

  • Higher prices than WordPress and other competitors

What Customers Are Saying

Zoho users are generally happy with Zoho Sites — particularly those who leverage the power of Zoho’s other applications. They also like the consumer-friendly website building interface itself, especially for simple sites that don’t need much coding or advanced customization.

Summary

Zoho Sites Logo
Zoho Sites
  • Upgrade Options
    • Starter: $7/site
    • Pro: $20/site
  • Deployment
    Web-Based
  • Support Options
    Business Hours, Online
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    No
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 3

How We Chose the Best Free Website Builders

Even if you’re interested in building a website, you may not be ready to spend any money on your new creation. Fortunately, there are a variety of free tools that make it easy to design a new site at no charge.

While every use case is different, there are a few criteria that you should always have in mind when looking for a new free website builder. These are the main features we considered when comparing the top platforms.

User Interface

Building a website is easier than ever before, but some services still offer a much more streamlined user experience. The right platform will make it easy for you to turn your mental image into a professional website.

While most website builders now use a standard drag-and-drop editor, there are still significant differences between the various platforms we’ve listed. We reviewed each website builder’s overall ease of use and accessibility to users who don’t have as much experience with web design. We also looked at the features available with each platform to help you find a website builder that offers enough tools to meet your needs.

Template Selection

Website building tools are obviously critical, but the template you start with can be equally important. Even though every website builder we’ve covered offers some free templates, that doesn’t mean their selections are equivalent.

In comparing each provider’s templates, we looked at the volume of its library along with the overall quality. We also explored their collections to evaluate the platform’s offerings for different types of websites. A strong template library will help you build your ideal website in a fraction of the time.

Extensions and Add-ons

While some website builders are more robust than others, every platform is limited in one way or another. Third-party extensions and add-ons supplement the functionality of the base website builder in a variety of ways.

Alongside the features that come with each free website builder, we reviewed its extension or add-on marketplace to determine their versatility. Without a thriving third-party marketplace, you’ll be limited to features that have already been added by the provider itself.

Premium Plans

You may be looking for a free website builder today, but there’s always a chance that your site will outgrow your current needs. In that case, it’s good to have a platform that offers more robust paid subscriptions to scale with your growing website.

While we focused on each provider’s free options, we also took into account its overall pricing scheme and the tools available with its paid plans. This should help you make a more informed decision based on your potential future needs.