I’ve spent the last month testing free website builders and here’s the truth: I don’t think website builders are looking to give away something for free but— with a little research you can definitely make it work.
This video walks you through the 8 most popular website builders:
WordPress.com randomly adds advertisements to your website— there’s no way to control where the ads show. Not great!
Wix has a great paid plan but the free plan is pretty limited. The free subdomain is long and unwieldy, the ad is pretty intrusive and they have an aggressive bandwidth limit.
Google Sites is intriguing— you can add a custom domain, which is great! The only other free website builder to allow this is Ucraft. Unfortunately Google Sites isn’t really for small businesses. They only provide one template.
Jimdo includes a small ad that’s easy to miss. They offer a pretty nice subdomain— but I wish they removed the “free” in it.
XPRS has no ads on their website— which is awesome! Unfortunately the free URL is quite long.
Strikingly is a great website builder. It’s designed for building one page websites. It’s free plan has a great subdomain and includes ecommerce (limited to 1 product). It also includes 5 GB of bandwidth.
Ucraft let’s you connect a custom domain— which is great! It has a small ad that scrolls alongside your website and limits you to 1 page.
Weebly is my pick for the best website builder. It’s a great website builder with a strong free plan: a good subdomain, ecommerce and they are the only free website builder to offer unlimited bandwidth. You’ll want to make sure you can live with Weebly’s ad on free pages.
I also cover a few tips on how to sidestep common limitations on free plans: how to add a redirected domain name, how to add Google Analytics and how to add ecommerce— even if the free website builder doesn’t support these plans.