The 9 Best Free Website Builders of 2019

Building (and running) your own site is way easier than you think

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

  • Best Overall: Wix, "It's an excellent drag-and-drop editor and supports websites of all kinds."
  • Best Integrated Service: Weebly, "Sufficient for a personal blog or small business website."
  • Best for eCommerce: FreeWebStore, "A truly free solution for your online shop."
  • Best for Self-Installing: WordPress.org, "A great balance between power and ease-of-use out."
  • Best Free Hosting: Bluehost Website Builder, It’s free with their web hosting packages, and it’s one of the best."
  • Best for Marketing: Constant Contact, "This service helps put all your online marketing activities under one roof."
  • Best for Blogging: WordPress.com, "The benefits of a traditional WordPress install without any of the hassles."
  • Best for Simple Sites: Google Sites, "A straightforward drag-and-drop site builder."
  • Best for Advanced Users: Webflow, "For technical users, this access to the what’s under the hood is the best of both worlds."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Wix

Wix

Wix

The combination of its excellent drag-and-drop editor (and the freedom it grants you), support for websites of all kinds (such as e-commerce, blogs, etc.), and the availability of ancillary applications such as Bookings or Events make Wix.com stand out among all the other options here.

First and foremost, it’s not just that the site builder is drag-and-drop, it’s that you can do that anywhere. For those new to creating websites, concepts like “page template” or “sidebar menu” may not make much sense. Wix pages are more like a blank sheet of paper, where you can start jotting down your content wherever you please.

Like most other services on this list, you can always upgrade from the free version to a premium plan, which brings with it additional benefits. These include additional storage and/or bandwidth (the free version comes with just 500 MB of each), the ability to take commerce payments, or adding rich media, including video, to your site. Many of these competitors have similar functionality, but none of them bring it all under one easy-to-use banner without having to either do your own installation or start tackling lots of premium add-ons to your hosting bill.

Best Integrated Service: Weebly

Weebly logo

Weebly

Weebly's free tier gives you 500 MB of storage and a free SSL certificate, which is sufficient for a personal blog or small business website. You’ll need to be careful with the imagery though, as you’re not only limited to total size, but also on the size of individual uploads (10 MB each).

The site builder, however, is very functional, including drag-and-drop editing, a selection of fonts, and advanced effects such as parallax scrolling. There are also lots of themes to choose from in categories, including Business, Portfolio, Event, and Blog. There are also themes for online stores, but unfortunately, free accounts don’t have access to e-commerce features. You can use contact forms to capture leads from among your site’s visitors, however.

Like other integrated services, advantages include being completely free of any sort of maintenance, either at the server level or with a website builder application/CMS. You also aren’t restricted in any way with performance, which can become an issue on shared web hosting accounts in the very low-price ranges.

Best for eCommerce: FreeWebStore

Free Web Store logo

Freewebstore.com 

By and large, starting up a store on the web is something you’ll need to pay for one way or another. Either you’re charged a fee for the service (e.g. for the popular option Shopify), or you’ll need to pay a portion of your proceeds to the provider of the e-commerce platform (like Amazon or many others). Fortunately, FreeWebStore does provide you with a truly free solution for your online shop.

That is, provided your shop is small. The biggest constraint with the service is a limit of 30 items in your store, although this is more than competing solutions tend to provide. This limitation aside, FreeWebStore does provide an otherwise capable solution, including not only creating products and pages, but also assistance with inventory management, fulfillment notifications, and order tracking. There is also unlimited storage and bandwidth, allowing you to serve your handful of products to (hopefully) many customers.

FreeWebStore doesn’t have a paid tier per se. The developers do offer an “enterprise-level” platform called Ridge, although it’s unclear if this is something to which a FreeWebStore site could be easily migrated.

Best for Self-Installing: WordPress.org

Wordpress logo

Wordpress.org 

We’ve extolled the virtues of WordPress on many occasions, as it strikes a great balance between power and ease of use. Installing WordPress yourself eliminates many of the limitations of the hosted service. You can install any theme or plugin you want. You can create your own online store. You can use any domain you own. And you can enjoy as much storage as you own.

But in order to do that, you’ll need to have your own web hosting, which is likely not free. You also need to install WordPress on your own, not to mention maintaining it. And if you run into trouble, you may not have any support to fall back on.

You can mitigate some of these risks by using a managed WordPress service with your web host, but that will also cost money. If you’re technically savvy, however, and have the discipline to keep up with WordPress security updates, installing it yourself puts a lot of opportunity at your fingertips.

Best Free Hosting: Bluehost Website Builder

Bluehost

Bluehost

If you know the name Bluehost, it’s probably as a premier WordPress hosting provider. But Bluehost also provides a standalone website builder for those who want an alternative to WordPress. It’s free with their web hosting packages, and it’s one of the best.

The main reason why is that, rather than creating their own app from scratch, they’ve partnered with Weebly, who are themselves one of the leading website builder services. They create one of the best drag-and-drop interfaces to create a website, including tons of themes, a built-in image editor, advanced scrolling effects, and photo galleries.

In order to use it, you’ll just need an account with Bluehost. You’ll also need to make sure that you don’t auto-install WordPress when creating your new site. Bluehost is very focused on WordPress, and so you may not have the same level of support using the website builder. But if you can get things set up the right way, Weebly is definitely a top-of-the-line website builder that you can use with an existing Bluehost account.

Best for Marketing: Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Constant Contact

One of the top companies in e-mail marketing has branched out to offer a website service. Better yet, it includes a drag-and-drop website builder, and best of all, it's free. You can use the AI-enabled website builder in Constant Contact’s service to create a site for you. It will also examine any Facebook pages you have in order to inform its decisions.

You can have updates to your site sent automatically to social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter. The service offers free, unlimited hosting, and analytics to see where your visitors are coming from. The main restrictions on the free tier for this service are the number of store products (three), inability to use a custom domain, and basic analytics.

And of course, one of these sites would be a fine place to put one of Constant Contact’s registration forms, so you can capture visitors’ information and send them future communications. This service helps put all your online marketing activities under one roof.

Best for Blogging: WordPress.com

Wordpress logo

Wordpress.com

WordPress can be somewhat confusing, as it’s really two different solutions. One is a content management system that you can install yourself. This is WordPress.org.

However, the developers of WordPress also offer a hosted service, or a version of WordPress they maintain. You can sign up for this service and get most of the benefits of a traditional WordPress install without any of the hassles. These benefits include many template options, a great editing experience, and an easy-to-use admin panel, without having to worry about keeping WordPress patched with security updates.

Some of the things the free service doesn’t allow are the use of custom domain names, uploading your own templates or plugins. You're also limited to 3 GB of storage. You also can't run an e-commerce site, use advanced SEO and analytics features, or remove WordPress.com’s ads. But even in the absence of these, WordPress.com provides a fantastic platform to get your site started, and you can always migrate it to a paid tier (or a self-hosted WordPress installation) later.

Best for Simple Sites: Google Sites

Google Sites

Google Sites

One of the top reasons to consider Google Sites is simple: Just about everyone has a Google account. Maybe it’s not your go-to for e-mail or calendaring, but chances are you’ve got a Gmail address sitting around somewhere. This gives you access to Sites among all the other great Google services.

Sites is a straightforward drag-and-drop site builder. You create pages, to which you can add text, graphics, or video. There are Layouts that let you create, for example, a section with three columns to highlight your service menu. As you might expect, it’s easy to integrate content from other Google services, notably documents, spreadsheets, or other items from Docs.

However, Sites is quite basic as site builders go, the Layouts mentioned above are really just blocks of content where text wraps around an image in some way, and there are precious few of them. These all get placed on a full-width site, with no options for sidebars or other common website structures. But if you’re an avid Google user, Sites is an option that’s adequate for a simple site and integrates nicely with other Google services.

Best for Advanced Users: Webflow

Webflow logo

Webflow 

The focus for many of the above services has been ease-of-use and accommodating new users. But Webflow targets more advanced users, such as web designers and developers. After all, just because some people can code a site from scratch doesn’t mean they always want to.

Webflow is a service for these individuals, as it provides tools to build pages visually. Using these tools results in web code just like the other alternatives. The difference is that Webflow also gives users access to this underlying code, so they can further tweak it to taste. Users can build a page using raw ingredients and style them from scratch or use something already pre-baked. For technical users, this access to the what’s under the hood is the best of both worlds.

The free tier limits you to two projects as well as restriction to webflow.io for your domain. This is technically a testing area, but there’s nothing stopping you from using this as the destination for your site. However, there are reasonable premium plan upgrades in the event you’d like to eventually publish your site on your own URL.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 8 hours researching the most popular free website builders on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 18 different free website builders overall, screened options from 18 different brands and manufacturers, read over 4 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the free website builders themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.