If you want people to find you online, you need a website. But most smaller businesses don’t have the budget to hire an expert developer. That’s where free website builders come in: these tools make it easy to build a website for free.
The 7 best free website builders
- Google Sites for basic sites (without SEO)
- Weebly for simple, no-fuss websites
- GetResponse for email-focused businesses
- Wix for an all-around site builder
- Dorik for more experienced creators
- HubSpot CMS for growing businesses
- Webflow for advanced designers
What makes a great free website builder?
How we evaluate and test apps
All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who’ve spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it’s intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We’re never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.
There are plenty of lists of the best free website builders, so what makes this one different? I didn’t just read customer reviews or the marketing materials for these website builders. I spent dozens of hours researching the best free site builders that users love—and then tested them myself.
I’ve always used WordPress to build sites for myself, so I was keen to see how these tools stacked up. For each one, I signed up and created a site from one of its templates—adding pages, adjusting copy, exploring SEO features, uploading my own images, and trying the various design elements.
I eliminated any website builders that were too hard to use or didn’t offer valuable free plans and then re-tested the remaining ones until I settled on the best of the best. Some are perfect for building basic sites with no design experience at all, while others are ideal for creating commercial sites but have a steeper learning curve.
As I was testing, I was focusing on the following criteria:
- Ease of use. Is the website builder easy to use, or do you need to be a junior dev to add a form? All the site builders on this list will be relatively easy for most users. I’ve mentioned which ones are newbie-friendly and which are better for those with more design experience. None require coding knowledge, but some do let you access the code.
- Customization options. Not all of us want a one-page website. I assessed how easy each builder is to customize, including the number of templates, if they offer drag-and-drop features, and whether you can adjust styles, colors, and elements. If there’s a trade-off between ease of use and customization, I’ve tried to make that clear.
- SEO tools. Building a site is just half the battle—you also need to rank on search engines. I looked at the SEO tools each website builder offers, such as the ability to adjust page titles and meta descriptions, add alt tags, and upload a site map.
- Value of free plans. Is the free plan really free, or does the builder ask you to upgrade every time you make a change? I made sure I was only looking at truly free options. Of course, there will always be features you’ll need to upgrade for, but all of these tools let you launch a website for free.
- Primarily a website builder. Some website builders are actually another tool with website-building capabilities. Although some of these tools are part of a suite of other marketing tools, they can all operate independently.