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Best free website builder service of 2022

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
The best free website builder services: Wix, Weebly, WordPress.com logo on a poster held up by a building crane
(Image credit: Future)

Thanks to the best free website builder service, creating a website with no money is an achievable task.

We've already featured the best website builder software which includes paid-for services that include the widest range of features. However, there are some good free website builders out there.

The problem is that there are so many website creation applications and services vying for attention that it can be difficult to know which one to opt for – this is where we can help.

Top 3 website builder services of 2022

These first three options aren't necessarily free, but they are the best website builder services you can get. With Wix being the top pick, you can use its premium services without paying a penny as the website builder offers a free service as well as paid options. 

We've collated the very best free website builders available, from the 50+ website builders we've tested and reviewed.

It's usually quicker, easier and more efficient to create and edit a site entirely online with a WYSIWYG editor, but if you want complete control over every aspect of your site's design and web hosting, you'll need a desktop-based free website builder.

So whether you're looking to create a site for your business, a new blog, or you just fancy creating an online presence for yourself, here are the best free website builder services to help you out.

These are the best free website builder services of 2022

Wix makes it very easy to design a website, while giving experts plenty of power to customize elements if they need it (Image credit: Wix)
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1. Wix

The best free website builder

Reasons to buy

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Very user-friendly ADI editor
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But experts can tweak everything
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Powerful and well-featured

Wix (opens in new tab) is a big-name website builder which offers a free plan, enabling you to have the run of this service without having to put your hand in your pocket. And you benefit from one of the most impressive website editors in the business.

This editor can be run in ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) mode, which has a very basic interface to keep everything really simple and user-friendly. This is great for beginners, as you can create a basic site without even remotely breaking a sweat (a range of attractive templates are provided, as well).

Those who want to get more involved with tweaking the design of their website can step up to the full Wix editor, which boasts powerful functionality, and the ability to really hone your website and get it looking just as you want. Visual previews of page elements make it easy to pick what you need for any particular part of a web page, too.

Wix is so polished that putting together your site using the editor feels more like using a native application rather than a website builder, and it also sports excellent support for a diverse range of media, and quality customer support as well, even on the free plan. In addition, Wix Turbo was recently released which improves the performance and speed of all Wix websites.

Powerful blogging functionality rounds things off nicely, and you’re getting a truly high quality offering with this freewebsite builder.

Read our Wix review (opens in new tab)

Zyro lets you create a website with no risk courtesy of its 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support. (Image credit: Zyro)
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2. Zyro

The most intuitive website builder

Reasons to buy

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Easy setup
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Very fast
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Great for beginners

Reasons to avoid

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Not as professional as other builders

Zyro (opens in new tab) stands out from the crowd purely because of how straightforward and easy it is for beginners to use when creating a website. 

The "try for free" option takes you straight to three options in order to create your free website. 

You can either choose a designer-made template, then customize text, images, and features or let Zyro AI generate a website for you instantly, with the freedom to change anything in its drag-and-drop editor.

The last option it gives you is the ability to import the content and design of your existing online website and make changes in the Zyro editor.

Zyro (opens in new tab) offers over 150 templates, from ecommerce and photography, to landing pages or even black templates for you to have complete control of your website's design.

Also, the website builder's ecommerce platform offers over 50 payment options, allowing you to sell on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon - while order tracking, managing inventory, as well as managing shipping and tax. 

Despite the fact that Zyro's free option is good, simple to use and covers the basics needed for a website, it's paid option is even better and extremely affordable. It's cheapest plan offers free email for three months, security with SSL, blogging tools, and free web hosting.

Read our Zyro website builder review (opens in new tab)

If you want to create a website as quickly as possible, look no further than Weebly (opens in new tab). It's so easy to use, you'll have a great-looking site online in mere minutes (Image credit: Weebly)
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3. Weebly

The quick and easy free website builder

Reasons to buy

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Powerful free solution
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Automatic website building for novices
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Tons of stylish templates

Weebly (opens in new tab) offers you two ways to build your website. Both involve creating it online, and both are as quick and painless as possible.

The simplest option is to use the basic editor builder which will guide you through a series of questions before automatically creating a site for you. There is scope for customization, but the focus here is really on fast results for anyone who is terrified of designing websites.

A more hands-on approach is available if you decide to use the standard Editor. There are literally hundreds of stylish templates to choose from – and, yes, they are genuinely impressive – which you can tweak and tailor to your needs using a beautiful WYSIWYG editor.

Despite being a cloud-based website builder, Weebly gives you a great degree of control over the look of your site and placement of page elements. You can also liven it up using additional features such as a newsletter and live chat. This power and flexibility make Weebly a good, free website builder to consider.

Read our Weebly review (opens in new tab)

WordPress is the tool of choice for many blog owners. It takes a little getting used to, but once you've mastered it, you'll love its flexibility (Image credit: WordPress)
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4. WordPress

The open source and free website builder

Reasons to buy

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Easy-to-use online editor
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Lots of free themes

Reasons to avoid

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Limited range of plugins

Causing a slight degree of confusion, there are actually two different versions of WordPress. The more complex variant can be downloaded from wordpress.org (opens in new tab), and you will need to upload it to your own web space and install it using the automated online installer. You can then customize the templates and use add-ons to make the site your own.

This is the route many bloggers go down, but there is a simpler option for people who don’t want the hassle of fiddling about with scripts and getting dirty with hardcore editing.

The hosted version of WordPress lets you create your own site on wordpress.com (opens in new tab). You can create everything from a blog or photo site, to a fully fledged online store, and there are a number of templates to choose from. Additionally, Mailchimp users have a benefit of adding a Mailchimp block, which can grow your mailing list among other things.

Whether you're creating a static site, or a blog-style site with regularly updated content, the online editor is a joy to use and allows just about anyone to create an impressive, professional-looking site. The only downside is the limited range of plugins and templates compared with the desktop version, and other free website builders.

Read our WordPress review (opens in new tab)

WebSite X5 makes building a website on your desktop easy, with good-looking templates and an intuitive site builder
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5. Incomedia WebSite X5

A desktop website builder that has a free version

Reasons to buy

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Simple drag-and-drop UI
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Flexible editing capabilities
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Free version

Incomedia WebSite X5 (opens in new tab) received an overhaul in April 2019 with new templates, an updated interface, new paid versions, and more. Note that the free version for TechRadar (opens in new tab) readers is still available to download. There are two paid versions, Evo and Pro, priced at €39.95 ($46.85) and €69.95 ($82) respectively. This is a one time purchase and naturally, both versions come with additional and improved features compared to the free one. There is also a demo version of both paid versions that you can try out.

Unlike WordPress and Wix, WebSite X5 is a desktop website builder, which means you can work on your site offline and have more freedom to make your website look exactly the way you want.

There's a range of ready-made templates to choose from, or you can create your own design from scratch. Next, build up your site map, showing the hierarchy of your pages and how they connect to one another – a feature you won't find in most web-based site builder apps. There is also e-commerce support with features like product search page and optimized checkout.

Once that's done, you're ready to start building your pages using Website X5's simple drag-and-drop interface, which includes tools for editing both rich text and photos. 

If you don't want to pay immediately, WebSite X5 offers a 15-day free trial.

Read our Incomedia WebSite X5 review (opens in new tab)

CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor isn't a WYSIWYG website builder, but it provides a live preview of your site as you create it
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6. CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor

The free HTML editor for building websites

Reasons to buy

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Impressive range of templates
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Smart features like tag and code suggestions

Reasons to avoid

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Not all features available for free

CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor (opens in new tab) is one of a dying breed of web building programs that don't use a CMS (content management system). While not in the same league as the likes of Adobe Dreamweaver, Free HTML Editor packs quite a professional punch. With split screen code/preview views, it's possible to see the effect the changes you make have straight away.

To help you get started quickly, there are a number of templates built into the program, and there are some very nice features such as tag and code suggestions as you type.

For absolute beginners, the program might seem a little overwhelming to start with, but it's worth sticking with – assuming you have some HTML knowledge. There is one slight issue; a number of features, such as spell-checking and code optimization, are only included in the paid-for version of the program. Otherwise, it can make for a simple alternative to a free website builder.

Read our CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor review (opens in new tab)

If you've used WordPress before, you might be interested in the power of Joomla. It's not as easy to use though, so beginners are better off sticking with a simpler option like Wix
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7. Joomla

Another free website builder

Reasons to buy

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Huge range of themes and extensions
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Online builder suitable for novices

Reasons to avoid

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Offline software isn’t very user-friendly

Joomla is a well-known name in the CMS world. It may not be as popular as WordPress, but it offers the same two options: build a site using the web app at launch.joomla.org (opens in new tab) and have it hosted on the company's servers, or download the software from joomla.org (opens in new tab) and host it yourself.

If you choose the latter option, you'll notice that the interface is much less approachable than WordPress. It's not completely impenetrable, but there are lots of menus and options to work through and it doesn't feel quite as polished as WordPress.

Joomla's free website builder is nearly as complex, but doesn't involve the same setup process, making it a better option for beginners. Its key selling point is a huge collection of themes and extensions, which provide endless ways to customize the way your site looks and works.

The GoDaddy Website Builder offers great support (Image credit: GoDaddy)
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The best choice for customer support

Specifications

SSL security: Yes
Ecommerce plan: Yes
Mobile responsive: Yes
SEO tools: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Great 24/7 tech support
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Affordable subscription plans

Reasons to avoid

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Templates are difficult to find

GoDaddy (opens in new tab) may be one of the most straightforward web builders around, boasting a hugely intuitive publication process and simple editing tools. This means that even if you’ve never built a website before, setting one up should only take a few minutes.

For individuals looking for a more in-depth experience, the GoDaddy Websites + Marketing solution provides a detailed analysis of how your site is performing. The analytics tool delivers a comprehensive set of metrics that compares how your online presence is performing against other websites in your field. So far, the tool has certainly proved successful, with customers experiencing an 18% increase (opens in new tab) in business revenue within 12 months of using it, GoDaddy claims.

Of course, challenges arise with even the most impressive online platforms and the GoDaddy Website Builder is no exception. Fortunately, GoDaddy’s support is among the best around. Extensive PDF guides cover a multitude of questions and troubleshooting topics, and 24/7 tech support is also available. Moreover, the community forums are a great resource and it’s likely that someone there will be able to respond to your query. A live chat feature is also available on weekdays.

In terms of pricing, GoDaddy is very competitive, offering four website builder pricing tiers. The prices range from $9.99 per month for the Basic plan, up to $24.99 per month for the Ecommerce tier. As you would expect, the ecommerce plan comes with everything you need to start a full-featured online store, with the cheaper plans offering slightly reduced functionality as you work your way down.

Some people have complained about the lack of an app market, which can leave some of the site builder features lacking depth. It does mean, however, that all features are built in-house and so are fit for purpose. If you’re on the lookout for a website builder that is both affordable and boasts great support, then GoDaddy may be the right choice for you.

Read our GoDaddy website builder review

Jimdo is another website builder well worth looking at (Image credit: Jimdo)
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The best option for a portfolio for designers and photographers

Specifications

Professional templates: Yes
Social media integration: Yes
SEO tools: Yes
Mobile optimization: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Free plan has some unusual extras
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Good tech support

Reasons to avoid

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Less features than some rivals

Since 2007, more than 25 million websites have been created using Jimdo (opens in new tab), with its simplicity receiving plenty of praise. Another area of strength is the way that it looks, with a range of clean, flexible templates on offer. The professional and modern styles available make Jimdo a great website builder for designers, photographers or anyone else who wants to display their portfolio online.

The platform even comes with its own Logo Designer to help make your brand recognizable. All you need to do is enter your business and select a starting point for your logo design. Then, you customize your icon and layout, choose a color and font, and that’s it! Your logo is ready to adorn your business cards, social media pages and your website.

Another useful design feature that Jimdo users will appreciate is the way that website colors automatically harmonize with an uploaded logo or image. This means that garish color clashes become a thing of the past – that's great for businesses where looking good is part of the brand.

Furthermore, Jimdo comes with a host of tips and support documents to help you create the right website for you. This includes a number of examples of existing photography websites (opens in new tab) created using the platform, along with tips to build a successful site.

Other pros of using Jimdo include its speed as well as simplicity. First off, users have a choice between going with Jimdo Creator or Jimdo Dolphin. Creator has more than 100 templates broken down into four categories (Business, Store, Portfolio, and Personal) and there are plenty of customization options. Dolphin, on the other hand, gives you an AI-created website. There is also a collaboration with Facebook, which allows you to sell your products directly on Facebook and Instagram.

In terms of price, there is a free plan that comes with no time limit but will force you to have a Jimdo sub-domain and advertising. Some Jimdo users have complained about a lack of fancy features, but if you want a quick, straightforward way of launching a great-looking site, you’ll struggle to find a better website builder than this.

Read our Jimdo website builder review

(Image credit: Strikingly)
Build a stylish single-page website in minutes

Reasons to buy

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Simple and easy-to-use
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Good editor
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No ecommerce transaction fees
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Live chat support

Reasons to avoid

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Not very many templates
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Limited customization options
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Most features are on the Pro plan

Strikingly (opens in new tab) is unusual when ranked against the best website builder platforms, as it has a focus on designing mobile-friendly single-page websites. Before you decide a “single-page” site isn’t for you - it's not as limiting as you might think. Surprisingly, it allows you to add image galleries, a blog, custom forms, even a simple web store (with no transaction fees). There are many useful supporting features, too: responsive templates, video backgrounds, password protection, social media feed integration and more.

Plans start with a basic free account, although you won’t find it unless you click on the “monthly” options. While most website builders hide their signup procedure behind a Getting Started button, Strikingly takes things a step further. Visit the company website and the first thing you'll see is an animated form asking for your name, email address and password, or you can even sign up immediately via Facebook. A Strikingly Subscriptions feature allows visitors to subscribe to your blog, for instance. The service collects email addresses and can send excerpts of any future posts with a click.

The Strikingly website builder isn't as powerful or customizable as the top competition, but it's very user-friendly. You might even say it notices the things you need to add to your website. With Strikingly, you can easily build a good-looking site that’s complete with a blog. You can set everything up within a few minutes. If simplicity is key, add Strikingly to your shortlist.

Read our Strikingly website builder review


How to choose the best free website builder for you

With so many website builders (free and paid) on the market, how do you know which one is the right solution for you?

The main thing to remember is the choice is all about you. What features are you looking for in a website builder? What are your non-negotiables in terms of service offerings? What type of website do you want to create and and can it be done using a free website builder service?

We suggest you write down all your wants and needs, highlighting the top features you need from a website builder. From there, you'll be able to match those features to the best website builders on the market.

With so many website builder services offering money back guarantee or free plans, it's now easy to try before you buy (and in some cases, stick to the free plan if it's enough for you website's needs).

How we test each website builder

In the same way we test web hosting services, our reviewers also sign up and purchase plans from website builders and go through the same process a beginner would when creating a website for the first time.

For free website builder services, we compare the same features you would expect from a paid website builder with the exception being the price comparison.  

We look at the features offered, ease-of-use, functionality, support and other add-ons like blogging and ecommerce capabilities. 

Once our reviewers sign up to each website builder, they create a website to get an accurate depiction of what you can expect. We have tested and reviewed all website builders listed above.

Because nothing can be 100% perfect, we made sure to dig out the positives and negatives of each free website builder so that you have a clear understanding of what to expect from each service.

You also might want to check out the best small business website builders.

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fuelled by technology, music and nature.


Having written for websites and magazine since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.


Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy.