We’ve put together a regularly updated list of our favorite website builders to help you find the right one. Keep in mind that almost all of the free website builders on our list also offer a set of premium packages, many of which include expanded storage and bandwidth, as well as features often missing from their freemium counterparts. The premium plans also remove unwanted ads on your page and the subdomain hosted in your website URL, which is a must if you’re going into a professional domain.
In most cases, you get what you pay for. While that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a lot to have a great site, it’s important to consider how professional you want your website to be. More often than not, spending a little more can go a long way.
Photographers should check out our most recommended portfolio site builders, as this list looks specifically at how website builders manage and present large image galleries.
WordPress is the website builder Digital Trends is based on, although we have our own set of professional programmers behind the scenes. The service can be found at wordpress.org and is arguably one of the most successful given its open source nature (especially for blogs), which allows for a large amount of templates, themes and plugins that can be downloaded for free or purchased. for a premium price.
The platform has a relatively steep learning curve, which isn’t surprising given its long-lasting capabilities and level of customization, the latter likely requiring you to invest time learning its various functions. Nonetheless, WordPress excels when it comes to ready-to-use themes, mobile-optimized templates, and widgets that allow you to include everything from comments to images. WordPress will also give you traffic insights, which can help you tailor your website to your audience, along with 3GB of storage space and unlimited bandwidth.
You can download WordPress and install it directly on any hosting service you want to use. However, this is more complicated and requires more effort. If you want to rearrange the layout of a particular template, for example, you’ll need to modify the code to do so. Plugins exist and can help, but installation often requires more than a simple click.
If you want a simpler option, this is there. WordPress.com is an externally hosted version of the software, which means you can create an online account, upload whatever you want to the site, and publish it immediately. No downloads, no learning curve. It still offers a good amount of customization and it is available without the need for coding knowledge.
Wix is one of the best free website builders. Its hundreds of HTML templates are extremely user-friendly and rely on the software’s drag-and-drop interface, which makes creating a website a similar experience to creating a PowerPoint presentation. Although Wix offers more flexibility in terms of customization compared to other website builders, the unlimited freedom also makes it easier to create dull designs if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Wix does, however, allow you to revert to the old stages of your website via “site history”, and includes robust integration with a wide range of third-party services such as calendars and Instagram feeds. And the service allows you to separately customize an associated mobile site.
Wix doesn’t let you switch models if you’ve already started a project and only offers 500MB of storage and 1GB of bandwidth if you opt for the freemium plan. Upgrades to more bandwidth and storage space include domain tools, ranging from $5 to $25 per month.
Squarespace is getting a lot of attention, and for good reason. It’s sleek, feature-packed, pretty, and inexpensive. Squarespace will cost you $12 per month for the basic plan, with prices reaching $40 per month for its Commerce plan. The $12 per month gets you unlimited storage and bandwidth, but a 20-page restriction. You also get full e-commerce integration and SSL security certificate included.
The modern website builder lets you create an HTML5-ready site with a heavy focus on commerce, but it also hits its stride when it comes to analytics tools and its resounding ability to adapt to mobile devices. Buttons for adding and editing content line the left side of the simple interface, along with a button for quickly previewing how your content will look once live, all of which adhere to your respective theme.
The service also provides step-by-step tutorials for importing pages from other sites. It offers forums and even workshops to get you up to speed with almost every aspect of the site. You can’t personalize the mobile experience and the platform lacks on-page advertising tools, but there’s a lot to be said for its hands-on approach and immense selling capabilities.
Weebly is an old favorite among those who use template-based website builders. It’s easy to use, clean in appearance, and has plenty of customization options. Drag-and-drop functionality for adding images, text, and other elements is stored in the left sidebar, though you can only insert elements into designated areas of your page.
That said, limiting customization options also allows novice users to grasp the platform faster than others on our list, regardless of the theme they opt for. Additionally, Weebly offers the ability to add maps and download your entire website as a ZIP file in case you want to move your information to a standard web hosting service.
While Weebly doesn’t have the best image editing tools on the market, it does allow you to seamlessly add audio and video to your site, along with a host of business tools to set up a showcase. You can also customize your mobile site, and the Weebly iPad app even lets you build your site on the go.
The free plan gives you 500MB of storage space and unlimited bandwidth, with expanded storage options and features ranging from $8 per month to $25 per month paid annually.
Edicy did more than just change its name when it became Voog in 2014, but the heart of the platform remains essentially the same. It’s built on a simple drag-and-drop interface that depends on the horizontal menu bar at the bottom of the page, which gives you the ability to add text, movies, and photo galleries.
It basks in the basics with only a handful of themes to choose from, but each is responsive and optimized for the platform users might be using to view the site. The lack of customization can be a deterrent for those looking for a more complete package, although it also makes the site one of the easiest to use for novices with little design experience.
However, Voog’s hallmark is its multilingual component, a facet that allows you to build parallel iterations of your site for different regions of the world (i.e. US, Brazil, Canada). Few services offer such a feature, which makes the platform stand out for six euros per month (about seven US dollars) if you are setting up an international online store. You’ll also receive 2GB of storage and access to the open API for the price, while more expensive plans will grant you additional storage and pages.