Which free website builder is best?
In this article, we are going to answer this question. We reviewed several website builders and compiled together with the findings in this article.
Here is the thing:
I understand that anyone looking to create a website has unique needs. For example:
There are those looking to create e-commerce websites while others are looking to create blogs. Not to forget those creative looking for a simple site to showcase their portfolio.
From this, we have three categories of website owners;
- Online stores – anyone looking to create an eCommerce brand online, which can either be for selling products (physical or digital) and services.
- Bloggers – these are website owners looking for a simple solution to help them create, publish, and distribute articles online.
- Personal websites – if you are looking for a simple site to showcase your work, you fall under this category.
With that in mind, which free website builder is best for each of these categories?
Are you an e-commerce entrepreneur, blogger, or creative? Let’s get down to answering this question for you.
Which is the best free website builder for online stores?
What should you look for on a website builder when creating an online store?
Again, your needs dictate the tools you will use. Sure, most page builders come with different features that will either accelerate you to your goals.
Which free website builder is best for creating online stores?
First, let’s look at what an average e-commerce entrepreneur needs to run a successful online store.
- Easy of use – you need an online store builder that is easy to learn and use. You don’t have much time to waste learning the ropes of the tool. Instead, you need to get started almost immediately
- Availability of enough templates – see, the last thing you want is another online store looking exactly like your neighbors’. And to avoid that, the tool you are using should come with a wide variety of templates. If that is not possible, you will at least need additional elements such as sections, buttons varieties. With them, you can customize your new store to be unique.
- Store management features – this is the #1 factor to consider. The online store builder you choose should give you everything you need to run your business smoothly. Such tools include things like tracking tools, abandoned cart techniques, and other sales features.
- Customer service – yes, it is true you will run into walls ones in your online business journey. These are things you cannot figure out by yourself, as such may require a hand from an expert. This is why the tool you are using should be available to help anytime.
- The number of products – are you going to sell 1 or more products? Depending on this number, pick a builder that suits it perfectly. Continue reading to find examples of online store builders that support different numbers of products.
While these four factors aren’t the only ones, they will set the stage for presenting the best online builder tools out there.
Now, let’s get down to answering this question; which free website builder is best for online stores.
There is no doubt, whenever you talk about online stores, you won’t miss hearing about Shopify.
It is the best e-commerce software, with everything you need to start selling online now. From one raving reviews after another of happy clients and over 400K paying customers, you cannot get it wrong with Shopify.
What makes it unique?
Well, the list is actually long, but we will stick to what we think will help you get started almost immediately.
We mentioned that an online store needs more than one template for the sake of uniqueness. Well, Shopify tramps this with over 100 designer-made store templates.
This means that you have 100 times to get it right, and you won’t miss something that captures your eyes and those of your clients.
And with these templates, the process of store creation is reduced by half. All you have to do is pick a template you like and start editing away elements you don’t need.
If you are looking for that complete customization, Shopify comes with a vast app marketplace. Here, you can add extra functionality to your store.
Here are some of the features you should expect to help you with your e-commerce journey.
- Mobile commerce ready
- Your own domain name – use your own domain to further customize your store and build a brand.
- Web-based website builder
- Automatic carrier shipping rates
- Accept credit cards with Shopify
- 100 payment gateways – you can accept modes like bitcoin to PayPal to iDEAL
- Multiple languages – you can offer your store in over 50 languages to reach even wider markets
- Dropshipping – interested in dropshipping? Shopify integrates with apps like Ordoro, Inventory Source, and eCommHub, making it easy to set up your dropshipping business.
These and many more features make Shopify truly the best online store builder.
If Shopify is the King of online stores, Squarespace is certainly the queen. Started back in 2014, Squarespace has carved itself into the e-commerce industry as the go-to tool for building appealing websites.
The builder comes with beautiful visuals and carefully organized layouts that are easy to use by anyone, expert or rookie.
As far as themes are concerned, you will have plenty to choose from on Squarespace. And when coupled with their drag-and-drop tool, creating an online store will be as easy as rearranging elements on the canvas to achieve your desired store look.
Squarespace E-commerce features
- Squarespace Mobile App you can manage your Squarespace store while on the go with the Squarespace app available on Android and iOS.
- Sell Digital Content – you can easily sell digital products like music and e-books
- Product Merchandising – this feature gives you the ability to easily sort, organize, and manage your products with the Squarespace drag-and-drop sorting tool, tags and categories, and visibility and scheduling settings.
- Discounts – Create automatic discounts that apply to entire orders, orders over a set amount, or specific products, or offer free shipping.
- Inventory Management – Manage your inventory with an easy-to-use interface and quick views into your variants and stock levels. They even send you email reminders whenever your inventory levels fall too low.
- Order Management – you can easily track outstanding orders, resend customer update emails, and print packing slips from a single interface.
With these and many more others, you can easily start, grow, and scale your online store with Squarespace.
While you may have already been introduced to Olitt as a free website builder, there is more to it than you know.
While the tool allows you to create one-page websites, you can also create online stores there.
This is the type of online store builder that allows you to pick templates based on the number of products you are selling.
If you are selling only one product, Olitt has the template for such a store.
To get started, go to Olitt.com and login, but if you are a new user, here is the process:
Once you click on Create Free Website, your first step is to pick a category.
Since you are creating an online store, go ahead and choose the Online Stores category.
On your right, you will see several templates available under this category.
For now, we have:
- Booksale template – perfect for selling books online
- E-commerce template (supports more than one product)
- Single-product template
- Gift-shop template.
Now, since we are creating an online store for only one product, choose a single-product template.
After selecting the template, the only step remaining is editing. You can easily add elements such as images, buttons, and text.
Olitt e-commerce features
- Accept payments on the landing page. Olitt allows integration with payment options like PayPal and Stripe.
- You can easily connect the custom domain, even while on the free plan. This gives you a unique chance to get a free website and domain.
- Customer support is available 24/7. You can call, email, or Live Chat even during the middle of the night
- You have a variety of elements to add to your new online store
- Integrate with tools like Google Analytics, TawkTo, among others. This way you can add functionality to your store.
You can check out Olitt here for free. No credit card is required.
These are the three online store builders you should check out. Others include;
- Woocommerce – popular with online store entrepreneurs
Which free website builder is best for blogging?
What do you need as someone looking to build a blog?
First, you need a tool that is easier to use, right?
Secondly, you need a tool with enough features to support the growth of your blogging career.
You need extra space as you grow. When starting out, you may not need that 10GB space, but as your website gather more files (images and articles), you will need extra space.
Additionally, you will need a builder with a reliable reporting dashboard. As a blog owner, you will be more interested in understanding how your readers interact with your content.
With that said, here are some of the best blogging website builders.
Powering over 30% of the total internet websites, WordPress.org is the best blogging platform out there today.
Not to be confused with WordPress.com which is a free website builder that you can create a website and get a free domain name (though in form of an extension yoursite.wordpress.com).
WordPress.org is a rather an advanced version of the .com one. With it, you need to buy a domain and install WordPress on it.
From there, you can start the customization process.
WordPress blogging features
- Content management system – easily add and publish articles
- Email marketing – you can easily collect and send out email campaigns
- Visual analytics – when integrated with analytic platforms like Google Analytics, you get a nice visualization of how users interact with your site.
- SEO – WP allows the use of tools like Yoast and Rank Math that empowers you to optimize your site around search engine best practices. This will boost your chances of being found on search engines like Google and Bing.
- Anti-spam – with the comments section enabled on wordpress, there is a high rate of spam. WP allows you to implement additional security layers such as disabling the section completely or using anti-spam tools.
- A ton of themes – WP comes with a theme marketplace featuring thousands of themes for you to choose from.
With wordpress, you cannot get it wrong.
Weebly is another blogging website builder option.
With its easy to use interface, all you have to do is drag and drop sections to create a blog of your dreams.
Being a website builder means that you can add blog pages without the need to touch code.
Weebly blogging features
- Powerful Blog SEO – search engine optimization is huge. That is why Weebly allows you to create custom URLs, add title tags, and meta descriptions to help your blog posts perform better in search results and bring more traffic to your pages.
- Amplify Your Voice with Advanced Sharing and Scheduling Features – Weebly comes with RSS and social sharing features as in-built features. They help you to amplify your message across the channels that matter.
- Media and Third-Party Integrations – no matter what your blog is for, you can find apps and integration options to help achieve unique functionality
- Wide variety of blog templates – Weebly blogs can work as sole sites or as additional pages on an existing website.
- Free web hosting – with this website builder, you don’t have to worry about where to get web hosting services.
You can start blogging now on Weebly free of charge, and only upgrade to premium packages as you grow.
I know we have covered this tool before, but a website builder can be awesome in more than two areas.
Squarespace is certainly that tool, works perfectly as both an online store builder and blogging tool.
As a blog builder, Squarespace comes out on top, thanks to these two aspects;
- Stunning designs that yield amazing blogging sites
- Powerful SEO tools that empower you to put your content in front of the right audience.
Besides the above, here are some other features:
- You can easily display blogging categories
- The tool allows comments so you can build a community
- Add an RSS Feed
- Add as many pages as you want
If after creating a blog, you want to add a shop section, this is your tool to use.
To this point, we have covered online stores and blog builders. Next question, which free website builder is best for personal websites?
Best free website builder for personal sites
Personal sites including the ones build to showcase portfolio.
If you are a photographer, you will need an online space where clients and people can scroll through some of your work.
As a musician, you need a website and so does a freelancer.
Question is, which free website builder will help you achieve your needs?
To answer that question, we first must understand what you are looking for. Here, you need something with additional functionalities that support your needs.
For a photographer, you need a builder with image layouts to choose from. You need a place where people can scroll through your work.
On the other hand, a musician needs a tool that allows him/her to upload music files, whether videos or audio. In such a case, you may need extra space due to the size of your files.
Now, based on what we know, let’s look for the best builders to help you.
We meet Olitt tool here for the second time. This is because the tool has more use cases than you can imagine.
But what makes it more appealing to whoever wishes to create a personal website is its ease of use and available features.
With this tool, you can easily build a one-page website in under 10 minutes. And with a ton of elements, you can customize the site to deliver a unique experience to your visitors.
As a freelancer, go ahead choose the Creative category.
And then sort through an ever-increasing number of templates. Pick one that suits your needs and taste.
This Personal template can really work for a freelancer.
With this template, you can let your creativity run wild. Create a site that is appealing and guaranteed to wow your clients.
Olitt blogging features
- You can easily connect the custom domain to adequately represent your personal brand
- Easily integrate with tools like MailChimp so your clients can communicate with you directly onsite.
- If you are a celebrity and wish to offer a few merchandises for sale to your fans, Olitt easily integrates with payment gateways like Stripe.
- With Olitt’s Global CDN, be sure your pages will load lightning-fast, thanks to over 42 PoPs.
View this template here.
Next on our list of the best website builders for personal websites is Jimdo.
Founded back in 2007, the tool has attracted over 25 million users, making it one of the tools that are quick and easy to use. And as a blogging builder, Jimdo gives you everything you need to get started ASAP.
You get analytics functions, enable post comments, and social bookmarking tools. Additionally, you can easily add tags as well as categorize your posts.
In terms of actually doing the design work, Jimdo has a drag-and-drop tool. With it, your blog creation process is simplified and painless (no need to touch the code).
How to use Jimdo to create a personal website
First, go to https://www.jimdo.com/website/personal-hobby/
Click on start now.
The next step is creating an account. You can either input your email and choose a password. Alternatively, you can use either your Facebook account or Google account.
From there, you are required to choose one of the three (website, online store, and blog).
Since you are creating a personal website, a blog will do.
From here, you can choose ‘personal’ in the next window.
After here, pick a template, choose a plan (pick the free one to test the tool), give your new site a name (preferably your name), and then finally start editing.
Wrapping up best website builder
To understand which free website builder is best, you first need to understand what you need to achieve. This is because different tools solve different needs and have tools tailored to meet specific needs.
Just to recap:
For online stores, here are the best builders;
You can now go ahead and test-drive some of these tools, most of them have free versions.