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The Top 10 Free Website Builders— Review & Comparison (2019)

I've spent the last month testing free website builders for 2019 and here's the truth: these days website builders aren't jumping at the opportunity to give away something for free— but with a little research you can definitely make it work.

Nov 27 2019 · Steve Benjamins By Steve Benjamins

Now the best free website builder isn't just the best website builder to offer a free plan— some website builders offer very limited free plans. Instead the best free website builder is more about which website builder offers a generous free plan.

Add A Custom Domain Name

This is a hack to add a custom domain name to your free website builder— even if it doesn't allow them. It doesn't work perfectly but it gets you some of the way there.

Let's say you built a free website on Weebly at yourgiftologist.weebly.com.

You can actually register yourgiftologist.com with a domain name provider such as Namecheap and set it to redirect to yourgiftologist.weebly.com:

Naecheap.png?1540478768?ixlib=rails 1.1

Setting yourgiftologist.com to redirect to yourgiftologist.weebly.com in Namecheap.

Now when visitors type in yourgiftologist.com they are automatically forwarded to yourgiftologist.weebly.com:

Now yourgiftologist.com redirects to yourgiftologist.weebly.com

This isn't a perfect solution— observant visitors will notice the URL change in their browser. This is more of a halfway solution— get's you enough to put a domain name on your business cards.


Add Ecommerce

Most website builders don't let free plans use ecommerce— other than Weebly and Strikingly which offer limited free ecommerce.

So how can you include ecommerce on those website builders? Use Ecwid.

Ecwid lets you embed an online store onto any website. All you have to do is build the store on Ecwid and then you use their embed code to put it on your website. It's as simple as embedding a Youtube video.

Ecwid.png?1540411851?ixlib=rails 1.1

It's easy to install Ecwid on any website— just copy + paste this code.


Add Google Analytics

Some website builders require an upgrade to add Google Analytics— but you really don't have to.

Jimdo requires.png?1540479030?ixlib=rails 1.1

Jimdo asks you to upgrade in order to add Google Analytics.

Instead, if the free website builder lets you edit Head code (typically found under Settings) you can actually just paste the Google Analytics tracking code. Here I'm able to do it with Jimdo:

Jimdo ga.png?1540479109?ixlib=rails 1.1

Voila! Google Analytics is now successfully installed.


Comparison Table

Quickly scan the features and limitations of free website builders:

Name Rating BW Subdomain Ecommerce No Ads Domain Name
Weebly icon.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 Weebly 5 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 No limit Good Yes No No
Ucraft icon.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 Ucraft 4 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 1 GB Good No No Yes
Icon.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1 Strikingly 4 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 5 GB Good Yes No No
Ico.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 XPRS 4 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 1 GB Poor No Yes No
Jimdo.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 Jimdo 3 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 2 GB Okay No No No
Google sites icon.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 Google Sites 3 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 N/A Bad No No Yes
Wix.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 Wix 2 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 500 MB Bad No No No
Wordpress icon.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 Wordpress.com 2 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 N/A Good No No No
Apple touch icon 152x152.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 WebsiteBuilder 2 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 N/A Bad No No No
Webstars.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 Webstarts 2 0.png?ixlib=rails 1.1 1 GB Good No No No

Where Can I Get A Free Domain Name?

You can't. There's just no way around this.

Website builders provide free subdomains (example: yoursite.weebly.com) but they don't provide free custom domain names (example: yoursite.com).

Most website builders will include a "free" domain name if you pay for an annual plan— that's about as close as you can get. Otherwise free website builders provide free hosting— but not a free domain name.

I use Namecheap for my domain name hosting. It costs about $14.95 / year.


What's The Easiest Free Website Builder?

Weebly. Fortunately it's also my highest recommended free website builder.

Weebly is perfect for people who aren't particularily tech-savvy. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can use Weebly.


SEO And Free Website Builders

Heads up: if you plan to upgrade to a paid plan and domain name further down the line, you'll lose any SEO reputation you've built up by changing your URL.

For example, if you build your website on yourwebsite.jimdofree.com but years later decide to upgrade to yourwebsite.com, you'll lose any domain authority you've built up on yourwebsite.jimdofree.com.


Article Updates

  • October 2018 — Guide significantly expanded and re-written.
  • Dec 2017 — Guide published.