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Website Builders

What's The Best Free Website Builder?

Last Updated Jan 1 2019

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Written By Steve Benjamins

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

Limitations are pretty consistent across free website builders: most include an ad along the footer of your website— though some ads are definitely more intrusive than others. All include a free subdomain— though some are too long to be usable. Only two website builders on this list (Ucraft and Google Sites) let you connect a custom domain name on their free plan.

My work is supported by affiliate commissions— so I may earn a comission if you buy a website builder based on my reviews. For ecommerce see my round up the best free ecommerce builders.

Free website builders often put limits on your website— but near the end of the article I've explained two helpful 'hacks' to get around some common limitations:

A few tips and notes before we dive deeper:

Alright— let's get into it!

Video

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How To: 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:

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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 definitely notice the URL change in their browser— but it would let you put a domain name on your business card.

How To: 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.

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



Article Updates

  • December 2019 — Total re-write and update.
  • October 2018 — Guide significantly expanded and re-written.
  • Dec 2017 — Guide published.