TechnologyWebsite6 of the best free website builders for your business

6 of the best free website builders for your business

For most small businesses, having a website is an important part in building credibility and reaching a wider customer base. It helps your business move across geographical limitations and lets your business operate around the clock, providing information and services to customers even when physical operations are closed.

However, building a website can seem daunting and you might have read horror stories of the high cost of creating a business website, which would be hard to justify when resources are limited as you’re starting up.

This is where a free website builder can help. These are online tools that let you create a professional website but without the hefty price tag.

Free website builders

Free website builders are a type of online tool that lets you create a great-looking website using pre-designed templates and all without needing to know specialist technology skills. These website builders are designed to be user-friendly, with drag-and-drop functionality and pre-designed templates, buttons and other elements that make website creation accessible to anyone, regardless of technical expertise. These builders often come with a range of features, including shopping carts, ability to accept credit card payments, customizable design options, mobile responsiveness, and integrated SEO tools.

The appeal of free website builders is mostly that they have no cost (other than your time) and are simple to use. As a small business, minimizing expenses while maximizing output is a delicate balance to maintain. Free website builders provide a solution that meets this need, offering a platform to craft a professional-looking website without the cost.

While ‘free’ is an attractive proposition, it’s important to understand the limitations and trade-offs that may come with these tools. Typically, free plans may include the platform’s branding, have limitations on the number of visitors or size of images you can use, and might offer fewer features than paid plans. Nevertheless, for many small businesses starting out, these trade-offs are an acceptable compromise in exchange for the ability to establish an online presence.

Using a website builder to help your business

Website builders simplify the process of creating a website and let you focus your money on running your business. With the right website builder, your business can design a site that not only looks the part but also delivers great functionality, thereby enhancing user experience and bringing in new customers.

Typically, these tools include features to help with your digital strategy including Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features, social media integration, and analytics to track performance and refine your online approach.

Six free website builders for your small business

When it comes to selecting a free website builder for a small business, the options can seem overwhelming. Each platform offers a unique set of features and benefits tailored to different business needs. To help narrow down the choices, I have curated a list of the six best free website builders that have proven to be reliable and effective for small businesses.

  1. Wix
  2. Weebly
  3. WordPress.com
  4. SITE123
  5. Strikingly
  6. Jimdo

These platforms are known for their ease of use, range of templates, and the ability to create a professional-looking website without incurring costs. They each serve as a robust starting point for small businesses looking to establish an online presence and begin their journey towards digital success.

What to look for

As a business owner, it’s crucial to understand the features that can make or break your website’s effectiveness. When evaluating free website builders, there are several key features to consider:

  • Customization: The ability to tailor your website to reflect your brand’s identity is vital. A good website builder should offer a wide array of templates and customization options.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: With an increasing number of users accessing websites from mobile devices, ensuring your site is mobile-friendly is non-negotiable.
  • SEO Tools: To improve your website’s visibility in search engine results, SEO tools are essential. A website builder with built-in SEO features can give you a head start.
  • E-commerce Capabilities: If you plan to sell products or services online, e-commerce functionality is a feature you’ll need.
  • Customer Support: Access to reliable customer support can be a lifesaver, especially when you’re new to website building.

These are just a few of the features that can have a significant impact on the performance and success of your website. It’s important to prioritize these aspects according to your specific business needs when choosing a website builder.

Concise guide to the six best free website builders

Let’s take a closer look at each of the six best free website builders for small businesses, assessing their strengths, limitations, and suitability for different business needs.

Wix

Find out more at: Wix.com

Wix is widely recognized for its intuitive interface and extensive range of templates. The drag-and-drop feature allows for easy customization, making it simple to create a unique website. Wix’s free plan offers plenty of features, including SEO tools and mobile responsiveness. However, it does place Wix branding on your site and offers limited bandwidth and storage plus you won’t have access to premium features like a custom domain name or e-commerce capabilities.

Read our full article on the Wix website builder

Weebly

Find out more at: Weebly.com

Weebly is another popular choice, known for its straightforward design options and user-friendly platform. It provides a decent selection of templates and includes e-commerce capabilities even on its free plan. The trade-offs with Weebly include displaying Weebly ads and limitations on advanced features – for example, your site will have a Weebly sub-domain – and changing these means switching to a paid plan.

Read our full article on the Weebly website builder

WordPress.com

Find out more at: WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a giant in the content management system space, offering immense flexibility and a huge number of plugins that expand and extend the functionality. Its free plan is a good starting point for businesses focused on content creation and blogging. The downsides are the display of WordPress.com branding and the fact that third-party plugins and themes are not supported on the free plan.

SITE123

Find out more at: Site123.com

SITE123 is designed for simplicity, catering to those who want to get a website up and running quickly. The platform provides basic templates and an easy-to-use editor. While it lacks the advanced customization options of its competitors, SITE123’s free plan is straightforward and includes essential features like SEO tools.

Strikingly

Find out more at: Strikingly.com

Strikingly specializes in single-page websites, making it ideal for businesses that want a simple online presence. Its templates are modern and responsive, and the platform offers basic e-commerce functions. On the downside, Strikingly’s free plan is quite limited in terms of pages and features, with an emphasis on upgrading to paid plans for more functionality.

Jimdo

Find out more at: Jimdo.com

Jimdo uses AI to help create a website quickly, asking users a series of questions and then proposing a design based on the answers. It’s a good option for those who want to minimize the time spent on website design. However, customization options are limited, and the free plan includes Jimdo branding on your site.

How to choose the right platform

Choosing the right website builder for your business is a decision that should be made thoughtfully. Consider your business goals, your technical skills, and the level of customization you require. If content creation is at the heart of your strategy, a platform like WordPress.com may be the best fit. For businesses needing a more visual and design-centric website, Wix and Weebly offer greater flexibility.

Additionally, think about your future needs. While a free plan may suffice initially, consider whether the platform allows for easy scaling and upgrading as your business grows. Review each platform’s pricing structure for their premium plans to ensure a smooth transition when the time comes.

Tips for building a great website

To build a successful website using a free website builder, start with a clear plan. Define your target audience, map out your site structure, and gather your content and images before you begin. Utilize the templates and customization options to ensure your website aligns with your brand identity. Keep navigation simple and user-friendly, and make sure your contact information is easily accessible.

Regularly update your content to keep your website fresh and engaging. Make use of the SEO tools provided by the website builder to improve your search engine ranking. And don’t forget to leverage analytics to monitor your website’s performance and make data-driven decisions.

Avoiding common mistakes

When using a website builder, there are several pitfalls to avoid. One common mistake is neglecting mobile responsiveness; ensure your website looks good and functions well on all devices. Overlooking SEO is another error that can cost you visibility and traffic. Avoid cluttering your website with too much content or overly complex designs that can confuse visitors and detract from the user experience.

Another mistake is not considering the long-term implications of using a free plan. Be aware of any limitations that could hinder your business growth, such as restricted bandwidth, storage, or features that require upgrading to a paid plan.

Summary

Taking the first step towards digital success with a free website builder can set your small business on the path to a greater online presence. By carefully considering your options and leveraging the tools available, you can create a professional and effective website that serves as the foundation of your digital strategy. Remember to plan, customize, and optimize your website to connect with your audience and achieve your business goals. With the right approach, even a free website can become a powerful asset for your small business.

Building a website is just the beginning of your digital journey. It requires ongoing effort, updates, and engagement to keep it relevant and successful. But with the 6 best free website builders for small business at your disposal, you have the resources to create a strong online presence without breaking the bank. Embrace the opportunity, and watch your small business thrive in the digital world.

Written by

Anna Thornhill
Anna Thornhillhttps://gosmallbusiness.co.uk
Anna Thornhill is one of our expert writers. Anna is our specialist editor covering business growth and marketing and makes it her mission to provide small business owners with practical guides that help you step-by-step to grow your business. Anna’s an experienced sales and marketing professional who moved to writing and editorial and helps startups and small business owners with practical advice in growing their business with the latest sales and marketing techniques plus guides to choosing and using sales and marketing technology.

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