Thanks to the advent of digital opportunities, creating an online business has never been more accessible and vital than it is now. The internet has offered entrepreneurs an enormous opportunity to reach out to their loyal and prospective customers from every corner of the globe.
However, a business will need an effective website to realize the endless potential of the digital space. An excellent web builder for startups must be user-friendly, have great SEO features, and have reasonable, scalable pricing options.
This post will take you through the five free website builders that will help your startup grow and realize its goals.
1. Wix: The Best Free Website Builder for Startups
Wix is the best free web builder for startup businesses. First, it comes with a drag-and-drop editor, which offers you more authority over your site’s design. You can get started with premade templates or select a blank template and build your website from scratch. Despite Wix branding, it is an excellent pick if you want a unique website that can develop credibility in the market.
One benefit of choosing Wix is that it comes with various great SEO (search engine optimization) and marketing features. For instance, you can create Instagram or Facebook campaign posts, and Wix’s tools will monitor and test the outcome. Moreover, these tools are free forever.
The SEO tool provided by Wix allows you to add a personal Google Analytics ID to access all your website’s data and add your sitemap to Google Search Console. Moreover, you can set the title and meta descriptions for each page. Wix also gives you tips on boosting your site upon answering some questions about your business.
Additionally, Wix comes with a built-in logo maker. While you have to pay at least $49 for the logo, it’s cheaper and faster than hiring a professional logo designer. You can also create or buy business cards from Wix’s dashboard.
What’s Wix Giving You for Free?
- Unlimited web pages
- A drag-and-drop website editor tool
- You can create a catalog with infinite physical and digital products
- Has extensive app directory allowing you to increase the functionality of your site
What’s Wix Missing?
- Storage is restricted to 500MB, like with all other free site builders
- To take payments, you must upgrade your plan
- It’s expensive, and premium plans begin at $14 per month — the most costly on this list.
Wix is the ideal free website builder for startups looking to optimize design flexibility and access the SEO and marketing features they need to prosper. While upgrading to premium plans is more expensive than the other site builders on this list, the ability to enhance the functionality of your website through applications and connectors may be well worth the investment.
2. GoDaddy: Comes With the Best Engagement & Conversion Features Around the Clock
GoDaddy is the best website builder for small companies looking to develop their business by actively engaging their site visitors 24/7. Service-based firms can utilize the native appointment booking tool to enable clients to book services, while sales-based enterprises can also plan sales presentations.
All GoDaddy plans, even the free-tier, come with chatbots that can converse with your website’s visitors around the clock. For example, the “Hello” chatbot will ask visitors what they’re looking for; the “Order” chatbot, on the other hand, can detect order-based queries. In the end, the chatbots forward the information they’ve learned to your inbox. This will enable you to help customers and prospects get the help they need faster and more effectively.
GoDaddy’s paid plans come with additional tools that can significantly help you grow your business. Its e-commerce plan comes in at $24.99, making it more expensive than Wix’s eCommerce plans which start at $23. You’ll need more expensive tier plans to accept payments for appointments, scheduled events, classes, or run an online store.
GoDaddy’s free plan comes with a GoDaddy studio, where you can set up your website’s logo images for social media posts and ads. Even so, some features in the GoDaddy studio are only accessible to paid users. Nevertheless, it’s the best option for small companies that need a logo and graphics.
GoDaddy has page-level SEO settings. So, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. GoDaddy’s lower-tier plans do not have an online store tool. So, you’ll need to get a higher tier.
What’s GoDaddy Giving You for Free?
- Chatbots for engaging visitors around the clock
- Instant appointment booking feature
- Restricted ability to get paid via PayPal
- SSL security
- GoDaddy’s studio to help you create branded content
- Social media ads
What’s GoDaddy missing?
- The free version lacks many features
- GoDaddy’s paid plans don’t have a free domain
- To access eCommerce features, you’ll have to spend at least $24.99 a month, more expensive than Wix.
GoDaddy is the perfect free website builder for small businesses, whether service-based or product-oriented. Clients may schedule meetings or sales demos, and chatbots engage with the website visitors 24/7.
3. Weebly: Best Free Website Builder for eCommerce
Weebly, owned by Square, is an excellent website builder for eCommerce businesses. While most free website builders only include e-commerce features on their highest-tier plans, Weebly allows all its users to run an online store, even those on free plans. Furthermore, their eCommerce features can host unlimited products and accept various payment options.
Similar to Wix, Weebly comes with various tools to help you improve your sales, get more traffic, interact with customers on social media, and more. However, most of these tools are only accessible on paid plans. Fortunately, Weebly allows you to include SEO information and even put Google Analytics in the headers or footers of the pages you want to track.
Weebly also allows you to add more users and create permissions for each. While users with dashboard permissions can only see and change stats, forms, and comments, the admins can access everything. On the other hand, authors can only see and change certain pages and settings.
Weebly’s site editor, similar to GoDaddy’s, doesn’t have much room for customization.
With Weebly, you can change your website’s theme anytime you please, without getting worried about losing your previous work — a feature you won’t find in most website builders. On the downside, though, Weebly has limited templates compared to Wix. Nevertheless, Weebly is your best option if you’re looking for an easy-to-use, super-flexible website.
What’s Weebly Giving You for Free?
- Free SSL security and a Weebly subdomain
- 500MB of storage space
- Multiple payment options; Google Pay, Apple Pay, Afterpay, Cash App, and Square Pay, and donations
- Weebly online stores include unlimited products, fast views and checkout, and a time-based catalog
- Online store with unlimited products, quick view and checkout, and time-based categories
- SEO, Instagram integration, Google and Facebook ad management, coupons, and lead capture forms
What’s Weebly Missing
- Sophisticated interfaces and editors
- You can only start advertising on the paid-tier plans
- The free plan only gives you 500MB of storage space
When it comes to eCommerce features for small business website builders, no other free website builder on this list comes close to Weebly. While opting for a paid plan gives you access to better features, you can still sell products and services and receive donations with your free plan.
4. Webnode: Excellent Templates for Fast Site Design
Webnode’s website builder is reputable for its excellent templates, which help businesses design their sites fast. However, it has also been criticized for not offering adequate storage space, bandwidth, or critical tools for startups. Still, if you’re looking for a simple site that looks modern and professional, Webnode could be a great pick.
Furthermore, Webnode includes a drag-and-drop site editor for startups hoping to scale with multilingual sites in the future. And while Mozello, the last website builder in this list, also comes with multilingual site ability in the free-plan version, it offers just six languages, while Webnode has more than 20.
Webnode is regarded as one of the best free website builders because it has many modern, pre-designed, and multi-page templates. These features make Webnode an easy option to personalize a template and launch your startup website in just a few hours, at no cost, and without coding or web design experience.
Another intriguing feature of Webnode is that you can request collaborators to design your website, create content, and effectively control your site. Moreover, it has page-level settings to guarantee easy access to your website on search engines.
Additionally, Webnode gives access to a stock photo library, helping small business owners develop professional-grade websites for their brands.
Webnode stands out in this list as the only free website builder that includes free business emails for the paid plans. For instance, you’ll get 20 professional email addresses for the standard plan and 1,000 for the highest-tier plan.
Unfortunately, Webnode has limited storage space and bandwidth, even for the paid plan — one of its main disadvantages. So, if you’ll require more storage and bandwidth, seek alternative options like GoDaddy.
What’s Webnode Giving You for Free?
- Free Webnode subdomain
- 1 GB bandwidth
- 100MB storage
- Displays adverts
What’s Webnode Missing?
- Small storage space – 100MB for the free and first-tier plans
- Limited bandwidth
Webnode comes with exceptional templates and premade pages if you want to make a professional-grade site in a few hours.
5. Mozello: Most Simple Free Website Builder Interface
Mozello is the most user-friendly and straightforward option on this list. The website builder enables businesses to develop websites quickly and frustration-free. And while it doesn’t come with nearly as many design templates as those of Wix or Webnode, the available ones feature a broad range of industries and designs.
Mozello’s intuitive interface facilitates easy and fast site design. For instance, upon clicking on “extra,” you can easily change your cookie alert or include a share button on your website, which you may easily ignore if you use other site builders.
Changing the website’s layout in Mozello is also a walk in the park. What’s more, you will have a lot of different settings, like where to change your SEO setup and add your Google Analytics ID. Still, you should do that before customizing your website or adding content, as you’ll have to start from scratch if you use a new template.
Mozello and Weebly are the only free website builders in this list that offer eCommerce at the free-plan level — but Weebly offers better eCommerce features.
Mozello only offers five products at the free level, which is incomparable to Weebly’s unlimited products at the same level. However, you’ll have to subscribe to the highest-tier plan for unlimited products, which is $8 a month (paid annually).
Another design drawback of Mozello is the absence of premade content pieces front-loaded with pictures, unlike other free website builders like Webnode and Wix. This makes it more difficult to imagine how a section will look once added to the site. It also has considerably fewer templates than Wix and Webnode at the moment.
What is Free with Mozello?
- Free Mozello-branded subdomain
- 500MB of storage
- Mozello has unlimited bandwidth, but it has the authority to increase charges or suspend websites that continually exceed 30GB a month
- excellent SEO and marketing features
What’s Mozello Missing?
- The free-plan version only has 500MB of storage
- Fewer templates
Mozello has the best interface on this list. Furthermore, it’s one of the few that lets you use its eCommerce features without upgrading to paid plans, making it a cheaper and more user-friendly alternative. However, it doesn’t have as many templates and premade content blocks as many people need when building a site.
Today, most customers opt to buy products and services they need online from the comfort of their homes. This makes it necessary for businesses to shift from the traditional business models, such as brick and mortar, and explore the internet to meet more customers.
But to succeed, businesses need an excellent website builder that allows them to develop professional websites quickly and easily.
Most of the free website builders in this post come with a simple drag-and-drop feature, and even a newbie can create a site for their small business. They come at different paid plans, allowing you to choose the package that suits your pocket.