Starting a business has never been easier than this time around – there are tons of website builders that offer free plans for small businesses.
I briefly review my favorite free website builders for small businesses, so you can have even an easier start. After all, there’s a sea of choices when it comes to platforms that you can build your website with, however, not every builder is worth your attention.
Website builders that will be listed in this article help their users to make a website fast and easy, so it’s a good way to get some online presence.
After all, that’s the thing that makes your production stand out from the crowd – be it a physical product that you sell or a service that your company provides.
However, to be noticed from the crowd isn’t an easy task. It might sound discouraging for someone out there just starting a business, however, the service is free to try and free to use, so why not give it a go?
Picking A Free Website Builder
So, should you go for a free website builder to start promoting your business? Yes, definitely. There are just some things to know beforehand. You can check out the previous article about the The 6 Best Website Builders For Real Estate Agents that you will benefit from.
- Can start building a site at any time for free;
- Can upgrade your plan at any moment;
- Templates and design tools usually come free.
- It’s only a temporary solution;
- Limited tools and features;
- No ability to add a custom domain with free plans.
To get online, you need a website, and a website can long-term grow your brand, form a community, and boost your sales or conversions.
However, as we all know that with a fresh start – every dollar counts. Except that you can start working on your website for free as well. There are free website builders for small businesses that can help you get started with a simple landing page at least.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be working with super-advanced tools, but a free plan is just a mere stop in your online business journey. Baby steps, after all.
You also need to consider what a website builder that you picked – can offer after its free plan. I mean, no one wants to invest a ton of their time to build a website and then have to migrate all the content afterward, just because the platform doesn’t provide features that you personally require.
So, my suggestion is – pick a website builder that you see fit to scale your project later on. If you pick a site builder that you can image your website ending up on – you’re walking the right path.
Now, without further ado, take a look at the best free website builders for small businesses and find out more about them as you read on.
Best Free Website Builders For Small Business – List
There are a lot of free website builders that will boast for having all the solutions for small businesses, however, not every tool can be trusted.
To reassure you a little – there are a few builders that can be used as a free solution for small business – and carry great value for money with its paid subscriptions.
Here’s the list of the best free website builders for small businesses:
- Wix (Integrated bookings tool)
- SITE123 (Templates for small businesses)
- Strikingly (One-page eCommerce websites)
- Ucraft (Fast and easy website builder)
- Jimdo (AI-based website creator)
- Weebly (Excellent eCommerce storefronts)
1. Best overall free website builder: WIX
- Design solutions for both beginners and advanced users.
- Tons of free business tools in the Wix app market.
- Good platform to scale your business website on, as you grow.
- Limited storage and bandwidth with a free plan.
- No access to a custom domain when using the free subscription.
- Wix ads on your site if you’re not paying for a premium plan.
Wix is one of the best free website builders for small businesses as it has a free-forever plan (stays budget-friendly), and has a lot of features oriented to scale any size of business (so, fits small business). However, Wix isn’t known for its affordability or list of features – what makes this website builder distinctive is its design flexibility.
Wix offers immense design flexibility that can’t be matched by the competition. This provider polished this technology to the point that users can drag-and-drop any sort of elements anywhere on the website to create unique designs.
However, the design flexibility offered isn’t super kind to beginners as the number of tools and options offered can confuse novice users. But it would be stupid to assume that the number one provider didn’t fix this loophole – after all, Wix has a solution for beginners as well – called Wix ADI.
Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (or ADI for short) is exactly what it sounds like – an AI that generates you a website design where minimal input is required – only a few questions to answer.
I believe, that as a starting business owner you don’t want to invest too much time into learning how to build a website rather than actually building it. So, ADI might seem like a good tool to build your website with.
Wix Adi And Wix Editor – Which To Start With?
It might be confusing what to start working with when you’re building a business website with Wix. Do you pick ADI? Or should you start on the Wix Editor? The answer is simple – if you wish for more customization and want to create a unique feel to your small business website – pick Wix Editor.
However, if you have no time to spare yet, but might find more time in the future to work on your design – pick Wix ADI. Why? Let me explain.
So to start off – Wix ADI offers a small questionnaire in order to generate a template for you. It consists of a few simple questions:
- What type of website are you going to create?
- What kind of elements you’ll need for your site?
- What kind of theme you prefer?
- And so on.
There were a few extra questions regarding social media accounts and other luxuries, however, I don’t want to spoil the fun. Try it yourself.
Although, I can show you that Wix generates quite modern-looking templates according to the answers.
However, these modern templates aren’t the reason why I would suggest using Wix ADI for small business owners. The customization is quite limited and your website won’t stand out much from the crowd. However, it takes only a few hours to customize your site, you have site-wide style changes, and all interface is beginner-friendly.
The best part? You can switch from ADI to the Wix Editor at any time of the process. So when you feel like you’re already used to the interface and know what you’re doing – switch to the more advanced editor and get your small business site popping.
So, in the beginning, you can start with a simpler design and less time-consuming process, and when you’re updating your site – you can hop to Wix Editor and make some more advanced tweaks there.
Talking about the Wix Editor – the startup process is simple. No questionnaires, no picking elements you’d like, nothing. Just go to the library, pick a template from over 500 modern ones – and start customizing.
All Wix templates are mobile-optimized and responsive, meaning that they will look great on any size of the device – as the design will change itself according to the dimensions of the screen it’s being surfed on.
You also have access to mobile site editing when using Wix Editor. So, as it seems that customization is only limited by your imagination.
The only downside from the design’s perspective when using Wix – you can not change themes after publishing your website without losing all of the content.
So it’s important to choose a template that fits your idea the best. Although, it’s not much of a problem to completely change the look of your business website when you have tools for limitless customization on hand.
What Can You Get For Free With Wix?
Wix has a massive suite of free tools to use for your site – therefore it is one of the best free website builders for small businesses. Most of these tools are subscription-based and have free to use (though, limited) plans.
The one that stands out most is the integrated booking calendar.
With Wix, it’s shockingly easy to allow customers to book services and to pay for them through your website. You can create a booking page with a large calendar showing your availability.
You can also have different services available, at varying costs and with different schedule availabilities.
What I really liked about the Wix booking calendar is that you can have multiple employees assigned within it. That means that customers can choose their favorite practitioner, or you can use your website to assign schedules for your employees.
Being able to do all of this through your website is a major help for many small business owners.
Besides its booking calendar, I was fond of Wix’s marketing tools. Ascend by Wix is a customer relationships management platform within your website.
You can easily segment customer emails into mailing lists based on analytics from your site.
Better yet, Wix’s email builder is very impressive. You don’t have the same flexibility as with the Wix page editor, but there are tons of templates for building creative emails that customers will want to open.
You can also check on analytics about your mailings from within Wix itself, to see what messages got opened and which led to sales.
What’S Worth Paying For?
Almost all of Wix’s features are free, with a few major caveats. With Wix’s free plan, you’re limited to 500 MB of storage and bandwidth. Plus, you can’t connect your own domain name — instead, your website will have a ‘.wixsite.com’ domain.
You can add your own domain name to Wix for $13 per month, which is a big jump up from free. However, that comes with a free domain name and you also get 3 GB of storage and 2 GB of bandwidth.
If you need the ability to accept payments on your website, you’ll need to jump up again to a $23 per month ‘Business Basic’ plan.
One other thing to note about Wix is that the platform’s powerful analytics app isn’t included unless you buy a business plan. Otherwise, it costs $5 per month.
In the end, Wix offers a great entry-level free plan for small business owners - full of free tools to use for your website's advantage. If you can look past the limitations, you're in for a good start.
2. SITE123: Free Website Builder 100% Off
- Easy to use even for the most inexperienced users.
- Premade content layouts to streamline the design process.
- Integrated newsletter builder and easy mailing list gather.
- Limited scalability and design customization.
- No code editor to integrate custom HTML functionalities.
SITE123 is one of the best free website builders for small businesses due to its ease of use. The time-saving experience it provides when working with its site editor is hard to find somewhere else. However, in order to offer beginner-friendliness, this provider had to offer fewer customization options.
So, as SITE123 is super easy to use, therefore a great pick for the start of small business promotion website – the platform makes it difficult to scale your website later on.
Site123 Design And Customization
SITE123 stands out for having more than 200 themes to choose from. Almost all of them look really good and modern, with full-width or full-screen background images on your homepage. Center-punched headings and logos also make your brand immediately obvious to visitors.
In addition, all of SITE123’s templates are responsive for mobile devices. Unfortunately, you don’t have any control over how your website appears on smaller screens. It’s not a big problem though, as the images and elements resize itself neatly no matter the screen size the website is viewed upon.
Where SITE123 starts to be somewhat limiting is with the layout of your pages. Most themes only offer a single layout for all of your pages, although a handful give you a few preset layouts to choose from.
However, I didn’t find this to be a major issue since you can switch between templates at any time in SITE123.
That’s about where SITE123’s customizability ends, though. You can’t actually drag and drop content elements with this platform — you’re limited to pre-made pages with different types of content.
For example, there’s a contact page that includes a form for contacting your business, and a testimonials page where you can add quotes from customers.
However, these pages aren’t very customizable, so they don’t stand out much between SITE123 websites.
Worse, since you can’t go beyond these pages, you’re essentially at a dead-end if SITE123 doesn’t offer a page for the content your website needs to have.
There’s not even a code editor, so you can’t use HTML to add custom content or widgets.
Altogether, this is a big problem if you’re thinking about expanding your website in the future. However, the platform’s limited scope makes the platform extremely easy to use. So, you’ll need to decide whether your business’s online content can fit within the structure of SITE123’s pages.
Read more: Top Cheap Web Hosting for Wordpress – Reviews & Comparison
What’S Worth Paying For While Using Site123?
SITE123 offers a handful of tools for small businesses, but at the end of the day, it really sticks to the basics. That’s a plus if you’re looking for a basic eCommerce store, but it can be difficult to find the flexibility you need if you want to expand beyond selling physical products online.
What I really liked about SITE123’s eCommerce stores is that they feature images beautifully. You can add multiple images per product to help show off your wares. Plus, you have the option to display customer reviews to visitors to vouch for the quality of your products.
SITE123 also does well on the email marketing front. Many of the pages available on this platform include an option to allow visitors to sign up for your mailing list. Then, you can segment those visitors into mailing lists that you can use for further advertising of your business.
The platform also offers a handful of templates for your marketing emails. The templates look good, but they’re relatively basic. Once again, there’s not a lot of room to change their layout or content, so you may want to look into a dedicated email marketing platform as your business grows.
Unfortunately, I can’t recommend SITE123 if your business relies on booking services. There’s no option for selling services through the platform’s eCommerce features. Worse, the lack of a code editor means you can’t add a third-party booking app as an HTML widget.
Site123 Free Stuff And Discounts
SITE123 offers a decent amount for free, including 500 MB of storage and 1 GB of bandwidth. However, if you want to connect your own domain name, you’ll have to upgrade to a ‘Premium’ plan starting at $12.80 per month.
Notably, that also ups your website to 10 GB of content storage and 5 GB of bandwidth. You also only get access to eCommerce features if you have a Premium plan.
The entry-level subscription might seem a little expensive to upgrade to from a free plan, but it’s quite common for SITE123 to have discounted plans.
At least two times in a month, you can catch it offering a 40% discount for all of the website building plans. Also, the longer you subscribe for (i.e. 3 years instead of only one) – the bigger the discount.
I would consider SITE123 a great free website builder for small business, but due to lack of scalability with its features - I would suggest this platform for simpler business landing pages.
3. Strikingly: Free Website Builder
- Free eCommerce up to one product for a site.
- Modern-looking templates to fit small any small business.
- Tons of essential small business-related tools.
- The website can look cluttered if you have a lot of products.
- One-page site doesn’t leave a lot of room for growth.
Strikingly is one of my favorite free website builders for small businesses as it’s not overpacked with features and offers modern one-page eCommerce building. The platform makes it extremely simple to create an online presence for your business, with nice templates, basic eCommerce tools, and simple analytics.
However, the simpler the platform is – the less it has to offer, and it’s no different from Strikingly’s builder. Besides its modern templates, there aren’t many options to customize your website in greater detail.
Strikingly Design And Customization
Strikingly differs from most of the other free website builders for small businesses that I reviewed in that it’s specifically tailored for designing one-page websites.
Instead of working across individual pages, Strikingly sites encourage visitors to scroll down to see different sections of your website. Even if you put up a menu on your homepage – clicking on it won’t redirect you to another page but rather on a different place down your infinite scroll.
Of course, I wouldn’t suggest designing a website that ends up being an infinite scroll – as you won’t find users who are willing enough to go through hundreds of posts just to notice that one great product of yours.
The thing with Strikingly is that you need to be smart about how you’re going to use your site’s layout.
The most important thing is - Strikingly is suited for smaller websites only. If you're aiming for a large, multi-faceted site, you won't anything to work with here.
However, if you decided that your business doesn’t need tons of separate pages to advertise itself and you don’t have millions of products to sell – it’s a good thing to try this platform out. After all, it has a number of modern-looking designs that can attract customers and lure them into buying your stuff.
This design is reflected in all of Strikingly’s templates. You have a choice of many different designs so that you can find the one that best fits your business.
I really liked Strikingly’s templates with full-screen landing sections, but there are also options with galleries and unique layouts to help attract customers.
The site editor is relatively limited, but that’s an advantage in this case. It’s extremely simple to use. Combined with the fact that your site is only one page, I found that it was easy enough to create a custom Strikingly website with just a few hours of work.
Thankfully, you have the option to add an unlimited number of sections to your site and customize them according to your needs. You can choose from a handful of premade layouts for each site section, and the background colors can be changed independently for different parts of the website as well.
The only thing you have to watch out for is not making your website so large that visitors never make it to the bottom.
The result is that despite how limited Strikingly is, I didn’t feel limited in the same way that I did with other website builders.
Strikingly Small Business Tools
For how simple Strikingly is, it offers a lot of tools for small eCommerce stores. Importantly, you probably won’t want to use Strikingly for a large store. Your store will be a section of your overall site, and if you have too many products it can start to look cluttered really fast.
That said, Strikingly’s eCommerce stores are very functional on the backend. You get tools for inventory and shipping management.
You can even customize your products into categories, which can help with presenting a larger volume of items to customers despite having only one-page to showcase your products.
I also liked that Strikingly makes adding coupons to your online store extremely simple.
One helpful feature that Strikingly offers is a site search tool. This is helpful if customers are looking for a specific product. In fact, it’s one of the many features that make it worth upgrading to a premium plan.
But, again, if your products don’t fit cleanly on your site, you might be better off looking for another website builder.
Unfortunately, though, Strikingly doesn’t offer much in the way of marketing features. There is no way to build emails or newsletters through the platform.
You can collect visitor emails on your website, but you’ll need a third-party email marketing service (like Mailchimp, for example) if you want to do anything with them.
The one thing that Strikingly does offer is an integrated blog. This is a relatively new feature for the service, but it works quite well.
You can show off your blog posts on the main page of your site, but the posts themselves can be read on additional pages to reduce clutter.
The blog post editor is relatively simple, but I felt like it had everything I needed to create eye-catching posts.
So, as for a very simple yet free website builder for small business, Strikingly manages to offer quite a lot of features – some that are free, and others that are included in very affordable plans. I’d say that this platform is one of the best picks for someone who’s just starting out with its online business.
What Do You Get For Free With Strikingly?
Strikingly is one of the few free website builders for small businesses that allows you to run an eCommerce store at no charge. The catch? You can only have one product in your store.
Plus, you’ll have a ‘.strikingly.com’ domain if you stick with the free plan as well as platform’s ads on your website (you know, the usual).
Upgrading to a custom domain costs $12 per month and bumps you to unlimited GB of monthly bandwidth. It also allows you to have up to 300 products on your site and lets you add up to 20 pages per website.
Overall, Strikingly is one of the best free website builders for small businesses as it allows selling products for free, has tons of small business-oriented tools, and simple yet modern designs.
4. Ucraft: Create a Website in Minutes | Free Website Builder
- The free plan allows you to connect your own domain.
- Selling products costs just $10 per month.
- Super modern templates.
- No in-house email marketing solution.
- Ucraft branding on your website with a free plan.
Ucraft is my personal favorite free website builder for small businesses. There’s one simple reason why – it lets you connect a custom domain to your free plan with no charge. So you can take full advantage of the free plan without dealing with a subdomain and stay professional this way.
This platform also has an intuitive website editor, that’s full of elements to use to create unique looking websites. However, as most providers on this list – Ucraft’s eCommerce requires a premium subscription.
Ucraft Design And Customization
I’ll start by saying that I absolutely loved Ucraft’s templates. There are only about 70 of them, but they feature important call-to-action buttons that encourage visitors to explore deeper into your site.
Even better, you can change your template at any time with Ucraft. That makes it incredibly easy to revitalize your site every year with a homepage makeover.
UCraft’s editor is also very comfortable to use. When you’re just getting started, the platform presents you with a checklist of everything you need to do to customize your site from the theme.
Navigating the rest of the site editor can be a bit confusing, unfortunately. That’s because Ucraft has both ‘elements’ and ‘blocks.’ Blocks are essentially prepopulated groups of elements, but trying to figure out how to incorporate them into your site takes some experience with the builder.
If you stick with elements, you should be able to customize your website within a few hours. However, if you get the hang of the ‘blocks’ feature, you will find out that it has amazing recycling value. After all, you can use it again and again – therefore save time while designing your website.
Unfortunately, I found myself frequently wishing for more varied content elements within Ucraft. The ones that are available aren’t all that creative. There aren’t any options that combine text and images, and the only image galleries available are basic grid layouts.
It’s also important to be a bit wary of Ucraft’s ‘Designer Tools,’ which are essentially site-wide styles. You have good customization options in here, but these stylings won’t stick if you decide to change your templates later.
So, think carefully about whether it’s worth your time investment before diving into these style settings.
Ucraft Small Business Tools
Ucraft has a lot to offer for small businesses. Be it eCommerce, search engine optimization settings, gathering customer emails, or a logo designer – all of these features have easy to use interfaces.
However, it’s important to know that some advanced features in Ucraft come with premium plans only. Such as – eCommerce, abandoned cart recovery, or SEO tools.
Talking about easy to use interfaces – Ucraft has an amazing product designer that is easy to understand and use. I think this platform is hardly matched when it comes to product design.
The interface walks you through the process of designing an attractive product.
Plus, you can add SEO descriptions for all of your individual products with this product designer.
I also loved that Ucraft has an abandoned cart recovery feature. That can help a lot with your conversion rate. However, note that Ucraft limits you from using this feature unless you upgrade to a higher-tier paid plan.
Still, Ucraft doesn’t quite have everything businesses need. Most importantly, there are no built-in email marketing tools.
Although Ucraft lets you gather the emails from your customers, you’d have to extract the list of those emails and use a third-party to actually send out newsletters.
One additional feature of Ucraft that’s worth mentioning is the platform’s logo designer. Most businesses presumably already have a logo, but if you’re still in the design stage – Ucraft can help.
The logo designer offers over one million icons to choose from, plus a basic shape creator, to help with your design.
What Do You Get For Free With Ucraft?
Ucraft’s free plan is surprisingly usable. It’s one of the only platforms that lets you connect your own domain name for free, which is a big plus. You also get Google Analytics integration and Ucraft’s SEO app.
However, more advanced SEO Tools are locked behind a paywall. As well as many other advanced eCommerce features or even a blog.
However, small businesses can take advantage of a custom domain connection and make a stunning business landing page, for starters, to promote themselves online.
Really, I would pay for Ucraft’s premium subscription only if I needed to sell stuff online. Or, let’s say, you want to write a business-oriented blog.
In that case, a relatively cheap $10 per month ‘Pro Website’ plan will allow you to sell up to 15 products in your online store.
The $21 per month ‘Pro Shop’ plan allows you to sell up to 1,000 products and adds coupons to your site, as well as lets you sell digital goods and cross-sell on social media channels.
Overall, Ucraft is one of the best free website builders for small businesses, if you're not thinking of selling anything and want to promote your business professionally - after all, you can connect a custom domain for free.
5. Jimdo: Bring Your Business Online | Websites & More
- Time-saving website building experience with Jimdo Dolphin AI.
- One of the fastest and easiest product design interfaces.
- Modern looking AI-generated templates.
- Essential functionalities – such as SEO tools or bookings manager are expensive.
- A super limited free plan, that fits only landing pages or promotional websites.
Jimdo is a quite advanced free website builder for small businesses because it offers an AI-based web designer. As most of the leading website building providers – it offers two ways of creating your site – AI-generated & regular.
The simplicity is amazing due to the artificial intelligence technology, however, design customization can be lacking with Jimdo’s AI (called Jimdo Dolphin).
Jimdo Design And Customization
Jimdo has a standard drag-and-drop website builder, but the real attraction of this platform is its AI-based site creator. With the AI creator, you simply answer a few questions about your business and Jimdo will launch a customized site for you.
You can choose the types of pages you want, and select from a handful of style options.
I thought this was great because it takes the site setup process from several hours down to just a couple. Once your site is created, the Jimdo Dolphin editor you’re redirected to is extremely simple.
You can edit site-wide styles like fonts and colors. Plus, there are a handful of content elements that you can drag and drop onto your pages.
That said, it’s worth pointing out that Jimdo’s advanced editor (not the AI one) is quite limited in some respects. You can’t modify the basic layout of every Jimdo website.
Plus, I found myself wishing for more advanced content elements. The ones that are available are relatively simple, and there aren’t creative options for combining text and images.
Still, Jimdo does leave room for expansion. Unlike some of the other website builders I reviewed, you can add custom HTML content and the number of pages on your site isn’t limited.
Jimdo may not be the world’s most flexible website builder, but you can create just about anything your business website might need when coding with its advanced site editor.
Jimdo’S Tools For Small Businesses
Jimdo’s business features are designed around companies selling physical products. The product design interface centers around product images, although I was disappointed to find that you can’t add videos to your products.
I liked how simple it was to set up an eCommerce store with Jimdo. Products are available as content elements, so you can either create a dedicated store page or layer individual products throughout your website.
My favorite thing about Jimdo’s eCommerce was the intuitiveness of the platform’s interface. Every setting was easy to find and tweak, there are step tutorials to guide you through as well.
Still, Jimdo does have some major setbacks. First and foremost, there’s no option to sell bookings on your site.
You can make bookings with a third-party widget using the HTML code editor, but that’s not quite the same as having built-in functionality.
Jimdo itself offers a booking service called ‘Shore’ that – unfortunately – costs money.
It has a 15-day free trial, but that’s as far as you can go with this integration.
Another major disadvantage to Jimdo is that SEO management isn’t included with the platform’s free or non-eCommerce plans. Given how important Search Engine Optimization is to every business website, that’s a huge drawback to using Jimdo for free.
I also wasn’t thrilled about the fact that you can’t create complex order flows in Jimdo. That’s because there’s no way to customize your checkout page.
So, if you need customers to fill out information during checkout beyond just their shipping address, you’re out of luck with Jimdo.
Finally, Jimdo doesn’t have any built-in email marketing tools. You can collect emails using the platform, but you’ll have to export them to a dedicated email marketing service if you want to create a newsletter or other messages.
However, that’s a common issue with many free website builders for small businesses, so the Mailchimp integration can be a good solution.
What Do You Get For Free With Jimdo?
Jimdo is relatively limited if you stick with the platform’s free plan. In addition to being forced to use a ‘.jimdosite.com’ subdomain, your site won’t come with any SEO management tools or visitor analytics.
As you might expect, there’s also no eCommerce functionality with a free store.
Connecting your own domain costs $9 per month, but if you want SEO management the price jumps up to $15 per month. Running an online store for your business costs $19 per month.
Given that Jimdo doesn’t come with much flexibility for your store back-end or with email marketing, that’s relatively pricey.
Overall, I would suggest using Jimdo's free plan for small businesses that want a simple landing page or a promotional website. Many functionalities come with an expensive price tag and can be useful only when you scale larger.
6. Weebly: Best Ecommerce-ready Free Website Builder
- Modern-looking templates with attractive homepage designs.
- Intuitive and streamlined drag-and-drop site editing interface.
- Easy to use and feature-rich product designer.
- Templates are limited to three or four-column layouts.
- The free plan provides 500MB of content storage only.
Weebly is a great free website builder for small businesses as it strongly focuses on eCommerce capabilities as well as offers intuitive drag-and-drop site editing. This builder also has tons of tools for managing online sales and attracting new customers. Plus, there are plenty of apps to expand your website’s functionality.
Like most website builders on this list, Weebly offers a limited free plan, however, its entry-level subscription is one of the most affordable ones. Weebly also has a suite of tools to help you scale your project as it grows.
Weebly Design And Customization
Weebly put quality over quantity when designing the platform’s themes. There are only about 50 of them, but they are well-designed and eye-catching.
Most notably, the homepage layouts are unique — when coupled with good imagery, these templates are perfect at reeling in new visitors to your website.
I also really liked that you can change your theme at any time in Weebly. There’s not a huge need to do so because the editor is flexible enough for most needs.
However, if you’re looking to revamp your site in the future and want to change the look of your homepage, you can use a new theme to do so.
The other important thing that your theme dictates is the layout of your pages. For better or worse, you’re stuck with the three- or four-column grid layout that all Weebly themes use.
This mostly isn’t a problem, but it can be frustrating at those times when you want to break out of the standard layout.
Otherwise, the Weebly editor is extremely user-friendly. You can drag-and-drop content elements and resize them easily. I found that it’s simple enough that you can create a highly customized website in just a few hours.
In addition, Weebly has a mobile app that allows you to edit your website on the go. This is perfect for small business owners because it allows you to add new products or announce a sale from anywhere in the world.
The only real complaint I had about Weebly’s editor is that it’s lacking in some advanced content elements. It’s hard to combine text and images, which could be a really impactful way to showcase your business or individual products.
Still, you’ll find all of the essential elements like galleries, contact forms, and call to action buttons.
Weebly Small Business Tools
Weebly is one of the best free website builders for small businesses if you’re looking to sell online. The platform gives you a ton of flexibility in designing products. You can add an unlimited number of product images or even lead with a video.
You can also design products with their own SEO descriptions, which is a major advantage in helping your store get discovered.
The Weebly eCommerce back-end is also very impressive. It puts all of your products and orders in one place, plus offers integrated inventory management and shipping tools.
Helpfully, Weebly also allows you to decide whether customers should be able to leave reviews on your products as makes it easier to create sales and coupons.
Importantly, Weebly includes a robust app store that allows you to build out the functionality of your website. You’ll find advanced apps for analyzing how customers move through your website and online store, as well as apps for boosting your website traffic and connecting to social media.
It’s in the app store that you’ll find options for selling bookings through your online store. If your business relies on booking services, having this extension is a major advantage for Weebly.
Finally, Weebly does a great job with email marketing. The email designer works just like the page editor, so there’s nothing new to learn after finishing editing your website.
That also means that you can create highly customized and eye-catching emails to promote your business. A variety of templates streamline the creation process, and you can even schedule emails to send in the future.
What Do You Get For Free With Weebly?
Weebly doesn’t limit your bandwidth with a free plan, but you’re stuck with just 500 MB of content storage. Plus, you can’t add your own domain with a free plan or accept payments on your website.
However, Weebly keeps an essential feature such as tools for SEO in its free plan.
You can add the metadata and descriptions of your page to increase the chance of getting noticed only at least at the beginning of your online journey. However, connecting a custom domain and starting out as a professional website is relatively cheap as well.
Actually, connecting your own domain is just $5 per month, which is pretty inexpensive. However, unlimited storage and the ability to accept payments through Square starts at $12 per month.
If you want to unlock all of Weebly’s eCommerce features, including inventory and shipping management tools, you’ll need a $25 per month ‘Business’ plan.
Just as most free website builders for small businesses - Weebly manages to offer a limited free plan without the ability to connect a custom domain. However, its price-free subscription allows users to tweak SEO settings and that's a massive plus for small businesses starting out online.
How To Choose The Best Free Website Builder For Small Business
After reading a complete list of the best free website builders for small businesses, I believe, that you might have already found a favorite provider to stick around with. However, I believe there are a few questions you have to answer before picking a website builder:
- What’s my audience?
- What kind of customization options are available?
- How do I market my brand using the platform’s tools?
- How much can I scale my project with this platform?
After all, when you know exactly what you’re doing and what are you doing it for – the whole process of running a small online business becomes easier.
Now, let me help you with these questions by asking even more questions!
Before picking the best free website builder for small businesses to work with, you should know who are you building your website for. Is it to promote a physical business, or completely digital? Are you going to work with consumers or provide service for other businesses?
For example, if you’re aiming for B2C (business-to-consumer) business model – eCommerce features should be useful. You could sell items straight from the website to your visitors, accept payments, and grow your audience.
A different perspective is if you’re going for a B2B (business-to-business) type of strategy – a simple promotional landing page would work. This way you can make the way to contact you – easy to see and accessible.
Then other businesses can call and ask for the service that your business provides. It can also make it easier to discuss specific orders that the client might demand.
After you’ve done figuring out what kind of a website you need and, especially, what for – it’s time to think about how you can design it accordingly to get those conversions rolling.
Using Design Tools Cleverly
Choosing a free website builder for small businesses can be quite a challenging task – many features come at a cost, some customization options can be lost to save the budget, and making a unique small business website becomes nearly impossible.
Although, you’ll be surprised to hear that many customization options that come related to the look and feel of your website (and not its functionality), actually come for free.
So if you’re making an online business that needs a website to stand out from the crowd – you might consider picking a website builder that has a wider scope of design tools.
Don't be surprised, as far as designing a website goes – the more freedom and tools you have - the steeper learning curve.
So it’s up to you to do the math and find out – are you going to sacrifice additional few hours to work with the design for it look good, or would you rather go for a basic looking website and have only the important information highlighted.
Marketing Your Brand
So, you already have a targeted audience that you want to sell for. You’ve also designed a website according to what you’re selling or the services you provide. The next big step should be – finding the right marketing tools that your favorite website builder offers.
So, I already briefly mentioned B2B and B2C business models and how different the interactions from your website should when reaching your audience. The same applies to marketing tools as well.
For example, if you’re building an eCommerce with your free website builder for small business – think about having email gathering and having a newsletters’ editor in your kit.
Gathering consumers’ emails and sending them out promotional newsletters can drastically increase your conversion rate.
Another thing both B2B and B2C type of businesses will find essential – Search Engine Optimization.
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short) is a process that revolves around growing website traffic by working on the visibility of your site pages to search engine users.
There are many tools that help you improve your SEO, most basic ones being – filling out metadata of your page and adding alt texts to your images. It’s also usually the most simple step and frequently tends to be provided for free by website building providers.
There are many additional SEO tools that offer paid subscriptions and offer more advanced settings to work with. However, the best result can be achieved by working smart and investing a lot of time. You don’t have to own every SEO-related extension to rank number one on Google.
After all, if you’re just starting out and looking for a free website builder for small businesses – chances are that you don’t need a lot of the tools in the very beginning.
Talking about starting out, it’s good to consider what you’re going to do in the future as well. How big your project can grow? What might you need two years after, that you don’t need now? Let’s talk about scalability.
Project Growth And Scalability
Every website builder plan has different resources provided for your site. It’s nothing new – more stuff costs more money. So it’s not a surprise that a free website builder plan won’t provide you with much of server resources or tons of bandwidth.
Nevertheless, if you’re just starting out not, there’s a big chance that you won’t need tons of resources anyways.
If you’re building an eCommerce, for example, and start growing rapidly fast – you’ll need to upgrade your plan sooner than later.
I know that right now you’re looking for a free solution, though, I’d say it’s important to take a look at the paid subscriptions as well. The more you research the paid plans – the easier it will be to pick a plan when you need to upgrade.
I might be repeating myself, but be sure to pick the best free website builder for small businesses that will be able to host your fully finished project.
Another alternative to upgrading (especially if you don’t find the right paid plan) – is to migrate your website elsewhere. I’m not quite fond of this solution, as it’s quite a pain to do this without hassle, you might lose tons of content as well, the transition can be stressful as well.
So, it’s completely up to you which option to pick, but I’d strongly recommend picking a provider that sticks with you till the end.
Read more: best ecommerce platform – which is best for your online sales?
Best Free Website Builders For Small Businesses – Conclusion
Your website is one of the primary ways that customers will interact with your small business. So, it’s important to have a business site that stands out from the crowd and one that can help you manage and grow your company.
Ultimately, choosing the best free website builder for small businesses comes down to finding the platform that meets most of your company’s needs.
Every builder offers various design features and tools for businesses, and your needs can be different from what the site-building provider can offer.
Just keep in mind that even if you don’t need specific features right now, they might come in handy in the future as your project scales and gathers more traffic.
With that in mind, these are the six best free website builders for small business:
Best Free Website Builder For Small Business FAQs
What is the best website builder for free?
The finest website builder is determined by your requirements. Although most free website builders have the same fundamental functionality, some platforms place a greater emphasis on one function over another. For beginner bloggers, WordPress.com is the finest option, while for online stores, Weebly and GoDaddy are the greatest options. Wix is ideal for small enterprises, whereas Mailchimp is ideal for solopreneurs.
Are free websites good for SEO?
Because you can't connect a personalized domain to a free website, it's not very SEO-friendly. This means that your website is a part of the website builder's own website, making it more difficult for search engines like Google to find, crawl, and index your page.
Is there a really free website builder?
There are many web-based website builders available, but only a few appear to be truly free. Many are offering a free trial, or are providing a free version with limited functionality.
Yes, you can create a website for free using WordPress.com, Weebly, Wix, and GoDaddy, with plenty of possibilities to upgrade for more features. Mailchimp provides a free website builder, but you must provide your own domain.
Is Wix actually free?
Wix is essentially free. It’s free to use, and free to host your site on. You simply upload your website to Wix, then you’re good to go!
but the service is not. Wix is a tool that costs money, and if you try to use it without paying for a subscription, it will put a watermark in the bottom right corner of your screen with a “Premium” message. To get around this, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Wix to see if it’s right for you.
Can I get a free website for my business?
yes. Free websites are available to small businesses that do not want to raise capital, and who want to keep their overhead and administrative costs as low as possible. The best option is to get a free website from the above mentioned sites, among others.
Best Free Website Builders For Small Businesses – List Recap:
- Wix – the best free website builder for small businesses that offers immense design flexibility.
- SITE123 – the easiest to use yet free website builder for small businesses.
- Strikingly – best free website builder for small businesses that are interested in one-pagers.
- Ucraft – the best free website builder for small businesses that lets you connect a custom domain for free.
- Jimdo – fastest website setup providing free website builder for small businesses.
- Weebly – the best free website builder for small businesses, packed with free SEO tools.