Website builders are a perfect solution for individuals and small businesses to start a website without hiring a developer. However, finding the best website builder can be tricky for beginners.
There are so many website builders on the market, how do you know which one is the right solution for you?
In this article, we’ll help you choose the best website builder by going over the pros and cons of the most popular options.
We will be comparing the following website builders in this article. If you are interested in a particular website builder, then just click on the name to skip ahead.
- Constant Contact Website Builder
- Gator by HostGator
- Dreamhost Website Builder
- GoDaddy Website Builder
Choosing the Best Website Builder — What to Look for?
Before comparing the top website builders, we recommend that you write down what you want to do with your website? What are your goals and what features would you like to see on your website.
For example, you can write down things like: have a blog section, photo gallery, online store (eCommerce), reservation system, contact form, SEO features, social media features, etc.
If you are unsure about what you want, then check out your competitors or other websites for inspiration.
Most website builders offer an intuitive drag and drop user interface to build your new website. You can take advantage of the trial accounts (free plans), or the generous money-back guarantee to test drive before you make your final decision.
Next, you need to consider your growth options. Will you be adding regular updates to your website? Do you need a blog section? Would you be selling more products on your website in the future?
You need to make sure that the website builder you choose is capable of handling your needs as your business grows.
Criteria for Our Best Website Builder Review
We have helped over 200,000+ users start a website, and over the last two decades have tested just about every website builder on the market.
We look at several different criteria when reviewing the best website builder picks for each use-case, but our top five elements are:
- Ease of Use – We want to ensure that the website builder is easy to use for absolute beginners (non-techy users). It must come with a drag-and-drop builder, powerful editing tools, and customization options.
- Pricing – Since it’s a competitive space, we look for which website builder offers the most value for the price. We ask questions like does it offer a free domain, free SSL, free business email, free eCommerce features, etc. If not, then how much would a small business owner has to spend on additional extras / hidden costs.
- Design & Features – We want to ensure that the website builder offers tons of professional website templates and offer flexibility to add other features like Google Analytics, third-party marketing tools, etc.
- Customer Support – While we expect the website builders to offer an intuitive easy to use interface, we want to make sure 24/7 customer support is available when needed.
- Data ownership & portability – Often beginners don’t think about this, but being in the industry for over two decades, we pay extra attention to terms of service to ensure that you own your data, and it’s portable should you need to switch.
That being said, let’s take a look at the top website builder platforms to make your website without hiring a developer.
WordPress.org (also known as self hosted WordPress) is the world’s most popular website building platform. Over 41% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress.
Note: There are two versions of WordPress available. There is self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com. We will talk about WordPress.com later in this article. You can also read our WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison for more details.
The self-hosted WordPress tops our list of best website builder due to its popularity, powerful features, scalability, and ease of use.
WordPress is a free and open source website builder. This means that you have maximum control over your website compared to any other online website builder in this list.
Unlike other website builders, you will need a WordPress hosting account and host your own website (this is a lot easier than it sounds).
WordPress gives you complete control on every aspect of your website and online presence. It can be used to build any kind of website. For example, an eCommerce store, community forums, a social network, a membership website, simple website, landing page, and more.
There are thousands of high quality pre-made WordPress themes that you can use for your website’s design. It also has amazing drag and drop page builders like SeedProd, Beaver Builder and Divi which allow you to easily create your own page layouts using a drag-and-drop editor.
You’ll also get access to more than 58,000 free WordPress plugins. These are like apps for WordPress that adds additional features and functionality to your website such as shopping cart, contact forms, google analytics, photo gallery, social media tools, live chat, CSS customization, etc.
When you consider all the above benefits, WordPress is by far the cheapest website builder in the market.
It also comes with powerful SEO tools that search engines love, and this ensures your website will always get the highest rankings in search engines.
For all the reasons above, WordPress is the #1 website builder and content management system for business owners, bloggers, web developers, and web designers.
You will have to manage your own website, which means you will need to familiarize yourself with a new system. This slight learning curve is easily overcome by most users, but it does feel a bit difficult in the beginning.
You will also have to keep up with WordPress updates, plugin updates, and create backups.
While WordPress is a free website builder, you will need a domain name and web hosting to get your website live which typically costs $14.99/year and $7.99 per month respectively.
Fortunately, we have worked out a special deal for WPBeginner users. You can start a website for only $2.75 per month with Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. They are offering our users 60% off on web hosting that comes with free SSL certificate, free domain name, great uptime, and 24/7 phone support.
With this special pricing, WordPress is one of the cheapest website builder in this list for small business.
For more details, see our guide on how to make a website with step by step instructions.
Ready to get started but don’t have a business name idea yet? Use our smart A.I powered business name generator tool to come up with your brand name idea.
Constant Contact website builder is an intelligent A.I. powered website builder that helps you build a custom website within minutes. This is a dream come true for non-techy small business owners.
Constant Contact is known for being the world’s leading email marketing service. After listening to small business concerns, they have decided to create the world class artificial intelligence powered website builder that helps you create a website in minutes (without writing any HTML code).
You can use their guided ADI (artificial design intelligence) wizard to create a completely custom web design with personalized image and content suggestions.
Their intuitive drag-and-drop website builder makes it easy to customize your website layout. You can choose from their library of over 550,000 free professional quality images to make your website look visually stunning.
All template layouts are mobile friendly out of the box, so your website will look great on both desktop and mobile devices.
Since it’s a hosted website solution, it’s a completely hassle free website builder. They also offer 24/7 live phone support and chat support which is great for small business.
Other features on the platform include logo maker, lead capture forms, website analytics, eCommerce, and more.
The best part about Constant Contact is that it’s a free website builder. This means you can create a website, blog, logo, and even an online store using their free plan.
When you’re ready to make your website live or start selling, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Considering the features, Constant Contact is definitely one of the best professional website builders in this list that is user-friendly, comes with good editing tools, and SEO features at a great price.
The developer ecosystem is currently small, so there are no third-party add-ons that you can install on your website to add new features that are not offered by Constant Contact.
Just like every other website builder, if you want to connect a custom domain name, then you will have to upgrade to the paid plan. The good part is that they provide you with many tools and third party integrations right in the platform to make your marketing more successful in reaching new and existing customers at a great price.
Constant Contact offers a powerful free website builder that lets you create a website, blog, and even an online store. You can add unlimited web pages at no additional cost.
To get a domain name, make your website live, and start selling, you will need to purchase their website builder plan which costs $10 per month (or $8.50 per month if pre-paid annually).
All plans come with 24/7 live chat and phone support.
If you plan to incorporate email marketing, then you may want to consider their Email Marketing or Email Marketing Plus plans which comes with all the website builder features combined with all the advanced features of marketing automation.
Constant Contact is a great choice for small businesses who doesn’t want to use WordPress.
Wix.com is another popular cloud based website builder software. It offers ease of use combined with a powerful set of features to easily build your website.
Wix website creator is a fully hosted platform, so you will not have to pay for hosting. You get access to hundreds of templates to choose for your website’s design. Each template is fully editable with their intuitive drag and drop site builder.
Wix has also built an artificial design intelligence (Wix ADI) that can design a beautiful website for you.
Aside from tons of templates, Wix also comes with dozens of free and paid apps that you can install on your website. These apps allow you to add new features and functionality to your website. Some of them are created by Wix, and others are created by third-party developers.
Wix offers a free plan with limited bandwidth and storage. However, you can use this plan to test drive their drag and drop website builder. It does not include a domain name, so if you decide to keep your website, then you may want to upgrade to a premium plan.
You also get a free SSL with all Wix plans, but you will need to turn it on for your website.
Free and Connect Domain plans will show Wix branded ads on your website. You’ll need to upgrade to their Combo or Unlimited plan to remove those ads.
If you ever decide to move your website away from Wix, then you will find it quite complicated to do so.
Their Connect Domain plan which costs $9.16 per month only lets you connect a custom domain name, so you’ll still have to buy a domain name separately.
Wix offers a limited free version with a Wix branded sub domain. You can connect a domain for $9.16 per month. Their combo plan starts at $14.95/month and will get you a free domain name. The ecommerce plan for online stores cost $26.25 per month.
If you are interested in how it stacks up against WordPress, then see our comparison of Wix vs WordPress.
Gator is a popular online website builder created by HostGator, one of the largest web hosting providers in the world. The Gator builder is an all-in-one website building & hosting solution which makes it a perfect website builder for small businesses.
Gator is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t have to worry about the software, updates, or backups.
You get an easy website builder that lets you choose from 200+ professional website design templates. Each design comes with simple customization options that you can configure from the builder itself.
Gator also gives you access to a built-in stock photo library, so you can find and add beautiful photos on your website.
All paid plans include a free custom domain name for your website. The eCommerce plan also comes with the ability to setup an online store and sell your products online.
Since Gator is a paid product, they don’t sell your data or show any ads on your website.
Unlike some of the other options in the list, Gator doesn’t have a free plan. They also do not offer a free trial.
Like other proprietary website builders in the list, you cannot hire a developer to help you significantly modify your website design or add new features to your website.
Gator paid plans start from $3.84 per month, $5.99 per month for premium, and $9.22 for eCommerce plan. It is definitely one of the cheapest website builders in the list.
Gator can be used to build a small business website, a store with limited items, or a photo gallery. However, it is no match for the power of the most popular website builder, WordPress.
Zyro is a powerful and affordable website builder on the market. They offer an easy to use drag & drop website builder tool with free hosting and 87% off premium plans which makes them the cheapest website builder in our list.
Zyro website builder allows you to create a website without any design or coding skills. Their easy to use and powerful design tools makes it easy for anyone to build visually stunning websites.
It comes with a logo maker, useful AI tools, and tons of pre-made website templates that you can start with. You also have access to over 1 million high quality images for free.
The best part about Zyro is the affordable pricing. If you’re an artist or a small business on a budget, then Zyro is your best bet. It’s the cheapest website builder on the market with pricing starting at $1.89 per month.
But don’t let the low pricing think that this isn’t a powerful website builder platform. They offer great uptime and reliability.
With each plan, you get new powerful features. For example on the Unleashed plan, you get marketing integrations like Google Analytics, Facebook retargeting, visitor remarketing, etc.
They also have eCommerce plans that allows you to add unlimited products, accept online payments, offer discount coupons, order management, inventory management, and even connect your store with Amazon, Instagram, and Shopify.
It’s not easy to switch templates once you choose it. Also since Zyro is not open source, it lacks the third-party integrations and addons that WordPress offers.
Their starter plan is a bit limited in features and does not include free domain, but it has all the essentials that you’d need to build a website.
While Zyro offers blogging features, it’s not a true blog platform, so they lack features like the ability to schedule blog posts, etc.
Zyro’s Basic plan starts at $1.89 per month. Unleashed plan which comes with a free domain starts at $3.09 per month. eCommerce plan costs $8.99 per month but is limited to 100 products. If you want unlimited products, then you’d want their eCommerce Plus plan which costs $14.99 per month.
Zyro is by far the cheapest website builder available on the market, and it comes with a great set of features.
Domain.com offers easy website builder that lets you create a small business website, blog, and even an eCommerce website with just a few clicks.
Domain.com offers an easy drag and drop website builder to create your website. You can start with one of their hundreds of professionally designed templates and customize it using a simple drag and drop interface to match your brand.
All Domain.com website builder templates are optimized for mobile, tablets, and desktop computers. This means that your website will look great on all devices.
It comes with all the powerful features that you expect from a well-known website builder including: website analytics, eCommerce functionality, ability to add a blog to any website, and a free SSL certificate with all plans.
With their eCommerce plan, you also get inventory management, tax management, coupons & discounting, and many other powerful features.
They also offer live chat and telephone customer support for technical assistance, so you can easily get started.
Unlike other popular website builders, Domain.com website builder does not have a free website builder option. They also do not offer a free trial. However they do offer a money back guarantee in case you aren’t happy with the product.
Their extension ecosystem is small, and you won’t be able to hire a developer to build advanced features like WordPress because its not open source.
Since it’s a proprietary platform, migrating your website away from Domain.com website builder will be difficult.
Lastly, their starter plan restricts you to only 6 page website. For unlimited pages, you need at least their business plan.
Domain.com Website Builder plans start from $1.99 per month for Starter, $6.99 per month for Business, and $12.99 per month for eCommerce plan.
All plans come with a free SSL certificate, unlimited storage, blog features, and phone support.
If you’re looking for a professional website builder, then Domain.com website builder is an excellent option. However if you want advanced features and more control over your content, then nothing will beat self-hosted WordPress (#1 option in our list).
BigCommerce is the best eCommerce website builder in the market. If you’re looking to create an online store that scales, then BigCommerce is the platform for you. It comes with all the essential features built-in, so you can keep your overhead low and margins high.
BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce solution, so you don’t have to worry about website speed, security, or updates. They handle the server and technical side for you, so you can focus on growing your business.
Unlike other hosted eCommerce solutions, BigCommerce has a native integration with WordPress which allows you to leverage the flexibility of WordPress while taking advantage of the headless eCommerce power of BigCommerce. In simple terms, your website will be fast and secure no matter how much traffic you get.
BigCommerce integrates with all popular payment gateways including Stripe (credit cards and ACH), PayPal, Apple Pay, Square, Amazon Pay, Visa Checkout, Chase Pay, Ayden, and more. Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce doesn’t charge a transaction fee for you to use these payment gateways.
You can start with one of their many pre-made website templates and customize it to match your needs using their easy drag & drop website builder.
BigCommerce comes with many features built-in to handle conversion rate optimization such as cart abandonment, improved product search, product reviews, coupons, and more. For additional features, you can connect with third-party applications from their app store.
The best part is their dashboard that lets you see the metrics to help you grow your business with confidence.
If you are just starting out, then you will find BigCommerce pricing a bit higher than other website builders in the list.
Since it’s a proprietary platform, migrating away from BigCommerce will be difficult.
BigCommerce comes with a 15-day free trial for all plans. Their basic plans at $29.95 per month which comes with all the essential features that you will need. You can upgrade to the plus plan which costs $79.95 per month for additional conversion optimization features. Their pro plan costs $249.95 per month which has all the advanced features you may need.
The best part about BigCommerce when compared to Shopify and other third-party eCommerce platforms is that they have a seamless integration with WordPress which can be a huge plus if you want to combine the flexibility of WordPress with the power of BigCommerce.
This is one of the reasons why we have BigCommerce listed as high in our best website builder list.
Shopify is another popular eCommerce website builder designed specifically for online stores and ecommerce websites. It powers more than half a million businesses with 1 million active users. Over 40 Billion dollars worth of products have been sold on Shopify’s platform.
It offers integrated payment solution called Shopify Payments which lets you accept credit cards. You can also add third-party payment gateways to accept payments.
As an ecommerce website builder, Shopify comes with full inventory management, unlimited products, powerful stats, easy marketing solutions, all neatly wrapped under one roof. They have hunereds of designs to choose from, and you will never need to add code.
With its intuitive drag and drop interface, Shopify makes it super-easy to create a full-fledged ecommerce store. They also offer in-store POS, which allows you to sell products at your location, while accepting all credit cards and taking advantage of Shopify’s inventory, shipping, marketing, and stats management tools.
You can even integrate Shopify into WordPress, allowing you to use both great solutions at the same time.
If you are just starting out, then you may find Shopify’s pricing a bit higher than some other website builders in this list.
If you ever want to move your website away from Shopify, you will find it quite difficult to do so.
Shopify’s basic plan will cost you $29 per month. You can upgrade it to Shopify for $79 per month or Advanced Shopify for $299 per month. Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite plan for $9 per month, which basically allows you to add a buy button on any website.
If you want a hassle free ecommerce website builder, then Shopify may be the perfect option for you.
WordPress.com is a blogging and website hosting service run by Automattic. It is created by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress open source software, hence the name WordPress.com. To learn more, see our article on how are WordPress.com and WordPress.org related.
However, WordPress.com is not the same as self-hosted WordPress.org. Please see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.
WordPress.com is a website hosting service built on top of the same WordPress software but with a totally custom user experience. You don’t have to worry about the software and backups as WordPress.com takes care of it.
Their free and paid plans have different set of features. All plans allow users to choose from hundreds of free and paid WordPress themes. You can then use the built-in customizer to add your site title, use widgets, add navigation menus, and so on.
It doesn’t offer the same drag and drop functionality of other website builders. However, you can easily customize designs to a certain extent.
It does comes with powerful editing tools that bloggers find really helpful.
You cannot install custom plugins or themes unless you upgrade to their business plan.
Premium and lower plans do not have eCommerce features or third-party ad network support. With the business plan, you can use WooCommerce and third-party ad networks. However, you will still have to follow WordPress.com’s terms and conditions.
The basic free plan is extremely limited. Their personal plan starts with $4 per month billed annually and includes a custom domain. Premium plan costs $8.25 per month billed annually and it gives you the ability to monetize your site and advanced design customization. Business plan costs $24.92 per month billed annually, and it gives you the ability to have Ecommerce and custom plugins.
Weebly is an easy website builder software with tons of great designs and functionality. It includes a beautifully crafted page builder which allows you to edit your website without learning any coding skills.
Weebly is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t need to install and manage any software. They take care of hosting your website and managing all the software that runs in the backend.
It comes with dozens of website designs to use as an starting point for your website. These gorgeous designs are fully editable using Weebly’s live page editor.
Weebly also comes with built-in support for ecommerce. This allows you to easily create an online store and start selling.
Each Weebly site comes with built in features for contact forms, photo galleries, sliders, and more. This allows you to easily add features to your website without any complicated setup process.
Given the ease of use and great features, Weebly is consistently rated among the best DIY website builders for beginners.
Weebly.com offers a fully hosted platform, so you are locked to the features they offer. You cannot hire a developer or designer to add new functionality or feature to your website.
Weebly charges 3% transaction fees on every purchase made through your ecommerce store. You’ll need to upgrade to their business plan to avoid these additional fees.
Weebly comes with a very basic free plan. Their paid plans start from $8 per month billed annually. The pro plan costs $12 per month, and their business plan costs $25 per month.
If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then check out our comparison of Weebly vs WordPress.
Squarespace is a popular professional website builder known for its great designs and ease of use.
Squarespace comes with enterprise-grade infrastructure for hosting your website. This secure and robust platform allows you to focus on growing your business without worrying about hosting.
Squarespace includes tons of website designs to get started. All of these designs are completely ready for all types of content. They are fully editable, and Squarespace even allows you to use multiple templates for the same website at once.
Adding content to your website is very easy on Squarespace. Just point anywhere on your website and start typing. You can easily drag and drop items on pages to create your own layouts in minutes.
Squarespace also has an ecommerce plan which allow you to add an online store to your website. It offers a nice interface to manage your products, inventory, orders, coupon discounts, and more.
Squarespace offers limited integrations with third-party service which can be a hurdle in growing your business.
Their ecommerce plans only allow Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal for payment processing. You cannot add additional payment gateways.
Squarespace websites start from $12 per month and $18 per month. Their online stores start from $26 and $40 per month.
Squarespace is a beautifully designed platform that offers very easy to use features. It can be perfect if you just want to quickly build a website.
If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then take a look at our comparison of Squarespace vs WordPress.
DreamHost website builder is a new website builder software that is built on top of WordPress. It is available as part of all DreamHost hosting plans which starts as low as $2.59 / month with a free domain making it the cheapest website builder in our list.
DreamHost WP website builder is built on top of WordPress, and it is powered by BoldGrid, so you get full advantage of WordPress with a customized user experience. DreamHost’s website builder allows you to choose a professional design from their gallery of themes.
After that, you can customize those designs with a drag and drop customizer. You can point and click on any item in the preview section to edit its properties. You can change colors, fonts, layouts, navigation menus, and widgets with ease.
Need a staging website? DreamHost’s BoldGrid builder creates one for you with a single click. This allows you to test out your new designs, layouts, plugins, and themes before making it live for everyone to see.
It also comes with a full WYSIWYG page editor. No more guess work when editing your pages in WordPress. You’ll get exactly what you see on your page editor window. You can also use GridBlocks to simply drag and drop elements to your page and build your own layouts from scratch.
DreamHost WP site builder can be used to create to any type of website with a custom domain name. Since it’s built on WordPress, it’s easy to add blogging functionality, powerful SEO and social media features, eCommerce features, and more.
All DreamHost website builder themes are ready for WooCommerce. This allows you to easily create a storefront using their drag and drop website builder (see our list of best WooCommerce hosting companies).
DreamHost WP website builder runs on top of WordPress, so you will still need a self-hosted WordPress.org website to use it.
But the good part is that WordPress comes pre-installed with all DreamHost plans. You also get other powerful features included with DreamHost as well.
DreamHost does not come with a free plan, but they do offer a 97 day money back guarantee.
DreamHost WP website builder is available as part of all DreamHost plans starting as low as $2.59 per month for 1 website.
WPBeginner readers also get a free domain, free SSL certificate, and free domain privacy with the Starter DreamHost plan which also comes with a 97 day money-back guarantee.
This makes DreamHost one of the most affordable website builder in the market.
GoDaddy is one of the largest domain name and hosting service providers in the world. They offer a simple online website builder with hosting included.
GoDaddy Website Builder is a simple and easy tool to create professional looking websites. It comes pre-loaded with several ready to use blocks that you can drag and drop to build different layouts.
It also has integrated photo library with professional images from Getty Photography that you can use on your website. You can also upload your own photos and create image galleries.
GoDaddy website builder works on smaller screens too. This allows you to work on your website on the go using your mobile phone or tablet.
It is not as feature rich and flexible as most other website builders on this list. It offers limited set of features with fewer design options.
It is quite difficult to move your website from GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress.
Personal plan costs $5.99/month, business plan for $9.99/month, and business plus plan for $14.99/month. All plans are billed annually.
GoDaddy Website Builder can be used for a basic website with a few pages. However, it is not a good choice to build content rich websites.
Our Pick for The Best Website Builder
After carefully evaluating all the popular online website builders, we believe that WordPress.org outperforms all website builders in overall performance, ease of use, price, and flexibility.
WordPress is an excellent choice for beginners, personal websites, and business websites. Some of the world’s top brands are using WordPress on their websites. See all the reasons to choose WordPress as your website builder.
If you want to build your website with the best website builder, then get started with WordPress by using Bluehost. It is definitely our #1 choice.
You can read our step by step guide on how to make a website for detailed instructions.
Looking for business name ideas? Try our A.I powered business name generator tool to find creative brand name ideas.
If you’re looking to build an online store (eCommerce website), then we recommend BigCommerce as the best eCommerce website builder because it offers all the features that you will need at the best price.
If you want a WordPress alternative, then we recommend using either Constant Contact Builder or Gator.
Constant Contact Website Builder is the best free website builder. It offers an intelligent A.I powered website builder for small businesses that helps you build a custom website within minutes. You can get started for free to build a blog, business, website, and even an online store.
We hope that our website builder reviews helped you choose the best website builder for your project. You may also want to see out list of tools to help you grow your website.
Website Builder FAQs
Having helped over 200,000+ users start their website, we have answered quite a lot of questions. Below are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions about website builders.
Are website builders worth it?
Yes, overall website builders are an extremely cost efficient way to build a website. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to hire a web developer, you can use the easy to use drag-and-drop interface that website builders offer to build your own website for a low monthly fee.
Which website builder software do professional web designers use?
The drag and drop WordPress page builders make it easy for professional web designers to create custom websites for clients while saving time which allows them to serve more clients and make more money each month.
Is it better code your own website than use a website builder?
In the old days, knowing how to code a website from scratch was worth it, but these days almost all professional developers and designers use a website builder platform or open source CMS software to build websites.
Website builder platforms have gotten really good, and they simply let you do more in less time.
Can I switch my website builder software later?
No, with the exception of WordPress, most website builders make it really hard to switch away from them. This is why it’s extremely important to choose the right website builder that you can grow with.
There are third-party services, tools, and tutorials that can help you switch website builder software with varying degrees of success.
For example, you can use our Weebly to WordPress migrator to switch from Weebly to WordPress.
We also have detailed tutorials on:
- How to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
- How to switch from Blogger to WordPress
- How to switch from Wix to WordPress
- How to move from Squarespace to WordPress
- How to move from GoDaddy website builder to WordPress
- How to move from Joomla to WordPress
- How to move from Medium to WordPress
Is WordPress really free? What’s the catch?
Yes, WordPress.org is an open source software that’s 100% free for everyone to use. It’s built by a community of developers under the guidance of the non-profit WordPress foundation.
WordPress is licensed under GPL which means anyone can use it, modify it, and redistribute it. It gives you full freedom and ownership over your website content.
The only catch is that to use WordPress, you need to have a domain name and web hosting which is true for all websites.
You can learn more about why is WordPress free and what are the costs.
How do other free website builders make money if I use it for free?
Most free website builders make money by selling ads on your website. For example, if you use the free Wix plan, then they will show ads on every page of your website. This does not look professional.
Outside of that, most website builder software offer limited freemium versions to get customers to try their platform, and they make money when you upgrade to their paid plans.
Only WordPress.org offers the full-featured website builder for free, and since it’s an open source project, they do not show any ads on your site.
How can I create my own website for free?
If you want to start a website for free, then you can use Constant Contact website builder. You can signup for a free account (no credit card needed).
You can use their guided ADI (artificial design intelligence) wizard to create a completely custom web design with personalized image and content suggestions.
When you’re ready to take it live with a custom domain name, then you’ll be required to purchase a paid plan.
How can I get a free domain name?
The best way to get a free domain name is to choose a website builder platform that offers a free domain as part of their paid plan.
Here are the best website builder platforms that offer a free custom domain:
For more details, see our guide on how to register a domain name for free.
Do I need a custom domain to build a website?
No, you do not need a custom domain to build a website, but having one does help boost your credibility.
Often free website builders will give you a branded subdomain like yoursite.wix.com, but this does not look professional.
This is why we recommend everyone to get a custom domain name, especially if you’re serious about your online presence.
Do I need to buy web hosting to build a website?
Yes, all websites need web hosting because that’s where your website files are stored. When you purchase a website builder subscription, you’re technically buying web hosting from them.
As your website grows and get higher traffic, most website builder platforms will ask you to upgrade your subscription to a higher plan.
See our comparison of the best WordPress hosting companies for more details.
Are there any hidden costs to building a website?
The hidden costs of building any website are addon services such as email marketing services, business phone services, professional business email address, SEO tools, and other third-party extensions / apps that you may need (varies based on the type of site).
We have written a detailed guide on how much does it cost to build a WordPress site (with tips on how to keep it low budget).
Other typical hidden costs in website builders are: storage space, bandwidth, domain renewal costs after first year, higher renewal pricing on some platforms, and aggressive upsell from sales team.
Which is the best website builder for SEO?
We believe that WordPress is the best website builder for SEO. We use it to build all our websites, and we’re not alone.
Every SEO expert agrees that WordPress is the most SEO friendly website builder, and this is why over 39% of all websites use WordPress.
Which is the best website builder for eCommerce?
Which is the best website builder for A/B testing?
Some website builders like WordPress, Shopify, and BigCommerce make it easy to setup A/B testing compared to others.
Are there any website builder in this list that you would personally avoid?
We typically do not like closed website builder platforms because they lock you in and make it harder to switch. If we had to pick one to avoid, then we’d say avoid Wix because it’s the hardest platform to switch away from. They aggressively try to upsell on every step of the way.
We’ve been building websites since 1998 and have tried many platforms. For the last decade, we always favor WordPress because it’s open source and gives you full ownership of your content.
Which are the top 3 best website builder in your opinion?
Our top 3 choices for the best website builder software are:
- WordPress – Best website builder (overall).
- Constant Contact – Best free website builder.
- WooCommerce or BigCommerce – Best eCommerce website builder.
No this last question is not a joke. We seriously get this question even after referring people to this guide.
Disclaimer: to help avoid choice paralysis, we only compared the top 13 website builder platforms. This list doesn’t include other website builder platforms like Site123, Duda, Jimdo, SiteBuilder, Webflow, Format, Carrd, Ucraft, Google Sites, Webs, 1&1, Adobe Muse, Yola, Web.com, Webnode, etc because we believe the solutions mentioned in this article are simply better.