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Best free website builders 2023: Create an online presence for free

Looking to get your business online? Then our pick of the best free website builders will help you do that quickly and easily.

Today’s website builders don’t require you to have any web design or coding skills to get a website up and running. Better still, many of the best and biggest services offer personal or starter plans for free, enabling you to put together a basic website without splashing any cash. It’s a great way to showcase your favourite hobbies or interests, or give your business an online presence – and you always have the scope to expand into a paid-up service if you decide that you need more.

In this guide, we’ll look at what you can expect from a free website builder, and at any limitations you may encounter. Read on to discover our pick of the best free website builders, so that you can sign up and get your own website launched in no time at all.

Best free website builders: At a glance

Best all-round free website builderWixView offers at Wix
Best free website builder for beginnersJimdoView offers at Jimdo
Best free website builder for designTilda.ccView offers at

How to choose the best free website builder

All website builders combine a set of simple automated design tools that can help you create a website quickly, and some kind of hosting package to keep your website up and running after launch. To make the process as easy as possible, website builders offer a selection of ready-made templates, which you can customise using your own text and images to fit your style, content or brand.

There are a lot of website builders out there now, with many tending to specialise in different areas. Some work great as blogs or publishing platforms, providing greater control over the layout and design of your website. Others focus more on showcasing a business with minimum fuss and time, or on developing and running online stores. These services can be surprisingly versatile, but it definitely helps if you know what you’re looking for going in.

At the most basic level you can expect:

  • Pre-designed templates to help you build your website, often block by block.
  • Tools to change some or all of the backgrounds, images, fonts and colours.

You might also find:

  • Tools to embed photo galleries or video.
  • Blogging features, giving you everything you need to launch and maintain an ongoing blog.
  • Social media features to help you share your content on Facebook, X, Instagram and other platforms.
  • Tools for search engine optimisation and traffic analytics, so that you can tune your site and connect to a wider audience.

Do free website builders come with limitations?

Yes. After all, the free plans are designed to get you using the service and become accustomed to the tools, but you’ll find that they only support smaller websites with limited traffic, with key features available only through upgrading to the paid plans. Limitations may include:

  • Your website appearing as a subdomain of the website builder’s website and carrying their branding on every page.
  • You may be unable to link your website to a domain name you already own.
  • Restrictions to the number of pages you can build and publish and the amount of storage space available for holding images or video. You may also find that you can only serve a limited number of visitors before you’re pushed to upgrade to a paid-for plan.
  • Business and ecommerce features may be off-limits, preventing you from selling goods and taking payments. Otherwise, there may be restrictions on how many products you can sell within a month. You may also find that the service takes a bigger cut every time you make a sale.
  • You may be unable to get customer support, although forums and help guides will still be available.

These limitations won’t be a problem if you’re building a basic personal site, but if you’re more ambitious or building a business website, you’ll need to think about upgrading sooner or later. As a result, you might want to check the pricing of the cheapest paid-for plans, as moving your website to another service isn’t usually an option.

How we test website builders

We test free website builders by signing up and building a test website using the automated tools and templates available, using any custom design features. We run through the tools available, adding new page elements and changing fonts and colour schemes, and we add images and video, where supported, to see how well these features work. We’ll also try out any social media or blogging features.

We review the test site in both desktop and mobile formats and look at how easy it is to ensure your site looks good and is working properly – whether visitors are seeing it on a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone screen.

Where supported, we also look at ecommerce features, adding a small number of products to a basic online store. We check any SEO or analytics features, and we consider the online support available to judge whether help and guidance is offered when you need it most.

Where supported, we also look at ecommerce features, adding a small number of products to a basic online store. We check any SEO or analytics features, and we consider the online support available to judge whether help and guidance is offered when you need it most.

READ NEXT: The best website builders to use

The best free website builders for 2023

1. Wix: Best all-round free website builder

Price when reviewed: From £0/mth to £27/mth | View offers at Wix

One of the first website builders, Wix has evolved into one of the best. Its free plan delivers an extensive range of features, provided you can manage with limited bandwidth and storage, and don’t mind Wix ads or a Wix URL. The template-based approach makes it easy to get your site set up, but there are still enough customisation tools to give it its own look and feel. It’s flexible, too; where some other website builders lock down the design and structure, Wix encourages you to add your own sections, social feeds, interactive features and more. Its tools for handling media are superb, and built-in image-editing tools mean you can quickly adjust a graphic or a photo from within the Wix interface.

Some key features are reserved for the premium plan, including ecommerce and analytics features, but you can still use Wix to create your own blog or embed video on your site. Wix also has one of the most extensive selections of templates available, so there’s something for nearly every purpose. It’s a great option for personal sites, and it gives businesses an easy way to get a basic online presence with room to develop down the road.

Read our full Wix review for details

Key specs – Storage: 500MB; Bandwidth: 500MB; Ecommerce support: No; Domain: Wix subdomain;  Blogging features: Yes; Social media: Yes; Cheapest paid plan: Light, from £7.50/mth; Support: Guides, tutorials, 24/7 live chat

Check prices at Wix

2. Square Online: Best free website builder for ecommerce

Price when reviewed: From free to £64/mth | Check prices at Square Online

While many website builders fence off their ecommerce features for users of their premium plans, Square Online makes them available for free, complete with an SSL certificate and no bothersome restrictions on bandwidth or the number of products you can sell. In fact, the only real limitations are that some of the more advanced tools and features aren’t available, while you’re stuck on a Square Online subdomain and can’t connect to your own. It’s a shame that there’s no support for abandoned basket recovery or paying by PayPal; but otherwise, this is a comprehensive ecommerce solution, considering it doesn’t cost a penny.

Of course, Square Online hopes to make some of its costs back through relatively high transaction fees, although it’s still a lot cheaper to use than some online marketplaces. It’s also more limited in its templates and customisation options than, say, Wix or Strikingly, although those you have produce professional-looking results. Meanwhile, basic SEO tools and social media integrations still come bundled in. As your online business grows, you’ll want greater features for marketing and analytics, but Square Online offers a cost-free way to get started and see whether sales take off.

Read our full Square Online review for details

Key specs – Storage: Unlimited; Bandwidth: Unlimited; Ecommerce support: Yes, 1.4 to 2.5% plus 25p transaction fee; Domain: Square Online subdomain;  Blogging features: Yes; Social media: Yes; Cheapest paid plan: Plus, from £20/mth; Support: Guides, forums, business hours phone and live chat support

Check prices at Square Online

3. Jimdo: Best free website builder for beginners

Price when reviewed: From £0/mth to £39/mth | Check prices at Jimdo

Jimdo offers a choice of two free website builders: a heavily automated, AI-enhanced tool known as Dolphin, designed to get a website up and running fast; and a more advanced, customisable option, Creator, with more tools and features for ambitious users. Both are very effective, but Dolphin is particularly good for website-building novices who have a rough idea of what they want, but need a little help to achieve it. Just by answering a few questions and selecting from a handful of options, you can get the basics of your website in place and then use the customisation tools to give it your own spin.

Jimdo helps with an intuitive interface that makes it surprisingly simple to add cool features such as animations, or change colour themes and font sets, while a system of blocks can be used to add new sections to a web page with text, images, slideshows, audio and more. You can even use its Smart Apps to add social media feeds, publish your Google Calendar or embed YouTube, Twitch, TikTok or Vimeo streams. However, only the Creator version supports blogging, while there are some storage and bandwidth limitations – not to mention a five page per website maximum and ads on every page. Still, you can’t expect everything for the grand price of nothing, and Jimdo excels when it comes to getting slick-looking websites online.

Key specs – Storage: 500MB; Bandwidth: 2GB; Ecommerce support: Yes, 10% transaction fee; Domain: Jimdo subdomain;  Blogging features: Yes (Creator only); Social media: Yes; Cheapest paid plan: Start, from £3/mth; Support: Support guides, FAQs

Check prices at Jimdo

4. Tilda: Best free website builder for design

Price when reviewed: From $0/mth to $25/mth | Check prices at

Tilda isn’t quite as easy to get started with as Wix or Jimdo, but it makes up for it with fantastic template designs and impressive levels of creative control. If you’re happy to spend hours tweaking colours, fonts and line spacing, then Tilda has exactly what you need, along with some superb features for animation and useful manual controls to help with SEO. It can be a little intimidating for beginners; it’s ideal for more ambitious users or anyone who wants to learn some basic web skills while they work. The editor uses a block-based approach, making it easy to add new page elements or customise the look of existing blocks – and there’s even a Zero Block tool that allows you to create your own custom blocks.

Needless to say, there are some limitations. A maximum 50 pages per website won’t cause any issues, but the 50MB storage limit might. Analytics and SEO tools are restricted to the premium versions, and there’s no ecommerce support. However, while you can’t connect your own custom domain on the free package, you can specify a custom subdomain on Tilda, and it’s one of the few free services to offer customer support beyond online guides and FAQs. If you’re serious about building stylish websites, this is the free website builder for you.

Key specs – Storage: 50MB; Bandwidth: Unlimited; Ecommerce support: No; Domain: Tilda subdomain;  Blogging features: Yes; Social media: Yes; Cheapest paid plan: Personal, from £10/mth; Support: FAQs and guides, forums

Check prices at

5. Strikingly: Best free website builder for features and control

Price when reviewed: From $0/mth to $49/mth | Check prices at Strikingly

Strikingly fits somewhere between Wix and Tilda on the spectrum of website builders, providing the same extensive set of features as Wix, but with more stylish templates and creative control. One of the great things about it is that you can preview changes as you make them, letting you see in advance how a different colour scheme or layout will affect the page you’re working on and key in with the content. It also has detailed customisation options for just about every element, plus extensive blogging tools.

It’s brilliant for building business sites, but just as capable of running personal websites, online portfolios, or setting up a news and reviews site or blog. It’s not so good for online stores, however, since you’re restricted to selling one product only and the transaction fee is a whopping 5%. Storage is limited to a mere 500MB and your site can only have five actual pages; but the bandwidth limitation is a more generous 5GB. Throw in a genuinely useful library of stock photos and a cool, intuitive user interface, and Strikingly is a great website builder that gives creative users enough to get their teeth into without making website building tricky for the rest of us.

Key specs – Storage: 500MB; Bandwidth: 5GB; Ecommerce support: Yes, one product only; Domain: subdomain;  Blogging features: Yes; Social media: Yes; Cheapest paid plan: Limited, from $8/mth; Support: FAQs and guides, live chat support

Check prices at Strikingly

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