David Papp Blog

Top 4 free sites for website building and hosting

These days, building your own website has never been easier. Whether you’re trying to create your own personal blog or portfolio, or you’re setting up an online platform for a small business you want to put up, here are the top website builders that provide hosting and customization – absolutely free! The best part is you won’t have to deal with a single line of code with the help of these websites.

  1. Weebly
    Named by TIME as one of the top 50 websites in 2007, Weebly is widely used by people who wish to create websites for small businesses and e-commerce purposes. Preferred by many for its easy drag-and-drop customization feature and wide range of templates, Weebly’s strength is in its flexibility that allows you to customize using the HTML/CSS editor without having to upgrade to the paid version (which starts at $4).
  2. Wix
    One of the most popular website builders, Wix is used by over 48 million people worldwide. What makes Wix great is that it provides a wide range of specialized professional-looking templates that you can choose from. With templates for Business & Services, Restaurant & Hospitality, Music & Entertainment, Online Shops, Creative portfolios and many more, creating a website just became so much easier. Best of all, Wix provides comprehensive support services that you can easily access if you need help with your website.
  3. Jimdo
    Geared towards e-commerce, Jimdo provides unique features specifically for sellers, as it comes with an inventory tracking feature as well as an automatic response feature, allowing your site to be open for business and actively responding to customers 24/7. There are also paid packages available (JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness) if you wish to utilize advanced features. However, the free version already provides all the tools you need to get your business up and going. What makes Jimdo stand out from the rest is that it comes with an iOS app that allows you to edit your website whenever and wherever straight from your Apple device.
  4. Webs.com
    Since 2001, Webs.com has been providing domain hosting and professional-looking templates that can easily be customized using the site’s drag-and-drop feature. You can start creating your web site for free and then upgrade if you wish to acquire webs.com’s special features that come with the premium packages, which start at $5.99 a month. Upgrading helps you get rid of the advertising banners that come with the free version.

48 thoughts on “Top 4 free sites for website building and hosting”

  1. I’ve tried Wix before I didn’t like it. It feels really bulky but it’s been a while since I tried it so it might be that they’ve already made changes but my first experience with it is not very good.

    • I’m also not a fan of Wix. The sites built using their service look too generic and, for the most part, ugly and bland. On the other hand, Weebly allows you to create web sites that look more professional while also being more aesthetically pleasing.

      • Yeah Wix has this infamous look to it. It feels really cheap for lack of a better word. I agree, Weebly is way better than Wix.

        • Wix does look cheap, I agree. Plus their layouts are a bit too generic, you need to have an individual stamp on any site you are making to give the impression you put some effort in.

          • Yeah the layouts does look too generic which makes you think that the site owner got lazy or didn’t even try to make the site look good. But I’ve seen Wix sites that look good but then again it looked the same as any other.

        • Yeah, cheap is a better word. Such services are only useful for really simple, brochure sites. For anything else, Wordpress is the way to go.

          • Even for a simple site it kind of still feels really cheap. I once went to a housing site and they used Wix back when it’s still running Flash I think and needless to say it looks really scammy.

          • Couldn’t agree more with this. Self-hosted Wordpress is by the most versatile website builders/CMS I’ve ever used, and I absolutely love it. These “hosted for you” site builders always seem to be very limited to me, and lock you out of doing things that you can do on your own hosting, and that you might desperately need to do (eg: FTP). You’re essentially locked into their ecosystem.

          • Danroth, since you mentioned self-hosting, I think Drupal is also worth mentioning. It all boils down to what your needs are. In my opinion, Wordpress wins hand-down for blogging, while Drupal might be more adequate if you want a full-blown media site.

          • I agree with you but add the Blogspot on the list, it is also par with Wordpress on some level.

        • As someone who uses Wix I’ve found it perfect for my simple eCommerce shop. I have extensive web design knowledge and experience but was just looking to put something up as quickly as I could that looked pretty decent while only requiring minimal adjustments in simple coding languages like HTML. For my purpose, Wix nailed everything I was looking for and I was able to adjust their fairly well designed templates in a couple hours to completely satisfy my need.

    • Definitely agree with this. It’s been a while since I used it, but I distinctly remember having to jump through quite a few hoops to do even simple stuff, and every site looking very similar – even stuff such as the unbranded loading icons just screamed Wix to me every time I used it.

      Not sure if it’s still like this (I used it when it was Flash only, looks like it supports HTML5 now), but I seemed to have problems with linking directly to pages, although that’s probably fixed by now.

      • They support HTML5 now? Now that’s cool. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime but for the most I think it’s not going to be worth it anymore.

        • I’d say while it’s nice that the technology is there, it’s not used to it’s maximum potential. Wix is extremely limiting in the grand scale of things, and I don’t see why anyone even slightly experienced wouldn’t just self host something like Wordpress. That said, I think Wix is a great tool for absolute beginners – it does a pretty good at introducing you to basic web design, and the drag and drop editor is really easy to use.

  2. Weebly is very easy. But, I feel that some functionality should have been offered for free, like the ability to use DNS nameservers on your own domain names. Nevertheless, Weebly is great and the premium features are worth the money. I also like WordPress, particularly WordPress.org.

    • Personally I think if you’re going for Wordpress, it’s best to just buy (yes, sadly) hosting and host WP yourself, otherwise you’ll lose out on so much functionality. This site (made with the WordPress CMS) wouldn’t be this extensive on WP’s own hosting platform. For a free “site” (not just a blog) I would personally use Weebly.

      • I could not agree more. I started out by making a couple of free sites but after just two weeks or so I knew I had to buy hosting and have a proper looking site.

        I have heard people say that the free Blogger platform is good. But then it is run by Google, so it probably performs well in the SERPS

  3. I have tried Weebly before. I liked how the site helped me build my site from the ground up. I used it for my blog and it was a great experience. I have not tried any other site building site but I might try another one.

  4. Interesting. I’ve been considering this lately and this along with comments are really helpful. Thanks!

  5. Cool, I’ve only tried Wix and so far, well I don’t really like it. But I think it’s better to just build your site on Wordpress for free and then just adjust and move on to a paid service.

  6. I have tried weebly before, around 2012 and was kind of intimidated by the site, mostly likely because I was newbie at the time and was overwhelmed by all the details. Anyway, thank you for the list, I might as well check this sites, as I have been meaning to make a website for sometime now.

  7. Before I made my first ever site I was directed to a couple of these hosts. I had a play around but ended up making a free WordPress site. I think going the WordPress route is a better option overall, you can work your way up to making a paid version and be in complete control.

    • I agree with you completely. Even though the free version of WP kind of limits you intensely at least you can migrate with ease to a paid one.

  8. I haven’t made a website in a long time. I used to have a small paid site and a friend did the website coding, since my html and web site designing ability is quite bad. But I am really impressed with Weebly and Wix, and I want try it out because there is no coding involved and plus, its free. Weebly seems to be interesting with its drag and drop features, so thanks for the tip.

  9. I hadn’t heard of Webbly before and it looks good. I was wondering, what about Wordpress? They have a free version. I think the advantage of Wordpress is that there are many widgets already designed for it that you can use. It has both hosting and website building options.

  10. I’ve used weebly before and can vouch for its service and ease of use. It’s amazing that so many great options exist these days. I remember when I made my first website 15 years ago…no such compaies existed then! There were free hosting sites but they were hard to use and covered with ads.

  11. This is great, in computer science class we’ll mostly likely have a web design project and will have to create our own website. Usually the teacher has a standard platform for these kind of things, but I will gladly suggest these to my professor; since real, usable experience is the best thing you can do to learn. It’s usually one website per class or group of friends.

  12. Weebly used to have a very nice graphical interface for their website builder. I prefer a graphical interface since I don’t understand how to write html.

    Also previewing before publishing helps me catch my mistakes!!!

  13. Always thought it would be wise for me to have an online resume of sorts and let’s be honest, it’s hard to find an excuse not to with how easy it is using some of the sites listed. That said, I can think of a few other uses and will probably pass on this list to a few friends of mine who really want to jump into this realm, but may be a little weak on their HTML skills or not really incline to shell out some money for a website.

    Thanks for the heads up, David.

  14. Anyone have recommendations on which of these would be best for a student currently in college? I’m trying to look for something where I can host/post projects and essays I’m either currently working on or have completed to put on my resume. I figure having the website would give me some credibility and also help me stand out.

  15. This sounds good. If I ever need to use a website builder, I’ll look back to this post. I’ve actually used a few of the ones listed here, but a few of them I haven’t and sound pretty nice. 🙂

  16. Thank you for the help! I used Weebly when I created my blog and it is very easy.
    If you want the premium features I think they are worth the money. I recommend it for everyone who wants to get started.

    • Yes, it is certainly a good starting point. I think that is the value of this post, when you are ready to take it seriously or try to monetize your site you can migrate to paid services.

    • I’d actually like to use Weebly, if I ever decide to go for it I’m sure it’s going t be Weebly the one I pick. I had already heard good things about it, but after reading more about it here I trust that platform more! I’ll definitely give it a try when the time comes!

  17. Both Weebly and Wix sound like a wonderful choice if I ever decide to create my own web site, I actually wanted to create my own blog dedicated to health and fitness a while ago, but I’m not good with WP! So instead I might just create my own web site in the future. I’ll definitely check those two out! They sound too good to be true, but we will see!

  18. They look great! I haven’t tried any of them, though. I’m taking blogging courses that are geared toward developing the online platforms that I am already using, like Wordpress, Blogger and the rising Tumblr. I would usually spend some time learning the system, including the trends and the codes, before deciding on upgrading. With these website builders surely we don’t need to have a comprehensive knowledge of CSS and HTML? They’re interesting, but I’m not a developer or a web designer yet.

  19. Intereresting, I have tried this free websites builder, but they are filled with ads and some with watermarks on it, I would rather use Blogspot or WordPress with a great theme.

  20. Weebly and webs.com sound like a really good choice, but I like webs.com more because the drag and drop feature. Any web building site offering that is my best friend! Since I know no coding language or anything like that.

    On the other hand… weebly offers access to their HTML/CSS editor even if you haven’t upgraded, which is great if you know any of those coding languages!!! Not many website building web sites offer that.

  21. These are some good choices to name for the top 4 free web building and hosting sites. I’ve had my fair share of experience with a few of them, namely Weebly, Wix and Webs. Weebly seems the most strict out of all these ones and actually shut down one of my websites I was building to present online moneymaking opportunities, Wix is too flashy for me so I stopped using it and Webs is pretty good. I’m just surprised that Yola out of all of them didn’t make the top 4. They’re really good.

  22. Weebly is the best so far, and its the most popular. Even the free sites on weebly offer tons of features. Such as RSVP forms and eCommerce. So many elements you can add and lots of themes to choose from. If I would recommend one it would be Weebly.

  23. I was using weebly and I thought it was slightly annoying. That point makes even more sense to me now that I have tasted wordpress’ customization features. I think weebly works best when you pay the fees instead of using the free version.

  24. I’ve used both Weebly and Wix before. They are both great… but great for different things. Weebly has better analytics and features. But Wix is better with their themes. Their themes are really beautiful and professional looking.

    So, “which site is best” really depends on what business you are in. Artists would do best going with Wix. Their themes display photographs really well.

  25. I’m just gonna say this much:

    These are all great sites for beginners, and you can do some cool web design with these sites very easily. But they’re NOT very cheap and they’re not really free because they have very limited freedom and options and they put their ads and stuff all over the place.

    There are way better alternatives out there for people that wish to have good web hosting free, but you’ll probably have to do design yourself. 🙂

  26. I liked Weebly when I was younger, it was very easy to use and had many nice themes. However, I would not use this right now. I think an important point for whoever wants to find a good host is whether the host gives the possibility or not of having your own domain name. Anything.wix.com looks a lot less convincing and professional!

  27. I’m a great fan of Jimdo and Weebly myself. They’re both really easy to use – suitable for beginners, in fact and they can produce great results. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make the right imression.

  28. Overall, good websites. I don’t know if I’ll ever move out of my wordpress setup though. I’ve gotten so used to the thing and migrating to another platform might just screw everything up.

  29. I’ve always found it better to build your own website if you have the means rather than having a website build it for you. But if you don’t have the HTML/CSS know-how, this is definitely better than not having a website at all.

  30. As we came across many websites that will provide free web page for the blog posters. This will not mean as free website, instead some companies or website allows you to register your won domain name and host your website for free (like hostgator http://www.indiagetonline.in for indian business people).

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