The best free website builder may save you thousands of dollars, and a degree from MIT. That was the way to go, at one point...
Nowadays, free builders are extraordinarily helpful, and are geared towards absolute beginners with no coding xp.
Part of a website builder’s ease of use is you don’t need to worry about finding a great web hosting provider. A fast-loading site comes as standard, with most of these tools.
In fact, you don’t need any kind of hosting – most of these tools are already hosted on optimized servers… (If you’re looking to pay for a website builder, your options expand.)
We’ve narrowed down your free choices:
How We Reviewed Our 10 Free Website Builders
Our review process is quite simple.
But first, we narrow down the choices to 15 – and then choose the 10 best options. The process really begins at this point, where we:
- Create an account on each platform
- Test ease of use, customizability, and beginner-friendliness
- Ho through themes & plugins, and CMS capabilities
If you are worried you might get high traffic during certain periods, there are great cloud storage options out there that let you quickly tweak your bandwidth.
Best Free Website Builders (UK 🇬🇧) in 2021
Below, you can find our top ten picks for high-quality free website builders. Note that most of them won't provide you with a premium service unless you get one of their plans; the cheapest one, at the very least.
1. Wix: Best Overall
Combination of Customizability & Ease of Use 🎿
Wix is one of the more flexible website builders. It’s also one of the more customizable free website builders. That’s partly why it’s #1 on this list of the best free site builders.
More reasons and in-depth analysis available in our dedicated Wix review.
It’s also the most used – second to WordPress – because of its ease of use & high customizability, out-of-the-box.
Slap a website together in less than 30 minutes, by:
- using its gorgeous ready-made templates
- and then adding your own content
Grab a site name ahead of time, through one of many specialized domain registrars, or let Wix handle it.
Wix Artificial Design Intelligence
Should you choose not to, using the actual website builder and its many features can be avoided entirely.
Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) is proprietary technology, creating your website using:
- machine learning
- and artificial intelligence
It can even pull content from your old website.
All you need to do is answer a few questions... But if you want to be more involved, Wix offers over 300 templates to start with. These templates are divided by industry and can be ranked by popularity.
And with its drag-and-drop editor, you can move any element to any position. It gives you the ability to develop a pixel-perfect website.
Not the Fastest
Wix performs much slower than many other competitors, including Weebly and WP. Then there's the template...
With Wix, the template is basically your starting design, which isn’t linked to the content. This means that to change your template, you’d need to recreate your whole website.
And the last downside is ads… The free plan, and even the “connect a domain” plan, come with integrated Wix ads which show on every page. This might not be important to everyone, but it’s an absolute no for a business website.
2. Site123: Best for Absolute Beginners
Easy as... One, Two, Three 👶
As seen in our Site123 review, it is a simple website builder focused on ease of use & simplicity. It’s built for people who have no website building experience, and no time to learn/scroll through templates.
Simple & Effective
Because of the simplicity, it is extremely fast to load, which improves your Google ranking and helps retain visitors.
For setting up, all you need to do is answer the two questions; pick a website category and input your website name.
After that, you’re presented with a website, and the only thing you need to do is change the content, to implement one of your killer online business ideas.
Not Very Customizable
Because it was intended to be extremely simple and easy to use, there's no drag-and-drop editor. Without this, the websites are basically unmodifiable. Customizability is also not really there. All you can do to change the look of your website is to replace a section with a different template.
The website template can’t be changed. Once you get your website, you can only replace sections with different templates, which also replaces the content. There’s no way to replace the whole site’s template.
3. WordPress: The Original Website Builder
Most Customizable Website Builder 🛠️
There are two WordPress platforms, and they’re very different. We’re gonna be talking about the self-hosted option, located at https://wordpress.org.
The starter WP plan is free to download and use. Because it’s so customizable, it requires you to have hosting for it. The kind of hosting you have can actually make a huge difference, so make sure to choose the best wordpress host for your website.
Also, if you have an especially large audience and lots of content, or a busy associated store, consider whether to upgrade to a top-of-the-line free web host. Speed makes all the sales difference.
Great for Everyone (Code Knowledge or Not)
You have the ability to build a website with absolutely no coding knowledge. But you also have the customizability to code a website from scratch on top of WordPress.
There are thousands of plugins and themes available on the WP repository and ever third-party markets. These can all extend your site’s functionality in some way.
Website speed is critical for a successful website. If you have:
- a high amount of expected traffic
- lots of data-rich content on your site
For regular folk, with the right hosting, plugins, and code optimizations – you can achieve sub-1-second loading time for your website with WordPress.
Also, WordPress is a full-fledged CMS. This means that blog posts, pages, and other taxonomies you create all follow the same template. Changing the template is easy and won’t require you to re-enter all your content.
This makes it one of the best free website builders UK-wise. And ranks first for the best blogging platform as well.
Hard to Get Into at First
Because of its high customizability, WP is more difficult to use than all the other tools on this list.
There’s no built-in drag-and-drop editor, and the interface is a bit harder to get around. Themes often come with content-importing, though that’s not as easy as it is with Wix.
Having a repository of third-party themes & plugins doesn’t come without a downside... A plugin is often the reason hundreds of thousands of websites get hacked at the same time – because they use the same plugin.
WordPress requires maintenance. There are three things you need to update:
- WP itself
If you fail to update any of these, you may open your site up to hackers, or other kinds of attackers.
4. Zyro Website Builder
The Easiest Way to Build a Website 🏗️
To start, Zyro has an extremely simple user interface design or UI. This stands in stark contrast to the majority of other website builders online these days, which are usually chock-full of features all vying for your attention.
Zyro counters this trend and presents most of your main features at the top of the screen in an easy-to-understand row, ranging from “Templates” to “Features” to “Logo Maker”.
This might seem like a factor that isn’t that important in the long run, but it’s a big deal if you plan on using Zyro for the majority of your website building going forward or if you need to draw up lots of websites quickly for your online business or blog network.
There are dozens of templates to choose from, they are available for all plans, and you can even test them out for free. Regardless, available templates cover most of the major themes or online styles you would expect, including eCommerce, blogs, portfolios, resumes, and etc.
The templates themselves aren’t extremely customizable; they allow you to switch around colors but not fonts, for instance.
Most experienced website builder users will take this as a negative, but there is something to be said about having some of the minor decisions taken out of your hands in terms of ease-of-use. Decision paralysis is a real thing, so some folks might appreciate being able to slap a template on and know that the font and colors were chosen by pros already.
The builder itself uses a grid that allows you to drag-and-drop different elements or items onto a page. The premade grid doesn’t allow you to alter the actual siting or spacing of various page elements.
Again, this takes away some minor creative control on the part of the user in exchange for functionality and a guarantee that the available options will all work and coalesce together.
In this way, Zyro demonstrates that it’s a great choice if you’re a newcomer to website builders in general and need someone to hold your hand. Once more, though, more experienced users might be taken aback at having greater control never offered in the first place.
At the top of the main screen, you’ll find some AI tools you can use. These are actually somewhat useful instead of just gimmicks. For instance, the AI Writer tool will automatically populate your website pages with generated content based on industry or website type.
This copy isn’t very creative or eye-catching, of course, but it’s better than the computer-generated babble you can get elsewhere.
The AI Heatmap, on the other hand, is a useful tool that lets you determine how different people click through your site. This way, you can see which pages are most popular and adjust your layout accordingly to boost your conversion rate, and if you ever need a refresher course you can always check out our top CRO tools review.
Zyro does allow you to integrate different third-party tools like Google Analytics or Facebook messenger so long as you pay for the Unleashed plan or higher. However, they don’t provide certain add-ons that can change the functionality of your site, which is another minor flaw.
We will mention that Unsplash is automatically integrated into Zyro, so finding pictures for your site is pretty easy.
Lastly, Zyro provides free SSL certification. It’s an excellent touch and phenomenal in terms of value for money.
All in all, Zyro is a decent starter website builder that has a lot to like even if it doesn’t come with some of the staple customization or user control features might expect. If you’re a beginner, they’re a great choice to learn the ropes of website building.
But you might want to look elsewhere if you want something more technical or something that offers finer control.
5. Weebly: Simple Builder & Simple Features
You Might Miss Advanced Features, However 💼
Weebly was founded in 2006 with the goal being to provide non-techie individuals with an easy way to create and manage a website. It features an:
- easy to use drag-and-drop builder
- paired with lots of templates
– all to make your web-building experience that much easier.
Creating a website within 30 minutes won’t be a problem for Weebly. You can use a template and just change the content to fit your business. You could even use Weebly to market yourself as a top hosting reseller. Sky is the limit.
Fast & Accesible
Many quote Weebly as the best cheap website builder.
One of many unique things about Weebly – compared to all others on this list – is the fact that you can build a website from your smartphone. Just what you’d need from the best free website builder.
The Android and IOS apps let you create and manage your websites from your phone – a device you carry everywhere with you. Pair that with the fact that it’s extremely easy to use, and you’ve got software that any beginner can use to create a website within 30 minutes.
The other, possibly more important benefit, is that Weebly is fast to load. This improves your search rankings and helps you retain more visitors. In short, with a faster website, you achieve a higher conversion percentage.
Not Enough Advanced Tools
Weebly doesn’t offer an easy way to implement advanced marketing tools. Implementing analytics software or email marketing tools can be exhausting.
There’s not much when it comes to customizability. The drag-and-drop builder does allow you to drag-and-drop elements to different positions – but not as pixel-perfect as Wix does.
Also, the selection of templates is small. You might not find something you like at first glance.
6. Strikingly: Fastest Loading Website Builder
Gets a Lot Better Once You Purchase a Plan 💰
Strikingly is an unusual and simple website builder with a focus on building one-page websites. It’s similar to Site123, but it is a bit more complex.
We have it down as a fast option, but something like a quality free VPS hosting plan would outperform it, if your traffic is high enough, and data large enough.
Don’t be afraid by the focus on one-page websites though. They function the same way, only the content is spread out through sections instead of pages.
The "Flash" of the Hosting Universe
Strikingly websites fly. This is possibly the quickest-loading website builder currently on the market. The template-website I tested loaded in under 1 second on Desktop.
Strikingly is extremely easy to use. Choose your template, and start replacing the content with your own. That’s all you need to do to produce a well-optimized website.
On top of all that, Strikingly comes with ecommerce on all plans – even the free plan. You’re limited by the number of products, but it’s much more than what you’d get with other website builders.
Not Very Customizable
Strikingly doesn’t offer much in the way of customization. There’s no drag-and-drop editor to rearrange your elements. One of their paid plans that comes at around 6 GBP/month still includes a Strikingly banner. The cheapest plan without ads is 12 GBP/month.
Finally, the number of templates is minuscule. When you create your website, you’re presented with about 60 templates – which when spread out over 6 categories, aren’t a lot.
7. Duda: Best Website Builder for UK Freelancers
Top-Notch Analytics Integration 📈
Duda is a simple website builder geared towards pros. It features an easy sign-up process, so you can start building within the minute. Anyone can use Duda, but it’s curated for Agencies and Freelancers dabbling in web design.
Incredibly Easy to Use
Duda’s ease of use is probably what attracts so many beginners to try it. And with the drag-and-drop builder, you can customize your website within the template’s guidelines.
You have the option to use Google Analytics but Duda’s built-in analytics tool is pretty good. You can track:
- page views
- website stats
- visitor location
- and more detailed analyses, right from the dashboard
What’s more unique to this builder is the ability to translate your website into multiple languages. You don’t get this with most builders.
Missing Some Essential Features
The cheapest plan you can purchase is around 11 GBP /month. This is still a very limited plan that only allows for 1 website. As opposed to other builders like Wix or Weebly, Duda doesn’t have an app market.
You can create a blog with Duda, but it’s limited. For example, you can’t embed Youtube videos in your blog posts.
And if you are embedding such data-rich content, and expect lots of eyeballs, help out your audience by grabbing quality dedicated hosting for your site. We ́ve said it a million times: speed is everything.
8. Webnode: Great for Everything Except eCom
Best for Multilingual Websites 🗺️
Webnode was first released in 2008. It produces clean, and quick-loading websites that are also optimized for mobile devices. You can create a website with Webnode in under 30 minutes.
It’s often praised as the best free website builder in the UK because you get tons of features even without paying.
Quick & Intuitive
Webnode is a simple website builder. It produces extremely quick websites, around the same speed as Strikingly. This can make sure you retain:
- more visitors
- and increase conversions
It’s extremely easy to use. If you’re looking for a basic website, all you need to do is change the content and you’re done. However, it does come with a drag-and-drop editor so you can add, move, or remove elements.
Most builders don’t support multiple languages. Webnode lets you translate your website into multiple languages if you need to do so... All these features make it one of the best cheap website builders.
eCom Features Lacking
Because it’s optimized to be extremely easy to use, even for beginners – it’s lacking customization. There is a drag-and-drop editor, but it’s limited to template guidelines like sections or columns.
Ecommerce is available but it’s not the best. It lacks functionality and sometimes gets confusing and buggy.
On top of that, you get ads with the two cheapest plans. You’ll have to pay more to use Webnode without ads.
9. IM Creator: Best Truly Free UK Website Builder
For Students, Artists, and Nonprofits... Quick and Dirty 🧺
Even though it was founded by a former Wix employee, IM Creator is going in a different direction than Wix.
IM Creator collaborates with multiple designers to create beautiful templates that can be used for multiple cases. To create a website, all you have to do is click “Become a Creator”, sign in, and choose your template.
From there, you need to replace the content with your own, and you’re done.
A unique feature of IM Creator is that it adapts any additional sections to your chosen template. When you add a new section, it asks if you want to keep its original style or adapt it to your website’s style.
IM Creator is pretty lightweight, it produces very fast websites which can increase your Google ranking and improve your conversion rate. This is the #1 best free website builder. Why? Because it’s truly free — for some people.
IM Creator offers a free plan for students, artists, and non-profit organizations. But it requires you to send an application with documentation and a statement. For others, it’s quite possibly the cheapest website builder at around 6 GBP/month for all features and unlimited hosting.
Lacks Customization Options
IM Creator has a severe lack of customization. There’s no drag-and-drop builder, and you don’t get much beyond changing colours and font size. But it also manages to be confusing for beginners.
With most beginner-focused builders, you’d have an array of blocks somewhere on the screen. With IM Creator, you have to click somewhere to see the UI.
For example, you need to click an element > hover over the Aa icon > hover over the double dot > click the + > click the element you want to add. Way too complicated...
One last thing we didn't like is that after publishing your website, you can’t change your template. You’d need to recreate your whole website, so choose carefully.
10. Mozello: Best Free Plan Website Builder
Extremely Customizable Without Paying 🤲
Mozello is a freemium website builder that promises to create your website in an easy and effortless way.
It has a very straight-forward onboarding process which ultimately leads to you having a template website.
From there, all you need to do is replace the content with your own, and you’re done.
Tons of Features to Choose From
Mozello is not among the best free website builders for no reason.
Its free plan includes all features, except the ability to connect your own domain. Some features are limited and there’s a small Mozello link, but you still get eCommerce and 500MB of storage.
If you’re from a country that speaks multiple languages, you’ll want to translate your website. Mozello is one of the best few website builders that give you the option to make a multilingual website.
Blogging is a bit different with Mozello.
You edit your blog posts as if they are normal content blocks. This means you can add pictures, videos, and even custom HTML code. You can also allow people to comment on your blog posts.
Some Weird UI Choices
Mozello can’t be customized very much. Even the font size isn’t set by using a number, but instead, sizes are:
There is the option for custom HTML editing, but that requires coding knowledge.
There’s no drag-and-drop builder. You add in a content block and then edit within that content block, or column. You can’t move elements, to move a column to a different place, you’d need to recreate it.
All this can get heavy for a newbie. There is a steep learning curve before you get used to this.
11. Constant Contact: Best Cheap Website Builder UK
It's Not Free... But You Gotta Check It Out 🙏
Constant contact specializes in email marketing. Recently, they’ve also developed a website builder.
It prides itself on artificial intelligence and building your website for you.
Automated Website Build
Constant Contact starts your website off with a full design.
You need to answer a few questions like what your website is about, choose your font and hero image pairing, and that’s it. You’ll be presented with a website that's ready to be published – all you need to do is input your content.
Not only is the building process quick, but the site loading speed is great as well. This can help you rank higher on search engines and improve your conversion rate.
And you get Ecommerce with the free version. You’re limited to 3 products, however. Still, it's quite rare to get eCom features and integrations with website builder free plans.
Lacks Space for Creativity
There’s not much customization offered by this builder.
All you can do is:
- swap out blocks, with any of the 3-5, offered by the builder
- you can also hide elements, but that’s it...
- there’s no drag-and-drop builder
Buttons sometimes stop working in the back-end for no reason.
Contacting support can be helpful, though it will be a tricky conversation as it will most likely work on their site.
A lot of features of Constant Contact are very basic. Take blogging, for example. It’s only available in RSS Feed format, there’s no categories or archived posts, and no visitor comments.
Best Free Website Builder (UK 🇬🇧) Buying Guide
Budget? Premium Services Are Cheap and Way Better
When comparing Free to Premium services, you’ll always end up with the same conclusion: premium services are much better.
But they’re not very expensive. For example, take the Wix Unlimited plan. For about 120 GBP per year, you can create an unlimited amount of websites – even for clients if you wanted to.
You’ll also get tons of additional features with many website builders.
None of them let you connect your own domain with the free plan.
Think about it. How much customizability do you really need? Do you need any customizability at all?
It’s a nice-to-have, but most people won’t need it. If you’d like to have it, go for a builder with lots of it.
But if you’re choosing between speed and customizability, and you don’t need customizability – choose speed. Speed can make a much bigger difference in your revenue than a custom design can.
Level of Control
The level of control a builder provides is usually related to the customizability it provides.
But as these things go, more control usually means less ease of use – with Wix being the exception to this.
The level of control is important only if you’re planning to use it.
Choose features that you plan to use, and don’t overpay for something you won’t need when another builder might do the same job for half the price.
Most builders won’t require any coding knowledge to be useful.
But there are situations when coding knowledge can help you implement additional features such as Google Analytics or SendInBlue email collection.
If you’ve got the coding knowledge, it’s best to look for a builder that supports custom HTML editing. The best one for this would be WordPress – as the most customizable website builder.
Search Engine Optimization isn’t something you want to skip on, especially if you’re building a business website.
Look for a website builder which lets you implement your own SEO such as:
- Meta description
- Focus keywords
SEO can bring you many new visitors, blog readers, and even new clients.
We’re living in a fully digital world where everybody is competing for the first spot on Google – which isn’t an easy place to reach.
If you slack off, someone will get there before you.
The best website builder for your needs depends on what you need for your website.
Most of these web builders revolve around:
- Ease of Use
Some of them have a balance of both (like Wix), and some sacrifice a bit of the one to achieve greatness in the other (like WordPress). Think about what you need for your website, and maybe come back to remind yourself of the best options we just reviewed.