The Cheapest Website Builders Available Online

From free to thousands of dollars, website builders are some of the best ways to get online today.

Whether you’re making an online store to sell your new sock puppet design or you’d like to run a blog on the topic of neutering pets, launching a platform with a website builder is almost always cheaper than hiring an actual developer to do so.

These simple website builders remove the need to know anything about HTML, CSS, or other types of coding languages. In addition, you can manage the websites through a typically user-friendly interface, instead of paying someone to do the job for you.

As mentioned, you can find some free website builders as well as some inexpensive ones. And many of them are completely capable of making/running smaller or mid-sized stores, blogs, and business website.

In fact, a few of the suggestions we talk about below are high on our list of recommendations, even when you compare them to the more expensive website builders or a human web designer.

Therefore, keep reading to learn about your options.

Why You Should Consider Simple Website Builders

Some website owners are adamant about not using free website builders, and that’s perfectly understandable. However, the simplest builders, like Wix and Weebly offer beautiful design elements, simple development tools, and most importantly, low pricing. You can even make a simple blog or small ecommerce store for free.

So, in order to help you decide whether or not an inexpensive website builder is right for you, here are some possible things to consider. See if you can relate.

  • You have minimal starting capital for your blog or business.
  • You run a small business and the most you’re going to do is make an informational site with maybe a few widgets and ecommerce modules.
  • You’re just starting a blog. Most of the time you have no need to pay much money for a new blog.
  • You’re making a personal site like a portfolio or resume. These sites usually only require a few pages, and you’re not getting thousands of visitors.
  • You don’t want to worry about paying for hosting or setting it up.
  • The idea of messing with code makes you want to cry.
  • You have big plans for the future, but for now, you need to save money.
  • A robust, complex website builder isn’t your idea of a good use of your money or time.

A Word of Warning Before Choosing the Cheapest Website Builders

Although the majority of the list I outline below are pretty solid, you have to keep an eye out for the ones that may be too much of a hassle.

Yes, the words ‘cheap’ and ‘free’, sure sounds like a bargain but you wouldn’t want to get in a situation where the website is running slowly and can’t upgrade to a more powerful interface.

Therefore, here are some warnings when seeking out that free website builder:

  • Some of the cheap options completely block off access to site files and code. This sometimes means that you can’t migrate to another platform once you need to upgrade.
  • Make sure you don’t get stuck in a situation where there aren’t higher performing pricing plans with better features. One day you might have a small blog, but it could turn into a thriving hub that needs more features and better hosting.
  • For most free and super cheap website builders you might have to settle for a website that serves up ads. The worst part is that you don’t get any money for these ads and they typically aren’t relevant to your users.
  • Another downside of some free platforms is that you don’t receive a custom domain. Therefore, you might have something like www.joesblog.websitebuilder.com.
  • Sometimes offerings for marketing, SEO, social media, and other items are extremely limited.
  • This might go without saying, but you get what you pay for. Don’t expect a lightning fast website with the most advanced editing tools. Although some of these cheap builders have great options, you shouldn’t expect a website like that of your favorite Fortune 500 company.

And now, here’s the long-awaited list of…

The Cheapest Website Builders Available Online

1. Wix

wix

Pricing Details

Wix offers a free plan that’s mainly for making a personal website with the default username.wixsite.com domain attached. You can also upgrade to a premium site for $5 per month, which allows for your own domain and a little bit of site space.

All Wix plans are pretty cheap. For example, you can get the Combo plan for $10 per month, the Unlimited plan for $14, the ecommerce plan for $17, and the VIP for $25. The majority of serious businesses would go with Unlimited since it provides unlimited bandwidth and 10GB of storage. Not only that, but it gets rid of the pesky Wix ads that no one wants to see.

The Good Part

All of the WIX plans come with amazing drag and drop editing tools. This includes one of the most impressive frontend designers for beginners. You also don’t have to pay much money just to connect a real domain name, and the Unlimited plan is just about the cheapest you can get for a real website without any ads.

The Not-so-good Part

Wix doesn’t do a good job of giving you access to site files. Although you can upgrade to a better Wix plan it’s tough to migrate to another provider. In addition, some of the plans serve up Wix ads, and the customer support stinks.

Check out our full Wix review here.

2. Weebly

weebly website builder

Pricing Details

Weebly isn’t much different than Wix on the pricing front, except that some of the mid-range plans are a little bit cheaper. Also, the user interface and drag and drop editing is not as smooth as Wix.

However, Weebly is worth looking into since everyone has their own preferences. The first Weebly plan is free, and it comes with a drag and drop builder, Weebly ads, 500MB of storage, and a Weebly subdomain. My favorite part of the Weebly pricing is that the next $8 per month plan removes Weebly ads. You can also connect your own domain. After that, the plans are priced at $12 per month and $25 per month.

There is limited ecommerce support in Weebly, but the $25 per month option has a membership registration tool.

The Good Part

To start, Weebly is a fine drag and drop builder with a sleek interface and a plentiful collection of website modules. You also get an SSL certificate with all plans to secure your website.

I like that you only have to pay $8 per month to connect a domain and remove ads. It’s also nice that you get 0% transaction fees for ecommerce, but that’s only with the $25 per month plan.

There’s also a unique membership tool.

The Not-so-good Part

You’re stuck with Weebly ads and a subdomain in the free pricing plan. Most of the pricing plans have a 3% transaction fee if you want to run any type of online store. Finally, the marketing options aren’t that great.

Check out our full Weebly review here.

3. WordPress.org

wordpress website builder

Pricing Details

WordPress.org does have a counterpart called WordPress.com. This platform is completely free, but it’s not self-hosted like WordPress.org.

When it comes to WordPress.org, you’re getting the best website builder in terms of design and flexibility, all for free. That’s right, the WordPress software is open source and free to download.

That said, you need to pay for your own hosting, which can start at around $3 per month and go all the way into the $100s per month. After that, you’ll need to pay for a domain, which runs around $10 per year. Finally, most people opt for a WordPress theme for around $50. Overall, if you go for a cheaper shared hosting plan, this route is only going to cost you maybe $5 to $10 per month.

The Good Part

WordPress.org is free to download and the extras are usually pretty cheap. Not to mention, you can make any type of site, such as an ecommerce, membership, or real estate website. The whole reason you would go with WordPress.org is for more control and customization options. There’s a world of plugins and extensions so your best bet of making a unique and powerful site (without the high cost) is with WordPress.

The Not-so-good Part

Some beginners will find WordPress.org to be a little too complex. It’s not that hard to learn, but you still have to find hosting, manage backups, secure your site, and design the layout of the whole website.

Check out our full WordPress.org review here.

4. IMCreator

imcreator website builder

Pricing Details

If you’re a student, non-profit, or artist the platform is completely free. The premium account for everyone else starts at $8 per month. There’s also a plan for unlimited licensing and white-label support for $350 annually.

The Good Part

Students, non-profits, and artists get to make websites free of charge. This includes unlimited hosting, ecommerce, and no ads on the site. In fact, none of the pricing plans have ads.

Although it takes a while to get used to, this free website builder provides a wonderful design experience for beginners. It seems to be smarter than others on the market, and you can use the themes to make things even easier.

The Not-so-good Part

If you’re not a student, artist, or non-profit you can’t get a site for free. There’s also a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the website designer.

Finally, although the templates look modern and sleek, they mainly look like landing pages or one-page websites.

Check out our full IMCreator review here.

5. WooCommerce

cheapest website builders woocommerce

Pricing Details

WooCommerce doesn’t cost a dime to download, but you might end up paying for one of the many extensions, or a theme that works with WooCommerce. The themes would run you around $50, while the extensions can range from $15 to $300. Most of the time you don’t need an extension, but it depends on your store.

Also, WooCommerce relies on WordPress as a content management system, so you’re also going to need hosting.

The Good Part

WooCommerce turns your WordPress website into a full ecommerce store. Create products, offer coupons, accept payments, and design your shopping cart for the ultimate user experience. Oh yeah, and the plugin is free.

The Not-so-good Part

WooCommerce adds an extra layer of complexity to WordPress. There are plenty of tutorials out there to learn about it, but sometimes you just want a neat little package to start selling online. Also, the pricing gets high if you need a theme or couple of extensions.

6. BigCartel

bigcartel

Pricing Details

BigCartel has a plan that allows for five products and limited features. However, you don’t have to pay for anything. After that, the pricing jumps to $9.99 per month for 25 products, then $19.99 per month for 100 products, and $29.99 per month for 300 products.

The Good Part

There’s a pretty sweet free plan with order management, a quick setup, and awesome themes. You don’t have to get your own hosting, and the designer is solid enough to launch an ecommerce site within minutes.

The Not-so-good Part

There’s no reason to go with BigCartel if you have dreams of making a gigantic online store. Also, custom domains, inventory tracking, multiple product images, Google Analytics, and discount codes aren’t included in the free plan.

Our Recommendations for the Best Website Builder

I’m going to break the rules and choose three options for you: one that’s self-hosted, another that’s not self-hosted, and another that’s specifically for ecommerce.

The self-hosted option is clearly WordPress.org. There are some other open source solutions online, but I didn’t care to mention them in this article.

WordPress has a completely free version in the form of WordPress.com, and the WordPress.org version gives you full control over the website you build. Yes, it’s a little more complicated than sites like Wix or Weebly, but all you have to do is pay for shared hosting, a theme, and a domain name.

I also like Wix if you plan on paying for a package where the hosting is included. It’s more feature-rich than Weebly, and the free pricing plan is hard to pass up, especially if you’re only making a personal or small business website.

Finally, BigCartel makes the most sense for a simple and free ecommerce builder. You’re limited to a rather small store, but you can’t beat the ease of use. Yes, WooCommerce is far more powerful, but it’s more complicated to manage.

So, that concludes my recommendations for the cheapest website builders available on the Internet. If you have any queries, shoot in the comment section below.


Feature image by Matt Anderson

Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best website builder for myself. Check out my current top 10 website builders.

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