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Get in with the times! Build a better website with these 7 services

Let’s face it, not everyone wants to hire a company or avid programmer to make their website for them. Some of us would rather tackle it as DIY project, whether merely for the challenge or simply because we can’t pony up the cash necessary to hire a fully-fledged professional. That said, there’s an abundance of free and paid website builders currently on the market, some of which revel in an easy-to-use interface and others that opt for feature-heavy customization and robust design capabilities.

Related: Our favorite blogging sites | The complete guide to making a website

Below are a few of our favorites. Also, keep in mind nearly every free website builder on our list also offers a set of premium packages, many of which include expanded storage, wider bandwidth, and a host of additional features often lacking from their freemium counterparts. The premium plans also remove unwanted ads on your page and the subdomain housed in your website URL, which to be completely honest, is a must if you’re breaking into a professional field. You get what you pay for.

The best free website builders

Wix

Wix Photo 2

Wix is one of the best free website builders on the Web — plain and simple. The hundreds of HTML templates are extremely user-friendly and reliant on the software’s drag-and-drop interface, which makes building a website a similar experience to crafting a PowerPoint presentation. While Wix offers more flexibility in terms of customization over other website builders, the unbridled freedom also makes it easier to create lackluster design if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Wix does allow you to revert to older stages of your website via Site History, though, and includes robust integration with a wide array of third-party services if you wish to include calendars, your Instagram feed, or other notable facets. Moreover, the service allows you to separately customize an accompanying mobile site. However, Wix doesn’t allow you to switch templates if you’ve already started a project and only offers 500MB of storage and 500MB of bandwidth if you opt for the freemium package.

Build your website using:

Wix

Weebly

Weebly

Weebly is an old favorite among those who use template-based website builders. It’s easy to use, clean-looking, and offers plenty of customization options. Drag and drop features for adding images, text, and other elements are stored within the left-hand sidebar, though you can only insert elements into designated areas of your page.

That said, limiting the customization options also allows novice users to grasp the platform quicker than others on our list, regardless if of which of the many attractive themes users decide to go with. Moreover, Weebly provides the ability to add maps and download your entire website as a ZIP file in case you want to move your information to a standard Web hosting service.

Although the service doesn’t boast the best image-editing tools on the market, it does let you to seamlessly add audio and video to your site, along with a wealth of commerce tools for putting a storefront. You can customize your mobile site much like the aforementioned Wix, too, and the Weebly iPad app even lets you build your site on the go so long as you’re no blogging. The Web doesn’t provide an undo option, but it does auto-save your edits as you go.

The free package grants you unlimited storage and bandwidth. You just need to keep each file below 10MB.

Build your website using:

Weebly

Webflow

Webflow

Webflow isn’t your typical website builder. The software is aimed at well-versed designers and agencies looking to build an interactive site on behalf of their clients, and as such, it places the full power of HTML and CSS directly beneath your fingertips. The static site builder isn’t tied to a content management system like others on our list, but instead offers you a means for building a site you can then carry over to WordPress or other related services.

Webflow offers a limited set of charming themes to choose from as well, along with an intuitive and responsive interface that comes lined with an assortment of Web components for inserting links, adding text, and the like.

A girth of drag-and-drop widgets also come standard, meaning you can add social components, maps, videos, and other facets without coding knowledge. Furthermore, Webflow lets you switch the canvas to customize your design for any resolution, whether it be desktops, tablets, or smartphones functioning in either orientation.

You’ll need to toggle on some of the more advanced HTML and CSS tools if you want to take full advantage of what the service offers, though, and you only receive 50MB of storage if utilizing the free plan. Thankfully, premium packages start at $15 and there’s even a student discount for those with a college email.

Build your website using:

Webflow

WordPress

Wordpress Photo

WordPress is the website builder Digital Trends is based on, though, we have our own set of professional programmers behind the scenes. The service is arguably one of the most capable given its open-source nature, which allows for an extensive amount of templates, themes, and plugins which can be downloaded for free or bought for a premium price.

The platform has a relatively steep learning curve, which isn’t surprising given it’s long-term capabilities and sheer level of customization, the latter of which will likely require you to invest some time learning its various functions. Nonetheless, WordPress excels when it comes to ready-made themes, mobile-optimized templates, and widgets that allow you to include everything from comments to images. WordPress will also give you traffic information, which can help you cater your website to your audience, as well as 3GB of storage space and unlimited bandwidth.

However, the platform’s exhaustive tools also require you to have at least a baseline knowledge of coding at times. If you want to rearrange the layout of a particular template, for instance, you’ll have to modify the code to do so. The enormous library of plugins also means there are more than a few terrible ones in the mix, plugins that exhibit security flaws or might have an overall negative impact on your site.

Given WordPress powers roughly 24 percent of the Web, you’re often going to find fixes and answers to any questions you might have via the robust community of developers and users. The possibilities are endless, if you know what to do.

Build your website using:

Wordpress

Next page: The best premium website builders

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