Want to build your own site? These are the best website builders to do it with

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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. Choosing among the best website builders isn’t easy though. The features can be varied, and the pricing structure complex.

To help you figure out which is the best website builder for you, we’ve put together a regularly updated list of our favorites to walk you through finding the right one. Keep in mind nearly every free website builder on our list also offers a set of premium packages, many of which include expanded storage and bandwidth, as well as 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 is a must if you’re breaking into a professional field.

In most cases, you get what you pay for. While that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend a lot to have a great site, it’s important to consider how professional you want your website to look. More often than not, spending that little bit extra can go a long way.

Photographers should check out the portfolio site makers we’d most recommend, as that list looks specifically at how website builders handle and present large image galleries.

The best free website builders

Wix

wix
Wix

Wix is one of the best free website builders out there. 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 designs 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 like calendars and Instagram feeds. 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 1GB of bandwidth if you opt for the freemium package. Upgrades to more bandwidth and storage space include domain tools, ranging from $5 to $25 a month.

Build your website using:

Wix

Weebly

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 of the theme they opt for. 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 Weebly 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 up a storefront. You can customize your mobile site too, and the Weebly iPad app even lets you build your site on the go.

The free package grants you 500MB of storage space and unlimited bandwidth, with options for expanded storage and features ranging from $8 a month up to $25 a month paid annually.

Build your website using:

Weebly

Webflow

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 of 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, along with an intuitive and responsive interface that comes lined with an assortment of web components for inserting links and adding text.

A selection 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.

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, and you only have two static pages, and a limit of 500 visits for free users. Thankfully, premium packages start at an affordable $12, and there’s even a student discount for those with a college email.

Build your website using:

Webflow

WordPress

wordpress
Wordpress

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 (especially for blogs), 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 its 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. While there are some great plugins, their sheer number means there are more than a few terrible ones in the mix, so be careful.

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

Tumblr

tumblr
Tumblr

Tumblr is the least complex tool on this list, and with only a fairly limited selection of built-in tools, it’s not fit for something like a web storefront or a forum. But if all you need is a few static pages or a basic blog, the service might be just what you need. For handling simple text and images with periodic updates, Tumblr works just fine. Though its toolset is similar to competitors like Blogger, the interface is much more user-friendly.

Despite a simple setup, Tumblr themes are surprisingly customizable. There are thousands of free and paid options available across the web, including those posted on Tumblr’s native service and others available for manual installation. Users can customize any theme, including the default ones, though you’ll need a working knowledge of HTML and CSS (or the ability to do a little research) to make any extensive modifications work.

Tumblr is completely free, including hosting and bandwidth – the service has no premium tiers. Analytical tools are lacking, but users can connect individual Tumblr sites to a custom domain for free.

We even have a guide to help you get some followers.

Build your website using:

Tumblr

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