Where can I build a free website? My top 5 picks.

By | August 10, 2015

Looking to build a website, but not ready to spend money? Don’t worry, there are a lot of options. To clarify, this is about building a website, not a blog. My main criteria are the CMS that’s used, whether it’s free of ads that aren’t yours, if you can monetize your site, and what the options are for upgrading to a paid website down the road. Here are my top 5 picks:

1. SiteRubix.com

siterubix-free-website

Visit: siterubix.com

SiteRubix allows anyone to build 2 free websites on their platform. SiteRubix is #1 on my list because of two main reasons: you use the WordPress Content Management System (CMS), and your website will be 100% free of ads from third parties.

WordPress is the most popular and versatile CMS to easily build a website for ANY purpose. If you want to get started with SiteRubix.com, check out my video tutorial on building a free WordPress website with Siterubix. With SiteRubix, your website will be hosted on a subdomain, so your URL could look like this: myfreewebsite.siterubix.com.

SiteRubix’s version of the WordPress CMS is slightly limited; it comes with a few good plugins, but doesn’t allow you to install any new ones. However, you can upgrade to a paid account, to host your website on your own domain name, and unlock the full version of the WordPress CMS. The paid account allows you to host 25 premium website (on your own domain names), and 25 free .siterubix websites. You won’t just get hosting however, it’ll unlock all features of the Wealthy Affiliate platform. For more information, read my full review.

Pro’s: Con’s:
  • WordPress CMS
  • Can be used commercially
  • No 3rd party ads!
  • Slightly limited version of the WordPress CMS

2. Blogger.com

blogger-free-website2

Visit: blogger.com

Most people think Blogger.com will only allow you to build an unprofessional-looking blog. That’s not true! You can use Blogger.com to build a website that doesn’t look anything like a blog, by using templates (themes). This means your blog will be able to, for instance, use typical website elements like a menu bar. To throw an example out there; this is a blogger.com website using a template. You can find over 4000 free templates at btemplates.com. You can also use ‘gadgets’; what would be called ‘widgets’ in WordPress.

As an upgrade, you have the option to use your own domain name (click here for my full video instructions). Hosting will still be completely free! This means that the only costs you’ll make for your professional website, are about $10 a year for the domain name.

If you’re interested in starting with blogger.com, read this article for my instructions on getting started.

Pro’s: Con’s:
  • Suprisingly versatile CMS with templates and ‘gadgets’.
  • Unlimited amount of free sites
  • Can be used commercially. Easy integration with Adsense.
  • You can use a custom domain name, and only pay for the domain name.
  • Not as many templates, plugins, as the WordPress CMS.

3. WordPress.com

wordpress-com-free-website

Visit: wordpress.com

WordPress.com is a platform that commercially uses the WordPress content management system (CMS) (from WordPress.org). The main advantages with WordPress.com is the WordPress CMS, and the fact that you can build an unlimited amount of free websites. However, WordPress will display their own ads on your website! Also, their terms of service state that you can’t use your free blog for any commercial activity, such as your own Adsense ads, or using affiliate links. This is a huge downside to using WordPress.com.

The only way you’re allowed to make money with your free WordPress.com blog, is by applying to WordAds. With WordAds, you’ll get a share of the profit from the 3rd party ads on your websites. The earnings from this are WAY less that what you can earn with Adsense. Also, you need a substantial amount of traffic to get into the WordAds program. Another downside is that WordPress.com uses a version of the WordPress CMS that is more limited than the one on SiteRubix. For instance, it doesn’t allow you to use any plugins at all. WordPress.com is, in my opinion, hard to navigate, as it uses both a dashboard for your actual blog, as well as a dashboard for your entire account; at times, very confusing.

Upgrading to an account with the full CMS, as well as the ability to use your own domain name, is expensive: starting at $8,25 per site, per month, and you’ll have to pay for a full year in advance. Registering a domain name through WordPress.com will also set you back $18,00 for a .com, which is also overpriced, as this only costs $10.69 at Namecheap. If you’re planning on going for a paid WordPress down the road, I’d recommend going self-hosted instead of using WordPress.com. For a cheap way to get your own domain and hosting to host a WordPress website, see this article.

If you’re interested in starting a website with WordPress.com, read my full article on building a website with WordPress.com.

Pro’s: Con’s:
  • WordPress CMS
  • Unlimited amount of free sites
  • Can’t be used commercially.
  • Limited version of the WordPress CMS
  • Displays 3rd party ads on your site
  • Upgrading is expensive

4. Weebly

weebly-free-website

Visit: weebly.com

Weebly uses their own drag-and-drop website builder. This makes it very easy to build your first website, even if you don’t have any technical skill, whatsoever. Weebly will use advertisements for themselves on your free website. Your Weebly websites will be hosted on a subdomain. So, your website URL could look like: myfreewebsite.weebly.com.

A disadvantage of Weebly is the limited amount of templates/themes and plugins. However, Weebly allows you to edit HTML and CSS, so you can customize your own site. This does require some additional skills though.

There are upgrades available that unlock more options. All of the options come with a free domain name for the first year. There is another option, too; you can self-host your Weebly website on your own web hosting account. You can export any websites you have previously built weebly.com to your hosting account.

Pro’s: Con’s:
  • Easy-to-use CMS (drag&drop)
  • Unlimited amount of free sites
  • Ability to self-host your site later
  • Options to edit HTML and CSS
  • Limited amount of themes and plugins
  • Not that many templates to choose from
  • Displays ads for themselves on your site

5. Wix

wix-free-website

Visit: wix.com

Much like Weebly, Wix allows you to build a free website with their drag-and-drop website builder. Wix is very easy to use for anyone without any prior experience, and you can have your website online within minutes. You can pick from hundreds of free templates, and edit them to suit your needs. You’re allowed to use your free Wix site for any commercial use.

However, this system isn’t as versatile as using WordPress as your content management system (CMS). Wix uses ‘Apps’, whereas WordPress uses ‘Plugins’ for adding extra functions to your website. Right now, there are literally over 100x more WordPress plugins available than Wix Apps. Also, when using a free website, advertisements for Wix itself will be shown on your website. Another big disadvantage is that, once you pick a template for your site, you can’t change it! If you want to use another template, you have to build a new website.

With a free account, your website will be published both on your personal subdomain, as well as in a subfolder. This means the URL to your site could look like this: guidos-subdomain.wix.com/subfolder-with-my-website. A small disadvantage compared to all other free options that only use a subdomain for your website URL.

With Wix, you can upgrade to a paid account to remove the ads, and use your own domain name. To just use your own domain name, has extra costs associated with it.

Pro’s: Con’s:
  • Easy-to-use CMS (drag&drop)
  • Unlimited amount of free site
  • Can be used commercially
  • Wix CMS is limited in a lot of ways
  • Displays ads for themselves on your site
  • Free websites use long URL’s by using both a subdomain and a subfolder.
  • You can’t switch your theme/template

Conclusion

Any of the mentioned options are a good way to start a free website. Overall, I’ve found WordPress to be the best content management system for most purposes. The best free option using the WordPress CMS, is SiteRubix. However, if you want to use your own domain name, and have no restrictions whatsoever, I recommend paying for your domain name and hosting. It’s not expensive if you follow my method of getting a cheap domain name and hosting.

 

4 thoughts on “Where can I build a free website? My top 5 picks.

  1. Sheni

    Great Article. I love the way that you broke down the pros and cons of each of the 5 options and used them to make your recommendation in your conclusion of this review. What are you going to review next?

    Reply
    1. GuidoGuido Post author

      Hey Sheni,

      Glad you liked it! I’m actually writing my next review right now! It’s about a course about making money with YouTube.

      Edit: finished! You can check it out here.

      Reply
  2. stefan

    Hi Guido!

    I really enjoyed reading your post as it’s very clear and concise. I already knew the difference between siterubix.com and worldpress.com but didn’t know about the others. It is interesting to know how much value we are getting from Siterubix…I feel so grateful I found Wealthy Affiliate because it always leads you to the best options for your affiliate marketing journey. Good Job!

    Stefan

    Reply
    1. GuidoGuido Post author

      Hi Stefan,

      Yes, SiteRubix is suprisingly good compared to other free services out there. I did a lot of research for this article, and I found that it’s the only place that gives you a free WordPress website without adding their own ads.

      I was also surprised by Blogger.com; if you add your own domain name and customize it a bit beyond the standard look, you can actually have a professional-looking website that gets hosted for free. The blogger CMS isn’t as powerful as WordPress, but it gets the job done for the most part.

      Reply

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