Small business as a notion largely varies from country to country and region to region. You can actually be a representative of this area of economic activity when you’re working alone from home and have some insignificant yearly turnover but the same definition may apply to an organization of 100 employees leasing 5 offices serving 50,000 clients per year – the span is really big. For all those poles, there are small free business website builders, which allow starting and running the online presence, giving a wide range of possibilities: presenting your company, telling important information, receiving a powerful online store, selling multiple products, and so on.
If you’re interested in what types of business can be included in the ‘small business’ notion – these are photographers, writers, directors and other services to people like fitness clubs, repairing, private investigators or dentistry, retail and wholesale companies, agriculture, food and grocery stores, fast foods, Internet services, trade, and many, many others.
In this overview, we’re going to embrace both: e-store and informational sites to show you the span of possibilities of creating a small business website by dedicated builders.
You can receive it for as little as $3.95 a month (which is actually a cup of coffee to go) and as much as $19.95. In all its subscription plans, you’re limited in storage space and mostly limited in bandwidth. You get stats, form builder, e-mails (even on the low-cost one, you can still attach your Google mail). You will have an online store starting with the ‘Standard’ package for $11.95 a month.
Pros of this free website builder for small business:
It is possible to make multilingual sites easy (20 available languages of its interface)
Nice several-languages support
Wonderful for SEO
Easy to use in general, which is an appealing factor to novice users
The high flexibility of templates and their initial great choice
Ability to change CSS and HTML
AdSense support (for monetization)
Automated backup and restore (in two highest plans)
Cons of this free website builder:
Limits its users in storage space
Does not remove Webnode branding in two initial paid plans
Connects Google Analytics only in two high-end costly plans
E-commerce is not too powerful
Blogging is weak
Not possible to switch a template without losing what has been done in its personification
No newsletter tool
Lower than average impression and quality for the money.
If you’re interested in straightforward with an e-commerce subscription, then you’ll find three applicable plans: for €17, €25, and €35. With them, you won’t have a transaction fee, will have a possibility to accept payments through a number of channels, will have powerful Google Analytics connected, some hours of video to place on your site (however, you can always connect any number of links to YouTube), some free advertising money, which value will vary depending on the subscription plan, making logo, and connection to social media. If you’re not that interested in sales, you can try other 4 plans ranging from €4.50 to €24.5.
Pros of free websites for small business done by Wix:
Highly easy to use and takes little time to master
Does not require from its users any tech knowledge – just use a mouse and your brain
Drag and drop is easy and savory
Over 500 quality pre-designed categorized themes
Mobile, tablet, PC responsive
Cons of this free website builder:
Demanding to the Internet connection and the power of operating PC to design a site
Only two levels of navigation due to menu accommodation restrictions
Big advert banners in low-cost plans
No export in the case you want to work offline or migrate to another business website builder
Not too much control in adjusting the templates or using third-party apps.
Weebly is one the best free website builders due to high simplicity of use, free SSL, free SEO, nice support, and a very powerful online store when you’re opting for one of two most pricey subscription plans.
‘Pro’ for €10 a month is a decent choice for beginners (if we’re now talking about businesses, not a site for personal needs or a blogging website). This embraces a starting pack for e-commerce, unlimited storage and bandwidth, a custom domain, a possibility to collect payments for pieces of merchandise using third-party gateways, and advanced business web page stats. Opting for €20 a month, you get the mentioned and largely increased e-commerce capabilities. For €30 a month in premium subscription, you can manage the abandoned cart, receive free money for mail marketing, real-time shipping tracking, and can become overall happier.
Pros of this free business website builder:
Advantageous for businesses of all kinds, giving many business boosters
Easy to use and highly customizable templates, which bring style to your business
Mobile responsiveness as an embedded foundation and a possibility to easily switch between the looks to check ‘em out
SEO guides are helpful and improving your work
The help center is working for you, not against you (which not goes as granted today: you’d be surprised to find out how many grisly help centers we’ve encountered during our analytical activities).
Cons of this platform:
Drag-and-drop as well as the rest of visual builder capabilities won’t let you do just everything – at some point, you may be pushed to get into the code
There is no restore and backup.
If you’re just selling some products – you’ll feel enough with ‘Pro Website’ subscription, which it offers for 10 bucks a month. ‘Pro Shop’ expands your limits to 1,000 products, which is more than enough for most businesses. And $39 a month will push you to a shiny top of limitlessness with any number of products, powerful integration and statistic tools, and loads of other useful business and sales tools, only naming which would take a page.
Pros of this free website creator for small business:
Excellent to make a visual part of your website to shine
You can work with its free plan (of course, it limits you in stuff)
Free analytics, which is inherent to any subscription plan
You won’t be pushed to dig into the code unless you don’t want to
Appealing working interface and highly usable dashboard
You can create and edit a logo
Help is vast.
Cons of this free website builder:
You may experience difficulties in the use of drag-and-drop
Does not give you the bulkiness of adjusting and personifying capabilities as Wix or uKit do
If you’re searching for a technically complex site, search elsewhere
A limited number of templates.
It’s nice to know that it has a simple free plan (which will give you unlimited pages, 1 Gb cloud storage with the same amount of bandwidth, and live chat support). You’re getting rid of all branded banners for as minimum as $7.16 a month, receiving free advertising money, SEO tools, nice custom domain, galleries & slideshows, 10 Gb storage, practically unlimited bandwidth, mobile optimization, and HTML access. In the highest plan for $19.99, you receive huge storage and great features to add on top of it.
Pros of this free website maker for small business:
Integration with social media
Great tutorials to tell you about its work
Simplicity of interface
Nice amount of templates
Easy grad and drop
Customization through access to CSS and HTML
Medium good speed of pages load (3.1 seconds for an average page (which is high), with 65% of page speed score (which is not that high compared to 75% of average Internet speed score)).
Cons of this free editor:
Lack of ‘gripping’ appearance of its templates
Customer support is limited to the US working hours only
Pity to tell this in 2019 but it has errors in processes of work and interface (shame on you, guys)
No mobile optimization in a starting subscription plan – that’s a thing, which makes you seriously ponder about not using this tool
If you want a really appealing price – pay yearly.
Well, if you want to really sell things on your website nicely, no website builder is actually ‘free’ for this purpose: to sell things, you’re only offered paid plans (or a limited touch to the functionality during a try-and-buy period, which is harshly limited in time). Despite the fact that the mentioned free website builders on our list provide a possibility of free hosting, they are not of power for sales at all for no money. For instance, will you get enough of Weebly’s 0.1 Gb of storage and 1 Gb bandwidth if you’re actually making the site, which requires many pages, texts, pictures, videos, downloadable files (presumably, with the description of your merchandise), and the other stuff? We think that the free abilities given to you by website builders are too scarce to sustainably run business with power and convenience.
A ‘Freemium Model’ is the basis to run free website builders – all users who pay cover the expenses for everything: for all users who use the free and paid services, ongoing developments, running hosting servers, paying salaries to the supporting personnel, administrative, and other expenses. Also, a free website builder may earn at commercial (which it places on the pages of free websites of its free users) of third parties (which is especially true for free website builders with high monthly audience), and earn money from the traffic generated by Internet visitors of the domain of the sites owned by them – popular sites are got paid for large traffic to them by some marketing companies.
Register —> enter your data —> choose the industry you’re working in —> select a template —> fill in the pages’ content with your data doing adjustments to the pages according to your vision —> publish the website. Further on, you can change the site’s content and upgrade to the paid model.
SEO is weak in a free subscription but the more money you pay, the more power of SEO you get. The maximum of SEO capabilities is displayed in the list below (but don’t expect it to be provided by every small business free website builder without the need to install a dedicated SEO helper app (and sometimes, you won’t be given a possibility to install it at all)):
alt and description for videos/images
backlink & internal links
optimization of images to fit varying screens
meta tags & taglines
the agility of pages’ loading
technical issues of your site’s text (largely applicable for good SEO)
XML site map – to import straight to Google for better indexing.
Webnode offers you to start with an online store for $11.95 a month, Wix thinks that €17 a month is a good enough price for that, Weebly throws a basic functionality to you for €10 a month, Ucraft does it for 10 dollars a month, and Webstarts only offers it for $19.99 (but that’s even not regular price – not considering the current discount in 50%, its price is tremendous $39.98).
So from the point of view of price – the best solution is Ucraft, then goes Weebly. Wix and Webstarts are the worst. Considering the functionality, Wix has smooth templates & power of adjustability but Weebly does the same for nearly the same money. From the point of view of the smoothness of work for users-beginners, Weebly, Wix, and Webnode offer ease of getting online and further changes to the pages whenever there’s need.