The time has come to create a beautiful online space for your creative business, but there’s just one problem. They cost a ton of money and you’re putting all of your money into keeping yourself alive, well not to worry!
There are plenty of FREE, yes FREE ways to create your very first website and these days, you can get a pretty decent website builder to help you create the perfect website.
What are website builders?
Ah my young padawan, website builders are very handy tools to help you drag and drop your way to a professional looking website. They help those of us that are maybe not quite so tech-savvy, to build an online empire!
These online web design tools are ideal if you’re looking to set up your very first website but have absolutely no idea what you’re doing (all of us in the very beginning).
These tools also allow you to simply drag and drop the different website features where you want them, without having to delve into the complicated world of coding! Want a gallery shoved on to your about page? No problem! Just drag and drop. Looking to add a contact form to your contact page? No problem, just drag and drop, simples!
So what are the best free website builders?
Well, lucky you! You have a good handful to choose from and they all offer a number of different features to spruce up your online space!
I like to see WordPress.com as like the training wheels of WordPress, not the easiest to use for those that have never even sniffed a website but throws you just enough into the deep end to make it easy to float… I think I got too carried away with that analogy.
WordPress.com is the free version of WordPress i.e. it is not self-hosted, so all you have to do is go online and log in to mess about with your website, none of this hosting and domain name nonsense.
There are loads of different themes to check out on there, so no matter what kind of website you’re looking for, you’re sure to find a premade theme to fit your needs!
Once you’ve got the hang of WordPress.com, then it’s time for the big boy WordPress, the self-hosted WordPress, but that’s waaaaaay down the line yet, don’t worry about it.
One of my favourites for website newbies, Wix offer a very easy to use interface for those looking to build a new website. It’s a bit like building a house, you do it brick by brick, or drag and drop by drag and drop!
Wix is another website builder that have a huge library of amazing themes to use, meaning you can customise your website to really fit the image you have in your head (we all have one!). Wix also offers a number of different upgrade options, to allow you to unlock premium themes, help you get your own snazzy domain name and even open your own online store if you want to!
This one is more for those that want to start blogging or offer more information about their services. Blogger is Google’s free blogging platform and is very customisable, due to its easy HTML and CSS access, or you can just go right ahead and pic a premade theme from their library!
This one I would recommend to those who are a super beginner and still not sure what they want their online space to be. I always recommend you start blogging when building an online empire, just to get the views and traffic flowing and a few more eyeballs on your expertise (that’s not a euphemism).
Ahhh Tumblr, the stuff of 16-year-old’s dreams. Don’t be put off by the extremely young and extremely eccentric audience over on Tumblr, they are all lovely people I promise. It’s also a great place to reach creatives, particularly in the art world!
Fanart especially, thrives in the world of Tumblr, thanks to its huge posts and image optimised updates. It’s all about images and gifs over there so if you’re looking to create a portfolio website, it is a great place to start! There’s also a huge number of free themes floating around the internet, so don’t be afraid to go hunting for the perfect one!
Very similar to Wix, but with a slightly cooler, more contemporary vibe!
Weebly is often overlooked, but it can be a great website builder for those that love the clean minimalist look. Similar to Wix, it uses a simple drag and drop technique to allow users to create their own websites, so it’s super easy for beginners to use!
Weebly also offers more e-commerce options for those looking to sell products or services online and their most expensive price plan also offers the option to have membership registration, so it’s great if you’re looking to start your own club or community!
How to choose the best website builder
I know what you’re thinking, ‘great, now I have too many options and I have no idea which one to pick! Well, let me break it down a little bit for you to try and help you out, k?
Perfect for: Bloggers or people providing services online, also good for writers looking to showcase their work
Perfect for: Small business owners looking for their first website
Perfect for: Those looking to make a career out of blogging or aspiring writers
Perfect for: Artists, illustrators and photographers
Perfect for: Bloggers, interior designers, artists, photographers, illustrators and online store owners