Thousands of people a day are picking website builders over hiring a dedicated developer or designer, and no wonder: why pay for hosting, domain names, and hourly labor… when you don’t have to, and can have a great website complete within a day? Website builders have reduced barriers to entry to novice website builders, largely by reducing cost. In years past, websites might cost thousands to build. Now? You can build them for free.
Though it was an upward trend in 2014, responsive design has become the new norm in 2015. Everyone takes it as a matter of fact to assume that if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re going to lose out on visitors, traffic, potential subscribers… and therefore, money. But unfortunately, not all website builders offer responsive websites. Some simply don’t offer any mobile friendly options at all, while others require users to make mobile versions of a website themselves.
So, who’s the best free website builder offering responsive designs and themes? We’ve gotten a collection of some of the best, with thorough reviews and pros and cons for each.
Dudaone is an interesting and accessible option not just because its responsive website builder is incredibly user-friendly… but it does half the work for you. It imports existing content from old websites and business social media accounts instantly, meaning that there’s no tedious copying and pasting, or need to make entirely new content. It synchronizes with Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, and more, and even makes suggestions based on your company’s social media data. And when you need to add or modify anything, its drag-and-drop platform is hassle-free and allows users to customize anything they need. And unlike many other platforms, it gives users access to a developer mode which allows them to access html and css.
Dudaone offers fantastic previews for websites, so that users can see what the website would look like on smartphones and tablets as well as a desktop. There are many templates to choose from and it’s easy to switch between them with a click of a button, unlike some other website builders, which don’t allow template switching. The lowest level of Dudaone registration is free, though there are paid options which come with other perks for between about $8 and $30.
Jimdo, despite being one of the smaller website builder companies out there, has a long history of customer satisfaction. All of their templates and themes are responsive, and on top of that, their free service allows for 500 megabytes of storage: many times what several other website builders offer. Their premium services will cost, but they bring a lot of advanced features to the table, which could be particularly helpful for those running ecommerce websites. But ecommerce websites is where they have a catch: their free site will only allow you to have up to 5 items.
Weebly is one of the more popular platforms allowing for responsive website building on the cheap, and in many regards it’s similar to most others. However, it does offer a few fantastic proprietary features. For example, it allows users to create new pages based on a theme template by just dropping content into an area in its editor. It also comes with a clever blog tool, which makes updating and maintaining specifically a business blog a breeze. Another perk? Weebly doesn’t place ads on websites… even the free ones. The free accounts here offer a great suite of features, but audio or video capabilities will require a premium account.
Moonfruit provides a heavy suite of SEO features for its users, even on the free version, which easily puts them at the top of the running: getting visitors to a website is often harder (and more important) than the website itself. Also running on a ‘freemium’ service, Moonfruit is one of the few website builders which regularly offers sales on their premium paid plans. All of its themes are responsive, but its editor makes it easy to tool with major aspects of design. Drawbacks? The title of a page becomes its url title, which can be a hassle, and their suite of ecommerce solutions aren’t as robust as some offered by other website builders.