12 Free and Easy Tools to Make Your First Website

free tools to build a website


Jun. 8 2016, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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Do you have a website yet?

Well, whether you want a website to showcase your work, to share your thoughts with the world, or even just to serve as your (or your resume’s) “home” on the web, everyone should have a website.

If you’ve never built a website, though, it can be kind of overwhelming figure out where to start. Do you hire a developer? How do you start sorting through all the options available for building your own website? Are any of the free website builders out there even any good?

Regardless of what area of tech you want to work in, a website is vital to your success. And even if you don’t know how to code, there are tons of free tools out there that let you make an awesome, custom website for yourself!

Now, not every free website builder out there lets you do everything you might want with your website. Some have premium packages that let you add functionality. Others require you to buy hosting, but let you build your site for free. And still others let you dive into the code of the site to really customize every element of the design to make it your own. Coding skills give you so many more options, whether you’re using one of these website builders or if you’ve grown beyond them to making a completely custom website from the ground up.

Below are 12 awesome, FREE tools for building your own website. Some of them are great even if you’re a total beginner and don’t know the difference between CSS and HTML. Others are a little bit more advanced, but still totally accessible for beginners who are willing to dive into learning a little bit of how websites work.

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Great for Beginners

These tools don’t require you to have any tech skills whatsoever. If you can use a web browser, you can build a website with these.

Wix is one of the most popular free website creators out there. It has a drag-and-drop interface, so you don’t need to know any coding to use it. Although if you do have some coding skills, you can add even more functionality to your site. You can create blogs, online stores, and tons of other types of sites, and add features with apps. You can do a lot with the free plan, or upgrade to their various premium plans for more features.

Strikingly is an incredibly easy-to-use website builder. Just pick a theme, fill in your content, and you’re up and running! You also get a mobile website, and it even lets you set up a simple ecommerce site.

IM Creator is a super simple website builder, that gives you a fully responsive, Google-friendly website. It even comes with ecommerce and blog features, and it’s simple to use. They also have pro and reseller accounts.

Mobirise is a downloadable website builder for Mac or Windows. It has a minimalistic, easy-to-use interface, builds mobile-friendly websites, and can be used for both personal and commercial sites. Mobirise’s themes are built on Bootstrap, one of the most popular website frameworks out there. Your websites can include contact forms, image galleries, mobile menus, Google Maps, Google Fonts, social buttons, and even video backgrounds.

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Odoo Website offers free open source sites for an unlimited number of users. It has drag and drop business features, including a customer portal, e-commerce, a company blog, calls-to-action, and even newsletters. It includes hundreds of apps you can use to extend your website’s functionality.

You can make a simple, mobile-friendly website in just fifteen minutes with Fanbread. It’s built specifically for new media brands, with tools for getting original content and earning money.

Weebly Carbon is the “next generation” of Weebly websites. It includes responsive themes, a real-time dashboard for viewing your site stats (including sales for ecommerce sites), drag-and-drop mobile app creation, and apps for adding functionality to your site. It can also be used by designers and developers for creating client websites. They have both free and paid accounts.

Tilda Publishing was created for easily building content-focused websites, including long-form reads, landing pages, and more. It uses a module system to let you build pages from a huge library of pre-defined blocks. And all of their pages are built to be responsive from the ground up, so you don’t have to create separate mobile and desktop sites.

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Great for Those with a Little More Technical Knowledge

These are still super easy to use, but might require you to do things like upload files to your server or set up a content management system (CMS), like WordPress.

Assembly is a website builder that lets you build simple pages based on their templates. They have templates for agency sites, restaurant sites, portfolios, online stores, and more. When you’ve customized your template, just download the project files and upload them to your server. There’s also a premium version of the theme with the page builder built in.

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If you want to make a website with WordPress, then Themify Flow can make it way easier. It’s a theme framework that lets you make responsive websites using a drag-and-drop interface. Just drag around the layout modules, configure the options, and you’re done! You can style everything without needing to code. You will need to know how to get WordPress up and running (a lot of website hosts make it super easy to do that), and how to install a theme, but otherwise you can do a lot with limited tech skills.

Grav is a modern, flat-file (meaning it doesn’t use a database) content management system that includes “skeletons” that include an entire website setup that you can then customize. You can also download themes for Grav to install separately, and there are plugins to extend functionality, like adding shopping carts, Google Maps, forms, and more.

Wagtail is a new CMS that has great tools built in for making complete websites. It lets you arrange different types of content blocks to create your site’s layout, includes a form builder for easy form creation, and has a simple and intuitive interface for editing your site.

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