There are more than a hundred free website builders available online, and new ones keep popping up every year. According to my research, the percentage of sites developed using online website builders (including free ones) is catching up with the percentage of websites built using popular CMS with open code as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and the like.
A free online store made using Jimdo will enable you to sell up to five products, and that’s why it’s a mistake to call it a comprehensive e-commerce store builder. But you should remember that you get all this without having to spend a dime. Moreover, Jimdo doesn’t charge any sales commission like most traditional e-commerce store builder software (for example, Shopify).
As an example, let’s consider Shopify – a premium eCommerce website builder. Over the years, Shopify has become quite a heavy and complicated e-store creator. Its focus on adding more technical capabilities has transformed the visual editor from something a beginner could use, to something that can intimidate a beginner. Today, nobody recommends Shopify as a relevant e-store builder for newbies.
This is a really generous free plan, with unlimited storage on offer, meaning no caps on content and pages. It’s also really quick to set up – the screenshots below show a website very much in progress, but we were able to get to this stage (and hit publish) in under two minutes. If you have an idea you want to get off the ground quickly, we think this is the best builder for the job.
I should highlight here that, much like all website builders, SITE123 is not without cons. It’s a simple and intuitive website builder, but it is more suited to building basic websites. If you use only the free options, you won’t be able to create anything but a simple personal website with SITE123. Meanwhile, its free plan has no duration constraints, but limits storage space to 500MB and bandwidth to 1GB.
You can make a website that lets you sell products and services if you have the Ecommerce plan. You’ll have an online store that will allow you to add products and services, set up different types of payment methods, and even specific types of shipping. Your store will be integrated into your website as a page. You can add featured products for your visitors to scroll through, make quick purchases using PayPal and Apple Pay and promote your store/products through coupons. You can also use the same type of email marketing that is included in the Premium plan to send email communications to your subscribers and customers about sales on your website, coupon offers and online events. Establishing a strong online presence can boost your sales.
GoDaddy Website Builder can act as your hub, the place where your friends and contacts can see your posts, photos, videos and more. With the option to link to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube on your website, your visitors can be everywhere you are on the web. Being able to cover multiple platforms gives you the opportunity to reach more people, while creating appropriate content for each of your socials (like posting all of your photos on Instagram, and tweeting about your most recent business venture on Twitter). By centrally locating all the links in one place – your new website – you are giving your website visitors a seamless experience. Linking to your social media in your website gives you an advantage in communicating with your visitors; the more they can connect with you and do so in the forum that’s most comfortable to them, the more they’ll engage with your site, and thus you or your business.
However, if you aren’t a blogger, you may struggle to customize your site to your liking. This is where WordPress.com falls – it starts to feel limiting when you try to create anything other than a blog with its templates. It was the platform our users were least likely to recommend after testing, and also came out last for ease of use with a score of just 3.2/5.
You can absolutely do that. If you want to upgrade to a paid plan to get some of the features you want, then you can switch at any time through the My Products option in your account or with the help of a GoDaddy Guide. Once you upgrade your site will have all the same customizations and work that you've already put in place, just with the added features. See Website Builder plans and pricing for more info.