Times have changed. There’s no reason why launching your own website should cost an arm and a leg. You could, of course, ask someone to design the website for you, but our suggestions below are some of the cheapest website builders that might be a better option for you.
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The cheapest website builders in detail
The following tools will allow you to create low-cost websites. You can use these to create websites for SMEs, businesses, or even personal projects.
The most popular website platform worldwide is, without a doubt, WordPress. It’s estimated that 35% of all websites run on it. This is mainly thanks to the free open-source version, WordPress.org. The downside is that it’s not exactly free, as you’ll need to host your website somewhere. That’s why here we talk about WordPress.com, which makes all of this much easier: web hosting, and a domain name for the first year, are included, and as you’ll see, at a very low price.
Starting at $4/month on the Personal plan. It includes a decent 6GB of web storage and unlimited pages! The only small downside is the footer ad: “Powered by WordPress.com” is displayed. You can customize it, though, so it only says “WordPress.com” or can also just show the WP logo, which is very small. See an example here (at the very bottom). You’ll also have access to around 100 free templates and personal support.
Unfortunately, they don’t offer monthly plans, at WordPress.com you always have to pre-pay for at least 12 months. If you want to pay month by month you should check out Weebly.
- Personal: $4 a month
- Premium: $8 a month
- Business: $25 a month
- eCommerce: $45 a month
Additional discounts are available if you pay upfront for the first 2 years.
Even though Webnode lacks many of the features that come with other website builders (e.g. ecommerce), you can easily create a multilingual website. It’s an easy-to-use solution with modern website designs that are automatically optimized for mobile devices. For more information, check out our Webnode review.
If you are looking for a low-cost solution, both the Limited and Mini plans are quite attractive. Limited still shows the small Webnode footer ad but lets you connect a domain name. Mini doesn’t show ads and includes a free domain name for 1 year. It’s a great plan for a small personal or professional website.
- Limited: $3.90 a month
- Mini: $7.50 a month
- Standard: $12.90 a month
- Profi: $22.90 a month
Find more details about Webnode’s pricing plans here.
If you want to create a website on a limited budget, there’s no website builder cheaper than One.com. Prices start at $2.49 a month if your website is 5 pages or fewer. However, if you need more than 5 pages, you’ll have to pay $7.48 per month, which isn’t so cheap. It’s good to bear in mind that other solutions offer more comprehensive packages (e.g. Wix or Weebly). The good news is that on top of the website builder, these packages include hosting, so you can integrate WordPress or similar content managers. For more information, see our One.com review.
- Standard: $2.49 a month (Beginner plan + Standard website builder)
- Premium: $7.48 a month (Beginner plan + Premium website builder)
- Online Shop: $16.99 a month
Discounts available for the first year.
Weebly is also easy to use and offers a wide range of high-quality templates that automatically adapt to all devices (e.g. tablets and smartphones). What I love about it is that its blog is very flexible, with super useful features for bloggers like tags, categories, post scheduling, etc. For more information, read our Weebly review.
A bit advantage is that Weebly also offers plans you can pay month by month. For that, they charge a small premium but at least it’s possible – most other website builders don’t offer this option.
- Personal: $6 a month
- Professional: $12 a month
- Performance: $26 a month
Their designs are pretty cool, they look very modern and a bit different from most competitors’. However, we’d like to see more templates coming in. On top of creating a website or an online store, Ucraft features a landing page builder. A great way to collect email signups and what is best is that you can connect a domain name you already own for free. If you are planning to create more complex websites you’ll have to upgrade to the Pro Website plan which starts at $10 per month.
- Pro Website: $10 a month
- Pro Shop: $21 a month
No cheap website builder combines design and ease of use like Wix. Its system is so flexible, you can move the elements around however you like. Plus, it has useful tools for freelancers and businesses that can make your day-to-day easier (e.g. Wix Hotels, Wix Restaurants, or Wix Bookings). One disadvantage, however, is that if you want to change templates, you have to start from scratch. Find out more in our Wix review.
- Connect Domain: $5 a month (not available in the US unfortunately)
- Combo: $14 a month
- Unlimited: $18 a month
- Business Basic: $23 a month
- VIP: $39 a month
After Wix changed its premium tiers and raised prices a while back, it’s not really a cheap website builder anymore. Especially in the US, where the low-cost Connect Domain plan isn’t available. You’ll opt for Wix more for its quality and the feature bandwidth rather than its cost.
After raising their prices with the launch of Jimdo Dolphin, it is not a really cheap option anymore. Their focus is on ease of use as you’ll be guided through the website creation process step-by-step. Considering this it may still end up cheaper than other site builders if their guided creation process will remove the need for a programmer or designer. It’s a pity Jimdo doesn’t offer monthly payments as all their plans require prepayment for 12 months.
- Start: $9 a month
- Grow: $15 a month
This New York city-based website builder offers a bit of a different approach. Instead of providing a cloud solution, you can download its software to create your website from your laptop. It could be a good solution if you are looking for an off-line tool.
Sadly, this tool is only available for Windows users, Mac and Linux users will need a workaround (e.g. use a virtual machine). Another potential downside (for some) is that you’ll need to take care of the software updates yourself, and you’ll require a hosting provider to host your website.
Standard Edition: $49
Professional Edition: $99
HostGator, a hosting giant, launched their Gator website builder in early 2019. They have an impressive collection of swanky mobile-friendly templates (more than 200). These are categorized by niche, so finding one that fits your needs should be easy. The Gator editor is as flexible as Wix’s, and it comes with some pre-built blocks (e.g. ‘Meet the team’) that may make your site design simpler.
At times, you come across some limitations as it’s still a young product. For example, it’s not possible to schedule blog posts, and it doesn’t have post categories – it only comes with tags.
- Starter: $9.22 a month
- Premium: $12.29 a month
- eCommerce: $19.98 a month
Gator website builder offers large discounts during the first year.
DreamHost’s Website Builder for WordPress
DreamHost is one of my Top 3 favorite hosting providers. They are fast, reliable and their support is friendly – hence why 1.5 million websites are hosted on DreamHost. All of their hosting plans offer a website builder for WordPress (Boldgrid) that makes WordPress.org site creation and management easier.
It comes with over 200 modern-looking templates to choose from. There are several building blocks available, such as text, images, sliders, buttons, videos, maps and forms. Their editor also makes it possible to adapt different styling options (e.g. padding, borders, background images or shadows). It’s a solid option to start cheap, if you don’t mind using WordPress (a more technical platform).
- Shared Starter: $3.95 a month (1 website)
- Shared Unlimited: $9.95 a month (unlimited websites)
Note: Be aware that if you sign up for 3 years you get even lower prices. For example, the Shared Starter plan is $2.59 a month and the Unlimited $3.95 a month.
Many of the tools we’ve mentioned here let you create online stores. But if you are serious about ecommerce and don’t want to use complicated platforms like Magento or WooCommerce, Shopify is your best option. It isn’t the cheapest online store builder, but it is the sturdiest one. Check out our Shopify review for more info.
- Basic: $26 a month
- Shopify: $71 a month
- Advanced: $266 a month
WordPress.org (the open-source version)
As we saw above, these website builders (like Weebly and Wix) are for creating simple websites. If you’re working on something more complicated and want to create your website yourself to save some money, WordPress.org is a great option.
WordPress itself is not a website builder, since it’s a bit more complicated and requires technical knowledge. Even though the software is free, you’ll have to find a service provider to host your WordPress website. One option is One.com’s hosting service. You could also create a website directly at WordPress.com, but to get the same features as in WordPress.org, you’ll need at least the Business plan – not the cheapest solution. See our full comparison of WordPress.org and .com here.
WordPress is ideal for creating directories (e.g. classified ads), your own social networks, marketplaces (like eBay or Amazon) or any other kind of complex website. The easiest and cheapest option would be to build it with a template (e.g. Themeforest or Elegant Themes), which will make things easier for you. Even then, you will still need technical skills at some point.
This is an interesting one. On the one hand, Web.com provides a straightforward user interface that borrows many elements from Weebly (which is a positive thing). The template designs are not mind-blowing but will do their job.
But here’s the catch. Like Bluehost, Hostgator, Constant Contact and many more companies, Web.com now belongs to the web hosting giant EIG. Unfortunately, in this case they kept the dodgy pricing strategy the previous owners had implemented. That means a lot of small print and hidden fees.
The domain name is free for the first year but then renews at $37.99/year, which is an absurd amount for a .com domain (a normal rate would be around $12). But that’s not all as you also get to “enjoy” privacy protection for your domain name, which is only free for the first month and costs $1.95 every month thereafter.
A taste of Web.com’s small print (magnified, so it’s actually readable)
Making sense of their website builder prices is a similar adventure involving lots of small print. They mainly promote cheap-looking prices like $1.95, $2.95 or $3.95. However, looking a bit closer we learn that this low price only applies to the first 4 weeks (and no, not a full month, their billing uses blocks of 4 weeks for crying out loud!). The renewal price is $10 per month 4 weeks after that.
The website builder itself is not terrible but the pricing very well is. And I am not even sure if I’ve uncovered all their surprises. This one is a crystal clear no from us.
Website builders vs. professional website designers
Designing a professional website costs money because the work takes time and skills that not everyone has. It’s like getting a tailor-made suit – you can’t really expect the tailor to charge you only $200 for that suit, right?
There are some promotions from low-cost (pseudo) web designers, who say they can do your website for $100 or $200. But this kind of cheap website design usually comes with some downsides:
- SEO: They don’t work for optimizing your rankings. If someone says they can do your SEO and create your website for $200, they are either lying or won’t do a good job. Your best bet would be to build an SEO-optimized website yourself.
- Duplicate content: Sometimes they will reuse texts for different purposes. This can have disastrous consequences on your site’s SEO, and your text will sound artificial.
- Poor designs: They usually work with pre-made templates, which sometimes look ugly. What’s more, they’re not very flexible and won’t totally match your needs.
- Hard to update: One day you might want to change your website’s background color, for example. More often than not, you’ll have to understand code to do this (HTML or CSS).
- Security: We’ve heard that sometimes these kinds of offers contain malicious code that could hurt your business. For example, they could add backlinks to other pages.
- Have we met before? I don’t recall… Once they’ve created (and charged you for) the website, they will definitely not want to help you if you encounter any issues (unless you pay for it). You need to be able to trust the person that created your website.
Let me give you an example: in my neighborhood there are 6 or 7 barbershops, with prices for a haircut running from $5 to $25. Between you and me, I would never go to a barber that charges only $5 – I know they wouldn’t pay much attention. It’s just logic: you’d have to cut 30 people’s hair to get $150, while the others only need 6 clients. If I come out of the $5-barber with a botched ‘do, he’d say “What did you expect for $5?”
Here’s another great example of quality vs. cost:
The other choice is to create your own website. Some of the cheapest website builders will let you build and publish your own website (some of them even for free). The best part is that these solutions aren’t hard to use. They have visual layouts where you can add sections, text, images, or even videos, and they sometimes come with templates that you can customize to your needs.
If you aren’t sure about how to start creating your own website, you can download our free website creation guide. It’ll help you plan, design, and publish your website.
Cost of creating (and maintaining) a website
|Create it yourself with a website builder.||Low-cost web ‘designer’||Professional web developer|
|Price||$2.45 – $26 a month||
$250 – $600 once
$25 – $60 per hour
|Domain||Included – 15/year||$15/year||$15/year|
|Hosting||Included||$5 – $50/month||$5 – $50/month|
|Plugins||Includes the basics||$15 – $70/year||$15 – $70/year|
|New designs||Included||Extra cost||Extra cost|
|Maintenance and updates||Included||Extra cost||Extra cost|
|Support||Included||Extra cost||Extra cost|
|Cost||Between $7 to $25 a month||
Between $5 to $150 a month
$250 to $600 in development
Between $5 to $150 a month
$800 to $1500 in design
All websites cost money, but some cost more than others. If you want a low-cost website, the cheapest option is to make it yourself with a low-cost website builder.
The advantage of using a web builder is that you won’t have to pay a professional (or pseudo-professional) to create the website for you. That’s where you’ll save the most.
What’s more, some professionally created pages can require extensions (plugins) that have an annual cost, like a plugin to process online payments or create modern image galleries. These features are usually included for free in website builders like Wix and Weebly.
Your website will have to be hosted on a server for it to be online. It’s pretty much how a book is ‘hosted’ on a library shelf. There are many kinds of web hosting services for a wide range of prices, but even though hosting is cheap, it’s hard to find something for less than $4 or $5 a month. With website builders, hosting is included, so you won’t have to pay a penny more.
If you want to make changes to your website, it will be hard for you to do it yourself if you don’t have any technical skills. You’ll have to call a developer, who will charge you for it. Tools like Wix or One.com are easy to use and intuitive, and you can make the changes quickly, yourself.
The same goes for updates and maintenance, which are unavoidable. You may have to contact the programmer if you use WordPress or something similar. On the other hand, website builders handle these tasks, and you won’t have to lift a finger.
You’ll find more info about the specific costs in our detailed guide about website costs.
Pros and cons of making your own website with a website builder
Of course, website builders aren’t always the right solution. For this reason, I’d like to give a quick overview of the pros and cons so you know whether it will be a good fit for you.
Final thoughts on the cheapest website builders
As we saw, there are many ways to build cheap websites. You can hire a ‘professional’ who charges peanuts and create a low-cost website, or you can do it yourself with some of the solutions that we mentioned before.
I think the best way to make sure your website has the best quality and gets a good Google ranking is being involved in the creation yourself. We’ve created a free guide that will help you launch your own website quickly and cheaply.
-28 May 2021: Web.com added
-10 Apr 2020: One.com price change
-10 Jan 2020: WordPress.com added
-13 Nov 2019: SiteBuilder.com added
-12 Aug 2019: Ucraft pricing change
-12 Mar 2019: Gator website builder added
-25 Feb 2019: Price increase for Jimdo Pro from $7.50 to $9