100% Free Website Builder and Hosting
One of the first things potential website builders’ users check when comparing different platforms is pricing. More often than not, those who choose to go with a DIY site builder can’t afford hiring a designer or an agency, so the financial aspect is of great importance for them. After starting my blog about website builders, I find many people asking whether there are any completely free website builders.
The good news is that they do exist. The bad news is that you’ll still have to ‘pay’ for their services, but in a different way – through using a branded subdomain, displaying ads, and more. To show you what you can get without spending a cent, let’s take uCoz website builder, namely its free version.
What you can get for free with uCoz
uCoz is a typical freemium web service. This means you can create a free account that never expires, and upgrade only when you want to unlock more functionality. You can sign up without entering your billing information.
So what exactly you get within your free uCoz account? Here are some features:
- Free responsive templates. I checked these myself using a mobile phone and noticed that Google labeled them as mobile-friendly in the mobile search results. You can see uCoz website examples set reviewed by Mr. H. Steele to make it sure.
- Free modules. You’ll get access to over 20 free construction units called modules, including Users, Blog, Web polls, Ad board, E-mail forms, Photo albums, and Guestbook among others. All modules are highly customizable.
- Free access to an advanced HTML/CSS editor. Using this editor you can completely rebuild the look of your website.
- The ability to attach a custom domain without upgrading your account. If you don’t have a domain, you can publish your site on a uCoz subdomain.
Your uCoz website will remain free as long as you want. Only when you feel the need to enable the E-shop module or decide to get rid of the advert, you’ll have to choose a paid package. Read my full uCoz review for more information about this site builder.
Are free website builders safe?
When you decide to use a free web service, you must understand that the company doesn’t guarantee good customer service. But don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all free services are bad. You just shouldn’t expect great service and security.
While using a free site builder for fun or just for a temporary project may sound like a great option, the whole idea of using a free platform for a business is ridiculous. Today, you can sign up for a paid, full-featured account for the price of a cup of coffee! And there’s a greater cost associated with having a free business website 😉 .
To show you that to run a professional-looking website you don’t need a truckload of money, let’s break the costs down. As it was mentioned in uCoz overlook by SWB, there are four elements associated with running a site: a domain name, a CMS, a hosting account, and a theme or design. If you choose to use a site builder, you will get three of these at once. You’ll only have to buy a domain.
The lowest ad-free plan of uCoz is $5.99/mo, and it is discounted if you choose to pay for 3/6/12/24 months in advance. When paying for 2 years you get 30% off! This makes about 1,5 cents per day. What about domains, you can typically buy a domain name for about $10-$12 per year.
Having a website that makes a great visual impression is an invaluable asset to any business. It helps you build trust and increase sales. And on the contrary, running a site on a subdomain with third-party ads on the homepage can seriously hurt your brand image.
As I see it, free versions are meant for tests, not for real websites. And what are your thoughts?