August 19, 2022

10 Free Website Builders with Custom Domain

Are you a creator, maker, solopreneur, indie hacker, or an aspiring entrepreneur looking to build your (or your business') online presence? If yes, then you shouldn't miss checking this list of 10 website builders that also provide custom domains.

If you are here, you most probably are looking to create a website but you are one of those who do not want to spend money upfront on a website or don't know how to code. Here is the deal, making a website is one of those things that feels hard to do if you have never done it before. Terms like HTML, JAVASCRIPT, or CSS are making you roll over in bed with anxiety. But trust it is super easy and does not require you to learn extra skills for it.

Now, with the advent of no-code tools, anyone - literally anyone - could create a website online. Plus, no matter which one you choose, you can have your custom domain name.

The free website builders listed below come in the form of templates and drag-and-drop builders that are both a cinch to explore and use. All the tools and resources listed in this article are either completely free to use or offer very affordable pricing plans so that you can get started with less [or zero] budget. The only time you have to pay is if you want an advanced package with more features like e-commerce shops or social media integrations.

Before we jump into the 10 free website builders that we have curated for you in this article, let’s get some of the basics off the path.

What is a Website Builder?

A website builder is an online tool that helps you to create a website without any coding skills. Once you’ve chosen which one to use and downloaded the template, you can drag and drop various components into your new sites such as images, YouTube videos, forms, and more. Each one has its own set of “layers” that you can mix and match depending on your needs.

Check out these website builders.

What is a Custom Domain?

A domain is a URL (internet address) that you type into your browser to access a specific website or website section. Common domains include .com, .org, .net, and many more.

What’s important though is that the domain you use must be specified by the owner of the site. A custom domain or a custom URL is essentially a unique identity to your website on the internet. Once the said custom domain is taken, the same one cannot be used by anyone else. It creates a professional distinction and helps people remember your website easily. If you have an awesome little online business or web app idea and want to create your website without getting any help from an experienced web designer, then you can do so with a custom domain name instead of a regular domain name like mywebsite.com. 

According to hubspot.com, getting a custom domain is important for your website for brand identity and credibility among other benefits. At the same time, search engines are really into changing their algorithms regularly, and having a custom domain can give you an upper hand in tapping into the algorithm.

10 Free Website Builders That Also Allow You To Add Custom Domains

1. Webflow

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - Webflow

When you need a custom design to explain what the product, service, or business is, Webflow is the place to go. The Webflow in-browser design tool allows you to design, build, and launch responsive websites from scratch, like any pro web designer would but without having to code.

In essence, it enables you to go from idea conception to ready-to-use product with just a few clicks. Webflow writes clean, semantic code for you which you can then either export this code or keep and host the website on Webflow.

What can you build with Webflow?

  • It is a CMS Platform, besides a web designer. This means you can build blogs and e-commerce websites.
  • You can build upmarket animations and interactions with over 2000 web fonts, something that no other platform has.
  • Provides non-traditional layouts and complex interactions for you to choose from. What's more, Webflow’s own website is fully built on Webflow, which gives you a good look at what your design results could look like.

Top 5 features of Webflow:

  • As opposed to creating clickable mockups in other prototyping tools, you're designing products with real code.
  • Clients can add content directly to the website, without any admin panels or editor issues. You edit exactly what you see and the visual design is directly delivered on the result page
  • If you define a class, you can use it for elements that should all have the same styling, or you can use it as a basis for a variation.
  • By combining the Designer and CMS, Webflow Ecommerce allows you to create a fully customized eCommerce experience. Ecommerce websites can be made from any Webflow project, although hosting costs differ slightly.
  • It gives you a ‘Free Starter Plan’ among other options which gives you an idea to see if it fits right for you. This plan lets you host your website with Webflow for free, indefinitely.

Limitations of Webflow:

  • We cannot build web applications that have user-generated content, which is essentially where a user logs in and adds some content on the page such as Facebook.
  • It is not completely intuitive, it has a slight learning curve. This is mainly due to it being based on a regular code structure as it adds HTML elements and styles them using CSS classes.

Check their official website: https://webflow.com

2. Shift4shop

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - Shift4shop

If you are looking for a powerful eCommerce platform and fully hosted shopping cart that is also 100% free, then look no further.

In the event you use their payment processing solution, they can provide you with a fully hosted shopping cart free of charge.

With its unlimited products, comprehensive free plan, multichannel selling, product reviews, and free domain name registration, Shift4Shop is easily one of the best eCommerce platforms available. The E-commerce platform Shift4Shop is perfect for budget-conscious business owners who demand a lot from their providers.

What can you build with Shift4shop?

A broad cross-section of industries is served by the platform, according to the company's website.

  • Arts and crafts
  • Auto parts
  • B2B (Business to Business)
  • Clothing and fashion
  • Food and beverage
  • Sporting goods
  • Wine.

Top features of Shift4shop:

  • It has a drag-and-drop interface, social media integration, email tools, inventory management, API, and SSL certificate.
  • In addition to Google AMP-enabled product pages and HTML5 AJAX implementations, Shift4Shop's themes offer quality-of-life features for shoppers and conversion-optimized checkouts.
  • You can also add extra pages to your stores, such as an about us page and a blog section for added SEO, by editing your store language and homepage. 
  • Shift4Shop's web hosting offers 99.9% uptime, is PCI certified, and is secure.
  • This specific web hosting package includes a domain name that is automatically renewed annually, monthly upgrades that are transparent, and daily backups.

Limitations of Shift4shop:

  • The functionality of most Shift4 Shop-built online stores is not maximized without the use of multiple add-ons, even for elements that you might expect would be included but aren't.
  • Change is very difficult without spending a lot of time and effort due to outdated infrastructure.

Check their official website: https://www.shift4shop.com/

3. Brizy

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - Brizy

Brizy is a page builder plugin for WordPress that allows you to build websites visually, rather than having to know any coding. Just like other similar plugins, Brizy comes with a visual editor where everything is drag and drop. You can use Brizy to create pages on your WordPress site without dealing with CSS or HTML. The editor interface of Brizy page builder is pretty simple, effortless, and intuitive. The best part of a no-coder is that the UI is highly intuitive with a close to a zero learning curve.

What can you build with Brizy?

  • Brizy includes a theme builder and WooCommerce builder, as well as the ability to create custom headers and footers, in addition to the ability to create pages.
  • There are also features such as automatically triggered popups and integration with third-party marketing services.

Top features of Brizy:

  • One of Brizy’s best features is that instead of sidebars and popups, you may customize the majority of your design with inline choices.
  • By default, every design you create is responsive, and you have choices to further customize how your creations appear across various devices.
  • You can create pages with tons of pre-built templates and your own custom forms with the Form Builder
  • It also allows you to optimize with marketing integrations by connecting to other marketing and SEO tools for your website
  • You'll love having the option to white-label the Brizy interface with your own custom branding thanks to the agency license provided by Brizy. If you want to give your customers a website experience that is more branded, this can be useful.

Limitations of Brizy:

  • Brizy does not provide a developer API, which is a significant drawback. This implies that there isn't a third-party extension/add-on marketplace, which limits your flexibility.
  • There isn't much text documentation. As an alternative, you must rely nearly solely on video evidence. Compared to other page builders, Brizy's documentation is simply not as thorough.

Check their official website: https://www.brizy.io/

4. Google Sites

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - Google Sites

When a site does not even offer payment plans, you know they are serious about their service being completely free. Google Sites is Google's free and simple website creation tool. Google Sites is compatible with Google Workspace tools such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

You may then drag and drop projects from your Google Drive into the website you're creating. Google Sites, like those services, can be created, shared, and copied among editors. 

What can you build on Google Sites?

  • This is great for making a website for a work project that involves charts and tables, or for a group event you're organizing.

Top features of Google Sites:

  • After you've built your website, you can alter its look and feel by utilizing the editing tool.
  • Every function is simple to use.
  • It merely takes a few clicks to delete and rearrange any of them.

Limitations of Google Sites:

  • Google Sites is not as comprehensive as other website-building tools in general.
  • It does not have a variety of design tools and is limited in terms of options on the layout and themes. Therefore, it may not be the best for small businesses.

Check their official website: https://sites.google.com/new

5. ConvertKit

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a powerful email marketing tool that will make creating and sending beautiful newsletters easy. It has some unique strengths that could benefit any type of business, especially if you are just starting out and don't have the budget for a developer. They offer free templates and drag & drop elements to make your site interactive, resulting in an engaging experience for your readers.

What can you build on ConvertKit?

  • You can build landing pages, integrate it with your Facebook account and connect it to your email list for marketing purposes.
  • The thing about Convertkit is that its strong suit is in the email platform and newsletter apps.

Top features of ConvertKit:

  • Drag & Drop Builder and Templates. This is the most obvious strength of Convertkit because it makes it much easier to build your site without having to code anything. It also comes with several templates and elements to include in your design that you can use as is or adapt for your needs.
  • eCommerce integration. In the advanced plan, you will be able to sell products on your pages on Convertkit by using Stripe payment services - an industry-approved and trusted online payment processor.

Limitations of ConvertKit:

  • Limited to one account per person.
  • Not as easy to use in case you need more advanced functionality like Facebook ads or Instagram embeds.

Check their official website: https://convertkit.com/features/landing-pages

6. WordPress

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms for no-code website builders currently available. It is used by over 100 million websites. While WordPress does require a bit of technical know-how to set up the site, once it's up and running, it's very easy to use.

The website builder's dashboard can be accessed from any computer or mobile device via the WordPress dashboard which gives you direct access to your site statistics, premium themes, and development tools and plugins.

WordPress has a huge library of free themes and custom templates that are made by designers in their spare time to help people create modern websites quickly.

What can you build on WordPress?

  • You can create a blog or a forum, or an online shop using WordPress.
  • You can make your own blogs, you can build a website, or you can use it as an RSS reader and news aggregator.
  • WordPress also has custom plugins and third-party apps that allow you to implement functionality like comments, ratings, file uploads, social media widgets, SEO integration, and SEO tools.

Top features of WordPress:

  • WordPress has a huge library of free themes and custom templates that are made by designers in their spare time to help people create modern websites quickly.
  • Whether you are a novice or an expert, adding and managing material on WordPress will be a breeze. You will be able to perform all tasks as a WordPress designer without the assistance of a developer.
  • Every line of WordPress-generated code adheres to the W3C standards. By doing this, your website will function correctly in your current browser and be compatible with future versions.

Limitations of WordPress:

  • WordPress is not the fastest website builder solution out there. It can be sluggish on shared hosting, and it can sometimes have a hard time running larger applications or plugins.
  • WordPress is also not very mobile-friendly, so if you're doing business in the mobile market, this might not be right for you.

Check their official website: https://wordpress.com/

7. Branchbob

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - Branchbob

Branchbob is a free app built by Branch (a social media platform that's worth checking out ). Branch has already launched several content-sharing apps including Reachout and Boomerang, the latter having been acquired by Dropbox earlier this year. Branch Bob itself is a drag-and-drop website builder that allows you to create your blog, landing page, or affiliate marketing site within minutes with videos and screenshots to guide you along the way and eCommerce shop support in the future.

What can you build with Branchbob?

  • You can create a blog on your own domain name, or use the free Blog Builder. 
  • The site is compatible with all major browsers and does not require additional plugins to work. 
  • You can use unlimited blocks to build your page; there are over 2000 free icons, fonts, logos, and templates to choose from! Your users will get an email notification when someone has commented on their post.

Top features of Branchbob:

  • Drag-and-drop builder
  • Unlimited blocks
  • 2000+ free icons, logos, and templates

Limitations of Branchbob:

  • The free trial is limited to 10 pages
  • 30-day access to the tools and paid plans are required for advanced features like eCommerce.

Check their official website: https://www.branchbob.com/

8. Ucraft

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - Ucraft

Ucraft is a drag-and-drop website builder that helps users lay out their pages in just a few clicks. It has more than 27,000 websites built with it, and its templates can be used for any purpose such as blogging, e-commerce, school projects, and so on.

What can you build on Ucraft?

  • Blog website
  • Business website
  • Personal website
  • Ecommerce website

Top features of Ucraft:

  • Drag and drop the content blocks into your website.
  • Huge library of website templates.
  • Easy to use and update the site.
  • Good support offered.
  • The option of building a site without coding skills.
  • Optimized for mobile devices, speed, and SEO friendly.
  • You can make money from your website by using its integrated eCommerce tools which are very easy to integrate!

Limitations of Ucraft:

  • The free plans have limited templates and options for customization.
  • It is not a tool for building large & complex websites but a good one if you want to start your first website without paying anything.
  • It is less intuitive than you would expect

Check their official website: https://www.ucraft.com/

9. Bigcartel

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - Bigcartel

Bigcartel is a free website builder, marketplace, and application where designers, artists, and bloggers can collaborate, promote and sell their products, services, and works. It is owned by Weebly Inc. which is a company that has been in the web industry since 2003. It was started on May 10, 2006 and since then has grown into the most visited website builder to date. The platform is free to use but certain benefits come with premium features like extra design layouts, social media embedding, and analytics access.

What can you build on Bigcartel?

  • A personal site for your work
  • Design a portfolio for your work/client testimonials
  • Storefronts for your products

Top features of Bigcartel:

  • Free accounts, low-price plans 
  • Single product store (variations available)
  • Unlimited products + unlimited designs (up to 50) per profile or global storage 
  • Automated profiles creation process with 7/24 live support 
  • Integrations with popular shopping carts like Magento & WooCommerce for eCommerce shops and social media channels like Facebook & Twitter 
  • Available in over 30 languages 

Limitations of Bigcartel:

  • Maximum of 50 products per profile or global storage 
  • Only allows one domain for each account; no subdomains allowed
  • The smallest plan is 100 MB storage but it does not have bandwidth enabled
  • No current plans to offer mobile apps or responsive designs

Check their official website: https://www.bigcartel.com/

10. Strikingly

Free Website Builders with Custom Domain - Strikingly

Strikingly is a super simple website builder that looks like a flat website template with a dark or light theme. You can start creating your site by just dragging and dropping your preferred content blocks. It also has drag-and-drop widgets if you feel you need more customization on the side. If you are using Strikingly for the first time, they’ll ask you to answer some simple questions about yourself and your site, try to make your site as professional as possible by adding in a description of what your site is about, a tagline (optional), along with the other relevant information. Use the Strikingly Builder, Strikingly Blog Builder, and Strikingly Social Builder to get started today!

What can you build on Strikingly?

  • Strikingly is perfect for creating personal, small business, or small-scale e-commerce websites.

Top features of Strikingly:

  • The free domain name included
  • Bootstrapping wizard
  • Responsive mobile design - built-in SEO support - smart analytics - no coding skills required.
  • Quick and easy logo and favicon customization

Limitations of Strikingly:

  • You can only create one website on Strikingly per account.
  • You cannot have more than 20 different pages on your site as it is a very low limit of pages.

Check their official website: https://www.strikingly.com/

Wrapping up!

This is a great place to start if you are evaluating different options for a website builder and choosing the one that fits right with the kind of aesthetic and the purpose of a website that you are going for. With a free account available for the majority of the options listed above, what’s there to lose, you could try one or all of them.

Determine what kind of a website you are going for, whether it is a small business or a personal blog, or just a portfolio of all your different work, which would then help you weigh out your options depending on the pros and cons of each of the 10 options listed above.

For more ideas, you can also check out the following videos:

The web design industry was estimated to be at $40.8 billion in 2021 and it continues to be on a rise. Making a website that speaks about you or your business online is the first step to making endless prospects and networks on the internet. So now that you have your research laid out, go ahead and get creative!

Now, time to answer some of your most common questions on Free Website Builders with Custom Domain:

Where can I create a free website with my own domain?

You can create a free website with your own domain using website builders such as Shift4Shop, BranchBob, ConvertKit, WordPress, and Ucraft.

How can I create a website and domain for free?

With Github (if you're a student), you can get a free custom domain and connect it to a website builder that allows custom domains for free (such as Shift4Shop, ConvertKit, Ucraft, and WordPress).

Which is the best free website builder?

Based on dozens of reviews, I believe Shift4Shop and Branchbob are the best free website builders for online stores because they offer the most features.

A personal website can be created using Ucraft since they offer a flexible editor and well-designed templates.

ConvertKit is a recommended website builder if you want to create a free landing page. With their pre-made, well-designed landing page templates, you can quickly get your project or business started.

Can I publish a website for free?

Yes! You can publish content on your website right this moment for free by using various website builders among the ones listed above, depending on your specific use-case.

Can I host a website for free?

Yes, you can host a website for free as long as you want, with website builders like WordPress and Google Sites among others.

How do I publish my website to Google for free?

You can use Google’s free trial to start hosting your website with any Google Cloud product. It essentially means, that if you have a Google account then it just takes a few simple steps to publish your website with Google.

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