Are All Free Website Builder Programs the Same?

by Melanie Citron

Having your own website gives you the opportunity to share your passions and expertise with the public, start your own internet business, or simply provide a place for you to express your random thoughts and feelings. Unless you’ve got capital to start up with and lots of time on your hands, however, building a website can get time consuming and expensive.

Don’t rule out free website builder programs! They’ll provide soup-to-nuts stepwise information and templates that will guide you through the process of building your own website, without vacuuming out your bank account by forcing you to hire someone who charges upwards to $100 an hour, or more.

Free Website Building

Free website builder programs allow you to test drive the making of a successful website. It enables you to test out your content, brush up on your programming a bit, and figure out which features are important to you as a webmaster and which features you can do without.

So how do you know how to choose a free website builder? Are all free programs the same?

Well, yes and no—don’t you hate answers like that? All free builders will provide the basics—template options, text editors, at least a few web pages that visitors to your site can click through to. However, each free program does offer its own additional features and restrictions.

Free Program Comparison

Below you’ll find a comparison of the top free website builder programs and some of their key offerings: template options, page limit, hidden costs, and additional features.

WordPress

  • Template library: over 1,000+ templates, themes, and designs.
  • Hidden costs: None. Downloading WordPress is free. The only thing you’ll need to pay for is a webhost to host the software, if you don’t already have one. (WordPress recommends BlueHost.)
  • Pages: There’s no official page limit, and, your storage space is only limited by which web host you choose. (And if you choose BlueHost as your webhost, you’ll get unlimited file storage.)
  • Extra features include: Many free widgets and Plugins that help personalize and add functionality to your site. “Unlimited” and “free” are essential to WordPress lingo.

Intuit Websites (Homestead)

  • Template library: 2,000+ customizable templates.
  • Hidden costs: 30 days free and then $4.99/month for a basic package and $19.95/month for the business package.
  • Pages: The basic package includes five pages and the business package includes an unlimited number of pages.
  • Extra features include: 200,000 images to choose from, option to use Intuit for free hosting or buy your own domain, and no ad banners on your website.

Site Studio

  • Templates: 1000+ customizable templates.
  • Hidden costs: You must choose a website hosting service to work alongside with.
  • Pages: A large variety of pages including pages on About Us, Contact Form, FAQ, Links, Downloads, Services, Store, Shopping Cart, and many more.
  • Extra features include: Browser-based website builder program, no programming knowledge necessary, and one-click publishing.

Site2You

  • Templates: Hundreds. Site2You is partnered with TemplateMonster.
  • Hidden costs: Site2You is actually only free for a seven day free trial period and then costs between $19.95/month and $49.95/month to register and manage your site.
  • Pages: Unlimited.
  • Extra features include: Access to stock photos (royalty free), unlimited mail boxes, and personalized website text.

About the author: Melanie Citron is a freelance author who wants the web to be open to everyone. She regularly researches and writes about great free or low cost resources to help all have a great presence on the web. See more of her writing at BuildMySiteforFree.com.

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About the Author

Tom Harris

Tom Harris was writing about Wordpress before Wordpress existed forever seeking the ultimate tool to explode online business. Tom has been on the net since its inception at Universities and has been a proponent of “user friendly” technology all his life. He now covers the intersection of business and technology from the gulf coast of Louisiana. Previously, Harris was the tech reporter for several local daily newspapers in New York state, Pittsburgh and London. He is an avid fan of technology and its affect on society, business and politics around the world.

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