Anyone looking to build a website will find an abundance of affordable tools and resources available online. But the costs add up quickly. We’ve compiled a list of the best tools for free website creation to get you started.
Not everyone wants to pay monthly or yearly subscriptions for premium features. Fortunately, if you know where to look, many resources let you blend flair with functionality to create an exceptional site — with no added costs.
Free tools to create a website
Whether you’re building an ecommerce store or an online portfolio, you need to pay attention to what elements you’ll use to make your site stand out.
That includes pictures, fonts, and colors along with a website builder to tie them all together. Let’s dive right in, exploring the best free web design tools one by one.
Free stock photos
Pictures are often the first thing people see when they open a web page, so it’s important to have high-quality images complementing your site’s overall aesthetic.
Remember that you can’t pick just any photo off the internet to use. In most cases, you’ll need the photographer’s permission, which can be a cumbersome task — especially if you need a lot of images from different sources. Some photographers may also charge a fee before letting you use one of their images, which isn’t ideal if you’re on a budget.
Luckily, you can use free stock photos. These are licensed images available for public use, so you don’t have to worry about copyright claims or credit issues. Some of the best stock photography websites are:
- Unsplash: This is one of the most popular stock photography websites. It's owned by Getty Images, with over 250,000 creators contributing to an ever-expanding database of over 3.5 million images.
- StockSnap: Find stock images from a wide range of categories: business, travel, tech, people, food, and more. Each photo is governed by Creative Commons, which allows photographers and creators to distribute their work for public use.
- Picjumbo: Designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek founded this free stock photography platform in 2013. Picjumbo has over 8.7 million photo downloads today, making it one of the world's top stock photo sites. Many of its images are published in popular online magazines.
These sites are some of our favorites, but you have plenty more to choose from. Check out these 17 websites for the best stock photos.
Typography is another crucial element for any website. A professional font keeps users scrolling through paragraphs, while something outlandish or hard to read could drive them away. Of course, the nature of your site may allow flexibility, but it’s best to strike a balance between good design and readability.
Here are a few of the best font websites the internet has to offer:
- Google Fonts: It has hundreds of free fonts in over 135 languages. Google organizes its fonts by popularity, use, and current trends based on activity in your area. You can also collaborate with team members by sharing font collections if you're working with a partner or team to build your website.
- DaFont: This site offers a vast collection of fonts that are free to download and use for personal or commercial purposes, making it an ideal resource for any creative project. Apart from the standard serif and sans serif fonts, DaFont has unique categories, like medieval, runes, and groovy, that may be fun to experiment with.
- Behance: You could call this one a designer's paradise. Get fantastic fonts from designers and artists worldwide for any scenario. One of Behance's benefits is that you can browse existing projects and download their source files for free.
Google Fonts, DaFont, and Behance are just three of many online resources, so be sure to skim through these websites for more free fonts.
Choosing web-safe fonts ensures your text appears as intended on different browsers, and picking an accessible font means your text will be accessible for people with vision impairment or reading disabilities. Creating an inclusive website allows more people can enjoy your creation.
Symbols and icons help save space, convey information quickly, and aren’t limited to one language. They’re must-haves for your website — just ensure the icons are relatable and easy to understand.
A few free sites for font symbols include:
- Pixeden: It offers free icon sets in a high-quality PNG format. The categories include colored icons, weather icons, and taskbar icons.
- Iconmonstr: This website showcases an array of clean, minimal icons that are clearly laid out. There are 316 collections to choose from, with more than 4,700 icons.
- Captain Icon: Captain Icon has a colorful, interactive website that offers over 350 icons across a range of categories. The icons are vectors, meaning you can zoom in and out without losing quality. Each icon is available in multiple formats and is compatible with Sketch, a UI design software for macOS.
Build completely custom, production-ready websites — or ultra-high-fidelity prototypes — without writing a line of code. Only with Webflow.
Free color palettes
The right colors make your website pop, but pay attention to the combinations you use. Too bright and your text will be jarring. Too muted, and it’s likely to end up bland and unattractive. You should also stick with a palette of a few colors to consistently represent your brand. Here are a few websites that offer free color palettes.
- Adobe Color: Adobe’s color wheel offers an interactive palette creator with multiple categories you can set to your preference, including monochromatic, triad, and complementary.
- Colordot: This is an easy-to-use website for color palettes. Simply move your cursor across the screen and click when you see a color you like. The screen will continue to split into multiple sections of selected colors until you have an entire palette.
- Happy Hues: This wonderfully interactive website lets you pick a color palette and shows you how it would look in the real world. It also provides context and explains basic design concepts, so you get to learn about color as you create your palette!
Looking for more ideas? Check out these 12 unique color picker tools for web design.
Free website builders
Of course, you’ll need a website builder to incorporate all the above features to bring your site to life.
Plenty of resources let you do the job without requiring expert knowledge of HTML or CSS. Various content management systems allow simple drag-and-drop templates that let you create new web pages in minutes.
Many websites require you to pay for premium features. But some have free versions that are powerful enough to create professional website designs for portfolios and online stores for small businesses.
Some of the best free website builders available today are:
- Webflow: Our visual web development platform t lets you create your own website with plenty of guidance along the way. You can build from scratch, use cloneable elements, or start with a template. Find out what freelance designer Antonio Segurado has to say about his experience with building in Webflow.
- WordPress: WordPress is a great platform for bloggers and is among the most popular options out there. However, this popularity means that their best free options are frequently used, so you may need to buy themes for more advanced features to help you stand out. You may also have to pay for Wordpress plugins to enhance your website’s functionality.
- Wix: This site builder uses a drag-and-drop editor and has ready-made layouts that allow you to create a website in minutes, making it handyfor beginners who don’t need a lot of customization options.Wix's optimization is also better suited for desktop viewing. Keep that in mind if you want to prioritize responsive web designs or mobile users.
- Squarespace: This is a popular platform for business needs, especially among SMBs and solopreneurs. Many opt for Squarespace because of its friendly user interface and pleasing visuals. The free plan isn't as flexible as the other options on this list, so you'll need to pay for most of its plugins and advanced features.
Create your website today
With so many resources available, building your free website doesn’t have to be hard. Webflow’s free website builder allows you to create stunning sites with tons of customizations that make room for creativity and individuality.
Webflow University is another handy web design resource that offers a wealth of free lessons and step-by-step tutorials to get you started. Check out our guide on designing a modern website in nine simple steps.
Launch your site for free today using the webflow.io domain.