These 4 Website Builders Connect Domain Name for Free

These 4 Website Builders Connect Domain Name for Free

Nowadays people tend to reach for businesses online. Your social media profiles aren’t just flexible enough to showcase your products and achievement in the most desired way. And that’s why you need a website, which lets you control almost every visual aspect of your unique pages. Thus, website builders were born, for people without any knowledge in coding to create their own websites.

However owning a website might require some investment, a typical WordPress hosting can range from $0.99 to $34.95 per month depending on the package and company.

The cost might be just a tiny fraction of the budget for most people, but the price can multiply if the business was located in the country with a weaker currency. This means that those ten bucks a month can be enormous in the eyes of others, especially for those small or local businesses.

Although there’re a hefty amount of free website builders that let you start at zero cost, a lot of those free packages don’t come with the option to connect with your own domain name, which is, in my opinion, extremely important.

Top-Level Domains VS Subdomains

Before we go deep into this section, what are top-level domains and subdomains to be exact?

Top-level domains or TLDs are the highest-level domain which usually includes the famous .com, .org, .net, and other newer domain extensions such as .accountant, .info, .me. For example, hazelyee.com and wikipedia.com are domain names with TLDs.

Another variation of TLDs is the country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) that are used for businesses that operate in a specific country. This’s due to the structure of the URL that allows clear geotargeting.

However, the downsides of having ccTLDs are the expensive price for certain ccTLDs and the strict requirement which the buyer needs to adhere to, for example proving that you are a legitimate business by submitting documents or business registration number.

But because of the country-specific extensions, harsh requirements and high prices, this also implies wider availability. Resulting in higher chances of getting your desired domain name, compared to other famous TLDs like .com.

Subdomains, on the other hand, are parts of your top-level domain. In which the word “blog” is the subdomain for blog.mywebsite.com. It’s separated with a “.” and comes before the root domain (in this case, the root domain is mywebsite.com).

Brand Recognition

So, what’s the big deal of buying a domain name with TLDs extension anyway? Well, it’s all for the branding and being user-friendly.

A subdomain name shows that you don’t take your business seriously, as it’s free and appeared to be unprofessional. It can be extremely hard to increase brand recognition if “sitebuilder.com” stuck in the middle of the domain name.

At the same time, people nowadays are accustomed to typing mywebsite.com instead of the long, generic mywebsite.sitebuilder.com. The shorter the domain name, the easier to remember. Users can effortlessly recall your domain name, type in the site URL, and access your website.

Anyhow, we can deduce that TLDs are better than subdomains. Below are a few points conclude from the paragraphs above.

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Easy to remember
  • Look more professional

Connect Domain Name for Free with These 4 Website Builders

Back to the topic, we know that good hosting isn’t cheap. That’s why these website builders are featured in this article because they can connect domain names for free, no extra cost or credit card is required.

Apart from connecting domain name for free, we will also look into other aspects such as the ease-of-use and website optimization which is the site speed and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) assessment/tracker along with the visual editor of website builders.

Here’s a list of website builders, click the link to jump to each section.

  • Blogger – The best all-rounder
  • Tumblr – Best for portfolio sites/blogs
  • Google Sites – Best for static webpages & extremely beginner-friendly
  • Ucraft – The most flexible/versatile drag-and-drop builder

Blogger

Blogger Logo

Being one of the most popular blogging platforms other than WordPress, Blogger has made its name within the blogging community. Since it was powered by one of the tech giant, Google, you can certainly get some promising features with zero-cost!

The Pros

With just an account with Google, you can immediately start blogging with blogger and connect your own domain name to it. The beginner-friendly interface also makes the blogging experience less of a headache.

You can give access to other people by adding them as “author” to edit the blog posts. And Blogger app is also available Andriod, making it easy to blog and edit from anywhere, anytime.

With its wide user base, they’re also strong demands for Blogger templates. Other than Blogger’s gorgeous default templates, you can also find a beautiful free and paid Blogger template easily. Most of them are responsive and also easy to setup.

No Sidebar Blogger Templates - GooyaabiTemplates.com
No Sidebar Blogger Templates – GooyaabiTemplates.com

Unlike WordPress which offered widgets and various types of plugins, Blogger only has widgets only which users could add to their site. Luckily, there are a lot of free plugins or tools online that support embedding script in Blogger.

Blogger has theme customization for fonts and colors, as well as HTML and CSS editing. So that users can easily alter the look and feels of the blog easily.

It also provides backup for blog templates in which users can download the template before making a change to the theme script. HTML and CSS editing are also available for post and page editing which also has the rich-text editor.

If you run into issues on Blogger, you can find a lot of helpful articles, FAQs in Help Center or ask a question in Blogger Help Community to get you through any issue on Blogger.

  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • Give access to others by adding them as “author”
  • App available in Android
  • A large number of responsive and beautifully-designed templates
  • Widgets
  • Support by a decent amount of third-party plugins by adding them to HTML script or by the HTML widget
  • Theme and layout customization
  • HTML and CSS editing
  • Theme backup
  • Can create both static pages and blog posts
  • Helpful articles, Help Center and Blogger Help Community to get you through any trouble

The Cons

The downside of Blogger is probably the struggle of keeping those third-party tools in check by going to dashboard on different websites, especially if you have a ton of plugins.

Blogger, unlike WordPress and some website builders, doesn’t come with the plugin that helps with the website optimization. You need to use other third-party tools to optimize your web content and site structure to make it more SEO friendly or enhance your site speed to make it more user-friendly.

Blogger has a very basic drag-and-drop editor for blog overall layout, which only allows you to change the placement and arrangement of the widgets within the main content and sidebars.

It also doesn’t have a drag-and-drop editor for each individual page in a blogger, which means that the user should either stick with a plain text editor or tweak the HTML themselves. And for those iPhone and iPad users out there, sadly there’s no official app from Blogger for IOS.

Plus, if you have any issue that even the community members can’t solve, you might be running out of option because Blogger doesn’t offer email and live chat support. It could be also quite irritating if your problem is urgent and the waiting time for community members to answer your question can be uncertain too.

  • Accessing different website to manage plugins
  • No website optimization tools
  • Limited drag-and-drop editor for blog overall layout
  • No drag-and-drop editor for each individual page
  • Lack of app for IOS
  • No email and live chat support

Conclusion

I would say Blogger is an all-rounder. It can definitely get the job done because of the freedom of changing up the code. A Blogger website can also be as good as other paid site builders if you pour your heart and soul into it.

Tumblr

Tumblr Logo

Being one of the most popular social networks for arts and pop culture, Tumblr is a famous social media platform owned by Automattic. And yes, this is the same Automattic that runs the famous WordPress.

Aside from owned by the company that operates the famous CMS, what makes it stand out from the rest of the social sharing platforms is that Tumblr actually allows you to customize your own page, eventually make it a blog.

The Pros

Tumblr users will get their own blog with their username as the subdomain, for example, yourusername.tumblr.com, in which you can connect your custom domain name to it for free in a few easy steps.

Aside from your primary blog which is the blog created under the username you used to register Tumblr, you can also create up to 10 secondary blogs per day. The secondary blogs offer password protection and it can be managed by multiple users.

Tumblr also has an intuitive interface for posting content on the blog, you can post text, quote, chat, video, audio, link, and image. Tumblr’s app is also available on IOS and Android.

Tumblr is most famous for its portfolio style blog templates. It comes with thousands of free and paid templates that you can instantly install via the theme editor without downloading from third-party sites and install them on your own. But don’t worry, as text-based themes are also popular on Tumblr.

Popular Free Themes - Tumblr
Popular Free Themes – Tumblr

The blog also supported by different types of third-party plugins to really increase the site performance. User can customize the blog via “edit theme”, HTML and CSS editing are also available for both theme and post/page editor to change up the design of the blog.

Another cool feature that makes Tumblr blog the perfect portfolio website is the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) function which is available in every theme.

The user-first framework makes sure that the web content especially images won’t slow the page loading speed on mobile, as faster loading speed means a better conversion rate.

For those who are Tumblr newcomers, don’t worry about having trouble with customizing your blog as they have one of the most helpful Help Center I have ever seen. It’s easy to understand and less technical compared to other website builders. You can also contact support via email, which is quite helpful.

The Cons

Just like Blogger, the user needs to access different websites to manage their plugins. Other than AMP, Tumblr also lacked other website optimization tools such as SEO tools and that’s is understandable because most of them are most likely image-based websites.

The drag-and-drop editor is also not available for both blog layout and individual pages.

The AMP is a great addition but the AMP design is the default blog appearance instead of the blog theme. The blog appearance is the blog design you edit in the mobile app, this means limited customization and inconsistent website design.

Tumblr blog also didn’t offer any widget such as the text widget, contact form widget, HTML and JavaScript widget and so on. This can be quite inconveniencing for the site owners to generate leads and users reaching out to the site owners.

And if you are planning to add a third party widget, please keep in mind that most Tumblr templates didn’t include sidebar as normal blogs do due to the minimalist design. This, however, can be solved by changing up the code in the HTML editor, which is a nuisance for those who don’t code.

The lack of live chat support will also be quite annoying if you have an urgent issue that you need to solve immediately.

  • Accessing different website to manage plugins
  • Lack of SEO tools
  • No drag-and-drop editor for the blog layout and each individual page
  • Only default blog appearance in AMP
  • No widget
  • Lack of live chat support

Conclusion

Tumblr might not your traditional website builder, in fact, it didn’t come equipped with dozen features that make a converting website. However, it does make it the perfect candidate for portfolio sites and websites for freelancers to display their work.

Google Sites

Google Sites Logo

Yes, your eyes aren’t fooling you. Google has a free website builder and it’s a stylish drag-and-drop editor. The previous Google product, Blogger is more of a blogging platform, while Google Sites leans towards static webpages that you don’t need to update often.

The Pros

In Google Sites, you need to verify your domain name first before assigning it to your site. Unlike the blogging platform above, the drag-and-drop builder is available for each individual page, in other words, unique and engaging content is just a few clicks away!

Google Sites is hands-down, yet again, the most beginner-friendly interface which any newbies can find it easy to navigate. It’s a drag-and-drop builder that comes with various layouts and elements that can help you to create the most converting website.

Google Sites Drag-And-Drop Builder - Google Sites
Google Sites Drag-And-Drop Builder – Google Sites

The preset layouts consist of different numbers of columns with different text and image alignment. Meanwhile, the elements (widgets) contain image, text, button, image carousel, slide, chart, form and many more.

Google Sites also allow you to add your teammates to edit the site with you, making teamwork easier than ever. The website templates are both modern and responsive which are pre-made for those who have zero experience in the website design.

At the same time, you can also add third-party plugin easily with the embed tools too. Since it’s a Google product, you can also add Google Analytics to your site easily by entering the code. And just like Blogger, it has a Help Center and Sites Help Community to help you in the journey of building your own website.

  • Drag-and-drop editor for each page
  • Newbie-friendly interface
  • Various preset layouts
  • Different elements (widget)
  • Easy to add teammates
  • Responsive site
  • Add third-party plugins with embed
  • Help Center and Sites Help Community

The Cons

If Google Sites seems like the perfect website builder then you might be disappointed to hear that it has limited control over fonts and colors. There are only 3 fonts to choose from per template. Each template only can have 1 color, and the website is built around that particular color only.

There are only six templates to choose from and the differences between each template are probably the border design around the page title and the 3 fonts. Nothing else, that’s all.

Google Sites Six Templates - Google Sites
Google Sites Six Templates – Google Sites

There aren’t any HTML and CSS editing for Google Sites as well, so you can’t change any element on your website with code.

Google Sites also doesn’t have the blogging function, which is a bumper consider blogging is a great way for reaching out to people. And it seems that Google has no email and live chat support just like Blogger.

  • Accessing different website to manage plugins
  • No website optimization tools
  • Limited fonts and color
  • There’re only 6 templates
  • No HTML and CSS editing
  • Lack of blogging tool
  • No email and live chat support

Conclusion

Google Sites is the absolute choice for those who are a total beginner and don’t mind having a simple, clean website. It’s easy to manage, navigate and excellent for those who don’t need to update their site often.

Ucraft

Ucraft Logo

Ucraft is a popular website builder that offers a free plan and connects the domain name for free. Its free plan is definitely one of the most “premium” free plans I’ve seen in my life, so good it’s almost a dream come true!

The Pros

Other than connecting domain name for free, Ucraft offers unlimited bandwidth, unlimited pages and free SSL certificate in the free plan. Yes, those are the things that don’t normally appear in the free-tier, but Ucraft gives them away free of charge.

Not only that, but it also owns a password protected page which is great for providing exclusive content to those who hold the password.

Ucraft too has a library of stunning, responsive templates that you can use for your site. You can definitely find the best templates to suit your needs within their template library.

Website templates - Ucraft
Website templates – Ucraft

Another great feature about Ucraft is that the highly flexible theme customization with drag-and-drop function. In fact, I would say that Ucraft has one of the craziest website builders in the internet realm! The possibilities are endless in Ucraft.

You can change the height of the element by stretching it, you can even add effect to your element to make it more engaging to browse! Without any coding experience, you can make a professional-looking website in no time!

In terms of customer support, Ucraft Support has an extensive range of articles, which some even come in video format to help you understand Ucraft better. They also have a Community for people to seek answers. Live chat support is also available for those who want to solve their issue in the shortest amount of time.

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited pages
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free SEO tool
  • Password protected page
  • A library of stunning and responsive template
  • Highly-flexible template customization
  • Different elements
  • Various effects
  • Ucraft Support and Community
  • Live chat support

The Cons

Ucraft doesn’t offer blogging tools in their free tier as blogging can be a part of an SEO strategy for the website. The website builder for Ucraft is also considered hard-to-use, if you compare to other similar website builders like Wix, Weebly, Elementor and so on.

Ucraft too doesn’t seem to have any website speed optimization tool, as their website can be loaded with scripts and files of the effect and interactive elements, causing website speed to be much slower.

In addition, Ucraft’s free package doesn’t consist of HTML, CSS and JS embedding, this indicates no additional third-party plugins are going to be added to the site. Google Fonts will also not available for the free package so say goodbye to those fancy blocks of letters.

Ucraft also has a very obvious watermark compared to the website builders above. As Ucraft’s watermark is a sticky white label, which your users will definitely notice it as it will continue to stick on the bottom right of the screen no matter how far the users scroll.

Ucraft Review - Merchant Maverick
Ucraft Review – Merchant Maverick

Conclusion

Ucraft is a great site builder for those who want a fancy website with no cost. And from my point of view, Ucraft watermark isn’t as flashy as other site builders, and it’s still considerably subtle. Nevertheless, it’s a great site creator which let you create a beautiful website.

Summary

As a business owner, a high price tag shouldn’t be stopping you from establishing your digital presence.

A good website builder doesn’t equal to the high price tag. But if they can get your work done, why would you bother to pay for the same builder with few extra functions you don’t need?

The website builders recommended in the article aren’t really the best according to the mass majority. But in my opinion, they did everyone a favor by offering free domain name connection, one of the major steps in building your online presence.

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