We all know that a website is now an essential tool–if not the essential tool–used today by businesses and individuals to convey their messages to consumers.

But creating a website is not something that an average person has been able to do. We generally leave Web design and creation up to those geeky computer folks with brains that decode HTML faster than they decide what they want for breakfast.

The average person is no longer barred from having a website by a need for technological savvy. Knowledge of HTML, technical skills and programming experience are no longer required to create a website decked out with images, videos, audio files, blogs, and all the desired features.

Instead, now the hardest part about website creation is choosing which website-building site to use–the process has become easy and free.

I’ve compiled a list of five of the top free web-based website-building sites. If you’re not a Web designer, or if you generally lack creativity, try one of these sites for an easy and affordable solution to creating a website.

1. Weebly now hosts more than 3 million websites, from personal sites and blogs to websites for businesses, weddings, classrooms, churches, and artistic portfolios. In 2007, Weebly was named one of TIME’s 50 Best Websites of the Year.  Weebly offers everything you need to make your own stylish and professional website without any technical skills or monetary investment involved.

Some reasons to choose:

-No advertising on your site

-Ability to choose your own subdomain

-Easy, powerful drag-and-drop editor

-Built-in photo editor

-Huge selection of design templates

-Blogging feature with full comment moderation privileges

2. BlinkWeb is largely targeted at Internet marketers and online businesses. It allows for the average person to build a professionally-design stylish website in “the blink of an eye.”

Some reasons to choose:

-Simple drag and drop functionality that rivals those mentioned above

-Provides website creation from scratch or with one of many customizable professional templates

-Best known for building profitable websites designed to easily accept direct credit card payments

-Easy-to-add opt-in forms allow users to collect customer contact information

3. Wix lets you create a free website without any need for coding. Users can create either a Flash website or start from scratch on their own design.

Some reasons to choose:

-Extensive collection of professionally-designed templates via a drag-and-drop interface

-Self-explanatory menu options

-Drop-down menus on all elements of the template ease customization and development

-Variety of accessible tools like animation effects, photo albums, Google maps and RSS feeds

-Users can import photos from Flickr and videos from YouTube with only a few clicks

-Best free option for Flash websites


4. Webnode is an all-in-one site that allows for content management, hosting, site stats, email, e-commerce, blogs, forums, RSS, and much more. It is popular for its menu design that resembles Microsoft Word, making it extremely easy to for the average user to navigate.

Some reasons to choose:

-Includes support for SEO and advanced SEO techniques while automatically generating smart URL and site maps

-Users can run under their own domain name for personal use or for business

-E-commerce features allow payment gateways for credit cards and PayPal users, integrated with price comparison portals

-One of the best options for quickly creating an online store

-Operates like a content management system, allowing for automatic linking and navigation useful for content-heavy sites


5. Yola, formally Synthasite, is a popular, free website builder known for its award-winning user support.

Some reasons to choose:

-User support system structured to give immediate and helpful feedback

-Makes changes and adds features according to what customers want and need

-Provides a drag-and drop-interface; customizable templates; and integration with YouTube, Google Maps, PayPal and others

-Functionality similar to desktop publishing software such as Microsoft Publisher