If you’re new to having your own website and are looking at starting small with a free website builder, then you’ve clicked on the right place. Or if you have a small business and are increasingly feeling the need to get online, then this website builder comparison is just what you need.

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the majority of South African households. Many people want to start businesses but have no capital to get started. Budding entrepreneurs don’t always have the financial resources to start, and a free website builder is a robust tool for small business owners.

We’ll be discussing and comparing the top free website builders in 2020:

Company Registration at CIPC

Web Builder




Fres (cost-effective)

User-friendly Website Editor

Automatic backups


Customer support


Assigned URL:  username.wixsite.com/site address

Wix ads

Up to 500MB storage

Up to 500MB bandwidth

Online payments not available

Google Analytics unavailable


Free (cost-effective)

Free SSL security


Lead capture

Contact forms

Customer support

500MB storage

Domain with Weebly branding

No e-commerce capabilities



Online store capabilities

Unlimited products


Mobile-friendly designs




No free plan (basic plan costs R472. 29 after 14 day trial)

2.0% Transaction fee


The free web builder options are feasible starting points, but if you plan on having an online store and scaling, you’ll need a web builder with e-commerce capabilities. From the free web builders in the table, Shopify is the most viable option but, it’s not necessarily free – they have a 14-day trial, and when the trial ends, it’ll cost you R472 for the basic plan. Our e-commerce web builder starts at R209 a month and features:

  • Multiple design layouts
  • Mobile-friendly designs
  • Drag and drop website builder
  • Free .co.za domain

When your business grows, your website will have more demands; like more space, e-commerce capabilities, infrastructure to allow more visitors, etc. And you will ultimately need to invest in a long-term web builder option.

The website builder prices are:

Web Builder

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3


*Business Basic

R 276.81

*Business Unlimited

R 407.07

*Business VIP

R 569.90


*Basic Shopify

R 472,20


R 1286.33

*Advanced Shopify

R 4868.53



R 195.39


R 407.07

*Business Plus

R 618.74


*Small Website Builder


*Medium Website Builder


*Large Website Builder