Get Your Small Business Online with Mailchimp’s Free Website Builder

See how our website builder stacks up against the competition to find the platform that’s best for you.

A free website builder can help you get your small business online, but they’re not all created equal. Some have hidden costs, like fees for hosting.

Not so with Mailchimp. With Mailchimp, you can get your business online at no cost. Just sign up for the free marketing plan to access the website builder, Mailchimp-branded domain names, and domain hosting.

With Mailchimp’s Free plan, you’ll also get access to robust features like email marketing and organic social media posting, and you can upgrade to a paid marketing plan or pay for a custom domain any time you’re ready. This powerful free marketing plan allows up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 monthly email sends. As your business grows, you can add more contacts, unlock higher email send limits, and access more tools with one of Mailchimp’s paid plans, but the website builder and hosting remain free.

 
 

Small business success starts online

For a small business that’s just getting started, a website is essential—now more than ever. Research shows that 29% of small businesses planned to start using websites for the first time in 2020. Even businesses that already have websites have increased how much they use them. In the same survey, 60% of small businesses reported that they planned to rely more on their sites as marketing channels.

The good news? You don’t have to spend money or be a professional web developer to create a site that works. There are plenty of free website builders that are easy to use, but they offer different features and functionality, so it’s worth investigating what’s available before you choose the one that works for you.

Is “free” truly free?

Now that websites are so crucial for businesses of all sizes, many companies are offering website builders that are free to use. But keep in mind that “free” doesn’t always apply to the whole package. Mailchimp, Wix, and Weebly all offer free website building and hosting, but not everyone does. For example, Squarespace lets you build a website at no cost, but you’ll have to pay if you want the company to host your site.

It’s like building a home—you need more than the structure, you need somewhere to put it. In this analogy, Mailchimp, Wix, and Weebly offer both for free.

Using Mailchimp, you can build your site with the free website builder, put it online with free Mailchimp-branded domain names, and keep it there with free hosting.

With Mailchimp, it’s free to sell your products or services on your website, but that’s not true across the board. Some companies, like Squarespace, charge you transaction fees on top of payment processing fees if you want people to be able to buy your stuff through your website. To sell from your Mailchimp website, simply integrate with Stripe and pay only integrated, per-transaction pricing with no hidden fees.

How Mailchimp’s free website builder compares

It’s important to consider your options for website builders, just like you would if you were building a new home.

Here’s how Mailchimp compares to Wix’s and Weebly’s free website builders and Squarespace’s lowest-priced website package.

Mailchimp Free PlanWix Free PlanWeebly Free PlanSquarespace Personal Plan ($16/month)
Free site buildingYesYesYesYes
Free hostingYesYesYesYes
Connect a previously purchased custom domainYesNoNoYes
E-commerceYes—with a Stripe-connected buy button*No—must upgrade for $23/month minimumYes—with a Square connectionNo—must upgrade to Squarespace Business plan for $26/month
Reporting- Site-level reporting through your website’s dashboard
- Contact-level reporting through your free Marketing CRM
Not available with free planNot available with free planTracking for: - Website visits
- Traffic sources
- Geography
- Site activity
- Popular content
- Keywords
- RSS subscribers
Option to remove branding from the host siteYes, must upgrade to paid plan to remove Mailchimp-branded footerYes, must upgrade to paid plan to remove Wix banner adsYes, must upgrade to paid plan to remove Square footerYes, branding is a default option in this paid plan, but can be removed
Site marketing- Marketing CRM
- Email marketing
- Paid and organic social posing
- Postcards
- Audience segmentation
- Website behavioral targeting
- Unlimited landing pages
Personalized SEO planEmail marketing with Weebly Promote (free trial, then $8 per month and up)Email marketing with Squarespace Email Campaigns (free trial, then $7 per month and up)

*Stripe account required. Depending on your Stripe account settings, fees to you or your customers may apply.

What sets Mailchimp apart?

Unlike other platforms, Mailchimp lets you build your website and promote it—all in one marketing platform—with the Free plan. You can even get a free Mailchimp domain with free hosting or connect your existing custom domain.

You can sell from your site at no additional cost, too. Sign up for a Stripe account (if you don’t have one already) and add a buy button powered by Stripe to your website. Depending on your Stripe account settings, fees may apply.

Plus, the best websites keep getting better. Mailchimp streamlines that process with website reports that give you insight into what’s working so you can improve as you go—and do it all within your Mailchimp account.

 
 

Beyond the website builder: More free tools to boost your business

When you build and host a website with Mailchimp, you also get access to marketing tools to promote it. Start by signing up for a free Mailchimp marketing plan, which includes the website builder. Then, use these other powerful marketing features and tools at no extra cost on Mailchimp’s free marketing plan.

Free audience management

You get a robust marketing customer relationship manager (CRM). You can use this to segment your audience based on how they respond to your marketing and interact with your site. Then, put your segmentation to work by sending timely, personalized messages that give people the information they need at the moment they need it.

On your easy-to-navigate dashboard, you can create and view detailed contact profiles. You can also add tags based on your contacts’ demographics, interests, or other details you know about them. You can add some tags automatically, like to contacts who join your audience from a specific landing page.

Unlimited landing pages

Focused on growing your audience? When you use Mailchimp’s free website builder, you can create an unlimited number of landing pages using predesigned templates. These landing pages serve as destinations for any of your online marketing campaigns, and you can set them up so they’re the perfect next step in your customers’ journey.

Free sign-up forms

When you have a free Mailchimp marketing plan, you can make your website even more effective at growing your audience with embedded or pop-up sign-up forms. Mailchimp makes it easy for you to design forms that not only match your brand but also build stronger relationships with your visitors.

Free social media management tools

With Mailchimp’s free marketing plan, you can stay connected with your audience through free and paid social media posting. Link your posts to your website or create landing pages specifically to suit your social media campaigns.

You can also easily track performance data from those social media campaigns and ads through your audience dashboard. Using that information and Mailchimp’s audience segmentation tools, you can create stronger and more relevant social media messages.

What you get with Mailchimp’s paid plans

Ready to do more with your website and marketing? Mailchimp scales with you as your business grows. At any time, you can upgrade from a free marketing plan to a paid option with more functionality.

If you’re ready to do more in Mailchimp—or you’ve exceeded the 2,000 contacts and 10,000 monthly email sends permitted with the Free marketing plan—there are 3 paid plans to choose from.

You can upgrade at any time. Check out Mailchimp’s pricing page for full details.

 
 

How to pick the best website builder for you

Consider your options carefully before you choose a website builder. If you rush into a decision only to find that your initial choice doesn’t have the functions you need, you could be forced to start over from scratch. Before you commit, consider the following questions.

Do you want the option of a custom domain?

If you’re just getting started, a free domain might be enough. Mailchimp’s free website builder includes a free Mailchimp-branded domain (like yoursitename.mailchimpsites.com), and that’s great for businesses that want to get up and running for as little cost as possible.

At some point, though, you might be ready to buy or connect a custom domain. These are domains like yourbusiness.com or yourcompany.net—addresses that don’t include builder brandings like yourbusiness.weebly.com, yourbusiness.wixsite.com, or yourbusiness.mailchimpsites.com. There’s nothing wrong with those branded domains, but custom domains can help you look more professional. Mailchimp offers custom domains starting at $12.99/year.

Keep in mind that some companies like Wix and Weebly don’t let you add a custom domain for free to a pre-built site. Mailchimp does.

How do you plan to drive traffic to your site?

Fewer than 6% of sites will rank in Google’s top 10 in their first year. You need a strong promotional strategy to get there, and if you don’t reach that point, you need marketing to close the gap.

If you have a robust marketing strategy already established, you might do fine with a site builder that doesn’t include promotional tools. But beware—it can be tough to track results when your marketing and website hosting aren’t connected. Mailchimp can solve that problem for you.

With Mailchimp, you get access to email and social media tools included with your free marketing plan. Your personalized dashboard makes it easy for you to see the results of each of your campaigns so you know instantly what’s working and what needs to change. While the free marketing plan is powerful, you might need more than 2,000 contacts and 10,000 monthly email sends. Mailchimp’s paid plans have higher contact and email send limits but the website builder and hosting are still free.

Do you need advanced analytics?

Mailchimp offers basic site view data with the Free marketing plan, but if you want to look at what specific parts of your site that people are interested in, then the Standard plan might be right for you.

With a Standard plan, you can unlock website engagement data like page views and link clicks, and advanced segmentation tools like:

The Standard plan also gives you more options for structuring customer journeys and retargeting people who have gone astray. It’s ideal for many users who outgrow the Free plan.

Getting your website up and running

Choosing a website builder is just one step in your online business journey, but it’s among the most important. Make sure that what you expect to be free is actually free, and if there are any extra charges, be certain they’re worth the price. (For some companies, buying a custom domain is worthwhile from the start.)

Also, be sure you have the tools to market your new site, track your results, and continue to strengthen your relationship with your audience. Even Free plan users can do that using Mailchimp’s powerful Marketing CRM.

Build a beautiful website and look like a pro

Establish your brand online with Mailchimp’s Free plan.

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