Difference Between Free and Paid Websites. The surge of websites built on free platforms peaked at the end of the first decade of this century. Once-popular platforms like uCoz and h2m have now declined, and the leading WAP site builder “Wen.ru” has even shut down. This decline is due to the lack of interest in creating sites on free platforms. Projects built on subdomains of free website builders have faded away. More and more people prefer sites created on full-fledged content management systems (CMS), which, in turn, are hosted on paid hosting and second-level domains. Almost every popular CMS has numerous plugins that enhance its functionality, allowing the owner to independently modify the site’s configuration. Unfortunately, sites built on builders are limited in this aspect by the functionality of the builder itself.

Defining Types of Websites

Free Website – a project built without monetary investment using a builder’s functionality. Users registered on the builder are allocated specific space for files and a database and are provided with a third-level domain like “username.buildername.ru”. Essentially, all rights to a site built on a builder belong to its owners. The user simply manages the project at their discretion.

Paid Website – a project usually based on a CMS and hosted on paid hosting. It typically uses a second-level paid domain for the site’s address. However, there are exceptions. For instance, in the .tk zone, a domain can be obtained for free for the first year, but its renewal will be much more expensive than in other domain zones.


To feel the difference, imagine your website as a regular room. A free website is like a small room in a dormitory with a shared kitchen and bathroom. In contrast, a site on paid hosting is an apartment, and its location depends solely on the thickness of its owner’s wallet. Want to host your project on robust servers in the Netherlands? Pay up and use the services! Unfortunately, builders cannot offer such advantages, and users are bound to the conditions of the free builder. As a result, owners of paid sites have more freedom in terms of hosting their project.

Moreover, a user of a site built on a builder is allocated a specific amount of space on the hard drive, which is typically not expandable. Regarding paid sites, expanding disk space is just a few clicks away for a certain sum of money. Hosting providers initially offer larger amounts of traffic and disk space than free builders. If you plan to fill your project with videos or music, you’ll need to use the services of hosting companies in any case. Thus, the key difference between free sites and paid projects is that the former doesn’t require monetary investment.

“Constructing” a site on a builder is almost the same as working in a Word text editor. Users create pages, add texts and images, create tables, and upload everything through the program’s interface to the site. Building a site on a builder is a straightforward process that almost any internet user can handle, limited only by the builder’s functionality. For instance, if a platform doesn’t include a forum or a version for the visually impaired, adding them to the site won’t be possible.

Opting to create a site on paid hosting allows the owner not to be limited in the project’s configuration. After installing a CMS, the user gets a vast array of plugins to expand its functionality. Forums, chats, and other features can be installed with a few clicks. Moreover, a wide range of designs allows customization according to one’s preferences, unlike similar-looking free sites built on builders.

The difference between free and paid websites lies in design freedom, extended functionality, and the ability to manage the project’s configuration. Each future website owner chooses the “construction method” for their resource based on their abilities and the availability of funds. Some might suffice with a simple brochure site, while others need a corporate site or an e-commerce platform. However, recently, there’s been a symbiosis of builders and paid hosting on the internet. Platforms like Wix.com initially offer creating a quality free site based on a pre-established scheme. To expand functionality, link a second-level domain, or increase storage, payments are required according to set tariffs. Perhaps, this is the best option for those who want a site but have limited knowledge of hosting, domains, and CMS.