Web hosting is an essential foundation for any website, but it doesn't always have to come with a price tag. This guide delves into the world of free web hosting. We will review some of the best free hosting services available in the market and explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of such services.
More Hosting Choices: Best Overall / Cheap Web Hosting / Website Builders
Hostinger started their hosting business back in 2004. The web hosting company was originally located in Kaunas, Lithuania, and has offices all over the world today. The company offers both free and a wide range of paid hosting plans – including shared hosting, VPS, and cloud hosting.
Hostinger's free website hosting services are offered through 000WebHost – a free web host in business since 2007. Basic paid shared hosting, named “Single Web Hosting Plan”, allows hosting one website and offers 50 GB storage, 100 GB bandwidth, 1 email account, and a drag-and-drop website builder.
Hostinger Free Hosting
Hostinger's free hosting is a fantastic choice for beginners who want to spend absolutely nothing on their web host. All free account allows up to 300 MB of disk space, 1 MySQL database, and 1 FTP account; and it is protected by Cloudflare nameserver.
- 300 MB disk space storage
- MySQL database included
- Free HTTPS web hosting
- 99% uptime guarantee
- Support PHP, FTP, and Cloudflare
- User-friendly control dashboard – HPanel
- Auto malware monitoring with Imunify360
- Optimized for WordPress
Hostinger Upgrading Options
For those who are already using Hostinger's free platform, the company offers ultra-cheap website hosting for upgrades. Their Single Shared Hosting plan sells at an incredibly cheap price of $1.99 per month. Users who want better hosting features, such as auto weekly backup, larger storage space, drag-and-drop website builder, and GIT access, should upgrade to this paid package.
To learn more about Hostinger, read our review here.
What's the Catch Behind Hostinger Free Plan?
When hosting at Hostinger's free platform (000WebHost), your website has to be in the form of a subdomain (ie. yourdomain.000webhost.com). Want to host your own custom domain? Pay!
Also, free Hostinger hosting users will have to put up with an enforced one hour of “sleep” time every day. This means that it will be unavailable to anyone – including yourself.
As for their basic paid plan, the ultra-cheap pricing does come with one condition – you will have to signup for four years, which is longer than the usually recommended subscription period of 24 months.
Wix is a household name that has made its name in the website-building business and was one of the earlier new-generation of web tools. It’s great for newbies and is easy to use, plus offers enough for the starter-offs to get interested before they hop on to any paid plans.
Wix Free Website Plan
Wix's free plan comes with a powerful website editor (Wix), free website templates, and adequate storage space.
- 500 MB of disk space and bandwidth
- Proprietary database and control panel
- Drag-and-drop website builder included
- Support SSL by default – Free HTTPS hosting
- Free basic Wix website templates and apps
Wix Upgrading Options
Because its plans are designed to scale up functionality to websites, Wix at higher levels can get really expensive. Those prices include functions such as a form builder, email marketing campaigns, online payment gateways, and even website reviews by professionals.
At the lowest Wix clocks in at $4.50 per month, going up to $24.50 per month.
To learn more, read our Wix review here.
What’s the Catch with Wix Free Hosting?
Wix is a proprietary engine. This means it’ll try to hold on to you almost any way it can. The good news is that it plays better with other tools compared to its close competitor Weebly. is compatible with some tools such as Caspio, a free database platform.
Your free Wix website will be in the form of a subdomain: accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress. To point your website on a custom domain (ie. yourdomain.com), you will have to subscribe to Wix paid plans.
Also, Wix is not ad-free. If you’re not on a paying plan, it will plaster Wix ads on every page of your site with alacrity.
Founded in 2002 in San Francisco by college buddies David, Dan and Chris, Weebly is a site builder that has helped over 40 million websites. With combined annual traffic of more than 325 million unique visitors, the company is now backed by funding from major players such as Sequoia Capital and Tencent Holdings.
Weebly Free Website Hosting Plan
Weebly is one of the new generations of site-builder-slash-web-hosts that is doing fantastically well. Not only its free plan is advertisement-free, but advanced site features like SEO, form builder, online shop builder, and shopping cart are included.
Weebly is also well supported through a vibrant community and you can also reach out to them via email or live chat.
- 500 MB of disk space and bandwidth
- Proprietary database and control panel
- Quick online shop setup with inventory management
- Free SSL, SEO, form builder, and Instagram feed support
- Weebly website templates and apps included
Weebly Upgrading Options
Weebly tried hard to sell its online store builder, and as such tends to focus on transactional key points. Upgrade plans increase basic features, but the highlight is how many products you’re allowed to sell at a time. Of course, if you’re just looking for hosting plans, it works that way as well. Prices range from $12 per month up to $26 per month.
Learn more about Weebly in my review.
What’s the Catch with Weebly Free Website Hosting?
Weebly is big on “Weebly” and doesn’t really play nice with anything else. For example, it doesn’t support server-side scripting (such as PHP), or database integration.
Your free domain hosted on Weebly will be in the form of a Weebly.com subdomain (ie. yourwebsite.weebly.com). To connect to a custom domain, you will have to move up to a paid plan.
True, Weebly free plan is extremely powerful on its own. However, this also means in terms of flexibility, you’re likely stuck with Weebly for good once you start using it.
20i is a UK-based web hosting provider that’s been around for only a few years. The founders behind it, however, have a long and distinguished track record. The company currently maintains a decent product range which surprisingly enough, includes a free CDN of their own.
20i Free Hosting Packages
20i ticks a lot of the right boxes on their free offering when compared to similar plans. Among their notable features is that not only do they offer you an ad-free experience, but you’re free to run ads on your site to earn money.
- 10 GB disk storage with 250 MB monthly bandwidth
- Easy app installation including WordPress
- Free HTTPS hosting (wildcard SSL)
- Manage using My20i control panel
- Free transfer of .uk domain
20i Upgrading Options
The next logical step up from 20i’s free plan would be one of their standard shared hosting options. However, I suggest looking past the lowest tier and skipping straight to the ‘Premium’ plan. You get tons more of every resource type – in many cases it’s unmetered.
Potential Drawbacks with 20i Free Hosting
While 20i is generous in its main areas, they’ve decided to limit web bandwidth a bit tightly. All free users only get 250MB each month, an amount that will disappear faster than you can say ‘boo’.
Learn more about 20i in Timothy's review.
HubSpot was launched back in 2006 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. While renowned for its robust CMS offering, the company recently introduced a free web hosting solution. They aim to help ensure your content is secure and reliable when reaching your customers.
HubSpot Free Hosting Services
HubSpot’s free web hosting provides websites with 24/7 security and threat detection, SSL, WAF, and a dedicated security team. With its built-in CDN and web monitoring features, you can save time when hosting a website for free at HubSpot.
- Unmetered storage space and bandwidth
- Intuitive drag-and-drop website builder
- Built-in CDN and content hosting
- Free security features with WAF, SSL, and Malware/Threat Detection
- Data integration into HubSpot’s All-in-one CRM platform
- Content optimization and SEO recommendations
More Tools Available With Upgrades
You can unlock more premium tools if you choose to upgrade from HubSpot’s freemium pricing model. HubSpot’s free tools offer many “lite” versions of select tools. This model lets you try the tools extensively and upgrade to unleash the full power of those you select.
What’s the Catch with HubSpot Free Web Hosting?
HubSpot's Content Management System (CMS) is rather basic and their starter paid plan costs an eye-watering $23 per month.
Offering website hosting services since 2004, AwardSpace has been around the block a few times and is still standing. Over time they have been tweaking their free hosting offering and keeping up with the competition. Just last year they launched a completely redesigned website and streamlined their services.
Awardspace Free Hosting Services
The free version of Awardspace comes without an uptime guarantee. For that, you’ll have to host your site at one of their paid plans. The good part about Awardspace's paid hosting plan is there is at least a Service Level Agreement at 99.9% plus a no-questions-asked refund within the first 30 days if you’re unhappy with the company.
- Disk Space: 1GB, Bandwidth: 5GB
- Built-in Spam Protection
- Easy CMS installer, support WordPress, Joomla, and more.
- Ad-free site hosting
- Free HTML website hosting
Awardspace Upgrading Options
Awardspace comes in three flavors (aside from free), with prices starting at $4.99 per month and up to $9.99 per month. For new signups, Awardspace offers a whopping discount of up to 95% off, which means you could be paying as little as 25 cents a month.
Potential Risks of Hosting a Free Website at Awardspace?
There’s really no glaring catch at Awardspace and it offers what could be called a fair to middling free account to newbies. I’m guessing part of the plan is to price their starter-paying plans cheaply to slowly hook customers and reel them in. The benefits between paid plans are very incremental at the lowest tier.
7. Byet Host
Byet Host (Yes, it’s spelled correctly) is a bold one, laying claim to being the “fastest free web host In the World!”. Part of the reason it might say that is because it’s depending purely on server processing time and doesn’t factor in anything else such as Time to First Byte. It’s the free arm of hosting provider iFastNet, which might also be an eye-raiser since their cheapest plans apparently come with six free domains! This free host offers a ton of goodies and might be worth a look at.
Byet Host Free Hosting Plan
It’s interesting to note that Byet Host offers 24/7 support even to free accounts. Even if they take some time to support tickets, it’s not often you see a free host that offers real support. Most of the time either knowledge bases are used, or at best, a user forum where you help one another.
- Unlimited bandwidth and 5 GB disk storage
- 24/7 customer support
- Free WordPress hosting
- Advertisement-free web hosting
- Free HTML or PHP hosting services
- Manage your hosting account with VistaPanel
Byet Host Upgrade Options
Since they offer so much to free accounts, what do you get from paying for hosting with Byet Host? Upgrades to SSD-driven performance, free domains, and unusually enough – a different control panel (cPanel). Prices start from $4.99 per month all the way to $7.99 per month.
What’s the Catch Behind Byet Host Free Hosting Service?
Although Byet Host sounds almost too good to be true, it might be good if you take some time to check what they offer in detail. I’ve found the way many terms and services are worded (ie. Free Reseller Hosting? Doesn't make sense at all) to be a little shady and open to interpretation in various ways.
More details on Byet Host terms and conditions.
Rather than a free server hosting, I’d consider Dreamnix to be “almost-free” since they offer top-of-the-line features with sharp limitations in their free product. This is in line with their concept of “try before you buy”.
Putting Up Your HTML Site for Free at Dreamix
It’s a pretty good bet that Dreamix is legit, since all-round the company stresses its money-back guarantee. In fact, it doesn’t even take your credit card information until you pay for any service. As I said – try before you buy!
- 1 GB SSD storage with 1 GB monthly bandwidth
- Free cPanel hosting
- No advertising on free accounts
Server Upgrade Options
Once you’re outgrown your free plan, upgrades differ mainly in terms of add-on features such as access to Cron jobs, mailing lists, and so on. The basics such as bandwidth and sick space go up to unlimited with even the lowest plan. Starts from $1.95 per month up to $4.95 per month based on annual subscription rates.
What’s the Catch Behind Dreamnix Free Plan?
As far as we can see, nothing much, except that Dreamnix is limited to data centers in only three locations. These are nicely spread out around the world though, so there shouldn’t be any real issues here.
Learn more about Dreamix limitation in their ToS.
Freehostia proudly announces more than ten years of serving hosts in the industry and shouts out about ‘Load Balanced Cluster Technology’ versus standalone servers. It’s a large-scale web host, meaning that aside from offering slices of hosting, it also offers high-end solutions such as dedicated servers. On the downside, the Data Centre location is limited to only Chicago.
Hosting PHP Sites at Freehostia
Uptime for free hosts is mentioned to be 99.9%, which is usually an indicator that paid plans increase in reliability. Unfortunately, Freehostia doesn’t show uptime for paid plans, so it’s a bit of a hit-and-miss.
- 250 MB storage with 250 monthly bandwidth
- Free website templates
- Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
- No ads website hosting services
- PHP & MySQL database support
Server Upgrading Options
Freehostia offers multiple plans of incremental capacities. The key thing here seems that there is much focus on the amount of storage given; strange since storage is pretty much dirt cheap nowadays and most web hosts are practically giving it away. Prices start at $14 per month and up to $65 per month for their upgraded plans.
Potential Drawbacks with Freehostia Free Server
Storage space, storage space, and storage space. Freehostia seems intent to cripple users through storage space alone. 250MB for a web host (even a free one) today seems unconscionable.
Also, there are so many plans available that just browsing through them is enough to confuse you.
The first thing you’ll notice when you visit FreeHosting.com is that it’s plastered all over with the word “Free”. Great, since that’s what you’re after right? Not so much when you realize that the long list of features offered is cunningly interspaced with non-free items just so that it looks longer.
FreeHosting.com Free Plan
- 10 GB storage with unmetered website bandwidth
- Free website builder
- Free cPanel hosting with CMS auto installer
- PHP & MySQL database support
Server Upgrade Options
Freehosting.com only offers two plans – you pay, or you don’t. Paid accounts benefit from unlimited storage space and bandwidth at $7.99 per month.
Potential Drawbacks with FreeHosting.com
For the free service, not much that we can find. I’ve been around and again over this website but there doesn’t seem to be any mention at all of an uptime guarantee, which is a little frightening. The only time money-back is mentioned is within its 30-day grace period of paid accounts.
Also. there is a caveat in their terms of service: There is an ‘out’ clause there that basically states that they can shut you down if you’re taking up too many (unspecified) resources.
11. Free Hosting EU
FreeHostingEU is not affiliated with Freehosting.com, but reminds us a little of Freehostia, in the sense that it offers a paltry amount of storage space in the hopes that you’ll get frustrated and upgrade. I’m not sure where the mentality of annoying your customer in the hopes he’ll pay you came from, but it seems successful for web hosts. It’s worth noting though that this host offers free .eu5.net domains even for free accounts.
More About FreeHostingEU Services
All plans on Freehosting EU come with 24/7 Server Monitoring and a 99.8% uptime guarantee. As far as web hosts go, that’s on the low side. I guess for peace of mind though, they offer the same guarantee to free accounts.
- Disk space of 200 MB with 4 GB monthly bandwidth
- Free website builder with Advanced CP as hosting control panel
- Auto Installer (WordPress and Joomla only)
- No ads
Server Upgrade Options
FreehostingEU comes in three flavors: Free, Best and PRO. The two paid plans cost $6.95 and $11.95 per month respectively and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. They do offer a discount for first-time sign-ups though.
What’s the Catch with Free Hosting EU?
Once again, it’s all in the small print and in the case of FreeHostingEU you’ll go ‘WOW!’ – if you don’t rip your hair out first. Compliance is expected in many areas that are a little unusual because, well, who thinks of some of these things? For example, you must agree to limit your space to consist of only 10% image files, 10% archives, etc.
So, in reality, you’re getting a web host that you can dump… 20MB of images on. Also, you'll need to be in their paid plans if you wish to use your own custom domain.
Learn more in Free Hosting EU Terms of Service.
12. FreeHostingNoAds.net (FHNA)
Free Hosting No Ads (FHNA) has been around for 18 years, I kid you not. This website is very generous in terms of what it offers, in fact, more than what some paid accounts go for. I guess part of it is subsidy through advertising though, since they plaster Google ads all over their own website. They promise not to force you to carry their ads though.
Hosting Websites for Free at FHNA
FreeHostingNoAds appears to be another hosting provider which doesn’t believe in server uptime guarantees. However, users who join are offered technical support, even on the free plans. It doesn’t, however, clarify what nature that support takes – it could be simply a reference to a knowledge base or FAQ.
- Free storage of 1 GB disk space
- Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
- Ad-free hosting services
- Free domain hosting with a custom control panel
- Support up to 3 MySQL databases per account
Server Upgrading Options
FHNA's upgrading options come in two flavors: VIP and Pro Plan, priced at $4.99 and $9.99 per month. Their Pro Shared Hosting Plan offers you almost everything you could wish for a cheap shared host – including a 40% special discount during signup (this pushes the price down to $5.99 per month for the first term).
What’s the Catch Behind FHNA's Free Hosting?
Aside from non-existent uptime guarantees and cloudy reference to technical support, nothing else. This seems to be aimed mainly at people who are seeking a free or cheap hosting solution and that’s all. Given that they have an entire page dedicated to HTML5 website building that ends up directing to Wix, they might be a subsidiary of an affiliate.
Read FreehostingNoAds ToS here.
13. Free Virtual Servers (FVS)
FreeVirtualServers is one of the website hosting services owned by Easy Internet, which provides web hosting and SEO services. They are another serious provider which offers everything from free web hosting to dedicated server hosting plans. Something good to note here is that they integrate a popular website builder in their hosting plan: Weebly.
Host WordPress or HTML Websites at FVS
FreeVirtualServers offer the standard 99.9% uptime guarantee, and all free accounts are supported by a knowledge base and FAQ. There are also some tutorial flash videos if more help is needed. 24/7 online support is reserved for paid accounts only.
- Free storage space of 100 MB
- Auto installer for WordPress, Joomla
- Ad-free hosting
- Free cPanel hosting
- 1 MySQL database included in all free account
Upgrading Options at FVS
There are multiple upgrade options here ranging from standard shared hosting all the way to dedicated server hosting. Prices range from $6.45 per month to $155.20 per month (which is for a dedicated server). It’s worth noting that this is a UK-based company with servers located there. Prices are also charged in British Pounds (converted to US$ here for your convenience).
Note: Users who wish to signup for FVS paid plans are now being directed to NetNerd.com.
What’s the Catch?
Like most other free hosting providers, you will need a paid plan with FVS to use your own custom domain name. Besides that, this host seems fully above board as far as we can see, with no big surprises even in the Terms and Conditions.
See Free Virtual Servers TOS here.
14. Free Web Hosting Area (FWHA)
Another longstanding company in the web hosting arena, FreeWebHostingArea is generous in its basic terms for free accounts. It also offers a curious option between two different control panels, one of which seems extremely feature-light.
FWHA Free cPanel Hosting Services
There is no mention at all of either an uptime guarantee or technical support. In fact, although a forum is listed, it doesn’t really exist. A cursory search returns many comments that this is not an entirely reliable host.
- 1.5 GB storage space with a website builder support
- Free email customer support
- Free cPanel hosting
- Conditional ad-free
- PHP & MySQL database support
Server Upgrade Options with FWHA
FWHA's upgrade options are the first we’ve seen that prices mainly according to different control panels. FreeWHA seems to be a proprietary modification of an open-source control panel script. Prices range from $1 per month up to $6.99 per month.
What’s the Catch Behind FWHA Free Plans?
The list of catch clauses is a mile long and personally, I would dread hosting even a free website here.
There are no real limitations stated in black and white for FWHA's free hosting plan. Yet at the same time, they claim the right to terminate accounts for almost any deemed infractions, even over-usage of resources. Definitely not the way to win friends. Even their ad-free claim is conditional since they say they will impose ads on websites that they wish to.
See FreeWebHostingArea.com terms of service here.
InstaFree offers potential website owners a pretty good deal, going by their word. Even free accounts are hosted on SSD-based storage and they are generous in both their terms of service as well as feature offerings. In fact, not only is there free shared hosting – but there is even free reseller and free VPS hosting
InstaFree Free Web Hosting Offers
There is the standard 99.9% uptime guarantee along with a relatively active user community in the forums. Technical support is included but is restricted to immediate issues relating to the hosting service.
- Disk Space: 10GB
- Bandwidth: 100GB
- Host up to 5 MySQL database
- Free PHP hosting and website builder
- Auto Installer for WordPress, Joomla, and other CMS
- No ad free hosting
Upgrade Options with InstaFree
All InstaFree's free accounts have their corresponding paid account, which is basically a step up from what the free account offers.
Pid plans range from $1 per month to $5 per month. InstaFree also offers website transfer support, even for free accounts, provided you’re using cPanel.
What’s the Catch behind InstaFree Free Plans?
There are a couple of quirks here, such as the fact that InstaFree has a list of countries that it has banned users from. This includes among them countries such as China, Russia, and Poland, but also (surprisingly) Singapore.
Understanding Free Website Hosting
“Free Website Hosting” refers to web hosting services that allow users to store their websites and make them accessible on the Internet at zero cost. These services offer a certain amount of server storage and bandwidth, and (usually) a free subdomain, to host users' websites.
Why Do Hosting Companies Offer Their Services Gratis?
Web companies provide free hosting services primarily as a part of their business strategy. This model allows them to attract a broad user base, especially beginners, hobbyists, or even small businesses with tight budgets.
Users often start with the free web hosting plans; and as their website grows and requires more resources or advanced features, they are likely to upgrade to a paid plan offered by the same hosting provider.
Moreover, some free hosting providers may display advertisements on their users' websites as a way to generate revenue.
Differences Between Free and Paid Hosting Services
The two main differences between free and paid web hosts are hosting fees and server resources.
Free website hosting service costs $0 and usually comes with very limited server features. Tiny server storage space, low CPU power, as well as limited security protections and technical support (if any at all). Most free hosting plans are unable to meet even the most basic standards required to run a simple business website.
In comparison, paid hosting services typically come with better server security, advanced functionalities, and more server resources. If you are serious about your website, it's better to host it on a basic, low-cost paid hosting platform. Most, especially those that we recommend in our cheap hosting guide, offer quality services and professional support at very reasonable price tags.
The Pros and Cons of Free Hosting Sites
What's Good About Free Hosting Services?
- Cost-Efficiency – Pay $0: The most obvious advantage is that free website hosting doesn't require any financial investment. This makes it a great choice for website owners operating on a tight budget.
- Ideal Testing Field for Beginners: If you're new to website building, free hosting allows you to learn the ropes without risking any money. You can experiment with different content management systems (CMS), hosting control panels, and functionalities; gaining valuable experience in the process.
- Ease of Use: Many free website hosting providers offer user-friendly interfaces, often including simple drag-and-drop website builders. This makes it easier for newbies to launch their websites without much technical skills.
Potential Drawbacks of Free Hosting Services
While the word “free” can be very tempting – there are numerous performance and security risks with a free web host.
Poor Server Performance
The most glaring issue that comes with using a free web hosting model is the terrible server performance. In order to save server costs, a lot of providers will lump together hundreds, or even thousands, of websites in a single shared server. When you have that many websites sharing the same server resources, it’s inevitable that your website will suffer plenty of server issues such as slow-loading websites or lots of downtime.
Strict Server Limitations
With free hosting providers, you’ll have to deal with a lot of strict and tight resource limitations which your website will quickly outgrow from. When that happens, you’ll have to move to a paid hosting account which can mean more work and costs down the line.
For example, 000WebHost forces their users to endure a one-hour period of “sleep time” every day, which helps maintain their server capacity, but ensures that your website can’t go beyond a 95.8% uptime.
Sudden Website Shutdown / Company Goes Out of Business
Because you are not paying a single dime for their services, most free domain providers won’t take your website seriously. This leads to a huge risk that comes with free hosting plans, in that your website can be taken down at any moment.
There have been many incidents where people who used free hosting platforms ended up having their accounts deleted or barred with no prior notice or warning. Since you’re not paying for their services, a lot of free hosting providers don’t feel obligated to keep your website online indefinitely.
This is why many free hosting providers will include certain terms in their T&C that allow them to shut down your website at any moment if it goes against their interests.
An example of this is from Free Hosting EU. in which they limit their user’s account storage for up to 10%. Should the user go past the 10% limit, they can then shut down the website with no warning or penalty (read their ToS here).
Getting Your Data Leaked
Data is an important asset for a business, especially if you’re an eCommerce business. But with free web host models, you’re more likely to get your data leaked or stolen as most providers don’t follow and enforce the standard and fundamental security practices needed to protect their users.
Again, since a lot of these providers are offering their services and infrastructure for free, they usually don’t feel the need to provide proper security to protect their users and their data. This led to cases where a user’s sensitive details, such as usernames and passwords, ended up stolen by hackers.
One such case of a massive security leak was with 000Webhost, in which they repeatedly ignored security warnings by a Forbes journalist and a security researcher back in October 2015. This led to them getting hacked and caused 13.5 million users to have their passwords, email address, and usernames stolen.
What to Look for in a Free Web Hosting?
When choosing a free website hosting provider, consider the following important factors:
- Storage and Bandwidth: Assess the storage and bandwidth offered to ensure it can accommodate your website's needs.
- Uptime Guarantee: Look for a provider with a high uptime guarantee to ensure your site is accessible most of the time.
- SSL Support: Look for free SSL support so you can run your websites in HTTPS.
- Customer Support: While support may be limited to free hosting, some level of customer service is a good sign.
- Upgrade Options: A provider with easy-to-transition paid plans can be beneficial as your website grows.
- Terms of Service: Review the provider's terms to understand policies on issues like data ownership, privacy, and potential ads on your site.
Recap of Our Free Web Host Selections
|Free Website Hosting||Ad-free||Disk Space||Bandwidth|
Best Practices for Using Free Hosting Services
When using free website hosting, keep the following best practices in mind.
- Understand Your Limits: Be aware of your hosting provider's limits on storage, bandwidth, and other features. Monitor your usage to avoid potential issues.
- Backup Regularly: Most free hosting services do not come with automatic backup features, so it's essential to back up your website data regularly to prevent loss.
- Ensure Security: Use strong passwords, keep your website software updated, and consider additional security measures as free hosts may have limited security options.
- Optimize Your Website: Keep your website light and optimized for speed.
- Review Terms of Service: Ensure you're aware of the host's policies, especially regarding data privacy and ownership.
- Plan for Future Growth: Consider a provider that offers easy upgrade options to paid plans for a smooth transition in the future.
Upgrade to Paid Hosting Plans: When and Why?
For those hosting their websites on free platforms – you should consider upgrading to paid plans if you start experiencing frequent site downtimes, slow page loads, or running short in server storage.
Paid hosting generally offers more server resources (more storage and bandwidth), better performance (faster page loads and higher uptime), advanced security (auto malware scanning, firewall, etc), responsive customer support (via live chat or phones), and a more complete solution that include all essential features including email hosting, auto backup, SSH access, etc.
Also, paid hosting services do not come with imposed advertisements or any limitations on monetization. This offers a cleaner user experience to your visitors, granting more freedom for you to grow (newsletter signup, social media widgets) and monetize (affiliate marketing, display ads, paid content subscription, etc).
Most hosting providers make the process of upgrading or site transfer straightforward. Upgrading within the same provider usually means choosing a plan, making a payment, and enjoying the added benefits without the need to move your website.
For switching to a different provider, you can ask for website migration assistance. Usually, for first-time customers, the hosting company will do it for free and your website can be moved without significant downtime.
The table below shows some of the popular paid hosting services that cost less than $5 per month.
|Web Host||Cheapest Plan||Free Domain|
Free hosting sites can be a good stepping stone in establishing a successful online presence – especially when you are new and starting out with a tight budget. However, as you navigate through the options, be mindful to keep a balance between cost efficiency and the ability to grow, upgrade, and maintain a reliable website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
As mentioned above, there are various risks and catches involve when using free web hosting services. However, all free web hosting providers allow you to upgrade to their paid plan- which will move your websites out of the free server box and eliminate most risks.
The two main differences are cost and server resources. Free web hosting costs $0 and usually comes with a very limited server capacity (small storage, low CPU power, etc). Paid hosting typically comes with better website security, advanced functionalities, and more server resources.
“Best” is relative – What's best for me might not be right for you. That said, however, Hostinger, Weebly, Wix, and Award Space are some of the best free web hosts in the market. You are recommended to check out all the free hosting providers in our list above.
Yes, there are quite a number of free hosting platforms that do not force ad placement on their users' websites. Please check our list of free web hosting for specific recommendations.
Yes, most free hosting platforms allow users to upload files via FTP connections. Alternatively, platforms like 000WebHost provide an easy-to-use file manager so users can navigate, upload, and delete web files using the browser.
Weebly, Wix, 000Webhost, ByetHost, Free Hosting EU and etc. are some providers who offer free web hosting with a domain name. If that's your choice, your website will appear as the subdomain to the hosting providers (ie. yourwebname.wix.come). Alternatively – with less than $12 per year, Hostinger offers you everything you need for free web hosting and domain name with no strings attached.
There are two main ways you can get a free domain name – that is through either Freenom (the registry operator in charge of .tk ccTLDs) or a web hosting provider which offers a free domain name with the purchase of specific web hosting packages which they sell. To learn more, check out this article.