Best Free Web Hosting Providers
You’ve just completed an exciting pet project for a website and want to test it out in real-world conditions. Of course, you don’t currently have a web hosting package on some prominent web hosting provider, so you’re looking for ways to launch it to test it out and invite your clients or co-workers to check it out in action.
Fortunately, there are free web hosting providers out there capable of providing a great experience so you can launch your test site in no time. This blog post focuses on the best free web hosting providers – we did the research, and all you have to do is pick the right one for your needs.
We’ll cover the features, security, and other components of free web hosting packages so you can make an informed decision. We will also look into why and who should use free web hosting and what risks this process has.
Before we start, let’s dive into what free web hosting means.
What Is Free Web Hosting?
Free web hosting is an entirely free service that allows you to launch a website without paying for anything. Of course, there are some limitations – usually, free web hosting solutions are more limited in terms of features and performance when compared to paid solutions – and this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Prominent web hosts also offer free web hosting, usually through third-party companies. One great example is Hostinger and its daughter company, 000webhost.
In most cases, your website is hosted with thousands of other sites using the same web hosting provider, which means your website will compete for resources with other websites. That’s why free web hosting solutions usually have lower speeds than paid plans.
Why Use Free Web Hosting Services?
Free web hosting has its uses even if you don’t need to run a full-fledged website. You can use free web hosting to:
- Test out a new website and get feedback from other users
- Run a blog or an online portfolio
- Create a personal website to showcase your skills and experiences
- Test out new web applications or small projects
Another important thing – it’s an excellent way for web admins to get acquainted with the service without paying for it and then upgrade to a paid plan. While free web hosting is ideal for these purposes, it’s essential to remember that free hosting comes with certain risks.
The Pros and Cons of Using Free Web Hosting
Choosing a free web host can take a long time since we have to double-check many of their features online. The most vital thing to remember here is that free web hosts usually come with fewer security tools and infrastructure, meaning you’re more exposed to outside threats.
Luckily, this blog covers all the pros and cons of these providers so that you can decide more easily.
- No cost. Free web hosting is the most affordable option if you don’t have the budget for a paid service.
- Easy to use. Free web hosting providers make it easy for you to get your site up and running in no time.
- Variety of features. Free web hosting providers offer a variety of features like email accounts and even analytics through their custom dashboards.
- No long-term contracts. Free web hosting services don’t require signing a long-term contract, so you can easily switch to a different provider if you’re unsatisfied.
- Limited features. Free web hosting services usually have fewer features than paid solutions, so your website will be limited in many areas, like the content.
- Performance and uptime issues. Due to overcrowding, free web hosting services can sometimes be slow and unreliable so you might experience some performance issues. All of the free web hosting plans we found are based on shared hosting solutions, meaning that multiple websites share the same resources from a web server – a significant performance hit for most users.
- Limited storage space. The storage space needed to store your website is just one of the things you should look for. Free web hosting providers usually offer limited storage space, so if your website grows, you might need to upgrade. Also, less database storage space is a limiting factor since you won’t be able to save feature-heavy WordPress sites with loads of content.
- Ads. Free web hosting providers are often supported by ads, which can affect your experience and your visitors’. Some hosting providers will remove ads only if you upgrade to a paid plan.
- Security concerns. With free web hosting, other issues like security come into play. The risk of getting hacked and giving all your online data away is a likely scenario, and you should be prepared.
What Are the Risks of Free Web Hosting?
The main risk of free web hosting that we also listed in the Pros and Cons section is security. Free web hosting services usually have fewer security measures and infrastructure, which exposes your website to outside threats.
A sub branch of security is also backup and restore. Since most free web hosts aim towards giving basic hosting plans, server backups have severe limitations. Many companies won’t offer this function at all, so you must take care of that personally by regularly downloading a copy of your website.
It’s also essential to remember that free web hosting services don’t always offer customer support, and you might have to rely on user forums or even third-party websites. Researching the problem yourself won’t yield much success since you can find issues or bugs within their hosting platforms.
The Top 10 Free Web Hosting Providers on the Market Today
This list contains our top 10 of the best free web hosting companies you need to check out for your next project.
Since we’re talking about free web hosts, we have to note once more that their features are limited, and there might be some trade-offs that you need to consider.
This free web hosting provider is owned by Hostinger and doesn’t need a credit card to set up, although it’s slower than other paid solutions. Some of its features include:
- 1 website
- 300MB disk space
- 3GB bandwidth
For those who want to upgrade, there’s a plan starting at $1.99 per month with Hostinger and for 48-month subscriptions.
FreeHosting, with its peculiar name, gives a generous 10 GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth for the one hosted site it supports.
This free hosting service also provides a site builder and an app installer for quickly installing various platforms like WordPress, Joomla, phpBB and PrestaShop, to name a few.
Some other features of FreeHosting are:
- 1 email account
- 1 MySQL database
- PHP 7 support
- Available Upgrades to premium plans
This free web hosting service has been around for around ten years, and it’s powered by the iFastNet hosting provider.
InfinityFree claims to have the fastest free servers and guarantees a 99.9% uptime – which is really in the premium territory – while offering unlimited hosting.
Some of its features include:
- Unlimited websites
- 5GB storage space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 400 MySQL databases
- Support for PHP 7.4
- Free SSL on all your free domains
- Softaculous auto-installer for over 400 scripts
Claiming to be the fastest free web host, ByetHost offers 1GB of storage space in its free hosting plan and up to five subdomains to host your website.
Along with these, it offers 5 MySQL databases and an FTP account to access your website files from your system. ByetHost is also managed by iFastNet web hosting company and supports the VistaPanel as your web hosting control panel.
Since this is another free web hosting company, there are multiple limitations and security concerns, but the prompt customer support is among its plus. Some of its features include:
- 1GB storage space
- 5 domain names
- 5 MySQL databases
- 24/7 customer support
This free web hosting company offers the golden standard in storage capacity, which is 1GB. It also supports FTP and MySQL databases and POP3/IMAP email accounts with auto-responders and mail forwarding options.
It also supports one-click installations and employs a handy website builder to create your front page quickly.
Some other features of AwardSpace include:
- 100GB monthly bandwidth
- Up to 4 website
- 1 domain name
- One-click CMS installer
x10hosting started as a go-to platform for free hosting, and it claims to have SSD-based servers that scale really well. They have a premium plan that gives access to a standard cPanel with unlimited databases, email accounts, disk space, and domains for $3.95 per month for 3-year subscriptions.
Among its free features, you’ll get:
- 500MB storage space
- Up to 2 databases
- Up to 3 domain names
- Up to 2 email addresses
It supports FTP access and MySQL databases, editable via the PHPMyAdmin panel. It also provides an auto-installer for popular applications like WordPress and Joomla.
Wix is a popular website builder platform offering free web hosting services. It has a generous 500 MB of storage, no ads, and a free SSL certificate.
With the free plan, you have limited features, like the “Wix.com” in your subdomain, but you can upgrade to their premium plans anytime.
Wix’s free plan has the following features:
- 500MB storage space
- 500MB bandwidth
- Customizable templates
- Secure hosting
- Good customer support
The free plans, though, have ads included, and the only way you can remove them and the fixed subdomain is to use the premium package.
This free web hosting company uses a relatively old-fashioned website maintained by volunteers, as stated on their website.e
It offers 1.5GB of space, FTP access, MySQL databases and a decent uptime of 99.8%. For the account to remain active, FreeWebHostingArea needs you to have at least one-page view every month or your account will get suspended.
FreeWebHostingArea features include:
- 1.5GB storage space
- Unmetered bandwidth
- FTP access
- No ads for new sites
- Support for PhpMyAdmin
- 99.8% uptime
FreeHostingNoAds is a free hosting platform with no advertisements, and it’s automatically among the favourites on this list. Apart from the free plan, which offers plenty of features, FreeHostingNoAds also sports a $0.5 hosting option that bumps the feature list significantly.
For its free hosting plan, though, FreeHostingNoAds offers these features:
- 1GB storage space
- 3 subdomains
- 5GB monthly traffic
- Site builder included
- 1 email account
- 1 MySQL database
Freehostia is a free hosting platform with not-so-spacious storage options. It offers just 250MB of storage and 6GB monthly traffic, along with a maximum of 3 email accounts.
Although it provides limited storage for MySQL databases, Freehostia is based on a load-balanced cluster that evenly distributes the server load, resulting in more reliable speeds.
The free plan has these leading features:
- 250MB storage space
- 6GB monthly traffic
- 3 email accounts
- 1 MySQL database
How to Set up a Website on a Free Web Hosting Provider
Most free web hosting providers work precisely like regular web hosts. Once you create an account on each platform, you log in to your dashboard, which can sometimes be a simple admin back end or a cPanel alternative.
While some prominent web hosts give access to a state-of-the-art cPanel or Plesk backend, free hosting provides an elementary and controlled interface to get started.
From there, you can register your website’s subdomain and get the credentials to your account and file manager – which can either be web-based or FTP.
Tips for Maintaining Your Website on a Free Web Host
Although free web hosting services offer little to no support, you can still maintain your website on them.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Back up your website regularly. Make sure to back up your website daily, as there’s always a slight possibility of data loss due to technical issues.
- Stay active in the user forums. User forums are a great way to get advice and support from other users, so don’t hesitate to join in and ask questions.
- Be mindful of the storage space and bandwidth. Since most free web hosting services offer limited storage, it’s important to mind the amount of data and files you upload. The same goes for the bandwidth. Some providers measure bandwidth
Free web hosting is a great way to get started with your website. Your options are a lot, and the good thing about them is that with free pricing, you can sink your teeth into any one of these and test them out with your project website.
However, it’s essential to understand the risks that come with these services and the limited features they provide. Make sure to do your research and pick the right free web hosting provider for you.
Free web hosting services can be a great way to get your feet wet in the world of web development, learn how web hosts work, and build a functional website for free when you have a fairly strict budget at hand. Remember, you can always check out our guide on how to build a website and the things to consider before creating a website for your small business – available on our site.
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