Gator Website Builder
Others All

Free Web Hosting Sites – Succeed Without Paying a Dime

Free Web Hosting Sites

Table of Post Contents

Best 15 Free Web Hosting: Succeed Without Paying a Dime

We all love freebies and it should come as no surprise that even in web hosting there are tons of freebies if you know where to look. Not all things free are equal though, and this time I’m going to look at what some of these free web hosting sites have to offer.

Compare Free Hosting Services

Free Hosting Ad-free MySQL Disk Space Bandwidth
000Webhost 2 1GB 10GB
5GBfree 3 5GB 20GB
Awardspace 1 1GB 5GB
Byethost 5 1GB 50GB
Dreamnix 1 1GB 1GB
Freehostia 1 250MB 6GB
FreeHosting.com 1 10GB 250GB
FreeHostingEU 1 200MB 4GB
Freehostingnoads.net 3 20GB 200GB
Freevirtualservers 1 100MB 1GB
Freewebhostingarea 1 1.5GB Unlimited
InstaFree 5 10GB 100GB
One.com 1 25GB Unlimited
Weebly Proprietary 500MB Unknown
Wix Proprietary 500MB 500MB

Free web hosting evaluation

Caveat: Risks with free web hosting

Anything that comes with the word “free” can be very tempting. Understandably, most beginners who are starting a website for the first time would like to keep their cost low and save money.

But keep in mind that nothing is truly free in this world.

Free hosting platforms come with various risks and problems – including constant server downtime, getting your site deleted without any warning, and personal data leak.

Some free deals are never worth the downsides they come with. If your website matters, you should learn about these risks and check out some recommended alternatives at the bottom of this article or Jerry’s list of best 10 paid hosting services.

Web Hosting

1. 000Webhost

Since 2007, 000Webhost has been offering free web hosting services that are unencumbered by advertising requirements. Since they also offer paid hosting options, their business model revolves around offering free hosting services that are funded by the paid end of the business. This works out in everyone’s favor since users of the free hosting services also have the option to scale up their sites by becoming paid customers at any time they wish.

Free Web Hosting Sites - Succeed Without Paying a Dime 1

 Features

  • Free website builder
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 1GB
  • Bandwidth: 10GB
  • Database: 2 MySQL Databases
  • Control Panel: Cpanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

There is a 99% uptime guarantee for free accounts, but in the case of 000Webhost, you’ll have to consider that there’s an enforced one-hour sleep period per day. That means your actual uptime starts at 95.83% – less any actual technical difficulties.

Upgrade options

000Webhost provides paid hosting plans through Hostinger which charges for paid hosting based on the length of time you sign up for. The longer term your contract, the cheaper the monthly fee will be. Prices start at $8.84 per month for 3-month contracts.

 What’s the catch?

Free 000Webhost platform 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.

 Website: 000webhost.com


2. 5GBfree

As far as web hosting sites go, 5GBfree is relatively new, but that might be a good thing since they claim to offer the latest in technology including CloudLinux and equipment hosted a US-based, PCI and SAS 70 Type II certified data center.

Again, this is another company that allows free accounts the option to scale up as they grow. Free accounts are supported in the form of a knowledge base (which was down at the time this article was created) and through a community forum.

 Features

  • Auto Installer
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 5GB
  • Bandwidth: 20GB
  • Database: 3 MySQL Databases
  • Control Panel: Cpanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

Regretfully, no mention of any uptime guarantees was found on 5GBfree, nor was there any information available regarding reliability. Small mercies abound, however, since at least there are options to back up your files and databases in the back end. This appears to be the same for the Pro account plan as well.

Upgrade options

For $2.95 a month, the Pro account which the host offer is dirt cheap and seemingly offers what many highly reputable web hosts have.

 What’s the catch?

Although the basic specifications of free accounts seem alright, 5GB free doesn’t host emails for those. If you’d like to have an email account with your domain, you’ll have to upgrade to the Pro account. Even more alarming is the complete lack of dedication to any form of Service Level Agreement. Sign up at your own risk!

 Website: 5GBfree.com


3. Awardspace

Offering web hosting 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 (and the times). Just last year they launched a completely redesigned site and streamlined their services.

 Features

  • SPAM Protection
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • Free website builder

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 1GB
  • Bandwidth: 5GB
  • Database: 1 MySQL Database
  • Control Panel: Advanced Control Panel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

The free version of Awardspace comes with a no uptime guarantee. For that, you’ll have to sign up with one of their paid plans. At least for those, there is a Service Level Agreement at 99.9%, plus a no-questions-asked refund within the first 30 days if you’re unhappy with the service.

Upgrade options

Awardspace comes in three flavors (aside from free), with prices starting at $4.99 per month up to $9.99 per month. For new signups, Awardspace offers a whopping discount of up to 97% off, which means you could be paying as little as 17 cents a month.

 What’s the catch?

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.

 Website: Awardspace.com


4. 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.

 Features

  • 24/7 Support
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 1GB
  • Bandwidth: 50GB
  • Database: 5 MySQL Databases
  • Control Panel: VistaPanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

It’s interesting to note that Byet Host offers 24/7 support even to free accounts. Even if they take some time to service 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.

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 $3.99 per month all the way to $6.99 per month.

 What’s the catch?

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 that the way many terms and services are worded to be a little shady and open to interpretation in various ways.

 Website: Byet.host


5. Dreamnix

Rather than a free service, 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”.

 Features

  • SSD-powered servers
  • Auto Installer (WordPress)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 1GB
  • Bandwidth: 1GB
  • Database: 1 MySQL Database
  • Control Panel: Cpanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

It’s a pretty good bet that this is legit since all-around Dreamnix stresses on 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!

Upgrade options

Once you’ve outgrown your free hosting 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 $3 per month up to $5 per month based on annual subscription rates.

 What’s the catch?

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.

 Website: Dreamnix.com


6. Freehostia

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 services such as dedicated servers. On the down side, Data Centre location is limited to only Chicago.

 Features

  • Free website templates
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 250MB
  • Bandwidth: 6GB
  • Database: 1 MySQL Database
  • Control Panel: Cpanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

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.

Upgrade options

Freehostia offers multiple plans of incremental capacities. The key thing here seems that there is much focus on 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 $2.95 per month up to $149.95 per month for their best dedicated server.

 What’s the catch?

Storage space, storage space and storage space, Freehostia seems intent to cripple users through this alone. 250MB for a web host (even a free one) today seems unconscionable. Also, there are so many plans available just browsing through them is enough to confuse you.

 Website: Freehostia.com


7. FreeHosting.com

The first thing you’ll notice when you visit this site 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 realise that long list of features offered is cunningly interspaced with non-free items just so that it looks longer.

 Features

  • Free website builder
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 10GB
  • Bandwidth: 250GB
  • Database: 1 MySQL Database
  • Control Panel: Cpanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

I’ve been round and again over this site but there doesn’t seem to be any mention at all 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.

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.

 What’s the catch?

For the free service, not much that we can find. BUT, 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 much (unspecified) resources.

 Website: FreeHosting.com


8. 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 nothing though that this host offers .eu5.net domains even for free accounts.

 Features

  • Free website builder
  • Auto Installer (WordPress and Joomla only)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 200MB
  • Bandwidth: 4GB
  • Database: 1 MySQL Databases
  • Control Panel: Advanced Control Panel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

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.

Upgrade options

FreehostingEU comes in three flavours, 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?

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.

 Website: FreeHostingEU.com


9. Free Hosting No Ads

FreehostingNoAds has been around for 18 years, I kid you not. This site 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.

 Features

  • Free website builder
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 20GB
  • Bandwidth: 200GB
  • Database: 3 MySQL Databases
  • Control Panel: unknown

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

FreehostingNoAds appears to be another hosting site which doesn’t believe in 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 a simply a reference to a knowledge base or FAQ.

Upgrade options

Upgrade options are available, and they are dirt cheap here. The most expensive plan you could go for only costs $1.99 per month, and that offers you almost everything you could wish for. In fact, for the $1.99 plan, they even throw in $125 worth of ad credits for you!

 What’s the catch?

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 site building that ends up directing to Wix, they might be a subsidiary of affiliate.

 Website: FreeHostingNoAds.net


10. Free Virtual Servers

FreeVirtualServers is one of the brands owned by Easy Internet, which provides web hosting and SEO services. They are another serious provider which offers everything from free hosting up to dedicated server hosting plans. Something good to note here is that they integrate a popular website builder in their hosting plan; Weebly.

 Features

  • Free website builder
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 100MB
  • Bandwidth: 1GB
  • Database: 1 MySQL Databases
  • Control Panel: Cpanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

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.

Upgrade options

There are multiple upgrade options here ranging from standard shared hosting all the way to dedicated servers. Prices range from $5.65 per month to $170.03 per month (which is for a dedicated server). It’s worth noting that this is a UK-based company with servers located there. Prices are also charged in British Pounds (converted to US$ here for your convenience).

 What’s the catch?

This host seems fully above board as far as we can see, with no big surprises even in the Terms and Conditions.

 Website: FreeVirtualServers.com


11. Free Web Hosting Area

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.

 Features

  • Free website builder
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Conditional Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 1.5GB
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Database: 1 MySQL Databases
  • Control Panel: FreeWHA Panel / Cpanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

There is no mention at all about 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.

Upgrade options

Upgrade options here 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 moth up to $6.99 per month.

 What’s the catch?

The list of catch clauses is a mile long and personally I would dread hosting even a free site here. There are no real limitations stated in black and white, 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 sites that they wish to.

 Website: FreeWebHostingArea.com


12. InstaFree

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 hosting and free VPS!

 Features

  • Free website builder
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 10GB
  • Bandwidth: 100GB
  • Database: 5 MySQL Databases
  • Control Panel: Cpanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

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.

Upgrade options

All free accounts have their corresponding paid account, which is basically a step up from what the free account offers. Prices range from $1 per month to $5 per month. InstaFree also offers website transfer services, even for free accounts, provided you’re using Cpanel.

 What’s the catch?

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.

 Website: InstaFree.com


13. One.com

One.com is an interesting variation of the free web hosting model in that it’s a real ‘try before you buy’ concept. Free accounts are offered for a one-year period, following which you either move on or take on one of their paid hosting accounts. For that reason, they’re generous with their facilities, obviously in the hope that you’ll like it there and stay on. You also have the option to go with either a website building tool, or the installation of a CMS such as WordPress.

 Features

  • Free website builder
  • Auto Installer (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
  • Ad-free hosting
  • PHP & MySQL database support

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 25GB
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Database: 1 MySQL Databases
  • Control Panel: Cpanel

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

Aside from the usual uptime guarantee, One.com also has a knowledge base as well as mail-in technical support from their site. This seems more than fair compared to the other hosting sites I’ve encountered so far.

Upgrade options

The first tier of paid options is mainly designed to extend the free one-year hosting period that One.com offers. For additional features, other plans run all the way to $12.45 per year and can be based either on a website builder model or WordPress hosting model.

 What’s the catch?

Aside from the time limit on free accounts, not much. The limitation is more than fair, given that from the features available you’re getting what others are usually paying for. A one-year trial of a paid account, so to speak.

 Website: One.com


14. Weebly

When I first looked at Weebly, I was evaluating it as a site building tool and when I hit this article I realised it was in essence, an upsold web host. Weebly is one of the new generation of sitebuilder-slash-webhosts that is doing fantastically well, in fact holding an Alexa rank of 338 now.

However, I had to re-look at it this time round since there are different plus points for web hosts and site builders.

 Features

  • Free website builder (Weebly!)
  • Apps for your Weebly-built site
  • Ad-free hosting
  • Mobile app builder

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 500MB
  • Bandwidth: Unknown
  • Database: Proprietary
  • Control Panel: Proprietary

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

Weebly is well supported through a vibrant community and you can also reach out to them via email or live chat.

Upgrade 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 on 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 $8 per month up to $25 per month.

 What’s the catch?

Weebly is big on… well, Weebly, and doesn’t really play nice with anything else. For example, it doesn’t support server-side scripting (such as PHP), nor database integration. True, it’s extremely powerful on its own, but this also means in terms of flexibility, you’re likely stuck with Weebly for good once you start using it.

 Website: Weebly.com


15. Wix

Wix is also a brand that has made its name in the site-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.

 Features

  • Free website builder (Wix!)
  • Online Store
  • Free templates
  • Wix Apps

Specifications

  • Disk Space: 500MB
  • Bandwidth: 500MB
  • Database: Proprietary
  • Control Panel: Proprietary

Reliability and Uptime guarantees

You get what you pay for, and aside from an extensive knowledge base, for free accounts, you can email them and take your chances. Only premium accounts get ‘faster responses to any question or issue they may have’.

Upgrade options

Because its plans are designed to scale up functionality to websites, Wix at the higher levels can get expensive. However, those prices include functions such as form builders, email campaigns and even site reviews by professionals. At the lowest it clocks in at $4.50 per month, going up to $24.50 per month.

 What’s the catch?

Again, Wix is another proprietary engine which 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 Weebly, so is compatible with some tools such as Caspio, a free database platform. Oh yes, and Wix is not ad-free. If you’re not on a playing plan, it will plaster Wix ads on your site with alacrity.

 Website: Wix.com


Risks & Common Problems With Free Hosting Platforms

Anything that come with the word “free” can be very tempting. Understandably, most beginners who are starting a website for the first time would like to keep their cost low and save money.

While using a free web hosting platform means that you won’t have to a pay single dime for creating and hosting your website, there are numerous risks and problems that you should be aware of if you intend to use them. We will talk about the three major risks here.

Risk #1. Poor Server Performances: Low Uptime + Slow Websites

The most glaring issue that comes with using a free web hosting model is the terrible server performances. You see, in order help save costs, a lot of providers will lump together hundreds, or even thousands, of websites in a single shared server.

When you have that many website 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.

Free Web Hosting Sites - Succeed Without Paying a Dime 2
000WebHost forces one hour sleep time every day. But user feedback shows that some accounts are having up to 4 downtime in 24 hours (source).

Some providers even put restrictions or limitation on their users when using their platform. 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.

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.

Free Web Hosting Sites - Succeed Without Paying a Dime 3
Nothing is truly free in this world.

Risk #2. Sudden Website Shutdown / Company Goes Out of Business

As I’ve said earlier, with free web hosting platforms, you won’t have to pay a single dime for their services. Because of that, most providers won’t take your website seriously. This leads to a huge risk that comes with free hosting, 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 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 allows them to shut down your website at any moment if it goes against their interests.

Check Out Cheap and Fast Reliable Web Hosting Services

Tags

Web Hosting Reviews Expert

Best Web Hosting Reviews Expert

Related Articles

3 Comments

  1. Hey, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.When I look at your blog site in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,wonderful blog!

  2. I think you have missed one more free web hosting company in your list, GoogieHost. please update your article and add this company on your wonderful website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close