Website hosting is simply a cost of doing business online. You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the right host for your website. Depending on what you need, a free web host may actually be a good idea for you.
If you’re looking to create a simple website that has no intentions of commercial use then a free website hosting plan is a great option. There are however some things you should be aware of when going with a free host, particularly any built in limitations to your hosting plan.
How can a web host be free?
The majority of free web hosting is only free for a few different reasons. First, they may run ads on your website to pay for the free hosting. This used to be more common in the past, but has fallen out of favor as even creators who are looking for free hosting simply won’t accept display ads on their site.
A second way web hosting can be free is that they use the free hosting offer as a way to get you in the door as a customer to later up-sell you on more expensive hosting as your web host grows. Typically you’ll have full access to your hosting account but your website will only be able to handle 10-50 visitors a day max.
The last way is a free host may allow your website to exist only as a sub domain instead of a website your own domain name, like example.wordpress.com. It’s not exactly yours, but if all you want is a website to publish content then it could be good enough.
Free website hosting – My Top Choices
So what are some excellent and free web hosts you can use for your blog or website right now? I’ve used numerous web hosts over the years from both free and paid. You can trust this guide as I have numerous tutorials on how to create a website for free.
From creating so many websites using free hosting, here are what I find to be the best free website hosting options as well as their pros and cons.
- 000 Web host
- Google Sites
- Infinity Free
- Award Space
- Free Hosting
- Free Hostia
000Web Host – Best free web hosting with CPanel
For a free web host, 000webhost by Hostinger is about as good as it gets if you’re looking for a free web host with CPanel. The business model of 00webhost.com is to get you to sign up on one of their free plan and then as your website grows, move over to a very affordable shared hosting account with Hostinger (the best budget web host today).
While your free site won’t be able to handle much traffic (about 20 visitors a day max), you are able to setup an installation of WordPress with your own custom domain name, themes, plugins as well as other scripts like Joomla or Drupal.
The only real limitation is that your site can not handle much traffic. However, if you’re simply wanting to get started creating a site with WordPress or another script of your choice, 00webhost by Hostinger is a good starting point.
- Can install WordPress and various scripts with a free account.
- Can use sub domains if you want.
- Good overall load speed.
- Free hosting, no ads and can use your own domain name from Namecheap.
- Uptime is around 99.7% which means your website will be off line for an hour a month.
- 10 GB of bandwidth and 1 GB of disk space make this a very limited account.
- No live chat or email support for free accounts.
- Can handle about 5000 visitors a month max, then you’ll need to move over to Hostinger.
Google Sites – Best free website builder
Google Sites is a free website builder service that allows you to create a simple, responsive website. You get free hosting, lot’s of storage and an easy to use drag and drop visual editor. You can also set a custom domain using any domain name registrar you like.
Google Sites is a great choice for anyone looking to create a personal, small 1-20 page website. It’s not ideal for blogging or affiliate marketing (though technically you can use affiliate links on a Google Site.
One big limitation to be aware of as well is that you’re not allowed to run display advertising like Google AdSense. However, If you’re someone who is looking to create an online resume, a small portfolio website or a personal website, I highly recommend Google Sites.
- Excellent option for non commercial, personal use.
- Can use your own domain name and use an SSL
- Not for commercial use. Don’t expect to make a money making blog with Google Sites.
- You have to use Google Sites page building software, no WordPress, no themes.
- Can’t export your website and move it.
- Can not run display ads as it is against their terms of service.
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Blogger.com – Best free hosting for blogging
Blogger has a reputation for being an old, out dated platform. The truth is that blogger is still maintained and continually developed to this day and is an excellent choice for anyone looking to start a personal blog.
With your blogger account you’ll get a sub domain of blogspot.com, but you can set a custom domain name from Namecheap at no additional cost other than the price of the domain.
In addition, blogger allows you to build a full and complete website with no limitations. You can set your own domain name, blog, run display ads through Google AdSense, engage in affiliate marketing with Amazon Associates and other platforms. Your blogger blog is totally capable of ranking and getting organic search traffic.
Overall, blogger is a surprisingly good choice for creating a personal blog to share updates on or to create a small helpful resource website. Don’t expect it to rank as well as a WordPress website on a shared host however.
- Totally free hosting for commercial use.
- Good up-time as blogger is a Google service.
- Can run Google AdSense.
- Can leverage affiliate marketing and email marketing.
- Good on-page SEO so your blog posts can actually rank and get free traffic.
- A blogger blog simply does not rank as easily as a WordPress powered website on a shared host like Bluehost.
- The design options are limited and a bit techy for new bloggers.
- A limited amount of templates to choose from.
Enroll in my Skillshare course on how to create a website using the Blogger platform!
Tumblr – The Blogger alternative
Tumblr is a micro blogging service that was similar to Twitter but has since become more of an alternative to Blogger. You can create Tumblr website, set a custom domain and the publish blog posts with multi-media like videos, images, gifs and more.
Tumblr was acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress. It’s an ideal platform for creative personal use but is not as feature rich in terms of it’s monetization options as blogger is. If you want a fun mix between Twitter, Blogger then checkout Tumblr.
- Can set a custom domain for any Tumblr blog.
- Creative design and layout where you can share audio clips, video, images, gifs within your content.
- No real monetization strategies with Tumblr. Unlike Blogger where you run ads from your AdSense account, Tumblr runs ads on your content at no financial benefit to you.
- Limited design options. Tumblr is made for casual use, don’t expect too much control over the look and feel of your website.
Enroll in my Skillshare course on how to create a website using the Tumblr platform!
WordPress.com – The best free sub domain blogging platform
WordPress is the name of a website builder found at WordPress.com, and also the name of the script you install on web hosting server. The website builder found at WordPress.com is simply excellent as it is the the WordPress CMS, just presented as a website builder. You get full access to the block editor, numerous themes and can easily design your website to your liking.
However, in order to set a custom domain name you will need to upgrade your account which is a big downside as other platforms like Tumblr and Blogger allow you to set a custom domain for free (not including the domain name purchase). With a free account, you are also limited in your theme selection and can not install plugins.
For themes and plugins you’ll need to upgrade your account to their business plan. Last, your URL structure will be set to including dates, something we don’t like as it’s not optimal for on page SEO. Overall, if you’re wanting to start a free website with WordPress and you’re fine with it being a subdomain of WordPress.com, then WordPress.com is for you.
- Full access to the WordPress script, the block editor as well as numerous themes.
- Design a professional, responsive website with ease.
- WordPress has the best blogging layout.
- Can not set a custom domain on a free account.
- Can not install themes of your choice or plugins unless you upgrade to the business plan.
- Must use dates in your URL structure. Dates are poor on page SEO for most website.
Watch my free tutorial on YouTube on how to create a website using WordPress.com
Infinity Free – Free web hosting provider
Infinity Free is a strong competitor to 000 Web Host. They market themselves as a full featured, 100% free web host. So how exactly do they make money? Through advertising and affiliate marketing to their users.
To be clear, Infinity Free does not put ads on your website, instead you the user are the product and when logged into your account you’ll have advertisements running on the back end of your hosting account. In addition, Infinity Free will also email you promotional offers through to the email you used when signing up.
What you get in exchange however is totally free web hosting. This included the ability to install WordPress and create your website as well as other scripts. You are also able to set a custom domain or use a sub domain. Last, you even get an SSL and can setup a professional email account.
- They provide an SSL for free with your account.
- Good up-time, fast load speeds.
- 10 email accounts.
- Free Cloudflare CDN setup.
- No front end ads on your website.
- Can install WordPress and themes.
- Content that you can published is limited. Some topics are not allowed.
- They offer “unlimited” bandwidth but it comes with restrictions.
- They reserve the right to delete your website at any time.
Award Space – Average free web hosting
Award Space works by offering a free hosting account where you can install different types of CMS scripts on your account like WordPress, GRAV or Joomla. In addition, you also get access to a website builder that comes with multiple templates to help you design your website.
With Award Space you get free hosting, no ads on your website, 5 GB of bandwidth, 1000 MB of diskspace, MySQL database, and 24/7 support. This amount of resources on the free plan are quite limited and your website will be able to roughly handle 10-20 visitors a day.
But this is the goal with the free plan, let you get setup and launch your website for free and then upgrade to a paid plan when it makes sense. If you’re looking to create a website for free the consider using Award Space.
- Customer service for free accounts. With 000 Web Host you’re on your own.
- Easy installation of WordPress and various other scripts.
- 99% up-time claim.
- You get 1 GB of disk space and 5 GB of bandwidth. This means your website can get a handful of visitors a day max.
- Their up-time is 99%, but it’s 99.5% typically which is terrible. You want a host to be at 99.8% at a minimum.
FreeHosting.com – They live up to their name
FreeHosting.com did a great job of getting an excellent domain name. But their service is pretty average. They are quite restrictive about who they allow to use their service. If you try to access freehosting.com from outside the United States you could potentially be blocked by their servers.
They provide free hosting, but overall I found them to be frustrating to use which is why they are at the bottom of the list. You get 10 GB of storage, the bandwidth is technically unmetered and you’re able to have a professional email account.
However they are quite clear that they can delete your website at any time without notice and you’re only able to have one website per account. The load times were quite poor when I created a test site with them and can only recommend them if all you’re looking to do is have a “test” website.
- Unmetered bandwidth.
- 10 GB of storage space.
- One professional email account.
- Can only have one website per account.
- They reserve the right to delete your website at any time.
- Very slow load speeds.
- Customer complaints of deleted websites, restrictive use depending on your location.
Free Hostia – Free but way too limited
Free Hostia provides free hosting as a way to get you to sign up for one of their more premium hosting plans. I can’t comment on their paid service but their free plan is pretty bad when compared to other options like 000 Web Host or Infinity Web Hosting.
The main issue with Free Hostia is that their free plans are just way to limited to be of any real use. 250 MB of disk space when compared to 10 GB of disk space at other free hosts and combined with poor up-time makes Free Hostia a poor option if you’re looking for free hosting.
They do however allow 3 professional emails which is a nice plus and it’s why they made the list as a lot of creators will find this single feature to be very helpful.
- 3 professional email accounts.
- 5 websites can be added to a free account.
- Enough resources to setup a WordPress website.
- Not enough resources for your website to handle even a tiny amount of traffic like 10 visitors a day.
Wix – The best free website builder with a subdomain
Wix is an expensive, feature rich online business platform that combines domain name registration, web hosting, email marketing, point of sale software, ecommerce functionality, blogging and more under one company.
You can get started with Wix totally for free by signing up here to create a free account. Once you sign up you can custom design any one of their templates and launch your website. What’s the catch? On the free plan you have to have Wix ads displayed on your website and you can’t set a custom domain. You are also not able to add in any ecommerce on the free account as well.
What you do get however is full access to a Wix account, their drag and drop visual editor and the ability to set a subdomain of your choice. In terms of functionality, Wix is great if you want to try them out or if you’re fine with having an “example.wixsite.com” domain.
- Full access to Wix for blogging and designing your website.
- No limits on the amount of traffic you drive to a free account.
- Great selection of templates to use and can upload any multi-media of your choosing.
- Can not set a custom domain on the free account.
- Your website will have banner ads for Wix until you upgrade.
Watch my free tutorial on YouTube on how to create a website using Wix!
Best Free Web Hosts Conclusion
That’s it for what I consider the best options for free hosting. Overall I like 000Webhost and Infinity Free if you’re looking for a cPanel account to install a CMS and set your own custom domain.
For ease of use and feature rich it’s hard to beat both Google Sites and Blogger. Both platforms are respectable at what they do and allow you to create a high traffic website without needing to pay for hosting. Regardless, you have a lot of great choices for creating a website without needing to pay for web hosting.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
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