A professional website is an excellent online presence for a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or a solopreneur. There are many cost-effective options for those looking to save a little money when creating a website. And what is more cost-effective than free?
A free web hosting service allows you to register for and manage your website for zero dollars. However, free web hosting can come with a number of caveats that may make it not worth the effort, despite the minimal cost. But if you’re on a budget, read on to find out about some of the best free web-hosting options and how to pick the right one for your specific needs.
Choosing a Free Web Hosting Service
If you are in the market for a free web hosting service, there are things you will want to take into consideration. Start by asking these questions:
- How much disk space and bandwidth will be allotted to your website per month?
- Is there downtime? How long will your website experience time offline (e.g., periods when it is offline and not accessible to users)?
- Will the website have ads? Where will ads be shown?
- Can you host [dot]extension domain names?
000WebHost offers free web hosting but with a rather limited set of features. Its main strategy is to convert a good amount of its free customers into paid customers of its parent company Hostinger, which offers web hosting plans starting at $1.39/month.
So, while 000WebHost has some admirable features, such as no ads and WordPress support, it also has many other features that are somewhat of a hassle. Just tinkering around and clicking links in the CPanel can cause the service to crash and stop working. This may be a part of the unspoken but very real one-hour of downtime per day that is weaved into the service, in which not only can visitors not access your website, but you can’t access your website or back end.
000WebHost may be ideal if you have a lot of patience and don’t mind figuring out how to resolve issues on your own, as troubleshooting support is not included with the free tier. However, there are forums where you can ask for assistance.
- No Ads
- WordPress support
- 1 MySQL Database
- Low disk space and bandwidth
- 1 hour of downtime per day to visitors and to you as owner
- Many crashes and errors in Cpanel
Infinityfree offers free web hosting with impressive marketing of unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and domain hosting. This, in theory, means you can host as many files as you want on your account server, have as many users visit your site as you want, and have as many primary web addresses as you want.
However, there are some caveats to Infinityfree’s unlimited claim. For one, it actually provides bandwidth for approximately 50,000 hits daily, which is still a lot but is far from unlimited. It is also known for having random bouts of downtime for up to two hours at a time. To get Infinityfree’s truly unlimited daily hits with its best server power, you have to order its Ultimate Premium plan, which sells for $6.90/month.
It’s free hosting of domain names is the customary practice of hosting a “[dot]extension” domain name, for which you’ve already paid. Meanwhile, its unlimited free subdomains are web addresses along the lines of yourname.epizy.com or yourname.rf.gd. If you already have a domain name, you can connect it to your free Infinityfree website to make it look more professional-looking.
Infinityfree may be ideal for you if you are younger or early in your career, or perhaps if you are creative. Overall, any situation where little nuances such as an unusual web address won’t deter away from your message if your content is good.
- “Unlimited” disk space and bandwidth
- No Ads
- 400 MySQL databases
- So-so loading times
- Unpredictable downtimes
- Undesirable web-addresses
Googiehost offers a solid free web hosting experience, despite being somewhat infamous. The brand has had its fair share of legal trouble due to its similarity to the brand name Google.
This is one of the main reasons Googiehost is a free web host, to avoid further legal repercussions. It aims to turn a portion of its free customers into paid customers through its Interserver.net web hosting branch, where plans start at $2.50/month.
If you can get past Googiehost’s sordid history and its homepage, which is riddled with spelling and grammar errors, and its registration questionnaire asking why you want a free website, you can get to the good stuff, which includes near unlimited bandwidth and two email accounts.
Its subdomains are simple, yourname.cu.ma, but the service does support the transfer of one [dot]extension domain if you happen to have it on hand.
With ads in the Cpanel, the service is trying to convert as many users to its paid model as it can. But it does not display any ads on websites on its free model.
Googiehost may be ideal for you if you are an international user outside of the U.S. The subdomain setup is like many international domains. Plus, having a security protocol built into the service is also very helpful.
- Solid (100GB) bandwidth
- No Ads
- Free SSL (security protocol)
- Site feels unprofessional
- No WordPress
- Have to provide a reason why you want a free website
Why Is Cheap Web Hosting Better Than Free?
Even the cheapest paid web hosting services have many benefits over free web hosting in the long run. Especially if you are building something that will be connected to a business or something very important, it is worth investing even a few dollars into.
Some Benefits To Paying for Cheap Web Hosting Are:
- Typically, free [dot]extension domain registration is a package or deal of purchasing a web hosting service, at least for the first year or two.
- If something goes wrong, you can contact your web host for troubleshooting assistance.
- Disk space, bandwidth, page loading speed, email, and other features are typically of higher quality or truly unlimited (depending on the service)
- You are in charge of whether or not ads go on your website (if there are ads on your site, you are the one who profits from those ads because you put them there)
What Is the Best Use Case for Free Web Hosting?
Ultimately, you want to create a website to put your best foot forward. You want a website that works well, loads quickly, every time, and that presents your content exactly how you set it. The truth is that cannot be guaranteed with a free web hosting service.