Pretty much all PHP websites store their information within a database - services that are provided by the website hosting providers. In short - database is a server used solely to store, organize and retrieve website's data in any format.
As far as database hosting is an essential feature of any hosting package, you don't need to spend a fortune if you know the amount of resources needed for your website.Good news everyone - it's possible to get a good database hosting for very cheap - or even for free!
Because most database structures aren't particularly resource-demanding, lots of great database hosting services have managed to find ways of offering free plans.
Or at least offer some incredible value with cheap hosting deals.
Are you that one-of-the-million who wants to save money and get good hosting?
In that case here are the best cheap and free database hosting deals:
- 000webhost (Free database hosting from a reputable company)
- Ilbello.com (Free VPS database available)
- A2 Hosting (Fast responding databases with unlimited storage)
- GoogieHost (Free database plan with good customer support)
- Google Cloud (Unrivalled power and resources)
Recommended for: Free database hosting from a reputable hosting group
While the majority of free database hosts are relatively small outfits with limited infrastructure, 000webhost ($0.00 web host) is a subdivision of the popular internet hosting company, Hostinger.
There are some big benefits to opting for a hosting company with a well-established reputation. For example, 000webhost servers share a 99.9% uptime guarantee with Hostinger. And those servers are as reliable as they get (as you can see here).
000webhost is able to achieve such a reliable experience in part thanks to its use of CloudLinux technology.
This assigns your virtual server with its own partitioned physical resources. That means 000webhost is a great choice if you want a cloud database for free.
The free package includes CMS systems like WordPress, which is great if you want a public facing site as well as database hosting. Plus, you are able to benefit from the most up-to-date variant of both PHP and MySQL, tools which are fantastic for managing and creating large databases. However, the size of your free database will be restricted by the amount of storage included in the free plan. In this case, you'll be limited to 1GB and 10GB bandwidth.
Although it's clear that the 000webhost free plan will remain free for the lifetime of your account – without ever needing to add a payment method – 000webhost does offer paid plans too. If you ever want to get around the restrictions of storage and bandwidth, for $2.95/month you can upgrade to an unlimited storage and bandwidth plan.
- Completely free plan
- Reputable hosting company with 99.9% uptime guarantee
- MySQL and PHP included
- Free subdomain included
- Affordable unlimited upgrade plan
- Restrictive bandwidth and storage limits
- No customer support with a free package
Recommended for: Maria DB and VPS database hostingIf you are more familiar with MariaDB, then Ilbello.com is a great choice to meet your needs. It provides support for both MariaDB 5 and MySQL.
It's super easy to get a free database with Ibello.com; just enter your preferred subdomain name and you'll be good to go! The free plan also includes FTP, giving you complete access to the file system that your free database uses.
Unfortunately, you'll be restricted to just 250MB of storage, and Ilbello.com doesn't offer paid plans to let you expand beyond that. That's because it's a community run project intended for enthusiasts and testing purposes.
However, Ilbello.com does offer a second free package: A free database VPS plan.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and is a different kind of hosting structure to a traditional shared server. Your database will be assigned its own unique resources and will function more-or-less like a dedicated server, resulting in significantly more control over your hosting environment.
What's more, the free VPS plan comes with a whopping 5GB of storage and nearly 200MB RAM. The one downside is that the VPS plan is still in beta testing stage, so to sign up you have to apply to be a part of the program, and acceptance isn't guaranteed! Well - such a practice is something we already covered in our free VPS article.
- Free shared and VPS plan available
- FTP access included
- Compatible with both Maria DB and MySQL
- Very limited storage with a shared plan
- Must apply for VPS Beta testing programme
3. A2 Hosting
Recommended for: Flexible database tools and unlimited space
While, sadly, A2 Hosting doesn't offer completely free database hosting, it does have some extremely cheap database hosting services. I've decided to include it on this list as the best example of how a paid provider can enhance your database hosting experience.
There are two huge benefits to opting for A2 Hosting. The first is flexibility. You can use over 31 different database languages and tools with any A2 shared hosting package.
A2 even has multiple SQL architectures available including MS SQL and SQLite.
The second benefit is customer support. The majority of free hosts can't afford support of any kind, but A2 has staff members waiting to help you 24/7 through live chat or over Skype.
Want to know if it's worth it? Check out our A2 Hosting review where we verified how helpful A2's support staff is.
Unlimited SSD storage also comes standard with all database hosting plans, letting you host enormous databases and access them quickly. In my review, I found server response times to be as low as 23ms.
Plans begin at just $3.92/month. The cheapest plan’s most significant limitation is that it can only be used to host 5 databases, but you can purchase a $0.98/month upgrade to solve that issue, with unlimited databases.
- Plenty of database languages and tools available
- 24/7 Skype and live chat support
- SSD storage helps databases respond quickly
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- No free plans available
Recommended for: Excellent customer support
As I mentioned above, most free database hosts fall short when it comes to customer support. Fortunately, this isn't the case with GoogieHost whose team can be contacted 24/7 via a ticket service. GoogieHost also hopes to open up a new live-chat network soon, though it's not available yet.
With its free package, GoogieHost offers a relatively generous 1GB of SSD storage along with 100GB with bandwidth.
GoogieHost also offers web hosting of two MySQL databases for absolutely nothing.
That means, even though you won't be able to store enormously large databases, you will have the capacity to perform fairly intensive DB operations without fear of surpassing your bandwidth restrictions.
Also, GoogieHost is also an excellent choice if you want to safeguard the data you'll be working with.
The free plan includes Cloudflare privacy and an SSL certificate which will act to protect you from DDoS and hacking attacks.
- Great customer support for a free host
- SSD based storage
- Generous bandwidth limit of 100GB
- Cloudflare protection and free SSL certificate
- Currently no live chat support available
5. Google Cloud
$300.00 free credit to spend within the first year
Recommended for: Powerful free database hosting
Google Cloud is certainly the most unique provider on this list. It's actually a paid service offered by, you guessed it, Google. But its free trial service lasts for an entire year, making it totally suitable for standalone use.
As soon as you sign up to Google Cloud, you'll get $300 free credit to spend within that first year. You can use it however you like. And if you're running a small or mid-sized operation, it'll go along way. Prices start at just $0.09/month for 1GB storage and Cloud SQL processing costs $0.0150/hour.
Aside from the power on offer, Google Cloud is a great way to get cloud database free because of the flexible languages it supports. Both MySQL or PostgreSQL are included, and Cloud SQL can integrate into WordPress sites or eCommerce apps.
Of course, reliability is another bonus of using a provider as large as Google, with 99.95% server availability time is guaranteed.
- Free cloud database
- Supports multiple SQL languages
- Enormous amounts of resources available
- Reliable with 99.95% server availability
- Free trial only lasts one year
Choosing the Best Free Database Hosting Service for You
When choosing which free online database hosting service is right for you, make sure you consider your own needs:
- 000webhost is best for reliable free database hosting from a reputable service
- Ilbello.com stands out for its totally free VPS databases
- A2 Hosting offers a large range of database tools to work with
- GoogieHost provides free customer support
- Google Cloud is the best for powerful resources
Every host in this list places different limitations on your usage in order to offer a free service. Therefore, I recommend you consider what features you are comfortable doing without when choosing a host. And if you don't want to compromise on any front, make sure you give A2 Hosting some thought, it's the one paid-only provider on this list and has no resource or usage limitations.
So yes - these are the best free (with one exception!) database hosts. The starting list was big - the ones you see features here are the providers offering both a genuine, reliable service, that is going to be great for your database.
And what did you think? Do you like these providers or have do you have a preferred alternative? Comment below and let me know!