Whether you are looking to create a website for your business, hobby, or to simply entertain yourself. There is always one thing that’s constant:
You don't want to spend any money on web hosting.
And why would you? It’s just another expense you can spare.
There are a lot of free web hosts looking to bait the unsuspecting users with freemium marketing tricks.
Thankfully, free web hosting isn’t a myth and surprisingly - you can still get a rather good experience with at least a couple of them.
So after a whole year of research, testing and countless days of frustration, we’re here to give you our top picks for free website hosting:
- 000webhost - The ultimate free web hosting option.
- Wix - The best free website creation tool.
- 5GBfree - Literally 5GB of free website hosting.
- FreeHosting.com - Generous bandwidth limitations.
- FreeHostia - Perfect for small websites.
|Disk Space||1 GB|
|Email Accounts||Not Provided|
000webhost is massive. If you were to ask a group of mid-senior website developers where their first websites were hosted, chances are they will all tell you about 000webhost.
It was established in 2007 and saw a major update in 2015, which completely revamped 000webhost to be hands-down the fastest free web hosting option out there.
It’s even faster than some of the ‘premium’ web hosts:
000webhost got to the point where it wouldn’t even be fair to compare it to the other free web hosting services as it could easily compete with paid web hosting solutions.
000webhost has almost everything you’d want:
- 99.9% Uptime
- MySQL Database
- FTP Account
- Ability to create 2 websites
- Free subdomains
- Option to use your own domain
- Auto-installer with 50+ apps (WordPress, Joomla, etc.)
- Latest PHP version
The only real drawback for 000webhost is its lack of customer support. And that’s completely understandable, since only a few of the free web hosting providers we’ve tested even had it as an option.
Overall, 000webhost is the ultimate flagship of free web hosting services. It has everything you’d need to create a functional website and it doesn’t hold you back if you want to upgrade to something more powerful later on.
|Disk Space||500 MB|
|Email Accounts||Not Provided|
Wix service is purely designed to be hassle-free for anyone who needs a website and doesn’t want to get nitty gritty into technical things.
I can honestly say, Wix offers you the easiest and fastest way to create a free website.
In fact, it is possible to get your free website online within 3 minutes of you opening Wix’s main page. We tested it:
The best part about Wix is the largest library of beautiful and free website templates. Wix brand is entirely weaved around the fact of providing the most refined website templates.
But...What about its flaws?
Well, Wix is not technically a web hosting service. This means that it suffers from:
- Lack of in-depth customizability
- Massive amount of upsells.
- Inability to move your existing website to/from Wix.
Having said that, if your expectations aren’t too high and all you need is a small static website, Wix would be the best choice for your needs.
|Disk Space||5 GB|
|Email Accounts||Not Provided|
5GBfree is yet another cPanel-based free website hosting service with an emphasis on limiting your website resources.
Don’t get me wrong, 5GBfree is a good service when comparing it to other free web hosting companies out there. After all, it got 3rd place in this list!
Would I recommend it though?
No. Unless you’ve already tried 000webhost & Wix and neither of them hit the spot.
Honestly, there was so much friction when registering an account with 5GBfree, it took me 7 tries to even be able to see its advertised cPanel.
5GBfree registration forms also have mandatory phone number and physical address fields.
Even though 5GBfree has more resources, it still lags behind when it comes to its speed. A simple WordPress page fully loads in approximately 6.3 seconds (almost 6x times slower than 000webhost)
To round it up:
- Superior disk space and bandwidth allowances
- Clunky registration forms which won’t always work
- A lot of personal info gets collected during the registration
- Servers are quite slow
- No customer support whatsoever.
Like I said 5GBfree is not the worst, but not good either.
|Disk Space||10 GB|
Out of this whole list, FreeHosting.com gives the largest amount of resources to work with - a whopping 10 GBs of disk space and unmetered bandwidth.
But at what cost?
Upsells, lots and lots of upsells:
It seems that even the most simplistic web hosting features are hidden behind an unreasonable price tag.
- $14.95 for a subdomain? You can get a .com domain registered for two years for that much.
- Almost $30 for a “let’s encrypt” SSL certificate? You know, the certificate which is free by default?
- DNS editor for $19.95? You can actually get a premium host’s subscription for at least 3-6 months for that much
Yet, the biggest downside of FreeHosting.com is that you can’t set up a website unless you already own a domain name. Of course, you can buy a domain from them, which frankly beats the point of creating a website for free.
FreeHosting.com performance is on par with 5GBfree and considering its generous resource limitations, FreeHosting.com is a great free hosting provider if you:
- Already own a domain name
- Don’t mind hosting your website without SSL (https://)
- Aren’t planning on expanding your website in any way (due to MySQL, subdomain limitations)
Otherwise, keep your hands off this one.
|Disk Space||250 MB|
A self-proclaimed “hosting paradise on Earth” offers you a chance to connect 5 domains and create 3 email accounts - completely for free.
Wonderful as it seems, but as we have already discovered, good things rarely come without some massive drawbacks. Especially when it comes to free website hosting.
This is no exception, with 250MB disk space and 6GB of bandwidth limitations, FreeHostia successfully designed the perfect web hosting service for ants!
Jokes aside, 250MB disk space is inconceivably low for any website. Even a static one.
Yes, you would be able to install core WordPress, but that’s about it. Brian from Kinsta mentioned that an average WordPress user operates with around 1GB storage usage.
There is a silver lining though:
FreeHostia’s performance is pretty good - the page loads in a bit less than 4 seconds.
So if you need to host a static one-pager, FreeHostia might just be perfect for you. Otherwise, go for something which has more leg-room.
How Can Web Hosting Be Free?
Companies need to make money - and none of them give you free hosting purely out of the goodness of their heart. So, what is the business model of these companies - and what exactly is going on behind the doors?
In simple terms, free web hosting uses a “freemium” business model. A popular concept in other online services, and video games. It means that you will get something for free - but will have to pay to get a better version of it.
What differs, is how separate hosting companies handle this model. Some of them manage to offer a very reputable product - complete with good performance, and transparent features. And then, should the user want more, they can always upgrade and move on from free plans - to premium hosting.
Other companies, however, are not as good. And the “free hosting plans” turn out to be not a great advertisement of what good service they can be, but rather a messy, clunky experience.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the motivation of web hosting companies. If they have paid plans, they’re not interested in you using the free ones.
I’ve encountered something very similar in the free VPS breakdown I’ve written previously. And what a company that doesn’t want your money, really wants from you? They could be looking for your personal information: your name, your email address which would later be used for advertising - or maybe even the files in your website, which could be held hostage if you don’t upgrade to a paid plan.
Overall, every company has intentions to profit. The real question is, what are those intentions, and are you fine with all of that?