5 Best -Really- Free Web Hosting Solutions (2019 UPDATED)

5 Best -Really- Free Web Hosting Solutions (2019 UPDATED)

Ari Esmond
Ari Esmond
37

You’re ready to launch your first website, but first, it needs a good home. Good homes come in many different shapes and sizes, and maybe you’re just looking for a temporary residence right now, before you settle into a long-term hosting plan. Free hosting is a great place to get started.

There are plenty of totally free hosting solutions, and although some of these are quite limited, others are generous in what they offer. Some give you the option to add paid extras, such as email or technical support.

When you’re looking for a free web host, you need to be careful. Some free hosts will fill your website with ads, which makes your website look free. Other limitations may include restricted storage, slower speeds, and performance issues. The last thing you want is a website that’s often unavailable due to downtime.

Some free hosts even try to minimize their expenses by compromising your security with low-grade servers or outdated software. You need to know which ones you can really trust.

So you don’t have to do the research, our experts have rigorously tested dozens of free web hosting solutions, to bring you our list of the top five totally free web hosting providers.

What We Look For in the Best Free Web Hosting Solutions

When we put free web hosting solutions to the test, this is what we look for:

  • 100% ad-free hosting. Even if you don’t have the budget for premium hosting, you need a website that doesn’t look like it’s free, with ads everywhere.
  • Enough storage and bandwidth for a simple website. You need to know that you have enough storage space, and that your website isn’t going to suffer downtime due to insufficient bandwidth.
  • Installation of WordPress and other CMS. Basic website builders are nice for some purposes, but your site may need more. Your free web host needs to offer easy installation of more advanced applications, WordPress in particular.
  • Easy-to-manage control panels. You want a hosting solution that makes it easy to manage your files and other aspects of your web hosting space, using a control panel such as cPanel.

000webhost – Secure and Reliable Web Hosting

000webhost is dedicated to providing free hosting that is reliable, secure, and offers more than enough storage space and bandwidth to build your blog or business website. It aims to be beginner-friendly and promises to be 100% ad-free.

Setting up your website is simple, with a wizard to walk you through the steps. You can choose to use the included website builder, upload an existing website, or install WordPress.

When you use 000webhost, your website will be hosted as a subdomain (e.g. example.000webhostapp.com) – which can look unprofessional. If you want a custom domain, you can buy one through Hostinger in your 000webhost dashboard.

While domains are relatively cheap, if you upgrade to a premium paid plan (through Hostinger), you get a free one.

What You Get with the Free Version

While you shouldn’t expect the advanced features of a premium plan (such as automatic backups) with 000webhost’s free plan, there is more than enough on offer to build a blog or a basic business website. On the free plan, you get:

  • 10GB of bandwidth and 1GB of disk space. This is plenty to build your website – as long as you’re not planning on uploading lots of video files, for example.
  • One-click application installation. Quickly add over 50 applications, including WordPress, to your web space for full flexibility.
  • Support for PHP and MySQL. If you have the technical skills, you’ll be glad to know 000webhost gives you access to PHP and MySQL databases from your dashboard and also supports JavaScript and CSS.
  • Free SSL protection. When your website is hosted on a 000webhost subdomain, you’re automatically covered by the SSL certificate. Your website will display the trust-building padlock in the address-bar, assuring your visitors that all data they submit is encrypted and protected.

Unlike with other free hosts, such as FreeHosting, you can’t add extra features to your free plan – your only option is to upgrade to a paid plan. While prices for paid plans are low, it can be frustrating to have to upgrade when you only need one feature, such as email or backups.

What Do You Get If You Pay?

000webhost’s paid plans are super cheap (starting at less than $1 a month), but you get a stack of additional features. These include:

  • At least 10x the amount of disk space and bandwidth
  • Weekly backups
  • Live 24/7 technical support
  • Email accounts
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Free domain (on the premium plan)
  • Unlimited websites, disk space, bandwidth and email (premium plan)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

When Should You Upgrade?

When you’re regularly reaching what 000webhost describes as the ‘danger zone’ or ‘critical zone’ in your monthly quota, it’s time to upgrade to a pro plan. 000webhost gives you an at-a-glance view of the bandwidth and storage you’ve used, so it’s easy to tell when you need to upgrade.

5 Best -Really- Free Web Hosting Solutions-image1

cPanel?Yes – free cPanel included
CMS installer?One-click installer with 50+ options, including WordPress
SSL certificateFree – covered by 000webhost’s own SSL

FreeHosting – Flexible Free Web Hosting

FreeHosting stands out because of the sheer amount of features included for free. With hundreds of apps like WordPress and Joomla available for one-click install and more technical features like Apache/PHP7 management, FreeHosting gives you premium features at zero cost.

Unlike many free web hosting providers, FreeHosting doesn’t give you a subdomain (e.g. freehosting.com/yourusername). This has advantages and disadvantages. Your website will look more professional with your own domain name, but then again, domain names do cost money.

What You Get with the Free Version

FreeHosting is one of the most feature-packed free hosting options in our showcase. Included with your free hosting is:

  • Unmetered bandwidth. Although FreeHosting asks you to comply with its Fair Use Policy, this is pretty standard procedure with web hosts offering ‘unlimited’ bandwidth, and there are actually very few restrictions.
  • 10GB of disk storage. This is a really generous amount of disk space (10x what 000webhost offers).
  • Softaculous Auto Installer. You get access to more than 480 web applications that can be installed on your website in an instant. This is almost 10x the number of apps that 000webhost offers.
  • One email account. You get a single you@yourdomain.com email address included – with the option to purchase more email addresses as an add-on. Spam control and guaranteed delivery are included with the free email address, too.

FreeHosting’s biggest limitation is that you can’t try it out without purchasing a domain name. Unless you already have a domain name hosted elsewhere, that means you have no choice but to pay something to get started. However, domain names are not expensive, and the extra features you get with FreeHosting can make it worth it.

What Do You Get If You Pay?

With FreeHosting, you have two different options if you want to upgrade your web hosting. You can either upgrade to a paid plan – which includes some extra features – or you can add extra features to your free plan as paid add-ons.

Paid plan exclusives:

  • Web logs
  • Web stats
  • Backups
  • Extended resources

Add-ons:

  • Additional email mailboxes
  • Additional MySQL database
  • Extra technical support
  • SSL certificate
  • MultiPHP – choose which version of PHP your hosting space uses

When Should You Upgrade?

There’s so much included with the free plan that you might wonder whether there’s any need to upgrade at all. However, if you want to build trust with your website visitors, an SSL certificate is essential, so this is one upgrade that you should seriously consider.

cPanel?Yes
CMS installer?Softaculous Installer with 480+ apps including WordPress
SSL certificateYou can purchase an SSL certificate as an add-on to your free plan

GoogieHost – 100% Cloud Based for Better Performance

If you’re looking for a free web hosting solution that can deliver fast speeds, GoogieHost offers Cloud Linux hosting for better speed and stability. To improve your performance even more, when you sign up you can add the CDN (content delivery network) Cloudflare to your website for free.

Like 000WebHost, GoogieHost uses subdomains for free web hosting – but you can buy your own domain to create a more professional look. If you decide to go with the subdomain, you can choose from two different domains: examplesubdomain.cu.ma or examplesubdomain.thats.im.

What You Get with the Free Version

GoogieHost packs a lot of features into its free plan. You get:

  • Customer support. While most free hosts don’t offer customer support to free users, GoogieHost’s support team will be happy to help you to resolve any issues you have.
  • 1GB SSD storage. Faster and more stable than traditional HDD storage, SSD storage can boost your website’s speed and performance even further.
  • Unlimited bandwidth. There’s no limit to the amount of traffic you can receive – and GoogieHost also includes a 100MBPS uplink, so your website can easily handle lots of visitors at once.
  • Free business emails. Create a professional email address for your business to give your customers the right impression.
  • Softaculous Auto Installer. Quickly and easily add applications such as WordPress to your website. You get access to over 300 different applications with this installer.
  • Free SSL. Your website is automatically protected by GoogieHost’s SSL certificate.

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There are some limitations to GoogieHost’s free plan, however. Because you can only host a single free website, GoogieHost performs checks to ensure that you’re not trying to cheat the system (even if you’re not), so there’s often a delay before your free account is approved. If it thinks you have multiple accounts, you’ll be banned from the platform – and lose your website.

What do You Get if You Pay More?

There’s no option to add extra features to your free plan with GoogieHost, so you have to choose a paid plan. When you upgrade to a paid plan, you get:

  • Lite Speed – make your website load even faster.
  • Backups
  • Live chat support
  • Choose from different server locations
  • 1GBPS uplink
  • 99.99% uptime guarantee

When Should You Upgrade?

If you want to expand your business or blog in another direction and need a separate website, then you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan due to GoogieHost’s very strict rules about multiple websites.

cPanel?Yes
CMS installer?Softaculous Installer with 300+ apps including WordPress
SSL certificateFree – covered by GoogieHost’s SSL

5GB Free – High-Quality US-Based Servers

5GB Free works on the principle that while you need free hosting to get you started, there will come a point (in the not-too-distant future) when you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.

While it doesn’t offer as much as some of the other free hosts on our list, 5GB Free has the advantage of being based in the US and having the same high-quality servers as premium hosting providers.

What You Get with the Free Version

5GB Free’s features list has the basics to get your website online quickly and easily. You get:

  • 5GB disk space. That’s 5x as much disk space as you get with 000webhost or GoogieHost and unless you’re building a media-rich website, the limitation shouldn’t be a problem.
  • 20GB bandwidth. Compared to the unlimited bandwidth offers on GoogieHost and FreeHosting, 20GB seems small – but if you’re just building a regular blog or business website, and not expecting huge amounts of traffic, it should be plenty.
  • Installatron auto-installer. This auto-installer enables you to install applications like WordPress and many others. There are over 150 applications available.
  • PHP and MySQL. You get three MySQL databases with 5GB Free accounts.

The only type of support available on the free version is via a forum rather than actual support agents. If you run into problems, you have to ask questions in the forum and hope that someone can give you the answers you need. The forum is monitored by experts, but response time varies.

What do You Get if You Pay?

5GB Free is a platform designed to get you started, and you’re not expected to stay on the free plan forever. Many of the desirable-but-not-necessarily-essential features are reserved for the paid plan, where you get:

  • 100GB disk storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Email accounts
  • SSL certificate
  • 24/7 support by phone, chat, or email
  • Spam filter
  • Addon domains

When Should You Upgrade?

Since there’s no support for SSL on the free plan, you’re likely to need to upgrade if you want to run an online store or handle customer data securely.

cPanel?Yes
CMS installer?Installatron Installer with 150+ applications, including WordPress
SSL certificateOnly available on the Pro plan (no support for SSL with free hosting)

AwardSpace – Add Extra Websites to Your Hosting Space

If you want to host more than one website, AwardSpace gives you the option to host a total of four free websites – three of which will be subdomains. This gives you the option to host websites for your friends, family or clients.

With AwardSpace, you benefit from automatic firewall protection that keeps your website secure from malicious attacks. AwardSpace takes security seriously – but for an SSL certificate, you have to upgrade to a paid plan.

What You Get with the Free Version

  • 1GB disk space. As with the likes of 000webHost and GoogieHost, you get enough disk space to build a great looking website. With 1GB, you can store around 600 images, but isn’t so great for large video files.
  • 5GB monthly traffic. This is the lowest amount of bandwidth on offer on our list, but it should be enough for simple websites and blogs.
  • One email account. Your free email account comes with SpamAssassin and ClamAV virus protection.
  • CMS installation. Although AwardSpace uses the Zacky App Installer, with the free plan you’re only able to install one of three CMS options – WordPress, Joomla, or Crav.
  • Subdomains. You can add up to three subdomains to your hosting space.

With AwardSpace, you’re restricted to just three CMS options, which is a huge limitation. Considering the other free web hosting solutions in our showcase, we feel they could do better.

Your access to customer and technical support is limited – but of course, you have 24/7 access to sales support!

What Do You Get If You Pay More?

AwardSpace’s shared hosting upgrades include these features:

  • Better speeds
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Better security
  • More email accounts
  • Free SSL certificates
  • More than one website
  • Free domain name for life (on the Web Pro Plus plan and above)
  • Full access to Zacky App Installer

When Should You Upgrade?

If you want to install web applications for advanced functions such as forums (e.g. MyBB or BBPress), e-commerce (e.g. Magento or OpenCart), or online education (e.g. Moodle), you’ll need to upgrade. You’re also likely to find that as your website gains more popularity, the 5GB bandwidth limit may become too restrictive.

cPanel?Rather than the standard cPanel, AwardSpace has its own control panel “Advanced Control Panel”
CMS installer?You can install WordPress, Joomla, or CRAV on the free plan
SSL certificateOnly available on paid plans (no shared SSL with free hosting)

Surprisingly Good, REALLY Free Web Hosting Options

In the past, free web hosting was restricted to free website builders that splashed ads all over your site, making it easily identifiable as free. Now, free hosting is packed with many of the features normally associated with premium hosting plans – albeit with some limitations.

You can host a WordPress website on your own custom domain for less than $15 if you shop around for a good domain name deal – or, in most cases, just opt for using a free subdomain to get started and add a domain name later.

So, which free host should you choose?

If you’re looking for the best level of performance, GoogieHost’s cloud-based web hosting is more stable and offers better speeds – plus, you’re protected with a free SSL certificate.

If you need the most space and traffic, FreeHosting doesn’t restrict your bandwidth and gives you more storage space than any other host on our list.

If you’re planning on hosting multiple websites, AwardSpace will let you have up to four different websites on your hosting account.

Here’s a handy comparison table to help you make up your mind:

 Standout FeatureBandwidthStorageSSL
000webhostAt-a-glance-usage dashboard10 GB1 GBFree
FreeHostingOver 480 web applicationsUnlimited10 GBAvailable as an add-on
GoogieHostCloud LinuxUnlimited1 GB SSDFree
5GB FreeUS-based high performance data centers20 GB5 GBOnly available on paid plans
AwardSpaceHost up to 4 websites5 GB1 GBOnly available on paid plans

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