Looking for a free web hosting service to start your website? We get emails from readers on a regular basis asking if there’s a way to get free website hosting. And the answer is YES. We all love free things in life, but it’s important to remember not all free things are created equal. In this article, we will compare the best free (and almost free) website hosting services with their pros and cons.
The “Truth” About Free Website Hosting Service
Building a website has become the most important way to get your message out in the world. However, when you are first starting, you may not want to spend money on making a website.
Most people simply want something quick, easy, and free.
There are tons of free website hosting companies in the market. But as a smart consumer, you should know that there is no such thing as free lunch.
There is always a catch.
Running a website hosting service costs a lot of money.
The companies offering free website hosting need to make money somehow, or they will go out of business.
They do that by either displaying ads on your website, limiting your website traffic, locking you in their platform, and/or upselling their other services. Some of the ads displayed may not represent your brand well, and it can even be your competitor’s advertisement.
Except for a test website, it’s almost always a bad idea to use free website hosting. We have 36 reasons why free websites are bad idea, specially for businesses.
But what if you’re on a small budget?
Maybe you’re a non-profit who is looking for free WordPress hosting or maybe you want free website hosting for students. Don’t worry, we have a solution for you in this article.
As the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners, it is our job to highlight the fine-prints, so you’re making the RIGHT decision.
Every free website hosting company in our list guarantees that you can keep your website for free as long as you want. However we recommend anyone who is serious about their website to strongly consider using a low-cost full-featured website hosting provider.
Majority of these shared hosting companies will give you a free domain, free emails, free SSL, eCommerce functionality, and a lot more for $2.75 – $5 per month.
That’s basically “almost free” considering you will make a lot more money from your website.
Paying this small amount gives you access to expert support and overall better service. Most importantly, it gives you complete control and ownership of your website.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best almost-free website hosting companies first. After that, we will look at the best free website hosting companies.
Best Value “Almost-Free” Website Hosting
These providers are highly-reputed and are a great place for small businesses to start their website.
Some of them are even officially recommended by WordPress, WPBeginner, and other large organizations because they have demonstrated high level of quality and service.
If you are serious about your website, then we recommend you to start your website with one of these 5 providers.
Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They are an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.
They have agreed to offer WPBeginner users a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and 63% discount on web hosting. Basically, you can get started for $2.75 per month.
Their hosting plans include free branded email addresses, unlimited disk space, free SSL certificate, 1-click WordPress install, and more.
To learn more about Bluehost, see our complete Bluehost review where we evaluated their hosting performance, features, and services.
Siteground is another great alternative to free website hosting. They are known for their awesome support and blazingly fast performance. SiteGround is also an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.
They are offering WPBeginner users 60% discount on hosting. Basically, you’ll be able to get started for $3.95 per month.
SiteGround’s hosting plans come with a website builder, 1-click installer for WordPress and Joomla, unlimited email addresses, and more.
SiteGround have a special offer for Teachers and Students. You can get Student Web Hosting for only $1.99 per month.
Teachers can use SiteGround to enroll in a free hosting plan for educators.
For more details, see our thorough SiteGround review where we ran actual tests to measure their performance and uptime.
HostGator is one of the top hosting service providers in the market. They have been around since 2002 and gradually grew to become one of the largest hosting companies in the world.
Their incredible growth can be credited to their low-price, reliable web hosting, and quality customer service.
Their hatchling plan starts from $2.64 / month. Each plan includes unlimited email addresses, free HTTPS / SSL, unmetered bandwidth and diskspace.
Our founder and CEO, Syed Balkhi, is a HostGator customer since 2007. WPBeginner itself is hosted with HostGator’s dedicated server and we are very happy with their performance.
For more details, see our HostGator review with pros and cons, and detailed performance tests.
DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosting companies, started in 1997. They currently host more than 1.5 million websites.
Their starter plan costs $2.59 per month. It includes a free domain name, free domain privacy, free SSL, unlimited emails, 1-click installers for popular website builders, and more.
To learn more, see our complete DreamHost review where we evaluated their services, support, and performance.
5. Just Host
Just Host is another low-cost alternative to the free website hosting companies. They offer shared hosting plans perfect for creating a starter website.
You can basically get started for $3.95 per month. Each plan comes with a free domain name, unlimited email addresses, multiple websites, and 1-click install for to CMS software like WordPress.
To learn more, take a look at our complete Just Host review with pros and cons.
Best Free Hosting Sites
While free is tempting, it’s always limited when it comes to website hosting. With that in mind, we have hand-picked the best free website hosting sites that you can use to get started.
These hosting sites are 100% free for you to use.
If you’re a serious about your website, we strongly recommend you to read our comprehensive guide on how to choose the best WordPress hosting before making your final decision.
With that said, here are the best free hosting companies in the world.
WordPress.com is a popular free hosting platform that offers a unique flavor of WordPress. Not to be confused with the WordPress.org, which is home of the well-known self-hosted website builder, WordPress.
WordPress.com offer a free website hosting plan which gives you a WordPress.com subdomain (i.e. yourwebsite.wordpress.com ), 3 GB storage, and access to free templates for your website.
This free plan displays ads on your website. You can upgrade to their paid plans to get rid of ads, use a custom domain name, and access additional features. At which point any of the “almost free hosting” services we mentioned above are the better option.
To learn more, see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org with pros and cons of both platforms.
Wix is another fully-hosted website builder that offers free website hosting.
Like most free hosting services, it is supported by displaying ads and Wix.com branding on your free website. You can get rid of it by upgrading to their paid plans.
The free plan will give you a Wix.com subdomain, access to website templates, 500 MB of storage and 500 MB of bandwidth.
For more details, see our comparison of Wix vs WordPress where we break down the pros and cons of both platforms.
Weebly is another popular free website builder that you can use. It comes with an intuitive drag and drop builder and ready-made templates to create a website.
Their free plan includes a Weebly subdomain, 500 MB of storage, and displays Weebly ads. You can upgrade to their paid plans to get rid of ads, get more storage, and unlock features.
You may want to see our detailed comparison of Weebly vs WordPress which shows the advantages and disadvantages of both website platforms.
9. GoDaddy Website Builder
GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain name registrar and a popular hosting company.
They offer GoDaddy website builder which is a drag and drop website builder with ready-made templates. It is available as a 30-day free trial after which you can upgrade to one of their paid plans starting from $5.99 per month.
It is cheap and very easy to use. However, once your website grows you may find GoDaddy Website Builder to be quite limited in features. It is also difficult to move GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress or any other website platform.
Squarespace is a popular website builder platform that requires no technical skills. It offers beautiful professional templates and an intuitive drag and drop interface.
They offer a restricted 14-day free website hosting trial. This gives you access to their website builder so you can try its features. Your website will not be public unless you subscribe to a paid plan.
Paid plans start at $12 per month. Each plan comes with a free custom domain, unlimited bandwidth, storage, and ready-made website templates.
To learn more, see our article on Squarespace vs WordPress with pros and cons and feature comparisons.
11. Google Cloud Hosting
Google offers a wide variety of free website hosting solutions for small businesses and students. It comes with all the powerful features that you can expect from a top-class company like Google.
Since their plans are based on pay-per-use, it’s an easy place for students to get started. Google offers $300 free credit for new customers which is sufficient to last you for a whole year, if you’re just looking for a free website hosting for test sites.
You can use Google Cloud to host any type of website, and they even offer WordPress on Google Compute Engine.
12. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon Web Services also known as AWS powers some of the most popular websites in the world. While it’s not easy to use for small businesses, it’s a great platform for students and developers who’re just getting started.
Amazon offers 12 months free and always free products on their AWS Free Tier which is by far one of the best free website hosting for testing sites.
Students can use Amazon’s powerful platform to learn and master their development skills.
We hope this article helped you find the best free website hosting service for your next project. You may also want to checkout our guide on how to create a free business email address in 5 minutes.
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