If you're struggling with budget, the best free web hosting services can appear to be a simple, viable option. However, it's key to point out here that free hosting isn’t as good as it appears to be.
Firstly, many free web hosts aren’t really free; many offer unusable web hosting and also lack the web hosting security and management tools you'll need for a professionally-hosted website.
Additionally, free hosts usually provide poor levels of customer service and support, meaning you’ll have to deal with problems on your own. It's worth noting that you'll almost certainly run into problems with many "free" hosts.
We strongly recommend taking a look at the best web hosting services before signing up with a free host, as many top web hosts' shared hosting packages start from as little as $0.99 a month. This is what makes them such an attractive option, especially when compared to the pitfalls of free hosting.
Still, we've tested the best free web hosting services available today, and below we compare them on their features, performance, and limitations.
The top 3 best web hosting services right now
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These three options below are our top selections when evaluating the best web hosting services, and while not free, they provide cheap shared hosting and a range of other hosting packages, backed by reputation, security, and strong performance.
Cloudways: the best cloud hosting available
Cloudways offers extremely flexible cloud hosting via customizable, pay-as-you-go plans priced hourly and monthly. You get managed hosting, free SSL certificates and site migrations, and much more, starting from $10 a month for 1GB RAM, 25GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth.
If you're set on going ahead with a free host—which we don’t recommend—make sure you check our list of the best free web hosting services below. We comprehensively tested 18 supposedly free services, and the four we've listed are the only providers offering reliable, functional hosting for free.
The best free web hosting of 2023 in full
Byethost offers high-quality free web hosting based on a freemium model. That is, it encourages you to upgrade to a paid subscription after signing up for a free plan. But the free plan is excellent. With 1GB of storage, 50GB of bandwidth, and absolutely no advertising to speak of, there really is a lot to like here.
On top of this, all users will have access to the beginner-friendly VistaPanel control panel, which is designed to make ongoing management easier than ever. Take advantage of the built-in FTP (file transfer protocol) account and online file manager to upload and organize files.
Other noteworthy tools include the Softaculous one-click installer, which makes it extremely easy to install programs like WordPress and Joomla. There’s also a free site builder and a selection of free domains is available if you really want to keep costs to a minimum.
On the downside, some login links aren’t properly secured, and support is limited to online ticketing. But it is a free service, so we really can’t complain about this.
InfinityFree stands out as an excellent all-around free hosting option for sites that won't receive many visitors each day. It offers unlimited storage, bandwidth, and domain connections, although you will have a daily limit of 50,000 hits. But if you’re getting this many visitors, you should probably be using a premium host anyway.
Apart from somewhat average performance, we found very few other obvious flaws. You won’t ever have ads placed on your website, you’ll benefit from a 99.9% uptime guarantee and will have access to a suite of other tools.
Additionally, you can either import your own premium domain name or select a free subdomain from the InfinityFree library. InfinityFree includes support for the cPanel administration panel. You will even have access to the Softaculous one-click installer, which makes initial setup easier than ever.
If you’re looking for a reliable free host that’s been working in the industry for years, you simply can’t overlook 000webhost. It’s run and managed by hosting powerhouse Hostinger, and it offers a very impressive selection of advanced tools and features.
For example, you will have access to a cPanel control panel, a free integrated website builder, and a 99% uptime guarantee. However, email accounts are notably absent, there’s no one-click installer, and you will be limited to 300MB of storage and 3GB of bandwidth.
Of course, once you've outgrown your free hosting, it's possible to upgrade to a full Hostinger package. Generally, we find Hostinger's products to be priced well, so starting with 000webhost and moving later to Hostinger if you need to seems a reasonable course of action if you're on a tight budget.
Although it’s far from our number one choice, some people will like GoogieHost because of its generous server resources and built-in cPanel control panel. Choose GoogieHost, and you will benefit from 1GB of storage and 100GB of bandwidth, and harness the power of the Softaculous one-click installer.
There are also free subdomains available if you require one, along with access to a free Site.pro website builder, a free SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, and more. However, important features like PHP are disabled on GoogieHost, so not all web applications will run.
The poor design of the GoogieHost website certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in its services, and customer service options are very limited. Most customer reviews lament the difficulty of getting things set up on GoogieHost and that there's no real customer support, so it's an also-ran at best.
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How to choose the best free web hosting for you
When trying to choose a free web hosting service, there are a few important things that you need to keep at the front of your mind. First, remember that free hosts won’t ever be anywhere near as good as premium options.
In general, you will have to deal with security vulnerabilities, poor performance, and limited features. You may also be faced with strict resource constraints, and you’ll likely be left to fix things yourself if anything goes wrong.
That said, there are a few decent options out there. For example, 000webhost is managed by Hostinger, an industry leader in the hosting space. Although it offers very limited storage and bandwidth, you can rest assured that it provides secure, reliable service.
Platforms like InfinityFree and Byethost are also worth using, especially if you’re looking for advanced features and generous server resources. GoogieHost is another option worth considering.
How we review the best free web hosting
To test free web hosting, we begin by creating a new account with the hosts we want to test. Following this, a simple website is created with each host, and its performance is monitored over a period of time using Uptime.com.
Uptime and server response times are the two main metrics that we focus on during long-term monitoring. However, we also complete short-term testing with Dotcom-tools and Bitcatcha to analyze page load speeds.
On top of this, we perform a complete analysis of every aspect of a host, from its control panel and user interface to the resources and security measures included.
Take a look at our review testing methodology for more information.