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Top 5 Best Free Web Hosting Services in 2021

The costs of maintaining a website can escalate pretty fast. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, check out these 5 free web hosts that offer a solid performance.

Reasons to look for a good free web hosting service

There’s an old saying that goes, “the best things in life are often free.” But when it comes to web hosting, nothing could be further from the truth.

With this niche, what holds true is the fact that you get exactly what you pay for. And since you’re not paying a dime, you’re highly likely to get subpar hosting services, at best. In worst case scenarios, your site’s data gets stolen, you lose visitors or your website gets shut down altogether.

We’re not saying that all free web hosting services are terrible. In fact, we’ll highlight a couple that are reliable. But what we’re saying is that these free platforms present a set of risks, which you can avoid by using more reputable paid web hosts.

Free web hosts should be your last resort. And even then, you should only use them to host personal websites not business ones. That said, if you have no other option but to use a free web host, here are a few points you should keep in mind.

Best for versatility

Wix Free Web Hosting Service

Wix Free Web Hosting Service

The vast number of templates makes it easy for businesses, artists, and restaurants to find suitable ones for their industry.

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A renowned player in the website building niche, Wix also offers free hosting services. It’s particularly good for newbies and has a decent offering comprising a free website builder, access to Wix apps (even through mobile), free templates, 500 MB storage and 500 MB bandwidth.

That said, Wix servers are on the slower side of the speed spectrum. Websites hosted on this platform load slowly, which can be a turn off for your visitors.

Another disadvantage is that once you’ve chosen a template, you’re stuck with it. Wix doesn’t allow customers to change their templates on the free plan.

Best with one-click installer

InfinityFree Free Web Hosting Service

InfinityFree Free Web Hosting Service

The integration of the Softaculous feature makes it easy for users to install Joomla, WordPress, PrestaShop, and 400 other web apps.

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InfinityFree has been in the web hosting industry for just six years. However, the free platform has a couple of things they can brag about. For instance, the platform offers POP3 email support, cPanel, zero ads, unlimited bandwidth and disk space.

However, the speed of its servers isn’t the best so don’t expect your website to load at lightning speed. Its uptime is also pretty unstable. There are times when your website will remain offline for extended periods. If such issues are deal breakers, consider paid alternatives.

Best for quick setup

Byethost Free Web Hosting Service

Byethost Free Web Hosting Service

Its uptime reliability remains 100% indicating ByetHost’s commitment to keeping the site running smoothly.

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Byethost is actually a subsidiary of Byet Internet, which is a US-based company that specializes in hosting, reseller services and domain names.

This hosting service offers a nice selection of features, which include 1GB of server space, compatibility with MySQL/PHP, round-the-clock tech support and 50 GB of monthly bandwidth.

Best for advanced hosting features

Googiehost Free Web Hosting Service

Googiehost Free Web Hosting Service

Googiehost is one of the few free hosting services that offers a nice selection of advanced features.

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Eight years of experience in the web hosting industry is no mean feat, and it’s something that Googiehost is proud of.

The platform offers a vast range of features and these include exceptional customer service, cutting-edge SEO tools (perfect for scaling your website), and unlimited bandwidth. Googiehost is also one of the few free hosting providers that offers a free SSL certificate, guaranteeing top notch security for your website.

Best without Any Ads

Free Hosting No Ads Free Web Hosting Service

Free Hosting No Ads Free Web Hosting Service

Free Hosting No Ads prides itself on offering an ad-free browsing experience to your visitors.

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When individuals visit your website, the last thing they want to see is a ton of ads, which are completely unrelated to what you’re offering. If you want your visitors to have an ad-free browsing experience, Free Hosting No Ads is the ultimate web host for you.

In addition to this, the company also offers an automatic installer for WordPress, Grav and Joomla as well as 5GB bandwidth, technical support, domain hosting and an intuitive control panel.

What to look for in a good free web hosting service

Limitations of free web hosting

As we mentioned earlier, we can’t beat about the bush when it comes to the drawbacks and challenges of using free web hosts. Here is a list of shortcomings you can expect when you sign up on these platforms:

Sluggish server performances

The biggest issue that you’ll likely encounter with free web hosts is the slow performance of their servers.

Here’s the thing, most of these web hosts consolidate hundreds if not thousands of websites on the same server in an attempt to save on costs. With a ton of websites sharing limited server resources, there’s no doubt that you’ll experience slow loading sites and plenty of downtime.

A free hosting platform like 000WebHost, forces its clients to put up with a whole hour of “sleep time” on a daily basis. The company cites routine server maintenance as the reason for the downtime.

Ads

If you’re thinking of using a free web host, then one of the trade-offs you’ll have to put up with is ads. This is completely understandable. The hosting companies still have to generate profits somehow, and showcasing advertisements on your sites is one way to do it.

Let’s make this perfectly clear, don’t expect to earn any commissions or profits from these ads. If your visitors sit through these ads and end up clicking on a few of them, the returns will go to your web host.

Even if your website starts getting such high traffic that the ads begin to generate some real revenue, you won’t get a dime of these returns.

The bright side of this is the fact that ads earn your host revenue. The negative aspect of this is that ads also distract your visitors.

If they’re on your site searching for a product, service or information, the ads can take away from their browsing experience. Due to this, some visitors may even leave your site and resort to competitor websites.

Branding tool

In addition to the dozens of ads showcased on your site, some hosting firms also treat you as an avenue for marketing their own brand.

For instance, there are hosts that insist on displaying their logo on your website. Others require you to incorporate their name on your URL. This could be something like- yourname.theirname.org.

As with advertisements, this can cause a bit of confusion. Your visitors will have a hard time trying to figure out what your business is and what it really offers.

Poor customer support

Another major shortcoming of free web hosting companies entails the customer support they offer.

Here’s the thing, customer service representatives have to be paid. Now if the host isn’t making enough money to sustain these salaries, then they won’t be bothered to provide the best customer service support.

So even though a few hosting providers guarantee round-the-clock support, don’t have very high expectations when it comes to the help you’ll be offered.

Limited pages

A couple of free web hosts also place a restriction on the number of pages you can create under their free plan.

If you’re looking to create a simple website, and don’t expect much traffic, then this can work. But if you anticipate scaling your business- and subsequently, your website- in future, then such a plan may not be the best fit for you.

Paid premium features

The majority of firms that offer free hosting services do so hoping that once clients sign up, they can get them to pay for upgrades and premium features.  

So what these hosting companies do is to offer just a limited set of features on their free plan. If a customer wishes to access certain features or upgrade to a plan with more features, then he/she has to pay.

Instead of paying top dollar for an upgrade, we recommend spending time to research the right web host for you. This way, you’ll have unlimited access to the features that you need from the get-go.

Security breaches

Data is a crucial asset for your business, particularly if you’re in the eCommerce space.

Unfortunately, most free web hosts don’t invest in top-notch security features that can protect your site’s data.

So if you opt for these platforms, know that there’s a high chance of getting a security breach. Your data may get stolen or leaked, and your hosting provider won’t be able to help you in any way.

FAQ

Are free web hosting services truly free?

Yes, it’s true that free web hosting won’t cost you anything. However, you won’t get to enjoy a reliable and quality hosting service.

Is free web hosting right for you?

If you’re wondering whether free web hosting is truly the right platform, here are a few pointers. Use a free web host if:
– You’re an amateur in the self-hosting space and are looking to test the waters first before committing to a better and paid web host. But remember, you can always look for a paid hosting service that offers a trial period or money-back guarantee.
– You don’t have enough funds, yet you want to launch your website immediately. If this is the case, look for a host that gives you the option to upgrade your plan later on.
– You don’t mind the lengthy downtimes and are okay with resolving issues on your own; since some may not offer any customer support.

Free web hosting is not for you if:
– You’re looking for prompt and quality customer support.
– You lack tolerance for sluggish servers, downtimes, unexpected site crashes, limitations on your account and advertisements.
– You’re looking to scale your business website soon.
– You expect a ton of traffic on your website.
– You think your website could benefit from features like top-grade security, web-building tools and more.

Are there any free web hosts that don’t have ads?

Yes, there are. Free Hosting No Ads is a good case in point. Although we’ve not reviewed them, Weebly, 5GBFree and 000Webhost also provide an ad-free experience.

Final verdict

On the surface, free web hosting services may sound like a really good deal. But it’s important that you do thorough research and determine what you’re really getting yourself into.

Keep in mind that the majority of these platforms have several risks and limitations. These include limited bandwidth and storage, poor server performances, lack of/minimal customer support, ads, and they lack security features.

The safest bet is to use a paid web hosting service that offers either a trial period or short-term money back guarantee. The latter option helps you recover your investment if the host turns out to be an unsuitable fit for you.

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