Of all things needed to jump-start your project, a website is probably the first one you would think of. Now that every single person can be found online (well, virtually everyone – pun intended), it is no surprise that by the time you roll out your product or whatever it is, it should already have been accompanied by a neat page about it.
Running a business on a shoestring can be tough, and since web hosting can cost quite a lot (say, dedicated servers), some wouldn’t mind saving on it.
Here is when free hosting sites come into play.
The thing is, everything that comes free of change is either a well-disguised product that still does bring profit to the one offering it, or a thing given by some very rare altruist of the kind on the verge of extinction. Since the latter is not the subject of this article, it is worthy of note that using free hosting invariably means that you will have to come to terms with the fact that your page will include an ad or two. But first things first.
Is there such a thing as good free hosting services?
Well, these do exist, although you’d have to spend quite a lot of time testing every single option in an attempt to find the most reliable one.
If you find yourself at a loss as to what free hosting to use, look through the list below: it is based on statistics on server performance and includes other information you might consider important.
Free hosting is not the only thing atSpace offers.
There are many services on the menu:
- free hosting;
- VPS hosting;
- Domains (including free ones);
- SSL certificates and reseller options are also available.
But what about the thing we’re interested in, namely free hosting?
There is only 1 GB of disc space available, so you cannot really expect to make the content of your website diverse and abundant.
You can also host one top-level domain (yes, you will have your tastydonuts.com page looking neat; no tastydonuts.boo.us.com domains anymore).
Among other things that come with the description “one” are one email account and one database.
They promise not to place ads on your website – a good advantage to take into account. But is its performance really good?
As to uptime, it’s been more or less stable, apart from some significant problems in September 2018:
The average uptime for the past 30 days is 99.986%. Although the figure looks impressive, the result translates into almost an hour of downtime.
Another factor to consider is loading speed. Here is what statistic says.
Over the past 11 months, the response time hasn’t been really great. Ranging between 750 and 1,000ms, it definitely is a factor to keep in mind when choosing web hosting. Given that there are affordable options out there with better performance in terms of speed, you might want to consider using them – only if this aspect is important in your case, of course.
For all these imperfections, atSpace is one of the best free options due to decent server performance. Its audience has recently been shrinking, though, and there is no live chat to use when technical issues arise – there is only a chat called “sales chat”. So be ready to use tickets if you want to sign up there.
Don’t let their outdated web design confuse you – this hosting provider is alive (although not always kicking, as it appears).
It offers quite a wide range of services, and free hosting is one of these:
- a 1-click WP/Joomla installer
- an email account;
- a web-based file manager;
- a database;
- domain/subdomains and other features included.
Your use of the integrated ticked system is limited, but they claim that 24/7 customer support is available.
1Gb disk space, 50Gbits network, shared SSL, 1 FTP account and a site builder are among the key features of the free plan. There are no back-ups, and the monthly traffic is limited to 5Gb.
And what do statistics suggest?
Uptime is acceptable: there were some problems at the beginning of September 2018, but currently the average uptime is 99.974%. It means that the websites hosted by them were down for 2 hours in total during the past 30 days. The result is not excellent, but given the fact that the opportunity to use the service is provided for free, it is a good option to consider.
Response time really leaves much to be desired: roughly 1,100ms is enough to call a website rather slow. This factor should be taken into account if speed really matters for your project.
There are several downsides to deter you (like poor response time and the 5Gb limit), but other than these, RunHosting is one of the best free hosting sites operating today.
AccuWebHosting provides free WordPress hosting and can boast a wide range of paid services. You can also find an intriguing tab called “Free VPS hosting”, but what they mean here is a free trial month that does not require you to provide your credit card info. After that, you must pay.
Now, back to free WP hosting.
The features include:
- 2Gb of disk space (twice as much, compared with what the previous sites offer);
- 30Gb of monthly bandwidth;
- 25 email accounts;
- 10 databases.
The icing on the cake is that there are no ads. In a nutshell, it is one of the best free options around.
One of the few drawbacks is that you cannot use chat and phone support (only the ticket system), there are no back-ups and no free domain registration.
Still, compared with what others offer, it is really impressive.
AWH’s server performance is on par with that of many other hosting providers:
Apart from a couple of bad hair days, their servers have been quite reliable.
However, load time is not quite up to standard:
As you can see, for quite a long time it was around 1,000 to 1,200ms, and it is only recently that it has dropped to around 800ms (that is the average for the past 30 days) or even 600ms. It is a good thing that the situation is improving, so all these factors combined make AWH a really good candidate.
The airy web design of AwardSpace reflects the key thing that appeals to the audience, which is free hosting services.
AS enables you to host up to 4 websites with them free of charge, offers a web-based file manager, and does not force you to include ads (the “100% ad-free” statement on their page explains it all).
- 5Gb bandwidth;
- 1Gb disk space;
- full MySQL database support and other features.
They also claim to ensure 99.9% uptime. Well, statistics support it:
So the uptime really is around 99.9%, but the problem is that even this figure is sometimes not good enough for some. For instance, the average for the past 30 days is 99.946%, which translates into 29 hours 10 minutes of downtime. For some projects, it is unacceptable.
As is the case with the other options on the list, load time is not perfect and ranges between 900 and 1,100ms.
All these options can be regarded as candidates for hosting your online website. All of these are available for free, and while your use of their servers will be limited, you can still have a place for your page to dwell in. When you have set it up and decided that it is time to develop it further, you may consider using paid services, which come with a much greater variety of features.