Service providers understand this and the often use free products to lure customers.
Free services and goods have proved to be an effective marketing strategy.
This is the case when it comes to web hosting providers.
Hosting providers offer free plans as they know not many people would turn down the idea of free hosting. I know it may not be what you want to hear but we strongly advise against the idea of free hosting. There are several reasons to choose paid web hosting over free as we shall below.
In this article, we will review the best 100% free services as well as affordable premium services.
Free Versus Cheap Basic Hosting
Free hosting as the name suggest implies that you get hosting services for free.
However, there are limitations and catches to the services you get. For instance, you can’t choose your domain name, but instead, you’re stuck with the one that’s provided to you.
You also have no ownership to that domain.
If and when you decide to own that domain, your website and its content you’ll be forced to shell out more to migrate the website to your server. As you can see, free hosting isn’t exactly free.
Most people never stop to ask how providers offer free hosting yet it costs money to run a hosting business. While there are some genuinely free hosting providers, most often sell their customer’s data to third-party. Others use your website to advertise the products they endorse.
This is why we recommend going with affordable paid web hosting
- Affordable pricing on their plans
- Great server speeds
- User-friendly interface
- 24/7 customer support
- 30 Day Return Policy
Hostinger is no new name in the web hosting niche in Australia having been established in 2004. The company constantly keeps improving its services. If you’re just starting a website and in search of a budget-friendly hosting provider, look no further than Hostinger. The provider currently serves over 30 million website owners.
The company’s premium plan pricing starts at $0.99 per month. You’d expect it to have a poor uptime score or low speeds but on the contrary, it has good loading speeds and uptime. Considering its performance, Hostinger is indeed an excellent bargain.
Other extra features include 10GB SSD storage, 100GB bandwidth, and 1-click WordPress installs. It features an easy to use interface which makes it ideal for anyone looking to host their first site. Hostinger also accepts cryptocurrency which helps retain your anonymity. On the downside, the lowest plan only allows you to host a single website.
- Comes with a website builder
- Offers great performance
- Excellent uptime
- Great customer support
- 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Here’s another great and reliable option available to Aussies looking to host their websites. Hostgator has an excellent uptime score of 99.999% guaranteeing that your site will be rarely down. It comes with a generous money-back guarantee if 45 days which is much more than what other providers offer.
It is simple & fast set-up process that includes free migration services. The control panel is also easy to use. Hostgator offers unlimited space and bandwidth on all its plans. All these come at affordable pricing that starts at $2.75/month. We like that Hostgator offers flexible billing periods i.e. monthly and annually with longer periods having discounted prices.
On the flip side, it has poor speeds compared to similarly priced hosting options. You may also get irritated by the constant upsells that keep popping up.
- Comes with a free domain for the first year
- Free SSL certificate included
- 1-click WordPress installs
BlueHost has been around for some time now and built a solid reputation. The company has a great infrastructure that’s backed up by excellent customer support. You get free templates and Cloudflare CDN upon joining. Besides, BlueHost has competitive pricing with plans starting at $4.39/ month. BlueHost plans come with a free domain name as well.
It has a good uptime score and the provider throws in generous storage and unlimited bandwidth. You’ll notice that the first term rates low whereas the renewal rates are high. The speeds are average and the company offers no free ($100 site migration fee) migration.
How does free web hosting work?
Some provider may offer free web hosting but that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t earn from these services. Free web hosting only implies that the provider doesn’t earn profits from monthly premiums.
With free web hosting, you often have limits on the storage space and bandwidth that you can use at a given time. If your website is new or just budding and you don’t get a lot of traffic, these limitations probably won’t be an issue. Still, it is important to keep this in mind when weighing your options.
Pros of Free Hosting
- The main and probably only benefit of free hosting is that it is, well, free. This makes it a viable option to establish your digital presence at no costs.
Cons of Free Hosting
- Most free hosting providers don’t allow you to modify the domain name you’re offered. More often than not, the domain name comes with part the subdomain of the host’s website attached at the end.
- Free hosting also takes away eCommerce options and you have to pay a fee to get unlock eCommerce features.
- Free hosting comes with several limitations such as design features & tools, bandwidth, and storage.
- Since providers don’t earn premiums from their free plans, they often place ads within your website to generate revenue.
- Customer support is also sluggish and not available 24/7 for free plans
Best Free web hosting
We’ve taken time to sample and review the best free web hosting options and here are a few that proved worthwhile checking out.
1. x10 Hosting
x10 Hosting has been in service for over a decade now having been launched in 2009. The company has an edge over other free hosting providers as it not only offers a free cloud hosting plan but also generously throws in unlimited bandwidth as well as unlimited storage.
That said, we’re suspicious about the extent of the truth of these claims. Features such as unlimited bandwidth and storage aren’t common even in other paid premium hosts.
The provider also includes cPanel access, free 1-click installs for content management systems like WordPress, and PHP in the free plans. Server speeds are average but that’s expected on a free plan. X10 Hosting also has a user-friendly interface so you don’t have to worry about losing your way here. x10 Hosting has a large and well-organized community with over 750,000 members. The registration and set-up process are straightforward which is a good thing especially for beginners. The only major downside to the free plan is zero customer support.
x10 Hosting also has premium plans. These paid plans come with extra features like unlimited domains, and unlimited bandwidth. The three-year plan comes with extra perks such as a free SSL certificate and dedicated IP address.
Byethost solution is a US-based hosting service provider that also offers a free hosting plan. It is a subsidiary of Byet Internet. New users get a limited server space 5GB, MySQL / PHP compatibility, and unlimited monthly bandwidth.
The company claims to have the “most powerful networks dedicated solely to free hosting in the world.” Unlike x10 Hosting, Byethost offers customer support all around the clock in addition to access to the community forum and knowledge base. It has a simple and quick set up process so you don’t require any technical knowledge.
Often confused with Googlehost, this India-based provider offers a free hosting plan worth checking out. In a sea of not-so-good free web hosting providers, Googiehost does well. It is home to over 200,000 website owners. We believe the provider choose then name as a cheeky marketing strategy.
The company’s website, however, does little to inspire potential customer’s trust. It has several errors and grammatical mistakes that are a buzzkill. If you’re willing to overlook this, you’ll find some interesting features. It comes with free cPanel and Cloudflare.
Other features available on the free hosting plan are 1GB SSD storage space, unlimited bandwidth with 100 Mbps uplink, 2 FTP accounts, spam protection, free business emails & subdomains and 2 MySQL databases.
000wWebhost is another good free hosting choice for website owners looking to lay their first digital marks on the internet. Its name stems from the fact that it costs $0.00 to host your website with them.
It comes with PHP, 1 FTP account, 1 MySQL account, and cPanel. 000Webhost has established itself as a credible hosting option. Besides, it is a sister company to Hostinger so don’t be surprised to see Hostinger ads on the company’s website.
You get 300 MB storage space and limited bandwidth (capped at 3GB). You also don’t have to worry about overlay ads. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with free one-click install, email account or subdomains but hey, remember it’s free. Customer support is also not available 24/7 and to unlock this, you’ll have to go for the paid plans. The uptime score is also wanting at 95% but again, you get to host your website at no cost at all.
Even so, it is a good choice to start your blogging journey and could prove useful for small photography websites.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is free web hosting in Australia actually free?
Yes! There are a few providers that offer free web hosting with basic features and few limitations. These limitations are often a non-issue if you’re just starting to run a website. However, if you run an established site with large traffic you may need to consider paid plans that come with advanced features.
Can you do eCommerce with free hosting?
Majority of the free hosting plans do not offer eCommerce features. This makes it hard to do eCommerce using free hosting. We recommend going with cheap web hosting plans with eCommerce features it eCommerce is a priority for you.
Can I use my domain with free web hosting?
As mentioned before, free web hosting limits customization options on the domain and include the host’s subdomain. Some may allow customizing your URL but the host’s subdomain will likely stay unchanged.
For example, if you use a free hosting provider called HereToHost, your URL will likely be yourwebsitename.HereToHost.com. If you already have a domain but still want to leverage free hosting, you’ll probably be forced to upgrade your account to get domain transfer privileges.
Can I upgrade to a different type of hosting later?
Yes! Most, if not all, free web hosting providers will let you switch to higher-paid plains when you whenever you want to upgrade or unlock the advanced features.
It is important to look at all hosting packages including premium one when choosing a free web as it’ll help you determine what options you’ll have should you want to upgrade in future. A few providers may lack premium hosting plans or make it difficult for you to upgrade so it is a good idea to be prepared just for the sake.
Can you run a blog on a free web host?
The short answer is yes. Most free hosting plans support small websites and blogs however you may be limited in terms of bandwidth and storage. Before choosing a free hosting provider, ascertain that the bandwidth and storage offered meets your needs. Similarly, if you run a fast-growing website keep in mind that the bandwidth and storage offered may not be enough for your needs as the website keeps growing.
Although the idea of free hosting may sound fascinating and all, it is important to remember ‘there’s nothing as a free lunch’. Most of the free hosting plans out there will come with serious limitations that make the whole hosting experience difficult.
You can opt for affordable paid plans that come with advanced features and almost zero limitations. Cheap paid plans are much more reliable than free plans in the long run. It’s almost impossible to find a free website hosting that measures up to a cheap premium plan.
We hope that this guide has helped you understand the ins and outs of free website hosting.