August 28

Is Free Web Hosting Worth it and What are its Downsides


In order for your website to be accessible to the public, it will need to be stored on a web server. Traditionally, that would mean heading over to a hosting provider’s website, registering a domain, choosing the most appropriate hosting plan, paying, and then building your website. However, you do not have to pay for hosting – free web hosting is always an option.

Who Should Be Using Free Web Hosting?

Free web hosting is ideal for individuals and organizations that want to spend little to no money on publishing their website. The actual reasons for keeping hosting costs at zero or near zero are diverse. The most common include:

  • You cannot afford to spend on conventional hosting at the moment but still want to have a website up and running.
  • You are setting up your first website and are trying to figure out what features (and thus costs) are necessary and which ones you can avoid.
  • You are trying out a new product/idea and want to avoid committing substantial money before you prove its viability.

The Limitations of Free Hosting

Free hosting’s primary selling point is the zero expense required to get your website live on the web. But there are drawbacks you should be aware of before signing up.

Ownership and Permanence

With free hosting, your website typically rests on a subdomain the host provides. For example, your address would be It’s not a custom domain exclusively associated with you, as is the case with traditional hosting, and if the web host ever goes out of business, your web address goes away with it.

Monetization Limits

There are limits on the type and extent of monetization you can utilize. Your site may be restricted to the web host’s own ads or those they choose to allow on your site. Also, you may not be permitted to promote products that compete with the web host’s or their advertisers’ products.

Performance Limits

Web hosts cannot afford to issue a blank check to free hosting plan subscribers. That would not be sustainable. Free web hosting plans will therefore have caps on performance to ensure the service remains affordable for the web host.


Web hosting providers do not commit the same degree of human and technological resources to their free plans as they do to paid plans. Whenever the host’s servers experience downtime, they will give greater priority to restoring websites on paid plans than they will for those on free plans.

Server Resources

A web host will divide their paid hosting plans into different pricing tiers, mainly depending on the number of server resources assigned to each plan. Server resources include storage space, RAM, and CPU, and the more resources you have, the costlier your plan will be.

Free plans are allocated the least resources. Even worse, access to these resources is shared and unguaranteed – availability is contingent on traffic levels. As a result, resources available to each free website are diminished during periods of elevated traffic.

Page Load Time

Free hosting plans are effectively the lowest-priced shared hosting plans meaning your website will be hosted on the same server with many others. This overcrowding can lead to intense competition for bandwidth which increases the time it takes for your pages to load or may even make your website fully unavailable if one or more of your “neighbors” get a spike in traffic.

No Customer Support

Providing prompt, individual support to thousands or millions of free hosting clients would be prohibitively expensive, considering there is little to no income from this particular set of clients. Don’t count on 24/7 support accompanied by rapid response times, even for web hosts that claim to provide 24/7 support on free plans.


Free hosting plans do not get the speed and regularity of updates enjoyed by paid plans. These updates could involve everything from a server OS and web server apps to databases and security software.

Free Hosting & SEO

Websites on free plans often provide a website builder that follows a cookie-cutter design primarily meant for speed of deployment and not for search engine optimization (SEO). You could get a fancy-looking website but one that scores poorly on the key prerequisites of effective SEO.

Issues with Migration

One of the catches with free hosting (mainly if it includes designing the site with a website builder) is the difficulty of transferring your website to your own domain on a different hosting provider later on. Usually, you have to upgrade to a paid plan to access the website transfer service.

Best Free Hosting Options on the Market

Numerous web hosts and websites offer free hosting, but some stand out from their peers. Here are the five best free hosting providers in the market today.

1. InfinityFree

InfinityFree has been in the business of free hosting for more than ten years. We rank them in first place for offering free hosting plans that feature 5 GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, and ad-free web pages. Furthermore, with just a few clicks, their auto-installer helps you deploy popular web applications and scripts such as WordPress.

What They Offer

  • Free hosting on an InfinityFree subdomain, including unmetered bandwidth and 5 GB hosting space;
  • Free SSL certificates;
  • User-friendly knowledge base;
  • 99.9 percent uptime commitment;
  • Ad-free.

Who Should Use It

  • Small business websites that could experience exponential growth in traffic from the get-go.

2. 000WebHost

As one of the services provided by one of the leading hosting providers, Hostinger, 000WebHost places second for offering ad-free web pages, Cloudflare CDN protection, and 3 GB of bandwidth. An auto-installer drastically cuts the time needed to deploy popular web applications like Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and OSCommerce.

What They Offer

  • Free hosting on 000webhostapp . com subdomain including 300 MB web space, 3 GB bandwidth, and up to 2 websites;
  • Easy Website Builder, including over 100 templates;
  • Free Cloudflare CDN protection;
  • 99 percent uptime commitment;
  • Ad-free.

Who Should Use It

  • College projects, small websites, and users looking to experiment with web hosting and website design.


WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) around. Its rise to unrivaled dominance is, to a significant extent, thanks to the popularity of, its free web hosting option, and its website builder. We ranked it third for its built-in SEO capabilities, numerous customizable themes, and large user community.

What They Offer

  • Free hosting on subdomain, including 1 GB web space;
  • Numerous customizable themes;
  • Free SSL certificates;
  • A mature product perfected over the years through extensive real-world testing;
  • An extensive knowledge base complemented by the largest and most engaged user community in web hosting, CMS, and website builder vertical;
  • Over 99.9 percent average measured uptime.

Who Should Use It

  • Individuals and organizations who are looking to create a stable, scalable, and SEO-friendly website.


Home to more than 200 million users, is one of the world’s largest web hosts through sheer numbers. We ranked it fourth for the more than 900 customizable templates and for Wix Artificial Design Intelligence.

What They Offer

  • Free hosting on subdomain, including 500 MB bandwidth and 500 MB web space;
  • Drag-and-drop website builder. Over 900 fully customizable templates. Rapid AI-driven website creation through Wix Artificial Design Intelligence;
  • Sitemaps, meta tags, and other built-in marketing and SEO features;
  • Free SSL certificate;
  • Free logo creator;
  • Rich knowledge base complemented by a large user community;
  • Over 99.9 percent average measured uptime.

Who Should Use It

  • Individuals and organizations who are looking to quickly create small, low-traffic, SEO-friendly, and professional websites.

5. Freehostia

We ranked Freehostia’s free hosting package fifth for offering five hosted domains per free plan, three email accounts, and an impressive (for free hosting) 6 GB monthly bandwidth. Its one-click installer allows you to deploy WordPress, Joomla, and other free web applications in minutes.

What They Offer

  • Free hosting on subdomain including 250 MB web space, 6 GB bandwidth, 3 email accounts, and 5 hosted domains;
  • Free templates;
  • Free SSL certificates;
  • Extensive documentation;
  • Email spam filter;
  • 24/7 support via email and ticketing system;
  • 99.9 percent server uptime.

Who Should Use It

  • Ideal for a small business website.

Cheap vs. Free Web Hosting

If you are looking for budget hosting plans, free hosting is the lowest you can go price-wise. However, it is just one category of low-cost plans, the other being cheap web hosting. Unlike free hosting, cheap web hosting packages are paid plans. Typically, these are shared hosting plans that come with limited server, networking, and support resources. 

Like free hosting, cheap hosting plans are best suited for small websites such as blogs, resumes, and small eCommerce stores. A key distinction is your site does not sit on a subdomain. Rather, you get a custom domain representative of your brand/cause. Cheap web hosting also allows you to circumvent some of the major drawbacks of free hosting we covered in a previous subsection.


If you have not registered, built, and/or administered a website before, setting one up can feel daunting. It’s a leap into the unknown that could become a money pit. Free hosting allows you to dip your toe into the unfamiliar sea of website ownership but without incurring the costs you otherwise would if you signed up for a conventional hosting plan. 

But a lack of tech knowledge is not the only reason you would opt for free hosting. A tight budget and an untested product/cause are other significant drivers. Irrespective of the reason, free hosting providers are not a monolith. Your experience will only be as good as the provider you sign up with.


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