How To Host a Website for Free? - Why We Don't Recommend it?
Budget issues are quite common when starting any business, be it online or offline. We understand that. We also understand the urge to cut costs wherever & whenever possible. And it’s highly likely you are reading this article because of one such urge: cutting the web-hosting cost.
Don’t worry; we will answer the question, “How to host a website for free?” In fact, we’ll share two ways to host a website for free. However, we don’t recommend either to anyone for quite a few reasons.
2 Methods to Host a Website for Free
Method-1: Use a “free hosting” service
Perhaps the best way to host a website for free is to sign up with a free hosting service. Providers such as Hostinger’s 000webhost, x10hosting, and iFastNet’s InfinityFree are a few of the good free hosting options out there.
Moreover, some popular website builder companies provide a free plan (that includes free hosting). From the top of the head, the two biggest of all are Wix and WordPress.
In short, free hosting providers are in abundance.
Still, there are reasons why we wouldn’t recommend any of the options if you need it for business/professional usage.
Why not the free hosting providers:
- Mostly, these are created to lure you & upsell. Upsell what? A paid web hosting! E.g., 000webhost upsells our favorite cheap web hosting (Add the link to best cheap web hosting article), Hostinger.
- The performance is shi...well...bad. To keep the cost low, free hosting servers are always overcrowded. Thus, each site gets very few server resources, essentially affecting its availability, loading speed, and response time.
- They don’t promise great performance either, and it can be seen in the offerings’ limitations. E.g., With 000webhost, you get only 300 MB storage & 3 GB bandwidth.
- In most cases, there’s no customer support.
- In addition to upsells, free hosting providers also run ads on the hosted sites for monetization.
- You don’t own the rights to the content you add to the site hosted on a free service — the hosting provider does. Hence, they can delete the site at their will or make you pay when you want to transfer to a better host or a hundred other things.
Why not free plans offered by website builders:
- You won’t be able to use your own domain. They only let you use a subdomain on the free plan. E.g., sitename.wordpress.com or sitename.wixsite.com.
- The offerings are limited. E.g., Wix’s free plan comes with up to 500 MB bandwidth and 500 MB storage.
- Other limitations are pretty similar to what you’d face with the free hosting services.
Overall, unless you are trying to host for a non-essential purpose like learning to host a site or something like that, we’d not recommend going for a free web hosting solution.
Method-2: Host on your machine
A server is a computer, and hence you can turn your computer into a hosting server. There are a couple of things you will need/need to know for hosting on your own:
- An internet connection with a static IP address. Ask your ISP about this; also, ask about bandwidth allocation while you are at it.
- Server software like XAMPP and the knowledge to use it to store your site data and make the site public.
That’s about it if you have a domain name or are comfortable accessing using an IP address. Remember, this is just to access the site via the internet. You’ll need a security system and additional stuff like that if you plan to host an actual, traffic-generating site.
Here, all the resources are in your hand — right from the content to the server resources. Hence, it’s a better alternative to the previous method in the performance aspect. However, it has its limitations, such as:
- You’ll have to pay for permanent IP, security system, etc.
- Your computer must be online 24/7/365 to keep the site live. That’ll cost you in the form of electricity bill.
- Your internet connection should never disconnect for the site’s availability.
All in all, though hosting a site on your own PC is an excellent choice, you’ll have to be a site administrator of sorts to keep the site running. Plus, there are other costs as well. Meaning, you’ll pay money cost + time cost. It doesn’t seem like that good a deal, eh?
Yes, you can host a website for free — either go for a free web hosting service or host it on your own.
But we won’t recommend it because both come with their share of problems like poor performance, limited resources, upsells, ads, other costs, and more. Instead, choosing a simple, low-cost, and quality hosting provider would make more sense. Questions?
• Best uptime (99.99%)
• Fast, 0.4ms load time as average
• Good & quick customer support