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Updated: Jan 8, 2024, 1:27pm
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There are free website hosting services available, but all free plans have limitations. Customer support, storage, bandwidth and perks, such as free domain names, are usually lacking in free plans. Free web hosting can work for personal websites and blogs, developer testing, side gigs and startup sites. However, low-cost paid plans are typically more user-friendly and reliable for beginner users and business websites.
If you’re not ready to commit to a paid plan or are just interested in experimenting with managing a site, a free plan can be a cost-friendly way to get started—but there are drawbacks. Here’s what you should know about free website hosting services.
Featured Partner Offer
1
Bluehost
On Bluehost.com’s Website
Starting price
$2.95 USD ($4.05 CAD) per month
Storage and bandwidth
Unmetered bandwidth, and SSD storage starts at 10GB
Extras and inclusions
Free domain name and SSL for a year, free CDN
2
Hostgator
On Hostgator’s Website
Starting price
$2.75 USD ($3.68 CAD)per month
Money-Back Guarantee
30 days
Inclusions
Free SSL certificate, free website transfer
3
Namecheap
On Namecheap’s Website
Starting price
$1.58 USD ($2.15 CAD) per month (with 24 months contract)
Money-Back Guarantee
30 days
Inclusions
Free SSL certificate, host three sites, low-cost VPS hosting
4
DreamHost
On DreamHosts’ Website
Starting price
$2.59 USD ($3.47 CAD) per month
Money-Back Guarantee
97 days
Inclusions
Top-rated tech support, free domain name, free SSL certificate
Website hosting refers to the service that allows your website to be accessible on the internet. In some ways, web hosting is similar to the process of buying or renting a plot of land to build a house, except instead you’re purchasing space where you can build and maintain a website. A web hosting provider will store all your website’s content and files on its servers, help manage data security and privacy, and assist in maintaining and upgrading your website so that it remains accessible to the public.
There are two types of web hosting: Free and paid. With free website hosting, you will receive basic hosting features for no cost. With paid website hosting, you will receive a variety of hosting features based on a paid plan.
Short answer: Yes. If all you need are the most basic features and you don’t mind some inconvenience, you can host your website for free (or close to it). Long answer: Whether or not your web hosting is really “free” depends on what kind of website you are trying to build and what features come included in your free hosting plan.
Unfortunately, free web hosting plans only come with the most basic features. Limited resources, bandwidth and customization options can prevent your site from appearing the way you want it, especially since you will likely have a cap on the amount of content and storage your host can support. This means your free website might only be allowed to have a certain number of pages or cannot include certain plug-ins, widgets or add-ons.
Similarly, most free web hosting plans do not come with several standard and necessary add-ons, forcing you to purchase them separately and incurring extra costs. Domain names, for example, are essential if you want your site to be accessible online. Paid hosting plans will typically include one or two free domain names, but free hosting plans rarely do. Or free hosts might have such limited bandwidth that including media such as videos, songs or lots of pictures can drastically slow down your website’s loading times.
Finally, it’s important to read the fine print of any free website hosting offer. Some providers offer free hosting that is the trial period of a paid plan, charged automatically once the trial period expires. Others recoup profit losses by adding advertisements to your website, which you cannot control, or including their own branding on your website (for example, in the domain name or at the bottom of pages).


There’s no denying that free website hosting is a good option for simple, straightforward websites with minimal traffic. Personal websites and blogs can do well with free web hosting. However, if you want more options and resources, have big visions for your website, dislike advertising or are worried about security and customer support, you should look into a paid plan.
In particular, you should consider a cheap web hosting service if any of the below applies to you:
Although there are many hosting services that tout themselves as free, not many of them are high-quality choices. We’ve searched through the options out there and narrowed them down to a list of the top five most worthy of your time and trust.
x10Hosting is the free version of x10Premium and offers one of the few free web hosting services that give you ad-free websites with unlimited storage and bandwidth. x10’s free plan includes a user-friendly website builder with more than 150 free templates, including e-commerce store designs. x10Hosting also offers easy one-click installs for more than 300 web scripts, including popular website platforms, such as WordPress, Joomla, MyBB and add-ons, such as galleries, blogs, forums, gaming tools and more.
x10’s free web hosting supports a custom domain but doesn’t give you a free domain. You can use the free x10 subdomain or connect a domain that you own. You can add a free email address using your connected domain or free subdomain.
AwardSpace is another free web hosting service that lets you build ad-free websites using its user-friendly Zacky website builder or use its one-click Zacky Installer to load WordPress, Joomla and Grav platforms. AwardSpace is a top pick for free and low-cost WordPress hosting in particular. It hosts millions of WordPress websites worldwide on both free and paid plans and provides extensive WordPress tutorials covering beginner through advanced topics.
You get a free email account on the free plan and can connect your own domain name and create three subdomains under that for blogging, forums and so on. Domain names aren’t free with the free hosting plan, but you do get a free domain for life with certain paid plans.
Byethost offers a robust free web hosting service for the tech-oriented user. If you are a website developer or designer looking for free web hosting for your own projects or client websites, Byethost tops your list of limited options. It also supports reseller accounts under the free plan if you want to offer client-managed hosting under your own suite of services.
However, Byethost doesn’t provide one-click platform installation like the other providers in our free web hosting roundup. If you’re comfortable with server-level file management and file transfer protocol (FTP) interfaces, Byethost is one to consider. Beginners will have an easier time with other free web hosting services featured here.
A much larger web hosting company known as Hostinger offers a basic, free hosting plan through 000webhost. With over 10 years of recognition as one of the best free website hosting platforms, 000webhost’s free plan is excellent for those looking for simple but useful features including a control panel, access to WordPress for website building and advanced web hosting features, such as Cloudflare-protected name servers, PHP, MySQL and FTP.
000webhost offers up to 3GB of bandwidth delivered from its 24GB SSD servers and the company takes web security seriously, running Imunify360 to regularly monitor the sites it hosts for malware and other threats.
Google Cloud offers web hosting through Firebase, an app development platform for building apps, games and websites. Firebase offers free web hosting through its Spark plan, which includes up to 10GB of storage and excellent bandwidth (360MB per day). However, to integrate with Google Cloud’s products and features, users will have to upgrade to the Blaze plan. Blaze is free, but the use of integrated Google Cloud features includes a no-cost quota which, once surpassed, will be pay-as-you-go. The Blaze plan also offers pay-as-you-go storage and bandwidth upgrades once users surpass the Spark plan’s initial offerings. Keep in mind that Google Cloud offers a 90-day free trial and $300 USD ($394.93 CAD) in credits for feature use but is not free forever.


Choosing the best free web hosting service depends on your unique needs. For beginners, ease of use, customer service and website builder tools are probably the most important features. For seasoned website builders or developers, factors such as storage, bandwidth and supported platforms and scripts might top the list.
Following that, uptime guarantees, ad-free websites and free perks such as domain names, email addresses and SSL certificates are important to any user considering free hosting. However, after comparing your needs to the various free plan features, you might find that free web hosting isn’t for you.
Cheap web hosting can be a smarter choice, especially for beginner users and business-critical websites. When comparing free and paid options, deciding factors often come down to features such as customer support and platform ease of use. Free perks, such as domains, email accounts and SSL certificates, can also sway a final decision. After that, storage, bandwidth and the number of websites supported can help narrow the list.
If you’re leaning toward a paid hosting plan, pricing is key. Most offer deeply discounted introductory rates for one- to three-year terms but renew at a far higher rate. Be sure to check the renewal rates so you don’t get a costly surprise when your introductory term expires.
Here are four of the top, low-cost website hosting alternatives.
$2.29 USD ($3.12 CAD) per month
(with 36-month commitment)
180 days risk-free

Free SSL certificate, 99.9% uptime guarantee, free website transfer

$2.29 USD ($3.12 CAD) per month
(with 36-month commitment)
180 days risk-free

Free SSL certificate, 99.9% uptime guarantee, free website transfer

MochaHost is best for entrepreneurs who are already web-savvy and don’t need a lot of support to get their business online. It offers a wide range of features, including unlimited storage and bandwidth. You also get a free SSL certificate, which is required for any website that accepts payments.
Enjoy a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 support and free website transfers. One of the best features setting it apart from its competition is the LifeTime Discount Guarantee: choose a three-year package and renew at a discounted rate for life.
Pricing
Customer Support
With MochaHost, access customer support 24/7, as well as its knowledge base and step-by-step interactive tutorials. Support is available via live chat, ticket and phone.
Server Uptime
MochaHost has a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Who should use it:
Web-savvy entrepreneurs who don’t need a lot of help getting their website up and running.
$2.75 USD ($3.68 CAD)per month
(for first 36 months)
30 days

Free SSL certificate, free website transfer

$2.75 USD ($3.68 CAD)per month
(for first 36 months)
30 days

Free SSL certificate, free website transfer

HostGator is one of the best-known web hosting providers, and for good reason. It offers a wide range of features, including unlimited storage, bandwidth and domains, as well as a free SSL certificate. The number of files is limited to 250,000. All of HostGator’s plans include unlimited email addresses, too.
The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 support. It’s important to note that if you register a free domain through HostGator but cancel your account, there’s a fee to keep your domain. This prevents users from host-hopping to maintain a free domain. Renewal fees vary depending on the length of your contract, but a three-year term will break down to a very affordable $7.99 USD ($10.90 CAD) per month.
Pricing
Customer Support
Each HostGator plan comes with 24/7/365 live chat and phone support.
Server Uptime
HostGator offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Learn More: Read our Hostgator Review.
Who should use it:
Businesses or individuals who already have a live website, but are looking for a new web host.
$2.95 USD ($4.05 CAD) per month
(billed annually, renews at $14.97 CAD per month)
30 days

Free SSL certificate, website builder

$2.95 USD ($4.05 CAD) per month
(billed annually, renews at $14.97 CAD per month)
30 days

Free SSL certificate, website builder

Bluehost is one of the most popular web hosting providers on the market. While it’s not the cheapest on our list, it is a good all-around web host that offers just about everything most businesses need to build and manage a professional website. Plans start at $4.02 CAD per month with a 36-month commitment and renew at $14.97 CAD per month. Plans include a free domain name and SSL certificate, and a user-friendly website builder that rivals the leading site builders such as Wix and Squarespace.
Pricing
Customer Support
Access customer support 24/7/365 via phone or live chat.
Server Uptime
Bluehost doesn’t mention an uptime guarantee but states most issues are resolved within 15 minutes.
Learn More: Read our Bluehost Review.
Who should use it:
Bluehost is a top web host for businesses that are looking for a good all-around web hosting service for WordPress.
$1 CAD per month
(first 12 months)
30 days

Free SSL certificate, free domain, business email

$1 CAD per month
(first 12 months)
30 days

Free SSL certificate, free domain, business email

At just $1 CAD per month for the first year (then $8 CAD per month thereafter), IONOS offers one of the lowest monthly plans for web hosting. There are no limits on storage or speed, so you won’t have to worry about uploading too many media files or getting too much traffic. Plus, get a free SSL certificate, free domain and free email with any of its hosting plans. Domain registration alone usually costs $5 CAD to $20 CAD per year through third-party providers.
Hosting plans also include a 30-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 free support, a direct line to your own personal consultant, a 99.9% uptime guarantee and an easy-to-use interface.
Pricing
Customer Support
Each IONOS plan comes with 24/7 support. There’s the IONOS Help Centre, with DIY instructions and video tutorials, or you can call or email customer support. You also have the option to chat with a sales representative during business hours.
Server Uptime
IONOS has a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Who should use it:
Startups with a small initial budget.
Learn more: Read our Ionos Review
Few providers offer truly free web hosting services and those that do have prohibitive limitations, confusing or nonexistent customer support or mediocre storage and bandwidth limits. Low-cost web hosting may be a better choice for those looking to save money. For additional options—including faster and more reliable providers than the free, or cheap, web hosting services detailed above—check out our comprehensive list of the overall best web hosting services.
Featured Partner Offer
1
Bluehost
On Bluehost.com’s Website
Starting price
$2.95 USD ($4.05 CAD) per month
Storage and bandwidth
Unmetered bandwidth, and SSD storage starts at 10GB
Extras and inclusions
Free domain name and SSL for a year, free CDN
2
Hostgator
On Hostgator’s Website
Starting price
$2.75 USD ($3.68 CAD)per month
Money-Back Guarantee
30 days
Inclusions
Free SSL certificate, free website transfer
3
Namecheap
On Namecheap’s Website
Starting price
$1.58 USD ($2.15 CAD) per month (with 24 months contract)
Money-Back Guarantee
30 days
Inclusions
Free SSL certificate, host three sites, low-cost VPS hosting
4
DreamHost
On DreamHosts’ Website
Starting price
$2.59 USD ($3.47 CAD) per month
Money-Back Guarantee
97 days
Inclusions
Top-rated tech support, free domain name, free SSL certificate
Web hosting is a service that allows anyone to rent space on the internet. Websites must have web hosting to be accessible online. Some content management systems (CMS), such as Squarespace and Wix, include web hosting as part of their monthly fee. For others, including WordPress, you’ll need to purchase web hosting from a web hosting provider, such as MochaHost or IONOS.
Yes, a few free web hosting services let you host a wide variety of websites with no startup or ongoing costs. You can use a free web hosting service to run a WordPress website, blog or e-commerce store, host sites using Joomla and Drupal, or use built-in website builders with plug-and-play website templates.
There are legitimate free web hosting services that offer guaranteed website uptime and customer support. However, SSL certificates, automatic backups, spam guards and malware protection typically aren’t included in a free hosting service. You can add them via plug-ins and scripts, but this can get pricey. Generally, low-cost paid plans that already include these features are better and more reliable.
A few free website hosting services offer free hosting with a free website. You can build your free website using built-in website builder tools or install free website platforms, such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. These platforms have a larger learning curve than site builder tools but offer more design options and functionality in the long run.
No, you do not need any special knowledge or skill to use a free web host. All good hosting providers offer clear instructions on how to purchase a hosting plan and start setting up your website. As long as your website is simple, and especially if you are enlisting the help of a website builder, it should be easy to get your website ready to go, no technical expertise necessary.
Setting up your new, free website can take anywhere from a few hours to several months. Depending on how complex your website is, how many extra features and pages it has and what it looks like, it is easy to spend weeks working on a single website. However, if you only need a simple, straightforward website with no extra frills, setting it up will take much less time.
Yes, if your web hosting provider offers paid tiers, you can always upgrade your free hosting plan to a paid plan. The exact details of this upgrade will vary depending on your web hosting provider—some may offer perks or price reductions for upgrading—so check the website of your provider directly or look for an option to upgrade on your web hosting management page.
Transferring your website to a new host provider is fairly straightforward. All hosting providers offer clear instructions on how to do this, and some may even semi-automate the process for you. In general, however, you will need to make sure that your existing information is backed up, then use FTP to move your site files to your new host. Export your site’s database from your old host and import it into your new one, update any other necessary details, and then test your site to make sure it has transferred successfully.
Bandwidth refers to the total amount of data that can be transferred, within a specific timeframe, between your site, any visitors to the site and the servers. Generally speaking, the more bandwidth you have, the faster your site’s loading time—a very important factor in your site’s overall accessibility. Bandwidth is usually measured in gigabits per second, or Gbps.
Chauncey grew up on a farm in rural northern California. At 18 he ran away and saw the world with a backpack and a credit card, discovering that the true value of any point or mile is the experience it facilitates. He remains most at home on a tractor, but has learned that opportunity is where he finds it and discomfort is more interesting than complacency.

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