In a world where money's tight and new websites seemingly constantly pop up every day, there's no more avoiding the necessity of website hosting services for business owners across the world — especially trustworthy and wallet-friendly free web hosting options.
Having said that, there's no need to panic; WordPress is teeming with an abundance of free web hosting services to offer a little extra support for both beginners and the more frugal website owners.
Throughout this article, we've made it our mission to uncover all you'll ever need to know about a free WordPress hosting service, including what you can do in the future if you're starting to outgrow your free web hosting plan. We'll also aim to dig deep into a few different platforms for you to get started, covering their features, performance, and of course, their various limitations as well.
So, whether you're slightly inexperienced when it comes to setting up a website or you're simply a penny-pincher who doesn't understand paying when there are free alternatives, this article is for you. Let's get started!
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Key Considerations For Free WordPress Hosting 🔑️
There are many hosting options available that might appeal to different people, so finding an overall balance between quality and affordability is always going to be slightly challenging.
Still, for those on a tighter budget, any options that can provide a free web hosting service can be a lifesaver and are certainly worth taking a look at, at the very least. To kick things off, we'll be covering some of the primary factors worth considering before committing to anything, including the limitations presented by free options as well as what scalability options are still available to you.
Understanding The Limitations
As the old saying typically goes, “There's no such thing as a free lunch.” Unfortunately, the same can be said for most, if not all free WordPress hosting services.
Though these options are undoubtedly an excellent entry point for any potential website owners, that's not to say they're without their fair share of complications and limitations that may not be viable for anyone looking at these as a long-term option.
Storage Space Requirements
Firstly, let's start with the storage space, of which there's typically quite little. Dedicated storage space costs money, and the amount of space you're offered within your free plan often reflects this (while still being fairly generous).
So, if you've got relatively ambitious plans for how you want your website to look, high-resolution images, extensive multimedia content, and the like, you might have to reconsider either your goals or your budget.
Similarly, bandwidth is a fairly precious resource for most web hosting services, so the most dedicated bandwidth plans are typically reserved for those on paid plans or VPS hosting instead, but we'll come onto that in more detail later.
Some of these bandwidth limitations are especially problematic if you expect quite high web traffic among your customers or you're planning on hosting large files like multiple videos. While not the end of the world for most WordPress users opting for a reliable platform for their ecommerce business, it's still worth keeping some of these limitations in mind so you can optimise the layout of your website accordingly.
Abundance of Advertisements
Moreover, be prepared to encounter a pretty annoying selection of ads to be sprinkled across your site when you're using free plans — these hosting providers need to generate revenue somehow, right?
All things considered, this is still just a small price to pay for all the benefits you'll reap with a free hosting service; just ultimately try to maintain a balance between the number of ad placements and the overall user experience.
Generally speaking, many potential customers may find it slightly off-putting or even unprofessional when your WordPress site is seemingly littered with ads, increasing the chances of any bounces or cart abandonments.
Ask yourself, would you still use this website, as a customer, despite the difficulty of navigating through the ads? If you wouldn't, it's quite clear that you'd probably be better off with a paid hosting plan instead.
Scalability & Growth Options
Though we've started things off with a look at the limitations, let's not forget how effective these services can be when it comes to scalability and growth opportunities.
In fact, many of these web hosting providers actually offer premium plans, too, giving you a chance to upgrade and unlock any additional features you need as your website continues to flourish.
One of the limitations we mentioned above was the inability to access more storage space and bandwidth, which this solution addresses effectively — well, almost. Obviously, you'll still have to upgrade from your original free website builder to access these benefits, but it's at least nice to know the option is there should you need to upgrade.
So, fear not, as you can still start out fairly small and then expand your digital empire as your visitor count begins to rise and your needs evolve too.
Ultimately, all the main hosting services, including WordPress, understand how important it is to be able to accommodate any future booms in your website's growth, as well as all the additional requirements that come with it.
They usually offer fairly seamless migration options to paid hosting plans too, so you're always able to ensure a smooth transition without causing any unnecessary headaches.
Essentially, this just means you can focus on creating whatever captivating content you have planned for your website and engaging with your audience, leaving all the technicalities to the experts.
Best Free WordPress Hosting Services 🆓️
So, while it's true that you're better off with the premium options if you're specifically looking for a wide array of features, they're obviously not the most budget-friendly option that's out there — especially if you're more looking for a foot in the door of the of web building rather than a high-scale operation.
Still, we've plucked three excellent choices out of the convoluted and frankly over-saturated market of free webhosting providers to help get you started, all with slightly unique traits.
Read on for more info about the best free WordPress hosting options for your site — mixing reliability and performance while still remaining affordable.
1. Host Awesome — The Marvel of User-Friendliness
Living up to its aptly titled name, Host Awesome is a fantastic option for anyone new to the web hosting space thanks to its impressive range of features.
Firstly, Host Awesome has clearly put a lot of time into ensuring an intuitive interface for their platform so that even the most technologically challenged user can use it without delay.
Naturally, this entails a seamless process when it comes to your WordPress integration, giving you the chance to focus on the content for your website rather than wasting time with the background technicalities.
Furthermore, Host Awesome's servers are entirely built around WordPress and are built upon services like LiteSpeed and Cloudlinux. With these resources behind your site, it's far easier to maintain constant uptime during any especially high traffic hours — which depending on the nature of your business could be highly important.
For instance, if you're looking for a free WordPress hosting provider for your ecommerce business that's particularly busy during a holiday season, you and your customers will greatly benefit from the speed and dedication provided by Host Awesome.
Still, for the sake of impartiality it's crucial to give both sides of the story, as we'll do for all the other options on this list. Ultimately, no hosting service is perfect, and Host Awesome does still have a few flaws.
As an example, some of the storage restrictions offered by their free WordPress website plans might put a slight damper on your plans if you're anticipating a fairly media-heavy website — things like videos and animations or excessive images.
Yes, unfortunately while Host Awesome do offer a free WordPress hosting plan, their service is ultimately a premium one, meaning you'll have to upgrade to gain access to the majority of features and higher storage than 100MB.
Having said this, if you're only a beginner to the world of web hosting and don't expect to be receiving massive amounts of traffic immediately, this isn't really something you need to stress too much over; you shouldn't actually need the extra storage/bandwidth.
Aside from their less than ideal customer support for anyone using the free plans, Host Awesome is still one of the better options out there when it comes to free WordPress hosting providers, so it's worth experimenting to get a feel.
2. FreeHostingNoAds — A Hidden Gem
Next up on our list we have FreeHostingNoAds, a provider which, as the name might suggest, promises to offer a clutter-free experience without any advertisements or distractions for your users.
This hosting company actually allows you to have a free domain name too, meaning any visitors to your website can see what you actually wanted the name to be, not just some randomly generated domain.
From portfolios and blogs all the way to small businesses, FreeHostingNoAds appears to cater to a fairly broad selection of websites, ensuring they've provided something that can appeal to every size of website.
This leads us on to our next point which is something you may have already been wondering: “If they're able to offer free hosting without any advertisements at all, how are they able to make money?” Well, while FreeHostingNoAds are mostly known and employed for their free web building plans, they provide a tiered subscription list as well for anyone requiring more resources for their website.
This includes things like unlimited bandwidth and a free subdomain too, essentially providing all the tools you'll need to scale from a smaller website up to a more resource intensive one when the time is right. Of course, you'll also gain access to a free SSL certificate and Cpanel access too.
Ultimately, it's this flexibility that allows you to tailor your online presence to however you want according to any of your specific needs.
Of course, there's still a few drawbacks to consider whenever we're looking at free web hosts like FreeHostingNoAds — despite the long list of benefits.
For instance, when it comes to things like password protection and “webalizer” statistics, you're not able to receive the same level of support in comparison to their VIP and Pro plans.
Things like password protection are naturally of fairly high interest for your customers or anyone who visits your site in general, so this might be something you want to consider before fully committing to their service.
Still, the VIP hosting plan that offers this resource is only around forty pence a month, so you can decide if this is financially viable for your business or if you'd prefer strictly free hosting services instead.
Lastly, there's an unfortunate lack of themes and plugins available with their free web hosting plans which might make things a bit more difficult when you're trying to customise your website and give it that personal feel.
Nevertheless, as far as free WordPress hosts go, you'll be hard strung to find one that can offer an adless experience for all their subscription tiers, not just the paid ones. Because of this, FreeHostingNoAds might be just the solution you've been searching for to finally launch your own WordPress website.
3. 000webhost — A Balance of Speed, Security, & Support
And finally, our journey of some of the best free WordPress hosting services concludes with 000webhost, one of the more reliable hosting options on the market that manages to strike a nice balance between speed, security, and support — something fairly uncommon among free hosts specifically.
If you prioritise any of these aspects, you'll undoubtedly find what you're looking for with this provider. With impressive loading times too, 000webhost tries to always ensure your website is both quick and easy to navigate for any visitors, helping to captivate them immediately and keep them engaged as they browse through your site.
In addition, some of their security measures being as robust as they are is a huge-added bonus, providing peace and mine for you and viewers as their data stays protected and fully safeguarded against potential threats.
To round things off, we'll cover some of the relevant drawbacks of 000webhost, which while there are fairly few, are worth discussing nonetheless. Limitations related to customization and website control spring to mind here, so if you've got any specific requirements or generally just desire complete control over your website, you may find yourself restricted by some of the platform's boundaries.
Tips For Optimising Free WordPress Hosting 💡️
Naturally, free hosting just isn't going to offer the same bells and whistles as its premium counterparts, but it's still possible to optimise your website's performance and security through the addition of a few helpful plugins and tools, most of them free.
Most premium plans come with these kinds of things already, but you're mostly just paying for the accessibility and ease of installation as many of the free alternatives perform very similarly.
Caching & Performance Optimisation
When you're trying to tackle some of the complications of free web hosting, caching quickly becomes your best friend (and inadvertently your site visitors' too).
Essentially, caching comes in the form of a few different plugins, working by creating static versions of your otherwise dynamic web pages which reduces the overall load on your server and boosts performance.
So, ensure you're running your WordPress site with one of these plugins working their magic in the background — totally free options like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache are among some of the best options here to give your website some much-needed support.
Most websites are guilty of this, but image optimization is another vital aspect to consider if you're operating an ecommerce site that uses large image files for hundreds of different products.
This sort of thing can slow down your website significantly, but you can normally strike a balance between the visual appeal and the loading speed by using certain plugins to optimise them for web viewing.
For instance, Smush and EWWW Image Optimiser are a few of the plugins you can use for compressing and resizing images on your site, all without spending a penny.
It's also worth mentioning that while all the various plugins we're exploring to optimise your WordPress site are free, most, if not all of them, come with additional paid features if you're particularly enjoying them.
Next up, we have Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) — various different networks of servers around the world that can store some of the static elements of your website, like images and CSS files, making them much more accessible for all your users.
Not only can you drastically reduce the distance between your website and its visitors by implementing a CDN, but it also generally promotes faster loading times. Cloudflare and Jetpack's CDN features are excellent options to explore in this field, even if you're on a relatively tight budget.
Can you imagine the heartache of losing all your hard work and content on your new site due to some random glitch or malicious attack?
For some businesses, this may pose an even more existential threat, with leaked customer information and lost profits possibly leading to their downfall as their reputation becomes slightly tarnished.
Like any kind of business, regularly backing things up ensures that you have a form of safety net that you can fall back on should any unexpected occurs.
Truth be told, you don't actually even need a plugin for this if you know what you're doing, but for anyone slightly less tech-savvy, plugins like UpdraftPlus or Duplicator can be handy for automating the whole process.
And lastly, let's take a look at a few miscellaneous plugins that shouldn't be ignored in terms of their overall influence.
They all perform slightly differently depending on what you're looking for, but most of these security plugins work by scanning your website for various vulnerabilities or flaws and protecting you from any cyber threats.
Now, although we're trying to cut expenses as much as possible throughout this article, it goes without saying that the best security measures and tools for your WordPress site will all be paid features — after all, can you really put a price on the safety of your customers and their private information?
Still, if we're staunchly sticking to the free options to bolster your website, Wordfence is one of the most downloaded plugins across all of WordPress, with currently over 4+ million active installations.
As far as the features go, Wordfence offers a few different means of protection, like malware scanning, firewall protection, and login security. Just make sure you don't skimp on this essential layer of defence if you're choosing the free route for website hosting — your website will thank you!
How Reliable Are Free WordPress Hosting Services?
The reliability of free hosting services varies among providers. While some offer decent uptime and performance, others may experience frequent downtimes or limited support. It's important to research and choose a reputable hosting company to ensure a more reliable hosting experience.
Are Free WordPress Hosting Services Suitable For Ecommerce Websites?
Generally speaking, free hosting plans may not be the most ideal for ecommerce websites due to some of their limitations. Online stores often require more resources than your average blog, including robust security features and reliable performance, too — all of which are typically provided by paid hosting plans with specialised ecommerce support.