WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the planet, boasting a 60.8 percent market share. Pretty impressive, right?
To give you further insight into the sheer popularity of this platform, here are a few more facts:
- Over 500 websites are built on WordPress each day – to put this into perspective, only 60-80 are built on the likes of Squarespace
- 14.7 percent of the world’s top websites are powered on WordPress!
- The latest version of WordPress has been downloaded over 16 million times
If you want to build a website on WordPress, one thing you’re going to need is a website host. But, which one is right for you? And, is this something you should pay for?
Can you get free WordPress hosting?
Yes, there are free WordPress web hosts available. You may be wondering why a host would provide their service free of charge. Well, there are a few reasons…
The main reason why hosts opt for this model is that they expect you will outgrow their free service, which will result in you upgrading to one of their paid packages.
Aside from this, web hosts may try to sell you other products once you have signed up for their free hosting service.
Naturally, most of these web hosts will also make some of their money by selling advertising space to other companies.
How are some web hosts able to offer free hosting?
You may be wondering how some web hosts are able to provide their service free of charge. Why would anyone offer something for free, right?
Well, as I am sure you have gathered, nothing is ever truly free in life, is it? These companies do have different revenue streams, and different motives for offering free website hosting in the first place.
Let’s start by taking a look at their different revenue sources. The majority of free hosts will make their money through advertising. As you have opted for their free package, it is likely that you are going to have to put up with their ads, and this is where their money is made.
Of course, some companies may offer other web services, from domain name registration to website building, and so they may offer free web hosting to sweeten the deal and tempt you to sign up for one of their other packages.
In addition to this, it is worth looking at the reasons why a company would consider setting up a free web host service. As mentioned, it could be because they intend to profit via ads. However, there are a lot of companies that set up free web hosts for the purpose of encouraging you to sign-up for one of their paid hosting packages.
A lot of companies will offer a free web host plan, as well as several paid options. They feel that by offering a free product, customers will sign up for this, yet they will soon realize that they need something more comprehensive. They will then tempt these customers with a low-cost paid hosting solution and the hope is that they will upgrade.
Is free WordPress hosting worth it?
I am sure you have heard the saying that you get what you pay for in life, and so it is right to be skeptical when something is offered free of charge. When something is provided free, there is usually some sort of trade-off.
With that being said, I will take you through some of the things you need to be mindful of when it comes to free hosting.
You will miss out on a lot of useful features
The first reason why I recommend looking into paid WordPress hosting if you can afford it is to make sure you do not miss out on any advanced features. Paid site plans come with lots of extras, such as SSL certifications, which are imperative in terms of building your brand and ensuring you are secure online.
Free plans have limitations
This is to be expected, of course, yet it can mean that the free web host plan you choose is simply not substantial enough for you. Limits can range from limited bandwidth to a limited number of pages. This can really hold you back and stunt your business growth.
Outages are more regular
Solid uptime is a key component you need when looking for a web host. If this is a term you have not heard of before, it simply relates to the amount of time you can depend on your site being up and available to potential visitors. If uptime is low, you are not only going to miss out on opportunities, but you can end up frustrating site visitors as well.
While the big hosting companies do need to carry out maintenance from time-to-time, a lot of them guarantee a minimum of 99.9% uptime. These sorts of promises are not offered when it comes to using the services of a free web host.
Customer support can be frustrating
As you probably anticipated, you’re not going to get exceptional levels of support for a service you are not paying for. If you choose a free web host, you can feel like you are left to your own devices, which can be worrying if you do not have a lot of experience.
If you go for a web hosting provider that charges for their service, you can expect extensive support options, ranging from phone support to live chat.
Another drawback associated with free WordPress hosting is that the web host is going to treat your site as a platform for their own brand promotion. This could mean having the company’s name in your domain and displaying their logo on your website.
This makes it very difficult for you to give off a clear brand image. It can make your message confusing, and it certainly does not come across as very professional.
Last but not least, you can expect more ads when you use a free WordPress hosting provider. These companies have to make their money somehow, and as they are not getting it from you directly, displaying ads on their site is one of the most effective ways of doing so.
Just to make this clear: you will not be able to generate any funds from these ads. Should one of your visitors click on the ad, the web hosting provider will receive the funds. Once your website gets more popular, you could end up making more money for the web host than you would spend on premium hosting services yourself.
However, the real danger with the ads that are part of free services is that they can be a distraction. They can detract from your brand image and the professional status you’re trying to achieve.
What’s the best free WordPress hosting solution?
There are a number of different free WordPress hosting plans to choose from today. I will talk you through some of the best free WordPress hosting options below.
WPNode does have three paid plans available, and they do encourage people to sign-up for one of their paid plans instead of going for the free solution, as they highlight some of the things that the free plan is missing. For example, you will not get any backups, email services, or script auto-installer. You are also limited to 10 GB of bandwidth and 1 GB of Disk Storage.
Still, if you do think that WPNode is right for you, one thing I must stress is that you need to do backups on a daily basis. The last thing you want is to lose your website because it is not getting backed up.
A lot of free hosts make their money through advertising, yet WPNode promise that you won’t experience any ads with their services, which is refreshing to say the least!
What are some of the main features of WPNode?
- Speeds are fast for a free host
- Security is good for a free service
- Easily file upload through SFTP
- Full control over PHP database
- Spam-free and ad-free
- Unlimited WordPress websites
Some things to be mindful of when choosing WPNode
The support really is very limited when using the free version of WPNode. Plus, you don’t really have any choices whatsoever when it comes to this WordPress hosting plan.
Freehostia is another name that crops up a lot when it comes to free WordPress hosting. What makes it different from a lot of the other hosts is that it provides a choice of two free hosting plans.
I would definitely say that Freehostia is a good option to consider if you are running a microbusiness. It has a set of features that are appropriate for this type of company set-up, including three linked email addresses and five domains being supported.
Their free hosting plan is known as the “chocolate” plan, and with this, you are going to get a one-click script installer as a standard, as well as a 6 GB traffic quote, which is pretty big for a free host. You will also get 250 MB of disk space.
The good news keeps coming as well, as the server uptime is 99.9 percent. Uptime is imperative because this basically relates to the amount of time that your site will be live. No host can guarantee 100% uptime, as it’s impossible to promise perfection. However, it is vital to make sure that uptime is high so you do not miss out on opportunities because of any downtime.
What are some of the main features of Freehostia?
- Easy to update to one of the premium services
- Website management tools are incorporated
- Easy access via the one-click installer
- Choose from a cloud or shared hosting plan
Some things to be mindful of when choosing Freehostia
There are always free limitations when choosing a free service. In this case, there is limited MySQL database access, limited disk space, and limited bandwidth, so do keep this in mind when determining whether or not Freehostia is right for you.
The next free web host for WordPress that offers a good service is x10Hosting. This is a cloud-based host that has been providing free website hosting for more than 16 years now!
You will get a one-click WordPress auto-installer, full cPanel access, and unlimited bandwidth – some great features for a free web host.
There are a number of things that I do like about X10 Hosting, including the security that is in place. The SSD servers are 100 percent cloud-based, and extra measures are put in place to make sure your content is protected and secure.
If you do decide to opt for this web host, you will also benefit from cPanel, MySQL, and PHP functions, providing you with in-depth control.
If you’re not familiar with the company itself, I should also point out that the business is a bit of a big deal when it comes to domains. With over a decade of experience, it can give you peace of mind that you’re not taking any sort of risks on a company that has not established itself yet.
I have gotten in touch with the customer support team a few times, and have always found them to be helpful. There are a lot of great tools on offer as well, with hundreds of one-click installs.
What are some of the main features of X10hosting?
- User-friendly web hosting tools
- One-click software installation for easy access
- Complete control over the PHP scripts
- Choose from a cloud or shared hosting plan
- Pure cloud SSD cloud servers
- Two different dashboards for hosting; a custom hosting dashboard or cPanel
- 512 MB storage
Some things to be mindful of when choosing X10hosting
One area where I do wish x10Hosting would improve is with regard to security. It would be good to see some more security features! Also, don’t expect live chat support, meaning it can take a while for your queries to be answered.
Based in the United States, AccuWeb is a web host that provides both premium and free hosting plans. The company was founded in 2003, making it an established and reputable company.
I recommend AccuWeb Hosting if you want a free WordPress host, as it has one of the more generous free hosting plans for WordPress when it comes to email limits and bandwidth. Aside from this, there is a guarantee of no ads – ever! That is a huge plus for a free web host.
I think what makes AccuWeb so impressive in my opinion is all of the features you get for a free service. Whenever you take advantage of a free service of any nature, you expect it to be severely restricted, right? Well, AccuWeb breaks the mold a bit in my opinion!
You get a lot of features and services, all of which are of a decent size! For example, you can register 10 MySQL databases and you are also going to get 30 GB of bandwidth, which is pretty massive for a free web host!
If you are running a start-up or a small business and you need to keep your costs low, AccuWeb is the answer, especially as you have the option of registering up to 25 email addresses as well.
One thing that I do really like about AccuWeb is the knowledge base on their website. They have put together a wealth of video tutorials for beginners, and they’re really easy to follow.
What are some of the main features of AccuWeb Hosting?
- Google Apps Integration
- Complementary backup of your site
- High-level security with multi-layer DDoS Protection
- Custom Domain names
Some things to be mindful of when choosing AccuWeb Hosting
There are a few drawbacks to be mindful of when it comes to AccuWeb Hosting. The support available is limited, as is the case for the majority of free hosts. Plus, free website migration is not possible. It is also worth noting that there is just one server location, which is in Montreal, Canada.
Last but not least, I cannot mention free WordPress hosting options without speaking about 000webhost, which is provided by Hostinger. Hostinger is a well-known, affordable web host, and I have reviewed their services in full on this site.
Let’s be frank, though; the purpose of 000webhost is to drive customers to Hostinger. The aim is for people to sign-up for free, realize they need more functionality, and then move to the affordable yet more comprehensive Hostinger packages.
000webhost is a solid free option, but it is not going to be any good if you end up getting a lot of traffic.
You may think that 000 is a bit of a weird name for a web host. However, it is simply a reference to how much the host costs: nothing at all! – i.e. $0.00.
One of my favorite things about this host is the sheer ease of use. I only ever recommended considering a free web host if you are a beginner and you do not want to commit your funds yet. As a consequence, the ease of use associated with 000WebHost is very welcome.
There are lots of great features that you would expect from a paid host as well, including PHP with MySQL support, limitless bandwidth, and a 99% uptime guarantee. When you take this into account, it is not hard to see why 000WebHost is one of the better free options.
What are some of the main features of 000webhost Hosting?
- Friendly and responsive customer support
- Instant activation with zero cost
- Support for PHP and MySQL databases
- Large disk space and bandwidth
- One-Click Installation process
Some things to be mindful of when choosing 000webhost Hosting
There are a few things you do need to be mindful of when opting for this web host. Spamming is a real possibility. Also, security is minimal, and the number of concurrent MySQL connections is limited.
So there you have it: my take on the best free WordPress hosting solutions and whether they are worth it. I hope that this has helped you to understand why WordPress hosting exists and whether or not it is suitable for you. The WordPress solutions mentioned above are the best free options out there. However, if you want a plan without such strict limitations, check out my reviews below for further insight:
I often get asked questions about WordPress and how to host on there for free, so I have put together some answers to the most frequent queries I receive:
Does WordPress have free hosting?
WordPress is a platform that is free to use. However, this means you are going to need to purchase some add-ons to get your site ready. A domain name and a hosting provider are a must. However, there are some free web hosts, but you do need to be mindful that free services always have their limitations. It can often make sense to go for one of the paid solutions instead.
Is WordPress free with GoDaddy?
WordPress is free full-stop! You never have to pay for WordPress. It does not matter what host or domain name provider you use, you should never be charged for access to WordPress itself.
Can I use WordPress with my own domain?
Yes, you can. Domains are transferable, so you can use your own domain on WordPress.
How do I start a free WordPress website?
WordPress itself is free to use. It is the extra services that cost money, such as domain name registration, hosting, and plug-ins. Therefore, while you can create a WordPress website for free, most people do end up spending a bit of money on other services for their website.