Is there such a thing as free web hosting? Well there is, but with some limitations. The one that I found that shows promise in from 000WebHost, a sub brand of Hostinger. For a link to the site, scroll to the bottom.
This is what you actually get.
|Website Space||300 MB|
|Visitor Limit||~300 per month|
|Bandwidth Limit||3 GB per month|
|Inode Limit (How many files)||10,000|
|Can use Vanity Domain||Yes (via NS Parking)|
|SSL Certificate||Not for Vanity Domain, only virtual domain|
|SendMail Limit||50 per day|
|Hosted Email||No, but you can redirect|
Lets have a look at those then.
Website limit of 1, well that’s OK if you are just looking to host a single domain or test some ideas with some free space.
Website space limit is 300MB. I have setup some decent sized WordPress sites and they would average around 100MB for the baseline, then the rest is all about content, videos, images etc.. Keep an eye on it but 300MB is pretty decent.
Bandwidth Limit of 3GB per month, that’s definitely OK for a small site. The limit comes down to how they provision resources to the site. From what I can see in the documentation is that the 301st user isn’t going to get blocked but the experience will be considerably slower.
The Inode limit is purely how many files you can store. A base WordPress install is about 4700 files. Gives you an idea but once again that is pretty decent.
Vanity Domains. That is if you want to have an actual domain name pointing to the site rather than the ‘accountname.000webhostapp.com’ as your web address. You can use CNAME to point various subdomains to it but the best way is to ‘Park’ your domain on their Name Servers, then the root domain will point to the website. Basically if you had the domain name ‘awesomecats.com’ you can tell your registrar to use 000WebHost Name Servers and that will point directly to the free hosted site.
SSL Certificates. This is where the true limitation of free hosting comes in. If you use the virtual name, ‘awesomecats.000webhostapp.com’ as your domain name then the SSL certificate kicks in and works as it is registered to 000webhostapp.com and all subdomains under it. If you point ‘awesomecats.com’ to it, then the SSL won’t work because you don’t have an SSL certificate registered to that domain. Basically then, if you want SSL with your vanity domain you will need the paid plan.
SendMail limit of 50 per day relates to how many emails can be sent from any service that you have running under your website. If you have WordPress then it can send email for all types of things but unless it is a production website then this limit is OK.
I mention the WordPress option a lot already so yes, you can install WordPress. 🙂
The PHP version on the sites I setup was 7.2 and FTP was allowed via port 21. A nice little bonus as other hosting sometimes requires you use the web console for everything you upload.
Lastly, for email, in the free option you don’t get email but you can setup an MX record so domain emails do hit the system and then get redirected to an address that you choose.
If you want a quick test site and you don’t have much to host, don’t care about SSL for your Vanity Domain (or you are happy with the virtual domain name), then this is a great FREE option for your hosting. My bet is that you will probably outgrow it quickly enough but then Hostinger has some very cheap options when you upgrade.
How do you get the free hosting. Check out this link. https://bit.ly/3i7ycJa You will need to click on the Start Now button and scroll down a little.
Quick Side Note. Anybody wanting to host a Minecraft virtual server should click here. Hostinger has some good deals from 27 July 2021 onwards on these specific hosting requirements.