How To Choose Free Web Host

Normally a serious blogger would never choose a free web host. Free site hosting are limited in just so many ways. If you are hosting on a free hosting site, either you are not very serious about your site or you are planning to move to a better web host when your site grows big.

Free webhosts always restrict you in one way or another in order to make you purchase their premium plans. With my experience with free web hosting space, there are few things you should always look for in a free web hosting services before starting to build your site eespecially WordPress blogs and other php based websites.



Pointing to consider while Selecting Free Web host

As I mentioned above, free webhosting is something which I would not recommend highly. Though, if you are one of those who don’t really want to spend a dime on hosting, then you should read on and consider some of the below mentioned point to select webhosting which is absolutely free.

Though, you should also consider some of the heavy discount available on Webhosting like: 1 cent hosting from Hostgator and Bluehost Discount coupon, which will let you grab quality hosting for dirt-cheap price.

Webspace and Bandwidth

Check your web space and monthly bandwidth requirements. Hopefully most of the free webhosts will meet your web space and bandwidth requirements as your site is new and don’t have lots of visitors.

Most of free webhost have few gb’s of bandwidth limit, and I suggest to avoid it, else you might notice warning like bandwidth exceeded. You don’t need unlimited hosting but make sure your limited bandwidth hosting is not limiting your website expansion plan.

.htaccess Configuration

Your hosting service provider must support unrestricted .htaccess configuration file editing which is crucial for search engine optimization. Most of the free web hosts will put restriction on .htaccess modification. Make sure your hosting allow root FTP access and let you manage all changes.

Php Mail Function

Double check that your chosen free web host allows php mail function which is must if you are starting a forum or a site where registration is required. Without php mail function, automated user registration will be impossible.  For example, freehostia doesn’t allow php-sendmail.

XMl-rpc Pinging Service

Check that your hosting company allows xml-rpc pinging services in your wordpress so that when you write a wordpress blog post, search engine bots are automatically notified. However if your web host doesn’t allow pinging, you can compensate for it by using pingoat, feedping, pingshot and other pinging services.

If you wondering why you need XML-RPC feature, if you know about Windows live writer which is a desktop blogging tool, it won’t work and you might need to blog directly from WordPress blog editor. Similarly, many other services which relies on XML-RpC service, will stop working.

Read reviews

Even if you get all the above features, you’ll encounter ‘connection timed out‘, ‘error establishing database connection‘ on a regular basis. Check user reviews and try to choose one with less such problems.

There are just some of the things and also consider that your free hosting provider doesn’t add footer credit link or display ad. Make sure to read TOS of hosting company you opting for and set up a backup schedule for your site, because data reliability is major issue when it comes to free hosting providers.

Now, if you starting with a serious web project or even your personal web-blog, I suggest you to avoid free hosting at any cost, and try to opt for any possible cheap hosting.  Its highly unlikely you’ll get all the above features in a free web host. Even if you get one, you’ll face frequent problems. So, I think I should have rather kept the title of this post ‘reasons to avoid free web hosts’.

This is a guest post by Amit Sharma. If you like to Write for Shoutmeloud, do read : Shoutmeloud Revenue sharing program.

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I am a IIT Guwahati graduate trying to be a problogger.


COMMENTs ( 17 )

  1. hemant jain says

    Paid hosting is always better than free hosting
    Free hosting has restrictions, server down and many issues.

    Nice post.

  2. Siva says

    I used freehostia for my blog .. It was a headache , daily I used to get 20 to 30 mins downtime . I can’t use Akismet , install plugin through dashboard etc . So I changed to Dreamhost .
    For another blog , I’m using byethost which is relatively better than other free host . :)

  3. Amit Sharma says

    My blog was one week old running on a free host when I submitted this post on shoutmeloud. I got 30+ visitors in the first hour on my blog through this post and after that my free host sql database server got hardware failure. I switched to a paid host immediately though my pocket doesn’t allow putting Rs3000/year for hosting as I don’t earn anything. I lost potential traffic because of sql server failure and later dns propagation delay. If one wants to continue blogging seriously, he/she must avoid free hosting.

  4. Amit says

    @mad geek @far sid No free web host is recommendable. Your best bet is to share a reseller hosting with your blogger friends. Though, I use x10hosting for new blogs.

    • Adam Rehard says

      I disagree. I’ve been using ismywebsite. Its the best free hosting I’ve ever seen. They reqire ads, but you get to pace them, and they can be adsense. The specs are awsome

  5. TechOfWeb says

    If one wants to make his career in blogging and he takes blogging seriously then these free web hosts sud be avoided at all. Better to invest some money and start with a good hosting company as Hostgator. As a starter, one can also go for blogspot. but then also today or laterone has to definitely switch to some gud host. so better go for it from strt itself.


  6. Shocky says

    Nice post.
    Even though I agree with what you’ve said, I have been using a free webhost for awhile now. Around 5years back, I happened to meet(online ofcourse) a Canadian guy who runs an online resource company called arnit. He offered me a free hosting plan that somehow managed to be better than any thing available on the net.
    I have complete access to it and have stuck to it for a pretty long time.

  7. Ramkumar says

    Free hosting services are not worth it, Incase of a trial and error purpose we can go for Free hosting, but actually none of the free webhosting plans are really worth to be chosen.

  8. far sid says

    hai ,
    can you suggest me some good webhost because i’m using blogger for now and i have an idea to move it to some good host after my exams. please help me out.

  9. Avi Singh says

    I have tried for some time but they deleted my account without any reason… is good.

      • Himanshu Chanda says

        Hey why not have a post on reliable free web hosts when you are looking for some small niche sites ??

      • Rison Simon says

        But free hosting doesn’t always comes with customer support. If you are looking into paid hosting also, I will say hostgator is the best and their customer support is just incredible.