• 1 site, 1GB storage, 5GB bandwidth
  • No ads
  • Domain registration
  • Limited customer support ticketing, live chat, online documentation

Awardspace is a big player in the free hosting space and has been around for more than a decade. It stands out for offering a full gig of storage, more than many others, and, according to a friendly sales rep we chatted with, up-to-date versions of PHP and MySQL. It also offers the Zacky drag-and-drop website builder, plus an easy-to-use WordPress and Joomla installer. Note: If your site receives no traffic for 12 months, it will automatically be set to inactive; after two more weeks of notices, it will be deleted.


  • 1 site, 1GB storage, unlimited bandwidth
  • No ads
  • Domain registration
  • Limited 24/7/365 customer support, live chat, limited ticketing, online documentation

Atspace has nearly identical stats to Awardspace, with the exception of unlimited bandwidth (as opposed to Awardspace’s 5GB) and a claim of 24/7/365 support. (Digging deeper, though, Atspace lists that support as “limited 24/7/365 support” so take that with a big fat grain of salt.) Atspace also uses the Zacky website builder and app installer for apps like WordPress and Joomla.


  • 5 sites, 250MB storage, 6MB bandwidth
  • No ads
  • Domain registration
  • 24/7 customer support with 1-hour ticket response and online documentation

Freehostia offers free cloud hosting on its Chocolate plan (your guess is as good as ours). That means it should be fast, but the Chocolate plan is also very small: only 250MB of disk space and 10MB of database storage. That said, it does include a free self-signed SSL certificate, a site builder with free templates, and the promise of a response to help tickets in under one hour — pretty much unheard of. If you have a small enough site, the customer service promise alone makes Freehostia a compelling pick.



  • 1 site, 1000MB storage, 5GB bandwidth
  • No ads
  • Domain registration
  • Limited ticketing, live chat, online documentation (24/7 customer support for system malfunctions only)

Agilityhoster’s free tier is slightly smaller than what’s offered from Awardspace and Atspace: only 1000MB of storage and one 20MB MySQL database. It also lacks any sort of website builder, although it does have a simple WordPress and Joomla installer to get you up and running quickly. A sales rep confirmed that it runs up-to-date PHP and MySQL.



  • Unlimited sites, storage, and bandwidth
  • No ads
  • Domain registration
  • 24/7 customer support and knowledge base

Byethost is by far the most generous free web host with unlimited sites, unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and five email accounts. It also provides an automatic SSL on all domains, and includes a free site builder with templates. That said, Byethost is one of the least professional-looking hosts I looked at, with a poorly written website and enough vagueness that I wonder how unlimited its unlimited offerings actually are. Unless you think you need a lot of database space, I recommend going with a different free host.



The Cons of Free Hosting

Like I mentioned above, I’m not going to dance around the fact that there are plenty of downsides to free web hosting. To make my recommendations for the best free host, which is definitely a title that’s relative to the niche, I took the following six criteria into consideration.


Some free web hosts stay afloat by selling ad space. We wanted to avoid those providers — no one wants random ads appearing in the middle of their content — and opted for hosts that support their free tier from sales of their paid hosting plans.

Email hosting

My recommendations offer at least one custom email address and free email hosting since that is one of the glaring things lacking from a free website builder. (Ucraft doesn’t offer email hosting at all and Google Sites only offers a custom email address if you pay $5/month for GSuite.) An email that’s attached to your website and domain name is great to have for one-off correspondences (plus looks pro on a business card), and a free web host provider’s email hosting is perfect for that.

But be warned, your legit emails may be flagged as spam. Why? Free hosting is a hotbed for less-than-savory online activity, and your site might get lumped into a server of bad actors. In other words: spam filter activated. If you’re going to use your email a lot or for anything important — say for sending out a newsletter or for marketing promotions — we recommend upgrading to email hosting through a service like GSuite or even a domain registrar like Namecheap, which sells email hosting starting at $10/year.

Storage and bandwidth

Free web hosting has famously low limits for both disk space and bandwidth. If you go over your limit, your site may get suspended or you may be automatically upgraded to a paid service. Even when providers like Byethost offer unlimited bandwidth and storage, it’s not infinite. Just like with a paid service, unlimited storage and bandwidth only last until you start negatively impacting the other sites on your server — and all hosts are extremely vague about how much traffic or storage is too much traffic or storage. Have a negative impact and your site may still be suspended or auto-upgraded.


PHP is one of the most popular programming languages. It’s what apps like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal run on, and therefore what a lot of websites use. MySQL are databases those apps store information on. Your web host needs to support up-to-date versions of both.

The problem: Most hosts don’t disclose the exact version of the PHP or MySQL they run. And even if these apps do work, there is a high likelihood that with any free host they are going to load slowly — a PHP application requires a lot more lift from what is probably an extremely burdened server. If you’re worried at all about page load time (and you should be — Google takes it into account), we recommend limiting anything you build on a free host to a simple static HTML/CSS site.

Another thing to keep in mind is database limitations. Every piece of software you want to use on your site requires a database to store its information. If you are running WordPress, it needs a database. If you’re running another app, it’s going to need its own database. Most free hosts impose a limit on the number of databases your site can access, and the amount of storage available in that database.

SSL certificate

Secure Sockets Layer encryption is what confirms a website is secure enough to receive sensitive data like credit card data and passwords. SSL certificates are the only way a site can do any sort of ecommerce at all, but Google also considers it a factor for where any site, ecomm or not, shows up in search rankings.

Most free web hosts don’t offer a free SSL certificate; the ones that do tend to offer a “self-signed” SSL. Self-signed SSLs are issued by servers, not by a certificate authority (Comodo, Digicert, Let’s Encrypt, etc). They offer the same level of encryption, but it’s not the standard version, so web browsers will still flag your site and issue a security warning to visitors.

Customer support

With any free host customer support is going to be limited, slow to respond, and not all that helpful. That’s just the way it is.