The Best Free Web Hosting
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Free web hosting only makes sense for a pretty narrow scope of customers: those who have small websites without much content and very little traffic, and those who have temporary websites, like for an upcoming event. If that’s you:
Try a free website builder that hosts custom domains:
Or, check out our recommendations for no-cost hosts:
For pretty much everything else — especially a small business or an online presence you’re looking to grow, we recommend paying for hosting to get increased functionality, more reliability, and better customer support. You won’t be spending all that much. Some of the best web hosting services start for as little as $4/month.
Editor’s note: Educators and nonprofits often qualify for free (or deeply discounted) hosting by some truly excellent providers. Jump here to read more.
Our recommendation: Use a free website builder with free hosting and custom domain names.
Hands-down the easiest way for most people to get a website up and running is a website builder, where you can drag-and-drop content blocks and tinker around with customizable templates. Most website builders are only free if you use a subdomain (for example, our URL on a Wix subdomain would look like: quicksprout.wix.com), which is a dealbreaker for anyone who wants to run a professional-looking site. We talk more about free hosting using a subdomain here.
However, there are two builders that host websites for free and connect to a custom domain. They are super simple and have limited functionality — but since super simple, limited websites are the only ones we recommend to hosting for free, it makes a lot of sense to start there.
Ucraft has a free plan for a single-page website that’s built with what it calls “elements.” An element is any individual piece of content: a title, a text block, a video, an image, an image gallery, a button. Ucraft’s free tier supports up to 50 basic elements, so that single-page website can hold a decent amount of content — just nothing too snazzy.
Six of Ucraft’s 21 free templates, including a blank page for a completely customized site.
A “Powered by UCRAFT” ad hovers in the bottom right corner of all free Ucraft websites.
Google Sites Review
Google Sites is your other option for a super simple free site. And when we say “super simple,” we mean it. There are only six versions of the same template to choose from, and a limited number of layouts to work in. It’s super basic. In fact, lots of Google Sites are used for basic things like internal wikis.
Google Sites offers one basic template in six simple themes.
That said, Google Sites hosts as many pages as you want at no cost. It connects to your custom domain. It integrates with every other Google service, like Docs, Forms, and Slides. And it’s absurdly simple to use, especially if you’re used to working in Google products. If you already have a Google account, or are paying for GSuite for email hosting (which we wholeheartedly recommend), it’s a no-brainer.
Want more design freedom? You’ll need web hosting.
Design limitations are probably the biggest downside to using a free website builder. If the templates available on Ucraft and Google Sites aren’t what you’ve envisioned for your site, the next easiest free option is to find a free template you like and pair it with a free web host.
That said, there are plenty of downsides to free web hosting. To make our recommendations, we took the following six criteria into consideration.
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November 21, 2018 at 04:56PM