10 Best Free WordPress Hosts (+ Robust Alternatives)/
It can be difficult to believe that WordPress only launched back in 2003, such is its enduring ubiquity. You’d be forgiven for assuming that it launched in the late ‘90s, around the same time Google was getting its now-dominant search engine off the ground. It didn’t need an early start to get an edge over the competition, however. Its irresistible blend of power, flexibility and affordability (it’s tough to get more affordable than free) catapulted it into a strong lead.
All these years later, WordPress powers most of the web (at least, the public-facing side of it), with hobbyists and power users alike turning to WordPress in their droves. Provided you’re willing to put up with a few idiosyncrasies and the occasional imitation, there’s no reason why you can’t make this hyper-popular free CMS the lasting foundation of your online operation.
This post isn’t about the rich variety of WordPress users out there. Instead, it’s geared towards those fixated on the aforementioned third advantage: affordability. Plenty of people go for WP because they simply don’t have any resources to put towards paid systems. Maybe they’re in dire financial straits, or perhaps they’re dabbling in side projects.
Given that those people can’t pay anything for their content management, it stands to reason that they also need to be very frugal in their hosting. The WordPress CMS doesn’t function in isolation, of course. It needs an online host to make its files available to visitors, and a problem with online hosting is that it can be rather expensive. It doesn’t generally make much sense to pair an economical system like WP with a costly hosting platform.
But fear not! If you’re prepared to accept some restrictions and shortcomings, you don’t need to pay for your online hosting. You might want to, admittedly (and we’ll first point out some reasonable alternatives to free hosting that warrant your consideration), but if you’re set on keeping your spending to an absolute minimum, then you can certainly make that work.
Let’s run through some strong alternatives to using free WordPress hosts, then cover the 10 best free WordPress hosts you can use, giving you plenty of options. Here we go:
Robust alternatives to free WordPress hosting
Before you commit to using free hosting, it’s worth thinking about the long-term consequences of that move. After all, it’s generally true that you get what you pay for. Free hosting is always going to be slower, less capacious, and more awkward to manage than paid hosting. If you’re anything less than certain that you don’t need anything more than minimalist hosting, it makes all the sense in the world to make an investment.
Are you worried about paying for resources you don’t use? Keep in mind that it’s become much more common for paid hosting services to charge you only for the bandwidth and storage you use in a given month — so if you don’t get the traffic you were anticipating, you won’t be on the hook for the resources you allocated to cover it. Cloudways, for instance, offers WordPress hosting that pairs this economical approach with a beginner-friendly interface, making it possible for someone with minimal technical expertise to easily roll out a great WP system at low cost.
Are you unsure about making a commitment? When you’re not sure what you’re doing, the prospect of signing up for a lengthy contract is understandably intimidating. In truth, though, you don’t need to take such a long-term approach: most hosting providers offer month-by-month rolling schemes that allow minimal notice for cancellation. Since the online world is full of useful guides covering potential hosts (such as this one), as well as countless resources aimed at helping startups flourish, you can do plenty of research first.
Are you running a charitable organization with a limited budget? Most good online hosts offer discounted hosting for charities, so if you’re worried that your operation can’t afford good hosting, reach out to some leading contenders to see what they can offer you. And if you’re still determined not to spend anything, at least look for free hosting geared towards charities: it’ll be significantly more performant and backed by stronger support. WebsiteBuilderExpert has a useful guide covering some options across the price spectrum.
For now, let’s assume that you’re not interested in any alternatives. You want free WordPress hosting and you won’t settle for anything less. Alright! Here are some options to check out:
This free service allows you to create one website with 300mb of disk space and 3gb of monthly bandwidth. You also get Cloudflare CDN protection which can come in pretty handy if there’s ever an issue with the server (not exactly unlikely given the lack of any uptime guarantee). Issues? You won’t get any speedy support on your hosting: you can reach out, but you’ll probably need to wait for a reply, and that might be frustrating in a pinch.
You don’t get an SSL certificate with your hosting, though that isn’t the problem it once was given the existence of various free SSL certificate providers. If you’re not very technical, though, you might want to ask someone to handle this aspect for you. Unfortunately, you’ll need to pay for a domain, so you won’t get a totally-free operation. Even so, it might work for you.
Right off the bat, this sounds a little more promising. 3gb of monthly bandwidth again, but 3 email accounts: useful if you’re hoping to start some conversations with your website. You also get a hosted domain, meaning the dream of paying absolutely nothing for your online operation is alive. Add 24/7 customer support to the mix and this seems like a fantastic option if you’re hoping to turn your new website into something bigger down the line.
So where’s the catch? It lies in the disk space limitation. You only get 100mb of storage space, which is very little. Consider that it’s now totally normal for a large image to require upwards of 1mb before lossy compression, and maybe a quarter of that afterwards. Room for 400 images sounds great, but you’re also storing everything else on your site. Even if you’re extremely careful to avoid taking up space, you might start to run out pretty soon.
One website again (as is standard), but a significant boost in pure stats: 2gb of SSD storage, and 30gb of monthly bandwidth. While that’s likely far more bandwidth than you’d need for a hobbyist website, it’s certainly nice to have it — and unless you go on a rampage installing complicated plugins, you should have plenty of space to accommodate your website files.
Need an email address for your site? Have 25. And since you don’t need to provide payment details to sign up for the free hosting service, you also don’t need to worry about letting a free account lapse into a costly monthly subscription. Overall, this is an excellent option: it’s a good brand with great reviews.
Let’s first acknowledge that the AwardSpace website isn’t the nicest. Does this mean much? No, but it doesn’t give a good first impression. The service on offer seems a little more compelling, though: while you can only have one domain, you can also have up to three free subdomains, giving you some flexibility if you want to set up multiple blogs.
And what’s that? A 99.9% network uptime guarantee on a free service? Plus 24/7 customer support? 5gb monthly bandwidth should be more than adequate, and while 1gb of disk space isn’t the roomiest, it should be plenty if you’re mostly sticking to text and throwing in the occasional JPG or SVG. If you’re interested in running multiple small WP sites, here you go.
Byet Internet Services
Bad news first: if you’re not paying, you’re using a provided subdomain from a list of generic options. If you care about the optics of your site’s URL, this may be a dealbreaker. What about the good news? 1gb of disk space is fine, free 24/7 tech support is appreciated, and the free community access is a big plus: when you’re just starting out with running a website, having a convenient avenue for discussing matters with your peers is extremely important.
If you want an SSL certificate installed, you’ll need to source it from elsewhere, and the service site has a general air of sloppiness that doesn’t bode well but you may be interested in the provided script installer: if you’re looking to add a feature (a shopping cart, for instance, or a social media integration), it may help you get it done. Since WordPress itself makes such things easy through plugins, though, you should view this as a lower-value option.
Free Hosting No Ads
With this service, you get free hosting. You also don’t get any ads. Alas, you also get a shameful lack of server-level PHP updates — and since WordPress is heavily reliant upon PHP updates to keep plugins running correctly, it’s really hard to recommend this for a website you want to consistently work on. It could break at any time.
So why is it on this list? Well, the features are otherwise reasonable: 1gb of storage, 5gb of bandwidth, and 1-click WP installation. Since the company could decide to improve its PHP policy at any time, it wouldn’t be the worst choice in the world. It’s free, after all. How much can you complain about it? To be safe, though, you should view this as this list’s last resort.
This service allows you to host up to five websites (five actual sites, not just subdomains), but there’s a catch: you can only have one WP installation, meaning the other sites would likely end up being custom HTML constructions. If you’re interested in dabbling in HTML5, that’s great, but in all likelihood you’d much rather stick with WordPress across the board.
Since you only get 250mb of storage, getting five worthwhile sites up and running would be a major challenge. 6gb bandwidth is fine, at least, and the technical support is reasonably speedy, but we’ve seen better options here so it’s hard to recommend this one in particular. If you encounter issues with the alternatives, though, Freehostia is still a decent choice.
10gb of space is completely solid for a small WP site. Unlimited bandwidth with no restrictions is great for accommodating traffic spikes in principle, though you’re admittedly very unlikely to blow through the bandwidth allowance of the average free hosting service. In a pleasant surprise, you get a cPanel-powered control panel, significantly raising the possibility that you’ll be able to understand the features.
You can only have one WP installation, though, and you don’t even get to use a strange free subdomain. You provide your own domain or you don’t have a site at all. This takes having a free site off the table, so you should look elsewhere if that’s vital. Really, this is another adequate service: something to be used if you encounter issues elsewhere.
If you look closely, you’ll discover that InfinityFree has the same parent company as Byet. So is it essentially the same? Well, not quite. Instead of 1gb of disk space, you get… unlimited disk space. And instead of 50gbs of monthly bandwidth, you get… unlimited bandwidth. Yes, there are limits on individual files (no more than 10mb each) and daily hits (capped at 50k), but how often are you going to want to upload a file bigger than 10mb?
You don’t get a nice domain for free, and you’re stuck using an antiquated dashboard (a common theme with free hosting options), but if you’re planning to build a hyper-powerful WordPress site with a hundred plugins, then this free service will accommodate your needs. It won’t stop your unwieldy site from having plugin conflicts, though — so be careful.
Unlimited bandwidth, cPanel controls, the option to use a custom dashboard, and a cloud-based system promising superior performance and reliability. That’s a good start, but a mere 512mb of storage sours it. It isn’t the smallest amount of space on offer, sure, but you’ll still need to decide whether you can fit everything you need into such a modest amount of storage.
Troublingly, some users report issues signing up for x10Hosting from particular locations (even when using VPNs in an effort to conceal them), so if you live in a country that isn’t explicitly supported by the service then you may have no luck creating an account. If you can make an account, you could certainly do worse than this free hosting solution.