Free website hosting is a great way to start a new site. Regardless of whether you are wanting to host a business or personal website, using free hosting can be a great option because it helps to cut down costs. Using a free web hosting can be an excellent learning tool for someone who is just starting out, and you can always upgrade later if you find that you need more resources. But you might be wondering how you can find free hosting. Here are our favorite ways to get free web hosting in 2020.
1. Use Promo Codes
Using promo codes is one of the best and easiest ways to get free hosting. Using valid coupon codes allows you to get high-quality web hosting at the lowest possible cost[i]. Through the deal, the hosting provider might offer you shared hosting, which is going to be sufficient for you if you’re just looking to start a regular website. Through shared hosting, you will have to share resources, bandwidth, and storage space with the other users on the server. However, unless you are experiencing high levels of traffic, a shared hosting environment will be able to provide enough resources for your needs.
The bonus of using a promo code is you often get more resources than you would get with just a free hosting service. Of course, you need to pay attention to how long the promo period lasts until the cost goes back to the usual amount. As long as you keep track of the schedule, you shouldn’t have any surprises on your bill.
2. Sign up for WordPress
Do you want to start a blog? Then you should consider WordPress.com for your site. According to a web technology survey firm W3Techs[ii], WordPress now powers more than 30% of the web. WordPress is a free and open source software, which means you can use it, modify it as you want without having to pay any monthly fees.
The reason why WordPress is free is that no one company owns it. Because of this, thousands and thousands of people have contributed to the success of the platform. There are thousands of website themes out there that allow you to customize your website exactly how you want it. No matter what your site topic is, you can find something that works for you. You can make your WordPress site private here to have a secure site.
Don’t confuse WordPress.com with WordPress.org. WordPress.com is the free version, and you will have ads on your blog, and there are a few restrictions. For example, the name of your site will be yourname.wordpress.com. If you want to get rid of “WordPress” from your domain name and get rid of ads, you will have to pay to upgrade.
Watch this video to help you set up a WordPress site in just 24 simple steps.
3. Use your student ID
Most students out there are strapped for cash, and if they want to start a website, it might not be a luxury they can afford. However, there are some websites that provide one year of hosting. Often, all you have to do is sign up with your .edu email address to get a free website. If you do a bit of searching, you can often find other sites that will provide additional savings, like free domain privacy protection or cover the cost of domain registration fees for the life of the account. Using your student email address is perfect if you have a school or college project. Of course, before you sign up, look at design templates to make sure you can make your new site work for you.
4. Enter a competition
This one might be the hardest to achieve, but sometimes businesses or blogs will host competitions for a free year of website hosting and domain registration. Do a quick Google search to find out if there are any contests you can enter. Even if it comes with a few strings attached to it, it might be worth it if it is free!
What to consider when choosing a hosting provider
When you are just starting out, chances are pretty good that a shared hosting plan will be more than sufficient. Just make sure to pay attention to these features.
According to research, 47% of consumers[iii] expect a website to load within two seconds. If you don’t want to see hordes of people bouncing off your website, you might want to look at the speed that the hosting plan offers. If you end up using WordPress, you can download plugins to help with caching to speed up your site. However, cheaper hosting providers typically will be slower than more expensive plans.
Unfortunately, the average small business website is attacked 44 times a day. Before signing a hosting contract, learn to see if the hosting provider offers free, regular backups that you can use if you need to back up your computer to a safe point. Sometimes, you can even find free hosting plans that offer free SSL Certificates which can help encrypt all sensitive information – like credit card numbers – and offer DDoS prevention.
Even if you are a full-time website developer, you might run into a situation where you need assistance from the hosting provider. Many hosting providers will provide support via email, chat, ticket, or phone support. You should always look at the turnaround time and see how long it takes them to resolve any issues. A host should be able to respond quickly and intelligently so that you won’t experience any unnecessary downtime. Look for a host that offers 24/7 support. You don’t want to have to wait until business hours if you are having issues with your site. Find a host that has a strong reputation for responding quickly to any problems.
Just because you have a free blog, doesn’t mean it has to look cheap. There are tons of great website building tools and themes out there. Your website theme and design can still look amazing, even if you didn’t pay a dime! Use free resources like plugins to fully customize your website and make it as safe, beautiful, and functional as possible.