Are you new to web hosting and/or don’t have the available funds to pay for a premium paid hosting provider? Trying your luck with free web hosting might be the right solution, especially if you are looking to run a mainly static site or personal blog.
One of the most popular and well-regarded free hosting providers is 000webhost, an offshoot of Hosting24 that offers web hosting for $0.00 a month (hence the name)! 000webhost might be one of the more attractive options out there with a ad-free policy that is quite rare in the free web hosting scene.
While a free hosting service such as 000webhost will undoubtedly pale in comparison to a premium, paid service from one our recommended providers, 000webhost still offers generous resource limits and tons of additional features.
Keep reading our 000webhost review to find out more about this free hosting provider!
- 100 GB monthly bandwidth
- mySQL with phpMyAdmin support
- Free site builder
- Inactivity banner
- Concerns regarding security
000webhost Pricing & Plans
While 000webhost deals exclusively with free hosting services, paid options are also available through their parent company Hosting24, which offers a variety of shared, re seller, and VPS plans that are available to purchase.
000webhost’s free plan includes an impressive (for free hosting) 1.5 GB storage limit coupled with a 100 GB monthly bandwidth limit. This easily makes 000webhost the most generous free hosting provider in terms of available resources. Additional extras for free users include up to five add-on domains, five e-mail accounts, and two mySQL databases. Reliability is guaranteed via a 99% up time guarantee, as well as an included backup manager tool.
If you are happy with 000webhost’s free service but need additional power, their premium plan can be purchased for an additional $3.99 a month, which includes a free domain name, cPanel Pro, as well as unlimited storage, bandwidth, e-mail, domains, and mySQL databases.
Paid VPS hosting is available through Hosting24, starting at $10.78 a month for a server with 10 GBs of storage, 1 TB of bandwidth, 1 GB of RAM, and a single core, 1 Ghz processor.
Re seller packages are also available through 000webhost, starting at $12.99 a month for 50 GB of storage, 500 GB of bandwidth and bundled with automatic weekly backups, 24//7 support, unlimited cPanel accounts, and BoxBilling client administration software.
It’s important to keep in mind that 000webhost includes a free domain name with all paid plans for the life of your contract, while free users can take advantage of a free domain name in the www.yourdomain.netne.net format.
Signing up with 000webhost is lightning fast with only some quick contact details needed to be filled out and e-mail confirmation needed before you can begin working on your site.
000webhost packages Zyro Site Builder with it’s free hosting service, allowing you to create from scratch or from numerous templates using the smooth drag and drop site builder. We especially liked that you can add social media and e-commerce buttons and features, something that is usually restricted with free hosting services.
Another feature that stood out to us was the ability to build and view your prospective site in wide, desktop, tablet, and mobile views, while a simple check mark for each device type will ensure site responsiveness.
Users of mySQL will be happy to find that phpMyAdmin is available to handle mySQL administration, while custom cron jobs and redirects can also be handled from 000webhost’s control panel.
An important thing to keep in mind is that 000webhost will issue inactivity alerts if your site is visited by less than 10 people a month or if it is “under construction” for an extended period of time (over a week). They will place a banner warning you about the impending cancellation, which can be easily removed via a “remove inactivity ads” link in the control panel.
This feels quite redundant at this point, but hosting with a free provider as opposed to a premium hosting provider means that your website’s performance will undoubtedly suffer due to reduced hardware and support.
000webhost is no different in this regard, although they do advertise a 99% up time on their servers, which is somewhat of a rarity with free web hosting. Keep in mind however, that most paid hosting providers advertise either a 99.9% or 99.99% up time guarantee, which is especially important for heavy traffic sites.
In order to better serve your site’s visitors in a global sense, 000webhost has the majority of their servers located in their Asheville, NC data center with a smaller location in Manchester, England. Some highlights of their network includes burstable bandwidth access, Tier 1 fiber optic ISPs, 24/7 on site monitoring, and enterprise level hardware.
To get a better idea of how their servers perform, we conducted a quick speed test on our 1 MB-sized test site using Pingdom’s Website Speed Test tool. While the New York and even Amsterdam location speed tests preformed quite admirably, our Australia speed test came in at disappointing 6 and a half seconds! Yet another reason why those looking at free hosting should use caution.
New York City
000webhost Interface & Security
000webhost uses a custom version of cPanel to power their free shared hosting accounts, while the aforementioned Zyro site builder is also included for free. Both are fairly standard and easy to use, while any script installation can be handled via Fantastico.
We did however, encounter some issues when it came to phpMyAdmin, with our login details needing a support ticket before being able to access our mySQL databases. 000webhost utilizes Apache 2.2.19 , PHP 5.2 and mySQL 5.1.
Want to make sure your site is properly protected? 000webhost offers additional security services in the form of custom cron jobs, IP denial, hotlink protection, and URL redirects.
We did find one rather worrying blemish on 000webhost’s security resume, with a large scale attack occurring on their servers just a few months prior to this review, resulting in over 13 million customer’s data being exposed.
SSL certificates are only available for paid users, so anyone thinking about running any sort of e-commerce functions should consider upgrading.
000webhost Customer Service
Another major negative when it comes to free hosting is the lack of genuine, 24/7 customer service to assist you when you inevitably have some trouble with your site.
Fortunately, 000webhost offers ticket based support (most free providers only have FAQs!) in addition to an extensive support forum and FAQ list.
We gave their ticket system a test run with a mySQL/phpMyAdmin related question, to which we received a reply almost seven hours later. While this exactly an optimal response time if you need urgent support, we were highly satisfied with both the answer and our issue was resolved.
Customers who sign up for one of their paid plans (through Hosting24) can take advantage of a 30 day money back guarantee, meaning you can also try their paid services at no risk to your wallet!
000webhost Review Conclusion
- 100 GB monthly bandwidth
- Zyro Site builder
- mySQL with phpMyAdmin support
I wasn’t so sure about
- Some concerns regarding security
- Somewhat slow page load times
- Inactivity banners/ads
000webhost gets a lot of things right for a free hosting service: no advertisements, generous bandwidth and storage limits, as well as e-commerce and social media features. With a free site builder also included they provide a similar service to some of the popular site builder services such as Wix, Weebly, and Yola.
The being said, free web hosting does have it’s obvious drawbacks and 000webhost is no different, with concerns regarding reliability, customer service, as well as a disappointing inactivity policy that may cause headaches in the long run. If you are serious about monetizing your website, consider one of our hosting recommendations.
If you are looking to experiment or launch a personal site however, 000webhost might be the best option out there in terms of free web hosting. Give them a try today!