2020's Best Free Web Hosting UK Options Compared & Tested

Best Free Web Hosting Companies 2020

With the rising expenses in starting a business and/or a website, free web hosting has become increasingly popular.


Thousands of new websites are created every day, and they all have one thing in common; they require web hosting in order for their website to go live and be accessible on the world wide web.

With so much competition in the web hosting market, web hosts continue to lower their prices and offer different features to one another.

However, with so many web hosts competing for your attention, how do you choose the right one?

The conundrum gets even more baffling when you introduce hosts who don’t charge anything for their services.

In order to cater to the more budget-friendly web hosting market, some web hosting companies are offering FREE web hosting. But, what’s the catch?

Unfortunately, there are some web hosting companies that aren’t really what they make out to be. You’ll likely encounter restricted bandwidth and storage, poor server performance, and no guaranteed uptimes.

That’s why I’ve put together this guide of the BEST free web hosting companies in 2020. I’ll cover their features, uptime & performance and customer support.

Let’s get started and see what I’ve uncovered…

What Is Free Web Hosting?

Free web hosting undoubtedly sounds good, but before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s worth considering some issues beforehand. Like I said earlier, when it comes to free web hosting, you may struggle with the limitations put on storage, performance, and bandwidth.

Some free web hosts will let you host your site for free if you allow them to place adverts or their branding on your website. Whilst this certainly isn’t professional, if you’re just experimenting with a new site or you’re not fussed who sees it, then it’s not so bad.

However, if you mean business, you’re going to want to consider upgrading your web host so that your site ranks well on Google and other search engines, and provides a smooth user experience.

If you feel let down by a free web host, you may be surprised to learn that there are awesome web hosts like Hostinger and iPage who offer plans for shared and WordPress hosting from just 99p and £1.50 per month, respectively. 

1. Hostinger.com (Best Almost Free Web Host)

I have to include Hostinger as they are my top web hosting company of 2020. Whilst Hostinger isn’t completely free, they do offer web hosting from just 99p per month.

Hostinger Dashboard

Hostinger has a range of hosting services to cater to their wider audience. Their almost FREE web hosting starts off with their Single Shared plan which is just 80p per month (a real steal).

You may think that you’re not going to get much for a few pence, but I can confirm that their features are pretty awesome considering the low price. Hostinger is easy to use and offer customers the ability to create a feature-rich website without needing to know how to code.

Uptime & Performance

Hostinger has a 99.9% uptime guarantee which is pretty generous given their hosting is just 80p per month.

I’ve been monitoring my low-cost web hosting with Hostinger for 30 days. Here are the results I recorded with Uptime Robot.

Uptime & Response Hostinger 30 days

In the last 24 hours, my test website has had an uptime of 100%. This is also true of the last 7 days. Over the last 30 days, my uptime with Hostinger averaged out at 99.91%.

I understand this isn’t a great uptime result, but it does fit in with their uptime guarantee. Over the course of 700+ hours, my total downtime was 68 minutes.

However, my site’s response time was not looking too great. This totalled 1337.34 ms which is above 1 second. Whilst it’s still below 2 seconds, it’s recommended that your website’s response time is kept below 1 second.

Features

  • 10GB storage
  • 100GB bandwidth
  • 1x MySQL database
  • 1 email account
  • Free website builder
  • 24/7 support
  • 1-click installations
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Pros & Cons

+ Very affordable (just 99p per month)
+ Plenty of features (given the price, there are lots to get started with)
+ 24/7 support (their support isn’t the best but it’s not bad at all)
+ 1-click installs (free installs for WordPress)
+ Generous storage and bandwidth (most websites won’t exceed 5GB storage)

– Not the best uptime (99.91% is okay but not great)
– Response time (over 1 second is a bit concerning)

2. 000WebHost.com 

000WebHost has been in the hosting industry for well over a decade. In this time they’ve earned themselves a solid reputation offering FREE web hosting with lots of features.

000WebHost Dashboard

One of my personal favourite things about 000WebHost is that they don’t have any adverts – what a relief! You can create your own website that’s free from any advertising or sub-domains.

Signing up to 000WebHost will give you access to their FREE website builder which has over 100+ templates to customise. This means you can create a free website and host it absolutely free – what could be better! Oh, did I mention they also support 1-click installs such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

Uptime & Performance

When I set up my 000WebHost website, I had the option to use their website builder or WordPress. On this occasion, I decided to opt for WordPress to see how an unoptimised fresh install would fair.

During the last 30 days, my uptime has averaged out at 99.89% on my test website. The total downtime has only totalled a few minutes, which isn’t terrible, but it’s not the best uptime.

My response time was 663.57ms – again, an acceptable result but not amazing. For an entirely free web host though, I really can’t grumble too much!

Features

  • 10GB bandwidth
  • 1GB disk space
  • Free website builder
  • 1-click installs (WordPress)
  • Free cPanel
  • No adverts
  • Instant activation
  • 99% uptime guarantee

Pros & Cons

+ Easy to install
+ 100% free
+ Free WordPress installations
+ No adverts
+ Reliable and powered by Hostinger

– Limited disk space
– Uptime guarantee only 99%

3. InfinityFree.Net

InfinityFree.net is the new kid on the block. However, they’re spicing things up with almost unlimited features across the board. This is of course very refreshing considering they’re a FREE web hosting company.

InfinityFree.Net Dashboard

Their unlimited disk space and bandwidth is attracting customers thick and fast. If you’re looking for a place to host your personal website or portfolio and want to show off a lot of images or videos, InfinityFree could be a great bet.

All of InfinityFree’s websites come with a FREE SSL certificate. This gives your website visitors the reassurance they are using a secure connection. Some paid for web hosting companies don’t even offer this, so the wins keep on coming with InfinityFree.

Uptime & Performance

InfinityFree boasts a 99.9% uptime guarantee. This is very generous considering they are a free web host, so I was excited to see how my test website would fair.

After registering my account with them, I set up my website and started monitoring it using UptimeRobot.

To be honest, I’m a bit gobsmacked! Over the last 30 days, my test website with InfinityFree provided me with 100% uptime which is awesome!

My response time wasn’t bad either; all in all, I’m really pleased with their services, especially considering I had no downtime.

Features

  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Free subdomain name
  • Free SSL
  • Free DNS service
  • Free CloudFlare CDN
  • 10 email accounts
  • 400 MySQL databases

Pros & Cons

+ Generous unlimited features
+ 99.9% uptime guarantee
+ Plenty of free features
+ Free email accounts
+ Ideal for personal websites

– There are some restrictions applied before publishing a website
– Website will be suspended if usage terms are not met

4. x10Hosting

x10Hosting has been providing free web hosting for over a decade. Their complete hosting solution means you’ll get the latest technologies and best service, even though you’re not paying a penny.

x10Hosting Dashboard

If you’re looking for free web hosting that actually delivers decent performance, x10Hosting is well known for their speed and reliability. They offer a website builder, cPanel, and 1-click installs, so setting up your website will be a doddle.

For more experienced users, x10Hosting allows you to implement your own PHP scripts on a variety of third-party packages. You’ll have access to the latest versions of PHP, MySQL and CSS too.

Uptime & Performance

I wasn’t sure what to expect with x10Hosting’s uptime and performance. So far, I had been quite happy with the results from other free web hosts, so it was any man’s game.

What an absolute blinder! 100% uptime across 30 days with no downtime recorded at all. I’m so happy with this result!

What’s more, my website’s response time was out of this world. A total of 207.10ms is really good, and I’ll definitely be recommending x10Hosting to those looking for a decent free web host.

Features

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited disk space
  • 1-click installs
  • cPanel
  • MySQL database tools
  • Cloud SSD servers

Pros & Cons

+ Unlimited features
+ Latest cPanel
+ Fast SSD servers
+ Free WordPress installs

– No uptime guarantee
– No free SSL

5. AwardSpace.com

AwardSpace offers a free web hosting service without any adverts or intrusive pop-ups. You’ll get 1GB disk space and 5GB bandwidth, allowing you to create a FREE website in less than an hour.

One of the features I really love about AwardSpace is that you’ll get a FREE domain with them. As well as this, you’ll get an additional 3 subdomains, so basically up to 4 hosted websites.

After signing up to AwardSpace, you’ll quickly realise you can install scripts with the click of a button. This includes the likes of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. There’s 24/7 customer support too, so if you’re struggling with anything, give the team a shout.

Uptime & Performance

AwardSpace offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. It’s great that free web hosts offer a guarantee at all. I signed up for a free account and started monitoring my website’s uptime and response time.

During the last 30 days, my uptime was 100%! I was really surprised by this and wasn’t expecting such a smashing result.

However, their response time wasn’t as good. This averaged out at 1104.31ms and at one point spiked to 4000ms which is not acceptable.

Features

  • 1GB disk space
  • 5GB bandwidth
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 1-click installs
  • Free domain + 3 subdomains
  • MySQL database support
  • 1 free email account

Pros & Cons

+ Customer support on-hand when needed
+ Scalable options with premium plans
+ Free WordPress installs
+ No adverts
+ 99.9% uptime guarantee

– Limited disk space and bandwidth
– No guarantees on reliability or service

 

Free Web Hosting FAQs

What’s The Difference Between Free Web Hosting And Cheap Hosting?

First things first, the main difference between free web hosting and other types of web hosting, including VPS hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated hosting, and cheap hosting (yes, all of them), is that free web hosts will NOT give you a free domain name, unlike premium hosts.

Why? Because it costs the provider money to register a domain name and host it, they won’t give you everything for free.

The more likely story is that you can purchase your own domain name elsewhere and host your website for free with a free web hosting provider, or if you don’t want to purchase a domain name (or the host doesn’t let you use your domain name), they will give you a subdomain along the lines of yourwebsite.freewebhostname.com 

The same applies if you were to build your website for free; because they host your website for free, you’ll have to source your own domain name, which is fair enough I think!

When you compare what you get from a free web host to a cheap web host like Hostinger, it’s really a no brainer to fork out 99p per month in order to get a whole host of goodies you would of otherwise not received.

Are Free Web Hosts Actually Free?

Yes, they are free, but of course, they have to pay for their business, staff, and servers, so they make their money from you.

Here are some familiar ‘catches’ when you sign up for most free web hosts:

  • Upgrade: It will cost to upgrade your web hosting plan and the host may even charge you to transfer your own domain, unlike other web hosts
  • Adverts: Some free web hosts will place adverts on your website so they can make money – it looks unprofessional and can slow down your site
  • Unprofessional: Having a free subdomain or adverts over your website doesn’t look professional and won’t help your SEO, so it forces you to upgrade your site
  • Selling: Your free web host may sell your information to advertisers which is extremely annoying

Conclusion

If you want to start a new online business, host a powerful eCommerce store, or draw in a huge audience of readers to your latest blog, free web hosting simply won’t cut it.

However, if you’re tight on cash, then free web hosting could be your saving grace. Many web developers use free web hosting services to test out their new creations or show them to their clients, without having to sign up to a paid web hosting service each time.

Free web hosting certainly does have its benefits, but I wouldn’t personally recommend hosting your website with a free web host on a long-term basis.