HelioHost is a one-of-a-kind service dedicated to providing free (yes free!) hosting services to people all over the world. It is a non-profit organisation and the team behind HelioHost describe themselves as a “community of hobbyists”.
Intrigued by the concept of a hosting community, we were keen to speak with the people who made it happen. HelioHost CEO, Ben, was kind enough to answer some of our questions regarding the organisation.
Where Did HelioHost Begin?
HelioHost was established in March 2005 by Ashoat Tevosyan. Interestingly, he began the company as a curious teenager, eager to explore (and put his own stamp on) the online world of forums and hosting. Ashoat gave a statement in relation to HelioHost’s inception; “So the truth is that I initially started HelioHost just to get more people on HelioNet (the forums). When I was 14 I spent much of my time online on forums, and little excited me as much as starting and growing my own. At the time, “post for host” was a common model, and a cPanel “reseller” account barely cost more than a basic cPanel account.
Over time, as HelioHost grew, it became the bigger focus for me. It was really exciting as a teenager to be maintaining a service that was so popular. I learned a lot just trying to make cPanel scale to the amount of users we had. By that point, most of my time spent on HelioNet was tech support for HelioHost”.
Are There Any Hidden Costs?
No! As a registered charity, HelioHost is completely free for all to use. If you run into any problems or need support, their active community of volunteers is there to help in the forums, in their chat room, and even via text message. Their mission is not to sell to you. On the contrary, it is to provide an open source hosting service for everyone who wants it!
HelioHost own their own hardware that’s located in a datacentre. But of course, the service is not free to run. Therefore, the team openly welcome all donations to support the running of the organisation.
Ben had this to say regarding HelioHost’s costs; “HelioHost is a 501c3 non-profit operated by volunteers. As an official charity, we are exempt from paying taxes. Since we’re operated by volunteers, we don’t have to pay wages. We also own all of our own hardware, which means we don’t have to pay monthly for our servers like most hosting providers do. This all allows us to keep costs low, while still providing great features”.
Ben continued “Our competitors can’t even come close to operating at such a low budget. Lots of hosting providers offer various trials for free, but most of them are thinly veiled schemes to force you to become a paid user. Most of the time their free trials are so locked down and lack so many features that they aren’t actually usable to host a site. We don’t play those types of games to force people to upgrade. We have users that have been receiving free hosting from us continuously since 2007, and we’ve never pressured them to upgrade to a paid hosting plan”.
This concept and the attitude of those involved in HelioHost is admirable to say the least.
HelioHost Scripting Languages
HelioHost works with an array of scripting languages, making it a diverse choice for developers. Here is a list of just some of the scripting languages available through the hosting service:
These languages enable users to create powerful and professional websites and applications.
HelioHost really does have everything you need and more. It contains a myriad of features, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. Additionally, the cPanel feature enables users to access and control their website simply, and under one “roof”.
The hosting team also allows users to create their own professional email addresses and connect to their emails using the likes of webmail.
And there’s more still. Those who use HelioHost can enjoy unlimited bandwidth, meaning they never have to worry about having too much site traffic! This feature is brilliant, and for many people it will take a lot of the stress out of the hosting process.
HelioHost Have Some Big Plans
The team behind HelioHost continuously work hard to maintain and develop their services. They have some definitive goals that will improve user experience further still. Ben had this to say; “Our goal is to keep on providing free hosting as we always have, while expanding and offering new services as well. One of the things that we’ve always prided ourselves on is offering a wide range of technologies that some paid hosting don’t even offer. We recently added Node.js support, and our goal is to keep up on the latest web hosting trends like this. We also recently started selling affordable VPS subscriptions”.
HelioHost is fantastic opportunity for individuals and businesses to host professional-grade applications and websites, free-of-cost. They even provide dedicated free support to those who need it, all without any pressure to upgrade to a paid service. The team have worked hard to build a solid reputation as an organisation that listens to their users.
We think this service is well-worth considering, particularly for those wanting to keep their business costs down. We wish HelioHost very good luck for the future and look forward to seeing further developments.