A server is nothing but a powerful computer connected to the internet. Unless a firewall is blocking access to port 80 or 443, the website hosted on the server will be available on the web. You can either reach or open the application by entering the IP address followed by the colon sign and port number or a domain name.
The servers are owned by hosting companies. These companies may charge you a fee on a monthly or yearly basis. They may also have a free plan which you can use for a limited time or for up to a year. Below, we’ve shared the list of best hosting companies that are offering free hosting to the users under their free tier program:
AWS (Amazon Web Services)
Amazon’s cloud platform AWS has a free tier program that you can use for a year. The tier has some restrictions but it gives you access to several features. If you want to learn AWS or want to host a small site, you should create the Amazon AWS account. Some of the features of the Amazon Web Services free tier are as follows:
- 750 hours of an EC2 instance.
- 5GB S3 cloud storage.
- 25 GB Amazon DynamoDB, etc.
Google also has a free tier program wherein you can host your website and use other services that are a part of Google Cloud for free. The company offers a free $300 credit to the users. You must use the allocated credit within 365 days.
Microsoft lets you create virtual machines and use one/all of its 12 AI technology powered services free for 12 months. It credits your Microsoft Azure account with $200. Make sure you don’t spend your full $200 credit in a month.
Your node will have 512 megabytes of RAM and it will shut down when it is inactive for half an hour. Heroku lets you use custom domains. Verified users enjoy 1000 dyno hours per month. Unverified users are eligible to use the Heroku’s cloud service for 500 dyno hours.
Alibaba Cloud is one of the competitors of AWS, Google Cloud, etc. It credits your account with $450. You must use the credited amount on one or all 17 services eligible for the free accounts. The credit will expire after 2 months (60 days) i.e. it is valid for 2 months only.
Bitnami lets you launch a small or microsite instance for free. The instance is powered by AWS and you can install and use popular applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Moodle, etc until you don’t exceed AWS’s free tier limit.
Linode, Digitalocean, Vultr
Linode, Vultr or DigitalOcean don’t have a yearly free tier but you can use their service for a couple of months for free. To do so, you must use a free credit coupon code ($10, $20 or even $50) while signing up.
The cloud hosting companies mentioned above provide a one-click app installer tool. They let users monitor and control their services with a GUI. The companies also support several popular programming languages, database servers, etc.
Free blog hosting platforms
If you want to launch a personal blog or site without spending a penny, you should use one of the following two services:
WordPress: WordPress offers 10000+ themes/plugins. It lets you customize the site.
Blogger: Blogger is a blogging software owned by Google. It is an alternative to WordPress. Blogger gives users access to limited themes. It doesn’t support plugins.
Reasons to avoid .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com subdomains:
Although WordPress and Blogger allow you to start a free blog, if your site gets popular and you plan to switch to a new domain, you might have to configure redirects. If the redirect correctly, your blog will face major SEO issues. The search engine traffic will plummet and months/years of your hard work will go in vain.
Not free but dirt cheap
The following shared hosting companies don’t have free plans but they’ve dirt cheap plans:
Bluehost is the world’s leading shared hosting service provider. It hosts over 1.9 million websites and has one of the best shared hosting plans in the industry. Bluehost also offers a free domain. For more info, go through the Bluehost review we’ve shared on this site. Also read, which Bluehost plan is best?
Hostgator is a great alternative to Bluehost. It has plans priced in the same range as that of BG. Hostgator Baby plan is the best plan for you if you’ll be launching your first site. If you want to launch many sites or want to introduce more sites in the future, the Hostgator Business plan is great for you.
Conclusion: If you want to host your application or website for free, use Google Cloud, AWS, Linode, Vultr, DigitalOean, Heroku. These 6 companies that allow users to host their web applications or sites for free.