Personal websites or blogs do not require much space and hence there are many hosting providers who have a free plan that you can use. However, free plans come with plenty of restrictions such as low bandwidth, restriction on number of pages you can create and lack of proper support system. However, there are some web hosting sites that are best even with the restrictions. Here is a list of top 5 best free personal web hosting sites (with reviews) based on their features. I also took into account, their popularity in compiling the list.
Free personal web hosting
I would place Weebly at first position even though it has its own limitations. The reasons for placing it at position first is that it offers you some real good features. I suppose it has the best website builder that is easier to use compared to website builders of other hosting providers. The elements are self-explanatory and all you have to do is to drag, drop them to the webpages and edit them according to your needs. It has provisions for page title and SEO differently. You can also have a blog along with the static pages. The blog comes with rich text editor that is also easy to use. You can have a custom domain name attached to your website at no extra cost (of course, you will have to buy the domain name separately or via Weebly) or you can simply use a subdomain of Weebly. There are some restrictions too. The most visible one would be the footer that appears on published websites which gives away that you built the website at Weebly. You do not have FTP access and the website editor won’t let you upload audio or video but you can embed them (using Soundcloud and YouTube) in the free account.
- Easy to use Website Builder
- Drag and Drop Interface
- No limit on pages/websites
- Ability to add your custom domain name without paying anything extra (you will have to buy the domain name on own)
- Blog in addition to static pages
- Plenty of readymade templates to use that can be customized if you know a little bit of coding
- Fast access to Help and Support
- Published websites show footer ad that you cannot remove unless you go paid.
- No FTP.
WIX is also a website builder that does not provide you with FTP. The ease of using website builder is a little low than compared to Weebly. The website builder supports drag, drop and customize. There are hundreds of templates to choose from. If you know a little coding, you can customize the templates for yourself or you can create a template from scratch and upload it to Wix for personal use as well as for use by others. Among the drawbacks is again the advertisement showing you published the site using WIX. The other drawback is that you have to be with a paid plan to use your own custom domain. The free one will not show any option to add your custom domain as far as I know (I tried to check it and could not find any option there). Since it is based on website building software, you do not have access to FTP, meaning you have to create and edit the site using website building software.
- Plenty of templates to choose from
- Easy customization of templates if you know coding
- Fast help and support
- SEO optimization options available
- Drag and drop website builder lets people without any knowledge of website coding to build their own websites
- No FTP support
- Advertisement on published website saying the site is powered by WIX
- No custom domain for free accounts.
Tip: This post lists some free image hosting sites.
Again, another website based on website builder rather than being based on FTP. This helps people with little to no experience in website building to build professional looking websites easily. There are plenty of templates and each template is customizable to some extent. Plenty of tutorials on building websites and expert help on fingertips. Comes with a mobile editor as well that automatically creates a mobile version of your website. On the downside, Jimdo also shows ads on published websites. No FTP support, meaning you have to stick to website builder. Also, for using a custom domain, you will have to go for a paid plan.
- Easy to use website builder that supports drag and drop
- Plenty of ready to use templates for websites, including e-commerce type sites
- Easy to understand tutorials to get you started
- Help available easily
- No custom domain for free accounts
- Premium help available only to paid accounts
- No FTP
- Advertisements on published websites.
Webs is yet another browser-based website builder that has both free and paid plans for people with no knowledge of coding. The website builder is easy to use and supports drag and drop of elements. You just drag an element like “text” to the building area and start typing your text. There is a huge collection of templates as well as visuals that you can use with your templates. SEO integration is inbuilt so you can make use of SEO Booster. The website builder also has social media integration. In fact, all of the above listed free, personal, web hosting services provide you with free social media integration. You can customize the templates if you know a little bit of coding. You can attach a domain name only if you go paid. You can always use a sub-domain of webs for use with your personal website if you do not wish to pay for anything.
- Webs has a website builder that is easy to understand and use
- Plenty of templates available for different types of websites
- SEO booster
- Automatic mobile site generator
- Good Help and Support
- No custom domain for free accounts; you have to use a subdomain of webs
- No FTP
- Ads on published websites.
You might be surprised that I added Blogger to the list of best free personal web hosting providers. Truth is, with the features available at Blogger, you can build a full-fledged website without having to learn coding. There are not many templates but you can customize each template using a graphical user interface. You get to add a blog (which is primary) in addition to static pages. You can add your own custom domain without having to pay any fee except for the domain’s cost. Help is easily available through documents and forums They do not have too many templates. You might need to know coding a bit to customize static pages or you might one of the several tutorials to add and remove features from the website. FTP is not available. You have a rich text editor that supports many languages. Plenty of plugins are available all over the Internet to add special effects to your website created with Blogger.
- Easy to use text editor
- Ability to use custom templates if you have knowledge of web coding
- Blog in addition to static pages
- Use custom domain without having to go paid; in fact, there is no paid version
- Graphical user interface for customization of webpages and blog elements so no coding skills required
- Scores of plugins available to enhance the look, layout and functioning of your website
- Neither any limits on number of pages nor in terms of bandwidth etc.
- Automatically creates mobile-friendly version of your website and keeps it updated.
- No website builder so you will have to understand how it works for creating the website; there is a step by step wizard but it is not enough for advanced operations.
- Few readymade templates
- No FTP
- Takes a little time for users to get acquainted with the interface
The above is my list with reviews of best free personal web hosting providers. Please share your thoughts.
WordPress could have replaced Blogger if the former did not charge for linking the sites to custom domain. There is a yearly fee in addition to the domain charges so I preferred Blogger over WordPress.
Some of you may want to have a look at our practical & useful Blogging tips for bloggers.
- Tags: Blogging