What are "free webspace and free web hosting providers"?
These are online web hosting companies who offer to host your website on their web server at no cost to you (you pay no money). The free webpage hosting servers usually have several drawbacks over paid hosting servers (see next question), but they are especially great for beginner webmasters (newbies) to learn, for those who can't afford paid web hosting, for developing and testing PHP scripts in different webhosting server settings, or possibly even for "doorway pages" to your other web sites (always check the free web space provider's Terms of Service [TOS] first).
Why are these website hosting services free?
Most of these "free" services make profit from hosting your website, either by:
(1) placing banner ads on your free webpages,
(2) placing banner ads on the administration pages which you use to upload files and other website maintenance, or
(3) by sending you email from advertisers. This is to your benefit in a way, since if they make money, they will probably continue to offer the "free" webspace. The more traffic your website gets, the more their banners are viewed, and the more money they make.
(4) Some websites offer free hosting in hopes visitors to your website will visit the homepage of the URL you are given.
(5) Many recent free web page hosting sites require forum posting, which gives their website free content.
(6) Several commercial hosting services offer free webhosting in hopes you will want to upgrade to their paid hosting. These are often unreliable, as they usually end up ceasing their free service.
(7) A few free web site hosts are run as hobbies by the owner, and are the least reliable.
(8) There are several services, such as Community Architect, which allow websites to offer cobranded free webhosting at no charge to the cohost (cobranded host). These are not recommended, as your website will then depend on at least two services continuing their free service.
What are the best free website providers?
That depends a lot on the webhosting needs of your free web site (do you need CGI, PHP, ASP, SSI, unlimited bandwidth, domain hosting, FrontPage server extensions, large file sizes, FTP upload, ecommerce with SSL, free cpanel hosting, etc.). If you serious about having a website, buying your own domain name is recommended. Look for a free web hosting service which has been in business a long time, and is making profit. See our web page listing free web hosting ratings (based on user reviews and voting), and our list of best free web hosts.
How do I search for free web hosts which meet my needs?
If you know exactly what services you need, the best method is the advanced free web hosting search - choose only the features you need, click on the "search" button, and the free web space hosts meeting those requirements are returned. The simple search is best if you are looking for a particular free website provider, or a feature not listed in the advanced search. You can also browse the full list of unique free webspace providers. If web hosting features aren't as important as the URL name you will use, also check out the cobranded hosts, such as Community Architect, which aren't listed in the searchable database using the default settings. There is a separate section for a list of free image hosting and free file hosting service providers.
Where do I find what these webhosting words and terms mean?
See our webhosting terms and definitions page.
How do I add new free hosting services to this website?
Just go to our contact page and submit the URL, and preferably as much info as possible about it. We always double-check the information, but it makes the process faster.