Selecting a hosting provider is probably the very first step to take when you choose to start a website. A web host is like a space on the internet which you take on rent in order to open your web store or blog.
So, basically, when a user on the internet types your domain name in order to view your website, their computer would make a connection to your hosting server and fetch your website (to be displayed in the user’s browser).
Well, that’s a long story and I am not here to explain to you the entire process of website creation. I am here to tell you about a hosting provider I recently came across.
Can you ever imagine having a free hosting service which is equipped with almost all the desired features? It’s like a dream, right? That’s exactly what we felt when we heard of 000webhost.com. Now guess what? It has been giving this free service for the last 14 years!
Coming from the proud owner of Hostinger, this indeed is a miracle. Powering over millions of sites, their service has definitely raised the bar high.
You might wonder, how are they packing in all the hosting features free of cost?
In their own words,
Our free web hosting platform first saw the light of day in 2007. It was made possible by our paid hosting services and amazing community. We cover the maintenance and keep the wheel turning thanks to users who upgrade when they need more room for growth.
While deciding on the right hosting service provider, you are required to consider a number of parameters and these are the exact points we would explore for deciding the robustness of 000webhost.
What do we expect from a hosting provider?
Easy upgrade to paid versions
Once you are convinced with 000webhost, then you can easily upgrade to its premium versions. Moreover, when compared with other existing hosting options, their paid versions are way cheaper. Upgrading to the premium version would let you grab hold of a whole set of awesome features like unlimited bandwidth, disk space, domains etc. Further, the premium server promises no downtime. The premium version comes in two variants: The Silver Hosting Plan which would cost you $8.84 per month and The Business-Gold Hosting plan which would cost you $11.99 per month. The choice of the premium version would depend on your requirements.
Easy migration to and from
Easy migration from one host to another is one of the most desired features, and 000webhost encourages it actively. One of the most common CMS, WordPress, has plenty of in-built tools to ease your migration from one hosting service to another. But, if you are not a WordPress user, the tech support of 000webhost would guide you in your migration process.
Safety and Security
000webhost promises to take a ‘security first’ approach. The free version provides password protected directories in cPanel, Hotlink Protection, Curl and Curl SSL.
Though that might not be enough to secure your website, for a free hosting provider, 000webhost is indeed a lot safer.
Further, premium version comes with Domain Privacy. So, when you feel, your website needs some more security measures, you always have the option to upgrade.
But, for a website which is just at its beginning days, the free version’s protection should be enough.
Bandwidth and Disk Space
With a 1000 MB Disk Space and 10000 MB Bandwidth and an allowance of 2 websites, you can pretty much manage a simple website with not too many heavy images.
Flexibility & Ease of use
Unlike a number of free hosting providers, they do not force their ads on your site and you get to add Google AdSense to display your own adds.
With the use of an easy website builder, the creation of a website is made much simpler, especially for people having limited technical knowledge. The website editor is as simple as selecting a template, positioning content, buttons etc. The website editor employs a simple ‘drag & drop’ feature to make your job easier. It’s even easier to create responsive websites, thus, reducing your extra effort to make your website mobile friendly.
But, of course, users with some knowledge on web designing would find the website building process lot simpler and flexible to bring out their preferred design.
When you opt for a free software, there’s always an underlying fear of not receiving any tech support. And that’s what most of the free software projects. But, fortunately, 000webhosting has a way of addressing the issues of their free users too. They have an active forum where users can post their queries and can get them answered.
And for premium version users, they have records of providing their best customer support. They are not known to give up until their customer has been satisfied with the solution provided by them.
Their active support team is easier to get in touch with. And not to forget that they have an active live chat too.
The free account provided by them can store up to 5 email addresses. The email address can then be used to set up for either webmail, POP3 or forwarding.
Further, sending out emails automatically is possible with a PHP script.
You would get 2 MySQL Databases with the free version. The databases would not have any size limitations.
Framework Support and Easy Install
000webhost provides 1-click WordPress installation. With just a few more setups, you would be ready with a full-fledged WordPress website.
Thus, creating a website with the top CRM is easily possible with this hosting provider.
Some amount of automation is always desired in any software we use. Because let’s accept it, some tasks are better done when taken care by a chunk of code.
Now, automation is an advanced feature and can rarely be found in any free version. Though it’s through the premium versions that you get to see the automation in full swing, 000webhost free version too has packed in some amount of automation. For example, auto-responding to emails, and the use of PHP scripts for automatically sending emails.
Cron Job support is there too, though advanced Cron Job support is available only in the free versions.
This is yet another important aspect to consider while choosing a web hosting provider because once your website is live, you would want users from all over the world who speaks different languages. Fortunately, 000webhost has the multi-language support.
They would allow an automatic backup of all the files once a month or even a scheduled backup. Moreover, they allow managing your backups through cPanel.
Up to date
The free version doesn’t support an updated version of PHP. It runs on PHP 5.2, for which you might have to use an older version of the CRM, and other plugins you are going to need for your site.
000webhost guarantees 99% uptime with 1 hour of sleep per day whereas the premium versions promise to sleep never.
Yes, they can buy you a free domain name.
Comparing with its premium versions
At one point when you consider upgrading, the reasons listed below might make your decision easier:
- The premium version would enable you to easily get in touch with the service providers. When you purchase the plugin, you have a recognition in their database. When you use a free version, there’s a chance that while employing some security measures, your site got mistakenly detected as a harmful one and they had to remove you. Such situations would never happen in the case of a premium user because as a premium user you are entitled to the legal contract.
- It goes without saying that paid hosting is more reliable. Thousands of users are simultaneously utilizing the resources of the free servers, thus, the message of ‘Server is busy’ or ‘Server outage’ is very common. Such unfortunate events can make you lose a huge number of sales. Thus, in order to make doubly sure of no such situations to occur, you can upgrade your plan.
- As previously mentioned, premium versions are more secure. Since, they never allow more than 300 accounts to share the same server, employing and getting results with the advanced security measures becomes much simpler. Whereas a single server is shared by thousands of accounts is always a risk. Moreover, the paid version is always updated with the latest PHP releases.
- Of course, paid ones are much faster. The paid hosting servers utilize 100mbps connecting lines whereas the free server uses 10mbps lines. Further, the presence of dual quad-core processors in the paid servers has its own advantages.
- There are absolutely no limits in paid hosting servers. No MySQL limits, no bandwidth limit, no PHP resource limit.
Here’s a detailed comparison to give you a clearer picture –
For more information on the difference, visit this page.
After an in-depth analysis of 000webhost and going through the customer’s reviews, we can say that if you are a newbie and would like to start a website, you might be unsure of the result. And you most probably are skeptical about spending money on it. Then this would definitely be the right place to start. Especially, if you plan to start a blogging site or a small online store.
So, readers, what are you waiting for? Start your website today at free of cost!
And of course, as you expand, you can always upgrade!