I have spent the past several months registering and evaluating several web hosts and comparing them to premium service providers and seeing how they stack up. Here are my findings:
Heliohost – In terms of features available, heliohost is the best option I found. In addition to all of the typical features available in many free hosting plans such as cPanel, Apache, PHP, etc. This one also offers a few hard to find ones, including asp.net, ruby on rails, Java/JSP, SSL, remote MySQL and advanced DNS manager. As an option, you can opt to purchase a dedicated IPv4 at cost ($12/yr). However, they have plans to offer IPv6 addresses for free once cPanel supports it in their software.
This is a big deal, because one of the problems with free webhosts/shared IP addresses is that spammers register for free accounts and start to spam sites in order to boost their rankings. This can have the negative impact of making your site “guilty by association”. One potential drawback to this host is that there is a 500mb space limitation, although you can always get past that by posting your images and/or large files elsewhere.
Youhosting – If you are a developer who is also interested in hosting your clients’ websites, this is the best option that offers reseller hosting with the ability to offer free accounts with features that you choose. You’re given a very generous 10GB of space with 100GB bandwidth. There is also the option to have unlimited resources if you decided to become a regular contributor on their forums.
One potential drawback might be that there is a 8mb file size limit. If you’re using a CMS like wordpress for example and want to install a theme larger than that, you’ll have to extract it on your computer first, transfer over FTP and then manually install in order to get past that restriction.
Serversfree – This host stands out because they officially support multimedia files. These files are typically resource intensive and many hosting companies will suspend your account if your website starts to consume too much traffic and system resources. They start you off with 10GB of space and 100GB of bandwidth. There is a referral program available where you can also upgrade to their premium service for free.
Myownfreehost – If you would like to use and offer free domain registrations such as .tk and .cc, this is an alternative to using youhosting’s reseller program which does not allow the use of these domains.
- x10hosting – This host also allows .tk registrations and has a few premium features available such as remote mysql, advanced dns editor, and postgreSQL.
So, after all that painstaking research, it is probably worth noting that I ended up not sticking with any of these. I decided to purchase a reseller hosting account that has all of the features I want with none of the drawbacks.