The Joomla! Community Magazine™

Part 1 - Review 9 Free Web Hosting Services to Make Your Joomla! Site LIVE

Written by | Sunday, 30 September 2012 19:00 | Published in 2012 October
To build a good website is hard; to find a good website host isn't any easier. Seriously, a large number of web hosting services exist on the market today. Choosing a suitable hosting provider in general and a web hosting provider in particular should depend on what type of Joomla site you want to have: hobby, blog, or e-commerce site.

After researching some web hosting services, I have made two lists of two common web hosting types: free and premium, including 18 of the best web hosting providers for Joomla sites. In this article, we will review nine free web hosting services. To make sure they support Joomla 2.5, I tested and ran Joomla site 2.5 on these hosts. Everything is fine!

Why should you choose free web hosting services?

If you are short of cash and your website has very minimal and standard needs, a free host is a totally practical option. In spite of limited quality and quantity, there are still a number of great features that you can receive from a free host. With these features, it could allows you to self-manage and run your website. Free web hosting is also useful to you if you'd like to experiment with creating your site and learn about the ins and outs of the business without needing to spend anything at all.

Criteria

In my opinion, to make sure of choosing a suitable free host for your needs, you should pay attention to these features:

  • Disk space (refers to the amount of hard disk space the hosting company offers for your web pages) and Bandwidth limit (refers to the amount of data that website visitors can download from a website): as much as possible
  • FTP access support: it allows you to upload files, esp. Joomla's files from local host
  • File restrictions: some free hosts impose a maximum size on each of the files you upload
  • Advertisements: no forced ads is the best
  • User reviews: you should make it a point to check out what others have to say about the web host. You could refer to reviews of some popular free hosting in this website: Freehosting1

Feature comparison

Free web hosting services | Feature comparison

Detailed reviews

1. Xtreemhost

Free web hosting services | Xtreemhost's screenshot

Xstreemhost.com

Xtreemhost is a web hosting service that provides free and cheap unlimited hosting including PHP and MySQL support, domain name support, etc. without ads! It offers impressive features: disk space and monthly bandwidth with big size - 2.500 MB and 100 GB, 10 MySQL databases, 10 Add-on domains and parked domains, etc. Xtreemhost uses Vista panel for their control panel which is pretty easy to use. The speed of file uploading exceeded of my expectation. A few days ago I uploaded my Joomla site to this host via FTP access, which is fast and stable. I think this is one of the best web hosting providers for Joomla site that I know.

2. Frihost

Free web hosting services | Frihost's screenshot

Frihost.com

Frihost is a popular online community with nearly 100,000 members. This is also one of the best free web hosting services which you should consider using. Frihost offers the DirectAdmin control panel to manage your Joomla site. The speed is fast, the support is great and friendly. I just say "wow" with these features, they are hardly found in any other free web hosts. However, you must register and post on Frihost's forum, at least 5 posts and 10 points; then they will provide you with a free web hosting account.

3. 000webhost

Free web hosting services | 000webhost's screenshot

000webshot.com

000webshot.com is considered to be a reliable and feature rich web hosting without advertisements. There are features such as 5 add-on domains, 5 sub-domains, 5 email addresses and custom panel. I like this service because of the customer support. A few days after I set my site up on this host, they sent me an email asking me how my website is. I think it is the friendliness that surprised me. Despite having a free account, you are given good care. Additionally, the FTP connection and the process of uploading files are fast as well.

4. Byethost

Free web hosting services | Byethost's Screenshot

Byethost.com

Byet provides an ad-free, load-balanced free hostingservice including PHP, MySQL, FTP, Vistapanel and more. Byet also gives many choices of free sub domains including yoursite.byethost.com and other great names are available. The domain control panel is Vista panel which is specially designed by Byet. Adding your own domain registered at any domain registrar is just a few clicks and is hosted free on Byet accounts. Byet-host is one of the best Joomla web hosting providers, without many restrictions, I have used it to create free sub-domains to host my files, and so far there are no problems.

5. Podserver

Free web hosting services | Podserver's screenshot

Podserver.info

Podserver is the first free web hosting service I tried using. It provides six Add-on domains, six parked domains, and six sub-domains, full access to FTP, PHP, Apache and Control Panel (Vista Panel). It also allows .htaccess access. There are no pop-ups or flashy image banners; only non-intrusive ads that will be placed on your site. In my opinion, however, this website is in the medium standard in comparison with other six web hosts. The speed of uploading data via FTP access is quite slow. I spent nearly a whole night uploading over 4000 files of the Joomla site.

6. Freehostia

Free web hosting services | Freehostia's screenshot

Freehostia.com

Freehostia is another free hosting service without banners and ads, offering a generous, feature-rich free hosting plan, which even allows you to host multiple websites. The features include a fantastic installer, free POP3 email accounts and much more. They also have CPU limit per account but they inform you about this and they encourage you to check the CPU stats regularly. This hosting package allows you to upload and extract zip files directly via file manager. So, I uploaded and installed my Joomla site in a very short time.

7. Zymic

Free web hosting services | Zymic's Screenshot

Zymic.com

With the amount of disk space and bandwidth it provides, I think Zymic impresses many people. It offers Zymic Hosting Control Panel which presents you with an easy-to-use menu system. Besides this, Zymic doesn't put any ads or banners on your nice website and also allows you to put your own ads there (e.g. Google Adsense). Customer support is excellent, either through the chat portal on the website or via the forums. The registration is very clear, and the setup of a website is fairly simple. However, FTP access speed is really slow. It took me hours to upload my Joomla site, and sometimes it even failed.

8. UHostFull

Free web hosting services | Uhostfull's screenshot

Uhostfull.com

UHostFull is a free web hosting provider that provides free unlimited web space with unlimited traffic. PHP/CGI programming is supported. UHostFull also provides POP3 email accounts. UHostFull does not force any advertisement onto the user pages. The key feature of this package is cPanel for their control panel. Besides uploading Joomla files via FTP access, you can also use a script installer or web application installer to easily and quickly install the latest version of Joomla via the cPanel.

9. BeeSimple

Free web hosting services | BeeSimple's screenshot

Beesimple.co.uk

Last but not least, BeeSimple is another good free web hosting without advertisements. BeeSimple.co.uk provides every user with PHP and MySQL. They also provide you with domain support, an automatic script installer, a WYSIWYG SiteBuilder, direct FTP access and much, much more. They offer you VistaPanel as the control panel to manage website. Uploading time via FTP access is also pretty fast, about 1 hour for the 4000+ files of Joomla site. I don't think that's too bad.

To be continued...

I've just done my first list of free web hosting services for Joomla sites. What do you think about these nine free web hosting services? Just let us know by leaving your comments below this post. If you are not satisfied, don't miss the next article about premium hosts. Thank you!

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Tuan Bui

Tuan Bui

Tuan is the Joomla Fan lover at www.JoomlaShine.com. In spare time he blogs about Online Marketing from the concept to concrete case studies. Exploring his blog posts you will see truly the meaning of the "Quality Content".

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