Web hosts

This is a nonexhaustive list of web hosts, listed in alphabetical order. The target audience here is hobbyist website owners, so I'll only include information about free and cheap plans for services that have multiple pricing tiers. I'll do my best to include up-to-date nonpromotional monthly pricing (not the enticing ludicrously cheap starter prices you might see from some hosts. Don't believe those). Pricing is in USD unless otherwise noted.

This isn't a list of hosts I recommend. I haven't used most of them, and I've included hosts I have negative opinions on so you can make an informed decision. If you've used one of the services here (or something that's not on the list) and want to submit your input, drop me a line and I can list it here. If you see a host you're curious about, I'm also happy to look into it and let you know what I think!

Index

000Webhost

I'm including this strictly to tell you not to use 000Webhost. Websites hosted with them are notoriously unreliable, the control panel is buggy, they include watermarks on websites now... it's bad. Don't use it. There are so many other options. Keep scrolling.

AwardSpace

Features
Free
  • Pricing - Free
  • Websites - 1
  • Storage - 1GB
  • Bandwidth - 5GB
  • Subdomains - 3
  • SQL Databases - 5
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (multiple options for top-level domain), or you can buy/use your own, no SSI support
Basic
  • Pricing - $4.99 (billed monthly or yearly)
  • Websites - 2
  • Storage - Unmetered
  • Bandwidth - Unmetered
  • Subdomains - 5
  • SQL Databases - 2
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - 30 day refund guarantee, no SSH

AwardSpace offers free hosting in addition to paid plans. The free plan is decent, although it lacks SSI support. If you want to exclusively use PHP, the lack of SSI might not be a problem. The paid plans are fairly affordable - I included the most basic one here, and it'll be more than sufficient for some people. The next plans up charge $6.65 and $9.99 per month. The paid plans do have SSI support.

Byethost

Features
Free
  • Pricing - Free
  • Websites - 6
  • Storage - 1GB
  • Bandwidth - 50GB
  • Subdomains - 5
  • SQL Databases - 5
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (multiple options for top-level domain), or you can buy/use your own, 10MB maximum file size
Super premium
  • Pricing - $4.99 (month)/$3.99 (year)
  • Websites - 21
  • Storage - Unmetered
  • Bandwidth - 250GB
  • Subdomains - 20
  • SQL Databases - 20
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Free 1 year domain registration (extensions very limited with monthly billing), no SSH

Byethost is a venerable player in the free hosting space. I knew people who used it when I had my first website, and I haven't heard any major complaints about it. It's free, so you don't have anything to lose by trying it out! They also offer paid hosting. In addition to the plans listed here, there's an unlimited plan that charges $7.99 a month ($6.99 if you bill annually).

Dreamhost

Features
Shared starter
  • Pricing - $7.99 (month)/$6.99 (year)/$5.99 (3 year)
  • Websites - 1
  • Storage - 50GB
  • Bandwidth - Unmetered
  • Subdomains - 5
  • SQL Databases - 6
  • Email? - Sold separately
  • Other - Free 1 year domain registration included with 1/3 year plan, 97 day refund guarantee
Shared unlimited
  • Pricing - $13.99 (month)/$12.99 (year)/$10.99 (3 year)
  • Websites - Unlimited
  • Storage - Unmetered
  • Bandwidth - Unmetered
  • Subdomains - Unlimited
  • SQL Databases - Unlimited
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Free 1 year domain registration included with 1/3 year plan, 97 day refund guarantee

Dreamhost is very commonly used by both hobbyist and professional websites. I've heard nothing but good things about it. The pricing is pretty affordable for what it gives you, but it gives you a lot, so some people might not have the need for that much stuff.

FC2

Features
Free
  • Pricing - Free
  • Websites - 1
  • Storage - 1GB
  • Bandwidth - ?
  • Subdomains - N/A
  • SQL Databases - N/A
  • Email? - No
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (.web.fc2.com), 1MB filesize limit, static HTML only, no SSI

FC2 is a Japanese free web hosting service that is marketed towards beginners. As a result, it's not particularly feature-dense and only supports static HTML. It's a good starter option, but mid-level hobbyists will feel extremely limited by it.

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is really expensive compared to similar plans from other services, so I don't recommend using it. I'm including it here because they run a lot of ads, and you may have seen them at some point. (Their domains are also on the expensive side, so I don't recommend using them as a domain registrar either.)

Infinity Free

Features Free
  • Pricing - Free
  • Websites - 1
  • Storage - 5GB
  • Bandwidth - Unmetered
  • Subdomains - Unlimited
  • SQL Databases - 400
  • Email? - No
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain, or bring your own domain

Infinity Free offers free PHP/SQL hosting. I haven't used or heard anything about it, but you get a pretty killer deal for free, so it's worth trying out (particularly for people who are curious about dipping their toe into PHP). The free plan is sustained through ads on your control panel, but there aren't any ads on the websites they host.

Leprd

Features
Torrent
  • Pricing - Free
  • Websites - 1
  • Storage - 1GB
  • Bandwidth - 10GB
  • Subdomains - N/A
  • SQL Databases - Unlimited
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (multiple options for top-level domain), limited availability
Revolutionary
  • Pricing - Free
  • Websites - 11
  • Storage - 5GB
  • Bandwidth - 50GB
  • Subdomains - Unlimited
  • SQL Databases - Unlimited
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Limited availability

Leprd is a hobbyist web hosting service owned by Lysianthus, another web hobbyist. All of its plans are free! The tradeoff is that it strictly enforces its hobby/personal site-only policy and only takes a limited number of websites.

Namecheap

Features
Stellar
  • Pricing - $4.48 (month)/$3.74 (year)/$3.50 (2 year)
  • Websites - 3
  • Storage - 20GB
  • Bandwidth - Unmetered
  • Subdomains - 30
  • SQL Databases - 50
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Free 1 year domain registration included with 1/2 year plan, EU datacenter +$1/month
Stellar Plus
  • Pricing - $6.48 (month)/$5.74 (year)/$4.95 (2 year)
  • Websites - Unlimited
  • Storage - Unmetered
  • Bandwidth - Unmetered
  • Subdomains - Unlimited
  • SQL Databases - Unlimited
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Free 1 year domain registration included with 1/2 year plan, EU datacenter +$1/month

Namecheap offers hosting in addition to domains. It's very affordable, even if you decide to pay monthly, which is rare (but I would recommend switching to a yearly plan ASAP for the bulk discount if you like it).

Nearly Free Speech

Features
Non-production
  • Pricing - Base $0.01/day, $0.01/44.64 RAU
  • Websites - 1
  • Storage - $1/GB-month
  • Bandwidth - Base 1 GB/day
  • Subdomains - Must be hosted as separate websites
  • SQL Databases - First process free, then $0.01/day; $1/GB-month
  • Email? - Fowarding only, $0.03/domain
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (.nfshost.com) or bring your own, minimal web interface, only for noncommercial use, must make up half or less of your websites
Production
  • Pricing - Base $0.05/day, $0.01/44.64 RAU
  • Websites - 1
  • Storage - $1/GB-month
  • Bandwidth - Base 10 GB/day
  • Subdomains - Must be hosted as separate websites
  • SQL Databases - First process free, then $0.01/day; $1/GB-month
  • Email? - Forwarding only, $0.03/domain
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (.nfshost.com) or bring your own, minimal web interface

Nearly Free Speech is an affordable option for small websites because of its unique pricing structure - you pay only for what you use. This is accomplished by depositing money into your account, which the service takes from as you use resources. You need to monitor your account to keep your website online, but the upside is that you can stop paying without wasting much (if any) money if you decide you're done with it. Something to keep in mind is that the prices listed are per website, which includes subdomains, so NFS isn't for you if you like to have a bazillion websites. They also only offer email forwarding, so you can't use it to send emails from your domain.

NFS has a web interface with a few functions, but the vast majority of operations need to be done in the command line; if you're not comfortable with the command line or willing to learn, you should look elsewhere.

Neocities

Features
Basic
  • Pricing - Free
  • Websites - 1
  • Storage - 1GB
  • Bandwidth - 200GB
  • Subdomains - N/A
  • SQL Databases - N/A
  • Email? - No
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (.neocities.org), only supports static HTML, no backend, no SSI
Supporter
  • Pricing - $4.99
  • Websites - Unlimited
  • Storage - 50GB
  • Bandwidth - 3000GB
  • Subdomains - N/A
  • SQL Databases - N/A
  • Email? - No
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (.neocities.org) or bring your own, only supports static HTML, no backend, no SSI

Neocities is a free web host (with a paid option) marketed towards beginners. It only supports static HTML. Your options for managing your website are a web-based file manager and a command line interface (not SSH). It's a good starter option, but it's incredibly limiting for even mid-level hobbyists. Don't upgrade to the paid plan — $5 is way too much money to pay for how few features there are. I wrote more extensively about my thoughts on Neocities as a whole in a blog post.

A unique (and polarizing) feature is the social networking interface, which allows you to follow and comment on other websites. You can turn this feature off if you don't want to use it.

Netlify

Features Starter
  • Pricing - Free
  • Websites - 500
  • Storage - Unmetered
  • Bandwidth - 100GB
  • Subdomains - Count towards 500 websites
  • SQL Databases - N/A
  • Email? - No
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (.netlify.com) or bring your own, only supports static HTML, no SSI

Netlify is a web app host that can also be used for static websites. It has paid options, but its free tier is significantly more than enough for personal projects. Git is supported, but you can also upload files manually. (Thank you Krish for the information!)

Teacake

Features
Bubble
  • Pricing - Free
  • Websites - 1
  • Storage - 500MB
  • Bandwidth - 5GB
  • Subdomains - N/A
  • SQL Databases - 1
  • Email? - 1 forwarded address
  • Other - Hosted as a .teacake.org subdomain, no cPanel, contact owner to sign up
Matcha
  • Pricing - $3 (6 month)/$2.83 (year)
  • Websites - Unlimited
  • Storage - 5GB
  • Bandwidth - 30GB
  • Subdomains - Unlimited
  • SQL Databases - Unlimited
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Limited availability

Teacake is my current host. It's owned by Yuuka, a hobbyist website owner who bought a reseller plan with the intent of selling affordable plans to other hobbyist website owners. The numbers aren't as sexy as some of the other options here, but it's more than enough for me, which is why I went with it over a more expensive plan from somewhere else. There's also a $2/month plan whose specs are more or less in the midpoint of the free and $3 plans.

Since Teacake is run by one person, hosting availability is limited (see the Teacake FAQ to signal your interest). If you're interested in the free plan, shoot Yuuka an email to talk about setting something up!

Uber Space

Features
  • Pricing - Pay what you want monthly (recommended €5 minimum, but you can pay less)
  • Websites - Unlimited
  • Storage - 10GB, upgradable to 100GB
  • Bandwidth - Unmetered
  • Subdomains - Unlimited
  • SQL Databases - Unlimited
  • Email? - Yes
  • Other - Hosted as a subdomain (.uber.space) or bring your own, 30 day free trial, no web interface

Uber Space is a privacy-oriented host with a pay what you want pricing model. You deposit money into your account, and an amount of your choosing is deducted every month. €5 a month is their recommended minimum (that I'd strongly suggest paying if you have the means), but you can go lower; you can even adjust your payment up or down for a month if your financial situation changes. It has really generous allotments that are comparable to a lot of more expensive services. While you can theoretically have infinitely many domains, Uber Space recommends that you make a new account for different domains for security reasons.

You need to be comfortable with (or willing to learn) the Linux command line, as Uber Space has no web-based interface like CPanel. (You can also use a graphical file transfer client like FileZilla, but you won't be able to mess with things that aren't your files like SQL databases, for example.) Their documentation is really comprehensive and well-written for beginners, but you should look elsewhere if you want a web interface.