TL; DR: Freehostia, founded in 2005, offers free hosting plans that remove barriers to entry into online markets as well as low-cost upgrade options that allow businesses to scale. The company’s load balancing cluster technology, fast and reliable servers, and a user-friendly control panel all contribute to positive customer experiences. With a one-click application installer for fast setup and 24/7 support, Freehostia is opening online doors for customers worldwide.
Is there anything better than free chocolate? The folks at Freehostia don’t think so. They’re serving up a taste of the company’s web hosting capabilities with their Chocolate Plan, a complimentary confection complete with 250MB disk space, 6GB monthly traffic, 24/7 customer support, and a one-click web app installer.
When you’ve had your fill, the company offers a range of advanced plans with equally pleasing, down-to-earth names like Watercircle, Lovebeat, Wildhoney, and Supernatural. Each comes with a free 30-day trial, making it easier for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to grow and scale their online presence while avoiding unnecessary risk.
As for the company’s unique naming conventions, Milkana Kolch, Communications & Marketing Manager at Freehostia, said what started as a way to make technical services more relatable quickly caught on with customers. “Our plan names come from things you can experience in real life,” she said. “It started as a fun experiment to minimize the distance between the user and the hosting experience. Our customers loved the names, so we kept them.”
Milkana said the names reflect the lighthearted spirit of its founders, two brothers on a mission to create the best free service they could offer simply because it was fun to do so.
“They’re really great guys, and the fact that they have not taken themselves too seriously is the reason they managed to survive and grow the business, which is now about 80% based on the free hosting service and 20% on the paid service,” she said.
Over the last 13 years, Freehostia has worked hard to optimize its web hosting platform through user-friendly solutions like an intuitive control panel, automatic data backup manager, and unique load-balancing cluster technology. With a dedication to security, stability, and customer service, the company is helping customers worldwide develop and grow their online presence.
A Free, Full-Featured Trial with Easy Upgrade Options
Milkana told us Freehostia’s goal is to keep services as user-friendly as possible to ensure customers feel confident along their online journeys. The Chocolate Plan allows users to evaluate the company’s web hosting service risk-free for as long as desired without any charge, with upgrade options just a click away.
“For us, it’s important that our customers feel comfortable using our service knowing that their sites are in safe hands,” she said. “We try to keep our website as simple as possible with no shiny bells and whistles in terms of features that users will find confusing.”
With 2GB disk space, 50GB monthly traffic, 10 hosted domains, and 100 email accounts, Milkana said Freehostia’s Watercircle Plan is the most popular. From there, the Lovebeat Plan offers 2TB disk space, 1TB monthly traffic, 20 hosted domains, and 300 email accounts. The aptly-named Wildhoney Plan, on the other hand, offers unlimited disk space, monthly traffic, websites, and mailboxes. As a bonus, the Wildhoney and Supernatural web hosting plans also include one free domain registration.
In addition to its web hosting plans, Freehostia offers low-cost virtual, semi-dedicated, and dedicated servers. The company’s virtual private servers come with full root/SSH access, a dedicated IP address, free setup, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Located in a state-of-the-art datacenter in Chicago, the company’s reliable dedicated servers offer the best possible performance at a budget-friendly price.
Milkana said the wide range of plans allow businesses to expand their online presence without growing pains. “They often start as free users, and they naturally grow into semi-dedicated and dedicated server users,” she said. “We gradually start offering enhanced resources so they can stay with us as they get bigger — which is why our retention rates are so good.”
Ultra Fast and Reliable Servers Plus a User-Friendly Control Panel
Stability and scalability were top of mind when Freehostia’s founders sat down to develop their free hosting solution 13 years ago — which inspired the pair to build their own network load balancing cluster. “We still use it today, with plenty of improvements, of course,” Milkana said.
The technology distributes traffic between multiple servers in the network to improve performance and prevent downtime caused by overloaded resources. Freehostia has separate MySQL, email, data storage, and control panel servers. This setup allows the company to host more accounts per server, which keeps prices low while increasing speed and uptime. According to the Freehostia website, the load balancing cluster platform is up to 15 times faster than one-server hosting platforms.
In addition to its load balancing software, Freehostia’s founders also developed a custom control panel available with all web hosting plans. Milkana told us the software is similar to cPanel or Plesk but easier to use with support for multiple languages, including Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian. “We recently updated it to be even more user-friendly,” Milkana said.
The company’s free one-click application installer makes site setup a breeze with the option to easily install more than 50 popular web apps — including Joomla, WordPress, PrestaShop, and OpenCart — without the need for programming skills. The automated installation platform, included with all of the company’s plans, contains links to the most popular forums dedicated to each app so users can easily seek help when needed.
A Focus on Security with an Automatic Data Backup Manager
It’s difficult to scroll through our news feeds these days without reading about yet another online security breach exposing private user data, from login credentials to credit card information and Social Security numbers.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, in which hackers use multiple systems to flood a network with an excess of traffic, are also becoming increasingly common. In the first quarter of 2018, the number of attacks and targets spiked compared with the number of instances in previous quarters — as did the number of sustained attacks — with the most extended attack lasting 297 hours. Freehostia has taken steps to safeguard customers from such threats.
“As a free hosting provider, we have to take security measures to protect our servers and customers,” Milkana said. “We have a DDoS mitigation system in place for paid accounts, as well as a web application firewall installed for all the servers on both free and paid accounts.”
Milkana said frequent backups are an important security element in that they provide trusted repositories of the system data that can be used to restore a system to full operation. To that end, Freehostia offers automated backups to Dropbox and Google Drive on all plans.
“There is a browsable section in our control panel called Data Backup where the users can see their files organized in folders ordered by date,” Milkana said. “They can restore the archive of their choice with just one click of a mouse.”
A Close-Knit Company Dedicated to 24/7 Technical Support
Milkana said the company’s overarching goal is to keep its tech tools simple and customer service prompt. “We want our tools to be straightforward and backed up with a superfast, hands-on support,” she said.
All paid plans include around-the-clock customer support with a guaranteed one-hour response time. Clients may contact Freehostia through email, the ticketing system, or the company’s online feedback form. In addition, a regularly updated information system based on keyword searches is available for clients who prefer to do a little problem-solving before reaching out to customer service agents.
As for the future, Milkana said Freehostia will focus on continued improvements while maintaining the team’s lighthearted spirit. “We’ll keep enhancing our platform in terms of speed and scalability while continuing to be the host with arms wide open for anyone who wants to start a website from scratch,” she said.