Whether you’re creating your first WordPress website or building a business-critical application, the best free database hosting services will help you scale and process requests with lightning-fast speed and trustworthy reliability.
Simply put, databases store, organize, and retrieve a website or application’s data. They are often paired with software programs (like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla) or code (like PHP, C, and Java) that use databases to add your site’s content, interface, or other user-friendly design.
Because of the critical role databases play in your online presence, you need to make sure you can trust the hosting provider you select. Free web hosting is an arena rife with peril at times, so we’re here to help you evaluate your most promising options — as well as point out the best bargains that bring upgraded features and database tools.
5 Best “Almost Free” Database Hosting Services
Nearly 60% of web developers use MySQL databases, according to a StackOverflow survey of developers, followed by several other relational database systems: SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. Because the SQL programming language and many related database systems are open-source, it’s extremely easy and cost-effective to implement. In fact, the M in hosting’s ubiquitous LAMP stack stands for MySQL.
Whether you’re seeking ultra-popular MySQL hosting services or have more complex databases that require PostgreSQL hosting, the following hosts are a great place to start (and likely end) your search. In addition to great database services for next to nothing, these providers throw in a ton of upgraded features and expertise.
We completely trust all of these hosts and their free MySQL databases, buy you may want to keep an eye out for which ones support the more obscure platforms. However, these top-notch companies provide much greater storage and bandwidth resources, along with incredibly low prices, 24/7 support, and trustworthy reputations in the database hosting industry. Check out our reviews below:
- Blazing-fast MySQL databases on Intel solid-state drives
- Wide support and tutorials for installing a wide range of database systems
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and databases
- NO long-term contracts and NO sudden price increases
- $0.01 for the first month, then $5 monthly after
- Get started on InterServer now.
- MySQL hosting crafted for superior performance
- Separate disk for MySQL and in-house query cache
- Support for unlimited databases
- Easy management with cPanel and phpMyAdmin
- Custom optimizations for performance and security
- Get started on SiteGround now.
- Unlimited MySQL databases on high-powered servers
- FREE cPanel license for easy management
- A2-optimized configurations for WordPress and other apps
- Complete SSD solution for your files, OS, and databases
- FREE HackScan, SSL, and 99.9% uptime commitment
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
- A host with an expert reputation in shared hosting
- Unlimited MySQL databases, domains, and email
- Easy setup with scalable bandwidth
- 24/7 expert support available via phone, chat, and email
- FREE marketing credits with Google and Bing
- Get started on iPage now.
- Host up to unlimited MySQL & PostgreSQL databases
- FREE website transfers and data backups
- SSH access and FREE SSD storage
- Unlimited emails, disk space, and data transfer
- US-based support available 24/7/365
- Get started on InMotion now.
7 Best “Free” Database Hosting Services
We say it a bunch, but here it goes again: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. That proverb applies to most free online services you’ll encounter, for one reason or another. Some organizations just want to gather your personal information for some sort of scam or spam mission, while others simply have a shoestring budget, seriously old equipment, outdated security measures, and a shoddy internet connection.
However, we do realize there are some shining beacons of web hosting altruism out there. You’re better off hosting long-term databases and projects with the hosts above, but those looking for a temporary home for their data can find promising alternatives with one of the companies below.
Although the company has scaled back its popular free VPS hosting plan availability, Gigarocket still very much shines with a smaller plan based around cPanel and MySQL. The fully-featured service resonates with both inexperienced site owners and developers, with the user-friendly interfaces of cPanel and MySQL administration tool phpMyAdmin, along with support for MariaDB databases. Power users will also appreciate the speed boost from NGINX and Cloudflare’s content delivery network.
- Storage: 5GB
- Bandwidth: 50GB
- Number of databases: 10 (MySQL or MariaDB)
- Other free perks: cPanel, phpMyAdmin, 25 email accounts, Softaculous app installer, SSL certificate, and DDoS protection
Encouraging site owners to forget about the stereotypes of most free hosting plans, InfinityFree offers an eye-raising amount of computing power for no cost. When it comes to MySQL, the company’s unlimited storage and bandwidth provide plenty of firepower to back up the 400 allotted databases you can use. InfinityFree has some of the fastest free hosting you’ll find, and the company actually comes through on its 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Storage: Unlimited
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Number of databases: 400 (MySQL)
- Other free perks: 10 email accounts, SSL certificate, Cloudflare CDN, Softaculous app installer
Grassroots web hosting at its finest, HelioHost is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving a global community of developers, hobbyists, and site owners. The organization, which owns its own hardware and operates it out of a Silicon Valley datacenter, crowdfunds all of its server upgrades by asking for voluntary donations. We wish the platform could give users more storage, but we adore how HelioHost supports multiple popular database systems for the full spectrum of site owners. Windows users should take note that HelioHost is one of very few free hosting options that offers ASP.NET, as well.
- Storage: 1GB
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Number of databases: Unlimited (MySQL, PostgresQL, and SQLite)
- Other free perks: Unlimited email, cPanel, ASP.NET, and the Softaculous app installer
When undercutting India’s hosting market from the typical $10 per month all the way to $1 per month wasn’t enough, GoogieHost Founder Rajesh Chauhan decided to slash prices to zero and transform his company into a nonprofit organization. Featuring cloud-based, SSD-driven infrastructure, GoogieHost wows users with a ton of included features and higher-than-average availability. The restriction on the number and types of databases seems tight, but most users won’t need anything other than one or two MySQL databases. Plus, they’ll be too busy playing with GoogieHost’s included website builder.
- Storage: 1GB SSD
- Bandwidth: 100GB
- Number of databases: 2 (MySQL)
- Other free perks: Zyro website builder, DirectAdmin, Softaculous app installer, SSL certificate, Cloudflare CDN, and two email addresses
One of the few free web hosting providers to offer domain name registration, FreeHosting.com ups the ante by breaking users free of the chains of using a provider’s odd slew of subdomains. From there, the company blends the line between its free and premium hosting plans by offering well-rounded features like offering cPanel and a drag-and-drop website builder. Users are limited to only one MySQL database, but 10GB of storage means you can still develop a complex website. FreeHosting.com’s free account can handle roughly 30,000 daily visitors for a PHP-based website like those on WordPress, or virtually unlimited visitors of HTML websites.
- Storage: 10GB
- Bandwidth: Unmetered
- Number of databases: 1 (MySQL)
- Other free perks: Website builder, cPanel, app installer, and one email account
Having provided hassle-free, no-cost web hosting for more than 15 years, Awardspace is a veteran company focused on delivering reliable user experiences. In addition to developing its own website builder, control panel, account dashboard, and app installer, Awardspace promises 99.9% uptime and offers around-the-clock customer support. Site owners are limited to just one MySQL database but are allowed to host up to four websites (one domain and three subdomains) on plenty of storage space.
- Storage: 1GB
- Bandwidth: 5GB
- Number of databases: 1 (MySQL)
- Other free perks: One-click installer, phpMyAdmin, website builder, custom control panel, plus firewall and virus protection
Sister companies with Hostinger, one of our favorite cheap hosting providers, 000webhost instead concentrates on free services to the legions of aspiring site owners trying out new ideas. The company has hosted websites for nearly 19 million customers worldwide, making them a major force in the free hosting industry. Service can be a bit spotty at times, but the company still maintains a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Storage: 1GB
- Bandwidth: 10GB
- Number of databases: 2(MySQL)
- Other free perks: Website builder, one-click installer, custom control panel
Which is the Best Free SQL Database?
Going back to the basics, SQL is a programming language for managing data in relational database management systems. MySQL, which is free and open-source, is an extremely popular RDBMS that comes standard with most web hosting plans. But it’s not the only option — in fact, it’s not even the only type of database management system.
NoSQL, which stands for “not only SQL,” is an up-and-coming database management system popularized by corporations like Google, Amazon, and Facebook that have to deal with massive amounts of data. The system doesn’t adhere to relational database requirements and enables organizations to scale horizontally across multiple hosts and servers. Here are some of the most popular SQL and NoSQL databases:
As you can imagine, picking the best one is like picking a favorite child. Each has good days and bad days, strengths and weaknesses. NoSQL tends to excel when it comes to scalability and performance of large datasets, while many may find SQL more readily available and easy to use.
Which Database is Best for Cloud Computing?
Anytime you hear about cloud computing, your mind probably goes straight to the Big Three: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Naturally, all three have pretty stellar database options ready to store, organize, process, and secure your data with on-demand resources and by-the-minute billing:
|Amazon Web Services||Microsoft Azure||Google Cloud Platform|
Surprisingly, each of the Big Three offers scaled-back versions of their database hosting services for free. But as powerful and massive as those services are, your dataset or comfort level with cloud technologies may warrant taking your database hosting needs off the beaten path.
Even better, many of those services have free database hosting packages, as well. MongoDB Atlas, Heroku Postgres, and Redis Labs are all built to help you focus on building your app instead of managing databases.
Which is the Easiest Database to Learn?
Before diving straight into the database itself, start with the very basics and build your foundation around a good working knowledge of the SQL language that will help you move, find, and manage your database efficiently. W3Schools is always a fantastic resource, and SQL-Easy features a handy and interactive place to practice your programming.
MySQL is always a safe next bet, given its prevalence in web hosting plans. It’s typically paired with phpMyAdmin, a free and open-source administration tool written in PHP that helps manage MySQL and MariaDB databases.
Generally speaking, there’s a tradeoff between which database is easiest to learn and which one you’ll actually want to use. By most accounts, SQLite is generally considered to be among the easiest to learn and set up, but it probably won’t be the best option for you if you have lofty ambitions for your website. If your goal is to scale, consider starting off with MongoDB or PostgreSQL.
As Your Database Grows, So Will Your Hosting
Many website owners will never directly interact with their database. WordPress users who use their host’s one-click installer, for instance, never have to venture into phpMyAdmin to create a new database or table — they simply rely on an installation script and the WordPress software to make the changes as needed.
Even those most basic interactions, however, will cause your database to grow. Every blog post you write, image you upload, or comment you receive adds to your database size. Inevitably, it’ll expand beyond the restrictions of your hosting plan. Free hosting users will find that ceiling awfully quickly, while those who opt to pay for affordable shared hosting will fare much better.
Once you start outgrowing your plan, you’ll need to find services that can handle your large database. Sometimes that just means upgrading your shared hosting plan, but other times you’ll need to jump into VPS or cloud hosting. Mercifully, however, these platforms are much more scalable and flexible to customers’ needs.
The transition to a new hosting plan can be rough, but we’ve gone ahead and vetted the top providers for you. Most of these companies will help you migrate your database and relevant website files to their infrastructure, and can even help you find ways to better optimize your resource usage. Be sure to check out our list of the best VPS hosting providers if you think you may fall into this category.