Show of hands: Who here has clicked on an ad, made an impromptu 90-degree turn in the store, or signed up for something you later realized was outlandish simply because you read an enticing four-letter word? I think you know the one — it starts with an F and causes rational, decent human beings to lose all sense of reason.
Did someone say FREE?
Yes, the word “free” has a magnetism that’s hard to fight. The word has become especially alluring, though sometimes deceptive, in the world of web hosting. We’ve got your top free site builders, free domain registrations at signup, and then one of my personal favorites: the free site management software that powers legendary WordPress.com. Today, we’ll cover the best services for hosting your site on this fantastic platform, as well as the marketing ploys to watch out for and the opportunities to save on popular plans.
Best “Almost-Free” Hosting for WordPress
I wouldn’t be doing my job as an avid WordPress advocate if I didn’t caution you against the perils of free web hosting. Often times, the service comes with more headaches than the $0 price tag is worth. Especially if you’re launching a site for your professional brand and livelihood, we highly recommend investing — and I use the word lightly, as we’re talking about the cost of a cup of coffee per month — in a low-cost, high-quality hosting service.
On average, a shared hosting plan will cost $5 to $10 monthly, which is a mere $60 to $120 annual investment in your business. And for that, you get to eliminate the ads that plague the sites of free hosting customers, you’re awarded a more reliable infrastructure that’s probably backed by a seasoned support staff, and you’re likely to be thanked with a few free perks as well.
We’ve found that some of our favorite cheap hosts back out their customers’ costs by including free domain names, site builders, and marketing credits — maybe even assistance with WordPress updates and plugin maintenance — as standards. Take a look at what some of the most valuable and trusted WordPress hosts have to offer below.
- WordPress pre-installed with NGINX and PHP 7
- FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
- Optional automatic plugin, theme, and core updates
- Features a FREE drag-and-drop WP page editor
- Premium themes and plugin subscriptions
- Get started on InMotion now.
- Recommended by WordPress Core since 2005
- FREE SSD storage and SSL certificate
- FREE domain registration and email
- Automatic installation and updates
- 63% discount exclusively for HostingAdvice shoppers
- Get started on Bluehost now.
- FREE Cloudflare CDN and 1-click installs for WordPress
- Turbo Server, SSD speed boost, and optimized caching
- A2-optimized WP plugins for performance and security
- SSL certificates, PayPal integration, and 24/7 support
- FREE HackScan and KernelCare
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
- Easy-to-set-up WordPress hosting on shared servers
- Install WordPress with one click via cPanel dashboard
- Unlimited email addresses hosted at your domain
- 99.9% uptime guarantee means your blog stays online
- $100 in Google Adwords credits to kickstart marketing
- Get started on HostGator now.
- Officially endorsed by WordPress.org as a top host
- FREE WordPress transfer or setup with 1-click install
- Pre-installed Git, 3 caching levels, and FREE CDN
- FREE WP setup wizard, staging, and auto-updates
- 99.9% uptime, 24/7 support, and custom chat system
- Get started on SiteGround now.
If you weren’t already sold by the premium reliability, marketing and SEO tools, customer support, and WordPress-specific features itemized above, we’d like to sweeten the deal. We know you came here for a bargain, so be sure to capitalize on one of the current promotions happening with some of the top WordPress hosts.
Best “Free” Hosting for WordPress
We tend to do a lot of free hosting bashing — but we’re not alone! All around the web, experts share words of wisdom and newbies share horror stories illustrating why skimping on your web hosting is just not a great idea.
Knowing the walls you’re likely to run into down the road, we have a hard time selling readers on 100% free hosting, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love it when a quality paid host offers their services for free. We love this particular F word, and one of our friends in the hosting industry is known for offering free hosting to new customers for up to a year. Check out One.com’s full review below for more info.
- FREE site builder for easy, code-free design
- Ample SSD storage with unlimited bandwidth and emails
- FREE backups and restores, plus add-on SiteLock security
- Unlimited email inboxes with POP3 and IMAP
- 24/7 support via email and live chat
- Get started on One.com now.
Best “Free Website Builder” for WordPress
To recap: The best hosting providers that offer WordPress services are dirt cheap; the software itself is 100% free and easy to install and set up; and you’re likely to be welcomed into your new hosting family with other free rewards. Does it get any better? Yessiree.
Enter BoldGrid — the first-of-its-kind website builder software that lays on top of the WordPress platform to bring a drag-and-drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get experience to the interface. Originally created by the InMotion Hosting development team, BoldGrid has become one of my favorite life hacks to recommend to friends, family, and clients. Oh, and did I mention it’s also free?
You can download BoldGrid for free, and while we recommend pairing it with parent company InMotion, the builder’s list of compatible hosting companies is growing. InMotion, Web Hosting Hub (sister host of InMotion), and A2 Hosting are among our top picks for BoldGrid-powered WordPress hosting. Get started below:
- FREE drag-and-drop WordPress website builder software
- WordPress pre-installed by the InMotion Hosting team
- Pre-built and customizable content with GridBlocks
- FREE WordPress themes with mobile/tablet editing views
- PayPal integration and shopping carts available
- Get started on BoldGrid now.
WORDPRESS WEBSITE BUILDER
Get Exclusive Discounts on WordPress Hosting
As an admitted shopaholic, a wannabe coupon queen, and a former mathlete, I can say with confidence that the only thing better than free is a killer discount. If one of the exceptional hosts we’ve discussed here today has caught your eye and you just need a little nudge, would a coupon code help seal the deal for your business?
We’ve negotiated special pricing tiers with various hosts so we can offer exclusive discounts to HostingAdvice readers. Check out some of the best deals to be had in the WordPress realm below:
You Deserve the Best: Free Web Hosting for WordPress Fans
Go ahead — give in to the seductive powers of “free.” You’re in a safe space, and the free and almost-free options we’ve discussed here today are well worth the minimal investment.
Check back often, as we’ve made it our mission to keep our finger on the pulse of the industry. That includes finding the best opportunities to save on hosting needs. ‘Til next time, hosting shoppers!