Free website hosting
July 28, 2021 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Are there any website companies that will host your website for free AND also let you use your custom web domain? What about email?

I have a hobby that makes little to no money. I am ok keeping my domain name, since domain registration is so cheap. But I am loath to renew my weebly membership at $100/year, and my google workspace subscription for gmail at around $70/year.

I will freely admit that I do not want to program the site in HTML; I am really happy with the basic drag-and-drop features that most cheap webpage builders use.

Anybody have a better alternative? I am ok with 3rd party ads on my site if it means I am getting a service for free.
posted by to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any recommendations for free hosting, but $100/year is too much for something basic. is $30 per year. has a pre-paid model.
posted by WizKid at 12:58 PM on July 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Github Pages is free-- if you've just got a static / non-fancy site it's a great choice. Lots of tutorials/themes about getting started.
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:11 PM on July 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

Not sure about web, but I use for email with my own domain. It's been great. I recently upgraded to the paid version for $24 per year for more storage, but you probably won't need that. They've got a whole suite of products that I haven't explored - it's possible there's a website platform.
posted by hydra77 at 1:26 PM on July 28, 2021

FWIW, I get billed a whopping $0.52 a month for my Amazon S3 website.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:48 PM on July 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

I pay about 40 cents a month for web hosting at Nearly Free Speech. Site has been there 2+ years with no issues.
posted by COD at 3:49 PM on July 28, 2021

PC Mag likes Hostgator, which is lower than $3 a month. Not sure if they include email or not.

You can get the free Gmail service to connect to your domain as long as you have a domain connected to your MAIL hosting (not web hosting). Basically, free gmail hosts no mail, but accesses your domain mailbox as a third-party service. You're doing it the expensive way: actually PAY Google to host your mail.

Seems Bluehost has a $2.99 / month plan that includes both web host and email host.
posted by kschang at 4:41 PM on July 28, 2021

I've had good luck hosting my own sites with Bluehost. The basic plan is cheap, and their support has been great. The website at my job was hosted by Hostgator for a few years. I HATED it. Everything in their interface took far too many steps, and there was a fair amount of downtime. Customer suppoort was okay, but everything seemed to take way longer than it should. Of course, we were hosting a Drupal website, which added an extra level of unpleasantness, but I wouldn't recommend them.
posted by jonathanhughes at 7:48 PM on July 28, 2021

As "Static Vagabond" mentioned earlier, you can host a static site on github pages for free. In much the same way, you can use to host static pages. Either will let you use your own domain . You don't have to write html by hand but I don't know of any drag&drop toolkit that will let you put a page together. The usual way that such sites are built is with a static site generator like jekyll or hugo (or a bunch of others but those are two of the most popular).

Just in case you're not familiar with the term "static site", it refers to a site that is just html/css/javascript/svg ( frontend static stuff that gets downloaded in bulk ). You can do pretty sophisticated things but you can't save information long term so things like user registration, shopping carts, comments, all of which require some kind of backend database, are not possible using just a static site.
posted by metadave at 9:26 PM on July 28, 2021

Tumblr has a setting to allow you to use your own domain with it for free, though it's designed around running a blog-like site. You can create pages with some amount of customization, but you'll be fighting an uphill battle if you're expecting the sort of site-builder experience that you get out of weebly or similar sorts of sites.

The site-builder part is the differentiating thing that's costing you money for most of these hosting providers; if you can get a static HTML site together, then something like NearlyFreeSpeech or GitHub Pages can do what you want for a very low cost.
posted by Aleyn at 4:14 PM on July 30, 2021

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