top 10 free and cheapest free web hosting in AU
top 10 free and cheapest free web hosting in AU

A web host is one type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals or companies to make their website accessible worldwide. There are many hosting service providers in Australia, which offers various kinds of hosting services according to your budget and specifications. There are many free web hosting in Australia, but not all are safe enough to use.

You will have to choose carefully between hundreds and thousands of free or cheap web hosting, which ones are the best among them. Take a look at these free and safe web hosting that you can use without worrying about the cost.

Ask these 5 questions before you commit

Photo:  PCMag
Photo: PCMag

Not sure what to ask when comparing web hosting providers? Use this checklist.

1. What is their uptime guarantee?

2. Do they offer 24/7 live support?

3. Is it a reputable company?

4. Do they offer website security?

5. What type of hosting plans do they offer?

Rate each company you’re considering on each item. Go with the company that has the highest score.

Start with the right questions

Photo:  Digital.com
Photo: Digital.com

Many hosting companies have seemingly cheap hosting plans that appeal as we all like to save a buck. However, it’s important to dig a little deeper and ask a couple of questions:

1. What is their uptime guarantee?

Uptime guarantee simply means that the hosting company guarantees your website will be up and running most of the time.

Don’t settle for less than 99.9 percent uptime.

Why? A website that can’t be reached by customers and prospects costs your business in client satisfaction. No one likes to click on a link and be told that website can’t be found. People who get such a message are likely to move on to a website they can access. This means a potential loss of sales for your business.

2. Do they offer 24/7 live support?

Round-the-clock live support is crucial when technical issues arise or your website goes down in the middle of a big promotion. Don’t settle for a hosting company without proper customer support or you’ll regret it.

3. Is it a reputable company?

Photo: One.com
Photo: One.com

The reputability of a hosting company is a major consideration because a no-name business could lack in the all-important category of reliability. Do your homework before you make a decision; 12 months can feel like a lifetime when your hosting isn’t reliable or easy-to-use.

4. Do they offer website security?

Website security is an increasing concern that must be taken seriously, as hacking can have serious consequences for any business — in terms of both cost and reputation.

Talk to any business owner who has been through a hacking experience and they will share with you the potentially devastating effects.

This is why all web hosting from GoDaddy includes 24/7 security monitoring and DDoS protection. GoDaddy also offers daily malware scanning and SSL encryption for an additional fee (although SSL encryption is included with GoDaddy’s Ultimate and Business Hosting).

5. What do they charge after the initial term?

Once you’re familiar with the different hosting plans, look carefully at the prices quoted after the first 12 months. Some hosting companies start with low introductory prices that increase dramatically after the first year.

How much does hosting cost?

Photo:  Built By Mwangi
Photo: Built By Mwangi

When it comes to the cost, it can be hard to decide which one will work best for your business within the budget you’ve set. As with most services, the cost increases as you add features, power and support. Starting at a low cost, you can get the bare basics with considerable functionality, then upgrade if and when you need more power.

10 Best Free and Cheap Web Hosting Providers In Australia

Photo:  ThemeGrill
Photo: ThemeGrill

1. Hostpapa

HostPapa is a Canada-based, privately owned web hosting provider that entered the market in 2002 with its application software related to dedicated hosting services. Three years later, they began offering their first hosting services and, finally, in 2006 the company was officially founded in Ontario, Canada by Jamie Opalchuk. Throughout the years they’ve been providing shared, reseller, WordPress and VPS hosting to customers across the globe. At the same time, they’ve managed to build a fairly good reputation for their commitment to security, reliability, technical expertise and solid customer support.

HostPapa has received a number of awards since its founding, including Uptime Awards from NCM Online and WHTop. In addition, they have appeared on the PROFIT 500 ranking of Canada’s fastest-growing companies list on three occasions, the last time being in 2015. In the same year, they’ve announced a partnership with Dropmysite, a Singapore-based global cloud software platform that provides backup for websites and databases.

One way HostPapa stands out among its competitors is focusing on being and staying green. Their eco-friendly approach is evident in the usage of 100% green renewable energy to power up data centers, web servers and all electronic devices in their offices. Concerns about the impact their company is having on the environment have been featured in their promotional material and are their unique selling point right from the beginning. Additionally, in 2011, HostPapa financed the planting of 10,000 trees all over Africa on Earth Day as part of the Love Trees charity.

HostPapa claims its goal is to provide every customer with a fully-featured hosting package at the lowest possible cost without compromising the quality. All of the above should come together with the help of top-notch customer service and powered by renewable green energy. With this in mind, we were expecting budget-friendly prices and that's more or less what we got.

The shared hosting Starter plan begins at $3.95 per month (although it will cost $7.95 on renewal after the first three years), supports hosting up to two websites and includes a free domain, starter website builder (two pages limit), 100GB of SSD storage and unmetered bandwidth. This sounds like a pretty good value for money.

Although all customers are entitled to cancel HostPapa’s services at any moment, there is a 30 day risk-free money back guarantee. However, it applies to shared and reseller web hosting plans only, which seems a bit reductive.

As for the payment method, HostPapa accepts credit/debit cards and PayPal.

2. FastComet

Some web hosting companies market themselves on features, others on power, price, or ease of use, but San Francisco-based FastComet aims to win in just about every department.

Want a wide range of products to choose from? FastComet offers shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, WordPress hosting, a graphical website builder, WooCommerce, Magento and more.

Features? Even the most basic shared hosting product includes SSD only storage, a free CDN, Let's Encrypt SSL, SpamExperts spam filtering, malware scanning, free daily backups, cPanel site management, Softaculous for easy installation of WordPress and hundreds of other apps, and live chat support.

FastComet's pricing isn't quite all it seems. Sure, shared hosting plans look great value, starting at just $2.95 a month billed monthly or over one to three years. But that's more down to the steep introductory discount, and the plan renews at $9.95.

It's a similar story with VPS plans, where even the baseline Cloud 1 product starts at $35.97 billed monthly, $59.95 on renewal. That looks expensive, especially when some providers have headline prices of $10 a month or less, but check out the specs and the reasons become clear. You're getting 2GB RAM, 50GB storage, 2TB bandwidth, twice what you'll see with some starter VPN plans. This is a fully managed product, where FastComet looks after the low-level technology for you. CPanel, Softaculous and WHM are included (they're often costly extras elsewhere), and premium features like daily backups and spam filtering are also included in the price.

FastComet may not be the best provider if you're looking for unlimited resources at the absolute lowest price, then, but if you're more interested in features and functionality, there's a lot to like. Especially as the generous money-back guarantee gives you 45 days to decide if FastComet is the provider for you.

3. SiteGround AU

On SiteGround’s website, they tout themselves as “Google Cloud Data Center in Sydney.” What this means to you is that you have a Google presence in Australia. Web hosting can run into all sorts of problems, from downed servers to programming malfunctions that cause data logjams. By partnering with Google, SiteGround has taken all that off the table. Because, let’s be honest, when you’re operating your website, you don’t care what your webhoster had go wrong, you just know your customer in Singapore can’t log on.

In addition to their partnership with Google, SiteGround also has a down-stream partnership with WordPress. By being officially recommended by WordPress, you get two things right up front. First, you know your website will be compatible with some of the most popular templates, and easy to use customizations. Second, you know that WordPress already has a relationship with your web hoster, meaning that there are experienced customer service people on both ends, who know how to make your website a success.

Other Services

SiteGround also offers SSLs and SSD storage. (Solid State Disks, which means faster and more reliable storage.) Another benefit of their partnership with WordPress is a free site transfer. If you’re not happy with your current web hosting service (and that’s why you Googled “Best Web Hosting in Australia”), then SiteGround is the option for you.

And thanks to their association with Google, you get some of the peace of mind of operating with a company dedicated to a 100% renewable energy match. This means that Google is moving toward reducing their carbon footprint, and by working with a web host who does the same, you are, too. Put that on your website for another key search term and favorable clicks.

SiteGround also offers small business tutorials, website building tutorials, and great customer service. Overall, if you can sacrifice a little on your connectivity, SiteGround offers the best industry vertical relationships for web hosting.

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4. Hostinger

If you’re looking for an affordable web hosting solution without sacrificing quality, then search no more. Hostinger is the answer to your quest.

While promotional pricing is viewed as a widespread marketing tactic, especially in the hosting industry designed to capture low-hanging fruit, Hostinger has nevertheless mastered the art of this strategy, ensuring the benefits impact you just as much as it does them.

Hostinger’s price usually fluctuates between $0.99 to $2.15 per month on a semi-regularly basis. To take full advantage of the low price discount, you can pin down the price for 48 months. This provides a user with a bargain hosting price of below $70, which is quite remarkable.

If you harbor any misconception or concern that their service might be inferior because of its pricing, let’s quickly disabuse you of that notion. Although it is still a relative newcomer, Hostinger delivers on its promise.

Hostinger provides all of the rudimentary features the other hosting providers offer, but with the extra sweetening of its marvelous pricing. The downside is that you won’t get all of the attractive accessories that come with all the plans. So it is incumbent upon you to review you’re the range of features you anticipate you’ll require before picking a package.

Hostinger’s website builder is called Zyro and you do not have to be an experienced designer to find your way around it. Zyro is quite simple to use and, as an added bonus, you do not need any coding experience to use it.

Free SSL certificate to authenticate your domain, unlimited SSD storage and unlimited bandwidth are just one of many included features that come with Zyro. One more feature we found quite useful was an enormous library of free images that you can use to design your website any way you see fit.

If you have a need to design your logo or improve it, you can do that here as well. Zyro’s Logo Maker makes your brand more accessible to the public. You can design your logo in no time without anyone’s help.

5. Bluehost

Bluehost is a major name in web hosting, powering more than two million websites. It does a great job at simplifying and demystifying the process of setting up a website for beginners, especially if you want to use WordPress. All plans include a free domain for the first year, great uptime (based on real-life data), a free CDN, a drag-and-drop website builder, and a free SSL certificate.

Great Security: Bluehost has one of the best security measures on the market. All Bluehost security features are efficient and will help you cut back hours of tweaking your website. It will also give you peace of mind, which is especially needed for absolute beginners.

All Bluehost plans come with resource protection, and CodeGuard Backup Basic can be added for an additional $2.99 per month fee. CodeGuard will help you with daily backups and monitoring while notifying you of any changes.

The most basic version of this security feature comes with 1GB storage space, daily backup and monitoring, and three restorations per month. However, for the more expensive plans like Choice Plus and Pro, you can expect free automatic backups for one year and 24/7 network monitoring.

Extensive and Fast Customer Support: Another excellent feature of Bluehost is its extensive and fast customer support base. Customer support is paramount for any web hosting service to have, but finding a service that has fast and efficient support can be a dime a dozen.

Luckily, Bluehost offers just that, and most users have said the customer support is very helpful when needing immediate support. In fact, there’s a high chance you will connect to Bluehost’s Live Chat system within five minutes of waiting.

All of its support-base is available 24/7, so you don’t need to worry about figuring out time zones. Bluehost also offers phone and email support, but the waiting times vary. However, you always have the option to pass the time by browsing its extensive knowledge base support forum for multiple FAQs, videos, in-depth articles, and support resources on everything web hosting related.

Easy to Use: Not only is Bluehost the most popular web hosting service on the market for its outstanding features and products, but it’s also because it’s so incredibly easy to use. Ease of use is an important feature to have because web hosting can already be confusing to some, so there’s no need for the onboarding process to be difficult, too.

Fear not though, as Bluehost has an easy onboarding process that takes a few minutes to complete, to get your website up and running. With an intuitive interface, it will ask you to fill out a form that includes your website goals, what you want to add to your site, and what you want your name and the tagline of your site to be.

After answering these questions, you get to choose a theme of your choice from the Bluehost Marketplace, and then it automatically installs WordPress for your ultimate convenience. All you have to worry about is customization, while Bluehost takes care of the backend and the technical nitty-gritty.

High-Performance Servers: The last thing that’s great about Bluehost is that it offers very high-performance servers to all users purchasing the Pro plan. Although it’s not always ideal for every user to fork out more money, we think you get what you pay for. For $14.95 per month, you get access to Dual Quad Processor Performance Servers that will keep large ecommerce websites functioning effectively.

This server is an excellent option for larger websites because Bluehost makes sure there are fewer users per server—with an individual file count of 300,000—so there are no slowdowns for anyone involved.

6. GreenGeeks

GreeGeeks is definitely fast, with the same website that tested Hostpapa testing GreenGeeks at under 200 milliseconds, and they also offer the 99.9% upload time of the previous two web hosting services we reviewed. But what really sets GreenGeeks apart is right in their name: they are an Eco-Friendly branded web hosting company, and that can play big with your audience here in Australia.

GreenGeeks is also WordPress compatible, which means that if you’re moving from another web hosting provider, the transition should be seamless. And if you experience any issues, they also have 24 hour customer service, again, a must for us in Australia dealing with companies overseas.

At only $2.49 (USD) they’re among the cheaper web hosting services, which isn’t always the case when it comes to products and services labeled “eco-friendly.” Speaking of money, GreenGeeks wants to get the word out on their web hosting: they’ll pay you to give them qualified referrals. In fact, you could end up earning $3,000 from them for helping them find other web hosting clients in a given month. That more than covers your web hosting fee, and it’s money that you could earn networking while building traffic to your own site.

Overall, GreenGeeks has a lot to offer to itself.

7. A2 Hosting

Speed kills they say, but in the world of online hosting, it might as well enhance the longevity of your business. A2 Hosting’s excellent speed ranks as one of the best in the business.

It is a comprehensively solid hosting platform, with an all-around good game that includes an extremely high uptime, and helpful customer support.

A2 Hosting has staying power. It has been around since 2001 and apart from its longevity, A2 has a track record of excellence, regularly featuring in PCMag’s ‘Best Web Hosting Service’ list.

Top 10 Best Free Web Hosting Providers In The World Top 10 Best Free Web Hosting Providers In The World

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8. Crucial

U.S.-based Crucial Hosting has been providing web hosting solutions for clients around the world since 2006. They provide plans with great basic and value-added features that are excellent for most websites. However, their plans are not suited for beginners, and their support is lacking.

Crucial Hosting offers a variety of shared hosting plans with ample storage, unlimited bandwidth and solid basic features that include:

• Enterprise Intel SSD storage

• Unlimited email accounts

• Unmetered bandwidth

• Unlimited MySQL databases

• Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates

Also, Crucial Hosting allows for greater developmental freedom than other platforms. Their advanced features include:

• CloudLinux to isolate resources for each client

• LiteSpeed Web Server for faster server performance

• Supports Python, Perl 5.8, PHP 5.2 through 7.x

• Automatic daily backups kept for up to 30 days

• Software firewall

• Cron jobs supported

• DNS zone editing

You can check out their features page for a full list, but their platform is robust enough to handle most personal and business websites. They’ve clearly invested quite a bit into making sure their infrastructure is always on the cutting edge — in fact, they were one of the first hosting providers in the industry to offer virtualized servers, back when virtual servers were pretty much unheard of. The only real issue that I find with their platform is with their setup tools.

While they list themselves as compatible with platforms such as WordPress and Drupal, they don’t offer any form of auto-installer or website builder. This means that you’ll have to set up everything manually through the cPanel, which also makes this platform less than ideal for beginners. Experienced webmasters, however, will have few problems using this platform.

9. Panthur

Panthur is in Australia-based web hosting company.

This company started out as a non-commercial organization.

As a result of the quality of the web hosting services they offered, their reputation grew throughout Australia and quickly gained more recognition.

This led to Panthur starting to create commercial hosting solutions. Since 2009, Panthur’s reputation has grown to the point where a number of businesses in Australia are hosting with them.

Panthur does a good job when compared to other hosting companies in Australia. Their prices are relatively competitive, and their performance is below average. However, when you compare them to more well-known hosting, options such as SiteGround, you see that they are seriously lacking.

For example, Panthur does not have global data centers. Nor do they have hosting plans that are optimized for WordPress. This is a big deal because more than a quarter of the Internet runs on WordPress.

If you are transferring cPanel accounts to cPanel, then the transfer is free of charge. There is no limit to the number of accounts that you can transfer. You simply need to contact the representatives and set up the time and date that you would like the transfer to happen. Speak to their transfer specialist, so that the transfer can happen as smooth as possible and with the least amount of disruption to your service.

As you can see, the “Business Hosting” plans have been created for businesses that require a little bit higher CPU and memory needs. The additional features that they offer have also been increased. For example, with all of the above-mentioned plans, you get all of the additional features that are available with the “Economy” plan, plus these upgrades:

• 200 percent CPU speed

• 4 MB per sec. I/O speed

• 1000 emails per hour

• 2048 MB memory

The increased CPU memory and I/O speeds can be beneficial for businesses that are looking to run sites that are resource intensive. This would include businesses that have online stores or a lot of interactive activities.

10. Digital Pacific

Digital Pacific is one of the oldest Australian web hosting companies, meaning they have experience, and it shows.

They run a very good hosting business, it’s reliable and they’re obviously in for the long haul. Default features include free setup, daily backups, ssh access, decent hardware, etc. They’re quite expensive though, with their basic plan only getting 1 GB of storage for $9.90 per month.

When it comes to choice, they’ve got it all. From shared hosting, reseller hosting, WordPress Hosting, VPS, dedicated services, to domain name registrations, SSL certificates, and even Gmail and Office 365 email services. Variety is definitely not an issue here.

Their cheapest “Personal” plan is $9.90/mo, and includes 1 GB as mentioned before, as well as 1 domain/site, 2 email accounts, daily backups, and DDOS protection.

Their primary data centre is in Sydney, and they don’t have any overseas servers like Hostinger or SiteGround.

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