It might not have the most professional of company names, but Free Web Hosting No Ads is a capable provider with almost 10 years’ experience in the free hosting business.
The company has an interesting product, although as usual with free web hosting, it has limits and issues as well as some appealing features.
Signing up gets you automated installation of WordPress, Joomla and Grav, as well as a basic template-based website builder. But it also restricts you to 1GB disk space and just 5GB of monthly traffic. At an average 1.5MB page size, that translates to barely 110 page views a day.
The company appears to score well on the fundamentals, with support for PHP, Perl, a single MySQL database, FTP and more.
- Want to try Free Web Hosting No Ads? Check out the website here
There's a notable plus in a free POP3 email account. Only one, mind, but we're not complaining: some free hosting providers limit you to email forwarders (you can create a new address, but it forwards incoming emails to another account), others don't have email support at all.
The free plan doesn't include any form of SSL certificate, unfortunately, not even the basic self-signed variety.
If this all sounds too restrictive, the company's Personal plan offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth, along with a free domain. It's yours for $3.99 a month, paid annually.
Signing up for a Free Web Hosting No Ads account takes a little longer than usual, in part because the company asks for so much personal data: email address, name, physical address, even your company name and phone number (look closely, though, and you'll find the last two are optional).
After verifying our email address, we logged into the Free Web Hosting No Ads custom control panel. This is cluttered and will probably intimidate beginners, but experienced users should appreciate the range of features: database management, PHP, email management, site building tools, web stats and more. It's not quite cPanel, but there's way more power and configurability here than you'll see with many free hosts.
Free Web Hosting No Ads hadn't asked us to choose a subdomain yet, unusually (most hosts ask when you sign up), but opening the Domain Manager led us to a Create A Free Subdomain panel where we could set this up.
The company lets you choose subdomains from a lengthy list of options: atwebpages.com, getenjoyment.net, medianewsonline.com, mywebcommunity.org and more. It's good to have options, but they're a little lengthy for our tastes. Fortunately, if you're equally unimpressed, you can opt to use a custom domain you've registered elsewhere.
Creating a website
Free Web Hosting No Ads provides four main routes to setting up your first website, and highlights most of these in a small 'First Steps Made Easy' panel.
The Zacky Tools Installer is a simple platform for automating the installation of popular web applications. Sounds good, but there's a catch: it only supports WordPress, Joomla and the CMS Grav. That's a little disappointing, especially as the website claimed it could help with phpBB, and hinted at Drupal support by displaying its logo.
If you're happy with WordPress, of course, this won't matter, and Zacky does have some advantages. Normal one-click installers dump you in a standard WordPress setup with the default theme, for instance, and leave you to figure out how to change it. Here, you're presented with a thumbnail theme gallery upfront, and can choose your preferred option before beginning the installation.
Zacky Website Builder is a simple template-based site building tool. It's basic, and the free plan only enables building very limited sites (5 pages, 10MB storage in total). But if you're just looking to display your CV, or point potential customers to your real-world business, it might, just, be enough.
If you have your website already, a File Manager gives you everything you need to upload your content, reorganize and edit files, play with permissions and do whatever else you'd like to do. It's not quite as powerful or as easy to use as the best of the competition, but it gets the job done, and even hosting newbies should have their website online with minimal hassle.
Incidentally, we noticed a small bonus in terms of support for uploading files of up to 15MB. That may not sound like much, but other hosts may limit you to 10MB, sometimes even less.
Finally, you're able to upload files to your web space via FTP. The service’s welcome email gives you details of your default FTP account, and you can create more accounts in the control panel.
Put this all together, and Free Web Hosting No Ads gives you a fair amount of site building power. Sure, we'd like to be able to install more than three web apps, and for the site builder to handle more pages and files, but the company mostly covers the basics, and its control panel has plenty of advanced features to help you manage the finished results.
Free web hosting is never going to give you leading-edge speed, but it doesn't have to be slow, either. We used a range of top monitoring and testing services to find out how Free Web Hosting No Ads performed.
Uptime.com tracked our server's performance over time. Baseline response times were good at 250-260ms, but they were less consistent than usual with regular spikes of up to 350ms and higher.
Dotcom-tools website speed test simulated loading our site from 16 locations across the US and Europe. The results were a little below par, with an average load time of 709ms for the first run (GoogieHost, Hosting24 and Hostinger24 each averaged around 550ms).
Free Web Hosting No Ads doesn’t have the best speeds, then, but keep in mind that the results you'll see will vary depending on many factors, including the number of sites on your server and how busy they are. If you'd really like to understand how the service performs, there's no substitute for creating a site of your own and testing it long-term.
Free Web Hosting No Ads earns major credit for its range of features, but loses almost all of them due to its limits and issues (5GB bandwidth, no SSL, and the other shortcomings we cover above). We’ve scored it at 3.5 stars because it's useful for simple sites or just learning web technology, but if you need to do anything faintly demanding, go elsewhere.
- Also check out the best web hosting services