Web hosting is the first step to creating a successful online business. Not all hosting is created equal, and one of the best ways to test out a hosting provider is through free trial web hosting. So, to help you avoid getting stuck with a lousy provider, here are the top free trial web hosting providers to work with.
Top Free Trial Web Hosting Platforms
Using a free trial web hosting provider will allow you to see whether a hosting platform is a good fit, easy to use, and has responsive customer service.
If you find a provider lacks any of those things, you may discover that it is more of a pain to manage than it’s worth, regardless of how long the free trial is or if it’s a cheap hosting solution.
GoDaddy is one of the most popular web hosting providers in the business. The company has been around since 1997 and has over 20,000 customers.
The company has developed its platform around users who aren’t experts in web design or development. Aside from offering WordPress, they have their own website builder.
One thing I don’t like about GoDaddy is services that are free on many platforms will cost you with GoDaddy. Another issue is that GoDaddy makes it difficult to leave once you’re on their platform.
Free Trial Period: 30 days (for the website builder and hosting combo)
This one is a bit of a stretch in terms of free trials. For many years, Bluehost offered a free thirty-day trial period to new users. However, the company has since changed that to a low-price introductory offer.
While this isn’t a free trial, it is the next best thing in terms of pricing. The offer provides a discount for twelve-month and sixteen-month sign-ups.
The hosting services offered by Bluehost are okay. This can be a good option for new users who want to learn how to build their own WordPress websites without dropping hundreds on top-level hosting services.
Free Trial Period: Heavily discounted, but no free trial anymore
Cloudways is one of the newer hosting providers but has quickly gained a reputation for being a solid option. The company offers an interface for cloud hosting services that’s easy to use. You can choose Linode, Vultr, Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud servers.
I’ve personally used Cloudways for over two years to host both personal websites and business sites for clients. The websites have ranged from simple blogs to more complex eCommerce websites, and the hosting platform has performed well.
Another upside is they offer a wide range of hosting plans suitable for anyone doing business online. The only downside is their support can sometimes be tricky to work with, though they are always responsive and work efficiently to solve issues.
Free Trial Period: 3-day free trial
4. Run Cloud
RunCloud is similar in many ways to Cloudways. The company is a managed cloud hosting platform that offers incredible flexibility.
Using the free trial web hosting platform, you can easily spin up new services and host an unlimited number of web applications for the same price that you pay for a single website on many hosting plans from other companies.
There are also numerous benefits such as a solid security record, zero downtime deployment, WordPress staging, Git deployment, and more.
Free Trial Period: 5-days
Linode is a premium web hosting platform that offers shared and dedicated cloud hosting for individuals serious about their websites. The keyword here is the premium part, with prices on their dedicated hosting plans running more than some other companies.
One of the key benefits of working on Linode is you are getting a powerful enterprise-grade solution. Linode has over ten data centers worldwide helping to ensure uptime and help you scale. Everything from backups to DDoS protection is available with many of these services coming standard.
Free Trial Period: 60-day Free Trial (CC required)
6. Liquid Web Hosting
Liquid Web Hosting offers dedicated hosting through VPS, cloud, and dedicated servers. The company has a solid reputation in the industry with over half a million websites under its management globally.
The company offers a very low response time for their customer service (59 seconds or less guaranteed by phone and chat) with a 24/7 human support team. Some of the other benefits of working with Liquid Web Hosting include multiple global data centers, managed WordPress hosting options, and more.
Free Trial Period: Varies (not always offering free trials)
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A2Hosting is another longtime hosting provider based in the United States. The company has been around since 2001 and has developed a solid reputation as a reliable hosting company with good customer service.
With A2Hosting, you can choose from virtual private server hosting, dedicated hosting, WordPress hosting, and more. Benefits of their plans include unlimited disk space, free SSL certificates, easy staging and cloning, and more.
Free Trial Period: No free trial anymore. Instead, steep discounts and an anytime money-back guarantee.
Hostinger has been around since 2004 and provides both web hosting and domain services for users. The platform makes it easy to get everything you need under one roof and regularly offers specials for cheap first-year hosting and a free registered domain.
Like many of the hosting companies on this list, Hostinger doesn’t offer free trials and instead has a money-back guarantee that will allow you to get started risk-free. Some of the other benefits are unmetered traffic, free weekly backups, and a 99% uptime guarantee.
Free Trial Hosting: No free trial anymore. Instead, steep discounts and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
9. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting is another of the oldest web hosting companies around, established in 2001 and providing continuous service since. The company offers managed and unmanaged services with options for shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, cloud hosting services, and more.
Users can benefit from a free SSL certificate and domain, unlimited disk space, 24/7 support, and more. Their shared hosting plans also have benefits such as Google Workspace, advanced caching, advanced security suite, and more.
Free Trial Hosting: No free trial anymore. Instead, steep discounts and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Hostgator is a Texas-based hosting company founded in 2002 offering a wide range of services including shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, domain registration, and more. The company is popular with beginner website builders due to targeted advertising.
Overall, the company isn’t a bad choice. However, other web hosting companies offer more advanced services better for serious website owners looking to scale up.
Free Trial Period: No free trial anymore. Instead, steep discounts and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Kamatera is a managed cloud hosting platform with other options such as VPS hosting, SaaS infrastructure, eCommerce solutions, and more. The company is based in the United States with global data centers around the world.
Some of the benefits the company provides users include 24/7 technical support, backups, database support on advanced plans, and more. One thing to note is their services are geared towards larger more resource-intensive websites with pricing that is reflective of this.
Free Trial Period: 30-days
Wix is an all-in-one website builder and hosting platform that allows you to build your website using their in-house builder. The platform is incredibly popular as a WordPress alternative and has a following among some designers for the clean interface.
The primary benefit of Wix is you can start for free and build your entire website, even hosting it for free. On the free hosting plan, you will need to use a .wix domain. If you want to use a custom domain, you will need to move up to a paid plan.
However, you can set up your website, test everything, and see if you like the website builder and hosting services for free before paying a penny.
Free Trial Period: Free forever for the basic plan
InterServer is an older web hosting company founded in 1999. The company offers standard hosting services including shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated server services, cloud hosting services, and WordPress hosting.
The company doesn’t offer a traditional free trial web hosting period and instead has a money-back guarantee. Users can benefit from unlimited storage, advanced security protection, caching plus free CDN support, and more.
Free Trial Period: No free trial anymore. Instead, steep discounts and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NameCheap is one of the most popular platforms for registering domains. However, the company also has a wide range of hosting services including shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and more.
The company provides a few benefits such as free hosting migrations, 24/7 chat with experts, privacy and security protection, and more.
Free Trial Period: 30-day free trial for WordPress hosting
Nexcess is a part of the Liquid Web Hosting family offering managed WordPress hosting services. The company is popular with eCommerce website owners owing to their Nexcess online store builder for WordPress.
Some of the benefits of Nexcess web hosting include auto-scaling plans, development sites for testing, free CDN integrated with the platform, and more.
Free Trial Period: Company offers free trials sometimes and discounts others.
Flywheel is an all-in-one managed WordPress hosting platform that focuses on agencies. The company offers a full suite of tools geared toward helping agencies manage clients’ websites and provide better design services.
Some of the benefits of working with Flywheel include free migration support, 24/7 live human support, an intuitive client management dashboard, and advanced security. The company also offers Managed WordPress hosting for individuals at a reasonable price.
Free Trial Period: No free trial anymore. Instead, steep discounts and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Nestify is a managed WordPress hosting company powered by Amazon Web Services. The company has been around since 2014 and has built a solid reputation, working with companies as large as Walmart, PetSmart, and the University of California at Berkely.
The company provides numerous benefits to users including page speed optimizations, 24/7 expert support, unlimited site migrations, and cleanup for your website if it’s ever hacked. Other benefits include unlimited bandwidth and server locations worldwide.
Free Trial Period: 7-day free trial and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
18. AccuWeb Hosting
AccuWeb Hosting offers a range of services including WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, hosting tailored towards Forex trading, and fully managed shared web hosting. Users can choose from cloud hosting or SSD servers on their shared hosting plans.
One thing to note is that pricing is a bit more with AccuWeb unless you sign up for longer terms. Typically, web companies will offer discounts with a one-year sign-up but with Accuweb Hosting you need at least a three-year sign-up.
Free Trial Period: No free trial period anymore. Instead, users can try with a 30-day moneyback guarantee for shared hosting and a 7-day trial for VPS hosting.
Webcentral is an Australian hosting provider that focuses on VPS hosting plans. Users can benefit from a 100 percent uptime guarantee and other tools to help establish your website.
Some of the other advantages of using Webcentral Hosting include a free trial web hosting period to test out the service, up to three websites, drag and drop website builder, plus many more features.
Free Trial Period: 30-days
20. Lithium Hosting
Lithium Hosting offers high-performance cloud hosting for a range of business sizes and types. The company offers both shared and dedicated cloud hosting along with a 99 percent uptime guarantee.
Some of the other Lithium Hosting features include one-click software installs, unlimited email accounts and system users, and free SSL certificates. One downside is the company only has limited phone support for certain plans.
Free Trial Period: 30-days
21. Cloud Sigma
Cloud Sigma offers a range of cloud hosting solutions including cloud as a service, infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and cloud for research and education. The company offers advanced solutions for businesses that need powerful cloud systems.
The company offers advanced security features including two-factor authentication, advanced encryption, etc. Other features include various cloud integrations, professional incident management, and a seven-day free trial web hosting period.
Free Trial Period: 7-days
Shopify is one of the largest eCommerce web hosting platforms in the world. They’ve been in business since 2006 and have grown to become a solid alternative to WooCommerce.
One major benefit of Shopify is the numerous integrations with eCommerce tools for dropshipping, inventory management, financial tracking, and more. They also have integrated analytics to make tracking sales and visitor numbers easy.
Another benefit for new users is that you can try out Shopify free for fourteen days with no need for a credit card. All you need to do is sign up, set up your store, and import your products to get started.
Free Trial Period: 14-days
MilesWeb is an Indian-based web hosting services provider that offers shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. The company is priced similarly to other web companies around the world that offer a similar level of service.
Benefits of the company include a free domain name with the top tier plan, free backups, unlimited bandwidth, and WordPress optimization.
Free Trial Period: 7-days for VPS hosting free trials
24. GoCloud Web Hosting
GoCloud Web Hosting is a United Kingdom-based hosting service that provides similar hosting plans to other providers. Some of the features of the hosting service include unlimited websites, one-click app installation, and a thirty-day free trial.
One thing to note is the company doesn’t seem to be a very large provider. The date on their website in the footer still says 2017 and there aren’t very many reviews. A better alternative would be a company like Cloudways or Runcloud.
Free Trial Period: 30-day
HostBuddy is a United States-based hosting company with over two decades in business. The company has over half a million customers and high ratings on websites like Trustpilot and similar review platforms.
Some of the benefits of the provider include lower-cost hosting prices, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, free SSL certifications, unlimited mailboxes, and one-click installation. There are also WordPress-specific features such as a control panel that integrates with the hosting platform.
One thing to note is that of all the companies, HostBuddy has one of the best web hosting free trials. You can get sixty days to test out the provider and see if it’s a good fit for your needs.
Free Trial Period: 60-day free trial
ByoHosting is a bit of an unknown company. Their website is quite basic and seems quite old compared to many of the other top providers. Service offerings are also quite basic compared to what you can get from other companies.
The different services include shared plans, VPS hosting, and dedicated server options. The plans include unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and easy one-click installation. One benefit is they offer a thirty-day free trial.
Free Trial Hosting: 30-day free trial
SmarterASP is a California-based web hosting provider in operation since 1999. The company operates in the United States and Europe with over half a million customers globally.
Some of the benefits of the hosting provider include 24/7 support, one-click application installs, and unlimited space for storage and transfers. Other benefits include over thirty one-click installation apps to make it easier to get everything properly set up and running.
Finally, there is a sixty-day free trial hosting period. To add to that benefit, you are given a sixty-day money-back guarantee that starts after the free trial for added assurance.
Free Trial Period: 60-day
Squarespace is similar to Wix and offers all-in-one website builder and hosting solutions. The platform is a popular alternative to WordPress as a place to build high-quality-looking blogging, eCommerce, and business websites.
Similar to Wix, you can get started on Squarespace absolutely free. The primary difference is that Squarespace doesn’t have any hosting plans that are free and instead gives you a fourteen-day free trial.
Personal website owners can benefit from a range of Squarespace templates for everything from restaurants to bands and personal blogs.
Free Trial Period: 14-days
5 Bonus Paid Trial Web Hosting Alternatives
While all of the above hosting providers are awesome, they aren’t necessarily the right hosting services if you’re serious about building high-powered WordPress websites.
Below are five bonus web hosting service providers that provide some of the best and reliable hosting services in the industry.
These don’t offer free trials and will likely cost more than any of the above companies. However, each of the below companies is considered the best of the best for serious website owners.
29. WPX Hosting
WPX Hosting is one of the best web hosting providers if you’re looking for managed WordPress hosting. The service provides a wide number of benefits including free malware removal, average thirty-second response time, free site speed optimization, and free fixes when your website goes offline.
With all of that said, WPX is a premium web host and you can expect to pay for a higher level of service, support, and performance. Their plans start off at over $20 per month for five websites which is significantly more than free trial web hosting services.
Kinsta is another premium managed WordPress hosting provider. The company has been around since 2013 and has developed a reputation as being one of the best web hosting companies around.
Similar to WPX Hosting, Kinsta is a top-level hosting provider which means you can expect to pay premium prices. The company’s plans start off at over $30 for their lowest hosting plans which allow for one website.
However, despite the high prices, Kinsta is highly rated by many top companies including Flippa, Tripadvisor, and Skillrush. There isn’t any free trial, but you can feel confident with a money-back guarantee.
SiteGround is one of the top hosting providers around and one that I always recommend to people serious about their website. In fact, it’s one of the main hosting services we recommend to clients at the web agency I co-own.
One of the primary benefits of working with SiteGround is the numerous features provided including a free SSL certificate, enhanced security and data privacy, out-of-the-box caching, on-demand backups, and more.
Compared to managed WordPress hosting providers like Kinsta, SiteGround is much more affordable. You can also benefit from heavy discounts for the first year up to 73% off.
32. WP Engine
WP Engine is another of the premium managed WordPress hosting services similar to WPX and Kinsta. Out of all the different web hosting companies, WP Engine is one of the best high-performance hosting services if you’re running resource-intensive websites.
The company hosts top-level businesses such as Pandora Internet Radio, Thompson Routers, Yelp, Sleep Number, and many more. As with other top-level hosting providers, you can expect to pay a premium with prices for a single website starting at over $20 per month.
Despite the cost, hosting with WP Engine is worth it if you’re serious about growing your business. Features include proactive threat blocking and security, automated WordPress and PHP updates, 1-click staging and backup, customizable themes and workflow tools, and more.
33. Green Geeks
The final bonus recommendation is Green Geeks. The company advertises as being fast, secure, and eco-friendly. This isn’t quite at the level of the premium hosting providers such as Kinsta or WP Engine. However, if you’re company advertises as being environmentally friendly, it could help with your marketing.
One benefit of Green Geeks is they offer hosting services priced at a similar level to the companies listed above. You can get started with one of their lower plans for less than $12 each month. They also offer steep discounts for the first year and a solid money-back guarantee.
Green Geeks also provides a robust feature set including backups, CDN, free SSL certificate, and built-in caching. The company also has a green energy match for hosting.
Choosing a Web Hosting Company: Why Should You Try It Before You Buy?
With the exception of the bonus web hosting companies that fall into the category of premium services, most web hosting providers are the same in terms of what they provide.
The dirty secret in web hosting is that most providers don’t actually have their own servers. Instead, they are utilizing major server providers such as AWS and providing users an interface such as Cpanel or developing their own interface.
What this means is the main differences are going to be in their customer service, how easy their backend is to use, and what complementary services they offer such as free SSL certifications.
For this reason, unless you’re working with a premium web hosting service, it’s best to go with a company that has a free trial or a money-back guarantee so you can test the service and see if it’s what you want.
What happens after my trial period ends?
With most providers, once the web hosting free trials end, you will be required to convert to a paid plan. Typically, you will have a set period of time to do this before your website and all associated data are deleted.
For this reason, it’s essential to know when your free trial ends and be prepared to either migrate your website or pay for a plan. This will ensure there is minimal disruption to your business.
One other thing to think about: some hosting companies will only allow you to migrate a website out on a paid plan. If you aren’t sure about a web hosting service and you find that you want to move, you may be forced to pay for a month in order to move everything.
What To Look For In a Hosting Provider
There are a few different factors you need to look at before settling on a hosting provider. Each of these is critical and should not be overlooked.
Take your time and perform proper due diligence by looking through reviews on websites like Reddit. The last thing you want is to get stuck with a sub-par web host and have to deal with migrating your website.
With the exception of security, one of the most important factors when choosing a hosting company is their uptime percentage. This refers to the amount of time that a server is up and running without errors.
You can’t make money if your website is down. Moreso, if your readers/customers/followers can’t access your website, they will go to your competitors. If this happens enough, you will eventually lose those people to your competitors.
No web hosting platform is going to have 100 percent uptime. There will always be times when a server is down for maintenance or technical issues. But, this shouldn’t be more than one or two percent of the time.
Most platforms will advertise what their uptime is. If you find a website hosting service that doesn’t make this known, it’s a sign that you should avoid them. Look for at least 95% or greater uptime.
Customer service is critical for web hosting companies and being able to easily get in touch with them 24/7 is vital. The last thing you want is for your website to break in the early hours of the morning and it’s five or more hours before you can get in touch with a support rep to get it fixed.
If you do sign up for any web hosting free trials, make sure to test out the customer service. Break things on your hosting and website and see if they can easily fix them. Don’t just look for quick customer service, also look for knowledgeable service.
Many companies use cPanel as the primary interface. However, this isn’t always the case, and as the cost of licensing cPanel rises, many web hosting companies are moving away from it.
When you first sign up for new web hosting services, it’s critical to work your way around the back end. Make sure that you are comfortable with everything and have all of the tools you need to build the exact website that you want.
Security is one of the most important things you need to think about as a website owner, especially if you handle customer data.
Failure to provide a secure website for things like eCommerce transactions, contact form submissions, or any other customer information collection, can land you in steep trouble with fines, lost customer trust, and potentially ruining your brand and company reputation.
Look into the company’s history and make sure they haven’t suffered from any major data breaches. If so, look into what processes have been put into place to prevent future incursions.
If you already have a website that you’re looking to migrate to new hosting, it can be quite helpful to have some kind of migration support, especially if you are new to the process.
One of the best things to look out for is if the company offers an easy migration app. This type of app can make the process incredibly easy and can reduce the chance of issues during the migration process since it will be made specifically for the platform.
How to Make the Most of a Hosting Service Trial Period
Want to get the most from your web hosting free trial?
The best thing you can do is start playing around with everything as soon as you sign up. Some of these free trials are as little as three days and some are as long as fourteen.
However, building and launching a website can take quite a while. You don’t want to lose any potential time so make sure you’ve planned what you want to build and take action immediately.
You also want to try out everything from the customer service to the dashboard. Switching providers can be a pain so it’s important you choose the right web hosting company the first time. Utilize your time well and conduct proper due diligence and you’ll find a hosting provider you like.