Hosting your website for free
When starting as a web developer, it can be hard to know where to host your site. If you want the most robust platform with the most flexibility, then deploying a server on DigitalOcean is likely your best bet. However, if all you need is something simple that will let you share updates with friends and family on social feeds and blogs — or just get started in general — there are several free options available for hosting websites. With all these services, you get free SSL included (which is awesome), but if you need to do some configuring, it will take a little bit more work.
Once your website is ready, it’s time to deploy it. You do want to know some basics on Git version control. HubSpot has a great introduction article that you may want to read this article from HubSpot.
The free tier of Netlify offers an unlimited number of websites. You get 300 build minutes and 100GB of bandwidth each month. You can host an unlimited number of websites on Netlify’s free tier. You get 300 build minutes and 100GB of bandwidth each month. If you need more time to build your website, they have a paid plan that offers 1,000 build minutes for $9/month or 3,000 build minutes for $29/month. You can use a static site generator like Next.js, Gatsby.js, Jekyll, or HTML CSS and JS files to structure your site however you want.
Netlify does have an excellent tool that will allow you to build without knowing Git from the command line or the GitHub GUI app. To do this, we will use the Netlify Drop command line tool, which allows us to drag and drop any folder containing our code into the browser window at Netlify Drop.
- [Netlify Products](https://www.netlify.com/products/)
- [Netlify Docs](https://docs.netlify.com/)
Vercel is a free web hosting platform that allows you to host unlimited websites without paying any money. Vercel also allows you to host your website for free with some limitations, like a 1GB file size limit and a maximum of 100 hours of builds per month. You can use it for any purpose, including personal and commercial websites (no ads). On the paid side, Vercel Pro is $20 per user/month, and is for small teams focused on collaboration.
You get up to 1 TB of bandwidth. Unlimited function requests, and 1000 GB-hours of execution. It includes Dynamic edge caching (CDN stuff), and Email support. On the paid side, Vercel Pro is $20 per user/month, and is for small teams focused on collaboration. You get up to 1 TB of bandwidth. Unlimited function requests, and 1000 GB-hours of execution. It includes Dynamic edge caching (CDN stuff), and Email support.
- [Getting started with Vercel](https://vercel.com/docs/concepts/get-started)
- [How does Vercel work?](https://vercel.com/features/infrastructure)
GitHub Pages is also an excellent option to host your website for free, but there are some limitations, like only static content will be hosted. Server-side code does not run on GitHub pages. If you are using GitHub pages to host your website, you can use any static site generator like Next.js, Gatsby.js, Jekyll, or HTML, CSS, and JS files to create a website. The site can deploy on GitHub pages by putting those files in a specific “_site” folder. Read the guide for GitHub Pages. Personally, I use the
- [Getting Started with GitHub](https://docs.github.com/en/get-started)
- [GitHub Pages Docs](https://docs.github.com/en/pages)
GitHub Pages Video
If you want to host a website as an individual or a small business, hosting it on these free services is a great option. Please, keep in mind, to host your website for free on these platforms, there are some limitations, like only static content will be hosted. Server-side code like PHP or .Net will not run on any of these services.
You can also use these services to host your projects to save money on costs associated with maintaining your server infrastructure. These platforms offer all the features you need to build your website, including built-in SSL certificates, automatic backup tools, and much more! If you find that this is too much, or way above your head, then I would recommend using WordPress.com as a free solution.
Creative Director, Coder, Open-Source Fanatic
Published: ~ 4 min read