Can you really get FREE web hosting?
Yes, there are hundreds of free hosts, as far as not having to pay any money. Generally they either cost you in time, hosting restrictions, or modifying your web pages by adding popups or other adverts. When looking for free web hosting (especially on search engines), you should beware that there are also a large number of commercial web hosts that claim to offer free hosting, but those have a catch, such as paying an excessive amount for a domain name or other service, and therefore aren’t really free.
How do the free web hosts make money?
The free hosts often make money in other ways, such as putting banners, popups, or popunders on your site. Some free hosting companies do not put ads on your site, but require you as the webmaster to click on banners in their control panel or signup process, or just display banners in the file manager in hopes you will click them. Some lure visitors with free hosting in hopes you will upgrade and pay for advanced features. A few send you occasional emails with ads, or may even sell your email address.
Are free web hosts reliable?
Generally no, although there may be a few exceptions. If the host is making money from banner ads or other revenue sources directly from the free hosting, then they likely will stay in business, provided someone doesn’t abuse their hosting with spam, hacking, etc., as often happens to new free web hosting companies with liberal signup policies. If the host accepts just anyone, especially with an automated instant activation and it offers features such as PHP or CGI, then some users invariably try to find ways to abuse it which can cause the host to have a lot of downtime or the server to be slow. It is best if you choose a very selective free host which only accepts quality sites (assuming you have one).