Hostgator Free Web Hosting Alternatives

There is no Hostgator free web hosting per se. Even though Hostgator offers a free domain and a website builder, these are still paid plans. Zero-cost web hosting is another matter entirely, and comes with its own set of trade offs. In fact, no web host offers free web hosting without major compromises in performance. Here are some alternatives to Hostgator free web hosting, and what the downsides may be.

Best Hostgator Discount Code

If you sign up for three years, here is the lowest Hostgator price you can get. You can find the right Hostgator discount code depending on the type of plan you want.

Discount Period: 3-years
Discount amount: 62%

If you want to host for a shorter period, check out the following Hostgator coupon for 12-months instead:

The above code is the complete bundle with a free domain name and website builder.

You’ll Never Get a Domain for Free

While most web hosts like Hostgator give away a free domain if you purchase web hosting for a minimum period, there’s no way they’re going to give you an entire domain for free just by itself. That’s because domain registration is a “hard” cost that can’t be avoided. Unlike hosting, where a company can conceivably maintain your site without any real cost.

Some providers will only give you a free domain if you purchase hosting for 2 years or more. Others have different requirements. Some like SiteGround don’t give you a free domain at all. Hostgator is unique in that you get a free domain even if you choose to host for just one year. It’s one of the reasons why I maintain that there’s nothing cheaper than Hostgator.

Alternatives to Hostgator Free Web Hosting

Since there’s no Hostgator free hosting plan, here’s what you can get if you don’t want to pay anything.

1. Hosting on WordPress.com

The first option for free web hosting is to create a site on WordPress.com. You get a fast site with no restrictions on disk space. You can even find themes that don’t have ads on them. The only drawback is that you don’t get your own domain unless you pay extra (obviously).

So instead of a site URL like this:

example.com

You get this:

example.wordpress.com

If you want, you can upgrade your site with a “proper” domain name by paying a bit extra. But at that point, you might as well go with a full fledged host like Hostgator instead. Because it’s not free anymore.

2. Using Wix (Not Recommended)

A lot of people are attracted to Wix because of the easy site design tools. But by choosing Wix, you’re locking yourself into a web host that you can’t get out of later on. It’s why I’ve written a separate article on why hosting on Wix isn’t a good idea.

In addition, Wix places ads on every page of your website. I don’t really blame them, because who wants to provide a free service with nothing to show for it? It’s the same as with WordPress. But with WordPress, at least you can export your site and its contents out of the platform and move it to another provider. With Wix, you’re locked in.

Another big disadvantage of the free Wix plan is that there’s no integration with Google Analytics.

3. Try 000webhost

If you already have a domain name and just want free web hosting, try 000webhost. They’re a sister concern of Hostinger, and they have a free hosting plan with extremely limited capabilities. Here’s a screenshot of the restricted choices:

Hostgator Free Web Hosting Alternatives
Hostgator Free Web Hosting Alternatives

As you can see, you don’t get a free domain unless you purchase the third plan, which costs more than Hostgator’s basic Hatchling plan for 3-years. This tracks with what we already know – that Hostgator’s plans are the cheapest in the market for what they provide.

Stay Away from Website Builders

A good rule of thumb while getting started with web design, is to not use website builders like Wix. WordPress is fine, because you can migrate your data out of it and go to a new host. But hosting providers that offer easy “drag n’ drop” website builders are actually trying to lock you into their service. This goes for Hostgator’s website builder as well. Just use something that you can take with you when you leave. WordPress is a great example, but any exportable CMS will do.

Bottom Line: Hostgator is Cheap – But not Free

The big takeaway from all this is that there’s no free Hostgator web hosting plan. What we do know is that for what you get – a domain name and hosting – it’s the cheapest out there. While there are other services that can allow you to build your website for free, they won’t give you a domain name. And even then, you’ll have restrictions like advertisements and (in the case of Wix), caps on resource usage.

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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