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Are there any genuine free website hosting services?


Active Member
I want to create my own web site and would like to know if there are any genuine free website hosting services that include a site builder? Never having done this before, and until I know how good a designer I am, a free site builder is important.


Rain maker
There are a few as mentioned. I would imagine all have some sort of ad somewhere though?
I pay for hosting for mine but it's only something stupid like £2.50 a month and it is unlimited. I can install WordPress or the other major player (forget name) etc. I have 2 main sites of mine on there(links in my signature), a couple of hardly used ones of mine, and I also host a couple of other people's sites.
I get it from unlimitedwebhosting I think.
You can ftp in etc, pretty much free hand, so you can hand write your own code and upload it too, which you'll not get on most of the free builder style ones. I also store some stuff there but I think they will spot if you try to use it as a cloud storage. If I want to link to a document or big image I bung it in a folder and link to that.


Here a lot
I am going to give Weebly a go later, for a friend who wants to start a small business website...We shall see.


Active Member
If you register with Weebly do you have a personalised email address or come with a Weebly dot suffix i.e. www.user.weebly.com or just www.user.com?

I now see if you go for free it has weebly.com subdomain so you have to have the £5 month pricing to avoid this.
Last edited by a moderator:


Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
I've been building websites for many years and what I can say is that with hosting is you get what you pay for.

With free stuff, there's always a caveat to it, either they'll push adverts in to the frame, the domain is so long and convoluted that folk wouldn't remember it, some redirect search traffic back to their main sell pages so the eyeballs go to where you don't want (that's if they allow search engines to spider the site) or the systems are crippled somehow in terms of either older or basic versions of scripting languages, minimal database access, limited traffic per period.

With the price of hosting now-a-days, it's not worth trying to save a few quid a month on not getting something paid because it could easily cost a lot more than a few quid a month if you're trying to make money from it!


Active Member
Yes thanks I am beginning to realise that. I am an amateur photographer and just wanted to promote myself and see where it went. I have been looking at WordPress for some time but found the setup a little confusing but will continue. Their basic scheme is something to start on, although as you say the domain name will be extended unless I invest in an upgrade. As my first attempt looking at website design and hosting I find it quite daunting!


Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
As my first attempt looking at website design and hosting I find it quite daunting!
It is very, very daunting to start off with; I'd say a lot more so now than when I started building HTML pages back in the last millennium because there's a lot more technology in what constitutes a website now.

As for cutting your teeth with it, I think that out of a lot of the packages that are available to manage a website Wordpress is about the easiest there is and there are many beginners guides to what to do out there for it.

Rob Hudson

I'm also going through the same process of looking to start a wbesite, but have very little to invest in it right now. So I will be exploring a few options seen here. I've seen these posts are all from around ten months ago, so do you have any feedback on progression/how things turned out?

Also, a question for everyone: I would eventually like to give my 'company' a creative name. Is better to go with that and try to create a brand image, or stick to using your own name for ease and recognition?


Lets think about this for a moment - you are going to start a business website - do you really think people will trust a mysite.weebly.com address as being serious - I wouldnt.
You can get website hosting for about 1 pound a week on a shared server. Places like weebly, wix etc you are then carrying advertising for them - and making them money. Plus it is usually an advert for someone in your niche.
So a website about photographers - will carry adverts that also work in the same niche. I'd pay the money and do it right - you'll only end up re doing it later


Always on
Shootproof is free for up to 100 photographs.

The catch though is that the SEO is non existent. I cannot find myself on Google even if I add shootproof to the search!

I'd suggest that many others are like this too especially where you have to add flickr or whatever to the searching. If people cannot find you they won't buy from you.

TheImageFile is worth looking at - many of these photography website companies like this (SmugMug is another) offer a 30 day trial where you can tweak and change the website and much of the work is done for you.

Here's my effort after only a week of playing around:


Always on
I know this is an old thread but I was just poking around and decided to read a few of them. I like your site Edward, very easy to navigate and excellent content.


Always on
I use smugmug and it gives instant impact with their full screen sites, every year I find it pays for itself through commissions, photography training or sales. It really is worth the extra to having a professional looking site.

www.davephoto.co.uk if anyone wants to see a smugmug site done using a template.


Always on
Thank you @Isac for your kind comment - easy navigation was a priority for me when choosing especially as I now have over 75,000 images on it :) Still sell old ones and only last week one from four years ago was bought from me. Finding that file among my 12 external disks proved a tedious problem :D

It really is worth the extra to having a professional looking site
Most definitely - it does pay off eventually even if it does seem expensive at first


Always on
Premium Member
Reading this again as it popped up and the cringe that went down my spine when reading a recommendation for 000 webcrap reminded me of all the trouble many f us had a few years ago. They truly are terrible. As a member of a team that once developed a very popular open source gallery package (Coppermine photo gallery) you would not believe the arguments we had with them.

Back to current hosting, if you are in the UK and want to host a few sites then I cannot recommend Bytemark ( https://www.Bytemark.co.uk ) highly enough. Easy to setup and the lowest cloud package is capable of hosting many small sites. No yearly contract, you can even host for just a few days and only get charged for that.