Choosing a proper web hosting provider may be a tough challenge. You need to consider a set of crucial parameters and issues. What is the most trustworthy platform? What features to look for and what bandwidth do you need? How much should you spend? Is there a way to start building a website free? While hosting providers try to spoil their customers with special offers and extra features, website building platforms come as an all-in-one solution. You get all necessary features in one package making it easy to get started with building a website instantly. We have reviewed some of the most popular web hosting platforms and conducted a least of best 4 options.
IM Creator: It’s Not Just About Hosting
IM Creator looks like a better option whenever you look for a free web hosting site. All you need is to sing in and start building your website whether it is a digital store, portfolio or blog. IM Creator is probably the only platform that provides enough e-commerce features within a free plan although it does not include a domain name. The core advantages are as follows:
- Free Plan – you can start building your website free. The plan provides 50MB of storage. You will also get a full access to a collection of templates and e-commerce features.
- E-Commerce features – choose from over 20 currencies for your shop. Manage and edit product categories. Implement SEO settings for each product page and section, add various payment options, view “add to cart” function to track the product path until the purchase, integrate Google Analytics and other statistic services;
- Easy Editing – IM Creator takes you to the WYSISWG editing environment. Here you can customize pages according to your style and taste. Move elements, add sections and media files, and edit content before your website is published;
- Advanced Blogging Feature – you can create a customizable blog section. Feel free to change colors and fonts, experiment with typography, implement SEO settings like a social preview, add focus keywords and tags to promote your blog on the web.
IM Creator is a full-scale web hosting site with enough tools to deal with creating of any website. It is good for blogs and digital stores. It offers special features for individuals, companies and web hosting providers. The website builder is easy to use and affordable enough for those who look for a free web hosting solution.
Github Pages: A Destination for Prosessionals
Github Pages boasts trending repositories that can be transformed into smart and professionally looking websites. Although it does not require deep HTML knowledge, beginners will definitely find it daunting to build a website using Github Pages. On the other hand, it is 100% free, which is certainly the major advantage in favor of the platform. Although it offers a limited repository, you can still host enough files without exceeding 1GB bandwidth. The major Github Pages features include:
- It is Free – Github Pages offers $0 cost whenever it comes to hosting facilities. They claim to have no data limits. However, you will receive a letter from administration every time you exceed 1GB bandwidth;
- No Ads – unlike many other website builders that charge extra fees for eliminating the ads, Github Pages is an ads-free platform unless you need to place an ad of your own;
- Reliable Web Hosting – reliability and security are of major value when it comes to web hosting. It does not matter if you need a website for personal needs or for e-commerce purposes, Github Pages lets you safely manage your content and configurations;
Additional benefits include a simple process of file and content management (for professionals, of course). Each and every content element or section is available as a text file in addition to a .md extension. You handle the creation of portfolio, corporate website and other projects you want to share online.
Google Sites: 10GB Storage Allocation
For those who have been hiding under the rock for the last decade, Google Sites represents the revival of former Jotspot. It was acquired by Google in 2006. Today, it has nothing in common with Jotspot platform. Google Sites lets the website owner team up with third parties for a collaborative work. Here are some core advantages:
- Free Hosting – as we are talking of free web hosting sites, this parameter is of great value. You will get up to 10 GB storage allocation, which looks enough to build a website with a complex structure and tons of content;
- Drag-and-Drop Feature – Google Sites has evolved from website building perspectives. It is easy to use thanks to a drag-and-drop feature. You can easily edit content and customize pages in the WYSIWYG environment. Remove images, copy texts, add widgets and more;
- Mobile-Optimized Themes – Google Sites lets you view the mobile-optimized website. However, you cannot do it automatically. The function can be enabled manually through the control panel. The themes look pretty poor;
- Affordable Prices – if you feel like 10GB is not enough, you can opt for unlimited plans that will cost you from $5 to $10 per month.
Apart from all Google Sites benefits, the platform still has some obvious misses. The templates are pretty mediocre. There is no CSS open use while the HTML usage is also quite limited. Summing up, it is hardly the best platform for a digital store or a stunning blog.
WordPress.com: Better than CMS
You might think that we are going to speak about WordPress. Well, you are wrong. WordPress.com is totally different from a popular CMS. It has a different interface that is simpler and more intuitive if compared with CMS. Although it is not a drag-and-drop website builder, it still has a set of advantages to consider in addition to a blogging feature. The main WordPress.com hits include:
- Reliable Web Hosting – WordPress.com offers a fast and secure hosting. You do not have to update your website manually. All patches are attached automatically minimizing the risk of DDoS attacks and other possible frauds and viruses;
- Server Upgrades – WordPress.com makes constant server upgrades that are safer if compared with those relying on PHP and MySQL. All upgradation maintenance is held by WordPress/com specialists;
- Wide Selection of Themes – you can choose themes related to different categories from simple blogs and portfolios to digital stores. All themes are mobile responsive;
- Access to WordPress Plugins – once you have started building a website on WordPress.com, you automatically get an access to all widgets and plugins available for CMS. Add analytic tools, integrate MailChimp and other newsletter services, add subscription forms and memberships, etc.
Although WordPress.com looks like a great option, it still has some downsides. The lack of drag-and-drop feature resulted in the fact that content goes separately from the website design. It means that you cannot customize a page and design it within the content.
If compared with other web hosting platforms, IM Creator looks more flexible and versatile. It delivers more useful functions and features to start building different website types at once. It offers a free hosting, an advanced WYSISWG editing environment in addition to a huge selection of professional-looking templates, blogging and e-commerce features. Moreover, it reserves enough place for extension and website development in the future.