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11 Best “Static Web Hosting” Services (2019): Free & Cheap Sites

Proof that everything old eventually comes back into style, the best static web hosting plans strip away all unnecessary complexities to provide simple services focused on performance and efficiency. Instead of relying on databases, static websites concentrate on basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to produce lightweight landing pages and business profiles.

While static sites are hardly a new concept, the streamlined development model is enjoying a resurgence for those seeking simple coding built around speed. With so many features stripped away, these free and paid hosting services represent some of the most affordable plans out there.

Plus, static sites aren’t just for individual developers or those looking for a simple template system. Nest, MailChimp, and even Google rely on static websites, with media properties at Vox and Vice even creating entire publishing systems crafted around static site generators. Here, we’ve ranked the best values and free platforms out there, complete with all the dev tools you’ll need.

Cheap | Free | FAQs

As the Web 2.0 era of interactivity and dynamic websites matures, an increasing number of site owners are feeling the bloat of inefficient code, layers of plugins, and applications vulnerable to attacks. Static web hosting represents a refreshing return to the good ol’ days of code repositories and direct editing.

The absence of a database or third-party application dramatically increases a website’s performance and security, with a static website loading 10 times faster than a dynamically generated one. Scalability is inherently more achievable, given the simpler server workload and infrastructure associated with basic HTML and CSS code.

For those not looking to frequently update content on their online presence, static websites are an incredibly low-cost, highly reliable solution that requires next to no technical experience and administration. That said, we’d recommend a service that gives you the flexibility to adapt to audience needs and design trends. These hosts strike the perfect balance between high-speed static hosting with the ability to add additional services and tools as needed.

1.

Hostinger.com


Hostinger review

Monthly Starting Price
$2.15


  • Unlimited everything, from bandwidth to databases
  • FREE site builder & WordPress performance upgrades
  • FREE daily or weekly backups
  • 90+ auto-installation scripts and custom control panel
  • SSH access & SSL certificates
  • Get started on Hostinger now.


Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com):
As the shared hosting market becomes increasingly saturated, unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts have become surprisingly average. Hostinger, however, extends the routine, expected metrics to greater lengths — the number of websites, databases,… Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Cheap Hosting Plans
30 days 10 GB SSD – 30 GB SSD FREE (1 year) www.hostinger.com/shared

2.

Bluehost.com


Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price
$2.95


  • Known for performance at a low price
  • Endorsed by WordPress.org team
  • FREE Weebly site builder
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN
  • Get 63% off today (was $7.99/month)
  • Get started on Bluehost now.


Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com):
If you’re looking for an affordable host, Bluehost is a solid, reputable choice; The company’s low costs, coupled with its supremacy in the shared hosting arena, is what makes this provider such a valuable deal. The Bluehost name is listed toward the top of… Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Cheap Hosting Plans
30 days 50 GB – Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.bluehost.com/shared

3.

InterServer.net


InterServer review

Monthly Starting Price
$0.01


  • $0.01 for the first month, then $5 monthly after
  • NO annual contracts and NO sudden price increases
  • Unlimited storage space, data transfers, and email
  • New domain is $11 with 1-month plan ($1.99 otherwise)
  • 99.9% uptime and price-lock guarantee
  • Get started on InterServer now.


Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com):
It’s hard to argue with a shared hosting plan that includes unlimited storage, bandwidth, websites, and email — but shared hosting is a crowded industry that turns on name recognition, reputation, and bargain-basement prices. InterServer outperforms some of… Go to full review »

4.

A2Hosting.com


A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price
$3.92


  • FREE Cloudflare CDN and SSD speed boost solution
  • A2-optimized caching and 1-click CMS installs
  • Up to unlimited email addresses, domains, and databases
  • Advanced security features and FREE HackScan
  • 24/7/365 Guru Crew support via phone, chat, and tickets
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.


Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com):
There are plenty of excellent cPanel shared hosting providers out there, so what sets A2 Hosting apart from the rest? Not only does the company offer a ton of features, but it has custom-built its packages for enhanced performance, speed, and security —… Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Cheap Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited SSD New or Transfer www.a2hosting.com/shared

5.

iPage.com


iPage review

Monthly Starting Price
$1.99


  • Featuring easy setup and superb reliability since 1998
  • FREE domain and FREE Google marketing included
  • Unlimited disk, bandwidth, and emails
  • FREE site builder and shopping cart
  • Get more than 75% off today (was $7.99/month)
  • Get started on iPage now.


PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com):
Whether you’re a first-time website owner or a web veteran, iPage’s excellent hosting services and a fantastic list of extras make the brand one of the best values in web hosting.Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and emails are just a part of what makes… Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Cheap Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.ipage.com/shared

See other affordable hosts »

Static web hosting specialists feature a command line interface or terminal to execute commands and integrate with code repositories and online projects. The nuts-and-bolts approach allows for continuous integration and deployments, along with high levels of automation.

We’ve long been critics of many free web hosting services, but the stripped-down nature of static hosting bodes well for budget-minded site owners. By working so seamlessly with the git command and other open-source technologies, tons of reputable free services abound for developers and communities to host simple sites that build a following of users and contributors. Here’s our list of the most popular options:

6. GitHub Pages

GitHub Pages logoAs the development platform of choice for more than 40 million developers, GitHub is a trusted resource for hosting and reviewing code, managing projects, and building software for both individuals and Fortune 500 organizations. The company’s static hosting service, GitHub Pages, takes code straight from a GitHub repository, optionally runs the files through a build process, and publishes a website. Configuration is simple, and updates are a simple edit and push away.

  • Number of sites: One site per GitHub account, plus unlimited project websites
  • Storage and bandwidth: 1GB storage and 100GB bandwidth per month (soft limits)
  • Domains: Custom domain name or a github.io subdomain
  • Key features: HTTPS support, built-in integration with static site generator Jekyll

7. Netlify

Netlify logoTrusted by the likes of Facebook, Citrix, Verizon, Peloton, and Kubernetes, Netlify leverages serverless functions and continuous deployment to deliver sites up to 10 times faster than other configurations. The platform bet heavily on JAMstack, unifying JavaScript, APIs, and prerendered Markup for an impressive infrastructure well-suited for businesses and developers looking for a commercial solution. Netlify originally made a splash in static hosting with the drag-and-drop deployments at BitBalloon, but leaders brought the service under the Netlify umbrella to create Netlify Drop.

  • Number of sites: One website with 300 build minutes per month
  • Storage and bandwidth: 100GB storage and 100GB bandwidth per month (soft limits)
  • Domains: Custom domain name or a netlify.com subdomain
  • Key features: Global CDN deployment, HTML forms, and instant cache invalidation

8. Firebase

Firebase logoWith the powerful backing and oversight of Google, Firebase gives mobile and web application developers tons of tools to move quickly online. Users can run static or dynamic sites on Google’s SSD-powered infrastructure, with built-in analytics, performance monitoring, and crash reporting tools to help site owners optimize and perfect their site. Google further expanded its static hosting footprint in 2015 by snatching up DivShot, another popular brand in the free hosting space.

  • Number of sites: Multiple websites within a single Firebase project
  • Storage and bandwidth: 1GB storage and 10GB bandwidth per month
  • Domains: Custom domain name or subdomains on web.app and firebaseapp.com domains
  • Key features: Zero-configuration SSL certificates, global CDN, A/B testing, and analytics

9. Amazon S3

Amazon Web Services S3 logoNot surprisingly, another powerful name on our list is Amazon Web Services on our list. Amazon S3, the company’s object storage service offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. As with seemingly all things AWS, setup is a little complicated for first-time users, but the company includes a helpful setup guide to using Route 53 for DNS and CloudFront for content distribution. Amazon’s free tier for all these services gives users 12 months to experience enterprise-grade static hosting.

  • Number of sites: One
  • Storage and bandwidth: 5GB storage and up to 1GB per month of bandwidth
  • Domains: Custom domain name or AWS Region-specific website endpoint
  • Key features: Integrations with 175 AWS services, 99.99% uptime, unlimited scalability

10. Zeit

Zeit logoBehind a mission to make cloud computing accessible to everyone, Zeit promises zero-configuration static hosting that integrates with a variety of web frameworks. By installing the command line interface, users can publish and deploy in just a few keystrokes. The platform’s automatic SSL security and smart CDN don’t require any setup, providing an all-in-one solution for static and JAMstack deployments. Premium plans add unlimited deployments and greater collaboration tools.

  • Number of sites: Unlimited websites
  • Storage and bandwidth: Up to 10,000 files and 20GB of bandwidth per month
  • Domains: Custom domains supported or now.sh subdomain
  • Key features: HTTPS support, smart CDN, continuous deployment with GitHub and GitLab

11. Forge

Forge logoBilled as the fastest, simplest, and most affordable way to host and deploy static websites, Forge takes publishing beyond GitHub or the command line interface by including built-in Dropbox compatibility. The user-friendly platform includes a drag-and-drop interface for file syncing, as well as TurboJS and content delivery network integration to optimize page load speeds. Bandwidth restrictions make the free plan tough to stay in for the long haul, but we love that Forge comes with 24/7 support.

  • Number of sites: Unlimited publishing on one project
  • Storage and bandwidth: 5GB of storage and 1GB bandwidth per month
  • Domains: Custom domains supported
  • Key features: Hosted forms, .htaccess rewrites and redirects, plus live site previews

Simply put, static web hosting supports fixed-content, HTML-based websites that display the same information to all visitors. When a user’s web browser retrieves a static website from a static web hosting server, the entire page is already constructed in HTML files (along with possibly CSS and JavaScript).

When the World Wide Web emerged in the early 1990s, HTML consisted of just 18 tags, or elements. Every page was static and unstyled, with web browsers simply fetching HTML files from servers and enabling users to navigate through links. As design principles and programming languages evolved, databases emerged as a way to separate a website’s content (blog posts, photo galleries, products, and the like) from the underlying designs and layouts.

Desktop applications like Adobe Dreamweaver were great for static HTML and CSS sites, but the original static website generators struggled to reasonably connect to the SQL-based relational databases in a visual, user-friendly manner. As a result, content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla gained popularity and led the tectonic online shift into interactive web design and dynamic, tailored visitor experiences.

With static websites, each HTML file represents a complete page of a site; the web browser simply retrieves and displays the file. Dynamic websites, however, use server-side technologies (like databases and PHP) to essentially build a web page as a user’s browser accesses the various files. Basically, the browser will find several different pieces of information and then stitch them all together into one cohesive, dynamic web page.

Image of datacenter

Static and dynamic websites take drastically different approaches to attracting and engaging visitors.

Static sites are good for smaller websites that don’t need to update their content frequently, while large sites with hundreds or thousands of pages are much easier to maintain dynamically. For example, if you wanted to add or remove a link on your website’s footer, you would have to make the change in every HTML file that contains the footer. To update the footer on a dynamic website, you’d likely only edit one file.

Static websites are created manually, likely via coding by hand or by using a static website generator that relies on a command line interface and a text editor that formats content in Markdown. Although dynamic websites can be coded from scratch, you’re more likely to use a web-based interface that handles the programming languages and database connections for you. Drag-and-drop website builders, WordPress, and other content management and publishing systems are prime examples of dynamic site creators.

Given the user-focused design of dynamic websites and content management systems, it can be difficult to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of static vs. dynamic websites. Generally speaking, static websites are typically faster, more secure, and more affordable than dynamic alternatives. Here’s a more comprehensive list of pros:

  • Faster performance
  • Lower cost
  • Higher reliability and scalability
  • More secure
  • Less time to create
  • Easier for search engines to index

With all of these perks, static websites draw their strength from their sheer simplicity. The absence of databases and third-party applications removes potential security vulnerabilities, points of failure, performance hangups, expensive add-ons, and infrastructural inefficiencies.

To be fair, however, static websites come with a few major drawbacks worth considering: content is not easily changed and functionality is limited. Because of the reliance on coding and the command line, not all site owners are able (or willing) to make the manual, tedious updates needed to have a modern and effective online presence. Plus, given the scaled-back nature of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript when compared with dynamic programming languages, site owners will have a harder time capitalizing on current design and development trends.

When it comes to getting a static website off the ground, many traditionalists and old-school programmers will simply open their favorite text editor and start coding. For many others, however, a static website generator will do the trick. Much like the best website builders that offer visual ways to design dynamic websites, static site generators work to pair your content with a design template and produce static HTML code as a result. Check out the list of top generators and frameworks, according to the experts at StaticGen:

Again, selecting a static website generator is similar to the steps taken when weighing how to choose a web host. Have a clear and detailed picture of your project’s needs and goals to inform your decision-making process. From there, you’ve essentially got two paths to choose from: do you seek out the highest number of built-in features or the stripped-down and efficient platform with a vibrant plugin marketplace?

Fortunately, many of the best static site generators are based around open-source projects and technologies. After choosing a cheap or free static web hosting plan from the list above, you’ll have numerous options to demo, try, and experiment with. Take your time to learn which types of site creation processes you value the most, whether it’s pure usability or efficient build times. Enjoy exploring the freedoms and possibilities that static site generators give you!

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About the Author

Laura Bernheim has spent more than 12 years crafting engaging and award-winning articles that share the passion behind organizations’ products, people, and innovations. As a freelance contributor to HostingAdvice, she combines a reputation for producing quality content with rich technical expertise to show experienced developers how to capitalize on emerging technologies and find better ways to work with established platforms. A professional journalist, Laura has contributed to The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, the Sun Sentinel, and the world’s top hosting providers. In addition to conducting interviews with industry leaders, Laura drives internal writing and design teams to deliver stellar, timely content that clearly explains even the most difficult concepts.

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