Free web hosting sites with PHP and MySQL are versatile platforms for all sorts of website projects.
When you need to upload files to web servers and manage them using FTP, website builders are usually not the right tool to use.
Services with PHP and MySQL are better options because they have more flexible features.
The best free PHP hosting sites also have simple control panels that help you manage your site the same way many professionals do.
You may not need PHP (a scripting language) or MySQL (a database system) right away.
They come as standard with many modern hosting service providers and it is safe to ignore these features if you do not need them.
However, as time passes, you gain in experience and, you may want to experiment.
Beginners often find that they can make good use of PHP and MySQL in their website projects. So it makes sense to start using a fully featured platform right from the start.
I keep referring to beginners because this page is part of my series on free web hosting for students. However, the recommendations you find here are suitable for anyone looking for free web hosts.
Best Free PHP Hosting Sites With MySQL
All hosts in this list meet the following key criteria. They:
- provide a free subdomain or other URL
- serve SSL secured pages using ‘https’
- provide active support (chat, ticket, forums etc.)
- do not require credit card details
- have clear terms and conditions
Which control panel a host offers, is a deal breaker for some people. Personally, I have found that custom dashboards can be just as useful as the more popular branded ones. So, control panels on offer are NOT an important criteria for sites to appear in this list for that reason.
In fact, my experience is that you have to jump through far more hoops to sign up to free web hosting with cPanel. Web hosts have to pay a fee to use it. So, few of them find it viable to let you use it at no cost.
x10Hosting is a good example of the cost issue. They migrated to DirectAdmin from cPanel to save themselves thousands of dollars per month1.
I always asked my students to use 000webhost for my courses. Mainly because this host offers three ways to build a site: online website builder, one-click WordPress installation or custom.
The custom option allows you to upload files and manage them via FTP. So it suited learners who had to upload, edit and manage individual files.
Main features of 000webhost free cPanel Web hosting plan:
- Storage: 300MB
- Subdomain: ‘yourchoice.000webhostapp.com’
- Bandwidth: 3GB
- Email: 5 forwarders
- MySQL: 2 databases
- PHP version: 5+, 7+
- Ads: No
Things you may not like about 000webhost free plan:
- Performance: Web page loading speeds can be slow
- Time limit: your site has to be offline for an hour or so every day
You can choose a time-frame for the downtime but, clearly this is not the best option if you need your site to be available 24/7.
If downtime isn’t a realistic option for you, then consider the other websites in this list. 000webhost has the number one spot here because it was rated ‘Excellent’ on Truspilot (with 1,182 reviews) when I last checked.
If you need more bandwith or disk space, than most free web hosting with PHP sites provide, then InifintyFree could be the right service for you.
Unlimited bandwidth and disk space are not the only reasons that InfinityFree earns a place in this shortlist though. The service rated as ‘Great’ on Trustpilot based on 149 reviews.
- Storage: Unlimited
- Subdomain: ‘yourchoice.epizy.com’ or ‘yourchoice.rf.gd’
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Email: 10 accounts
- MySQL: 400 databases
- PHP version: 5+, 7+
- Ads: No
- Other: Cloudflare CDN, DNS Service
I covered GoogieHost in my free web hosting with cPanel review. Although, I think the signup process is on the long side, I recommend trying this host because it also has many positive reviews posted around the web2. Googiehost is rated as ‘Excellent’ based on 41 Trustpilot reviews.
Main Googiehost features:
- Storage: 1GB
- Subdomain: ‘ yourchoice.cu.ma’ or ‘ yourchoice.thats.im’
- Bandwidth: 100GB
- Email: 2 addresses
- MySQL: latest version
- PHP: latest version
- Ads: No
- Other: Cloudflare CDN
- “cPanel Migration to DirectAdmin”. xHosting.com. Accessed 15th February 2020.
- Googiehost Reviews. Trustpilot.com. Accessed 15th February 2020.
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