Good sites offering free web hosting with cPanel, PHP and MySQL databases are few and far between. It is far easier to find free website hosts offering drag-and-drop sitebuilder platforms.
However, the best free cPanel hosts give you far more flexibility than any drag-and-drop platform can. They allow you to work with hand-coded HTML, CSS, JS and PHP files too.
As a result, this usually means that you can also install and run Content Management System (CMS) applications like WordPress with a cPanel host.
There are plenty of other good control panel options out there but, I compiled this list as part of my series on the top free web hosting sites for students.
I am a firm believer in getting students to use applications and tools they are likely to come across in industry. I also believe that it is also good for them to be aware of sound alternatives. So, please forgive me for not getting straight to the list.
cPanel is the second most popular control panel in the industry1. However, it also costs less to use than Plesk (the market leader). It makes sense that free hosting services would choose cPanel for that reason alone2 but, it is also a rock-solid option.
Best Free cPanel Web Hosts and Signup Tips
All hosts in this list meet 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 no time limits
- have clear terms and conditions
Unfortunately, this means a few of the top sites like FreeHost.com do not appear here.
You have to supply your own domain to use Freehost for example. So, that service had to be ruled out because many people are not prepared or able to pay for anything.
I have signed up for plenty of free hosting over the years. So, when I arrived at the ‘register’ page at Gigarocket, I was quietly confident that the process would not take me very long.
The frst mistake I made was making a typo in one of the passwords I entered. One of the two I entered did not match the other.
No problem. I am familiar with forms and it is a quick fix.
After fixing my own error and submitting the form again, I got an error message telling me that my attempt had flagged me as being a robot.
Wow! That’s a first.
So, I thought about things for a moment, hit F5 to refresh the form, and tried again. This time I was careful to type slowly and carefully to avoid making any mistakes.
Fantastic. My submission worked.
So, the next thing I did was head off to check my email to complete the sign up process.
The verification email was already waiting when I got there. All I had to do was click the link it contained.
No problem. I did that but, I was left a little confused. Why? Because I ended up at a forum.
It turns out that You need to make 10 “QUALITY POSTS” to the Gigarocket forum to qualify for a free shared hosting account.
Here we go…
I can understand that these sorts of hurdles might help to deter spammers but “COME ON”. There is no way I could put my students through that rigmarole.
If you are prepared to make the effort, I would not blame you. Bear in mind though, that there is also no “maintenance” available for free shared hosting accounts with Gigarocket.
Main Gigarocket features:
- Storage: 5GB
- Subdomain: epizy.com (25+ more available)
- Bandwidth: 50GB
- Email: 25 POP3 accounts
- MySQL: 10 databases
- PHP: v7
- Ads: No
- Other: Cloudlinux with Cloudflare, Free DNS Service
I was optimistic about the signup process for Googiehost being quick and easy too.
How did I get on?
Well, after choosing the ‘Free plan’ and clicking the ‘Get for free’ signup buttons, there are several domain name options. I wanted a subdomain. So, I checked if the subdomain I was interested in was available for both the cu.ma and thats.im options.
The subdomains were checked and they seemed to be available. I thought that because the next step I had to follow was: explain why I needed the account.
Another first, but no problem. It is a free service after all.
I proceeded to let them know that I wanted to do a review and clicked the nearest ‘Checkout’ button, thinking that all I would have to do then was simply wait for a reply.
No such luck!
The work ‘checkout’ should have given the game away.
What next then? A checkout page with another 13 fields to fill in!
I knew that this was far more than my students would be able to tolerate. So my journey ended there.
If you have the patience to take the remaining steps, then Googiehost could be just what you are looking for.
Main Googiehost features:
- Storage: 1GB
- Subdomain: ‘cu.ma’ or ‘thats.im’
- Bandwidth: 100GB
- Email: 2 addresses
- MySQL: latest version
- PHP: latest version
- Ads: No
- Other: Cloudflare CDN
Free Web Hosting with cPanel Roundup
My journey to find the best free web hosting with cPanel is almost over. I do have a few more sites to review and, I will update this page when I finish doing that.
In the meantime, what should you do about finding a free cPanel host?
Personally, I would settle for less and not insist on having cPanel at all. There are dozens of free web hosts that supply their own custom control panels. You will have more choice and find a good alternative far more quickly by settling for one of those.
I plan to begin work on writing a shortlist of great alternatives soon. The link to it will posted here as soon as it is available.
- “cPanel Market Share and Competitor Report”. Datanize.com. Accessed 14 February 2020
- “cPanel Migration to DirectAdmin”. xHosting.com. Accessed 15th February 2020.
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