Saturday, July 31, 2010

Free web hosting by xtreemhost - Review

There are tons of web hosting companies these days that offer FREE hosting, but as there is nothing free in this world, you get what you pay for and in this case you get what you don't pay for (you will see later down). There are also tons of sites which review hosting sites and I found 90% of them (through google) which are very biased as they are trying to advertise, even forums are filled with affililate marketers and their opinions are very biased. This review is definitely unbiased.

I found xtreemhost.com when I was looking for a free and ad-free php host for a super light-weight website that used no CMS and only had like a couple of pages. I chose xtreemhost because I was attracted to their features mentioned in their home page - fast loading, 5.5 GB of space, 200 GB bandwidth per month, with mail and htaccess enabled. The space was overkill for my requirements but I found it offered the most when compared to other free hosting service and I was also planning to add more websites later. Before registering you are forced to create a free domain name with cz.cc but after registering you can create websites in the form yoursite.xtreemhost.com

The first noticable thing about a free host is the speed which is the time it takes for your page to load. This was clearly felt when I uploaded my simple light-weight website with only text and no images - it was a tad slower to load about 5 seconds more than say google.com. A few days later I set up another one - a Joomla site and the admin panel was so slow that I had to wait more than 30 seconds for it to load, Joomla is a heavy-weight CMS and this was expected. The front end loaded faster just like my first site but only the text part, the images took further 10 seconds to load. Transferring files via FTP was very slow too especially when you have got 1000+ files, you have to zip them first.

Xtreemhost uses vista panel for their control panel which is pretty easy to use. They offer unlimited email accounts, a maximum of 50 sub-domains, 50 addon domain, 50 parked domain, 50 MySQL databases and 1 FTP account. I would say good feature packed for a free hosting. I liked the fact that when you added a secondary domain they created separate folders for each addon domain under your home folder. Even paid hosts like bluehost don't have this feature - they just create all folders under the public_html and force you with alternate urls attached to your primary domain.

Xtreemhost's one-click script installer for installing CMSes like wordpress, joomla, etc was not working for some reason but after a few days they fixed it. I ran into other problems during development like the "allow_url_fopen" in apache was disabled which means I was not able use php's file_get_contents function to connect to a url so I did a workaround by using CURL. I also found that for some reason I couldn't connect to twitter's API (maybe it was blocked?) anyways I connected using the IP of twitter.com. And their email was slow to deliver, it delivered messages every 15 minutes after it was sent from my code.

In conclusion, I can say that if you are looking to host a website for some serious work then getting a free hosting is a big NO, as you can see you get slow page loads and disabled functions. But if you don't mind the down-sides of free hosting then xtreemhost is a good free host, they also have paid hosting and it sure will be better than the free one. If you are looking for a paid hosting then a good one in which I host my websites is HostGator's shared hosting which have no problems of a free hosting that I encountered above.

8 comments:

Abdul said...

Nice Post,

Choosing the best hosting is a major problem….
I can suggest one of the best hosting company which provides top features. I am hosted with
http://freesite2you.com It gives Free Hosting with top features.

* No ads, No Banners, No Hidden costs.
* Free Hosting for life time. No need of upgrades.
* Free top level domain (I have not seen any free hosting company providing this service).
* CPanel powered hosting.
* Free Addon, Parked, Subdomains.
* Much hosting disk space & high bandwidth.
* Free FTP with online file manager.
* Latest PHP, ASP, MYSQL, PERL, CGI, RUBY, BIN much more…
* Integrated online editor & Free script installer for website, blog, forum, PHP form, etc,.
* Unlimited POP3 Email access.
* Free softwares for FTP and to create your website easily.
* 99.9 % up time.

Hope you like this... Have a happy hosting.

Manx said...

@Abdul, nice features but I checked them out and they do NOT give a free top level domain (TLD), they provide subdomain of co.cc (free by www.co.cc) which is not a TLD!
There is no free hosting which will give you a free TLD.

uk said...

We offer low cost, full featured domain registration and web hosting services.Our high performance, state-of-the-art web hosting service is PCI Compliant as standard and our domain names are SEO friendly.you are having a wonderful posts so i always like to visit to your blog and found this post very interesting.
Web Hosting

hftp said...

It is valuable that FTP hosting providers offer service that will secure FTP site that covers at least 100 megabits per second banwidth. The system's encryptions should keep data safe and secure for maximum administration.

Web Development UK said...

I would prefer to go for the paid ones. Free is good for starters but they have limitations with them. Out of the following, which one is the best to start with(less expensive and good uptime)Hostgator,Godaddy or Bluehost. Could you please give advice on it.

Joomla Developer said...

Great article.I like your thougths and it's really great.Great discussion.Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

They're a decent host, but their customer service is rude and unprofessional. If you don't ever need any help, they're fine.

Web hosting forums said...

Thanks for the information and links you shared that should be a useful and quite informative!

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