InfinityFree offers free web hosting forever! As long as you follow their fair use policy, there is no limit on how long you can use their free hosting service. I‘ve been using InfinityFree for over 5 years now across multiple hobby sites and never had to pay anything.
But how are they able to provide free web hosting indefinitely? Is there some catch that will force you to eventually pay? What are the pros, cons, limitations, and best uses for InfinityFree?
In this detailed guide, we‘ll take an in-depth look at how long InfinityFree‘s free hosting actually lasts, the ups and downs of using their service, who it‘s ideal for, and alternatives to consider.
What Exactly is InfinityFree?
InfinityFree is a free web hosting provider owned by HostUS that offers unlimited bandwidth, disk space, databases, email accounts, subdomains and more. The service has been around since 2007 and hosts over 2 million websites.
Some key facts about InfinityFree:
- Completely free web hosting that they claim is forever
- Provides cPanel control panel to manage your sites
- Allows quick installation of apps like WordPress and Joomla
- Displays non-intrusive ads in the site dashboard
- Supported by affiliate commissions and advertising
InfinityFree is able to provide all of this for free due in part to their large user base, ad revenue, resource limits per site, and automation. We‘ll cover exactly how this free model works later on.
The Major Advantages of Using InfinityFree
Let‘s start with the many benefits and upside of using InfinityFree over other free and paid options out there:
1. It‘s Truly Free Forever
Unlike many other free hosts, InfinityFree does not impose any time limits, trials, or hidden paid tiers for continued use. The service has been 100% free since starting up in 2007. As long as you follow their fair use policy, you can host your sites on InfinityFree‘s servers indefinitely without ever paying.
2. Offers Unlimited Bandwidth and Disk Space
Most free hosts impose severe limits on bandwidth and storage. But InfinityFree gives you unlimited bandwidth and disk space for your sites as advertised. Of course in reality there are limits to prevent abuse, but they provide more than enough resources for personal or small hobby sites.
3. Super Fast and Simple Signup Process
It only takes seconds to create your free InfinityFree account. Just enter your email and choose a password – no credit card or payment info required. This makes it extremely easy and convenient for anyone to get started with hosting right away.
4. Allows Multiple Domains and Subdomains
Your InfinityFree account supports hosting an unlimited number of domains and subdomains. So you can host multiple sites for your different projects all under one free account.
5. Above Average Uptime and Performance
Average uptime for InfinityFree sites is over 99% according to monitoring services. This is excellent uptime for free shared hosting. Page load speeds are relatively fast as well.
6. Instant Setup for Popular Apps Like WordPress
Through their Mojo Marketplace, InfinityFree offers 1-click installs for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and other open source apps. This makes launching an app much quicker and easier than manual setup.
7. Active User Community for Support
The InfinityFree Community Forums are reasonably active and provide a place to get help from company reps and fellow users if you run into any issues.
The Downsides and Limitations to Keep in Mind
Of course InfinityFree isn‘t perfect. There are some compromises and drawbacks to their free hosting model, including:
1. Very Limited Customer Support
Don‘t expect stellar customer service as a free user. There is no phone support. And email and forum support can be quite slow. Sometimes it takes days to get a response to support tickets.
2. Sites Often Go Down for Maintenance
InfinityFree seems to conduct infrastructure upgrades and maintenance fairly often. This can unfortunately lead to quite a bit of downtime where your site is unavailable while work is being done.
3. Risk of Sudden Policy and Service Changes
A challenge with any free service is there are no guarantees things will stay the same forever. InfinityFree could decide tomorrow to start charging, change policies, shutdown the free hosting, sell the company, etc.
While this risk seems low given their long track record, know that sudden changes are always possible.
4. Lacks Common Features of Paid Hosting
Don‘t expect to find more advanced features like SSH access, backups, staging/development sites, or detailed resource usage reporting that are common among paid hosts.
5. Hidden Resource Limits Per Site
While InfinityFree advertises unlimited everything, in reality there are caps in place around 400GB for bandwidth and disk space per site to prevent abuse. These limits aren‘t officially published though.
6. Advertisements on Site Dashboards
As a tradeoff for free hosting, InfinityFree does display non-intrusive banner ads in your cPanel dashboard. Your websites hosted on their servers also have ads, unless you upgrade to their paid plans.
7. Not Ideal for Ecommerce or High Traffic Sites
The bandwidth and disk space caps, potential for downtime, and limited support make InfinityFree a poor choice for commercial websites or sites expecting substantial traffic.
When is InfinityFree a Good Fit for Your Needs?
Given the pros and cons covered above, InfinityFree tends to work best for:
- Personal websites and blogs
- Small hobby, passion project, or portfolio sites
- Low-traffic information sites
- Testing and development environments
Essentially, InfinityFree is a great free option for your personal non-critical sites and early-stage websites before you‘re ready for paid hosting.
However, for commercial sites, blogs with lots of traffic, online stores, or sites needing advanced support and features, a low-cost shared host starting around $2-$10/month is recommended over InfinityFree.
How Can InfinityFree Offer Free Hosting Forever?
This leaves the big question – just how does InfinityFree offer free web hosting indefinitely? What‘s their business model and how do they afford the servers, bandwidth, and support without charging users?
InfinityFree is able to provide free hosting through:
There are simple banner ads shown in site dashboards and accounts. Any sites you host will also show ads by default, unless you upgrade to ad-free hosting.
Offering Paid Upgrades
InfinityFree generates revenue when users purchase optional paid add-ons like domain names, SSL certificates, and ad-free site viewing.
Earning Affiliate Commissions
InfinityFree makes money by promoting partner services within their control panel and earning commissions on referrals.
Limiting Resources Per Site
To prevent abuse, resources like disk space, bandwidth, and databases are capped per site around 400GB.
Leveraging Economies of Scale
Their massive user base (2+ million sites) allows InfinityFree to lower costs across their network.
Automating Where Possible
Automation and self-serve management via cPanel also reduces human support costs.
The combination of these diverse revenue streams and large scale allow InfinityFree to offset the costs of providing free hosting and remain sustainable.
Can You Really Rely on InfinityFree Forever Though?
InfinityFree assures users the free hosting will continue indefinitely. And so far, they have stuck to this promise for over 15 years which is quite impressive.
However, you should be aware there are no absolute guarantees they will offer free hosting forever, given the changing nature of the web hosting industry:
Business Failure – There is always the risk a company could go under, get acquired, or decide free hosting is no longer viable.
Policy Changes – Terms of service and fair use policies could change at anytime.
Paid Plans Only – They could decide to discontinue free hosting and only offer paid plans.
Acquisition or Merger – If InfinityFree was acquired or merged with another company, free plans may be eliminated.
The sudden shutdowns of other free hosts like Awardspace and 000webhost demonstrate even long running services are vulnerable.
So while InfinityFree seems committed to free hosting for the long-haul, you should be prepared in case they ever discontinued it. Make sure to regularly backup your site and have a plan to migrate if needed.
Tips to Get the Most from InfinityFree
Here are some tips to maximize your experience using InfinityFree‘s free hosting:
Choose a Quality Domain Name
Use your own custom domain rather than the *.infinityfreeapp.com subdomains provided to look more professional.
Caching dynamic content with a plugin can significantly improve site speed and performance.
Resize and optimize any images uploaded to your site to reduce space usage.
Periodically check your storage space, bandwidth usage, and databases to avoid exceeding unseen limits.
Limit Resource Intensive Software
Avoid resource heavy site software that may consume your allotted resources more quickly.
Regularly Backup Your Site
Manually backup your entire site including files and database in case you ever need to migrate hosts.
Have a Backup Plan
Evaluate more stable paid host options in the $2-$10/month range should InfinityFree‘s free hosting go away.
Top InfinityFree Alternatives to Consider
Here are some top alternatives beyond InfinityFree to look at:
Paid Shared Hosting
Paid hosts offer reliable hosting starting around just $2-$10 per month. Top picks are HostGator, Bluehost, Hostinger, and SiteGround.
Other Free Hosts
000webhost, ByetHost, and Awardspace also offer free hosting but with varying features.
Free Tiers on Paid Hosts
Many paid hosts like Hostwinds, Hostinger, and Zyro offer limited free tiers.
Free static web hosting for open source projects hosted on GitHub repositories.
AWS Free Tier
Amazon‘s AWS offers 12 months of limited free resources for sites willing to learn AWS.
Self-Host on a Cheap VPS
Rent a lightweight $5 VPS to host your own sites with full control and flexibility.
The Bottom Line on InfinityFree‘s Free Hosting
InfinityFree delivers free web hosting with decent uptime and resources for personal websites, early stage sites, testing, etc. While they claim it‘s free indefinitely, there is always some risk of policy changes. For professional or commercial projects, paid low-cost shared hosting provides more reliability and support.
But for hosting non-critical sites on a budget, InfinityFree remains one of the top free web hosting providers thanks to their unlimited resources, easy signup, and long track record. Just be sure your site is backed up and be ready to migrate hosts if InfinityFree‘s free service ever goes away.