Hosting Defined

Free hosts are just that, free web hosts intended for small personal or business web sites.
Free hosts tend to attract  a lot of email spammers and for this reason using a free host could have an affect on your page ranking if the server you were on were to be blacklisted by the search engines.
Nonetheless, free hosts are great for test sites and novices who want to test the waters of web hosting. Many people use nothing but free hosts and are perfectly satisfied but it would be a matter of finding a good one.
Shared Hosting
Paid for hosting where there are hundreds, even a thousand web sites on the same server all utilizing and sharing that servers' resources. Shared hosting is the least secure and a whole server could be blacklisted by google because of one bad user. Shared hosting is the most common and the least expensive and is used for most small personal or business web sites.
Virtual Private Servers are partitioned servers where you are allotted an equal amount of that servers' resources all for yourself. As an example a server could be split 4 equal ways and you would have 25% of that servers' resources for yourself.
Each partition is separate from the other and your partition will not be affected by the other users on the server. A VPS is more secure than shared hosting.
Dedicated Server
A dedicated server would be having a server all to yourself except that the web host would be responsible for maintaining that server. That is if anything happened to the server itself. If you rent the server unmanaged it would mean you would be responsible for setting up the server with the operating system, control panel and whatever software you were to run and you would not have any support.
If you rented the server in a managed state, the web host would do all of the setup and you would have support. Of course the managed setup would cost more. A dedicated server would be the most expensive of the all hosting options.
Free Web Hosts

Yes, there are actually free hosts. Of course most of them hope you will upgrade to their paid services but you are welcome to use their free plans for as long as you wish. A free host is different from a free site in that a free site will supply you with a site builder to build your site, a free host may or may not supply a sitebuilder and some may not even supply a script or app installer.
Small Sites
These free plans are meant for small sites and may have limited features, nonetheless they are free and are a perfect way to get your feet wet in the world of web hosting and sitebuilding. Most will have a control panel of some sort but don't expect cPanel which is the industry standard in paid for hosting.
Read the Reviews
If you read the reviews, many free hosts get bad reviews and this may or may not be any fault of their own but may be more the user expecting too much. Many reviews I've read have been of users with very large sites and heavy traffic. Free web hosts were never meant for those types of sites. Actually these types of sites may have troubles with paid for shared hosting. Remember, no one's going to let you build the next ebay or Amazon on a free hosting plan or even a paid for shared hosting plan.
Upon reading more, I've changed my mind about free hosts and fully intend to utilize some of them in corporation with my main sites. Keep the sites small, use them as intended and I think they'll be OK, at least I hope so. I'll provide some reviews when I've used them more and am able to provide accurate reviews.
Good for Beginners
If you're just starting out and are not sure whether site building or the internet is for you, I would highly suggest starting with a free web host or a free site, this will give you the chance to see what is all involved without any commitment financially. You wouldn't even have to buy a domain name as most free hosts will allow you to build your site on a subdomain of their domain.
Do the Research
If you're going to use a free web host, do yourself a big favor and choose wisely. Take the time and read the reviews, just pick a host, type the name into a browser followed by the word 'review' and actually read through the reviews and read enough to form a good opinion of that host. Finding a good free host will take some time, as will finding a good paid host. Trust me, there are many bad paid hosts as well, don't just go with the first one you come across or the first when on a search page. Picking a good host, free or paid will take some time. And for what ever reason some free hosts will be ranked very high but have terrible reviews and I would stay away from these regardless of their ranking. Many free hosts place ads on your web pages, I tend to stay away from these, of the picks below only batcave and ezweb123 place ads.
My Picks
I've done some research but have not used any of these hosts yet. I fully intend to use them in conjunction with my various sites. In no particular order here are my top picks.
Zacky Sitebuilder or Concrete 5
Joomla and Wordpress installer
No ads, 5 addon domains
Website builder, app installer, no ads
Very few reviews which is usually a good thing
Terrible reviews but great features
Free site builder with shopping cart

Updated on 3-22-16


Copyright © 2016 All right reserved FREE Web Hosting

Script Installer

A script installer or web app installer automatically installs apps such as Wordpress, Joomla, blogs, forums or many other applications with a couple of clicks.
Fantastico is one of the more common but it is my least favorite. I prefer Installatron and Softaculous is my second choice.
Many of the free hosts provide an installer by the name of Zacky Installer which does the same thing.
Control Panel
The industry standard for paid hosts is cPanel but most free hosts won't provide that. A more common panel among the free web hosts is named Vista Panel but all control panels do basically the same things. From within your control panel you can create email accounts, manage files, install apps and control most aspects of your web site.
I've yet to try awardspace as a free host but I intend to shortly. I don't know why I'm drawn to them so much but I just am. They offer a lot such as the Zacky script installler which allows the install of popular scripts such as Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart and many more.
Their web site states they have 1.5 million users, that's a lot and they all can't be wrong.
awardspace also offers two website builders: Zacky and Concrete5.
They have paid hosting plans as well with introductory pricing.
As soon as I have more time I'll get a free web site up on awardspace using one of their sitebuilders. I'll provide a more in depth review at that time.