If you want to start making your own website, you have a variety of webhosts you can choose from, depending on your needs and skill level. Some offer you static websites only you can either code yourself or make with a website builder, while others can let you rent server space for whatever you want. In the web revival scene, we tend to focus on “handmade” websites that don't necessarily use website builders like Squarespace, so we will leave these out.

Important words and concepts to know beforehand

  • Static websites: These websites do not change depending on who accesses them and do not show custom content depending on user queries. Neocities websites, for example, are all static. Webhosts focusing on static sites usually only allow HTML, CSS and JavaScript + libraries, and no backend languages like PHP or Ruby on Rails. This limits what you can do with the website, but is usually enough for personal website uses.
  • Dynamic websites: These websites fetch custom content to you or need to communicate a lot with the backend of a server to provide dynamic, everchanging updated content like forum posts, a timeline, search results, applying a filter system to content and so on.
  • Bandwidth: Every time a user clicks on the link of your website and loads it, it uses up bandwidth. Webhosting services all have different limits for bandwidth with different pricing categories. If you are a small, unknown person and only get a couple clicks a month, you likely don't need much bandwidth, but if you are providing a service to a lot of people or expect a lot of traffic to your site, you might need more.
  • SSL: Refers to the encryption between browsers and the server for https. Requires the website to have a “certificate”. Some webhosts or domain registrars include a certificate with purchase of their service. Free certificates can be obtained from https://letsencrypt.org/getting-started/
  • CLI: Command-line interface. This means that website files can be uploaded to the webhosting service with specific commands via the terminal on your computer. Some webhosts only allow this type of upload.
  • GUI: Graphical User Interface. This means there is either desktop software or an in-browser option to upload website files to the webhosting service. Neocities, for example, offers both a GUI (uploading via an interface in the browser, like you would upload pictures to a social media site) and CLI.
  • Self-hosting: This means you buy a server and set it up in your home to host your website (or other things). Usually needs a lot of technical experience, especially to harden the server against outside attacks; services to use with it usually include Docker, nginx, WireGuard and others.
  • Domains: This means the URL of your website. If you want your URL to be like 'example.com' and not 'example.neocities.org', you need to purchase the URL (Domain) from a domain registrar, and edit the settings on the registrar page and your webhosting service of choice (in this example, Neocities) so entering example.com leads to your website on Neocities. Some webhosting services restrict custom domains to their paid plans.

Newbie-friendly webhosting options:

  • Neocities - usually the standard around here. Has a free tier and a premium tier (4.99) that allows custom domains, a few more file types and more. Is focused on static websites only.
  • Nekoweb - A service similar to Neocities made by Dimden. Smaller, more freedoms, no social timeline, cheaper premium tiers, nicer online editor, Discord server.
  • Teacake - <detail experience with this service here>
  • Leprd.space - Hosting offered by Lysianthus. Has three free tiers that are catered towards sites that are hobbyist or personal. Torrent is their simplest plan and does not offer custom domains that Winter Wind and Revolutionary tiers offer. Has a PHP selector, CPanel, unlimited email accounts, regular backups, Softaculous, .htaccess support, 5-10 addon domains and unlimited subdomains with Winter Wind and Revolutionary tiers.
  • tiiny.host - <detail experience with this service here>
  • Lexi's hosting - <detail experience with this service here>

Specialty webhosting options (thematic or extreme size restrictions may apply):

  • Marigold.town - a project by xandra that offers to host websites in a town-like style that are centered around a project theme.
  • ichi.city - a small service by m15o to host a small site.
  • tilde.town - a community that shares a Linux server on which every member has its own small page.

Advanced webhosting options:

  • Github Pages - you should familiarize yourself with Git and how Github works when you use this, like understanding push, pull, commit, what a repository is etc. Is free. Allows you one user page, and several project pages. Custom domains are possible. Offers CLI and GUI.
  • DigitalOcean <@melon maybe you can enter your experience here? :)>
  • NearlyFreeSpeech - “Pay for what you use” payment model. Has 25+ progamming languages available to use (including PHP and Node.JS) and the option for using MariaDB. You can upload / connect to your site server via SFTP or SSH. <maybe @starbreaker can elaborate on this? :)>
  • Amazon Web Services - For those who enjoy building their own infrastructure. EC2 service is similar to Virtual Private Servers at other providers and the Route53 service registers domain names. Requires strong linux & CLI knowledge. You might save some money, very flexible.
  • Netlify - There's a free tier with monthly Bandwidth and Build Time restraints (you probably won't go over it). You can connect and upload your sites via Git repos from the following providers: GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, Azure DevOps. Caution: Netlify has been controversial recently and their support is said to be really bad.
  • Vercel - There's a free tier with certain limits. You can connect and upload your sites via Git repos from the following providers: GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, Azure DevOps.
  • OMG.LOL - They offer a web page made with markdown and other services such as a Mastodon instance, e-mail forwarding, status sharing, pastebin, photo sharing, a now page, blog, URL shortener, site verification, keychain for public keys, Discord server, and IRC. You can also use a custom domain and even emoji addresses. No free tier is currently available, but the cost is $20 annually.