There are a number of web hosts who offer free web hosting.
However, the problem with these web hosts is that one cannot use his own domain.
Weebly’s free website hosting service, has the suffix ‘weebly’ added to the domain.
Also, in some cases, the website has to display ads of the host which makes for an unpleasant experience.
Some web hosts insist on a credit card before allowing you to avail of the free web hosting.
For obvious reasons, I am not prepared to hand over my credit card information to a shady person sitting in some unknown corner of the Globe.
So, when I saw an advertisement from Batcave.net offering free web hosting, I was eager to try it.
It is stated that the free hosting plan has the following specifications:
FREE HOSTING PLAN
1000 MB Disk Space
5 GB of Monthly Traffic
1 Domain or Subdomain
Can use batcave.net subdomain!
PHP5 and Perl
Joomla & WordPress
Free instant setup
Sign up, Registration
The process of signing up was very simple.
I received the following email from Batcave.net:
Dear Albert Einstein,
Thank you for purchasing a web hosting with Batcave.net.
Hosting Package: FREE Hosting Plan
Client ID: 2857588
Login email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Password: the one you have used upon registration
If you have purchased domains registration/transfer or you have existing domains, please add them inside your Domain Manager section. Additionally, you should set the following name servers for all domains, except for the domains that have been registered with us.
Nameserver 1: ns1.batcave.net
Nameserver 2: ns2.batcave.net
Make sure you upload your files to the domain/subdomain directory on the server; otherwise, they will not be visible on the Internet. Also, please be sure that your homepage is saved as an “index” file e.g., index.php, index.html, index.htm, etc. We suggest you download some advanced FTP client to manage your files quickly or use the File Manager inside the Hosting Control Panel.
FTP Account Information
Your default FTP account information:
FTP Hostname: You should first add a domain/subdomain in your Hosting Control Panel.
FTP Username: 2857588
FTP Password: the one you have used upon registration
You can manage your FTP accounts from the FTP Manager section.
E-mail Account Information
To create an e-mail account go to the E-mail Manager section. E-mail account settings are:
POP3/IMAP server: mail.mydomain.com or subdomain.mydomain.com
SMTP server: mail.mydomain.com or subdomain.mydomain.com (check if you have this option enabled)
Username: the FULL e-mail address, e.g. email@example.com
Password: as specified upon creation
The Trouble Tickets section inside your Hosting Control Panel helps you contact easily the support team and ask a question about the services in your hosting account.
Thank you for choosing our web hosting services!
cPanel control panel
Upon signing in, I was greeted by an interface that looks very familiar to the cPanel control panel.
All the necessary functions such as domain manager, file manager, ftp manager etc are easily visible.
Upon clicking the domain manager tab, I was greeted by the following message:
Thank you for hosting your domain with us!
Please note however that your domain DNS servers are currently not pointed to us.
They need to be pointed to our DNS servers: ns1.batcave.net and ns2.batcave.net in order for your domain to start working normally.
Steps you need to perform:
1. Please go to your domain registrar control panel and change your DNS servers to: ns1.batcave.net and ns2.batcave.net .
2. Wait for 1 hour and come back to this control panel and click on the Status icon of your domain (icon here) to force the DNS replication of your domain.
3. As soon as the replication is complete your domain will start working normally (Sometimes it takes between 1 hour and 24 hours for the DNS replication to propagate around the Internet).
I entered the name of the domain that I wanted to host for free at Batcave.net
Thereafter, I went to namecheap.com and changed the DNS servers to ns1.batcave.net and ns2.batcave.net as directed.
Installing wordpress using Zacky Installer, softaculous alternative
Batcave.net does not have softaculous. Instead, it has Zacky Installer which appears to be a very competent alternative.
Zacky Installer allows the installation of either WordPress or Joomla.
I chose WordPress and within a few moments, the installation was completed.
Domain is reachable
When my domain had propogated to the Batcave’s DNS servers, my website was fully functional.
I logged into wordpress and made a few posts.
I have had no opportunity so far to try out the support service.
I expect that the support may be somewhat slow.
If a response to the query comes within 24 hours, we should consider it good given that even paid hosts take that much time to respond to support queries.
Uptime, reliability of service
So far, the uptime has been flawless.
However, it has been only a few hours that I am using Batcave’s free web hosting.
I will have to monitor it carefully over the next four weeks to be able to come to any conclusion with regard to the quality of the free web hosting that Batcave is providing!