Hello and welcome to this Awardspace review, that I wrote after using their free hosting.
I did all this work to help you determine if this free web hosting will be good for you or not, without wasting time testing it for yourself.
Pros & Cons:
- Responsive (4 tickets/month) support
- No advertisement on your website
- Allows you to have a professional-looking email address
- Slow website speed
- Just 3 apps auto-installer
- Limited bandwidth, disk space, and database.
- The email account is limited in the number of outgoing messages
- Websites: 1 domain (and 3 subdomains)
- Applications Installer: Yes (limited to WordPress, Joomla, and GRAV)
- Control panel: custom control panel
- Ads: 100% ad-free
- Website Builder: Zacky
- Support: responsive ticket-based support and written articles
- Bandwidth: 5GB
- Disk space: 1GB
- Email account: 1
- SSL certificate: No
- Database: 1 MySQL
- Uptime: Bad (compared to the paid-hosting I’m used to)
Awardspace is best for:
- I can recommend it only for people wanting a professional-looking email address to receive messages for free.
When not to use Awardspace hosting
- If you want website loading fast speed.
- If you want your website to have good uptime.
Testing Awardspace free hosting
Easy and very quick signup
When you want to signup with Awardspace, all the information they ask you for is just a username, your email address, and password.
Once you fill this short form and you hit the “Register Now” button, they send you a confirmation email.
After you click on the link inside the confirmation email, a new window opens up opening your free hosting control panel.
Non-organized control panel
I got disturbed the first time I’ve seen the Awardspace control panel because it shows a lot of (non-essential) stuff, it uses also a bit-tiny font, with a design that makes it look like a website from the late 2000s.
The problem with this control panel occurs from letting you have all the available features and settings at once.
For example, you get “Terms of Service” and “Account Closure” at the center of the home page, who want them at this place?!
Reading all of what appears on the home page of this control panel, I started figuring it out little by little.
This custom control panel is a little bit similar to cPanel, it shows you statistics on the sidebar, and the tools are displayed using little icons.
After I got used to it, I found that all my important things are inside the “Hosting Tools” section, which drops down from the upper navigation bar.
The next day using Awardspace, I found a section-minimizing feature that can be used to make this interface look a little bit organized.
Besides this, you can also displace some of the sections you see on this dashboard.
With some clicks, the dashboard started to look a little bit organized.
Unfortunately, the green banner at the top, the eBook square image at the top left, and the “Vote For Us” section under it cannot be minimized or moved.
With the Chrome Ad-block extension, you can hide these three sections, but since I won’t be spending a lot of time on the control panel, I haven’t tried it.
Well-explained Domain Manager
When I thought about installing WordPress, I found out that I don’t have a subdomain.
I went to “Domain Manager” to create my first subdomain and the process was easy.
Awardspace provides you multiple utility domains that you can use.
If you pay close attention to the previous photo, you will found that Awardspace, most of the time provides you assistance to what you try to do.
Once I finished creating my subdomain, It was instantly accessible, welcoming me with this simple page.
One thing I didn’t succeed at completing with the Awardspace domain manager tool is that searching for an available domain name, this task failed three times.
All I got when I try to search if a domain name is available is this progression wheel that keeps spinning even after a minute of me waiting.
A simplest WordPress auto-installing
Once I have my subdomain ready, I went to try installing WordPress using Zacky App Installer to test the process.
There are no advanced settings like giving a name to your database, all you are asked for is the website title, a username, a password, and an email address.
After I hit the “Install Application” button, a new window pops up letting me know the progress of my installation.
The process was quick, after just 1 minute and 10 seconds, my WordPress auto installation was completed.
Within the Zacky apps auto-installer, you can only install WordPress, Joomla, and Grav.
Not-the-simplest file manager
After I finished with the Zacky apps auto-installer, I went straight to the file manager app to see if it is simple to use like the one I found in the previous hosting review (000webhost review) or not, unfortunately, it was not the case.
First of all, the file manager app opens up within the control panel and not in a separate window, which I didn’t like because it leaves you with other useless buttons in the front of you, like the upper navigation bar and the buttons at the top right.
At the end, this file manager still does the job for you.
Complicated website builder
Zacky, the website builder that Awardspace offers you is what I tested next.
I liked the fact that the Zacky website builder provides you multiple templates to choose from, which are listed and organized in categories.
After I chose a restaurant template and tried to edit it, at this point I started noticing that this website builder is not like the one I’ve used before, and he requires effort to figure it out.
This is an image of what this website builder looks like from the inside.
After I hit the publish button at the top right and tried to access my newly built website, he was not reachable.
I thought its something related to the DNS propagation, but once I removed the “www” at the beginning of the subdomain, the website appeared like in the photo below.
After this, I still prefer the website builder 000website offers for its ease of use and the better design of its templates.
Nice emailing features
Awardspace free hosting offers great emailing features like the mailing list that allows you send the same email to multiple peoples when you send it only to one email address.
But since you can only create one email account with Awarspace free hosting, this feature becomes useless and this is normal, because these limitations are what make some users want to upgrade their free account.
The second feature I liked is the Alias feature.
With an alias, you can easily have a second email address that forwards incoming emails to your inbox, to avoid creating and managing two separate email accounts.
But, you can create up to 1 alias only.
Do not forget that in order to create your email account with Awardspace, you should have a domain name (e.g: .com).
You can also set up a simple spam filter with Awardspace in order to help you avoid spam.
Besides the spam filter, you can also access your emails from your iPhone.
On the other side of limitations, Awardspace free hosting email account can only send 31 messages for the last 31 days.
Responsive 4 tickets/month support
Support is a point where Awarspace excels.
Besides the helpful assistance I got whenever I want to set up something, I got support either by ticket and an FAQ that answers a lot of questions, but unfortunately without going into details or using photos.
What is important for me is how fast the support replies to me.
The ticket I opened was about if I can get a free SSL certificate because some hosts can provide it if you ask.
After just 11 minutes, I received a notification email in my inbox letting me know that there is an answer to my ticket.
Besides speed, their response was also detailed and professional.
I opened again another ticket and the response time was fast again.
The majority of free hosting providers do not provide ticket-based support because it cost them money, this is why I appreciated this middle ground solution from Awardspace, which makes everyone happy and at the same time distinguishes them from the competition.
If you are looking after a responsive-support free hosting, you can check out Byethost free hosting.
Bad website loading speed
Unfortunately, even though my WordPress website was still new and without articles or photos, Awardspace was weak at speed.
The first test with GTmetrix showed me a grade of “F”, when I repeated the test I get an “E”.
The majority of the previously reviewed free hosting services got an “A” or “B” at least.
I added my test website to a tool that counts uptime and I will update this section after I got enough data that I can count on to determine the uptime rate.
What is misleading with Awardspace?
The only limitation I found with Awarspace is that even they give you one email account, you can using it to send just 31 messages in the last 31 days.
Do I recommend Awardspace?
I do not recommend this free hosting for any type of website owner.
The only tiny situation where this free hosting can help you is if you want to have a receiving professional-looking email address for free.