App ServiceThere are many excellent reasons to use Microsoft Azure to host applications and enterprise systems. There’s even plenty of criticisms on it being expensive to host small websites, however the App Service offering in Microsoft Azure does offer the ability to easily host a website in the cloud completely FREE!

Free Azure Websites

AzureWebAppFreeTierThe paid Website tiers of the Azure App Service Web Apps feature offer tons of features to host highly scalable enterprise or internet-scale applications. However, there still is a FREE option to easily host no obligation websites in the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The Web Apps FREE tier offers the following features:

  • 1 GB storage space
  • “.azurewebsites.net” subdomain
  • Remote debugging with Visual Studio debugger
  • Multi-framework / platform support:
    • .NET Framework
    • PHP
    • Java
    • Python
  • Multiple deployment options:
    • FTP / FTPS
    • Web Deploy
    • Deployment from Github repository
  • Virtual applications and directories
  • Social Authentications using:
    • Azure Active Directory
    • Microsoft Account
    • Facebook
    • Google
    • Twitter
  • Ability to run background scripts via Web Jobs
  • Performance monitoring

In addition to the features lists above, there are many, MANY other features of Azure App Service Web Apps that you get to take advantage of. Many of these features are not offered by traditional free or shared hosting providers.

To get started with Microsoft Azure, you can sign up for a Free Trial and get $200 in credit in addition to all the Free options that are available!

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Certified Azure Solutions Architect (both MCSD and MCSE), a trainer, and Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.

16 Comments

  1. […] Free Website Hosting in Microsoft Azure (Chris Pietschmann) […]

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  2. My main complain with Azure App Service is more related to the lack of a ‘second entry paid’ step beyond Shared D1 plan. This one costs about 8€/month, but the very next step which would be Basic B1 costs about 47€/month. I think there should be another step in between (maybe a B0) which allows ‘Always On’ so an MVC site using EF would not take 20 seconds to warm up (as it does in D1) or a more powerful Shared D2 plan.

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    1. Yes, I agree it would be nice to have a second Shared tier option, as it is quite the jump to the next level cost wise.

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  3. Its a nice idea but what use is it without letting us have a custom domain attached to it? And you only get 60 mins cpu time. It’s not really free hosting, its just a free test account to play with.

    I don’t really mind if the free hosting isn’t any good. I would love to move all my clients to it but until there is a tier that can compete with the shared hosting packages out there then its not going to happen. The clients don’t understand / need the minimum packages unless I start pushing multiple clients into a single account and running everything myself, which means 1 hack can affect everyone and I can’t give direct access to clients if they need it.

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    1. For a small website or a simple app it’s perfect to be able to host it for free.

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      1. Hi Chris – I like the free hosting website idea now I have a couple of questions for you or hopefully you can point me to the right area. I have a small ms dev website that needs a domain to be attached to it. Can I do this with the D1 teir – 8/month plan? how about if I need a Sql datatbase to be resourced? A small one say 1 gig in size. How much extra? What about adding or resourcing email servers ?

      2. Each service in Azure has a cost associated with it. The Shared pricing tier of Azure Web Apps is the cheapest tier that offers the ability to use a custom domain name. You can find more detailed pricing information using the Pricing Calculator here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/

  4. […] Free Website Hosting in Microsoft Azure by Chris Pietschmann […]

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  5. […] Free Website Hosting in Microsoft Azure […]

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  6. I think “Ability to run background scripts via Web Jobs” is deceptive and bordering on dishonest.
    I have spent the last three months learning Azure so I could migrate my simple desktop application to the cloud, only to discover that WebJobs constantly get disabled on the free and shared tiers and can only be fully activated on a basic plan at US$60. The inability to automate anything (not even CRON) in the free and shared tiers makes them pretty much useless for anything more complicated than an “About Me” website. These same limitations also apply to the new “Azure Functions”.
    That said, I still believe that Azure was the right platform choice for my application due to the scalability. But a US$30 plan for a single WebApp with scheduling ability (4 or so Webjobs that can run basic site maintenance) would be greatly appreciated by smaller developers and hobbyists like myself.
    PS, giving someone new to Azure $200 that expires within a month is also a completely useless marketing ploy. At least give people a chance to learn the system and decide how best to spend the money before taking it from them.

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  7. […] Free Website Hosting in Microsoft Azure Create java web app azure app service | microsoft docs, This tutorial shows create java web app azure app service azure portal. azure portal web interface manage . […]

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  9. […] Free Website Hosting in Microsoft Azure […]

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  10. If I only got a static page website with very little traffic (mainly information for people to browse), and I am happy to use the azure subdomain name, do I really get free web hosting forever or do I get charge after the 30 days trial ? I read the notes from azure saying after 30 days trial, everything will be removed unless I subscribe to one of their plan.

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    1. You can use the Free tier of Azure App Service for as long as you want, and continue to get free web app hosting for that small application or website you have. However, if you’re starting with a Free Trial subscription, then you’ll need to convert it to a pay-as-you-go at the end of the Trial or your Azure Subscription will be automatically suspended and your Web App will be unavailable.

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