000webhost Story: Scaling The Biggest Free Web Hosting Provider

Like Hostinger, 000webhost had a great year in 2017. Our free web hosting services became so popular that our servers had to answer over 1 million unique queries per-minute at peak times.

With 000webhost experiencing such a high level of customer demand, 2017 was about meeting the challenge of scaling and supporting our platform in order to answer customers’ questions, and keep our web hosting product costless and ad-free.

The decision to scale allowed us to meet our customers’ level of requests. Throughout 2017, the 000webhost engineering team spent nine months developing an automated database management system. The system runs on heterogeneous MariaDB in LXC containers, which routes queries using HAProxy and ProxySQL. This has also allowed us to add more than 50 new servers, which automate load balancing between nodes as they become overloaded. Therefore our users can be hosted on any server, meaning we are able to meet all of our customers’ needs at any time of day.

This innovative solution led to 000webhost being invited to the internationally recognized Percona Live Open Source Database Conference in October 2017. There, our Head of Engineering, Balys Kriksciunas, gave a presentation about the query routing logic in our new infrastructure in front of industry leaders from Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others.

Yet with every success, sacrifices had to be made in order to keep 000webhost’s hosting free, and for us to maintain our level of top-notch customer service.  In order to ease the load on our employees and servers working with customers, we took the decision to take our websites offline for one hour, each day to ‘sleep’. Despite the concerning sounding ‘sleep’ mode, users can schedule when this happens, and they are still able to continue working on their project. However, their website will not appear publicly online for one hour, each day.

000webhost Free Web Hosting Control panel sleep notification

To conclude our most successful year so far, we were asked by to reveal the challenges and secrets behind maintaining a free hosting platform. You can discover the ideas that make 000Webhost work, plus take a glimpse into our future by reading the interview here.