Higher Education

Faculty: Give Yourself the Gift of Free Web Hosting with Bluehost

Tis the season for giving gifts, so why not give yourself the gift of free web hosting and a free domain? Bluehost, a popular hosting company, has a program for those in higher education called, Spoke. If you’re a faculty member, you qualify for a free domain name and free hosting.

Students who are interested in the program also qualify for a free domain and reduced hosting, which starts at $3.95 a month. One great part of the program is that the hosting costs stay the same for the student after she graduates.

What I like about the program for students is that it takes the idea of ePortfolios, but frames it in a professional context. Students aren’t forced into a specific piece of software. It doesn’t have to be directly tied to their college or university. Students own the design and learn about self-hosted websites. Setting up a WordPress site just takes a few clicks.¬†Finally, it allows students to build their personal brand and funnel their online activity back to a central place.

If you’ve participated in Spoke as a student or faculty member, what’s been your experience?



I am generally skeptical of “free” services on the internet. I am always wondering what the business model is that motivates them to offer a free service, because my experience has jaded me into thinking there is no such thing as “free” in business. For example, the cost of Google’s “free” services is their use of your activity/data/life for their commercial purposes.

I have not yet investigated it, but is there any reason to be wary of Bluehost/Spoke in this regard? Maybe its business reason for free faculty accounts could be that faculty might encourage students to get paid accounts?

Timothy A. Lepczyk

Hi Dana,

They’re working with a number of universities. I think you’re right that free faculty accounts are a way to reach students. However, $4 a month is a pretty good deal for students.




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