I have been with NearlyFreeSpeech webhosting for three years (not this blog) and this review is based on that experience. The fact that I have been with them for so long already indicates that I am happy with their services, although there isn’t too much competition in the free speech webhosting field and that also helped.
Besides webhosting, NearlyFreeSpeech.net also does domain name registration with whois privacy included.
At the time of writting this NearlyFreeSpeech fees are very cheap for static sites (no database and few pictures). Just remember to change the settings on your account because by default it is set up to support PHP and once you change it to static site the price will go down.
You will need to pay in order to get support for your hosting account at NearlyFreeSpeech, but I have found their members only forum, to be very useful, NearlyFreeSpeech staff hangs around there too and they will help you out whenever they can.
During my time with NearlyFreeSpeech I have always gotten free meaningful support from their forums. No question has gone unanswered.
The Good Stuff
As long as your content is legal in the United States, where NearlyFreeSpeech is based, you will have absolutely no problems with them, it does not matter if you are promoting pedophilia, Hitler, Stalin or anything similar, NearlyFreeSpeech will not take the content down if this is legal in the US and does not infringe on copyright.
You can pay via Paypal, credit card or sending a money order in the post, the last payment method being a rare find for a webhost.
NearlyFreeSpeech will also take anonymous donations to fund your hosting account, this is an excellent way for people to anonymously fund your website, with no involvement from your part, the donator will only need to indicate your hosting account number, which you can make clear on your site, and you will be notified by NearlyFreeSpeech every time someone sends money in.
NearlyFreeSpeech members can propose new features to be implemented and they are then submitted to a popular vote. There is support for SFTP and SSH and the sense of community at the forums is also very good.
The Bad Stuff
The only way to upload your files is with an FTP or SFTP client, there is no web interface to do that. Nearlyfreespeech hosting control panel is unique to them and has been developed in house, its navigation is hard and you will need to get used to it, it also has far less features than the more usual cPanel.
It will be hard for you to work out what you are going to pay at the end of the year, the way used to calculate that is complex, consisting of the sum of number of active databases, bandwith used, space used, email forwarding used, etc.
You will need to pay to get hosting support and any hosting software you need to install will have to be done manually because you can’t do that from the control panel.
If your site is controversial but legal in the US, you will feel safe hosting it at NearlyFreeSpeech.
Their hosting panel is poor and hard to navigate and you will need not to know the basics of webhosting, such as how an FTP client works.
You will only be better off NearlyFreeSpeech if your website has specific software needs such as some peculiar CMS that you would like to install through the hosting panel. You may also be bothered by not being able to work out what the hosting is going to cost you at the end of the year.
Alternatives to NearlyFreeSpeech: