Is free WordPress hosting a cheap gimmick or a genuine budget alternative?
As it is, normal WordPress hosting can be very cheap, especially if you have modest requirements for your site. For a few bucks a month, you can get shared hosting with a reliable provider, and this will serve you just fine, in the early days at least.
Even so, merely “cheap” ain’t good enough for some folk. There will always be the austere penny pinchers who want their hosting, like the WordPress software, to cost nothing at all.