Can publishing iOS games be free?

I know that you can publish 3rd party apps on a website and download them on your iPhone via safari. Can you achieve this with Unity? Can I build my game into whatever extension is needed and upload it to some website and download it?

I’ve read under here that I need to create a developer account, etc. But do I really need to do all this? I’m not wanting to pay 100$ to publish on the app store, I just want to be able to try out some games on my iPhone, even if others aren’t able to play.

Unfortunately you can’t publish ios games on Itunes app store for free, you have to pay the 100$ fee once a year to keep games on there.