I am not familiar with lighteningreleases.com. Here are some PR sites that have free and paid options. If it’s links you’re looking for, most of the free options don’t allow for a link in the content, but you may get one in the contact area.
Lightning just made things easier. Other press release sites would require multiple phone or email verifications and when you need to post for multiple clients on a daily basis, quick and easy is preferable. Lightning streamlined the posting process in terms of adding links and images and they allowed for bulk purchases so they were affordable. They had a fast review time and excellent distribution which could be tailored by country or state. Every release posted could be found very easily through any search engine.
I’m wondering if the site will be up again soon, or else I’ll need to find a new site for distribution.