How To Buy A Domain Name For Less Than You Think
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If you want to start a website, you need a domain name. Buying one takes less than five minutes. And costs a lot less than you think, especially when you bundle it with web hosting. You need both to build a website, so why not get them together? If youre wondering exactly how to buy a domain name or how to save money when buying a domain, youre in the right place.
Free Site Builder Plan
If youre looking for a free domain name but dont want to purchase one from a company, then you should consider buying a domain name from a site builder provider.
These providers offer free domain names along with a variety of other services.
Some examples include Bluehost.com, Hostgator.com, and DreamHost.com.
How To Get A Free Domain From Namecom
This is the only way we’ve found to get a totally free domain name with a premium TLD like .com, .net or .org, but it’s not very reliable. Name.com is just a domain registrar that specializes in cheap domain registrations, and they don’t always have free domains available.
To get a free domain from Name.com, you have to follow them on social media and then wait for them to run special promotions. These promotions sometimes include access to free domains, so remain vigilant and you might score.
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How To Get A Free Domain Name For Your Website
No-cost domain names come with a few caveats, but they’re useful options if you’re on a tight budget.
Illustration: René Ramos
Creating a website takes significant work and consideration. Its not enough to simply build a website, or find a hosting provider to keep it running on the world wide web. You need a domain name to attract visitors and customers, as well. If you think of your website as a brick-and-mortar shop, the domain name is the business’ address. Without an address, potential customers won’t find your real-world store, and the same is true for domain names and websites.
Fortunately, purchasing a domain name isn’t complicated, and there are several methods for buying one. In fact, we have a step-by-step domain registration guide that you should check out for pointers. That said, you can pick up a domain name without spending a dime if you’re willing to deal with a few caveats. We’ll show you how do that.
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About the Author
Alexandra Leslies interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings firsthand experience reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.
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How To Register A Domain With Domaincom
Domain.com is one of the reputable platforms for getting the domain name without website hosting. We already recommend that beginners register their domain before someone can register their idea. So domain.com is a reputable platform.
If you want to register the domain name without creating your website, domain.com makes the process easy.
Many beginners don’t know about domain.com, so it’s essential to know about it before moving forward.
Free Tk Ml Cf Gq Domains
Moving onto my next method is to register a free .tk, .ml, .cf, or .gq domain name.
And when I say free, I really mean it. These domains cost nothing! Zero. Zilch. Nill!
The only catch is You will have to use a domain that nobody has heard of.
Seriously, when was that last time you clicked on a website that ended in .tk?
As for the .tk, .ml, .cf, and .gq domain extensions, they are associated with various South Pacific nations such as Tokelau, Samoa, and New Guinea.
Since these domain suffixes are lesser-known, many of these nations and registrars are offering them for free to incentivize the use of them.
For more information, also see my video where I cover each of the tips on this list in more detail!
While this is a plus, there have been several reports that note these domain extensions should NOT be used for any serious businesses or websites.
This is due to the fact that many spammers are using these free domains for malware websites.
So if you do decide to use a .tk or similar domain extension, you may run the risk of having your website de-indexed by Google or banned by other webmasters.
However, if you only want to use these free domains for playing around with and making a test website, then they still are a great free option!
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Almost Free $1 Com Domain Names
If youve decided that the web hosting pathway isnt for you, there are still many alternatives you can try!
For my #2 pick on this list, it had to be Namecheap.com.
Now, as you can see from the above title, these domains are not free
But for only $1, they may as well be!
So while this is not technically a free option, I thought I would include it as it was the next best thing I could find.
From my research, there are ZERO domain registrars that allow customers to register a .com or TLD for free.
I hate to break the bad news, but its simply not possible
So if you can accept paying only $1 for a TLD , this will unlock many options for you.
Some of the many other $1 domain names that Namecheap offer include:
Overall, if you can skip your next coffee, you will be able to get your next domain for next to nothing!
But First Some Valuable Information
There are a few things to consider when securing a domain name. Typically, domain names are not yours to keep indefinitely. They’re usually free for a year or two, after which the registrar will bill you for the renewal. You may also lose the domain if you use it for what the provider deems an illegal activity . In addition, nearly all registrars reserve the right to make changes to the registration agreement whenever they wish, and without notifying you. Be sure to check any prospective registrar carefully before committing.
Domain names rarely come with privacy protection. This means that your information as the domain owner is publicly available to anyone snooping around the Whois database. If youre a brick-and-mortar business and your info is already publicly available, privacy likely wont be a major concern. However, if you’re a blogger who doesn’t want your personal address available for all the internet to see, privacy protection is an important security step. Depending on the registrar you use, this can be as low as $2 per year or as high as $20 per year.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s explore the three methods for obtaining a free domain name.
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Recommended By Our Editors
Priced as $35.40 for an annual shared hosting package Bluehost is one of the cheapest web hosting services that offer a free domain name. This package does not include domain privacy, which is billed separately at $15 per domain per year. Domain renewal pricing depends on the extension type, but a .com renewal costs $17.99.
Hostgator includes free domain hosting with its annual-or-longer Hatchling plan . After the free period ends domain renewal averages about $18.99 per year for a .com extension, with privacy protection billed at $14.95 annually.
Hostinger is another option to consider, with reasonable domain renewal rates. Its premium shared hosting plan costs $2.59 per month with an annual commitment, which includes a free domain during that period. Domain renewal with Hostinger costs $11 annually, and Whois protection costs an additional $5 per year.
Branded Vs Custom Domain Names
Your domain name is almost as important as your business name. Its how people will find you online, so it needs to be memorable and relevant to your brand.
Mailchimp offers free Mailchimp-branded domain names as part of its marketing plans. That might work well for you, but if you ever decide you want to remove the mailchimpsites.com extension from the end of your domain name, you can buy a custom domain through Mailchimp. You can take that step any time youre ready.
Working With Photos And Videos
Wix has a big advantage over Weebly and Squarespace when it comes to photos: It lets you reuse images you’ve already uploaded by saving them in online folders for you. The other services make you re-upload photos if you want to use them in another place on your site.
Wix also lets you add images from other online sources such as Flickr and Facebook. Ditto for videos. You can use video in places where the others only let you use photos, such as the main theme background. The service also provides lots of stock images and videos to use on your site. Much of this content is free, but you can also purchase reasonably priced stock images from BigStock.
You get full and enhancement capabilities with the integrated Aviary editor. It’s simple to add a link to an image, either external or to a page in your site. You can also add a border, and animation such as a fade in, and choose among resizing behaviors such as autocrop, center, stretch, and fit.
You can set videos to auto-play on page load and to repeatedly loop, and as mentioned you can add a video as your background image.
How To Get A Domain Name From Namecheapcom
Namecheap is another popular website for buying domain names and getting website hosting. As their domain name prompts, they often have a lot of good deals and somewhat lower annular prices than GoDaddy, for example.
So if you love a good bargain, heres how to buy a domain name via Namecheap.
Step 1: Run your desired domain name search first and review available options. Namecheap has a really huge collection of new TLDs such as .art .digital, .luxury among 400+ other options.
Also, if your name isnt available or youd like to get some more ideas, switch to their advanced search view aka the Beast Mode:
As you can see from above, you have a lot more features to play with such as price range, suffix/prefix, and so on. This can help you drill down to that perfect domain name that is short, memorable, available, and yet cheap!
Step 2: After youve chosen the best contenders, proceed to your cart to start the checkout process. At this point, you can also add some extras and customize your order:
With Namecheap, you get a lifetime free WHOIS protection for every domain name, plus they recently added a bonus premium DNS offer . When you enable it, your domain gets yearly protection against DNS/DDoS attacks , plus ultra-fast global DNS response. This gives you some extra leverage in terms of your website speed.
On top of that, you can select some affordable up-sells such as:
Also, you can play around with your renewal. Namecheap provides a small discount for 2+ years.
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Choose Your Billing Terms
After you select the appropriate plan, Hostinger asks you to choose a period for your plan: monthly, 12-month, 24-month, or 48-month.
If you want the free domain, do not select the month-to-month payment option. Hostinger only includes the free domain with terms of one year or more.
The longer your commitment, the greater the discount. You also stretch out that discount for as long as possible, because renewal pricing is never as good. This is not a Hostinger thing, this is just the way every host does it.
And if you sign up for longer, Hostinger will actually lower the renewal rate. This is not common. As you can see in the image above, the renewal price for a single month of service is $10.29/month, whereas the renewal price for a 48-month term drops to $5.99/month.
The downside to signing up for a longer period is that you have to pay upfront. Again, this is typical of every host, and the reason I like signing up for Hostinger is that it is a really great deal.
Do the math out: Hostinger Premium Shared Hosting costs $95.52 for four years of hosting. Pay a hundred dollars today and dont worry about your website until current high school freshmen have graduated.
When you factor in the savings of a free domain name, the price only looks better.
How To Get A Domain Name From Domaincom
Domain.com is a reputable domain registrar, launched in 1998. Over 1.2 million websites are registered with them.
Domain.com features the most popular top level domains such as .com, .net, .org, .co, along with over 25 county-specific domain extensions .
They are mostly selling affordable domain names with most names priced in the $9.99-$12.99/year range. If you are lucky, you can also steal a deal and buy your domain name for as low as $2.99/year.
For that price you get:
- 1-year domain ownership.
- Free SSL certificate for extra security.
- Automatic email forwarding to your domain.
- DNS registration and management tools.
Also, you can purchase extra Domain Privacy+Protection for your domain . In this case, your personal details will not be displayed publicly in the WHOIS/ICANN directories. Plus, the registrar will also run extra security checks.
Sounds sweet? Heres how to register a domain name on Domain.com.
Step 1: Run a quick search to verify that the domain name you are eying is available.
Step 2: Pick your domain extension. Go for .com since its the most familiar option among users and thus, people, tend to type .com before trying anything else.
Your choice gets automatically added to your cart with a 2-year privacy protection subscription. This ones optional, so you can remove it during the next step. Also, you can change your domain renewal period from one year to five years.
Moreover, you can pick some add-on services such as:
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