Gtlds: Generic Top Level Domains
A generic top-level domain is an extension that does not rely on a country code. There are no specific criteria to get a gTLD. However, some extensions are sponsored by designated agencies or organizations.
Some generic TLDs are restricted to specific types of registrants. For example, an academic institution can use .edu, and a governmental agency can use .gov. If your domain does not fall under particular categories or institutions, you will not be able to use the extension.
How To Get A Domain Name For Your Website For Free
Now that you are aware of two most popular options to create a website with your own domain name for free, it makes sense to provide more detailed guidelines on their application. This will help you figure out the major steps needed to start and manage a website with Wix and Bluehost as well as focus on the ways to get free domains from each of these systems.
If you decide to give preference to using the website builder and choose Wix for this purpose, mind the following list of steps youll be expected to undergo to launch a website from scratch:
Add Your Occupation Or Other Terms
If your full name isnt available, add a qualifying term. The most important thing is that your domain name indicates what your site is about. Of course, there are many factors in play but a site domain using your full business name has a much better chance of ranking vs. one that does not.
Leverage any keywords that support what you do. For example, if you run a cafe in Boston, you might want to check if yournamecafe.com, or yournameboston.com is on the market. The word resume can also be used: michaelwalmanresume.com.
When you first begin the search, it helps to have at least 5 terms or phrases in mind that describe your business. When this list is ready, you can start adding suffixes and prefixes and pair the keywords to create good domain ideas.
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Check For Trademark Infringement
Both major and minor brands alike take issue with others using their trademarked names. Even if youve just made an innocent mistake, the legal hassle involved in a lawsuit and having to rearrange your web presence could be costly.
You can avoid these situations by using a trademark lookup tool before you finalize your choice.
Why Do I Need A Domain Name
From third party publishing platforms to Facebook pages and groups, internet users have many options for establishing an online presence without a domain of their own. Whether youre starting a personal blog or building a business, owning your own domain name is a smart move that puts you in control of your brand and the content you create on the web. If you have ever asked yourself, Why do I need a domain name?, the experts at Bluehost are here to help. This guide will cover the importance of a domain name, what it is, and why you need one if you want to start a successful website.
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Microsoft 365 Exchange Online
When you want to host more than 6 email accounts at Outlook.com or want it to handle all the emails for your entire domain, add aliases, distribution groups and shared mailboxes, then switching to Microsoft 365 Exchange Online might be the better solution even though this isnt free .
When you choose to go this route, you dont have to configure Outlook.com to collect your mail via POP3 or configure any forwarder Mail is then being received instantly as if it was a native domain of Outlook.com itself.
The costs depend on the country that you live in but currently a single mailbox costs $4 per month. As the domain owner, this also provides you with lots of management options and you have the additional benefit of being able to share email, calendar and contact folders between your colleagues as well as creating shared mailboxes. You can find out more here: Compare Microsoft Exchange Online plans.
A better deal might be the Microsoft 365 Business Basic subscription for $5 per month. In addition to the above benefits, it will also grant each user with 1TB of online storage , Office Online, Teams and a collaboration website . The Microsoft 365 Business Standard subscription for $12.50 per month also includes the Office apps for Windows 10 and Mac.
Avoid Numbers And Hyphens
Imagine asking your 10 friends to spell or pronounce a domain name filled with numbers and dashes. It wont work.
If you choose a domain name with these elements, youre likely going to lose traffic to people who cant remember your domain or effectively tell someone else how to find it. We probably wouldnt have Facebook today if you had to go to Face-Book.com to reach the site.
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How To Register A Domain Name: 4 Options
To get a domain name, youll need to call dibs with ICANN. ICANN is a global non-profit authority that maintains records on which domain and IP address belongs to whom and manages access to them.
But ICANN doesnt provide registration services, it only maintains records. Thats where domain name registrars come into play.
The primary role of a register is to:
- Coordinate claims on different domain names.
- Match specific domain names with Domain Name System nameservers.
- Ensure that there are no duplicate domain names.
Technically speaking, you are not buying a domain name from a registrar company, but reserve its usage for a specified time. You can pay to reserve a domain for 1-10 years at a time, depending on the registrar. After your initial subscription expires, youll need to renew it and pay a fee again. You can re-purchase your domain name over and over again.
When registering a domain name, you sign a long-term lease of your domain . You can read more about the domain costs here.
In practice, all of the above is much simpler than you think as we will show below.
How To Register A Domain Name
Start by opening a domain name generator. Use this tool to check if your desired domain name is still available.
To find the right domain, consider branding and cost. Make sure that it is memorable and catchy and its price fits your budget.
Keep note that popular domains are often more expensive and might already be taken. Some generators provide options if your desired domain is unavailable. With Hostinger, users can choose a different TLD with the same name or an alternative.
Once you have found a valid domain name, use a trustworthy registrar to buy the domain. To find the list of legitimate domain name registrars, check the database of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers .
If you chose Hostinger as the registrar, select your desired domain and continue. On the checkout page, there are several elements to consider. First, choose the registration period for your domain. Then, select whether you want to add domain privacy protection.
We recommend giving an additional layer of protection against cyber attacks. By doing so, you are securing your personal information in the WHOIS records against unauthorized usage. This also helps prevent identity theft.
After paying for your new domain, you will have access to your account. There, continue the registration process by clicking on the Setup button next to Domain registration. You will need to enter specific information to finish the process, including your name, postal address, and phone number.
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Custom Domains + Bitly
Purchasing or adding a custom domain in your Bitly account replaces the bit.ly in your short links with your own custom domain. In the ESPN example above, es.pn replacesbit.ly.
By editing the end of the URL – we call that the back-half – you can further customize the link to be an even more identifiable Custom Branded Link, like es.pn/superbowl. Read more about that in What is a Custom Branded Link?
Please note this domain cannot be the same exact domain that points to your website, but you can direct it there. See
Choose The Right Domain Extension
When picking the extension or TLD for your domain name, .com is still the best choice unless you have a reason to choose something else. Roughly 43% of all domains have a .com extension, making it what people expect to see the most.
While Google confirms that your choice of TLD will not impact rankings, it does affect consumer perception. Many people view other TLDs as less trustworthy.
That said, .net or .org extensions are not uncommon, so they can be good secondary options if you find the perfect name and the coveted .com isnt available.
But if you do decide to go with an extension other than a .com, make sure you take a look at what type of website is currently on the .com extension. Someone is bound to go there accidentally while looking for your brand. If the site holds fishy or offensive content, you might want to steer clear of that name altogether.
Finally, avoid those niche domain name extensions like .space, .club, .pizza, unless you really think theyll enhance your brand.
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Find A Custom Domain For Your Site
Whether youre working on a blog, an online portfolio, or an online shop, Mailchimp offers custom domains that can make all the difference to your online presence. And theres no reason to stop there. Use Mailchimp to build your website and connect it to our all-in-one marketing platform to really make your offerings stand out from the rest.
Learn more about how to get a free domain name from Mailchimp and how our offer compares to the competition.
Choose A Domain Registrar
Once you know you want to build a website, one of your first steps will be to secure a domain name. That means either signing up with a domain registrar or looking into your free options.
If you want to get a free domain, your services will be pretty limited. Most free website builders wont provide you with your own unique domain, but a sub-domain that includes their own branding. For example, if you opt for a free website building platform like WordPress.com, your URL would look like this: mysite.wordpress.com.
This isnt the best choice for anything beyond a personal website since you wont be able to fully brand your site. Plus, website builders are often limited in how much theyll let you customize your site. If you want something more professional, youll likely want to opt for an actual domain registrar.
There are two main places you can purchase domain names. There are some standalone domain name registrars companies that simply sell domains. However, you can also buy a domain through any web hosting provider. This is often the best option since it means your hosting and domain will live in the same place .
Finding a web host that fits your needs means looking for a few telltale features. Usually, a solid hosting packagewill give you some bonuses beyond just storing your sites data, as we mentioned earlier.
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Connecting Your Domain Name To Mailchimp
Whether youve bought your domain through Mailchimp or a third party, you can transfer your domain name and connect it to your Mailchimp account. Once connected, you can use that domain with a custom landing page or Mailchimp-hosted website. If you dont already have a website, Mailchimp offers a free website builder that you can use to make your brand stand out with no coding skills required.
Keep It Short And Simple
Keep your domain name as short as possible. Theres less chance of making a typo in a short name thats under fifteen characters. If people routinely misspell your domain name because its hard to spell, think about the potential traffic lost.
If you have to spell it over the phone, youve lost. According to Jason Calacanis .
It just makes sense that your domain is readable so avoid quirky spellings if possible. For personal domains, it will only increase ambiguity and confusion, and misspellings because its hard to figure out.
Going with a short domain will make it easier for people to remember, but, anything too short can have the opposite effect. Despite having fewer characters, some abbreviations wont work in your favor.
Compare rogercam.com to rogercameraman.com. Strike a balance. Dont be tempted to hack off parts of words for the sake of a shorter domain. Many people use an acronym for their domain name instead.
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How To Get A Custom Domain
The details of each step may vary according to the platform youre building your site on and the domain registrar youre purchasing from. Below, well walk through the steps of purchasing a domain from Domain.com and connecting it to HubSpot. That way, you can host all your landing pages, blogs, and website pages on HubSpot and start building search authority.
Can I Transfer My Domain Name
Yes, most domain registrars can also facilitate the process of transferring a domain name from one person to another . For example, if you want to buy a premium domain name from someone, a registrar can help process the deal securely.
Also, you can transfer your domain name between different registrars if you found a better deal, for example, or just need some extra features.
Below are linked help documents for doing that with each registrar:
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