The Curious Case Of Absolutely Free Domain Name
With more than 370 million domain names registered as of end 2020 Q3, domain names are hot selling commodities. In fact, there has been such great demand that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has been allowing the registration of new Top-Level Domains.
With such huge number of domain names being registered, you would think that domain names now probably cost a fortune.
After all, commodity prices usually follow demand, right?
Yet that isnt really the case with domain names. In general, domain names go for about $10 to $12 depending on where you buy them. Ive even seen some sales periods where you can get a domain name for as low as $0.99.
Domain names that are cheap to register often come with a catch though the renewal fees are often much higher than what you bought them for. Take for example the case of 1& 1 Ionos which lets you register a .biz domain for $1 but charges $20 for subsequent renewals.
Our Top Recommendations For Getting A Free Domain
If youre looking for an all-in-one website builder, a Wix paid plan is the best way to get a free domain name. However, if you want to go the self-hosted route, Hostinger and DreamHost are excellent choices for most users.
Equipped with your free domain and affordable web hosting, you have everything you need to get your new website up and running in no time.
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.
Recommended Reading: Migrate Wix To Shopify
But What If You Want To Change Hosting Companies
I used to use a web hosting company that offered free domain names, but only for as long as you were their customer.
This is totally unethical. Your domain name should be owned by you. If you dont have full control over it, youre asking for trouble further down the line.
Thankfully, Bluehost are a bit different. Here are what their terms say about domain ownership when you register a free domain with them:
If youre dissatisfied with your experience at Bluehost, you wont lose your domain name. Youll be free to transfer it or simply point it elsewhere at your convenience. You retain ownership of your domain until the end of its registration period, unless you elect to extend it.
If you want to register a free domain name with Bluehost, you can do so here.
The process is really simple and only takes about 60 seconds. If you want to know how to install a WordPress website on Bluehost, weve written a step-by-step walk through here.
Important: Dont Forget To Renew Your Domain
Domains expire. This can take one year, two years, or three years based on the package you buy.
Setting up a website or blog is hard work. You put in a lot of effort to find the perfect URL, design a website, and publish relevant content on it, among several other things that help it rank high and attract customers.
Just imagine the horror when you get up and realize some random stranger has bought it. The reason? You forgot to renew your domain.
This is why you must understand the importance of renewing your domain. Many people have made this mistake in the past, and it cost them dearly.
For instance, during one presidential election cycle, Jeb Bush and his team forgot to renew their domain JebBush.com, which Donald Trump successfully purchased and redirected Bushs visitors to his own presidential election website. It was a stellar business move on Trumps part, but a disaster that Bushs team couldve easily averted.
Make sure domain renewal is marked on your calendar a month in advance. You can also put your domain on auto-renewal just to be safe.
Also Check: Transfer Domain From Godaddy To Shopify
Ways To Get A Free Com Domain For Life For Your Website
Domain names are pointers to your website location. Your website content are located somewhere on a remote computer. Its basically the first step to take when publishing your website, alongside a coming soon page, content creation and a .
These servers are known online by their unique identities, otherwise known as IP addresses. These addresses are a series of numbers, quite difficult for the human brain to memorize.
The domain name is simply technically attaching some readable text to the random series of numbers so it will be easy to remember.
The yahoo IP address is something like: 220.127.116.11 So you see this is quite a huge task to keep in your brain. The domain naming system solves this problem by attaching the text YAHOO.COM to this somewhat difficult number, making it easy to read and retain.
Typically, domain names range between $7 and $100 a year. This depends on many factors including the extension, country, registrar, etc.
Some companies offer a huge discount on the first year while others completely waive the registration fee.
Godaddy for instance has the famous $0.99 cent .com domain fee for the first year. But this looks like a tricky joke to me because in the subsequent years, you are charged well over $15 in renewals, well over double of what others charge.
How Does Free Domain Name For Life Come
Is it really possible to be given a free .com domain for life?
Well its not completely impossible. Like I mentioned in the beginning, the free domains are simply a bonus offer. That means you are paying for something to access the bonus. Generally, the cost of the service paid for is inflated to cover any expenses from the free domain.
If you have any web hosting service that offers free .com domain for life, trust me they get you to pay the domain fee in something else.
Also Check: How Much Does It Cost To Get A Domain Name
How To Get A Free Domain Name: 2 Proven Methods
A domain name is what visitors type into their browsers to access a website. However, as an essential part of a website, a domain can be costly. Thus, this article will share two proven methods of getting domains for free.
The first method to get a free domain is purchasing a web hosting plan. In comparison, the second method is by using a free subdomain from a website builder. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages choose the one that fits your needs best.
I Used My Free Credit Toward One Registration But Intended To Use It For Another Registration Can This Be Changed
Yes. DreamHost support can assist you with applying the free credit toward a different domain, if requested. An example would be if you renewed two domains at the same time, but wanted the credit to be used on one domain instead of the other. Please note that the free credit change would not involve a change to your payment amount. If the free credit change results in a positive balance on your account, the balance would be applied to future charges as they arise.
DreamHost understands that some customers are resellers and have a reason to use the credit for a specific domain listed on their invoices. Please feel free to contact support on the Contact Support page if you need assistance with this.
Also Check: Transfer Wix Domain To Squarespace
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.
Come Up With A Domain Name
Choose a custom domain name that represents the content of your website. After all, whether it is a professional or a personal website, the domain name is a part of the branding.
For example, a business website should include the business name in the domain. Choose the domain wisely for better brand recognition.
With thousands of new websites created daily, make sure to check the availability of your desired domain name. It is essential to find an available domain to get a free domain name. If the desired domain is already taken, use a domain name checker to see alternative titles.
Recommended Reading: What To Do After Buying A Domain
Free Country Code Top Level Domains
For a totally free domain name, you can use services like Dot.tk and Biz.nf. These companies let you register a TLD completely free as long as you use their country code top level domain . Dot.tk requires you have a website Biz.nf can also help you build and host one.
Top-level domains, also known as suffixes or domain extensions, are the last part of the domain name the letters that comes right after the dot, like .com, .net and .edu. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, typically assigns these suffixes according to the type of institution associated with the website. For example, .com is for commerce sites, .gov is for government agencies and .org is for non-commercial organizations like charities.
Countries can also have top level domain extensions and this is where Dot.tk and sites like it come in. They allow you register a totally free domain name under the country or province theyre in. For Dot.tk, its the tiny country of Tokelau in the South Pacific. The site is run by the government of Tokelau and two of their privately owned communication companies for the purpose of bringing both awareness and revenue to the country. This is where free sometimes doesnt really mean free.
How Do I Use The Ionos Domain Checker To Find A Free Domain Name
It is quick and easy. If you have found a suitable domain name, enter your preferred name into the IONOS domain checker. The tool will immediately check whether your desired domain name is free or not. That’s all. But, don’t forget hurry up to get your desired domain before someone else does, because you aren’t the only one searching for the perfect domain name.
Read Also: How To Get A .io Domain
I Want To Get A Free Custom Domain From Websitecom Whats The Next Step
Once youve decided to proceed with a custom domain name, your next step is to go to and sign up for a website builder plan. Then, from there, you can search for the domain name you want to use.
As we have mentioned earlier, you can choose from 13 different domain extensions. And while a country-specific domain extension costs more than a generic domain extension, if you want to use a .ca domain name instead of a .com, go ahead your first domain is on us.
Select A Web Hosting Plan
After selecting the appropriate type of hosting, you we need to choose the right plan.
Hostinger offers a few different options for shared hosting. If you want to get a free domain, dont select their cheapest plan.
Below, you can see the free domain offers circled in green, with the lack of a free domain circled in red:
The Single Shared Hosting plan is a steal, no doubt, but if you want a free domain, its the wrong way to go. That leaves you with the Premium and Business Shared Hosting plans.
Lets take a closer look at what each plan offers.
Premium Shared Hosting
- Create up to 100 websites
- 100 GB SSD storage
- Daily backups
- Free CDN
Either of these plans is a solid option. Id lean toward the Premium plan if you arent expecting to hit your resource limits in terms of storage or monthly traffic.
Id recommend the Business plan for folks that are constantly updating their site or expecting a significant amount of traffic. Business plans include the automatic daily backups for the last seven days and weekly backups of the last seven weeks.
The ability to restore your site is crucial, and handling backups on your own is a hassle you can avoid with Business plans.
Recommended Reading: How Much Do Domains Cost
Can I Get A Domain For Free
Whether youre a newbie on a quest to become a professional web developer, or a senior programmer whos looking for a way to test the product, getting your own domain name is always a great place to start. It simplifies the way you access your cloud services, offering you more flexibility on web development. And with a free domain, you no longer need to worry about your budget. You can focus more on skills learning and practicing.