How can I get a Domain name for free?
The year is 2023. Earthlings are grappling with post-pandemic living. The grass is green, the sky is blue and the search for free stuff is never-ending. How can I get a domain name for free? Well, this article by Trend Parlour shows you how.
What is a Domain name?
A domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser to visit your website. For example, apple.com or trendparlour.com
Assuming your website is a house, your domain name is basically its address. Domain names can be alphabet only (e.g trendparlour.com), numeric only (e.g ), or alphanumeric (like the retail domain name, cart54.com)
They are a convenient way of remembering websites amidst the sea of websites that exist today instead of using IP addresses. Fun fact: IP addresses are numbers and dots only and can often be cumbersome. Imagine typing 188.8.131.52 just to access the Trend Parlour website. Hope you get the point.
How can I get a Domain name for Free?
There are common ways of getting a domain for free with each having its attendant pros and cons. They include:
Using a free domain registrar:
The main con is that domain extensions might look so long and sometimes unprofessional for business use. Readers may have an untrustworthy feeling towards such domain names too however this could be a good way to start your online journey if you don’t have any dollars to spend on domain names. Baby steps they say. Examples of free domain registrars include Freenom(.free), Dot TK (.tk)
Freenom and dot tk offer Free ccTLD Services. Though this is not recommended for beginners, these registrars have tons of TLD (top-level domain) services on the web, each offering a range of different country codes (in simple terms, the extension after your domain name.)
So instead of getting a .com domain, you can register your domain using an alternative country code like:
- .tk — Tokelau
- .gq-equatorial Guinea
- .ml — Mali
- .ga — Gabon
Another challenge with using free domain registrars is that you do notreally gain ownership of the domain name when you subscribe to one of these services. This means you can’t transfer the domain name to anyone else, and you could lose the domain name at some point in the future if the service changes its mind. I guess this is a big factor to consider too.
Free Domain with Bundled Services (Recommended).
You can get a free domain in addition to using certain services like a website builder, email hosting, WordPress, or web hosting plans.
Web hosting today is way easier than it used to be years ago. If you intend to build a WordPress website, you’ll need to purchase web hosting differently. Hosting companies like Bluehost offer great deals and have understanding customer care reps to guide you.
Bluehost is a great option to get a free domain since it comes bundled with its most affordable web hosting packages. These bundle deals are really valuable because you’ll still need someone to host your future website once you secure your domain name.
With the Bluehost bundle, you get more value for your cash since you get to keep domain registration and web hosting with a single provider. Bluehost’s low-cost bundles also include WordPress, free email accounts, and other tools you’ll need to build a great website.
Hosting companies like Bluehost offer free domain names in addition to their hosting services for the first year. Instead of paying for these two services, you can simply pay for one and get the other for free. And Yes, Hosting is cheap with offers as low as $3 for monthly hosting. Yearly hosting offers are available with discounts too.
How to Get a free Domain name from Bluehost?
- Go to Bluehost.com
- Select a web hosting plan
- Choose your billing terms
- Create an account
- Enter payment information
- Claim your free domain
How to get a free domain name with a website builder?
Some all-in-one website builders like Squarespace, Weebly, Zyro, Wix, and Carrd (a single-page website builder)offer domain names for free when you build your website with their service. You do not need to know how to code in order to use their website builder service plus you get a professional-looking website. Simply create a free account with any of the listed web builders, select a template, customize as you wish, and go live whenever you’re ready. This is a fair offer especially when you are short on cash but need to start an online gig.
They do not charge you for domain name renewal until after the ‘first year’ with annual prices starting from $12 upwards. Again this is dependent on the website builder selected and the plans under consideration. About the cons to getting a domain name with a website builder, well renewal plans offered often come in annual plans not necessarily monthly plans. Service may not come with free business email so you may need to pay for it or better still get a domain name using other options. This option may not be a worthwhile solution for some users since paying for a premium site builder plan is likely to not only negate the savings of a free domain—it’ll almost certainly cost you more.
Free domains from Domain Registrar Ad Programs
Some domain registrars offer free domains in exchange for running ads on your website. While this is not recommended for users who intend to build a brand in the long term, it is an alternative way to get a free domain name. The only condition is that such domain registrars run free ads on your website and should this affect the experience of users of your website might hinder your SEO performance in the long term. Again you don’t receive any perks per se if those ads convert.
Free Domains from Paid Business Email services
Godaddy offers free domain names for purchases made for business emails for the first year only. You have to pay for any ICANN registration fees for your domain. Renewal fees vary from time to time. While this may not be ideal for beginners in the blogging space, it is still an alternative.
The Subdomain method
A subdomain exists within a domain. You get to host your subdomain on the domain of a website builder. Assuming your website builder is Wix, your address may be like yourusername.wixsite.com/yoursiteaddress
Though not ideal, many online explorers with no budget start with this method before getting a domain name from a bundled service like Bluehost.
Your domain name should be short and memorable. With a subdomain, it’s neither of those things. Just another generic domain with a bunch of letters your customer has to remember (or rather, forget). To build a brand, you have to have some form of identity.
Read up: How to make your brand stand out
The online space is an intriguing one. Domain names are vital aspects of online businesses. It is the address for your website. It is also one factor that is key in brand building. The different ways to get a domain name for free include free domain registrars e.g Freenom, free domains from bundled services like Bluehost, free domains from website builders e,g carrd or wix, free domains from domain registrar ad programs, free domain names from paid business email services e,g godaddy and finally free domain names via the subdomain method.
Each has its pros and cons. We hope this piece helps you as you start your journey.