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A domain is essential if you want anyone to be able to access your website. It's that simple.
Continue reading if you don't wish to pay for domain names.
Your domain name is the address of your website on the Internet. As you can see in my browser, I use neilpatel.com.
You want something unique. You want something that is yours.
This post will show you how to get a domain that matches your business and establishes your brand. How to get it free.
This is as easy as it can be. If you don't know what this is, don't worry. Follow these steps to get a domain name for free in no time.
Your 2-Minute Cheat Sheet
Do you need a quick answer to how to get your domain name for free? Let me cut to the chase.
A web hosting company is necessary if you plan to launch a blog or website. Hostinger is my choice when it comes to choosing from the many options.
The company offers excellent speed and reliability. It also offers a no-cost domain name for the first year.
Hostinger makes it easy to get your domain and hosting setup in one go. Hosting is still available for a small fee, but the domain name is yours for nothing.
Click here to create a Hostinger Account and sign up. The entire process is quick and easy thanks to their guided setup.
You'll then have hosting, a domain and a basic site ready to go.
You might also be able to use a subdomain for free if your budget is tight.
Wix and WordPress are great website builders. The only catch is that, instead of having a simple .com site like mine (NeilPatel.com), you'll have something like yourusername.wixsite.com/yoursiteaddress or yourdomainname.wordpress.com.
This is not ideal. It can be an option if you're looking to test out the free features of our website builder.
Don't worry if a clean domain is not an option. Hostinger makes it easy to get your domain.
Follow these steps to obtain a domain name for free.
- Visit the Hostinger's website
- Choose your hosting type
- Claim Your Free Domain
Hostinger will allow you to do everything in one place. While I'll be able to show you some other options, it is possible that you will need to interact with multiple vendors in order to complete all the steps.
Step 1 – Go to the Hostinger's website
Click here to go to Hostinger.
Click Start Here to be taken directly to the checkout page.
This checkout page has been set up with my recommendation. Premium shared hosting is the most affordable plan and includes a domain name.
I recommend choosing the longest term to get the best rate. You can lock in a very attractive rate of $2.59 per monthly if you sign up for four years of hosting.
To get the best deal, click on the box to the right.
Check out the add-ons listed below to see if they are of any use to you. Although they aren't essential, daily backups and priority support can be very useful and are reasonably priced.
Once you have completed that, click Submit Secure payment and you will be able to proceed with setup.
Step 2 – Select Your Hosting Type
Hostinger's shared hosting is available at a discounted price. You don't even have to choose the type of hosting you want. All premium shared hosting is ready for you.
You may be able to determine the needs of your website and decide that shared hosting is not enough.
If you don't know what hosting is, continue reading to find out more about the differences and who each type of hosting is best for.
If you are starting a new site, I recommend shared hosting.
These plans are not only cheap but can also be used to accommodate low-traffic sites. Your website is shared with many other websites. By sharing server resources with other tenants, you can save money.
It's almost like having your own home but living in an apartment. It's cheaper and requires less maintenance. Your site may experience slowdowns if one of the shared servers starts using too many resources. This is why shared hosting doesn't work well for very large, complex websites.
However, shared hosting can be great for those who don't expect high traffic volumes or lack technical knowledge.
Cloud hosting is a great way to increase your performance without paying the higher prices of other options.
Cloud hosting is the same as shared hosting. However, multiple servers are connected via the cloud so that no one server gets hampered by a resource-hungry, bulky or popular site.
This can lead to higher reliability and uptime as you don't share the resources of one server.
This is a half-step up to shared hosting, but it's not as reliable and powerful as the next option.
VPS hosting is virtual private server hosting. This category covers plans that offer better performance at a higher price.
This hosting type offers you exclusive access to useful resources. Technically, this means that you share a server with other websites but have a virtual server that has dedicated resources.
If you anticipate sudden spikes in traffic, this type of hosting is for you.
You have exclusive access to a server that is only for your website with dedicated hosting. It's not necessary to share it.
You will get premium performance from this subscription plan. However, you must also be willing to pay a premium price.
If you are a large company that handles a lot of traffic, this is an excellent option. This is a great option for people who want total control over their hosting environment.
This guide will recommend that you select the pre-selected premium shared hosting plan. If you would prefer to have other plans, I'll let you know.
Step 3 – Claim Your Free Domain
Once you have completed checkout and paid, you will be taken to your Hostinger control panels, hPanel.
You'll find front-and-center an opportunity to claim your domain.
To search for your desired domain name, click Claim Dom. Click the purple box to the right of it.
A.com extension is more professional and will make you look more trustworthy to your visitors.
If the.com extension has already been taken and you are 100% set on the name, I wouldn't consider another domain extension.
A.com domain is essential for small businesses. Small blogs, personal websites, side hustles, and other sites may also benefit from a.com extension.
Then, you will need to fill in some basic information. Complete the form and send it. Hostinger will verify your registration details and send you an email with a link to complete verification.
Now you are ready to secure your domain name for free!
One more thing that I recommend.
Enable WHOIS protection. Once you have completed verification, you will be taken to your dashboard section for your domain name. Simply look for the slider button located under Privacy, and click it to make it purple and enable.
This will hide your email address, phone number, and name from public databases.
And you're done!
Now you have a great hosting plan and a free domain. Hostinger is the best place to start if you haven't already.
There are other ways to get a free domain
To be comprehensive, I will also talk about two other methods to get a domain free of charge. While I do not recommend them, it is always beneficial to have all the options.
- Get a subdomain for free
- Not recommended: Use a domain registrar for free
Below, I will explain each method in more detail.
Method 1 – Get a free subdomain
Many website builders offer subdomains. This is a personal domain that is part of an existing domain.
Remember the movie Inception in which Leonardo DiCaprio dreamed that he was in a dream? This is a similar story.
You will end up with a domain within a domain.
Squarespace, Wix and Weebly all offer subdomains. You can also get a free trial. If you love their services, you will be able to purchase premium plans which include everything you need to create, launch, and manage professional websites.
You also get a domain name free of charge, in addition to the many perks like web hosting, templates and drag-and-drop website builder.
Yet, I believe this method isn't ideal.
Let's look at this example.
Imagine that you can use Wix, a free website builder. Although you won't need to purchase a domain name, your site will be hosted on the Wix subdomain. It will look like this:
Let's say your Wix username “My Stunning Website 123” and your domain name is myblogsite. Here's what it will look like:
It's professional. Is this a domain you have seen on any other credible website?
This is why I only recommend this method to those who want to try out new features and updates in your website builder.
WordPress is another option. It isn't as intrusive as Wix. The format for a free WordPress subdomain is: yourdomainname.wordpress.com
While this is an option when money is tight, it is not viable as a long-term strategy. A subdomain is not an option as your domain name will be short and memorable.
Another disadvantage is that visitors may not remember your domain name or find it difficult to remember.
Method 2 – Use a free domain name registrar (not recommended)
A free domain registrar can provide a domain name, but this is not usually recommended. Particularly if your domain name should reflect professionalism and trustworthiness.
The truly free domains are those that use unusual extensions. You'll find.tk rather than.com.
Prospective customers will prefer a domain that is yourbusiness.com to youryourbusiness.tk. It's also easier to remember a domain name that starts with.com than a domain extension that few people have ever seen.
You don't even own the domain name. This defeats the purpose for launching a website or blog.
If you decide to go this route, however, you can also check out Freenom and GetFreeDomain.Name as well as Dot TK.
Many domain registrars will offer you a free domain in return for your site running ads. Although there is nothing wrong in running ads on your website, it is not the best way.
The ads you see are not yours to control (the type of ads, their length, etc.). You don't have any control over the ads (the type of ads played, their length, etc.) or their placement. Your visitors might not have the best experience when they visit your site. This could also impact your SEO ranking.
Even if you look at the situation from a more positive perspective, it is still not feasible.
Let's say you are able to drive high traffic to your site and that the ads receive one million views. These ads won't earn you a penny. All you get is a domain.
Not a fair trade, right?
If you are seriously considering running ads on your site, I recommend that you do it through an authorized advertising network. It can provide a great source for income. Do not exchange ads for a domain.
Don't Forget To Renew Your Domain
Be sure to check the term for your first domain purchase. This is something I cannot emphasize enough.
It is not easy to set up a blog or website. It takes a lot of work to create a website or blog, find the right URL and design it, and then publish relevant content.
Imagine the horror that you will feel when you wake up to find out that someone has purchased your domain.
Why? The reason?
This mistake has been made many times before and it has cost people a lot.
Jeb Bush and his staff forgot to renew their domain JebBush.com during one presidential election cycle. Donald Trump purchased the domain and used it to redirect Bush's visitors directly to his presidential election website. Bush's team could have easily avoided this disaster.
How can you prevent this?
First, note your initial term. Many registrars offer a one-year registration. However, some allow you to purchase five, 10, 20 or even 100 year registrations at checkout.
You don't need to worry about renewal if your initial term is longer. You also lock in the annual rate for the duration.
A reminder for one month is also important, even if you don’t purchase a multi-year term.
This will allow you to prepare for renewal without having your registration expire.
You can also review your domain registrar's renewal rates with a one-month head-up. Sometimes the renewal rate can jump quite a bit. You have at least a few weeks to look at your options and budget if it is higher than you expected.
Last but not least, if your budget is tight, I recommend setting up auto-renew for your domain.
Most providers allow you to see in your dashboard the expiry of your domain and the renewal cost. You can also choose to enable auto-renewal. Hostinger makes it easy to do this in their services menu under billing settings.
Auto-renewal is available with all the other providers I reviewed.
It is a good idea to check the renewal rate of your domain before it expires, in order to avoid any unexpected budget surprises if it spikes.
Hostinger is the best option to obtain a domain name for free. You won't lose it even if your web host changes.
Another option is to use subdomains with reliable web builders such as WordPress or Wix.
You can get a reliable web hosting company and a brand new domain in a matter of seconds. Trust me, it's not worth the effort to look unprofessional, run a spammy site, or get hacked.
By: Neil Patel
Title: How to Get a Free Domain Name
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/how-to-get-a-free-domain/
Published Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2022 19:30:00 +0000