Getting a free domain name and hosting for your website seems suspicious but it’s completely possible. So, if you’re on a budget there are certainly ways you can get started without spending a dollar.
So, let’s get into it.
How to Get a Domain Name for Free
There are broadly two ways you can get a free domain, with a hosting provider such as Bluehost or through free domain registrars.
1. Get a Free Domain with Bluehost
Bluehost is one of the most trusted hosting providers out there, serving millions of websites globally. The greatest benefit of their service is that once you sign up, you get a domain completely free. You still need to purchase a hosting plan through Bluehost, but the domain name is entirely free for the first year. So how do you sign up?
Go to the Bluehost website and select the Hosting option from the menu bar. You then need to choose the hosting type from the options they have available: Shared Hosting, VPS, or Dedicated.
The Shared Hosting Plan
The Shared Hosting plan is $2.95 a month and is an ideal option if you’re planning to start your first website. Your website is stored on a shared server which saves you money, it’s perfect for sites with low to moderate traffic.
The VPS Hosting Plan
The VPS hosting option or Virtual Private Service hosting is $18.99 a month. If you’re after higher performance and expecting high volumes of traffic, VPS hosting is a good option to consider.
The Dedicated Hosting Plan
Dedicated Hosting is $79.99 a month. Your website gets a server dedicated just for you meaning you get the best performance and complete control even with high traffic to your site. Unless you’re a large company that experiences enormous traffic, this plan probably exceeds your needs. Regardless of your choice you still get a domain for free.
Once you’ve selected your hosting type you need to choose your web hosting plan. Again, Bluehost has a variety of options across price ranges from the Basic plan at $2.95 a month to the Pro plan at $13.95 a month. The more expensive plans come with added features and benefits however, for a beginner the basic plan is usually more than sufficient.
After, you’ve chosen your plan you can create your domain. Bluehost also allows you to use an existing domain that you already own. Then choose your extension from the options that include .com, .net, .co, and others.
Finally, create your Bluehost account by filling in your details and you’re all set to go. Now with Bluehost, you have signed up for safe, secure, and efficient hosting and you’ve got a free domain for a year.
2. Get a Free Domain with Free Domain Registrars
You can also get a domain name for free using free domain registrars such as Freenom, GetFreeDomain.Name and Dot TK. Head over to their website and search for the domain name you’re looking for and the sites will display their availability. Seems too good to be true right? That’s because it is. Getting your domain name through this method is completely free but here are a few reasons it’s not a great idea:
The domain extensions are very limited. You will never find a .com or a .biz for example, the extensions are typically .tk, .ml, .gq among others. These extensions are unprofessional, they have no real credibility, and most people see them as spam.
The SEO value of these extensions is pretty much zero. Search engines seem to ignore these extensions so you’re not going to see much traffic to your website using a domain from a free registrar.
You have no control over your domain. Since you’re not paying for it, you technically do not own it. In other words, if it’s free, you’re the product. Your data could be sold to third-party advertisers and you’re at a great risk from hackers.
If you’ve got a small personal website or if you need a test website for a small project, using a free registrar might fit your needs but we strongly urge against it.
How to Get Free Hosting?
While there are free hosting options out there, we don’t recommend using free hosting for serious projects that you plan to expand or earn a consistent revenue from. However, for personal projects or personal blogs, free WordPress hosting is a great choice.
1. Accu Web Hosting
Accu Web hosting includes a free WordPress hosting plan that allows you to build one WordPress site, 30GB a month bandwidth, and other features. Moreover, the service supports custom domain names, has basic backup support, and is completely ad-free.
For The Tech-Savvy Users:
2. Google Cloud Free Tier
Google Cloud’s frier tier hosting is a great hosting option for tech-friendly users. You can use the service for free for a year or till you use the $300 worth of free credits that you’re given when you sign up. All you need to get started is your Google account.
3. AWS Free Tier
Amazon Web Service is ideal for developers. The platform offers 12 months completely free with some of the best features you could expect at zero cost. Amazon is a tried, tested, and powerful hosting platform even with its free tier.
Almost Free Hosting Solutions
The platforms and services above are completely free but if you’re willing to spend a little there are some great options that are almost free.
Bluehost is almost the undisputed best when it comes to hosting so it makes sense to invest in this service even if you’re just getting started. Right now, their shared plan is cheaper than it has ever been at $2.75 a month as opposed to the earlier price of $8.99 a month.
Their basic plan allows you to build one website with 50GB of space, unmetered bandwidth among other features as well as a domain completely free.
The DreamHost shared starter plan comes with a free domain, 1 website, unmetered bandwidth, and 50GB of SSD storage all for $2.95 a month. It’s a great plan to get started for beginners and small sites.
Like Bluehost and DreamHost, signing up with Hostinger gives you a free domain. For beginners, their Single Shared Hosting plan is ideal at $1.39 a month. The plan allows you to build one website, with 30GB of SSD storage, 100GB storage, and other features. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
1. What is Web Hosting? What is its Need?
Web hosting makes your website available to others on the internet. When your website is hosted, your website is stored on a server that users can access through the internet. Without web hosting your site is inaccessible including all your files that make up your site.
2. How to Find a Good Domain Name
A good domain name should be short and memorable. Use words that are just as easy to pronounce as they are to read. The name should be relevant in some way to your website but also unique. Avoid using hyphens in your domain name because that makes the name difficult to remember and therefore difficult to share. Just as important is choosing a good domain extension. Your domain extension conveys the credibility of your site so stick to well-known extensions like .com, .info, .io, or .info
3. What are the types of Domains?
- Top Level Domains (TLDs) : Also known as domain extensions, this is the broader term that refers to the suffix after your domain name for example .com or .io
- Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) : These are domain extensions limited to countries for example .us for USA, and .uk for the UK
- Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD): These are the most common domain extensions. They do not fall into a particular category and are easy to recognize for example .com, .blog, .info, .org and hundreds of others.
- Second Level Domain (SLD): This refers to the actual name of your domain, preceding the domain extension.
- Third-Level Domain: This is the portion of the domain URL that precedes the SLD, it is most commonly www.
- Premium Domain: Premium domains are valuable domain names that are purchased with the intention of being sold again for a profit.
4. What are the Four Basic Types of Web Hosting?
- Shared Hosting: Several websites are hosted on a single server. They share resources and is usually the go to choice for beginners.
- VPS Hosting: This involves a parent server that can host several virtual servers at different locations. It’s considerably more flexible and scalable than shared hosting.
- Dedicated Hosting: This type of hosting involves a single server dedicated to a single website. This is usually the preferred choice for large enterprises.
- Cloud Hosting: Websites are hosted on a cloud network, so hosting isn’t restricted to a single server but several virtual and physical servers. It’s very flexible and very scalable.
5. How to Connect Domain and Hosting?
To connect a domain with your hosting you need change the nameservers. This may vary depending on the hosting you use but the process is broad as follows:
- Log in to your hosting account
- Go to the option that allows you to manage your DNS settings
- Find the Nameservers option and choose the custom option to manually input new nameservers.
Getting a domain name and hosting your website for free is possible and if trying to save money and start out small it’s a great idea to consider some of these options however even with a small investment in a good hosting service you can make a huge difference to your website. In other words, you can definitely get a start for free but to be successful in the long term it’s worth considering the investment in a paid hosting plan.