Are you looking for an easy way to get a free domain name for your business?
A domain name is your website or business name on the internet. People can type it in their browser’s address bar to visit your website. For example, wpbeginner.com.
Normally a domain name registrar charges anywhere from $9.99 – $14.99 per year, but there are other ways to get a domain name for free.
In this article, we will show you proven ways to quickly get a free domain name. We will also cover what’s the catch behind these free domain names, and things you need to watch out for.
What’s the Catch with Free Domain Names?
You might be wondering if domain names cost an annual fee, why would any company offer free domain name registration?
Well that’s because they profit from it indirectly.
To build a website, you need two things: domain name and web hosting.
Domain name is your website’s address on the internet whereas web hosting is where your website files and content are stored. See our article on the difference between domain name and web hosting for more details.
Majority of the “trustworthy” free domain name offers that you will see on the internet are from web hosting companies. They offer free domain name to customers who host their websites with them, and the cost of the domain name is recouped from the hosting fee.
We use this method all the time and highly recommend it for all users.
Now there are some other companies that will offer a free domain name in exchange for you displaying their advertisements or placing their tracking scripts on your website.
We strongly recommend that you avoid these offers. They will likely distribute malware and viruses through your website, and this can become a legal liability for you. The $10 / year saving is not worth a bad reputation or the legal troubles.
With that said, below are the trustworthy and proven ways to get a free domain name.
This is the best free domain name offer on the market. You’ll need to purchase web hosting from Bluehost, which is one of the best and most affordable hosting companies in the world.
Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users an exclusive 60% discount on web hosting with free domain name and free SSL certificate.
Basically, you’ll be able to start a website for $2.75 per month.
Once you sign up, you can follow our guide on how to make a website to quickly start using your domain name.
HostGator is one of the most popular website hosting companies on the internet. We use their web hosting for our WPBeginner website.
They are offering WPBeginner readers free 1 year domain name registration on top of a 62% discount on web hosting as well as a free SSL certificate. Basically your website will cost $2.64 per month.
HostGator offers 1 click WordPress install, professional free business email address, free WordPress site transfer, $200 in marketing credits, and so much more.
They are offering free domain registration for 1 year on the purchase of any of their premium plans. Each plan has different monthly pricing and features.
You can start your website for free on a subdomain, but once you upgrade to their Starter or Business Plus plan, you will be presented with an option to get a free domain name.
Constant Contact website builder also offers other powerful features like logo maker, Ecommerce cart, and more.
GreenGeeks is an environment-friendly hosting provider. They offer shared and WordPress hosting plans on faster servers with SSD storage and advanced security features.
They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name with their hosting plans and a 60% discount on hosting. This would make your costs go down to $2.59 per month.
GreenGeeks hosting also gets you free SSL certificate and 1-click WordPress installer to easily get started. If you already have a WordPress website then they would transfer it for you.
SiteBuilder is another popular website builder in the market that offers a free domain name registration with any of their plans.
You can use their hundreds of professionally designed templates and powerful drag and drop website builder to easily create your business website or online store within minutes.
SiteBuilder offers all the essential features to build a website, and they offer live chat and phone support to assist you in getting online.
DreamHost is one of the oldest and most reliable hosting companies around. They offer shared hosting, VPS hosting, domain name registrations, and a website builder to create your website.
Luckily, DreamHost is offering WPBeginner users a 47% discount on hosting free domain name and SSL certificate. You would be able to get it all for $2.59 per month.
DreamHost is also an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider. Their offer also includes pre-installed WordPress, free WordPress migration, and expert support.
If you don’t want to use WordPress, then you can still claim this offer and use any self-hosted website builder with your domain name.
Another way to get your free domain name is by signing up with InMotion Hosting. They offer WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and a website creator plan.
They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name and discount on their hosting plans. You can get their premium hosting plan for $4.55 per month.
InMotion hosting offers incredibly fast hosting plans with 1-click WordPress installer, and free BoldGrid website builder. You also get award winning 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email from US based technical staff.
WordPress.com is a fully-hosted website builder and blogging platform. It is not the same as self-hosted WordPress.org websites. To learn more, see the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
You can get a free domain name by signing up for a paid plan with WordPress.com (Personal plan or higher). Basically, you’d get all the features of WordPress.com with your own custom domain name.
WordPress.com offers multiple plans suitable for different kinds of websites. For example, if you want to install plugins then you’ll need their Business plan. For an eCommerce store, you’ll need their eCommerce plan
You don’t need to install any software, manage updates, or create backups. You also get access to tons of free website templates to make a professional looking website.
Gator is a new website builder offered by HostGator, the popular web hosting company that we mentioned above.
If you don’t want to use WordPress to build your website, then Gator website builder is a good alternative. They’re offering a free domain name, website, analytics software, customizable templates, and more in their very competitive offering.
FAQs About Free Domain Name Promotions
Over the last 10 years, we have helped thousands of beginners find domain names, make websites, and start their own online businesses. During this time, we have heard almost every question you can think of.
Following are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about getting free a free domain name.
1. Why are some companies offering free domain names?
Domain names are generally not free. You need to pay a small yearly fee to a domain registrar to buy a paid domain name. If you are just starting a blog or a website, then this adds up to your startup cost.
Some companies use this as a promotional tool to sell their other services and products. They pay the cost of your domain name by hoping to cover the cost from other services.
Many of these companies, like Bluehost are domain registrars themselves. This makes it easier for their users to manage their websites and hosting from the same dashboard.
2. Can I buy a domain name without a website?
Yes, you can buy a domain name from any of the reputable domain registrars online. We recommend using Domain.com because they make it super easy to manage your domain names and point them to any hosting company of your choice.
You can use our Domain.com coupon code to get an additional discount.
If you want domain name ideas, then check out a domain name generator like Nameboy.
3. How is domain name different from website hosting?
A domain name is your website’s address on the internet (e.g. wpbeginner.com). Web hosting is where your website’s data and files are stored.
Think of domain names as the street address and web hosting as the actual house where your website’s files live.
To learn more, see our beginner’s guide on the difference between domain name and web hosting.
4. Can I transfer my free domain name to a different company or hosting provider?
Yes, you can transfer your domain name to a different domain registrar or a web hosting company that allows you to move your domain registrations.
You can even point your domain name to any hosting service without actually transferring it by simply editing its DNS settings.
5. Which is the best free domain name option?
If you searched on Google, you’ll find hundreds of companies advertising free domain names. Many of these websites will lure you in with a free domain offer and will try to sell you lesser known domain extensions or lock you into their platform.
All the companies we have mentioned above are one of the best companies on the internet with stellar reputations. They all allow you to transfer your domain name to any other company if you need to.
In terms of value, we recommend using Bluehost. They give you a free domain name with robust shared hosting and all the useful tools you’ll need to start your website.
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