Do you want to create a website for free?
To get started, you’ll need a domain name but those usually cost around $10 a year.
If you’re looking to build a site with no investment, we got you covered.
We’ll show you 3 legitimate ways to register a domain name for free.
When are Free Domains the Right Choice?
Free domains have a bad reputation because they are have random domain name extensions that make you look unprofessional.
Usually a website address would look like exampledomain.com.
But free domains come with extensions like .ml, .ga, or .tk.
You can also set up a free website on blogging platforms but your domain name would usually end with the platform name. It would look like this: myblog.wordpress.com.
These kind of domain names aren’t always a good idea. We recommend using a free domain name only in these cases:
- Personal blog
- Experimental website
- School project
If you’re building a website for professional use, then a free domain can stunt your growth.
First, the free domains are usually difficult to pronounce or remember. Second, they may lead to security issues that can jeopardize your website.
When it comes to doing business online, you need to consider the following:
- Use a .com domain: Most users find them easier to remember than any other domain extensions. If you use rare extensions, your users may forget your site’s URL or end up on another website.
- Keep it simple: Shorter names are easy to pronounce and remember. For instance, amazon.com is easy to type than amazonshoppingonline.com.
- Make it brandable: Usually your domain name becomes your business name so make sure it’s a marketable name that you can build a brand with.
These domains are also better for SEO (search engine optimization). If you’re serious about growing your website, you’ll want to get a domain name that meets this criteria. For instance, see our NameBoy domain.
It’s a .com, it’s simple, and brandable. Having said that, we’ll show you 3 legit ways to get a domain name for free.
- Free domain with a web hosting plan
- Free domain with all-in-one site builder plan
- Free domain from an affiliate program
We’ll walk you through what each one means and how to register your domain name using these methods.
Free Domain with a Web Hosting Plan
To get your website on the internet, you’ll need a hosting server. This is where your website’s files and database will be stored.
Hosting servers can be expensive but luckily you don’t have to buy one. You can subscribe to a hosting plan with web hosting companies.
You pay them a small fee and they grant your access to use their servers. The great thing about this method is that these web hosts have the right infrastructure and security measures in place to host your website.
There are tons of web hosting companies out there and many of them offer a free domain name with their hosting plan.
We recommend using Bluehost. They’re by far the best web host in the market and are officially recommended by WordPress.org.
They’re competitively priced, has almost 100% uptime, and give you a robust setup to host a website. Bluehost is also a domain name registrar so you can buy and register your domain along with your hosting plan.
A few highlights of Bluehost’s hosting service include:
- Free .com domain for the first year
- Professional setup
- Secure servers
- Free business email
- Free SSL certificate for data encryption
- Free CDN for faster website speed
- Domain privacy and WHOIS protection
- Multiple hosting options like shared hosting, VPS hosting, Managed WordPress hosting, and Dedicated hosting plans
If you’re worried about the cost of a hosting plan, we’ve worked out a deal where Nameboy users get an exclusive Bluehost discount.
This will give you discounted web hosting along with a free domain name for 1 year. You can get started for as low as $2.75 per month!
This option is best suited for businesses of any size, serious bloggers, corporates, non-profits, and any other professional website.
For more options on getting a free domain with a hosting provider, see our comparison of the Best Bluehost Alternatives.
Now we’ll walk through how to register your new eCommerce domain name with Bluehost.
Head over to our Bluehost discount page to get started.
When you click on the ‘Get started’ button, you’ll see the pricing page with the different hosting options available. You can review the available plans and choose a plan that fits your budget.
Once you select a plan, Bluehost will ask you to create a new domain. Enter domain keywords or ideas here and Bluehost will populate the available domain names that are free.
When you select your domain name, Bluehost will take you to the signup page to provide your account information.
Here, you can choose your Package Extras. These are optional features you can add to your hosting plan.
You can choose the ones you want or skip them all together. Now all that’s left to do is enter your payment details and agree to their Terms of Service. Click on the Submit button to complete your payment.
That’s it! You’ve got a reliable hosting plan along with a free domain name to set up and launch your website!
If you need more information, here’s more on how to register your eCommerce domain name.
Free Domain with All-in-One Site Builder Plan
A site builder acts as an all-in-one solution to create, market, and grow a website. They are designed to make it easy for anyone to build a website – no coding or design skills needed!
These platforms offer all-inclusive plans. This means they charge you a single fee to join the platform and you’ll get a free domain name, hosting plan, SSL certificate, site builder, and marketing tools.
These plans usually cost a bit more but the platform will take care of end-to-end website maintenance.
Here are the best site builders that come with a free domain name:
- Web.com: Drag and drop website builder with prebuilt templates and professional email.
- GoDaddy: Designed for beginners, small businesses and service-based businesses.
- Weebly: Most affordable site builder with plans starting at $6 per month.
- Squarespace: Great for small-time online stores
These builders will give you a proper Top Level Domain extension like .com, .net, .biz, or .org.
If you want a completely free domain and website hosting plan, you’ll have to settle for other domain extensions. Take a look at platforms like:
- Wix: Good option for simple online presence
- WordPress.com: Perfect for those who want to hand off website maintenance
- Blogger: Best for free blogging
- Mailchimp: Best for existing Mailchimp customers
- ActiveCampaign: Designed for marketers
- ConvertKit: Built for content creators to make a living online
They let you sign up and create websites and landing pages for free. But don’t expect a popular domain or premium domain name for free.
You’ll either get a domain name that’s actually a subdomain like mypage.mailchimp.com or a page URL like https://expert-painter-589.ck.page/5ea0811bcb.
All you need to do is create a free account, select a template, and customize your site. When you’re ready to go live, you can publish your site.
Free Domain from Affiliates
The last legit way to get a free domain name is by joining affiliate programs. Some programs help you get started with a free domain name and website builder.
- Appypie Website Builder: Affordable plans with free domain name, website builder, and hosting plan.
- SiteRubix: Free to build a website with a .siterubix domain extension.
You can get started for free or a bare minimum investment. However, you’ll be limited in site customizations and features.
Before we wrap up, we want to mention that there’s one more way you can get a free domain but we do not recommend it. There are a free domain registars that lets you register low-end domains for free.
You’ll get domain extensions like .tk, .ml, or .cf.
While these names are free, they can appear unprofessional and untrustworthy. What’s worse is that they can lead to security issues.
Some free domain registrars also seem unreliable and it’s hard to tell if they are legit or not.
A few free domain registration sites include:
- Dot TK
In most cases, these websites show you a list of domains but when you select one, it says ‘unavailable’.
We strongly recommend staying away from sketchy websites. You risk infecting your browser and computer with malware. It’s simply not worth it.
Added to that, these websites come with zero customer support. When you buy a domain name, more often than not, you’ll need to connect with support to set it up or resolve any issues you face.
In all instances, we suggest investing in a trustworthy hosting plan like Bluehost, HostGator, SiteGround, and others. You’ll get a free domain name for one year included in your plan and you can be sure that your website has a solid foundation and recommended security measures.
We hope you found this post helpful in finding the best domain name for your website. Next, you’ll want to see:
- How to Start a Small Business Website (Step by Step)
- 10+ Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders (Comparison)
- 10 Best Email Marketing Software to Grow Your Business (2021)
These resources will help you set up and grow your website.