Ways to Get a Free Domain Name
To get a free business domain name, you have two options: register a standalone domain or bundle your domain with additional services. Keep in mind that domain names typically cost between $10 and $15. It may be worth purchasing to ensure your startup secures the best domain for your brand.
Here’s a breakdown of each of your options to help you decide the right path for your startup:
Web Hosting Providers
To build a website, you have to purchase web hosting unless you utilize a website builder such as Wix that includes web hosting with their services. For websites built with WordPress, however, a separate web hosting service is required.
Fortunately, there are several web hosting providers, such as GoDaddy, or Bluehost, that offer a free domain with web hosting services. Keep in mind that your domain will cost to renew after the first year.
If you haven’t launched your website yet, one of the best ways to secure a free domain name for a startup is to bundle it with a website builder. Website builders make it easy for you to create and host a functional, branded website with limited experience.
It is important to note that while the domain is included with the initial package, you will have to renew ownership of the domain after the first year. However, this ensures that you secure the best domain and top-level extension — making your startup look more credible in the long run.
Email hosting is also a crucial part of developing your startup’s online presence. While some services bundle this with website building or hosting, if you’re only looking for an email hosting service, it may benefit you to bundle a free domain.
Using a separate email hosting software such as IONOS’ free domain perk gives you access to .com and other top-level extensions, increasing the credibility of your brand.
Free Domain Registrars
Domain registrars such as Freenom provide free domain names without requiring you to purchase additional services. However, the drawback is credibility, functionality, and security. While domains obtained through a domain registrar work similarly to any other domain name, there are some major hang-ups making these domain names better for personal use.
When you utilize free domain registrars, you opt out of credible domain extensions such as .com, .org, .net, and .co, for example, lessening the perceived trustworthiness of your domain to customers. Additionally, the lack of security features, as well as a lack of ownership of your domain, may cause headaches in the future.
Understanding Domain Names
A domain name is the text used to map to an alphanumeric IP address. You can also think of it as the URL of your business’s website, following www. The most trustworthy, credible domain names end in top-level extensions such as .com, .org, .net, and .co, to name a few. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
You can typically expect to pay between $10 and $15 per year for a domain name. As domains are relatively inexpensive, it is often preferable to buy your domain name or bundle with a website builder or provider that can offer you your ideal domain rather than opting to cut costs.
Overall, a domain name that matches your business name is absolutely essential for branding, credibility, and discoverability. With more and more businesses being discovered and vetted online, a good domain name can set you apart from the competition and build trust with your customers.
Pros & Cons of Free Domain Names
A free domain name comes with multiple pros, namely cost, as well as some drawbacks. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of getting a free domain name for your startup to consider:
During the beginning stages of entrepreneurship especially, every dollar counts. The biggest benefit of free domain names is, unsurprisingly, that they are cost-effective, leaving more capital in your pocket to launch and grow your business.
Included in Other Plans
If you opt for a free domain included with your website builder or hosting service, you save the step of purchasing one separately. Instead, your business domain name is already connected to your website.
Registering or bundling a free domain for your business saves you a step in building your brand and allows you to focus on more important aspects of launching your startup.
Some domain registrars, such as Freenom, increase your security risks when you opt for a free domain. However, if you choose to obtain a domain through a website builder or hosting provider, your domain should be secure.
Domains obtained through a registrar, you lose the credibility associated with .com, .net., .org, and other top-level domain extensions.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the text mapping to an IP address. However, it is more commonly thought of as the URL or text that is typed into a browser window to reach a specific website.
How much does a domain name cost?
Domain names typically cost between $10 and $15 per year. However, the price can vary depending on the name chosen and its extension (.com, .org, etc.).
How can I get a free .com domain for a lifetime?
You can’t obtain a .com domain name for free for a lifetime. However, you can typically receive a free .com domain name through a website builder, web hosting service, or email hosting service for a year.
How do you check for domain name availability?
You can check your domain name’s availability using an online domain search tool or check out our startup name generator to search your domain name for free.
Do you need a website first to register a domain name?
No, you do not need a website before you register a domain name.
How do I choose the right domain name?
For business owners, the right domain name will match your business name and branding closely. You should also prioritize trustworthy domain extensions that are available, such as .com or .org.