How To Get A Free Domain – Forbes Advisor

Think of your domain name as the name of your website. It will be the calling card that visitors use to find and explore your website, so creating the best possible domain name is important. A good rule of thumb is to keep the domain name short and simple so that people can easily remember it. The domain name should contain a keyword related to your industry or simply be the name of your business.

Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you need to search to see if the website name is available. The easiest way to do this is to search the whois database of all registered domains. The Whois database provides the current owner of a domain, its availability, and its expiration date. If your domain name isn’t available, you may be able to contact the owner to buy it from them or come up with a new domain name.

1. Use a free domain name registrar

Freenom claims to be the world’s first provider of free domains. Free domains work just like any other domain name with URL forwarding, free Freenom DNS service, or your own Domain Name Service (DNS) or nameservers. Domain extensions currently available for free registration are .TK/.ML/.GA/.CF/.GQ. Unlike paid websites, Freenom free domains holders do not have broadcasting rights.

GetFreeDomain.Name and Dot TK also offer free domains with DNS support, so you can host them wherever you want. The free domain registrars are not recommended for anything other than personal use. The lack of security and email addresses, as well as the unprofessional look of the site, make free domains not a viable option for business sites.

2. Get a free domain name with a web hosting plan

Free domain names and professional email addresses are often included in web hosting plans. If you are planning to use WordPress to build your website, consider using Bluehost as your hosting service. Not only does WordPress support Bluehost, the hosting service includes free new domain registration for customers’ first year.

Other services like Hostinger, HostGator, and InMotion Hosting all offer similar free domain registration for the first year as part of their hosting plans. Other features typically included in hosting packages are a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), unlimited bandwidth, marketing tools, automatic backups, and security features. Hosting prices vary but can start as low as $2.99 ​​per month for the first year.

Learn about the best web hosting services, including which ones come with a free domain name.

3. Get a free domain name with an all-in-one website builder

In addition to hosting services, all-in-one website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace often include a free domain for the user’s first year. These website builders are popular because they allow users with no coding experience to create professional-looking websites using customizable templates with drag-and-drop functionality.

While they’re generally more expensive than building a WordPress website through a hosting provider, they’re much easier to navigate for the average user. The paid plans of the most popular website builders include a free domain for 12 months. Unlike hosting plans, professional email addresses may not be available in all plans. Check out our article on the best website builders for more information.

What to expect after registering your new domain

Once you’ve registered your domain name with either a free plan, hosting service, or website builder, it typically takes 24 to 72 hours for it to become active. This is the amount of time it takes DNS to replicate the name worldwide. After 48 hours, your domain will be added to the Whois database, which is a public record of all domain registrations. The database allows anyone to search the IP owner information of any registered website on the internet. It also gives new website owners the opportunity to find out if their domain name idea is available for registration and if not, when the current registration for that name expires.

In general, you cannot transfer a domain name for the first 60 days after registration. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been requiring domain providers to block most domains after registration. Freenom is the world’s only provider of free domains.

bottom line

Your best bet for a free, professional-looking website is a hosting service or web builder. Along with the domain, both offer great features like website templates, free security, ecommerce capabilities, and more. Keep in mind that free domain registration is usually only free for the first year or two before an annual fee applies. Learn more about how to register a domain name.

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