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How to Get a Free Domain Name

By Lars Lofgren

Hostinger

Ready to launch a new website? Finding and registering a domain name is the first step in this process.

Of course, it can be a bit confusing if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, you can find a domain name easily — and for free.

That’s right. You don’t have to pay to register your domain. There are plenty of different ways to get a free domain name for your new website.

Whether you’re starting a blog, online portfolio, small personal site, or business website, this guide will show you how to get a free domain.

How To Get a Free Domain Name Using Hostinger

Visit Hostinger

  • Free domain name included with your hosting plan
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Affordable domain hosting

Get your FREE domain

Hostinger is a great option for getting a free domain, which they provide with some of their most affordable web hosting options.

Domain name + web hosting = a website. With Hostinger, you can get a low-cost bundle that includes WordPress, free email accounts, and other tools to build a great looking website within the hour.

The signup process for Hostinger is incredibly easy. Everything is geared toward beginners, so you don’t have to have any technical experience to get started.

There’s no risk to signing up, as Hostinger offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy for any reason, simply get in touch within a month of the start date to receive a refund.

There are a few other ways to get a free subdomain name with free hosting, and I’ll cover those after. By going with Hostinger, you’re not going to run into the the same limitations as those options.

I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of getting a free domain name with Hostinger.

Step #1: Go to Hostinger.com

The first thing you need to do is visit the Hostinger website. When you get here, you’ll see several different menu navigation options.

Click the “Hosting” option, and select “Shared Hosting” from the drop down.

You’ll see other types of web hosting, like cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and Minecraft hosting. Ignore those.

Shared hosting is the most affordable way to get a free domain name, and it requires the least amount of maintenance and security know-how on your part.

If your website gets super popular, or you want to add some interactive features, you may outgrow shared hosting.

But if and when that happens, Hostinger makes it easy to to upgrade your hosting arrangement. More resources, more control, more websites–it’s just the click of a button when you’re ready.

Step #2: Select a Web Hosting Plan

After selecting the appropriate type of hosting, you we need to choose the right plan.

Hostinger offers a few different options for shared hosting. If you want to get a free domain, don’t select their cheapest plan.

Below, you can see the free domain offers circled in green, with the lack of a free domain circled in red:

The Single Shared Hosting plan is a steal, no doubt, but if you want a free domain, it’s the wrong way to go. That leaves you with the Premium and Business Shared Hosting plans.

Let’s take a closer look at what each plan offers.

Premium Shared Hosting (includes free domain name)

  • Create up to 100 websites
  • 100 GB SSD storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited databases
  • Approximately 25,000 monthly visits
  • Create up to 100 email accounts @yourdomain
  • Free SSL certificate
  • WordPress one-click install and developer tools

Business Shared Hosting

  • Everything that comes with Premium, plus:
  • 200 GB SSD storage
  • Approximately 100,000 monthly visits
  • Lightspeed Cache for WordPress
  • Daily backups
  • Free CDN

Either of these plans are a solid option. I’d lean toward the Premium plan if you aren’t expecting to hit your resource limits in terms of storage or monthly traffic.

I’d recommend the Business plan for folks that are constantly updating their site or expecting a significant amount of traffic. Business plans include the automatic daily backups for the last seven days, and weekly backups of the last seven weeks.

The ability to restore your site is crucial, and handling backups on your own is a hassle you can avoid with Business plans.

Step #3: Choose Your Billing Terms

After you select the appropriate plan, Hostinger asks you to choose a period for your plan: monthly, 12-month, 24-month, or 48-month.

If you want the free domain, do not select the month-to-moth payment option. Hostinger only includes the free domain with terms one year or more.

The longer you sign up for, the greater the discount. You also stretch out that discount for as long as possible, because renewal pricing is never as good. This is not a Hostinger thing, this is just the way every host does it.

And if you sign up for longer, Hostinger will actually lower the renewal rate. This is not common. As you can see in the image above, the renewal price for a single month of service is $10.29/month, whereas the renewal price for a 48-month term drops to $5.99/month.

The downside to signing up for a longer period is that you have to pay upfront. Again, this is typical of every host, and the reason I like signing up for Hostinger is that it is a really great deal.

Do the math out: Hostinger Premium Shared Hosting costs $95.52 for four years of hosting. Pay a hundred dollars today and don’t worry about your website until current high school freshman have graduated.

When you factor in the savings of a free domain name, the price only looks better.

Step #4: Create an Account

After selecting your plan period, you’ll need to share the email address you’ll use to log into your new Hostinger account. Alternatively, you can log in using your account from Facebook, GitHub, or Google.

I’d make this an email that you check regularly. If there’s ever an issue with your site, this is probably how Hostinger is going to get in touch with you.

Step #5: Enter Payment Information

After you set up your email for your account, choose your preferred method of payment. Hostinger supports a range of popular credit cards and payment gateways.

Normally, I’d walk you through some of the other add-ons you want to select as part of your package, but because we’ve decided to go with a 48-month term of Premium Shared Hosting, all of the critical features are included:

  • Free domain name: you don’t have to pay for the first year
  • Free CDN: better security and site performance
  • SSL Certificate activation: keeps your site safe and trusted

All of this is great. You can configure SSL certificates and CDNs yourself, potentially without spending a dime, but it’s not easy unless you know what you’re doing. Hostinger makes all of this a few clicks and then beginners never have to worry about expiring SSL certificates and things like that.

Hostinger also waives the setup fee, which they charge for month-to-month customers.

Once you’ve confirmed how you want to pay, enter your payment details and click the button to submit at the bottom of the page:

Step #6: Claim Your Free Domain

Once your payment goes through, you’ll have the option to claim your free domain name.

Select this option unless you want to buy additional domains or connect other domains you own.

From there, Hostinger will walk you through the process of selecting a domain name that’s available. You can search right on their site.

Hostinger offers domains with different extensions, including:

  • .com
  • .online
  • .site
  • .webspace
  • .space
  • .tech
  • .store
  • .blog
  • .net
  • .org
  • .info
  • .co
  • .biz
  • .us
  • .club

In most instances, a .com domain will be the only one I recommend. But there are two reasons why you might get an alternative domain extension: price and availability.

Getting a .site or .tech domain is cheaper than a .com extension. But in this case, you’re getting a year for free anyways.

Price aside, .com domains will be better for the long term success of your website.

I recommend getting your domain name set up right away. If you skip this step now, or click out of the window for any reason, don’t worry, you can always claim your free domain by on your Hostinger dashboard:

Other Ways to Get a Free Domain Name

While Hostinger is definitely the best way to get a free domain name, it’s not the only way. Below are a few free alternative ways to get a domain name.

Use a Free Subdomain

Many website builders offer free subdomains. A subdomain exists within an existing domain name.

For example, if you use a free website builder like Wix to create your website, you won’t have to pay anything for a domain. However, your site will have a subdomain in this format:

yourusername.wixsite.com/yoursiteaddress

Here’s what that would look like if your Wix username was “My Stunning Website 123” and the domain you wanted was “myblogsite.”

Wix

This is obviously not ideal. No credible website has a domain like this. The only time I would consider using this method for a free domain is if you were just experimenting with the free features of the website builder. But overall, this isn’t a viable long-term strategy.

Why? You want your domain name to be short and memorable. With a subdomain, it’s neither of those things. Just another generic domain with a bunch of letters your customer has to remember (or rather, forget). Plus, it shows people you’re not even willing to invest the money into an actual domain name. Automatic no go.

WordPress is another popular option for a free subdomain. It’s not quite as complex as the free Wix subdomain.

The format for a free WordPress subdomain is:

yoursitename.wordpress.com

You can get away with this for a while if you’re using WordPress to run a small blog or personal site. But you’ll eventually want to ditch the subdomain if you want to establish any sense of authority online.

Pay for a Premium Site Builder Plan

Keeping in the same vein as above, you’ll likely notice if you build a site with Wix (or Squarespace, Zyro, or most of our other recommended website builders) that you may not have to settle for the free subdomain.

The catch? You’ll need to bump up to a paid plan with your website builder.

This may not be a worthwhile solution for some folks. Paying for a premium site builder plan is likely to not only negate the savings of a free domain—it’ll almost certainly cost you more. Plus, whatever savings disappear after one year.

But, if you’re setting up an ecommerce site or something else that needs the enhanced features of a premium Wix or Squarespace plan anyway, this can be a way to mitigate some of that first-year expense.

And, fortunately, even the base-level paid plans for Wix ($14/month) and Squarespace ($12/month) come with this bonus. In the case of Zyro, you’ll need to choose their Unleashed plan (second-cheapest) or higher. Fortunately, Zyro often slashes prices on their paid plans, too, for the first year.

However, be very careful to research the rates at which these domains will renew. You don’t want to get stuck with a bad deal that totally wipes away the savings of the first year for free and is more expensive in the end than just paying for a domain from the get-go.

Domain Registrar Ad Programs (Not Recommended)

Domain registrars sometimes offer to give you a free domain in exchange for running ads on your website.

Don’t do this.

There’s nothing wrong with ads on your website. However, you won’t have any control over the ads and their placement with this method. This will not only hinder the experience for your website visitors, but it will also damage your SEO ranking.

Plus, what if your website got one million views? You wouldn’t see a dime from those ads. All you get is a free domain.

If you want to run ads on your website, do it through a legitimate advertising network, like Google. Don’t exchange ads for a free domain.

Free ccTLD Services (Not Recommended)

The web is full of free TLD (top-level domain) services for different country codes (cc). This refers to the extension after your domain name.

So you can register your domain with country codes like:

  • .tk — Tokelau
  • .ml — Mali
  • .ga — Gabon
  • .cf — Central African Republic
  • .gq — Equatorial Guinea

You can get these from services like Freenom or Dok.tk.

But I really don’t recommend this.

Not only does this make your website look sketchy, nobody likes it. If you look up reviews on the web about these services, you’ll find nothing but criticism. From malicious ads to adult content and randomly removing the domain, you won’t have a pleasant experience.

Conclusion

Hostinger is the best way to get a free domain name. Just sign up for a web hosting plan, and they’ll give you a free domain for one year.

There are other ways to avoid paying for a domain: using a free subdomain, joining an affiliate program, or using a sketchy ccTLD service. But I personally wouldn’t recommend the majority of alternative options.

If you’re thinking about getting a free domain using a random country code from some island in the South Pacific, don’t do it. Saving a few dollars isn’t worth the cost of running a spammy website.

Stick with Hostinger, or check out the best domain registrars for paid alternatives. They’ll give your website and brand a professional edge. First impressions are everything. You don’t want yours to be ruined by a bad domain name.

Visit Hostinger

  • Free domain name included with your hosting plan
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Affordable domain hosting

Get your FREE domain

Source:: https://www.quicksprout.com/how-to-get-a-free-domain-name/