So, you’ve decided to create a website with own domain name for free. Someone may say that this is impossible as quality websites require deep web design expertise and application of professional web building tools. However, that’s not quite so.
Creating a personal or a business website at no cost or using your own domain is possible, if you are aware of the most popular web design options and professional web building software you can use to complete the task.
When it comes to free website development, there are several things to consider. To start with, you should pick the right web building tool, many of which come with free subdomains or offer integrated free domain connection option.
If you already own a domain and wish to attach it to your website, you will have to take care of that during website setup. Mind that domain costs differ as well as the terms implied by their providers. Thus, the process of free website development is not that easy and it definitely requires certain web design background or awareness of coding nuances.
To simplify the task, we have singled out several must-have points that will help you cope with all the stages of the web design process successfully and with maximum benefit.
How to Make a Website With Your Own Domain Name For Free
If you are right about to start a website with your own domain name for free, but don’t know what to begin with and what issues to keep in mind, it’s high time to discuss the above listed points in details now.
Free Website with Own Domain – Is It Possible?
If you have ever inquired about the existing web development options, you certainly know that there are many systems that make it possible for everyone to start a full-featured website at no cost at all. Gone are those days when website creation was eligible for professional web experts only.
Nowadays, even a newbie with little or no web design experience can launch a feature-laden project independently to reach personal/business goals. What you need is just to know what web design tool to pick with this purpose.
With such an assortment of web building software available these days, the choice of the right system may be a challenge. Consequently, it’s a must to thoroughly explore and learn the issue to get a free website along with a free domain name.
Obviously, web design tools differ as well as their terms, pricing options and features included into the plans provided. This means that professional web building platforms like website builders allow setting up free accounts and frequently offer free subdomains that act as temporary website addresses, while the projects are under construction.
As soon as your website is ready for publication, you will have either to attach a previously purchased domain to the account or upgrade to one of the paid plans the system provides. Paid subscriptions offer custom domain name connection opportunity. As a result, you get a completely free website with a paid hosting that lets you get the most out of its functionality.
Sometimes website builders let you use a free domain name on the terms that you buy an annual plan, for example, or use other paid tools/terms the system implies in return for a free domain name.
Two Options Explained: Website Builder vs. Hosting
The range of web development tools is really extensive and versatile, but there are still two trusted web development options. You can either use a website builder or pick reliable hosting that provides free domain connection feature.
Let’s have a look at two platforms, which are the most popular and credible representatives of both types of systems. These are Wix and Bluehost.
Wix – Free Website Builder and Domain Name In One Place
Wix – is the top web building platform that occupies the highest position in the list of contemporary DIY website builders. It currently empowers millions of websites across the globe, providing myriads of advantages like bogging and eCommerce engines, free responsive highly customizable templates, professional design customization tools, versatile approaches to the web development process and pricing policy.
Wix makes it possible to start and manage website for free and, thus, it offers a free neverending plan that lets you launch a project without any hidden charges.
All websites created with a free plan are initially created on a Wix-branded subdomain. This is enough to test the features of the service and practice your web design skills. However, Wix subdomain will certainly not be enough to publish and promote your website.
To be able to boost your website popularity, recognition and search engine positions, Wix makes it possible to upgrade to one of its paid plans. Each of them comes with an opportunity of your own domain name connection. Such domains are provided at no cost for those users, who decide to get annual plans.
Bluehost – Free Domain Name and Hosting for WordPress
Bluehost – is a recognizable leader of the niche and the number one hosting provider officially recommended by WordPress. The platform comes with lots of advantages that distinguish it from the competitors. These include one-click WordPress installation, abundance of integrable scripts and plugins, strong uptime rates, fast page load speed, affordable pricing, eCommerce features, localized SEO and content marketing options, widgets and apps for business websites and many more.
Bluehost provides extensive free domain name connection options included into its subscriptions. The choice of the most suitable plan should depend upon your website type, complexity, structure and some other crucial aspects like storage space, bandwidth, extra SSL connection options, email accounts, security options etc. Whatever plan you decide to pick, you will get a domain name as a bonus without having to pay for it.
It’s up to you to choose the most suitable solution that works best for your project and comes up to your individual web design needs. Whatever option you eventually pick, you will get a possibility to get a domain name absolutely for free.
How to Get a Domain Name for Your Website for Free
Now that you are aware of two most popular options to create a website with your own domain name for free, it makes sense to provide more detailed guidelines on their application. This will help you figure out the major steps needed to start and manage a website with Wix and Bluehost as well as focus on the ways to get free domains from each of these systems.
If you decide to give preference to using the website builder and choose Wix for this purpose, mind the following list of steps you’ll be expected to undergo to launch a website from scratch:
- Sign up for the website builder, providing your login credentials. You can use either your email or social network account to register with the system.
- Pick a Template. The website builder will offer you a list of niche-specific templates to choose from. All of them are responsive, free and customizable. As soon as you make your template choice and proceed to its editing, the system will automatically offer you to make up a free subdomain for your website. This will be enough to design the website and test the feature set of the system before publishing it.
- Edit the Theme. There is no need to possess coding expertise to develop and edit websites with the system. Just add the required content, upload media files, edit SEO settings, integrate widgets and apps to give your project the required design.
- Choose the Subscription Option and Publish the Project. Before going live, you’ll need to pick the plan to upgrade to. Wix offers several pricing options to choose from and all of them make it possible to attach a domain name, which will be free during the first year of use granted that you make a one-time annual payment.
That’s all about getting a free domain from Wix website builder. There is nothing complicated about that. What’s more, the website builder makes it possible to get the most out of domain name and general website performance without any hidden charges at all.
When it comes to launching websites with WordPress and choosing Bluehost as the most suitable hosting provider, the process of website development won’t be complicated at all. Here are the steps you’ll have to undergo to complete the task:
- Sign Up for the Hosting Account. As mentioned above, Bluehost proves to be the best pick for this purpose as it is officially recommended by the CMS. Look through the plans Bluehost offers to host your website. Mind that each of them comes with free domain name connection option, which correspondingly allows for free website development and further management.
- Install WordPress. As soon as you are done with domain and hosting choice, go ahead to install WordPress. This takes a few minutes only, while the system generates instructions and guidelines on how to complete the task with maximum efficacy and without any errors.
- Adjust the Settings. Before you pick a template and make your first post, it is desirable to set up basic WordPress parameters. This should be done in the corresponding “Settings” section of the admin panel.
- Choose and Customize the Template. WordPress comes with internal and external templates you can choose and integrate into your website for further customization. Designs are both free and paid, so, mind your choice, when browsing them. WordPress additionally offers extensive template customization options and tools that let you create outstanding website design.
- Install Plugins. Choose and install widgets/plugins that match your website specialization most. WordPress plugins are numerous and they are available in free and paid variants to fit any budget.
- Set Up Website Analytics. WordPress website analytics helps track its performance and promotion perspectives. You can set up widgets and plugins that will help you track these parameters to be able to make the required settings on time.
Having completed the stages, you are welcome to add the posts at once or schedule their publication. Finally, you can go live with your free domain name.
How to Create a Free Website with Your Own Domain
Apart from buying a new domain name from the website builder or hosting provider, there is a possibility to connect the one you have previously owned. It doesn’t matter where you have got it – you can attach or transfer it to your new account, following the guidelines the system generates.
Standard plan of actions looks similar to that listed in the previous part of the article. However, there are also a few nuances you need to consider to make the domain name connection process a success.
- Firstly, there is no need to buy a new domain from the system you work with. This eventually saves your effort, time and money.
- Secondly, you shouldn’t forget to modify the DNS settings to make the domain eligible for transfer, if needed.
Typically, you’ll have to log into your domain name control panel and modify the NS records for your domain according to the instructions provided by the chosen website builder or hosting provider. The entire procedure doesn’t take it long and can be completed even by a newbie.
Tips for Creating Your Own Website with Custom Domain
Are you right about to start a website with a custom domain? To make further website development and promotion a success, you should be aware of the must-have rules. Here are a few tips for you to follow to reach the desired result:
- Avoid Using Subdomains. While most website builders offer subdomains right from the start, it’s inadmissible to keep using them after your website publication. Subdomains work well for testing the web building software and exploring its feature set, but they won’t be a good choice for further website development and promotion;
- Use an Appropriate Domain Name Extension. Domain name extensions can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that describes the essence of your business. Dot-com is mostly preferred because most of the users type .com without thinking about it. Here are some other top extensions: co, info, net, org, biz, me. If your website is about an organization, then .org can be a great option. If it’s an informational site, getting an .info extension won’t hurt you either.
- Think Twice When Choosing a Domain Name. A domain name should initially reflect your business specialization and brand name. It’s desirable to make it simple, memorable and short. A good domain should also contain a part of your company name to define its affiliation or keywords/terms/phrases that describe your business to the advantage. Make sure your domain is unique so that users won’t confuse it with those belonging to your competitors.
- Don’t Deal with Free Domain Services. The thing is that most free domain registrars frequently offer domains with .tk, .ml, and other extensions. This is not good for credible full-featured projects created with long-term objectives. What’s more, you don’t have full control over the domain name as it’s the registrar (not you), who actually owns it. Likewise, you can act as a domain user only, but not a licensed owner, which means that you won’t have transfer rights. Finally, spammers often use free domain extensions to spread malicious codes.
Can I Use a Previously Purchased Domain Name for My New Website?
Actually, yes. If you already own a domain name and wish to create a new website, you can connect/transfer it to the new account. Use the guidelines generated by the system you work with and the one you have used to launch a new website. To complete the process, you’ll typically have to log into your domain name control panel and modify the NS records for your domain according to the instructions provided by the chosen website builder.
Are There Any Site Builders Allowing to Connect My Own Domain for Free?
Yes, there are website builders that allow for free custom domain name connection. You can either purchase a new domain via the system or use your existing domain. The only drawback of the free account is a quite noticeable advert that will be placed on your website. You can get rid of it by upgrading your account. Most website builders, though, imply that you should upgrade to one of their paid plans for the annual term and make one-time payment at once.
How can I get a free domain name?
Freebie lovers rejoice! Many site builders offer a one year of free domain name registration if you choose to go with an annual plan. Please note that when your first year expires, you’ll have to pay for your annual domain name renewal. You can get a free domain as a bonus from Wix site builder when paying for 12 months in advance (applied to all plans).
Why Should You Upgrade?
Online website builders do let you build a website without paying a cent, there’s no doubt about that. But you should realize that nothing is for free, especially website builders. Web hosting costs money, renting a place to put the servers costs money, hardware costs money, customer support costs money.
So it’s natural that anyone running a free web service will need to reimburse their costs somehow and will probably even want to make a profit. Of course they want to make a profit – why else would they give away their services for free? Here are some typical reasons why they offer free services:
- To make money off adverts displayed on your site and/or your control panel.
- To promote their own brand with subdomains and copyright in the footer of your site.
- They offer free starter plans in hopes of enticing customers to switch to paid packages.
The bottom line is that you’ll never get a full-featured web service with a free account. While we use so many free software systems every day including browsers, email clients and messengers like Skype, when it comes to website creation, there are no freebies.
With a typical website builder, you can upgrade your free account to an ad-free site with a custom domain name for a couple of dollars per month only! We strongly advise that you buy a premium account if you want to boost credibility and professionalism.