A domain name ensures a unique web presence of your site. Whether you are an individual, organization or company wanting to establish project identity, having a domain is a must. On the one hand, it comes with a more professional and trustworthy look of the website. On the other hand, a unique domain name increases platform’s credibility and recognition. Getting a domain name is very easy. In addition, users may benefit from free options out there.
Why may you actually need to create a domain name for free? The key reason mainly lies beneath the surface of limited budgets and tight project financing. Website owners try to grab the slightest chance and save a couple of bucks. However, such eagerness may have bad consequences for the project, especially in the long run. Would you rather take that risk when the matter of cost is somewhere between $10 and $15 per year! If yes, have a look at some simple ways explaining how to create a domain name for free.
The article is to describe several major paths that include:
Let’s compare and contrast all of the available options and define the best one considering your website needs and goals.
1. Traditional Domain Registrars
With so many domain registration services, getting a unique domain will never be a hassle. It does not matter if you only have the idea of creating a website or already need to launch the building process this option might be the right pick.
For example, you only plan to launch a website in the nearest future but still need to take your time. Traditional registrars make it easy to register the domain for the future project and keep it for as long as users might need it. The good news here is that you act as the licensee and have full control over your intellectual property.
In other words, it is up to you whether to keep the domain or sell it in case you do not use it anymore. Buying domains from such services provide full freedom. The key benefits include:
- Privacy. You are the only owner of the domain. It belongs to you and is protected under the domain regulation.
- Flexibility. You may choose any name to create an exclusive, unique, and capturing domain, which is vital for the business. You may benefit from TLD (top-level domains) that are more appreciated by search engines.
- Ease of Use. The purchasing process is very easy and fast. Most registrars offer a handful set of tutorials. installation guides and articles that describe how to link your domain to a chose website builder or CMS.
- Control. You get full access to additional services including domain auctions, customer support, domain transfer, etc. Moreover, it is possible to connect the domain with the CMS or website builder with just a couple of clicks as well as switch the platform any time. No special skills are required.
- Affordability. As a rule, you buy a domain for 1 year with the right to renew it. The annual price varies from $10 to $15 for a TLD with the .com, .net or .org extension depending on your project specialization and niche.
The key downside here is that you will need to find hosting separately while some extra settings might be necessary. For example, you may need to change server names, IP addresses, etc. Those terms may sound a bit confusing for newbies. However, there is nothing challenging. Moreover, you can always opt for professional assistance delivered by customer support.
Some may say, “the option is not free”. Well, it is not. On the other hand, you get the full control as well as legal rights over the domain name for only $10 per year. Would it really be such a huge challenge?
| ✔ 100% legal ownership.|
✔ Unlimited renewals.
✔ Affordable price.
✔ Ease set up and on-hosting installation.
|✘ Not free although $10-$15 per year would hardly be an obstacle.|
The verdict: yet the best solution for any website type and goal. You get your own exclusive domain name with full freedom, flexibility, and control with no need to stick to a single platform for good.
2. Free Website Builder Domains
Website builders appear to be a simple all-in-one solution for people who do not want to manage several processes separately. A user only needs to pick a plan and get a fully-featured instrument with ready-made templates, integrated services, hosting, and… a domain, of course.
The problem with free domain names here is that they are only provided in the form of a subdomain. In other words, it will contain the name of the platform right next to your company’s name, which is certainly bad in terms of recognition and search engine optimization.
In addition, free plans are generally designed for tiny websites or testing projects. They come with limited bandwidth, storage, and other essential features required by growing projects. On the other hand, you may upgrade your plan and connect the SLD or 2SD domain.
Getting SLD with a website builder is easy. Such domains are basically provided as a free option for users, who purchase annual plans or opt for packages that are higher than the baseline offer (Premium, Pro, etc). When you complete the payment, you get a fully-featured plan with a formally free SLD.
The key benefits here include:
- All-in-One Package. You get everything you need within a single plan including secure hosting, customer support, and other tools. The bad news is that you need to stick for a chosen platform with no chance to change it in the future unless it offers import/export feature that is usually paid.
- Easy-To-Use. Users do not deal with settings or technical issues. The domain name is registered automatically and linked to your future website. However, you will not be able to sell or pass it to another user.
- Range of Options. Website builders offer various packages and plans at a reasonable price. If the free plan does not suit your needs, you may upgrade to a higher plan without putting your wallet at risk.
Once again, the plan will work out for total newbies and non-technicians who do not want to get involved in all the aspects of domain registration or connection. You may get a free custom subdomain as well as a free SD as a part of the annual pr Pro package. Finding a relevant website builder would also be a piece of cake considering hundreds of potions on the web.
| ✔ Fast and easy to use.|
✔ No technical skills required.
| ✘ You stick to a single platform.|
✘ The free plan is not enough for a growing site.
✘ Custom domains with the platform’s name.
The verdict: a good option for people who do not want to get involved in the building process at all. The lack of flexibility might still be an issue in the long run. On the other hand, a free SLD might be a good solution if you can afford paying for the annual plan or upgrade to premium packages.
3. Free Domain Services
Such platforms usually offer free domain registration with .tk, .ml, and other extensions. They are not good for long-running projects that require a good level of credibility. In other words, opting for such services is a bad idea in case you want to establish a solid online representation.
The fact that such domains are free results in numerous questionable websites mainly used by spammers and hackers. Another huge downside is that you do not actually own such a domain. It means that everyone may pick it up from you without notifying. You may not only lose the domain but also put the entire project at risk.
The key features here include:
- No Control. Any user may pick the domain at any time. You are not the owner.
- No legal rights. You may act only as of the domain user but not a licensee. Moreover, you have no transfer rights.
- Bad Reputation. Spammers and hackers use free domain extensions with the aim of spreading malicious software or codes mainly.
As a result, there is not a single point for opting for this particular option. You’d better stay away from free domain registration services, as they are nothing but a waste of time.
|✔ They are free to register. That’s it.|| ✘ No legal ownership, no flexibility in terms of transferring.|
✘ No official licensing.
✘ No support.
✘ A bad reputation on the web.
The verdict: avoid using this option.
The Bottom Line
A domain name is hardly the matter to save money on especially considering affordable annual registration price. If you plan to create a reputable, long-running, and well operating online business, buying your own domain will be the best bet. It brings maximum freedom and flexibility in addition to all legal rights and opportunities to use it in future for maximum $15 per year. Hardly the price for putting your future website at risk, isn’t it?