Updated May 12, 2024

How to Get Free Domain Name

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100% free domains are a thing. But there's a catch. Read on to learn where to get them, if you should get them, and some providers you can trust.

Can I get a domain for free?
Yes, you can get a domain name for free through the following:

  1. Website Builders
  2. Web Hosting Providers
  3. Email Hosting Providers
  4. Free Domain Registrars (not recommended)

Building a website can get pricey, so you might plan to save money with a free domain. Some providers offer them. But there are options that are unsafe or unprofessional.

So, how do you know which one works and which options to avoid? You'll find out at the end of the article. Read on.

How to Get a 100% Free Domain?

There are 4 ways to get a domain name for free. However, free domains often only last a year or two. After that, you'll have to pay for the subscription.

If you don't, other people can end up registering that domain as theirs. That said, here's how you can get a domain for free, even if it's only for a while.

Free Domain Name with a Website Builder

Website builders often come with free domains. But you typically have to subscribe to annual plans to get them.

Your domain will look legit and trustworthy since you can choose from generic top-level domains (gTLDs) like .com, .net, and .org. Plus, it's easy to renew them on the platform itself.

Additionally, you can get more features with a website builder compared to other means of getting a free domain. For example, you can edit your site without needing to know how to code.

Some even provide marketing features (such as social media marketing). You can take Wix as a website builder example.

Get a Free Domain with Wix
Wix is a popular website builder, and it works great for branding your business. It's one of the best, and its free domain name registration for a year is available for most plans.

You can choose from the following domain extensions: .com, .org, .net, .biz, .info, .pictures, .rocks, .co.uk, .club, .space, and .xyz. If you plan to build a simple website, it'll cost you $17/mo (billed annually). But an eCommerce site costs $29/mo to $159/mo.[1]

Website builders often come with hosting services. But you can also get a free domain with web hosting providers.

Free Domain Name with Web Hosting

Web hosting providers offer free domain registration, typically during the first year of your subscription. That said, it's usually only available for higher-tiered plans and annual contracts.

The good news is that hosting providers typically provide website-building tools as well. So you can get the same benefits of a website builder for a more affordable price. Just don't expect the same level of flexibility and number of features.

Aside from a free domain, hosting providers offer a free SSL certificate. This shows website visitors that your website is trustworthy. Check out Hostinger as an example below.

Get a Free Domain with Hostinger
Hostinger is a great hosting provider that also offers a website builder. You can get a custom domain name for a year if you subscribe to any of its shared hosting plans. That's as long as you pick year-long billing cycles.

After the first year, you'll have to pay the regular rate. Domain extensions you can choose from include .com, .net, .online, and .website. Shared Hosting plans cost $2.99 - $3.99/mo for the first year. It'll renew at $11.99 - $13.99/mo.[2]

Sometimes, web hosting providers offer email hosting. And email hosting plans also come with free domains.

Free Domain Name with Email Hosting

There are plans for business emails that come with a free domain. But you may be limited to selected domain extensions compared to the other means of getting a free domain.

This can still be good news for your business, however. Not only do you need a professional-looking domain, but you'll also want a professional email address that your clients or customers can trust. It's a good thing you can have both on some platforms.

Popular email hosting providers include IONOS and Google (through Google Workspace). Google offers you a free domain for a year.[3] But IONOS can be a more affordable option.

Get a Free Domain with IONOS
Aside from being a hosting provider, IONOS also offers professional email plans through IONOS Email. You can get a free domain for any plan. You only need to select a plan based on your storage preferences and number of users.[4]

Email plans cost $1/mo to $5/mo. You can also choose between 2 GB to 50 GB of storage. Depending on your plan, your free domain extensions could be .us, .ca, .com, .net, .org, .info, .me, .biz, and .online.

Let's say you don't really want to pay for anything. And you JUST want a free domain. Registrars can help with that.

Free Domain Name through Registrars (Not Recommended)

If you're looking for a standalone 100% free domain, it's possible with a free domain registrar. But it's not the smartest nor the safest thing to do. And it can cost you more in the long run.

You can't get a generic top-level domain (gTLD) with it. gTLDs are more trustworthy and make your site look professional. Examples of gTLDs include .com, .edu, and .gov.

Additionally, you won't get the features that typically comes with a paid domain. For example, you don't get transfer rights, your domain won't be secure, AND you could lose your domain anytime.

Free Domains from Freenom
Freenom is the first and only registrar that offers a completely free domain name. You can get it with month-to-month or year-long subscriptions.

If you think its free domains are untrustworthy, don't be fooled by the paid domains. You still won't get gTLD options. And you're limited to using .tk, .ml, .ga, .cf, and .gq.[5]

It's not a secure option, and it's not recommended. Many website owners even claim to have lost their domains so suddenly. To make matters worse, you shouldn't expect the best customer service if you need it.

Free Domain Alternatives

What if you're on the fence about getting a free domain? Try the following alternatives.

Temporarily Use Subdomains

Website builders typically offer free plans. That means you can create a website for free with no time limit. But free plans don't come with free domains. They come with subdomains instead.

Subdomains look like "www.mybusiness.websitebuilder.com" where mybusiness stands for your preferred domain name, and websitebuilder refers to your website builder of choice.

The main idea is that your preferred domain name will be shown with the website builder's domain. This is free and typically comes from trusted providers. That said, it looks unprofessional, so it's only best for personal use.

Get a Free Subdomain from Square Online
Square Online is a website builder great for eCommerce stores. It offers a free plan that lets you use a subdomain.[6] And unlike most website builders, you can sell products and services with the free plan.

Using a subdomain is great if you're still unsure what your domain name will be. It's a temporary solution so you can get started on selling. But it won't look professional compared to if you have your custom domain.

It'll look like "mybusiness.square.site." You can customize mybusiness to your liking. Then, you can just purchase a domain when you're ready.

Purchase Affordable Domains

Purchasing your domain name from trusted domain registrars can be a good investment for your website in the long run.

Sometimes, cutting costs can make it more expensive for your business due to potential risks or losses.

If you ever decide that a purchase can be worth it, here are affordable providers to choose from.

  • GoDaddy

    GoDaddy is not only a website builder. It's also a domain registrar, where you can purchase and register your domains.

    In fact, it's the largest domain registrar, with over 20 million customers worldwide.[7] It offers 3 bundle plans so you can get a lot of value for your money.[8]

    Domain BundleStarting PriceInclusions
    Starter$2.99/mo for 12 months; $8.66/mo after.com domain, professional email, full domain protection, and more
    Essentials$9.50/mo for 12 months; $24.65/mo afterStarter inclusions plus website builder, email marketing, appointment scheduling, SEO features, and more
    Ecommerce$14.50/mo for 12 months; $33.64/mo afterEssentials inclusions plus online store builder, product listings, Google paid search campaigns, and more


    Like GoDaddy, IONOS is a domain registrar while at the same time a hosting provider and website builder.

    You can get really affordable domain fees while getting some freebies if you purchase a .com domain.

    A .com domain costs $1 for 1 year. You'll also get:[9]

    • SSL certificate
    • 2GB email account
    • Private registration to hide your contact info from the public

    Other domain extensions are really affordable, too. For example, .org can cost you $3 for 1 year, .net costs $1 for 1 year, and .info is also $1 for 1 year.

    WHOIS contains the records of all domains and contact information related to each. If you choose public registration, your information will be public. If you have private registration, the WHOIS database won't reveal your contact info.

  • Namecheap

    Namecheap is another domain registrar that offers affordable domain extensions with freebies. It's not the cheapest compared to the first two, but it is another trusted provider to consider.

    Here are some of the top-level domains you can purchase:[10]

    Domain ExtensionRegistration Price (first year)Renewal Price

    Similar to its competitors, your domain registration will come with free domain privacy protection and a free email address (2-month free trial).

What is a Domain Registrar?
A domain registrar is where you register your domains. It'll also assign IP addresses for such. Managing and maintaining these domains, however, is done by the registry. It's the registry that owns all of the domain names. You're technically just subscribing to use it.

What You Should Know About New Domains

There are a couple of things to note about domains:

  • Character limitations

    The maximum length of your domain name can be up to 63 characters. The minimum is 1 character.[11]

    That said, it's better to have shorter domain names since they can be easier to remember.

  • 4 types of domains

    Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) are the mostly used domains. These are .com, .net, .org, etc.

    There are also Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD) which are domains that show your geographical locations (i.e., .uk for United Kingdom, and .au for Australia).

    IDN ccTLD, which stands for Internationalized Country Code Top-Level Domains, are domains in other characters, apart from the Roman alphabet (like Chinese characters).

    Then there are subdomains, as previously talked about.

  • Privacy of your contact details

    When you start to own a domain, your contact details can get accessed by anyone through the WHOIS database. You can hide this, however, if you opt for domain privacy protection services.

    Apart from your contact details, the database will also show the domain information (like when it was created and its expiry), registrar information, admin/tech personnel information, etc.

  • Domain activity

    It can take 1 to 3 days (24 to 72 hours) for your domain to be active. This is because every time you register a new domain, all the servers on the internet need to be updated about it.

    This process is called Domain Name System (DNS) propagation.

  • Domain transfers

    Newly registered domains typically have a lock-in period. So you typically can't transfer a domain right away (usually in the first 60 days).

    This period depends on various factors like the rules and regulations of your domain registrar.[12]

WHOIS refers to the database where you can find the domains registered from various domain registrars. It contains information like the contact of the owner of the domain, the administrative info, etc.

On the other hand, ICANN or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is an international non-profit organization. It regulates the domain name registration, among other things.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best way to get a domain name for free?
The best way to get a free domain name is to subscribe to a year-long website builder or web hosting plan. They typically offer free domain registration for a year, which can help with your budget.

After that, you'll have to pay for renewal to keep using the domain. Otherwise, the registrar can "lease" it to someone else.

What happens to the domain name if I want to switch hosting providers?
You can transfer your domain to your new hosting provider. But first, you'll have to unlock that domain (typically from your dashboard).

You'll also need to request an authorization code (AuthCode) from your current provider. Then, with your new hosting provider, select "Transfer Domains," typically found on the Domain menu.

How to get a free domain-based email name?
A domain-based email or professional email usually comes free with a website builder or web hosting plan. But you can also opt for an email hosting plan.

Your business email will include whatever your domain name is. It would look like "hello@mybusiness.com."

Bottom Line

Getting a free domain isn't exactly free. It often comes with purchasing annual or multi-year plans from website builders and web hosting providers.

For the best security and extra features, you can try the plans offered by:

  • Website builders
  • Web hosting providers
  • Email hosting providers

You may eventually have to purchase this domain. But this can be more secure than opting for a completely free domain name from a free domain name registrar.


  1. ^ Wix. Wix Premium Plans, Retrieved 05/11/2024
  2. ^ Hostinger. Free Domain Name, Retrieved 05/11/2024
  3. ^ IONOS. Business Gmail, Retrieved 05/01/2024
  4. ^ IONOS. IONOS Email Address, Retrieved 05/01/2024
  5. ^ Freenom. Free and Paid Domains, Retrieved 05/11/2024
  6. ^ Square Online. Plans, Retrieved 05/11/2024
  7. ^ GoDaddy. Domain Names, Retrieved 05/02/2024
  8. ^ GoDaddy. Domain Bundles, Retrieved 05/02/2024
  9. ^ IONOS. Domain Name Registration, Retrieved 05/02/2024
  10. ^ Namecheap. Domains, Retrieved 05/02/2024
  11. ^ Domain Registration Services. What is the best domain name length?, Retrieved 05/03/2024
  12. ^ ICANN. Transferring Your Domain Name, Retrieved 05/03/2024

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Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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