You have finally decided that you are starting your own website. Now, you have to register a domain before doing anything else. In general, domains can cost anything ranging from two bucks to several thousand dollars. It all depends on the domain name and your registrar.
But what if we told you there was another way? That you could save money by getting a free website domain? A few bucks may not seem like much, but with today’s inflation, they can make all the difference.
It all depends on how far you have gone. You are lucky if you are just starting and have not chosen your site builders or web hosts. We can help you do all that with one service provider.
Some web hosting companies offer you all these services for the price of one. You can use their plans to host your website or build it from scratch, and you will get a free domain name.
Of course, you still have to pay the renewal fees and only get the domain for a short period. However, this can help you keep all your administrative troubles in a single place.
Now, we know free stuff is tempting, but you cannot just dive into this without checking a few things. There are plenty of scammers out there, and people can easily steal your personal information by posing as fake registrars.
These scammers trick you with copyright infringement notices, domain expiry alerts, and more. In addition, they might try to tell you that your competitors are trying to buy your domain name. These are tactics to sell you useless domain names or to get you to send them fees for transferring domains.
We took it upon ourselves to weed out all these shady businesses. We can tell you how to get free domains without falling victim to such scams and losing all your money. All you have to do is register your domain through our recommended portals.
Our Top Picks For The Best Free Domain Registrars On The Market
Only three domain name registrars survived our selection process. The final selection contains:
- Hostinger – Overall Best Free Domain Provider, Editor’s Pick
- Zyro – Most Recommended & Affordable Domain Registrar
- GoDaddy – Most Popular For Domain Services
#1. Hostinger – Overall Best Free Domain Provider, Editor’s Pick
Created in 2011, Hostinger is primarily a web hosting company. However, it also offers domain registration. The web hosting service provider has accreditation from ICANN and enjoys endorsements from WPBeginner and QuickSprout, among others.
If you are a beginner and just starting your website, Hostinger is the perfect choice for you. You can use this service to host your website. Further, if you avail of their hosting program, you can get free domain registration.
To get the free domain name, pick a suitable web hosting program. The premium shared hosting program might be the right pick for you. Afterward, use the domain name checker to find a domain name that you can register.
Later, you can sign in with your web hosting account to claim the free domain name. Enter the domain name and extension. If your selection is valid, you can click on the continue button. From there, Hostinger will take over and register the name. The process can take around two hours.
In terms of customer rating, Hostinger seems to be doing quite well. You can find service ratings through third-party customer review sites on their homepage. Moreover, the service provider enjoys a 4.3-star rating from Trustpilot.
Domain Registration: Hostinger offers free domain name registration with some of its web hosting plans. This plan can help you save up on money. Besides, it is much more convenient for beginners. Getting the hosting service and domain name through a single provider makes managing things easier.
Free SSL Certificate: The hosting plans also come with a free SSL certificate. So you are getting everything you need from a single place. The SSL certificates will be with you for your lifetime. Further, they will encrypt your data without extra charge. That way, nothing will ever be compromised.
Domain Name Checker: The website has a dedicated domain name checker. You can enter your desired domain name here. It will go through the ICANN database to ensure that the name is unique.
Privacy Protection: People can look up your personal information like your name, contact number, address, business name, and email. They can do it through the WHOIS database. Hostinger can protect your information by adding security measures and redacting your info.
Affordable Payment Plans: Hostinger’s hosting plans are affordable. The cost can be as low as three bucks per month for the premium shared hosting plan. In addition, since you are getting a free domain name and SSL certificates, you will be saving yourself a lot of money.
Domain Transfer: Unlike many other registrars, Hostinger does not charge you a transfer fee. That means you can transfer your domain to another registrar for free.
Customer Support: Hostinger offers 24/7 customer support. If you have any queries, you can contact the tech support department. They will help you solve any problem you may have.
- ICANN accreditation
- Free domain name
- Affordable web hosting plans
- 24/7 customer support
- Privacy protection
- Free domain transfer
- Easy-to-use interface
- Slow response time
- Automatic plan renewals
#2. Zyro – Most Recommended & Affordable Domain Registrar
Zyro is a website builder. With Zyro, even newbies can build a professional website in an hour. In addition to being a website builder, this Lithuania-based company also offers domain name registration and web hosting services.
Zyro has been winning hearts all over the globe, and Tech experts like Tech Radar and PCMag have endorsed the website builder. The service is easy to use and does not require you to know any coding. Further, it comes with great design tools to give the website a seamless look.
If you purchase a website building plan from Zyro, you will also get a free domain name and free hosting services for at least a year. The website currently has three website plans: personal, business, and advanced store.
All three plans include a free domain for a year and a free professional email address for three months. Furthermore, they offer web hosting, AI logo making, SEO, unlimited storage, and more. For the more advanced plans, these free features only increase in number. So you will be saving more than just a few dollars.
The platform is a product from Hostinger. Like Hostinger, Zyro enjoys excellent customer ratings on third-party review channels like Trustpilot. The website has a 4.4-star rating from more than five hundred reviewers. Moreover, customers have praised it for being easy to use and extremely fast.
Trustworthy Domain Registrar: Zyro has ICANN accreditation. That means it is a reliable free domain registrar. Thus, you can use it to register a domain or transfer your existing domain without losing anything.
Domain Name Finder: Your domain name must be unique. To ensure that, you can use Zyro’s domain name finder to ensure that your preferred domain name is free. All you have to do is enter your desired domain name, and the tool will tell if you can register it.
Domain Name Generator: If your creativity is in a bit of a slump, you can use Zyro’s domain name generator. It is free and will suggest a suitable domain name for your website.
Free Domain Name: You have to purchase a website building plan to get a free domain name. However, this is more convenient for you as you can complete two tasks for the price of one. Further, the SSL certificates are easy to set up. You also get free hosting for your new website.
Live Support: Zyro is known for its 24/7 live agent support. You can fill out the contact form on their website, and they will get back to you ASAP. Their response can be under five minutes, depending on the nature of the problem. Besides, if your query is more general, you can check out their help center.
Blog Builder: If you are new to the blogging world, Zyro is for you. You can use the blog builder to start your own blog and share your experiences with the world. Also, you will get access to AI tools that will help you optimize your content. With SEO tools, you can get the right keywords to attract traffic.
Free Business Email: When you get the website plan, you can also get a free business email. Each email is free to use for three months and comes with a 10 GB storage capacity. Moreover, the email comes with accompanying tools like calendar sharing, video calling, managing contacts, etc.
- Free domain name and more with a single site builder plan
- Live 24/7 support
- Domain name finder and generator
- Existing domain name connection
- Multiple domain extensions
- Complex domain registration process
- Occasional slow customer support
#3. GoDaddy – Most Popular For Domain Services
GoDaddy is currently one of the biggest domain name registrars in the world. According to the website, they are currently managing more than 84 million domain names. However, domain names are not the only things they manage. The web hosting company offers services like SSL security, e-store building, website building, and more.
Domain names at GoDaddy go for as little as $0.01 per year (just the first). However, it would be best if you had a hosting plan, too. You can get a free domain name; all you have to do is choose the annual web hosting plan.
Once you buy the annual plans, you will get to the part where you choose your free domain name. Just enter the domain name you want and then add it to the cart. The registration process will start as soon as you check out.
The company offers premium web hosting services with servers in America, Asia, and Europe. The websites hosted by GoDaddy have a 99.89% percent uptime. This uptime means the websites have a lightning-fast loading time.
GoDaddy has received more than 45,000 reviews on Trustpilot. The company enjoys a 4.7-star rating from these reviews. When we got through the reviews, we saw that the first page was full of five-star reviews praising the company’s service.
Lifetime Privacy Protection: GoDaddy offers lifetime domain privacy to its users. That means they will replace the client’s information with anonymized or generic information in the WHOIS database. You can look into the company’s more advanced privacy protection plans for extra protection.
Chat Support: The company offers phone and chat support to its clients. You can talk to live agents in your own language since they support multiple languages. Further, these agents are active all the time. So you will get your answers no matter the hour.
Simple Set-Up: The process for getting the domain name is pretty simple. All you have to do is choose a valid domain name and enter it. If the name is available, GoDaddy will register it within minutes.
Domain Extensions: The company offers more than five hundred domain extensions for you to choose from. These include the usual “.com” type extensive and the more exclusive domain extensions like “.coach” and “.fashion.”
Domain Auctions: The company not only lets you register a website domain- it lets you invest in domains. You can buy a cheap domain name and sell it later with a profit margin. Likewise, the company holds auctions where you can sell these domain names. Of course, you are unlikely to do this with a free website domain name.
Auto-Renewals: Like the other registrars, GoDaddy only registers your domain name for a set time. After that, you have to renew the registration. You can choose to do the renewals manually or set up an automatic renewal system.
Domain Broker Service: If your perfect domain name is taken, you do not have to worry. You can use GoDaddy’s domain broker service to try and negotiate with the website owner. GoDaddy will handle all the negotiations and give you the final sale price with a 20% commission. Your identity remains a secret during the entire process.
- Free domain name with an annual management plan
- 500+ domain extensions
- 24/7 customer support
- Multiple language customer support
- Domain broker service
- Lifetime protection privacy
- Optional auto-renewals
- Bulk domain purchasing
- Domain investing and auction services
- Difficulty in domain transfers
- Slow customer support response
How We Made The List Of Best Free Domain Provider?
Domain registration scams are pretty common. Thus, we made every possible effort to ensure that the registrars we recommend are legit. All the domain names you find through these domain registrars will be legit, with no shady business.
We also looked for hidden fees that businesses usually add without informing users. Moreover, companies should tell you about all the fees they will be charging before signing up. Hence, we chose companies that are transparent in that area.
Of course, ease of use was our first priority. Thus, we chose service providers that make domain name registration a piece of cake for you.
What We Looked For?
We do not want you to fall for any scams under our watch. Hence, to be sure, we are letting you in on our selection process. Here are the factors that we focused on while compiling:
- ICANN Accreditation: ICANN stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This institute is responsible for managing the Domain Name System (DNS). The website has a list of currently accredited domain registrars. This accreditation lends credibility to registrars and ensures that they follow the proper procedures for domain name registration. We made sure that the companies in our list were registered with ICANN.
- Domain Transfer Policies: The domain name registrar can set transfer fees that you must pay before transferring your domain to another registrar. That is reasonable. However, a domain registrar can cause complications during the transfer process without a valid reason which is illegal. We chose registrars that did not have a history of such interference.
- Additional Services: A domain name registrar can offer additional services like web hosting services and website building services. We prioritized such service providers because these can be valuable services for a website owner. Further, such service providers can sometimes offer you free domain names. That happens when you use their web building or hosting services.
- Domain Expiration Policies: You can register domain names for a fixed period. You must renew your agreement before it expires. Otherwise, someone else can buy it. A domain registrar usually reminds you before the domain expiration date. So, you may renew your domain registration. However, some registrars will try to sell the domain name as soon as your registration expires. We chose domain name services that offered a grace period, automated renewals, or other measures.
- Customer Service: Customer service is the backbone of any service provider. Thus, we ensured that our selections take great care of their clients. We went through the customer reviews to see any problems in this field.
Buying Guide For Beginners: Factors To Remember While Choosing A Free Domain Provider
You can choose a domain registrar from our list. However, you still need to know some things to make your own choice. It would help if you considered additional charges even when you get a free domain name. Other factors to consider are:
- Registration Renewal
When registering a website domain name, you do it for a specific period. Most of these registrations last for a year. After the contract period has expired, you must renew your registration. Once your domain name has passed its expiration date, your domain will stop functioning.
Suppose you fail to renew the registration for over a month. In that case, the registrar may put it up for an auction. In the auctions, people can bid on your domain and purchase it. If that happens, your website is not coming back up, and you will have to repurchase the domain.
People can resell these expired domains for thousands of dollars, translating into a heavy loss for you. The damage is even worse if you run an online business. Generally, your registrar sends you multiple notifications as the expiration date nears. You can renew your registration during this period.
There are two ways of renewing a registration. You can do it manually or automatically. However, we recommend that you automate the process. Further, you can buy the domain name for up to 10 years.
- Domain Extensions
There are currently more than fifteen hundred domain extensions in the market. It would be best if you were careful in the domain extension you use. Choosing the domain extension is the first step toward building your brand.
One of the most popular domain extensions today is “.com.” However, depending on your website type, you can go for more generic options. Alternatively, you can choose an extension that is more specific to your country, like “.us.”
- Privacy Protection
WHOIS is a public database for domains. The database has information about the domain registration and the registrar’s contact information. The domain information includes domain name, registration period, status, and servers.
The domain information may seem harmless, but your competitors can do a lot of things with it. Since the domain expiry date is open, anyone can buy your domain as soon as you slack off on the renewal process. They can put you out of business or use the domain to extract money from you.
The registrar’s information is a bit more personal. It includes the registrar’s name, organization, address, phone number, and email address.
This information can be dangerous in the wrong hands, especially if you have a personal domain. In addition to spamming, someone could use the public address and show up at your house. That is why you need privacy protection.
If the clients get privacy protection, the hosting companies can switch out your personal information with generic information. Usually, the costs for this protection range from $2 to $20, depending on the company. However, some registrars offer the service for free.
- Domain Transfer
As your website grows, you may feel the need to transfer your domain to a new registrar. To do that, you must first check that your domain satisfies the eligibility criteria. ICANN states that you must stay with a registrar for at least 60 days before you become eligible for transfer.
You must ensure all your contact details are correct to initiate the transfer. That is because your current registrar will need to contact you before starting the transfer process. Further, you need to unlock your domain and get an authorization code so that the transfer can happen.
Now make an account with your new registrar and provide them with your authorization code. If the code is correct, they will contact you to ensure that you are transferring the domain. Pay for the transfer. However, you should not cancel the previous account until the domain is up and running with the new registrar.
Frequently Asked Questions Free Domain Registrars
- What are domain names? Do I need a website to get a domain?
Domain names are the URLs that people type into the address bar. It is an address that helps people find your website. Website visitors need specific coordinates to reach a website; IP addresses denote those coordinates.
These IP addresses are simply a set of numbers that can be hard to remember. Thus, we use a domain name instead. Generally, a domain name should be unique and the website’s content.
Users can get domains without building a website first. Since domains are simply addresses, you can get them even if you have not made a proper website yet. People may do that to combat competition. If they can buy out a competitor’s domain and park it, their competitor’s traffic might flow to their website.
Besides, many buy multiple domains to sell them later at a higher profit. This method can get people money without doing the whole brand-building thing. Plus, a simple domain is cheaper than buying an entire website.
- How do I choose a domain name?
A domain name will reflect your brand and your website’s spirit. It is basically the first thing people will use to judge your label. Go for a name that you can brand later. That means you cannot go for something generic like “playgamesonline.com.” Such names can make it look like you have a spammy website which is not good for business.
It would be best if you had a memorable domain. So, it would be best if you had a unique name that people could easily remember. You can use a name generator if you can figure it out. These generators are usually free, and a lot of registrars have them.
The second part you need to focus on is the extension or top-level domain. Your extension will show people what kind of organization you run. For example, if you write “.edu,” people will think the website is educational. An alternative option is the “.com” extension, which stands for commercial websites, and it makes your site look like a credible website.
- What are ccTLDs?
ccTLD stands for country code top-level domain. They basically cover geographical extensions and represent specific countries. They consist of two letters and have a different registration procedure than general extensions.
To register most of these ccTLDs, you must be a resident of the country that you are applying for. However, there are exceptions. You can use the extensions for Columbia and Libya without being a resident.
ccTLDs are helpful if you want to interact with visitors from a specific country. For example, if you are a business that only operates in Australia, you could use “.au.” We only recommend doing this if you are strictly local and do not intend to expand in the future.
- How can I get a free domain? What is a subdomain?
There are usually three ways to get your domain. One is through a registrar, and the other is by contacting a domain owner and buying the domain. Both of these methods will cost you money.
If you want to get a free domain name, you are better off going with hosting companies or site builders. You will likely get a free domain when you buy the hosting or builder plans from these websites. Of course, there are still renewal charges. You should pay close attention to these charges to avoid being overcharged.
If you do not have the budget for a hosting service or are a beginner, you can get a free subdomain. These subdomains let you create simple websites with limited capabilities. A free WordPress subdomain might be the way to go if you are new. However, be warned that you should not use these websites for business or e-commerce.
- How long does a domain transfer take?
A domain transfer can take a week or two. Both the old and new registrars will contact you for verification during this time. Then your new registrar will need time to configure your domain and other settings. We recommend sticking with your old registrar till the process is complete.
The process can take longer if your contact information is out-of-date. That is because the process cannot be completed without both registrars asking you for authorization to move the domain.
A registrar can deny your transfer request if you owe them money. They can also reject the request if your identity is disputed and you have not completed 60 days since registration. So you should make sure that everything is clear on your end before filing the request.
Conclusion: Best Free Domain Provider In 2022
Even though this method of acquiring domains is not completely free, it helps you save money. Plus, you can manage the entire web creation process through a single company. Doing so will save you time and confusion so you can focus on expanding your brand.
When it comes to the best registrar, we will go with Hostinger. With Hostinger’s all-in-one web hosting plan, you can host over a hundred websites with 100 GB storage and free backups weekly. Not only that, but you will also get a free domain for a year. The plans also give you a free SSL certificate and domain-based email addresses.
Even if you do not like the shared hosting program, you can choose other programs that better fit your website. Most of Hostinger’s cloud hosting plans come with a free domain. However, if you are a beginner running a personal website, you could opt for subdomains from a site like WordPress.