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How to Get a FREE Domain Name: Ultimate Guide for 2024

Suzanne Stewart Suzanne StewartWeb Hosting Expert November 12, 2023
November 12, 2023
Let’s get down to business: you need a domain name for your website, and it shouldn’t have to be expensive. We specialize in finding good deals on website-related services – it’s our whole business model. So I think we can help you.

In my extensive testing of domain registrars and web hosts, I’ve actually found that it’s possible to get straight up free domain names. Some are only free for a while, and some are free forever, but there’s always an option available for you — whether it’s getting one through your web host or site builder.

And darn it, it’s hard to beat “free” when it comes to buying things. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite hosting providers and web site builders that provide free domains with their services. Our top pick, Hostinger, might not be the right domain source for you, however, so read on to discover which of our other choices suits your needs best.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Web Hosts with Free Domain Offers in  2024

  1. Hostinger – Beginner-friendly budget hosting with incredible loading speeds. 
  2. Scala Hosting – Get a free domain and access to WordPress experts when you sign up for any of its shared hosting plans.
  3. InMotion Hosting – Plans packed with features, including a free domain and unlimited email addresses.

See 2 More Great Options | Comparison Table

Getting a Free Domain When You Buy Hosting

Okay, so this option still requires you to spend money, but you do get the domain itself for free. Simply put, a lot of (but not all) web hosts will eat the cost of a domain name if you sign up for one of their hosting packages.

These domains are typically only free for the first year, but it’s still a great deal when you’re starting a website.

If you’d like to know how domain names work, and how to choose the right one for your business, I wrote an extensive guide all about that.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Getting a Free Domain With Hosting

The advantages:
  • It’s the fastest and easiest way to set up a domain. When you buy a domain with your web host, you can just tell them to direct it to your new website. Heck, this usually happens automatically. No messing with name servers, DNS records, or IP addresses. Just click and go.
  • You can manage your domain and hosting all in one place. It can be a bit of a hassle to switch between your web host and a domain company’s site when you need to make any changes. I personally went this way a while back, and while I switched back to using a domain registrar for other reasons, I have to say going this route is a lot easier in general.
  • It consolidates your customer support experience. Speaking of keeping everything in one place: when there’s a problem with your domain, you can sometimes end up playing the go-between your web host’s support team and your domain registrar’s support team. That’s mostly an exercise in wasting time and frustration. Better to have one company handle both.
  • It can make managing your email addresses easier. Usually this isn’t much of a problem either way, but having your web host handle your domain can also make mail configuration a lot less complicated to configure.
  • It’s a free .com domain. .com, .org, and .info are the big three domain name extensions (or TLDs), because they’re the most well-known. Getting one of these will make your site look more reliable and familiar to customers and search engines alike.That’s not to say you can never choose a different extension, but these should probably be at the top of your list. Getting one for free, even for a year, is a major help.
The disadvantages:
  • These domains are only free for one year. There’s just no getting around that. Eventually, you’re going to have to pay some renewal fees. And those renewal fees can sometimes be more expensive than buying your domain from a classic domain registrar in the first place.
  • Free domains are often limited to certain plans. If you’re thinking about getting the very cheapest hosting from Hostinger, you won’t get a free domain name. You need to pay for the second-cheapest plan to get this perk. This is true for a lot of other hosts.
  • Only a few TLDs are usually supported. For the uninitiated, top level domains (TLDs) are those bits at the end of a domain name (.com or .org, for example). A domain registrar has hundreds of TLDs available, while free domains from web hosts might only support the big ones, like .com, .org, and .info.

5 Web Hosts with Free Domain Offers

One of the perks we like to see web hosting providers add into their plans is a free domain, even if it’s just free for a year. All five of these hosts do just that, with certain limitations. One does something a bit different from most hosting providers, but you still get a free domain out of the deal.

Hostinger free domain
Hostinger’s great performance and budget plans make it my top choice for all things hosting-related
Coming in at the top of the list, it’s Hostinger! Over the years, this company has garnered fantastic reviews from us, and pretty much everyone else, for having great performance at low prices.

If you need a host for your very first site, Hostinger is a fantastic option. While its shared hosting plans are pretty beginner-friendly, moderate to advanced users can get a lot out of its plans, too.

TLDs included .net, .xyz, .com., online, .link, .shop, .live, .digital, .tech, .space, .website, .email, .fun, .click., .site, .uno, .in, .host, .store, .press, .me, .help
Free for 1 year
Plans with a free domain Premium and up
Starting price $2.99

Scala Hosting VPS features
ScalaHosting includes a free domain with most of its shared web hosting plans.
Scala Hosting spends a lot of time and focus on its VPS service, but it has some pretty good shared hosting, too. There’s also a heavy emphasis on security, with built-in SShield software that monitors threats in real-time.

Of particular interest, though, is the access you get to WordPress experts. Most web hosts won’t help you with site-related problems, only server-related problems, but if you run your site on WordPress, Scala Hosting will help with both.

TLDs included .com, .net. org, .info, .eu
Free for 1 year
Plans with a free domain Start, Advance, Entry Cloud
Starting price $2.95

InMotion Hosting home page
All but one of InMotion’s shared web hosting plans include a free domain for the first year.
InMotion Hosting offers hosting solutions targeted at businesses big and small. All plans come with unlimited bandwidth, free marketing tools and advertising credits, and a few extra goodies besides.

You can get hosting plans specifically designed to make WordPress run a little faster, and access an InMotion-built WordPress plugin that turns WordPress into a full-fledged drag and drop site builder. It’s also one of the few companies that actually offers a web design service (which costs extra, of course.)

TLDs included .com, .org, .net, .biz, .info, .us
Free for 1 year
Plans with a free domain Launch and up
Starting price $2.99

GreenGeeks hosting features
GreenGeeks gives you everything you need to start your website – and a cleaner environment. What’s not to love?
GreenGeeks is what you get when tech nerds get serious about saving the world. Well, kinda serious. I mean, the people there clearly care – all data centers use renewable energy sources, and even pump some power back into the local grid.

GreenGeeks’ servers are built on up-to-date technologies such as Litespeed, LSCache, and more to make sure your site is delivered smoothly and quickly. To top it all off, GreenGeeks has some of the absolute best customer service we’ve ever encountered.

TLDs included .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .ca
Free for 1 year
Plans with a free domain All shared hosting plans
Starting price $2.95

FastComet's cloud web hosting
FastComet’s cloud web hosting only kinda, sorta does free domains.
FastComet is the exception to the rule as far as this list of free domain including web hosting providers is concerned. FastComet’s cloud-based web hosting plans only include a free domain if you choose a certain TLD. Those free TLDs are .store, .tech, .site, and .online. And you get them free for the life of your hosting plan. All other domains are handled differently.

FastComet offers free domain transfers when you purchase a web hosting plan. And then when it’s time for your domain to renew, FastComet pays your renewal fees for the first year. A lot of other companies charge you for domain transfers, and very, very few pay your renewal fees. So while FastComet doesn’t really offer much in the way of free domains, what it offers is unique and certainly valuable in the web hosting world.

TLDs included .store, .tech, .online, .site
Free for Life of hosting plan OR
1 year for domain transfers
Plans with a free domain All shared hosting plans
Starting price $1.79

Free Domains With Website Builders

Site builders (generally) include the same sort of deal you’d get with hosting: pay for at least a year, and get a proper domain for that first year, for free.

They also include the option of using a subdomain. That’d be something like “yoursite.wix.com,” or “kittypictures1436.weebly.com.” Mostly, this option is only there for people using the free plans, to evaluate the site builders themselves. You really don’t want to use a subdomain for your business in the long term. It’s bad for your branding, and quite probably your SEO.

In short, you don’t want to share your domain name with another company.

Best Website Builders With Free Domains

  1. Wix – Includes free domains for the first year from the Combo plan and up, and free subdomains for all.
  2. Site123 – Has free domains for the first year on all paid plans, as well as subdomains.
  3. Squarespace – Once again, free domains for the first year on all plans. Subdomains are randomly generated, and only intended for use during the free trial period. (There is no proper free plan.)
  4. Weebly – Has subdomains, and free domains from the Pro plan and up. The free domain option is implemented via coupon, and so Weebly supports all TLDs, as far as I can tell.
wix logo alt 2

Get a FREE domain + hosting with any Wix annual plan!

This exclusive offer is only available for your first purchase.

92 users used this coupon!

The Best Way to Get Your Domain Name for Free

Well, in the end it, doesn’t even matter… Sorry, got a song stuck in my head. It actually does matter how you choose to get your domain. In general, and especially if you’re just getting your online business started, go with the free domain that comes with your hosting.

It may not be the cheapest option in the long run, but it’s a free-ish domain with .com, or some other equally well-known TLD – which is a good thing to have. Plus, having your domain managed by your hosting company is just so much easier. By the end of a year, a business website should really be helping you pay for that domain.

Personally, I’d recommend going with Hostinger for the low, low hosting prices and a beginner-friendly user interface.

If you have a few extra bucks and want excellent customer service, there’s GreenGeeks. And hey, you can’t really put a price on good customer service.

If you’ve chosen a hosting plan without a free domain name, do check out Namecheap for some great deals.

namecheap logo alt

Save up to $59.00 on your Namecheap plan!

Limited-time offer - Don't miss it!

281 users used this coupon!
If you’re still having trouble making your decision, take a look at this handy comparison table.
Web Hosting TLDs Included Free Registration Period Starting Price
Hostinger .com, .info, .net, .pw, .xyz, .online, .store, .tech, .me, .site, .website, .space, .shop, .icu, .fun, .press, .host, .uno, .click, .link, .help 1 year $2.99
Scala Hosting .com, .net, .org, .info, .eu, .gr 1 year $2.95
InMotion Hosting .com, .org, .net, .biz, .info, .us 1 year $2.99
GreenGeeks .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .ca 1 year $2.95
FastComet .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .space, .de, .nl, .tokyo, .uk 1 year (transfers only) $1.79
Website Builders
Wix .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .rocks, .pictures, .club, .space, .shop, .store, .online, .co.uk, .xyz, .art, and .de (Germany only) 1 year $16.00
Site123 .com, .net, .org, .eu, .biz, .name, .info, .mobi, .co.uk, .in, .de, .co.il, .org.il 1 year $12.80
Squarespace .band, .biz .cloud, .club, .co.uk , .com, .de, .family, .info, .live, .me, .mobi, .net, .news, .ninja, .one, .online, .org, .rocks, .site, .social, .space, .store, .tech, .top, .uk, .website, .work, .xyz 1 year $16.00
Weebly All TLDs 1 year $6.00
Domain Registrars
Namecheap None for free N/A $1.88

FAQs

Is there a catch to free domain registration?

Some free domain registrars will place limitations or restrictions on your domain. You might not have as much freedom when it comes to domain customizations, or transferring your domain to another registrar. Some hosts like ScalaHosting limit the TLDs you can use, while others require you to place ads on your website.

Can I get a free domain forever?

Most free domains have a time limit, usually for one year, after which you’ll have to pay a renewal fee. Some hosts such as FastComet include your domain free as long as you remain a web hosting customer. The key is to read all the terms and conditions before you register your free domain.

Can I upgrade to a paid domain from a free one in the future?

Yes, many hosting providers and registrars, including Hostinger, allow you to upgrade from a free domain name to a paid one if you decide to invest more in your website. This upgrade typically involves registering a new, premium domain name and transferring your website’s content to the new domain. It’s a good option if you want to remove limitations associated with a free domain and have more control over your web address. 

Should I get more than one domain?

Yes and no. You should always try to acquire the domains closest to your business/site name. That includes at least the .com/.co and .net TLDs, like the domains you can get from InMotion. That keeps competitors from confusing their site with yours. What you shouldn’t do is buy every TLD available, as it’s simply not necessary nor is it a good business strategy.

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