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How to get a domain for free in 2024


You need a domain if you’re building a website, whether it’s for a blog, portfolio, or online store. It serves as both your website’s name and address on the internet.

I know that spending extra money on domain registration can feel like an unnecessary burden when creating a new website. Fortunately, there’s no need to spend a lot of money on your domain, and you can even avoid paying for a domain entirely.

Below, I share 5 ways to get a free domain name. Let’s go through them.

5 ways to get a domain for free in 2024

To help you get a free website domain, I've come up with a list of 5 things you can try that I've checked myself. Here’s how to get a domain name for free:

  1. Sign up for the Wix website builder. Wix lets you create a website for free and includes a free subdomain. Your assigned URL will look something like this: accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress.
  2. Get a website hosting plan with a free domain. For example, Hostinger offers plans that include a free domain for 1 year from just $2.69/month. Available TLDs (top-level domains) include .net, .com, .online, .shop, and .live.
  3. Sign up for a website builder with free domain registration. Website builders like SITE123, Yola, and Squarespace include 1 year of free domain registration in their selected plans.
  4. Get a domain name for $1.00 or less via registrars. For instance, Hostinger offers several TLDs (top-level domains) for just $0.99, such as .online and .shop. Although not entirely free, it’s pretty close.
  5. Use a free domain registrar. Freenom offers five domain extension options – .tk, .ml, .ga, .cf, and .gq – at zero cost.

1. Sign up for the Wix website builder

Wix is one of the most popular website builders. It offers two ways to get a free domain name.

It has a free plan that comes with a free subdomain. With this plan, your website’s URL will appear as accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress. You’ll also need to display a Wix banner ad at the top of your webpage and use a Wix favicon (a small icon displayed on the web browser tab). I’d say these are small compromises considering you’re getting both a website and a domain at no cost. This is a great option if you’re creating a website for a personal blog or passion project.

Get a free domain with Wix
The Wix website builder is excellent for both beginners and advanced users. It offers an extensive list of modern templates and useful features. Plus, its Premium plans come with a free domain for the first year.
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For a more professional appearance, upgrade to one of Wix’s paid plans like Light, which is offered at $14.50/month. These plans remove the banner ads and provide a free domain name for the first year. Extension options include .com, .net, .org, .info, and .co.uk.

One thing to keep in mind is that after your 1-year free domain voucher expires, you’ll have to renew it. The cost of this will depend on several factors, such as the type of domain extension. However, if you wish to cancel your subscription and get a full refund, you must do so within 14 days after making the purchase. Note that domain purchases are separate from paid plan purchases and are not included in the 14-day money-back guarantee.

2. Get a website hosting plan with a free domain

Many hosting providers offer a free website domain to entice you to sign up for a yearly plan. Hostinger is one of them. It offers a free domain with all of its plans, including its entry Premium plan, which costs just $2.69/month. However, there's something you need to keep in mind.

While most reliable providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for hosting services, domains are often excluded from it. There is, however, a window for domain cancelations. This varies by provider and domain extension but is typically within days of the domain registration.

In Hostinger’s case, it allows a full refund for a new domain name registration if it's canceled within 96 hours of registration. If the registration is canceled after 96 hours, you'll get a refund for the hosting plan but not the domain name – the price of the domain name will be deducted from the refund. You will be able to use that domain for the rest of the year until it expires.

As for domain renewals, once the 1-year free domain period ends, you’ll have to pay a standard rate to renew it. This rate depends on the popularity of your domain extension, local currency, and other factors.

3. Sign up for a website builder with free domain registration

Certain website builders include a free domain name in their annual plans as part of their all-in-one solution for website creation. Reliable website builders that offer this include SITE123, Yola, and Squarespace.

Bear in mind that the domain is typically free only for the first year. Once the year is up, you’ll need to pay a renewal fee as set by the builder. Unlike hosting plans, website builders’ free domains are usually available only with select plans. Most builders also don’t allow refunds for these domains.

Overall, website builders are a great option to secure a free domain if you’re looking for a one-stop solution for your website.

4. Get a domain name for $1.00 or less via registrars

Domain registrars simplify the search for and registration of a domain name. While there are thousands of registrars to choose from, I recommend sticking with well-known providers, such as Hostinger.

Registrars offer both popular and less popular domain extensions, the price of which varies a lot. Hostinger, for example, offers less popular TLDs at lower prices than the more popular ones. You can get the .shop TLD for $0.99 for 1 year, while the .com TLD would cost you $4.99.

However, after the first year, to renew your domain name, you’ll have to pay the regular price, which can be higher for the less popular TLDs. This is also the case for the .shop and .com TLDs, which come with the regular price of $34.99/year and $15.99/year, respectively.

5. Use a free domain registrar

On the internet, you’ll see recommendations to use a free domain registrar. For example, Freenom offers free domains with five extension options: .tk, .ml, .ga, .cf, and .gq. These free domains work like any other and can be renewed at no cost. However, Freenom retains ownership of them, and you can’t transfer the domain rights.

These TLDs are also country-specific extensions and not very common ones at that. For instance, .ml is the TLD for Mali. Their unfamiliarity could cause your website to appear less trustworthy, making them unsuitable for business or professional websites. Therefore, I’d advise using a free domain name from a free domain registrar only if you’re building a blog or a personal site.

It’s also important to note that Freenom has recently announced that it’s leaving the domain registration business due to a lawsuit. And while its website is still up and running, I haven't been able to register a new domain. Reddit users have also reported similar experiences.

How to get a domain name for free - step by step

The easiest way to get a free domain is by opting for a Wix plan. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get a domain name for free:

  1. Create an account. Visit the Wix website and follow the onscreen instructions to set up an account. Once done, navigate to your dashboard.
  2. Choose your plan. If you wish to stay on Wix’s Free plan and use a subdomain, you can start building your website by clicking Edit site.
  3. Upgrade to a paid plan. To purchase a Wix Premium plan that comes with a free domain, click on the Upgrade Now button at the bottom of your dashboard.
  4. Select a Premium plan. Pick a Premium plan that includes a free domain and complete your purchase.
  5. Claim your free domain voucher. After upgrading to a Premium plan, you’ll receive a voucher from Wix for a free domain.
  6. Register your domain. Go to Account Settings and click on Domains. Follow the instructions to check the availability of your preferred domain name. If available, proceed to checkout.
  7. Use your voucher. Apply your free domain voucher before completing your purchase.

Should I know anything before getting a free domain?

Domain registration is the process of securing a domain name for your website. It involves choosing a domain name, checking its availability, and registering it. Before getting a free domain name, keep these key points in mind:

  • Top-level domains (TLDs). TLDs are the suffixes at the end of domain names, such as .com, .org, and .net. There are also country-specific ones such as .uk for the United Kingdom. Free domains often come with limited TLD options, which means you might end up with odd or unfamiliar TLDs. I suggest opting for a free domain with a common TLD like .com as it’s more recognizable.
  • Long-term commitment. Free domains are mostly offered as part of hosting or website-building packages. So, you’ll have to commit to a package for a certain period to enjoy the free domain offer.
  • Renewal. Most free domains are only free for the first year. After that, you’ll have to pay for renewal to maintain your domain.

Video guide

You can learn all you need to know about how to get a domain name for free in our YouTube video guide as well.

Conclusion

A domain name is absolutely critical to your website, but securing it doesn’t have to be an expensive or complicated affair. You can get a free domain from website builders, web hosting providers, and free domain registrars.

Among these options, I recommend getting a free domain name from Wix. With Wix’s Free plan, you can get a subdomain and a website at no cost. Alternatively, you also have the option to upgrade to a Premium plan for a more professional presence. This upgrade comes with a free website domain with various TLD options, including .com.

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