When you want to start an online business or blog in 2021, you must need a website. And to host your website you will need to have a domain name and hosting.
Actually, a domain name is the address of your website, and hosting is something that represents your website on the internet. Getting a registered domain name will be the very first step to starting your website.
In this article, we are going to show you how to register a domain name for free. Even if you are completely new, you don’t have to worry. This article will show the process of registering a web address step by step.
What is a domain name and how it work?
We have already told you a domain is the address of your website. If you consider your website as your home, then the domain will be the address of your home. The name of the first domain is “Symbolics.com”, which was registered on 15 March 1985. With millions of new domain names added each year, there are more than 300 million domain names right now.
Related One: Popular WordPress Hosting in 2021
We can consider the internet as a spider web that has been connecting many computers. Surprisingly, the domain name lets other users access your computer’s IP address. The IP address consists of numerical digits such as “220.127.116.11.” which is for ‘Google’.
Now, it is tough to remember and doesn’t represent the site’s title. The domain name allows us to type in “Google.com” in the search bar so that we can find it easily. As a result, our work becomes much easier.
Moreover, it doesn’t represent your brand if it is a numerical value. It establishes your brand and presents it to the audience. The domain name not only helps the users to find the homepage of your website but also helps them to discover pages, files, or images of your website.
Alphabets or numbers can be implemented on your domain name. This makes the address of your website distinctive and unique from other domain names. In other words, users won’t get any trouble finding your website. Here is how a domain name generally works –
When is the right time to register for a domain name?
Since mid-2018, more than 46,000 “.com” domain names have been registered daily. And the total number of registered “.com” domain names is more than 140 million. So, if you are thinking of starting your own blog or online business, you should hurry.
Because the name that you have determined for your website may already be taken by now. To put this figure into perspective, you should register a domain name for your website as soon as you have thought of the idea.
Usually, domain names are cheap and you can get a domain name for 1 year with a minimum investment. If you don’t wish to further pursue your website, you can let it experience after 1 year. The fact is, you should get a domain name right away if you are serious about building a website.
How to choose the best domain name for your website?
The identity of your website will be defined through the domain name. You should think carefully about this. However, don’t overthink as you may never find the desired name by doing so. Here are some tips to help you secure a good domain name.
- Rather than “.org”, “.net”, “.xyz”, “.info”, “.biz” or other types of extensions; go for the “.com” if possible. It is standard and users can remember easily compared to other types of domain extensions.
- Don’t go for hard terms, it will only make it complicated for the users and for yourself.
- Try to mix with your focus keywords while determining the domain name. Search engines prefer this.
- Try to avoid numbers or hyphens as it will only make it harder to pronounce.
Step-by-step guide on how to register a domain name for free:
There are many ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) authorized domain registrars that are top-class in terms of service. Although there are a lot of ways to register a domain, we will only focus on three popular solutions.
How to get a free domain name for your blog:
You can get a free domain name from WordPress. You may not get your desired domain name with this process as it will appear something like “domainname.wordpress.com”.
Being the most widely used CMS (Content Management System), WordPress allows you to build the entire website for free. There are other domain registrars that offer free domain and hosting services aside from WordPress. However, a free website isn’t effective for your online business and there are many limitations. We highly suggest you register a domain name with some investment.
How to get a domain name from registers:
Considering the drawbacks and benefits of a free domain, you should definitely go for a premium choice. There are many registers from where you can buy a domain name.
1. Look for a good domain name registrar:
We have already mentioned some popular domain name registrars. You can choose any of them or just google for domain name registrar. You will see the popular registers with their dedicated website links. It is better to choose a register considering its pricing and policies.
2. Check your desired domain name’s availability:
Once you have found your preferred register. Type the name of your desired domain name in the search box. It is better not to set your heart on just one domain name because it can be seen that someone else has already taken it.
3. Finalize your choice:
It is best to keep multiple options before finalizing a domain name. So, brainstorm as much as possible to gather several choices. Among all the choices, choose the one that is available and most consistent with your brand.
4. Determine the suffix should be like:
We have already discussed that it is better to go for “.com” rather than other types of suffixes. It will give you a better deal than other types of suffixes.
While determining your suffix, you should also know that you can’t use country-code type domains, these are of top-level. For instance, an official website for Canada has a suffix like “.ca”.
Moreover, there are other types of suffixes for sponsored, top-level domains. Websites for specific communities or groups use these types of suffixes. As an example, websites for educational institutions usually end up with “.edu” and “.gov” for governmental websites.
5. Time to buy the domain name:
Now it’s time to purchase your desired domain name. Various registers have packages that come with various prices. Typically, these packages are not a one-time purchase. Although you can own the domain name permanently, hosting comes with a one-year registration. After one year, you may need to renew your registration. It usually costs $10 to $15 for registration.
6. Add ID protection for your domain:
ICANN will ask you to provide your contact information while registering a domain name. As long as you don’t pay for domain privacy, this information will remain available to the public. This keeps your personal information protected from spammers or even worse, identity thieves.
Top 5 Best Domain Registrars:
According to our research, these are our top 5 solutions for domain registration –
1. Namecheap– Best way for domain registration at affordable prices:
When you visit their landing page, you will see something like the above image. Search for your desired domain name by typing on the search box. After the search, choose the most preferred one and click on the “Add To Cart” button –Once, you click on the “Checkout” button, you will need to confirm your order.
If you have a promo code, you can apply the code in the “Promo Code” section. You can also change the registration period. Furthermore, click on the “Auto-Renew” toggle button if you would like to automatically renew the registration after the scheduled period is over.
Once you click the “Confirm Order” button, it will ask you to sign up or create an account if you are a first-time user. After successfully signing in, you can confirm your domain purchase.
Go to Bluehost’s official website and you will notice something like the image below –
Just click on “Get Started”, and you will see their packages. In my opinion, choosing the “Choice Plus” package is recommended. As a starter, you can choose the “Basic” package, it is cheaper and offers the essential features to get the job done.
You don’t have anything to regret as you can always upgrade your package in the future. You can also decide how long you want to buy the package, such as 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months.
After selecting the package, you are good to go. The rest of the process is the same as Namecheap. In fact, it is pretty much the same for all domain registrars.
3. GoDaddy – Providing domain and hosting for decades:
GoDaddy is one of the oldest domain providers and they have been running the business for decades. Before you purchase a domain from any registrar, it is wise to create an account first. If you already have an account, then sign up before the purchase. That way you don’t have to bother with signing in or creating an account at the time of confirming your order.
You may also find a discount code and see your account information when you are logged in. Like other domain registrars, you will notice a search box on the landing page where you can search for a suitable domain.
After you perform a search, it will show the available options. Add the domain to your cart that seems to be the most fitting. Adding the domain to your cart, press the “Continue to Cart” button. A page may appear displaying some additional features. Click on the features that you want to purchase or click on “No Thanks” if you are all set. Again press “Continue to Cart” and proceed to the “Checkout” page. That’s it, you will successfully purchase a domain.
4. Hostinger – A fast-growing domain registrar
Hostinger mainly focuses on hosting services. Unlike most landing pages of popular domain registrars, you will not notice any search box. As they are popular with web hosting, they planned to show their exclusive packages for hosting as soon as you visit the landing page.
You may need to scroll down a bit to see the search bar. Perform a search for your domain name and the rest of the process is very similar to what we discussed for other registrars. Just make sure you are logged in or created an account.
5.Domain.com-A reliable solution to find a domain name
This is a place that allows you to do more tech, design, and fun online. A reliable choice for those who are looking for domains to start their small or large online businesses. Their homepage looks absolutely stunning and you can’t miss the large search bar that appears as soon as the site loads.
This registrar is highly recommended by the experts. Similar to the rest of the registrar’s domain purchase processes, you will find the available domain names after performing a search. Select the most appropriate one and pay according to the procedure. The checkout or process of payment is pretty much the same.
FAQs to Register a Domain Name:
Which is the cheapest solution to register a domain name?
There are many cheap options to register for a domain name. In our opinion, NameCheap is incomparable for providing good service for less money. NameCheap offers several domains and hosting plans that are worth taking a look at. Most people purchase domain names from NameCheap and hosting from BlueHost.
Aside from NameCheap, you can choose Domain.com, Hover, GoDaddy, SiteGround, and other registrars. These are some of the cheapest solutions offering top-class support. If you do a little research on Google, you will understand on your own.
How much does it usually cost to register a domain name?
In general, it depends on the domain type and its demand. Usually, registering a domain name will cost around $10 to $20 per year. Prices may also vary depending on the registrar. Various registrars offer various packages. Depending on the price, these packages come with a number of features. The higher the price of the package, the higher its features.
Do I need to have a website to register a domain name?
The answer is no, you don’t have to own a website. You can build your website after registering a domain name. Since you don’t have a website, you can’t buy a domain, there is no constraint like that. If you are determined to create a website, it is best to register the domain as soon as possible because you may no longer get the domain name of your choice later.
With that being said, you can also set up a temporary website with a “Coming Soon” page after getting a domain. A lot of merchants treat this as a digital real-estate business. They pre-purchase some claimed domains and reserve them for a decent profit from a suitable buyer.
Without hosting, is it possible to buy a domain name?
Yes, it is possible to buy a domain name without hosting. Although registrars offer domain and hosting combo packages, they also offer the opportunity to purchase only domain names.
But it is wise to go for the combo packages that include both domain and web hosting since you need them both to start a website. Because it will cost much less than buying domains and hosting individually. And if you do so, you will get the domain for free. Usually, the packages will only charge you for hosting.
Can I find a good domain name for free?
You can register a domain name for free. WordPress will help you with that. Hence, there are lots of limitations and in the professional sector, it doesn’t add much value. The domain name that you can get from WordPress would look something like “domainname.wordpress.com”.
It only doesn’t look good but also doesn’t make much sense. And chances are a lot that you wouldn’t get your desired domain name.
Which domain extension should I go for?
If you have read this article, you should already get the answer to this question. Try to go for “.com” instead of “.net”, ”.biz”, ”.org”, “.info”, “.xyz”, or any other type of suffix. People are generally used to “.com” and it is quite effective to find your website easily on the internet. There are other top-level domains like “.edu” and “.gov” reserved for the government and special communities.
Can I purchase a domain name for a lifelong?
The maximum time to get hold of a domain name is for 10 years. This means that you don’t have to let go or change your domain name for this period of time. However, you have to pay in advance for this. So, if you are determined that you will use your domain name for a long time and you evaluate it, you can take this step.
Nevertheless, there are some free domain names that you can get for a lifetime. Just select the respective hosting package and search for your desired domain. You can have it for a lifetime if it is available.
Do I have to renew my domain name?
As we have already said you can register a domain name for a maximum time of 10 years, you can’t register for a lifetime. Therefore, you need to renew your registration for a certain period of time. Generally, the minimum time for renewal is for about 1 month. It means the owner of the domain can’t change or delete it for 30 days after he owns it.
Can I buy a domain that already exists?
Yes, it is possible to acquire an existing domain. There are brokerage websites like Sedo.com or BuyDomains where you can potentially get an existing domain name. BuyDomains is more of a premium choice occupying some of the premium existing domains.
However, it is not certain that you will get the existing domain that you are looking for. Because the owner of the domain may set an outrageous price for it. If you are not willing to pay a ton of money, then it will be hard for you to get it.