When it comes to top-level domain names, the word “Free” should be taken with much doubt knowing the fact that a real domain name costs money for domain registrars.
A free domain name should bring the question of:
Do domain registrars lose money — without any benefit when they provide people with free domain names?
The short answer to this question is no.
In this article, you will learn how domain registrars and hosting services benefit from free web hostings and domain names.
How Does it Work?
For Domain Names
The offer of a free domain name is most of the time used by domain registrars to attract potential customers to buy their hosting service.
Also, the offer could be used to advertise the product by providing a limited quantity for Free.
It may appear like the registrar is losing money, but in fact, in the long-term, it is winning:
The trick is instead of spending money on Advertisements, they provide a limited quantity of free domain names and then let people do the advertisement for them by asking them to share the offer on social networks, forums, blogs to keep them longer.
On top of these all, some registrars’ aim with an offer like this could be to attract new targeted users for their services:
For better conversion, they may target only people who live in rich countries, people who pay with a credit card or students, etc.
For Web Hosting Services
The same thing goes for web hosting services; the services may look free, but in the long-term, they will be of great benefit to them.
Most of the time, free web hosting services are provided with limited resources in storage, memory, bandwidth, etc.
The goal of providing free limited resources to users is to turn them into long-term customers by providing them the option to upgrade to a better offer at any time they feel like the free offer is not enough for their websites.
Is it a Good Idea to Get a Free Domain Name and a Hosting Service for your Business?
It all depends on the company that provides the services and what will be your website requirements at that time.
If you are planning, as a starter, to get your domain name/web hosting service from an established and a very well known company, then it is a good idea.
If it is not the case, then you’d better avoid random companies because they may disappear at any time and you may end up without your data without any notice.
With random companies, you may also encounter many other problems such as a lack of technical assistance, a very poor website uptime…
You may even stumble upon some registrars and hosting services that may redirect your website to another website or add advertisements to your content without your consent or knowledge.
In the following lines, I am going to show you 4 possible offers of a free domain name and a hosting service for 1 year.
1. Low-Quality Domain Names (Not Recommended)
I prefer to call “Low-Quality Domain Names” all those domain names that are constantly free of charges. They are less valuable than paid domains.
Anybody, anywhere, anytime can register one of those domain names without spending a dime.
The problem with them is that they have a bad reputation on the internet.
Consequently, having a similar domain name may hurt your brand.
For testing purposes, you can find Low-Quality Domain Names by simply typing on Google search the keyword: “Free Domain Names“.
However, if you are planning to start a real website, protect your brand’s reputation, and benefit from search engines’ rankings, you’d better spend $10 or less than that and get a real .com domain name.
For a limited time, you can get a real .com domain name for cheap from Godaddy for only $0.99 for 1 year.
2. Free Domain Names Offered when a Hosting Service is Purchased
As I mentioned earlier, many domain registrars and web hosting services offer you a free domain name for a whole year for free when you purchase one of their web hosting packages.
All is needed here is finding reputable hosting services, consulting their offers, and choosing the best among them.
I personally prefer and recommend Godaddy’s offer of 30% off on hosting + free domain name.
3. Free Limited Quantity Domain Names / Hosting
On holidays, registrars and web hosting services may offer a limited quantity of free domain names as well as free premium hosting services.
If you are lucky, you can get a free domain name and a hosting service for free or at a significantly discounted price on holidays like Christmas or on shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
4. Free Domain Names / Hosting: Targeted Offers
Getting a safe and a free domain name, as well as a hosting service, depends on the type of the offer and the reputation of the company offering the services.
If you are planning to start a real website, be careful of low-quality domain names as they may compromise your business image on the internet.
The best way to have a free domain name is #2 by purchasing a hosting package that includes the free domain name, #3 Getting the domain name/hosting for free as a holiday offer, or #4 benefiting from targeted offers.