Thankfully there are a lot of different ways to snag a free domain name.
It all comes down to what domain name extension you want and who your web host is.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a .com domain name, then it’s a bit more tricky (but not impossible).
Is it to try out a new project or concept? If so, you’d be fine going with an obscure domain name to start with. Such as .tk, .ml, .ga, .cf, or .gq.
In this article, we’ll explore the various ways that you can bag a free domain name. I’m sure there will be something that’s a perfect fit for you.
Some companies like Names.co.uk used to do a completely free domain name, but they’ve changed it to £1 for a .co.uk. Not too shabby. But still not FREE!
1. FREE Domain Name With Cheap Hosting (Hostinger)
Best for – Startups looking to quickly create a web project with a professional domain name
One of the easiest ways to grab a free domain is to get it with a cheap hosting package. Don’t be fooled into thinking cheap hosting isn’t good. There are some companies out there that do great deals. For example Hostinger. With Hostinger you can get a free domain name, custom business email address, cheap (yet premium) hosting, and live support to keep you on track. All for as little as £2.89 per month.
The only downside is that you have to sign up for a yearly subscription to benefit from the free domain name offer. Fairly standard practice in the hosting industry. I love the fact that they allow you to pay with Bitcoin and also provide brilliant tools for the complete beginner, such as an easy to use website builder.
2. Totally FREE Domain Name With Website Builder (Wix)
Best for – A complete beginner who would like to get a website up and running quickly
One of the best website builders on the market today is Wix. Even a child could create a beautiful site on Wix in a matter of minutes. No joke! Their website builder is easy. Plus they offer a completely FREE domain name. The only downside is that they offer the free web builder and what’s known as a “subdomain.” This basically means that you’d get a domain name (URL) something like – mywebsite.wix.com.
If you’d like a more professional domain name like a .com, then you can sign up for one of Wix’s website builder plans and get yourself a free .com domain name for a whole year. All of their websites are mobile-friendly, so they can be viewed easily on a smartphone. Both options are great if you have little website design experience as you get templates that are super easy to work with, along with a free domain name so that people can find you on the web.
3. 100% FREE Domains with Freenom (for 1 year)
Best for – Ideal for projects that don’t require professional sounding domains.
Another way to get a completely free domain name is to head over to Freenom and search for your desired domain name. Freenom says they’re the ” world’s first and only free domain provider.” The only catch is that you’ll get an obscure suffix like .tk, .ml, .ga, .cf, or .gq. Freenom is really easy to use, which removes any barrier to entry for someone wanting to get started building your website for no cost.
You may think that a totally free domain name company would be small. But you’d be wrong. Freenom has received a whopping $3 million in investor capital funding from Kima Ventures. Although you can only get your domain name for free for one year, you can pay or re-register your domain name after the first 12 months.
4 FREE UK Domain Names from Fasthosts (for 1st Year)
Best for – Businesses who want a UK presence
If you’re in the UK and want a domain name you have 4 free options to choose from with Fasthosts. Head over to grab a .co.uk , org.uk, me.uk or .uk domain name for your business, Fasthost has you covered. They’re currently offering top UK domain names for free for the first year. In this case there’s a downside – you’d need to pay for the 2nd year upfront. So in reality, it’s more like 50% off than a completely free domain name. But still worth a look.
Fasthosts are a pretty big website host in the UK. They offer all sorts of hosting and domain names and their support is top notch. A good option for people who want a UK presence for their business.
5. Get A Free Domain Name with Site123
Best for – complete beginners who want to try out a website idea or bring their business online
Site 123 offer a free domain name when you purchase one of their annual subscriptions. This comes with a free SSL certificate and email accounts (provided you buy one of their advanced packages). Not sure what Site123 is? It’s basically another website builder that lets you use their website templates and drag and drop builder to create pretty slick looking websites.
Site123 is extremely easy to use, you can sign up with facebook, google or with your email and have your website up and running in minutes. To get your free professional domain name, you’ll need to upgrade to one of their annual subscription plans.
6. Totlaly FREE WordPress Hosting & FREE Domain Name
Best for – getting started in the online space
If you’re looking to create a WordPress website, then I’ve got some good news for you. You can get started completely free with WordPress.com. Plus they’ll give you a free subdomain. Which means you can get up and running with no money down. You’ll get a subdomain like mysite.wordpress.com – so it’s not really a permanent professional solution. Rather a good place to get started.
It’s really easy to get started with WordPress.com. You don’t need any additional hosting and can get signed up in a few minutes. The only real downside is that you need to upgrade to get access to their support desk and templates.
Some Companies that No Longer offer FREE domain names
A few years back there were more options for snagging a totally free domain name. But several of these companies have since started charging. 123-reg.co.uk used to offer a free .co.uk domain name, much like Namesco (now names.co.uk) however both now charge £1 or less to buy a .co.uk domain name. Which is cheaper than most, but still not 100% free.
The Bottom Line
Other than using a subdomain with sites like Wix, or an obscure domain name like the ones offered by Freenome… getting a free professional domain name isn’t that easy. However, it’s a great place to get started. You could use a Wix.com subdomain and then get your professional domain name later on, or you could do the same with Site123, so that you can get started with no money down, and upgrade later with little to no disruption to your website. Some hosts like Hostinger or Fasthosts will offer you a free domain name with a hosting package, or a two year commitment for your domain name. It all depends on your project requirements.