Have you got everything you'll need to launch a new website? The first step in this process is to find and register a domain name. It can be overwhelming for those who have never done anything like this before. You may be unsure where to begin, and you’re probably wary of spending money.
There are several websites that include free domain name registration, but not all of them are without conditions. The majority of them are legal web hosting companies that have a free domain name when you sign up for their services. Others merely provide you with a subdomain name, which is more similar to purchasing a franchise than starting your own company.
Before registering your domain name, it’s a good idea to understand exactly what you’re getting and what you might have to give up to get it for free. Let’s go over the fundamentals of domain names and the best ways to get the best price on a new domain name.
What is a domain name?
Your new domain name is your online identity. A domain is the portion of a website’s address that comes after “HTTP” or “HTTPS” and before any other extension such as “.com” or, in the case of a free Strikingly website domain, the name that comes before “.strikingly.com.” The domain name you choose is crucial to the success of your website. It’s just as critical as, say, naming a new baby. Since your brand’s logo and reputation will be associated with that name for a long time, make sure it’s a good one.
It’s similar to owning a trademark to prevent anyone from using it. A catchy name is essential for driving traffic to your blog or business, and although you can get one for free, there are always drawbacks.
A registrar, or person who registers your unique name, is required to pay a fee. In that sense, there is no such thing as a free domain name, but you can obtain one for free through a variety of methods.
Consider what you require from free domain name registration before you begin. If you’re starting a new company and want to create a distinct brand, or if you want your blog to become the next big thing online, you’ll need a personalized domain name that you own and manage. The name should be formal and easy to find using a search engine such as Google.
At this stage, fully free options are uncommon, but there are inexpensive domain name alternatives that provide a lot of bang for your buck. If you’re serious about establishing a long-term online presence, cheap domain names could be a better long-term investment than fully free domain names.
If you don’t need any bells and whistles and just need a domain name for a short time, a free domain name is a great choice. At this stage, a fully free domain name is uncommon, but there are inexpensive domain name alternatives that provide a lot of bang for your buck.
Here are five different ways on how to get a free domain name and how the best deals compare:
- Web Hosting Services
- Website Builders
- Country Code Top Level free domain name
- Pay for Your Domain with Advertising
- Pay for Your Domain by Referring Clientele
How Do Domains Work?
The way domain names function is that they serve as a shortcut to the server that houses your website. Anyone who wanted to access your website would have to type in the full IP address if you didn’t have a domain name. However, it is difficult for people to remember an IP address or to use it in promotional materials.
Different Types of Domains
There are two distinct levels of a domain name. There would be a top-level domain (TLD) and a second-level domain in a domain name (SLD). While .com domains account for 46.5 percent of all global websites, there is still plenty of space for other domain name forms like.org and.net. The following are the most popular forms of domain names:
Top-level domain name(TLD)
A top-level domain is just what it sounds like: a domain name at the very top of the internet’s domain name list. There are over a thousand TLDs to choose from, but the most common are.com,.org,.net, and.edu.
ccTLDs and gTLDs, which we’ll discuss next, are also included in the list of TLDs, according to IANA.
Country-code top-level domain (ccTLD)
ccTLDs, or country-code top-level domains, consists of just two letters and are based on international country codes, such as.us for the United States and.jp for Japan. They’re often used by companies building dedicated sites for particular areas, and they can let users know they’ve arrived at the correct place.
Generic top-level domain (gTLD)
The most popular form of TLD is a generic top-level domain (gTLD), which includes domains like.com,.net,.org, and.edu. They are used to indicate the intent of a website, such as commercial usage (.com) or educational purposes (.edu). Other gTLDs include.mil (military),.gov (government),.org (for nonprofits and organizations), and.net, which was created for internet service providers (ISPs) but is still commonly used.
Free Domain names
Different website creators, such as Strikingly, WordPress.com, Squarespace, Weebly, and others, also offer free domain name registration.
Image taken from Strikingly
These are similar to subdomains in that they use the website’s name as part of their own domain name. Instead of businessbooks.com, businessbooks.wordpress.com or businessbooks.squarespace.com may be used.
Free domain names aren’t ideal for long-term business objectives or if you want to create your own distinct brand. We suggest investing a few dollars and purchasing your own.
Image taken from Strikingly
5 Effective Methods for Choosing a Free Website Domain
1. Keep it short and easy to remember
One of the most important things you need to remember when choosing a website domain is brandability. You want to make your domain name short, punchy, and memorable. The aim is to make your domain name so easy to remember that it takes on a generic meaning eventually. Think, Google or Uber. These names are no longer just domains, they now refer to actions and activities.
If you’re going with a free domain name and web hosting, you will have to make do with a slightly longer website address because the web host’s name is attached to your domain name. Try out a few different options of domain names to test out which one is easiest to remember given this limitation.
2. Make it mobile-friendly
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website
When you upgrade your free account with Strikingly, you get free website hosting and domain (for the first year) that you can customize. This gives you a chance to try out a mobile-friendly domain for your website. By mobile-friendly, we mean it should be easy for users to type in the website address using their phones and mobile devices. Think of users who have to autocorrect enabled on their phones. Make sure your domain is as concise and easy to type in as possible by testing it out using your phone first or have someone who is not so savvy at typing on the phone test it out for you.
3. Use keywords sparingly
Another tip when you buy a free domain name: don’t do generic keywords. At the risk of ruffling feathers in the SEO community, we don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to use keyword-rich domains. A keyword might be good to have but use it in moderation. A keyword-targeted website domain used to be an influential ranking factor but over time, they became associated with low-quality content so search engines tend to be very cautious when ranking these domains.
4. Make sure your website domain isn’t trademarked
Before you go and register your free website and domain, you want to make sure you’re legally cleared to use the name in the first place. Check the trademark status of any domain through your local patent and trademark office. You can also check out WIPO for global websites that may share the same name as the one you chose.
5. Select the appropriate extension
If you’re going to buy a web domain, you want to select the right extension (i.e. “.com”, “.org”, “.biz”) for your domain. “.com” remains the favorite extension for most websites because it is great for SEO and for memorability. In general, you can’t really go wrong with a “.com” website. Everyone just assumes your domain extension is .com anyway so might as well go with that.
Image taken from Strikingly
Once you have chosen your free website domain, you must act fast and get it registered. With thousands of other individuals and businesses trying to get their websites up as we speak, there’s a good chance that you will be competing for the same domain with at least one other entity. Make sure to get your domain registered soon. If you expect to use this domain for a long time, we also suggest purchasing various domain extensions, including the misspelled version of your domain. This will keep competitors from using variations of your domain and ensure your visitors are directed to your website.
Our last and most important piece of advice is to use a website builder for your business websites. All would fall apart even though you follow the previous measures without a stable base. If you’re looking for a free all-around website builder, look no further than our own Strikingly advanced website builder. We have hundreds of ready-to-use themes for your small business website. Our helpful Happiness Officers are ready to listen to any issues you can encounter when creating a website, but don’t worry! Every day, we work hard to ensure you don’t have any.
Start designing your own website today by registering a domain name with Strikingly. We at Strikingly enjoy seeing your company expand. You can use the most user-friendly, trendy, and mobile-ready web page creator available. The ability to run a company from anywhere and at any time is the latest trend in business. Find a web page designer who can provide you with the best support. Strikingly team and resources will surprise you. Now is the time to get a website for your business.
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