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How to Get a Domain Name for Free

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If you want to launch a new website for personal or business use, you need to make sure that you find and register a domain name. That is the first step in this process. Now, if you have never done this in the past, you might be a bit intimidated. When you figure out you might have to pay for the domain name, you might even be wondering if this is worth the initial investment.

The good news is that you can get a domain name for free. There are a handful of ways to accomplish this whether you are looking to start a website for your company, an online portfolio, or even a personal blog.

How to Get a Domain Name Free: Bluehost

One of the most popular hosting services out there is called Bluehost. Some of the benefits of using Bluehost include:

  • 24/7 chat and phone support
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee
  • A free domain name is included in the hosting plan

Bluehost is one of the top ways to get a domain name for free. Furthermore, Bluehost also provides hosting services for your website once you are ready to launch it. For these reasons, Bluehost is among the top web hosting providers out there.

Just signing up for a plan from Bluehost rewards you with a free domain. Because Bluehost provides hosting services along with your free domain name, this is a great way for you to accomplish two tasks at the same time.

So, if you are wondering how to get a domain name free from Bluehost, there are a few steps to follow.

Visit the Bluehost Website

In order to get started with Bluehost, you need to head to the Bluehost website first, which is Bluehost.com. Once you arrive at the site, you will see several options in the navigation menu.

Fight the urge to visit the “domains” section of the menu right away. If you want to get your domain name for free, you need the Bluehost hosting services. Therefore, head to the hosting option instead. This is in between the two buttons that say “WordPress” and “Domains.” Click on the button that says hosting and you should see the benefits.

get a free domain bluehost

The benefits of Bluehost web hosting include:

  • A free domain name
  • A free SSL certificate
  • Easy WordPress install (if you are using WordPress to create your website)
  • 24/7 phone and chat support

Once you navigate to the Bluehost web hosting page, you should see that there are three different options. These include:

  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Shared hosting

No matter which you choose, you will get the free domain name. If you are launching your first website from scratch, then shared hosting is probably the right option. It is the cheapest of the three and you probably won’t need the resources that are provided by the other web hosting options. Regardless, check out all three options and see which one meets your needs.

Pick a Bluehost Web Hosting Plan

The next step is to select a web hosting plan. If you decide to go with shared web hosting, you will see four different plans from which to choose. These include:

  • The basic plan at around $4 per month
  • The plus plan at around $6 per month
  • The choice plus plan at around $6 per month
  • The pro plan at around $13 per month

It is important to note that you might get a discount if you decide to sign up for a year-long plan instead go month to month.

BlueHost PlansBefore you decide which plan is right for you, it is important to understand what benefits come with each option. These include:

  • The Basic Plan: This provides hosting for one website with 50 GB of storage space, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and five parked domains along with 25 sub-domains
  • The Plus Plan: This provides hosting for unlimited websites with an unlimited amount of storage space, an unlimited number of domains, an unlimited number of parked domains, an unlimited number of sub-domains, access to spam experts, and a free Office 365 Mailbox for 30 days
  • The Choice Plus Plan: This option provides unlimited websites, unlimited storage, domain privacy, protection services, and website backup services from CodeGuard Basic
  • The Pro Plan: This option provides access to unlimited sites and storage, two separate spam experts, exceptional performance, and a dedicated IP

If you are running a website for the first time, then the basic hosting plan is probably enough. It is always possible to upgrade to another plan down the road as the website grows. The flexibility of Bluehost is one of its major benefits. Regardless of the plan you decide to go with, you will get a free domain name as part of the deal.

Select a Domain Name

Once you pick a hosting plan from Bluehost, the next step is to actually pick a domain name. You can either create a new domain (and search it from available domains) or use a domain name that you already own. You can also decide to make a domain later.

bluehost - create new domainIf you already have a domain name in mind that you would like to use, you can go ahead and search for it through Bluehost to make sure that it is still available. There are several domain options with various extensions from which you can choose. Some of the most common extensions include:

  • .com
  • .org
  • .site
  • .net
  • .info
  • .co
  • .us

The vast majority of people are going to go with a .com domain extension. This is one of the cheapest options and provides access to a wider range of domain names. Remember that you are getting a free domain name and .com is the most familiar extension for visitors, meaning that this is going to be better for the long-term success of your website.

If you try to come up with a domain name for a .com website and the name is already taken, Bluehost might suggest choosing a different extension. Instead of switching the .com to something else, come up with a new domain name. This is going to be better for your website’s traffic in the long run.

Create an Account with Bluehost

Once you have chosen a domain name, the next step is to create an account. If you aren’t ready to come up with your domain name yet, you can skip the domain name step and go ahead and create your account with Bluehost. You will still get a free domain name once you are ready for this step.

It is easy to create an account on Bluehost. There is an easy form that will show up on your screen. You will be asked to fill in your:

Bluehost account information

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Business name (if you have one)
  • Your address including city, state, zip code, and country
  • Your phone number
  • An email address

None of this is terrible complicated; however, you will need to complete this step in order to have access to your free domain name and the web hosting services you need to run your website. Once you are done with this, you will proceed to the billing page.

You will see the terms of whatever plan you’ve chosen below. There are web hosting plans available for 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months. The longer the contract is, the bigger the discount gets. For example, a basic shared plan is around $4 per month for a 36-month contract but $6 per month for a 12-month contract.

It is important to note that this price is only valid for your first contract with Bluehost. Once your contract expires and renews, the price will be $8 per month; however, you might be able to negotiate this with Bluehost down the road if this is going to be an issue. Importantly, the 36-month contract is going to give you the best rate; however, you will have to pay more upfront. You may want the best price or you might want to avoid a long-term commitment. Regardless, you will need to select the terms of your billing contract before you move forward.

Select the Add-On Features

BlueHost AddonsBefore you finish the payment details of your contract, you will be asked to take a look at some of the add-on services that Bluehost provides. Depending on the reason for the website you are running, some of these might be good. Some of the options include:

  • Added domain privacy and protection for $1 per month, which is billed annually
  • CodeGuard Basic which is billed at $3 per month
  • Bluehost SEO Tools Start for search engine optimization purposes at $2 per month, which is billed annually
  • A 30-day free trial of the Office 365 Mailbox service
  • SiteLock Security Essential which is $25 for a year

Now, you might be wondering what you need any of these tools. There are a few benefits to each of these. Some of the most important points to note include:

  • You want the domain privacy and protection to prevent your personal information (including your name, phone number, email address, and mailing address) from being listed on a public database, where everyone can access it (including spammers)
  • You might want to get the CodeGuard Basic feature, which offers services such as daily backups, automatic monitoring, and one-click data restoration services; however, you might already have this if you are using WordPress to build your website
  • SiteLock Security Essential provides blacklist monitoring, malware protection, and malware removal

Once you have completed this step, Bluehost will ask you for your payment details. There are several ways that you can pay for your Bluehost hosting plan. Bluehost accepts PayPal as well as most credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

After you have agreed to the terms of service, your account will be set up and you will be rewarded with a free domain name for a year. Finally, remember that Bluehost also has a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means that you can get a full refund for all of your hosting costs if something goes wrong and you decide to change your mind.

Alternative Ways to Get a Free Domain Name

Without a doubt, Bluehost is the best way for you to get a free domain name; however, it is far from the only way. If you want to take a look at some of the other options, these include:

  • Use a Free Subdomain: One of the options is to check out website builders, such as Wix, which offer free subdomain names; however, your website is going to have a subdomain format, which means that your URL is going to be tacked onto a longer URL, which you might not want
  • Domain Registrar Ad Programs: Some registrars will offer you a free domain name if you let them run their ads on your websites, which forces you to surrender control of your website and harms your SEO ranking
  • Free TLD Services: Top-level domain services will provide you with a free domain name; however, you will need to change your country code at the end, which will make your website harder for visitors to find in addition to making your website appear untrustworthy to visitors

These are a few of the alternatives when it comes to getting a free domain name. It is important to remember the advantages offered by Bluehost.

The Advantages of Bluehost

If you want to launch a new website for personal or business use, you need to make sure that you find and register a domain name. That is the first step in this process. Now, if you have never done this in the past, you might be a bit intimidated. When you figure out you might have to pay for the domain name, you might even be wondering if this is worth the initial investment.

The good news is that you can get a domain name for free. There are a handful of ways to accomplish this whether you are looking to start a website for your company, an online portfolio, or even a personal blog.

 

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