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Free Domain Registration Hosting - How Can I Get Free Domain Registration and Hosting?

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Starting a new website is exciting, but costs may have you concerned. You may have heard that you can get free domain registration and even free hosting. While free domains and free web space are a would-be site owner’s dream, the reality of the free hosting and registration realm is not so cut and dried. So how do you know which domain name registrar to use? Wondering if your free hosting is really going to be free? The following advice will save you a lot of time and headaches and help you make the right decisions for your Internet home.

First, let’s talk about registering your domain. Your domain name is your site’s identity on the Internet. It should be easy to remember, easy to spell and as short as is reasonable. But should it be free? The answer is yes and no. Domain name registration is not terribly expensive to begin with, usually $8 to $15 per year. Maybe you’re saying, “Well, that’s not so bad, but ‘free’ domain registration sounded a lot better!”. Let’s take a look at “free” domain registration:

Many legitimate, excellent service providers offer free domain registration (generally one domain per customer) when you use their paid hosting service. So, you may pay a monthly fee of between $6 to $20 or more per month for hosting, but the domain name registration for the year is included. Considering the low cost of domain registration, this may or may not be in your budget. Other websites offer free domains, so long as you participate in “free” offers or trial offers from their advertisers. “Free” domain registration will at least cost you time, if not money, when you participate in these required offers. Seems like truly free domain registration is hard to come by.

Since web hosting is the more expensive part of hosting your domain, a free web host provider would seem to be the way to go. There are companies that have free web hosting, however they too come with a myriad of strings attached. Some require expensive domain name registration (upwards of $25) to qualify for free hosting. Others have very low storage and bandwidth restrictions, meaning your website size and allowable traffic can be too low if your site grows and gains popularity. There are also often regulations about the content of your site and what services it can offer. Another issue that has always been a problem for free hosting (even sub-domain-only hosting!) is the fly-by-night quality of the provider and the possibility that they may not last through one year of your free domain hosting.

As with all things in life, it seems that you get what you pay for with free domain registration and hosting. So, what is your best course of action? Use consumer review websites like cNet.com to find unbiased information about which service providers offer the best package for the buck. Website novices will want to make sure the domain registration and hosting provider offers easy to use, low-cost or free web design tools. Advanced users will want to make sure they offer numerous MySQL databases, chosen programming languages, sufficient email addresses and enough add-on domains to accommodate their businesses. In all cases, customer support is critical. Remember, if your site goes down, you want to be sure you can talk to someone directly who will be able to assist you in getting your site back online. Make sure your domain registration and hosting provider offers sufficient bandwidth and storage to accommodate your site, both the current configuration and what you anticipate your growth will be over the year.

If start-up costs really are your primary concern, find a domain registration and hosting service you feel confident about and search for coupons or discounts online. Your first year can often be paid for at half the normal price. Be sure that you are okay paying for the full amount the next year if you are satisfied with the domain hosting from that company. Otherwise, bite the bullet, and realize a reasonably priced web domain hosting package will serve you and your clients far better than a free domain with free hosting that costs you time, quality and possibly more money that you would expect to pay for something free.

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