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Free Web Domain Name - Is There Really Such a Thing as a Free Web Domain Name?

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You may have seen an offer for a free web domain name somewhere online. This may sound like a great deal. However, you may have also been trained to believe there is no such thing as a “free lunch.” Your instincts, unfortunately, may well indeed be correct for nearly every circumstance in which free web domain is offered.

To first understand how it is very unlikely that a company would be able to offer a free top level web domain name, you should first understand something about domain names overall. A domain name of course is something you type into the navigation bar of a web browser to tell that web browser to load a particular website. Every website on the internet has a domain name, and it is these domain names that allow users to remember their favorite websites or locate new ones they wish to find for a specific purpose.

Generally, domain names are handled by one of two different kinds of entities. The first are federal governments of different nations. Almost every nation in the world has its own domain name. For example, the domain name associated with Australia is .au, and .rs is the domain name associated with the Republic of Serbia.

Secondly, domain names can also be sold via companies known as domain name registrars. These are generally the kind of company a private citizen would go to if he or she wanted to purchase a domain name with a .com, .net, .org, etc. address. These domain names are almost always sold for a yearly fee. Each year, another fee must be paid or that website owner will lose his or her domain. If that occurs, the domain will again be made available to the general public. Alternatively, a person also has the option of signing up for multiple years with an upfront charge for each year that person will use the domain.

Domain registrars, however, have to coordinate with an organization that regulates domain names over all. Currently, this organization is known as ICANN. This acronym stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This organization took over duties related to domain names in 1998 from the organization, IANA. Not only does this organization manage domain names, but it also handles the assignment of unique IP numbers for different internet service providers.

While you may have seen advertising for free domain names, the offering of free domain names is only possible within two different circumstances. The first is the bundling of services.

While a domain name may seem like something that is completely abstract and can just be created using one’s imagination, the selling of domain names does entail overhead expenses. The first of these most obviously is a fee that a domain registrar must pay to ICANN. These fees can vary, but they must be paid under any circumstance in which a domain registrar makes a sale for a top level domain name. Domain names can not simply be created out of thin air. They must be created through ICANN.

As you can probably guess, the domain names with the highest ICANN fees are .com domain names. A fee for one .com domain name is usually for a little more than seven dollars. This is why a .com domain name will never be sold alone for less than seven dollars. Other domains such as .info domains require ICANN fees for much less. This is why they can be offered at a much lower price.

Due to the fact that fees must be paid to ICANN, it would not be in the economic interest of any company to offer them for free. However, domain names are often bundled with other services. Due to the relatively low cost of domain name registration, it would for example be economically feasible for a company to offer a free domain name along with a $100 one year hosting package.

Secondly, sub-domains, unlike regular top level domains, can be created by a domain owner without paying a fee to ICANN. This is why certain websites can offer domains such as yoursite.domainowner.com for free. Domains like these can simply be created by the domain owner with little effort and do not have to be registered.

However, regular top level domain names will always require registration with a company who has to pay a fee to ICANN. So it is extremely doubtful that any company will ever offer a .com, .net, or .org domain for free unless it is bundled with another service that does entail a decent sized price tag.

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