In the digital age, having an online platform to promote your business or product is crucial for your success. Websites establish credibility, increase customers, and increase exposure. The first step in this process is registering a domain name. There are a variety of ways this can be done, all at little or no cost. Your domain name is a crucial aspect of your website. The URL is the first thing your site visitors will see, and a good domain name makes a lasting impression. Additionally, having a strong domain name affects SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Having keywords in your domain name boosts SEO rankings. Most importantly, a strong domain helps define your brand and increase brand recognition.
There is no way to get around registering your domain, because that is how you reserve a site name. The typical length of a domain registration is one year, but you are able to renew it, as long as your site is legitimate. Most developers recommend using .COM to register your domain, as it is the most widely recognized, and most widely used. Over half of all registered domains use .COM, according to 101domain. It is smart to register your desired domain name as quickly as possible, because there are currently 140 million .COM names floating around the Internet, and that number grows by over 46,000 each day.
To register a domain name, you need to first select any of the top domain registrars offered by ICANN, or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This is important for the legitimacy of your website. The purpose of an ICANN registry is to keep your site secure and safe. ICANN is also where DNS systems are stored, so it is crucial to choose an accredited domain name host. Some of the most popular options include 101domain, GoDaddy, and Bluehost, but there are many more.
Where can I start?
There are several different options for registering a domain name for free, and there are also paid options. If you want to start a blog or make a website, the best options are the free versions, especially if you are just starting your business. Web hosting is an additional key feature for registering your site, as you need a place to store all of the files your domain generates. It is crucial to look for a service that offers both web hosting and domain registry, preferably in a package if possible. After you have chosen your domain name, you have to submit your domain name registration to a registrar. To do this, you must submit the desired domain name, contact information for the registrant, as well as administrative and billing contracts, the desired registration term, and payment information, if applicable.
Once you provide all of this information, the registration service will initiate the registration process for you. This includes sending in your domain name registration request to ICANN, as well as assigning the contact and technical information of the domain name to the registry. The registry will file the contact information for the Whois database, which is required, as it is the main directory for all registered domains. This ensures your site is being used only by you, and helps you avoid “cybersquatters” (while also ensuring that you are not a cybersquatter). Registering your domain ensures that your privacy is secure, and that you are not being unduly solicited, and that you continue to have control of your site. Additionally, registering your domain name can help you stay in budget, especially if you are looking to keep costs down.
Is it Possible to get a Domain Name for Free?
Bluehost is a good option for users who are looking for a free domain name, SSL certificate, and discount on web hosting. These are all included, and are helpful in boosting SEO rankings. However, while the domain is free, web hosting is not. You have to pay to purchase web hosting services, but they do offer discounts for users.
HostGator also offers a free domain when you purchase hosting, and the cost for hosting, email, and domain all together is $3. HostGator is known for their hosting services, and they have other paid options at very good prices.
Another viable option is Hostinger. They offer free domain registration when you purchase a web hosting plan. Additionally, they have 24 hour customer support, and you are able to create a subdomain for your site, so you can include email services, if you like.
It is important to note that these three domain registrars are accredited with ICANN, which is essential for website security and legitimacy. There is no one-size fits all solution to a free domain registry, but there are several options.
From these registrars, we see that there are a few key things to look for:
Accreditation with ICANN: This is probably the most important step; otherwise your site will not be properly registered or protected, nor will you be able to locate the DNS records.
Offers some sort of web hosting service: The three examples above offer free domain name registration with the additional purchase of web hosting, which is crucial for storing data for your website. If your domain name is your site’s address, then think of your web hosting service as its house. It is where all of the files your site generates will be stored. Often, sites like bluehost will offer free domain name registration because they are primarily focused on selling web hosting plans. Looking for domain name registries like this can be helpful for finding both web hosting and affordable options for registering your domain.
Any additional features:
From my research, I think that Bluehost is the best option for free domain registration, as it also offers SSL certificates for your site. Some extras to look for include DNS registration, SSL certificates, and customer support available around the clock.