How To Get a Free Domain Name and Web Hosting (10 Best Hosts)

How to Get a Free Domain and Hosting Guide Graphic

Choosing a domain name is akin to choosing your child’s name. Whether it’s your first or your fifth, you want the name you select to be unique, meaningful, and representative of the personality of your new brand (or baby). As you’re mulling over domains and extensions — or nicknames and middle initials — you’ll need to decide where to register and host your new online identity.

Unlike choosing your kid’s name, picking a domain comes at a price (registration fees and annual renewals). Fortunately, many web hosting providers offer deals on domain services. Let’s talk about some of the most popular ways to get a domain and web hosting set up on a budget.

Best “Free Domain” Hosting Overall

One of our favorite value-adds to discover in a hosting package, especially within the cost-conscious shared hosting market, is a complimentary domain name registration. Many hosts will act as your domain registrar, allowing you to search for available domains directly from the host’s signup page and select the one that matches your brand and website goals.

In reality, the host is likely partnering with a third-party registrar and is merely acting as the go-between, but this is unbeknownst to the customer. Then there are hosts like GoDaddy — the world’s #1 domain name registrar — that is actually the best of both worlds. In either case, getting a complimentary domain name at signup, even if it’s just for the first year of the contract, is a great cost-saving pull factor for prospective customers.

When we evaluate the best domain hosts, we look for this perk, along with features such as free website builders, easy-to-use control panels, and unlimited resources for email, disk space, and data transfer. Based on our findings, the hosts with the best domain hosting deals, including a complimentary registration for the first year of service, are below:

1.
iPage.com

iPage review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • FREE domain registration and transfer
  • Unlimited disk space, domains, and MySQL databases
  • $100 towards Google AdWords and $100 in SEM credits
  • Unlimited bandwidth and email addresses
  • FREE online store and website builder
  • Get started on iPage now.

DOMAIN
RATING

4.9
★★★★★

iPage: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): With iPage domain hosting, users get a free domain name registration or a free domain transfer, and can host unlimited domains. They offer unlimited bandwidth and emails, plus $200 in advertising credits to help get your website launched…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.ipage.com/domain

2.
Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • FREE domain name registration and site-building tools
  • Get up to unlimited domains, emails, and bandwidth
  • Over $150 in offers with Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
  • 1-click WordPress install and WordPress’s endorsement
  • 24/7 customer support and online tutorials
  • Get started on Bluehost now.

DOMAIN
RATING

4.9
★★★★★

Bluehost: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Bluehost offers all the freebies you need to get started with domain hosting. They include a free domain and transfer, plus unlimited bandwidth and storage. With 24/7 support and $150 in PPC credits, Bluehost offers excellent, reliable domain hosting…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.bluehost.com/domain

3.
InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • FREE domain name and seamless site transfer
  • Includes 1-click installer with over 310 apps
  • FREE SSDs for shared business hosting plans
  • Easy installs for WordPress, Joomla, and PrestaShop
  • FREE data backups and complimentary SSL certificate
  • Get started on InMotion Hosting now.

DOMAIN
RATING

4.8
★★★★★

InMotion: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Looking for leading-edge technology and fully reliable support? InMotion may be the host for you. Their domain hosting includes a free domain name registration, zero-downtime website transfers, and your choice of datacenter, with free SSDs…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
90 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/domain

See more domain hosts »

Best Value: Free “Lifetime Domain” Registration & Hosting

Obviously, everyone loves free — the more free, the better. Huh? Yep, the only thing better than a free domain name is a free lifetime registration! Few hosts offer this luxury these days, but those that do see the advantage of offering long-term value to their customers.

The average .COM domain name costs $10 to $15 per year. Multiply that over the course of your site’s lifespan, and you’re saving a sparkly chunk of change. Skip the initial registration fees and annual renewals by signing up with one of the best bang-for-your-buck hosts:

4.
HostPapa.com

HostPapa review

Monthly Starting Price $3.95

  • Up to 100 email accounts hosted at your FREE domain
  • 99.9% uptime means your site is almost always online
  • Helpful support available any time of day
  • FREE server firewall, monitoring, and intrusion detection
  • Unlimited domains, storage, and site traffic
  • Get started on HostPapa now.

DOMAIN
RATING

4.8
★★★★★

HostPapa: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
Laura Stamey (HostingAdvice.com): One of the last remaining privately owned hosting companies, HostPapa is a trusted source for shared, virtual, and dedicated hosting services, including domain name hosting for your new site…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
30 days 100 GB - Unlimited FREE for life! www.hostpapa.com/domain

See more domain hosts »

Best “Unlimited Domain” Hosting

For our fellow domain collectors, you may be looking to host more than one site on a single account. Or maybe you just need to host multiple domains for various clients. You’ll need to find a provider that supports multiple domain hosting, and we’d like to call your attention to the following hosts, which allow you to park unlimited domains on their servers.

Not only will these hosts accommodate more than one or two domains, many promise unmetered storage space, databases, email addresses, and data transfer, so you can grow your business without bounds. Eventually, there may come a time when you’ll need to upgrade to a more resource-capable server, such as a VPS or dedicated hosting plan, but there’s a guide for that, too. Without further ado, the best unlimited domain hosting service providers:

5.
iPage.com

iPage review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • FREE domain registration and transfer
  • Unlimited disk space, domains, and MySQL databases
  • $100 towards Google AdWords and $100 in SEM credits
  • Unlimited bandwidth and email addresses
  • FREE online store and website builder
  • Get started on iPage now.

DOMAIN
RATING

4.9
★★★★★

iPage: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): With iPage domain hosting, users get a free domain name registration or a free domain transfer, and can host unlimited domains. They offer unlimited bandwidth and emails, plus $200 in advertising credits to help get your website launched…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.ipage.com/domain

6.
InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • FREE domain name and seamless site transfer
  • Includes 1-click installer with over 310 apps
  • FREE SSDs for shared business hosting plans
  • Easy installs for WordPress, Joomla, and PrestaShop
  • FREE data backups and complimentary SSL certificate
  • Get started on InMotion Hosting now.

DOMAIN
RATING

4.8
★★★★★

InMotion: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Looking for leading-edge technology and fully reliable support? InMotion may be the host for you. Their domain hosting includes a free domain name registration, zero-downtime website transfers, and your choice of datacenter, with free SSDs…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
90 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/domain

7.
JustHost.com

JustHost review

Monthly Starting Price $3.95

  • Host unlimited domains on one account
  • FREE site builder and complimentary domain registration
  • cPanel license included with easy app installations
  • Get $200 in FREE paid ad credits to kickstart marketing
  • 24/7 support available
  • Get started on JustHost now.

DOMAIN
RATING

4.6
★★★★★

JustHost: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): A lot of freebies come along with JustHost, making it a great value. The starter plan is very affordable; however the best deals are saved for those that sign up for multiple years.Some of the nice features included on the base account are unlimited bandwidth,... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
Anytime 100 GB FREE for life! www.justhost.com/domain

See more domain hosts »

Best “Website Builder & Domain” Hosting

If you’re searching for domain hosting, you’re likely in one of two camps: You have a website and you just want to move its domain to a more reliable or cost-effective home, or you are starting from nothing and know the first step to building a website is choosing its domain. If you’re in the latter bucket, this section’s for you.

We frequently judge the top hosts on their offerings for novice website owners — free site-building tools that let you design without coding, intuitive control panels wherein you can easily install WordPress or manage email accounts, attentive and on-call support staff, et cetera. First-time site owners want a host that will do a little hand-holding to ease them into website ownership, and a user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder can take you the rest of the way. The hosts below pack a one-two punch with their website builder and domain hosting packages:

8.
iPage.com

iPage review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • Choice of Weebly or WebsiteBuilder by iPage
  • #1 Pick for WYSIWYG site building with FREE domain
  • 100s of professionally designed, customizable themes
  • Start your personal blog or business site in minutes
  • Get +75% off your first month
  • Get started on iPage now.

WEBSITE BUILDER
RATING

4.9
★★★★★

iPage: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Do you want your website built today? If you answered "yes," you should look no further than iPage. In fact, it's possible for you to be online before you even finish reading this article. Thanks to iPage's user-friendly interface, instant provisioning, and... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Website Builder Hosting Plans
30 days 100 GB - Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.ipage.com/site-builder

9.
BoldGrid.com

BoldGrid review

Monthly Starting Price $3.49

  • Integration with Fotolia and Flickr image databases
  • Pre-built and customizable content with GridBlocks
  • Responsive themes with tablet and mobile editing views
  • Generates clean, efficient, and compliant HTML
  • SEO, gallery, and forms plugins
  • Get started on BoldGrid now.

WEBSITE BUILDER
RATING

4.9
★★★★★

BoldGrid: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
Laura Stamey (HostingAdvice.com): After taking the BoldGrid suite of plugins for a test drive, we experienced how they make WordPress more accessible for beginners and much more efficient for professional developers.Because BoldGrid requires a separate hosting account and WordPress... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Website Builder Hosting Plans
90 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/boldgrid

10.
Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • Weebly or goMobi site builder
  • FREE domain name
  • Integrated CloudFlare CDN standard across all plans
  • Gain exposure with $200 in FREE advertising credits
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Get started on Bluehost now.

WEBSITE BUILDER
RATING

4.8
★★★★★

Bluehost: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): With Bluehost, new site owners have the drag-and-drop simplicity of Weebly (website builder) and goMobi (mobile site builder) at their fingertips. This makes launching a new online brand, store, or personal site from scratch relatively painless. Sure, site... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Website Builder Hosting Plans
30 days 100 GB - Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.bluehost.com/site-builder

See more website builder hosts »

Get Free Web Hosting AND Free Domain Name Hosting Today

So, is your new virtual baby an Amber or a Jonathan? Are you thinking something edgy with a .NINJA extension or sticking with the classic .COM moniker? Whichever name you choose, it’s the first step in what’s sure to be a wild ride, hopefully with 18-plus years of revenue rather than diapers and college loans.

Celebratory Domain and Baby Name Balloon Graphic

Congrats — it’s a website!! While your kids get nicknames, domain names get extensions such as .COM, .GOV, or .NINJA.

As a final tidbit, it’s worth noting that not all web projects warrant a full-scale hosting service. If you’re just dabbling in domain ownership or just want to try your hand at web design, you may be fine with a free hosting service. Popular site builders like Wix will even throw in a free-for-life domain name, though it will be a subdomain of Wix.com. Get started with one of the top free hosts in less time than it takes to make a baby.

Alexandra Leslie

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