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

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:

DOMAIN RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • FREE domain registration and transfer
  • Unlimited disk space, domains, and MySQL databases
  • $100 towards Google AdWords and $100 in SEM credits
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $1.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Domain Hosting Plans www.ipage.com/domain

Our Expert's iPage Review

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… read more + 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… collapse info -
DOMAIN RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • 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!
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Domain Hosting Plans www.bluehost.com/domain

Our Expert's Bluehost Review

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… read more + 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… collapse info -
DOMAIN RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • FREE domain name and seamless site transfer
  • Includes 1-click installer with over 310 apps
  • FREE SSDs for shared business hosting plans
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Domain Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/domain

Our Expert's InMotion Review

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… read more + 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… collapse info -

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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:

DOMAIN RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • 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
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $3.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name FREE for life!
Domain Hosting Plans www.hostpapa.com/domain

Our Expert's HostPapa Review

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… read more + 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… collapse info -

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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:

DOMAIN RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • FREE domain registration and transfer
  • Unlimited disk space, domains, and MySQL databases
  • $100 towards Google AdWords and $100 in SEM credits
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $1.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Domain Hosting Plans www.ipage.com/domain

Our Expert's iPage Review

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… read more + 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… collapse info -

DOMAIN RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • FREE domain name and seamless site transfer
  • Includes 1-click installer with over 310 apps
  • FREE SSDs for shared business hosting plans
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Domain Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/domain

Our Expert's InMotion Review

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… read more + 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… collapse info -

DOMAIN RATING
★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
  • Host unlimited domains on one account
  • FREE site builder and complimentary domain registration
  • cPanel license included with easy app installations
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $3.95
Money Back Guarantee Anytime
Disk Space 100 GB
Domain Name FREE for life!
Domain Hosting Plans www.justhost.com/domain

Our Expert's JustHost Review

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,... read more + 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, 100 email accounts, free domain name registration, and a simple site builder. The more expensive plans get unlimited email addresses and storage.JustHost also has a simple-to-use website builder. It’s not as robust as some of the other offerings, but it has a lot of templates (400+) and support for eCommerce carts.Finally, JustHost offers an anytime money-back guarantee with all of their hosting plans, which should put some minds at ease about selecting a long-term contract and getting the best deal. collapse info -

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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:

WEBSITE BUILDER RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Choice of Weebly or WebsiteBuilder by iPage
  • #1 Pick for WYSIWYG site building with FREE domain
  • 100s of professionally designed, customizable themes
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $1.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Website Builder Hosting Plans www.ipage.com/site-builder

Our Expert's iPage Review

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... read more +

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 free domain name, you can have a live, attractive website in mere minutes.

For those that have been around the Web for a while, you may remember when it took a day to get your server online; thankfully those days are gone. Your site is live the second you complete your order with iPage. A domain name is also included, so the ordeal of purchasing a domain name, setting name servers, and waiting for them to propagate is also extinct. Once that's completed, you are taken to the incredibly user-friendly interface, where you can begin your site creation process.

Powered by their own proprietary builder, iPage's WebsiteBuilder makes it easy to have a professional-looking site created in minutes. It all starts with your choice of template — with hundreds of options available. From there, you can customize color schemes, fonts, and sizes, and add your own pictures and videos. Adding forms for comments, RSVPs, or business contacts is just as simple. Before you know it, you have an attractive, functional website.

From the ease of use to the speed at which you are able to get a site live, iPage leaves us with little doubt as to why we've ranked them #1 on our list of web hosts with site builder functionality. An already incredible value, their 30-day money-back guarantee means that you can feel at ease knowing that iPage stands behind its product, and they're confident that you will be happy with their service.

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WEBSITE BUILDER RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Integration with Fotolia and Flickr image databases
  • Pre-built and customizable content with GridBlocks
  • Responsive themes with tablet and mobile editing views
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $3.49
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Website Builder Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/boldgrid

Our Expert's BoldGrid Review

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... read more +

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 installation, it is a little more challenging for wide-eyed beginners to get started than it is for other website builders. However, by signing up with a reputable host — we recommend BoldGrid partner InMotion Hosting — you'll be equipped with a helpful support staff to lead you through the setup process.

BoldGrid themes are beautiful, modern, responsive, and come with usable content out of the box. Choose from pre-made page layouts or create your own using GridBlocks, which create clean, modular designs without any coding. Simply drag and drop each element to adjust its position and size. Unlike most other site builders, BoldGrid generates pristine code that is friendly to SEO and developers who want more control.

The two features most appealing to us, however, are the staging environment and editing capabilities for mobile and tablet views. The lack of a staging area has long been one of the few complaints about WordPress, and BoldGrid has solved that issue with aplomb. Use it to test new looks, plugins, or updates before you deploy them to the active site.

Although many other site builder themes boast mobile-optimized responsiveness, BoldGrid is one of the few platforms that give you control over exactly how your site will look in tablet or mobile modes.

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WEBSITE BUILDER RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • Weebly or goMobi site builder
  • FREE domain name
  • Integrated CloudFlare CDN standard across all plans
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Website Builder Hosting Plans www.bluehost.com/site-builder

Our Expert's Bluehost Review

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... read more +

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 building has its headaches for newbies, but the Bluehost team is ready and willing to assist you every step of the way.

To help prime your site launch for success, Bluehost offers a plethora of unlimited freebies, including a free domain, unlimited domain hosting, unlimited email hosting, and unlimited storage, bandwidth, and databases. This, coupled with their several options for site building services, is everything a new website owner needs to get started — and the cost is hard to beat.

If WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) isn’t for you, perhaps a CMS option sounds appealing. Choose from the most popular content management and blogging software, including Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress, and download and install with a single click. Some Bluehost plans have even been customized to cater to WordPress — and their WordPress services have been endorsed by the WordPress team.

For quick, cheap, and easy site building — backed by one of the web’s most reliable web hosts — you can’t go wrong in choosing Bluehost.

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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.

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandra Leslie

Alexandra Leslie serves as Tech Vertical Manager of Digital Brands Inc, spearheading the charge to deliver technical expertise and thought leadership to our rapidly growing audience of developers, engineers, and website owners here at HostingAdvice. You'll find her engaging with leaders in web hosting and tangentially related industries, enjoying honest discussions of their cutting-edge technologies. She loves getting her hands dirty with comprehensive reviews of popular hosting platforms and services, and she's a die-hard WordPress fan. Alexandra leads the HostingAdvice team with a passion for translating technical jargon into digestible action items anyone can use to build, monetize, and scale a web presence.