How to Get a Free Domain Name and Web Hosting (Feb. 2024)

How To Get A Free Domain Name And Web Hosting

Learning how to get a free domain name and web hosting seems like a remarkable bargain. After all, your custom domain name marks the beginning of a visitor’s journey to your site in the first place.

Unlike choosing a child’s or pet’s name, picking a domain often comes at a price (registration fees and annual renewals). Fortunately, many web hosting providers offer deals on domain names, including the first year’s domain name registration for free.

Let’s talk about some of the most popular ways to get a web hosting package on a budget, starting with a free domain registration.

Best Free Domain Hosting

Choosing a domain name is akin to choosing your child’s or pet’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 domain names and domain extensions — or nicknames and middle initials — you’ll need to decide where to register and host your new online identity.

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

In reality, the web 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 companies that play both the web host and domain name registrar; GoDaddy is a popular example. In either case, getting a complimentary domain name at signup is a great cost-saving pull factor for prospective customers, even if it’s just for the first year of the contract.

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

1. IONOS.com

1&1 IONOS review

Monthly Starting Price $1.00

  • Register domains for $1 (or FREE with hosting)
  • FREE domain privacy to protect your information
  • Easy setup with domain lock and 2GB email inbox
  • 99.9% uptime, plus daily backups and recovery
  • FREE SSL certificate for safer data transfers
  • Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.
DOMAIN
RATING
★★★★★ 4.9 Our Review»
1&1 IONOS: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): While many popular hosts reserve free domain registrations for its higher-tie plans, 1&1 IONOS gives every customer the perk — along with free domain privacy, email inbox, and SSL certificate. Trust your site with a company that hosts more than 12 million domains on its platform. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB – Unlimited FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

2. Hostinger.com

Hostinger review

Monthly Starting Price $2.69

  • Lowest domain prices in the industry
  • FREE registration on most plans
  • Host up to 100 domains on most plans
  • Domain privacy protection safeguards your info
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee and automatic backups
  • Get started on Hostinger now.
DOMAIN
RATING
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Hostinger: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Don’t be turned off by Hostinger’s remarkably low prices. The company’s insanely low pricing model extends to domain name services, as well as its premium support and impressive list of features. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD – 200 GB NVMe FREE (1 year) 3 minutes

3. HostGator.com

HostGator review

Monthly Starting Price $2.64

  • FREE domain included on all shared, cloud, and WordPress hosting plans
  • Manage hosting and domains from one dashboard
  • FREE domain locking and auto-renewals
  • Easy transfers with helpful 24/7 support
  • Unmetered bandwidth, storage, and databases
  • Get started on HostGator now.
DOMAIN
RATING
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
HostGator: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Always getting high marks across the board, HostGator is an easy choice for a trustworthy domain registrar. HostGator makes the registration process easy while still helping you expand your online presence with more technical solutions. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

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 hosting 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 plan below.

4. IONOS.com

1&1 IONOS review

Monthly Starting Price $1.00

  • Register domains for $1 (or FREE with hosting)
  • FREE domain privacy to protect your information
  • Easy setup with domain lock and 2GB email inbox
  • 99.9% uptime, plus daily backups and recovery
  • FREE SSL certificate for safer data transfers
  • Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.
DOMAIN
RATING
★★★★★ 4.9 Our Review»
1&1 IONOS: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): While many popular hosts reserve free domain registrations for its higher-tie plans, 1&1 IONOS gives every customer the perk — along with free domain privacy, email inbox, and SSL certificate. Trust your site with a company that hosts more than 12 million domains on its platform. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB – Unlimited FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

Free Domain Name with Shared Hosting

In the shared hosting space, a free domain is pretty standard. In fact, if you’re kicking the tires of a shared hosting service that limits you to a paid domain name, keep searching. Too many quality hosts will welcome you with a complimentary domain name, unlimited storage for website files, as many email accounts as you need, and other free web perks.

When shopping for a shared host, look for an easy-to-navigate interface; on a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult will it be for me to get started with hosting company XYZ? The ease of use should be counter-balanced with the quality of the customer support staff. SiteGround, for example, continues to impress our team with an awesome hosting management panel and a ridiculously attentive and amazing support team. Finally, price is, of course, a major consideration. But remember: You’re saving at least $15 per year by going with a host offering free domain registration with signup.

Check out our current favorite for a shared hosting plan with a free domain bonus:

5. Hostinger.com

Hostinger review

Monthly Starting Price $2.69

  • Lowest domain prices in the industry
  • FREE registration on most plans
  • Host up to 100 domains on most plans
  • Domain privacy protection safeguards your info
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee and automatic backups
  • Get started on Hostinger now.
DOMAIN
RATING
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Hostinger: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Don’t be turned off by Hostinger’s remarkably low prices. The company’s insanely low pricing model extends to domain name services, as well as its premium support and impressive list of features. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD – 200 GB NVMe FREE (1 year) 3 minutes

Get a Free Domain Name with VPS Hosting

In the virtual server hosting landscape, free ammenities are fewer and far between. The average VPS customer is more technically savvy and less interested in the marketing gimmicks, put simply. Still, a handful of popular hosting providers extend their free domain add-on to advanced hosting packages.

InMotion, for example, is a long-standing force to be reckoned with when it comes to virtual and dedicated servers. The company continues to offer a free domain registration for the first year of service, and you can read our full review of its VPS hosting plan offerings below.

6. InMotionHosting.com

InMotion Review

Monthly Starting Price $14.99

  • HostingAdvice readers get 67% off the first term
  • FREE site migrations and 2 hours of Launch Assist
  • 2 – 3 dedicated IP address options
  • FREE cPanel/WHM licenses included
  • Highly available servers with real-time redundancy
  • Get started on InMotion now.
VPS
RATING
★★★★★ 4.6 Our Review»
InMotion: Our Expert’s Review

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion Hosting competes to win when it comes to managed VPS hosting packages. The host initiates its VPS customer relationship with free website migrations and up to two hours of launch assistance from an experienced sysadmin. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
6 minutes 90 GB SSD – 360 GB SSD 4 – 16 cores 4 GB – 16 GB

Get a Free Domain Name with Dedicated Server Hosting

The goliath of web hosting, dedicated servers typically don’t come with a free domain name. As with VPS customers, dedicated hosting shoppers focus on the performance potential, security measures, IP address allowance, and more technical specs. Many users may have parked their domain elsewhere without wanting to move it. So, the “free web domain” marketing strategy is often reserved for smaller hosting packages such as shared and WordPress hosting services.

However, a few well-known industry names, including Bluehost and iPage, continue to offer a one-year domain name registration free of charge with the purchase of a dedicated server:

7. Bluehost.com

Bluehost Review

Monthly Starting Price $91.98

  • Instant provisioning for all Bluehost server plans
  • Minimum 3 dedicated IP addresses
  • Modern hardware, built and maintained in house
  • 24/7 expedited support from a dedicated team
  • Sign up to save 49% on your first term
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
DEDICATED
RATING
★★★★★ 4.5 Our Review»
Bluehost: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Built on modern technology, with a minimum of four CPU cores per dedicated server, Bluehost offers reliable and flexible dedicated hosting options at an extremely reasonable price. We continually praise the company’s shared hosting options for having fantastic hardware and a great management console, and the brand’s dedicated server offerings are no different. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
8 minutes 500 GB – 1 TB (RAID-1) 4 cores, 4 – 8 threads 4 GB – 16 GB

Get a Free Domain with Website Builder

If you’re searching for domain hosting, you’re likely in one of two camps: You’re already a website owner, and you just want to move your website 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 hosting providers 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 website 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 plans:

8. HostGator.com

HostGator Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.64

  • Drag-and-drop design with the Gator™ site builder
  • Hundreds of mobile-friendly templates
  • FREE hosting, domain name, and SSL certificate
  • Easily add a blog, store, and social media
  • Analytics portal helps gauge site performance
  • Get started on HostGator now.
WEBSITE BUILDER
RATING
★★★★★ 4.6 Our Review»
HostGator: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Setting itself apart from the scores of competitors that rely on white-labeled website builder solutions, HostGator spent the time to painstakingly craft its own platform. Gator provides a frustration-free experience that pairs the simplicity of drag-and-drop design with the company’s powerful and respected web hosting services. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

9. SiteGround.com

SiteGround Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • FREE Weebly site builder or WordPress setup
  • Worry-free, automated webiste migrations
  • User-friendly cPanel interface and staging area
  • Custom ticket and chat systems for 24/7 support
  • SuperCacher with static and dynamic caching
  • Get started on SiteGround now.
WEBSITE BUILDER
RATING
★★★★ 4.4 Our Review»
SiteGround: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Do you know you need to build a website but don’t know where to begin. Well, SiteGround will give you not one, but two extremely popular and user-friendly options to create the online presence of your dream. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD New or Transfer 5 minutes

Get a Free Domain with WordPress Hosting

I’d say at least half of the people searching for a free domain and web hosting are interested in launching a WordPress website. This estimate is based on the growing market share WordPress enjoys. The content management system (CMS) maintains its popularity with a minimal setup time, many templates, and an army of community evangelists ready to tackle customer support questions.

You’ll notice many favored domain hosts also specialize in WordPress services. Bluehost, for example, holds the prestigious recommendation of the WordPress.org team and has proudly held the recognition since 2005. Most all WordPress hosts worth considering will offer a free domain registration for at least one year. Some hosting plans include domain privacy and other add-on services.

Here are our current rankings for the best domain hosting for WordPress websites:

10. Bluehost.com

Bluehost Review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • Recommended by WordPress.org since 2005
  • Automatic WordPress updates and initial install
  • FREE WordPress themes in the Bluehost Marketplace
  • 24/7 support via live chat, phone, and email
  • Get exclusive discounts on WordPress plans
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
WORDPRESS
RATING
★★★★★ 4.9 Our Review»
Bluehost: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are aimed at first-time site owners and personal bloggers. These services come at a premium compared to the standard Bluehost web hosting (basic shared hosting) plans, but the WordPress optimization and platform-specific resources are arguably worth the cost. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 100 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 7 minutes

11. Hostinger.com

Hostinger Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.69

  • 1-click WP install, PHP 7+, HTTP/2, and LiteSpeed
  • All-in-one security protections from BitNinja
  • WordPress optimizations boost performance
  • No price markup for WordPress services
  • Daily backups, FREE SSL certificates, and AI Tools
  • Get started on Hostinger now.
WORDPRESS
RATING
★★★★★ 4.9 Our Review»
Hostinger: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): As much as we love WordPress, one of our biggest pet peeves is when hosting providers exploit the popularity of the world’s most-used content management system by offering so-called WordPress hosting that, in reality, is exactly the same as the host’s shared server plans. Fortunately, Hostinger’s ultra-fast infrastructure and easy access to SSL certificates and backups sets up the company to outperform the vast majority of the violators of our admittedly made-up rule. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD – 200 GB NVMe FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

12. DreamHost.com

DreamHost Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.59

  • WordPress hosting for up to unlimited sites
  • FREE WordPress website migration
  • Fully managed hosting with DreamPress plan
  • NEW WordPress website builder tool
  • 1 of 3 providers endorsed by WordPress.org
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
WORDPRESS
RATING
★★★★★ 4.9 Our Review»
DreamHost: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): One of only three hosting providers recommended by the WordPress Core team, DreamHost has actively contributed to the WordPress community for more than a decade. The company’s platform is optimized for the incredibly popular content management system, and plans include easy setup, automated updates and backups, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 specialized support. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
97 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

Best Domain Registrar and Hosting Company Combo

We’d be remiss not to highlight GoDaddy — the world’s largest domain name provider to date. Founded in the late ’90s, the domain registration and web hosting company achieved name recognition early, albeit with a controversial approach to marketing in the early days.

The company prides itself on offering affordable hosting as a commodity. GoDaddy’s bread-and-butter offerings include domain privacy, aftermarket domain name transactions, and primary domain registration. Read our expert’s take on GoDaddy as a hosting provider, including its dedicated servers, shared hosting, and domain hosting plans, for more information.

13. GoDaddy.com

GoDaddy review

Monthly Starting Price $8.99

  • World’s largest domain registrar with 17+ million domains under management
  • FREE domain included with annual plans
  • Manage your domains via cPanel or Plesk
  • FREE email hosting at your domain
  • 99.9% website uptime guaranteed
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
DOMAIN
RATING
★★★★★ 4.5 Our Review»
GoDaddy: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): We’d be remiss not to include GoDaddy on this list of the top domain name hosting providers. Perhaps the most well-known name in the domain space, GoDaddy is widely recognized as the world’s top registration services company, and the low-cost hosting is tough to beat. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 25 GB – 100 GB FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

What Are the Pros and Cons of Free Web Hosting?

Free web hosting offers a way to create a website without incurring any costs. However, consider the pros and cons before choosing a free web hosting provider.

Pros:

  • Cost: Free web hosting has no monthly or yearly fees.
  • Ease of use: Many free web hosting providers offer user-friendly control panels and website builders.
  • No technical expertise required: Free web hosting providers often offer guides and tutorials.

Cons:

  • Limited resources: Free web hosting typically has limited storage space and bandwidth.
  • Limited customization options: Free web hosting providers may have strict limitations on content and features.
  • Ads and upsells: Free web hosting providers may display ads and try to upsell paid features.
  • Lack of reliability and security: Free web hosting providers may not have the resources for strong uptime and security.

The decision to use free web hosting will depend on your specific needs and goals. A paid web hosting provider may be a better option if you need advanced features and strong security. It’s important to research and compare your options before making a decision.

How Do I Get a 100% Free Domain?

The most common way to score a free domain name is through signup perks with the popular hosts listed above. Still, if you have your sights set on a truly free domain, you have a few options:

  1. Use a subdomain: Many web hosting providers offer a free subdomain as part of their free web hosting plans. For example, if your chosen domain name is “mywebsite,” you could use a subdomain such as “mywebsite.hostingprovider.com” for free.
  2. Use a domain name generator: Some websites, such as Namecheap, offer free domain name generators to help you find available domain names similar to your desired name. You can then register the domain name for free, although you may need to purchase web hosting to use it.
  3. Use a top-level domain (TLD) that is free to register: Some top-level domains (TLDs), such as “.tk” and “.ml,” are free to register. Remember that these TLDs may not be as reputable or recognizable as more commonly used TLDs, including “.com” or “.org.”

It’s important to note that while you can register a domain name for free, additional costs may be associated with using it, such as web hosting or privacy protection fees. It’s also important to carefully research and compare your options before choosing a free domain name to ensure it meets your needs and goals.

Get Free Web Hosting AND Free Domain Name Hosting Today

So, is your new virtual baby an Amber or a Jonathan? Are you thinking of something edgy with a .NINJA domain extension or sticking with the classic .COM moniker (also known as a top-level domain, or TLD for short)? 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 web hosting service. If you’re dabbling in domain ownership or want to try your hand at web design, you may be fine with a free hosting plan. Popular site builders, such as Wix, will even throw in a free website domain that’s yours for life! However, it will be a subdomain of Wix.com. Get started with one of the top free web hosting companies in less time than it takes to make a baby.

Advertiser Disclosure

HostingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). HostingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.