Absolutely free domain names can be found online, but first you must sift through the various offers which look like they're free but actually cost money. A good rule of thumb is this: If you have to give your credit card number to obtain a domain name, chances are it isn't free.
Domain Names Explained
The domain name on a website is the portion of the address that is unique to that website. For example, in www.LoveToKnow.com, the domain name is "LoveToKnow.com."
Domain names can look very similar to other domain names on the web. Unless you obtain the rights to the .com, .org, and other versions, then your domain name may have a similar counterpart somewhere online. For example, while www.WhiteHouse.gov is the official website of the White House, www.WhiteHouse.com is a political news website that is not affiliated with the White House in an official capacity.
If you want to obtain the rights to a popular domain name, and to own it for the .com, .org, and other forms, then you are probably going to have to spend some money. Absolutely free domain names are usually ones that have not yet been claimed.
Absolutely Free Domain Names Additions
It's possible to obtain a domain name without paying any money whatsoever. It usually involves a registration process. The registration process, however, will undoubtedly include several prompts to upgrade for a price. Without an upgrade, your website will probably:
- Contain advertisements and banners which you have no control over
- Will have limited features
- May allow you only limited access
Obtaining a domain name does not usually include the domain hosting. In other words, you may be able to get your hands on the domain name you want without paying for it, but the website will not go live until you actually pay for the domain hosting.
Find Free Domain Names Online
There are plenty of websites online that offer free domain names, although some of them offer more expansive features than others. Here is a brief listing of some of the more popular sites offering absolutely free domain names. Keep in mind that this is merely a brief listing, and if you take the time to search you'll find many other options:
- Dot.tk offers free domain names with the ending ".tk" instead of .com or some other familiar ending.
- Register.com allows small businesses to register a domain name for free for one year.
- Network Solutions provides free domain names to customers who purchase web hosting packages.
- MySpace offers free websites with personalized domain names including the MySpace prefix. For example, www.myspace.com/yourname. This is a good option for someone who wants a website with a semi-personalized domain name without paying any money whatsoever.
There is a nearly endless supply of websites online offering domain names for free. Since these free domain names are often connected to hosting or some other service, you must take care when signing up. You don't want to sign up for a free domain name and then find that unless you sign up for another package then you won't have access to your website whatsoever.
Paying for a Domain Name
With so many free services offering domain names free of charge, it seems unnecessary to pay for the domain name of your choice. You should not be apprehensive about spending some money for quality website hosting, however, because by paying for the hosting you may be able to avoid huge advertisements as well as have access to desirable templates and add-ons to accentuate your site.
Web-savvy customers may not need to look for a host that offers templates and other features because knowledge of HTML allows people to create their own websites. Using one of the many services offered online, however, can allow even the least technologically inclined people to claim a domain name and create a suitable website.