Finding a free domain and web hosting service is no easy feat. The internet is swarming with scam sites trying to hook you in with promises of free domain registration and hosting which, once you try to sign up, it's clear they aren't free at all.
Fortunately, there are alternative services that get you extremely close to a free domain name and hosting for life. There are web providers who offer you a totally free hosting with a subdomain (e.g. yourname.webhost.com). Additionally, there are also extremely cheap paid hosts that include a free domain with your chosen plan.
So, if you're looking for how to get a domain for free, here are the 5 best services that I can recommend:
- 000webhost (High quality, reputable free hosting)
- DreamHost (Free domain name and hosting)
- Flaunt7 (Free domain support, lifetime hosting)
- iPage (Web hosting with free domain)
- Wix (Free hosting for beautiful sites)
Recommended for: Reliable and free web hosting with free subdomainIf you've spent time researching web hosting already, you may find 000WebHost ($0.00 Web Host) looks a little familiar. That's because it's actually a free offshoot of popular and well-known hosting service, Hostinger.
000WebHost is a great choice for a free domain name and web hosting because it offers an entirely free hosting package which you can sign up for without even registering a credit card.
Thanks to the architecture shared between 000WebHost and Hostinger, you'll enjoy a super stable hosting environment. This is because 000WebHost's servers are managed using CloudLinux, allowing 000WebHost to guarantee a 99.9% uptime rate.
000WebHost offers a free sub-domain (e.g. example.000webhost.com) rather than a free unique domain. But unlike many less-reputable "free web hosts", you are able to register a domain with a separate service and add it to your 000WebHost package.
Packages like WordPress, and server management tools like PHP, are included with 000WebHost plans, giving you the freedom to use your CMS of choice to manage your site. What's more, 000WebHost's free plan comes with 1GB of storage and 10GB of bandwidth.
- Highly reputable free web host
- Reliable with 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Useful CMS packages included
- Free subdomain
- Limited storage and bandwidth
Recommended for: Free domain name and hosting for life
It's the only safe, secure, and reputable provider I have found that offers totally free domain registration as well as hosting.
DreamHost's free plan includes shared hosting for a single website, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and a guarantee that it will remain totally free for the life of your DreamHost account.
Most importantly, it also includes a full free year of domain registration –and no, not any old second-rate subdomain, but a '.com' or equivalent address!
But here's the catch...
A domain is free - if you buy hosting. Hosting will cost you from $2.59 a month - so you'll still need to pay, no matter how good the value is.
But you can still get both free hosting and a free domain. You know how?
To qualify for this "free lunch" of a hosting deal, you need to be using your hosting for a very specific purpose: You must be running a non-profit organization.
Moreover, you'll also have to convince the government of your good intentions. Why? DreamHost doesn't require a credit card to sign up for the free nonprofit hosting plan, but it does require evidence that your non-profit meets the US-based 501(c)(3) tax standards.
- Totally free hosting and domain, but only for non-profits
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- 24/7 live chat and ticket support
- No phone support
- Not everyone will qualify for a free domain name
Recommended for: Free unlimited space shared hostingLike 000WebHost, Flaunt7 is another completely free public web hosting service. Flaunt7's plan does not include free domain registration, but it does provide support for unlimited domains and subdomains.
That's excellent, as you can add as many domains as you like to your free Flaunt7 plan after registering them with a separate service.
Note that there theoretically are a handful of free domain registration services out there, like dot.tk.
But in my experience, they work poorly. It's better to use a reputable paid registrar like GoDaddy to register your domains before linking them to your Flaunt7 account.
And domains aren't the only unlimited thing about Flaunt7's plans. No limits are placed on your storage or bandwidth either, giving you far more room to grow your site than you'll get with most other free hosts.
And last but not least, Flaunt7 is also a specialized offshore host that runs data centers around the world. So, if you are concerned about privacy, your site will be granted legal protections from snooping governments depending on the region it's hosted in. Also, unlike the vast majority of free hosts, Flaunt7 actually throws in a completely free SSL certificate to keep your connection encrypted.
- Completely free
- Storage, bandwidth, and domains unlimited
- Top-notch privacy features
- Free SSL certificate
- Restricted server resources
Recommended for: Affordable web hosting with free domainiPage doesn't offer a free web hosting package. "So, why does it deserve a place on this list then?" I hear you cry... Well, what iPage offers instead is a cheap hosting package that includes a free domain name for an entire year, up to the value of $14.99.
As well as a free domain, iPage also includes many hosting add-ons that other companies charge for, including an SSL certificate and website builder. So, although it's not completely free, iPage's base hosting plan is still of excellent value.
What makes iPage an even better host is that the bandwidth and storage are uncapped, and iPage throws in $200 worth of ad credits for major search engines like Bing and Google, which can be used to improve your site traffic.
That makes iPage's lowest-tier plan a great choice for small or medium business sites. Although not free, thanks to the additional ad credit, you may actually be able to generate sustainable revenue to afford a paid version in the future
What's more, unlike some free hosts, iPage doesn’t skimp on technical support; its support staff are accessible 24/7 by phone and live chat!
- Free domain registration and SSL certificate
- Ad credit for major search engines
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- 24/7 support by phone and chat
- Site builder not as user-friendly as the competition
Recommend for: Beautiful free sites with a free subdomainWix is more of a website builder than a website host. Its famed template-based drag-and-drop site builder lets you create stunning websites quickly and easily.
That said, Wix offers a free plan which comes with a subdomain. Unfortunately, you can't add a custom domain to the free plan and Wix will place adverts on your site that you can't remove.
Another limit you'll have to live with if you pick Wix's free plan has a storage and bandwidth cap of 500MB. That's extremely limiting for most sites, but if you don't need space for multimedia content and only expect a limited amount of monthly traffic, the free plan might be suitable.
If you can deal with those drawbacks, Wix sites are capable of designs that will make your content stand out, thanks to the ability to customize the feel of your pages.
- Free plan available
- Wonderful and straightforward site builder
- Free subdomain included
- No 24/7 live support is available
- Bandwidth and storage both highly limited
Best Free Domain and Website Hosting for You?
When it comes to choosing which of the above 5 hosts is the best option for you, consider your personal needs and what capabilities you need from your free hosting package. In summary:
- 000WebHost is best for reliable free hosting with a ton of great additions to help create your site
- DreamHost is a landmark in generosity, with free hosting and a domain if you run the right kind of organization
- Flaunt7 gives you the freedom to host multiple domains for free
- iPage offers cheap web hosting that comes with a free domain for an entire year
- Wix provides amazing free sites that give your content a real chance to stand out
If you came looking for how to get a domain name for free, the 5 hosts I've mentioned can be divided into three categories. There are totally free website hosts that also offer free subdomains; paid hosts which include a free custom domain with their plans; and hosts that offer certain organizations totally free domain registration and hosting!
How I picked these 5 providers?
When it came to choosing the providers to include in this list, I started by testing over 50 web hosts that advertised free website hosting and domain registration. With each host, I created example sites and verified that their hosting services were useful and reliable. I also kept an eye out for any hidden fees lurking in the small print.
After I'd narrowed down the list, I focused on other features like site builders and quality of customer service to help choose the final 5 hosts.
Think I've missed an awesome free domain and website hosting service? Tell me all about them by commenting below!