While domains only cost about $10 to $15 per year, there are options for those wanting to know how to get a free domain name. Free domains are often bundled with products like web hosting, all-in-one website builders, and email hosting. However, there are a few standalone ways to get domains for free. Keep reading to find the best way to get a free domain for your small business.
Ways to Get a Free Domain Name at a Glance
Free Domain With Website Builder
Free Domain With Email Hosting
Free Domain With WordPress Hosting
Free Domain Registrar (Standalone)
How it works:
How it works:
How it works:
How it works:
Keep in mind that free domain name registrars don’t offer top-level domains (e.g., .com, .net, .org, and so on), so your domain name won’t look professional, will be hard for people to remember, and may even pose a security risk. As such, they aren’t credible or recommended for businesses wanting to build a strong brand presence online.
How to Get a Free Domain Name (With Any Option)
Free website domains come bundled with many web hosting plans, site builder plans, email hosting plans, or through registrars. Here are some of the available options and the pros and cons of each to help identify the perfect way to get a free domain name for your small business website.
Click the tabs below to find out what you need to know about free domain registration:
Chances are, if you’re looking for a free domain for your website, you also need a website builder. Building a professional website no longer requires web developer skills and coding. All-in-one site builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace allow you to build your own site quickly, easily, and code-free.
With the site builders below, plans are all-inclusive. So, you’ll get a domain for free with your site builder of choice and everything else you need to build a small business website.
|Get a .com or other top-level domain free for 12 months with leading site builders||Requires purchase of a paid plan and annual billing|
|No site design or coding experience needed—perfect for beginners||Only free for the first year|
|Secure||Requires separate email hosting|
|Free SSL included|
Site builders are the easiest way to build a website. Several options throw in a free domain name for your website and business email. Here are the best site builders that provide domains for free for the first year with paid plans:
- Wix: Best small business website builder overall and best site builder for search engine optimization (SEO)–get a free domain and SSL plus a built-in artificial intelligence (AI) content writer in paid plans from $16 per month.
- Squarespace: Best for those wanting a visually impactful site and unlimited storage for portfolios—free domain and SSL in plans starting at $16 per month.
- Weebly: Best for ecommerce and restaurant websites—free domain name and SSL starting as low as $12 per month.
- Hostinger: An affordable, intuitive site builder with first-year pricing under $3 per month that comes with a free domain, SSL, and business email.
Want more help deciding which is right for you? Get the complete breakdown of the best website builders for small businesses to see all the platforms with a free website domain.
If you aren’t ready to build a website or want a separate domain to use for business email, a dedicated email hosting plan with a free .com domain could be ideal. The most affordable we’ve seen is through web host and domain registrar IONOS. IONOS offers several email hosting options with a free domain, starting from $1 per month.
|Free .com or other top-level domain with email hosting from $1||Free domain only included for the life of your email hosting plan|
|Using a separate domain for email reduces spam and makes usernames harder to discover||Lower-tier plans have limited storage (but you can pay more to upgrade)|
|Scale up with additional storage|
|Free SSL included|
|Intuitive dashboard and easy setup|
Business domain name registration costs about $10 to 15 per year, but IONOS’ email hosting plans bundle email and a domain for what you would pay to register a domain separately. All plans include spam filtering, virus protection, web-based email, and IMAP/POP settings to set up your email in your preferred email client, and can scale with additional email accounts or storage.
The Mail Business plan offers the highest level of security, including a free domain name, SSL, advanced spam filtering and virus protection, and 50GB of storage per user. It also allows you to add additional users at a decreased cost per user, allowing your business to save money.
Here are the email hosting plans offered by IONOS that include a free web domain:
Mail Basic 1
Mail Basic 1+
Price / User / Month*
1-4 users, $5/user
5-9 users, $3/user
10+ users, $2.50/user
Storage Per User
Connect to Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail (and Others)
*All plans are billed annually
To get started, choose the IONOS email hosting plan you want to start with, follow the prompts to choose a domain name, add it to your cart, and check out. Once your domain is ready for use, you can set up email addresses immediately. See why IONOS made our list of the best business email providers or which other platforms to consider.
Hosting is a required cost for building a website. All-in-one site builders (like Wix and Squarespace) include hosting, but if you’re building a WordPress website, you’ll need to purchase web hosting separately.
You can get more out of your web hosting plan by choosing one that includes a domain name for free, along with business email accounts and a WordPress site builder. Hosting companies usually include automatic or one-click WordPress installation, but the best have no-code site builders to simplify the process of building a WordPress site.
|Free domain, SSL, email addresses, and WordPress page builder theme||Domains are only free the first year|
|Get a free .com domain or another popular top-level domain like .net or .org||Must pay at last annually to get a free domain (month-to-month contracts don’t include a free domain)|
|Domain will auto-renew annually|
|Automatically connects your domain to your website|
Setting up a WordPress website requires first purchasing a web hosting plan. Top WordPress web hosting companies include free domain registration in shared hosting plans with other extras. For example, the SSL certificate that encrypts site visitor data is free, as are email addresses on your domain. Many also include a no-code WordPress page builder to make it easier to build a website, even for web design beginners.
Here are the best overall web hosting providers for WordPress that come with a free domain, free email addresses, and a WordPress website builder:
- DreamHost: Get everything you need to make a small business website on WordPress in one plan, including a free domain, SSL security, unlimited websites, and unlimited emails on your domain in the Shared Unlimited plan for $2.95 per month the first year.
- Bluehost: Best for easily building a WordPress website with an intuitive WordPress page builder theme. Plans from $2.95 for basic sites or $9.99 with everything needed for ecommerce, including a free web domain, SSL, and email addresses.
- Scala Hosting: Scala Hosting has one of the most value-packed WordPress hosting plans we’ve seen. Plans as low as $5.59 per month include a free domain name, SSL, unlimited email and websites, malware protection, and daily backups.
To get a web domain for free, choose the hosting platform you want to use and select a plan. During account setup, you’ll be prompted to enter the domain name you want to see if it’s available, and if it is, complete the checkout process to complete the registration process.
Not sure which web host is right for you or want to see more options? Get the complete breakdown of the best web hosting companies for small businesses.
If you’re interested in a standalone registrar that offers a 100% free domain, you can opt for a free business domain name registrar. However, your domain extension won’t look trustworthy and can pose a security risk.
If you’re stuck on getting a free domain, before opting for one of the services below, first decide whether saving $10 a year is worth the risk of presenting your brand in a less-than-credible way. Just keep in mind that you won’t own the domain and you can’t get top-level domain extensions (e.g., .com, .org, .net, .co, .us, and so on) from any of these sites.
|Get a free domain forever (though policies can change)||You can’t get .com, and other popular TLDs (e.g., .net, .org, .us) for free|
|Alternative domain extensions look unprofessional and untrustworthy|
|You don’t own it|
|More susceptible to hackers|
Free domain registration might be tempting, but can also be a headache. For example, with Freenom, you’re prompted to input your desired domain name. Upon clicking “Check Availability,” you’ll be redirected to a list of (seemingly) available domains to choose from. However, this list is deceiving—when you click on the “Get Now” button, odds are the domain you want won’t actually be available.
You can get 100% free alternative domain names from these three registrars:
- Dot TK
Disclaimer: If you need a domain for your business website or professional email, don’t use a free one. It’s not credible for businesses and may even pose security issues to your online operations.
Instead, get a domain included at no additional cost with other services you need, such as WordPress web hosting through DreamHost, a site builder plan from providers like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace, or dedicated email hosting through IONOS. Alternatively, purchase your domain from a top registrar like Domain.com for about $10 per year.
If you’re running on a truly tight budget, we suggest you build your business website on a subdomain through a free website builder instead of using a risky free domain. Your site’s URL will look something like “yourbusiness.wix.com,” which, while not 100% professional, looks more credible as people are far more familiar with Wix and other reliable site builders.
Best Alternatives to Free Domain Name Providers
Getting products like email, web hosting, and your domain in affordable bundled plans are often the best way to get free web domains. If you don’t need bundled products like these, a cheap standalone registry might be the best alternative for securing the .com or other top-level domain you want for your business.
Here are some of the best alternatives to consider:
Learn more about these and other providers in our list of the best domain registrars for small businesses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The best way to get domain names for free is with services like email or web hosting. For example, it’s easy to get a free domain for the first year in web hosting plans from platforms like Bluehost and DreamHost that start under $3 per month. Likewise, email hosting plans with IONOS come in at a cheap $12 per year and include a free domain and SSL.
Many web hosting providers offer a free domain for the first year and free business email on the domain. DreamHost offers the best value, with unlimited free business email addresses in its ultra-low-cost plan (just $2.95 per month in the first year). It also has many other money-saving extras, such as unlimited website hosting with free SSL certificates.
There are many ways to get a free website, but the best one is to go with a reputable website builder with a free plan, such as Wix, Weebly, or HubSpot. WordPress.org is free to use, but you’ll still need to buy hosting, a domain, an SSL certificate, and pay for any plugins or premium themes—whereas free website builder plans are 100% free.
If you’re looking for ways to get a domain for free, your best bet is to get a legit, professional domain bundled with other services you need. Get your free domain through a WordPress web hosting plan from DreamHost, a free domain with a website builder like Wix, or dedicated email hosting through IONOS.