Purchasing a domain name is a must if you want a website or business email, and it’s affordable, at only around $10–$15 per year. However, there are ways to get a domain name for free. For example, a free domain is often included with other products small businesses need, like web hosting, all-in-one website builders, and email hosting. We’ll show you four options for how to get a free domain name for your business and help you decide which is best for you.
4 Ways to Get Domain Names for Free
Free domain with website builder
Free domain with email hosting
Free domain with WordPress hosting
Free domain name registrar
Top Site Builders:
Beginners that want an all-in-one solution to build a website
Businesses that need professional email addresses
Those building a WordPress website
Personal use only
(not appropriate for business use)
Pro tip: When searching for how to get a domain for free, many sources will point you towards free domain registrars. Going through a free domain registrar to save money comes at the cost of looking unprofessional with domain extensions that look untrustworthy and may also pose a security risk.
How to Set Up a Free Domain Name (With Any Option)
A free web domain comes bundled with many web hosting plans, site builder plans, email hosting plans, or through a free domain registrar. 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:
Option A: How to Get a Free Domain Name With 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.
Chances are, if you’re looking for a free domain for your website, you also need a website builder. Since plans are all-inclusive, you’ll get a domain for free with your site builder of choice in addition to everything else you need to build and maintain your small business website.
|Get a free .com domain or another popular top-level domain like .net or .org (TLD), which looks professional and credible for 12 months with leading site builders||Free domains only come with annually paid plans (not available on free site builder plans or monthly plans)|
|No site design or coding experience needed—perfect for beginners needing a professional-looking website||Free domain names usually last for one year; you’ll need to pay to keep your domain after the first year|
|May not come with free business email|
How to Set Up a Free Domain With Site Builder Plans
Site builders offer a much easier way to build a business website. For example, with Wix, all you need to do is create a free account, select a template, and customize your site based on the elements of your choice. When you’re ready to go live, click the “Publish” button in the upper right-hand corner of the site editor to upgrade to a paid plan that includes a free domain.
Wix throws in a free domain starting from $16 per month (on an annual plan). In general, all-in-one site builders like Wix and Squarespace are much more pricey than the drag-and-drop WordPress builders provided with web hosting plans, but they are also more beginner-friendly.
Still, before purchasing a site builder plan, see what inclusions it comes with. Wix, for example, doesn’t offer free business email on any of its plans, but Squarespace offers a free Google Workspace plan (including Gmail for business email) for one year with all plans except the base tier Personal plan.
Here are the best site builders that provide domains for free for the first year with paid plans:
- Wix: Best for businesses wanting a beginner-friendly option with design flexibility and strong search engine optimization (SEO) features
- Squarespace: Best for those wanting a visually impactful site and unlimited storage for hosting portfolios
- Weebly: Great option for small businesses needing built-in eCommerce tools in any site builder plan
- IONOS: Ideal for those wanting an affordable, inclusive site builder with first-year pricing at $1 to $5/month
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.
Option B: How to Get a Domain Free With Email Hosting
If you aren’t ready to build a website yet, or you want a separate domain to use for business email, a dedicated email hosting plan that includes a free .com domain could be ideal. The most affordable we’ve seen is through web host and domain registrar IONOS. IONOS offers several different email hosting options with a free domain, starting from $1 per month.
|Get a free .com or other top-level domain with email hosting plans from $1 per month||Free domain hosting lasts for a year; you’ll have to pay for subsequent years|
|Using a separate domain for email can reduce incoming spam and make email usernames harder to discover||Doesn’t come with free web hosting—for a complete solution, purchase a web hosting plan instead|
|Often comes with collaboration and productivity tools (like shared calendars and contacts)||Lower tier email plans have somewhat limited inbox storage per user|
|Cost per user decreases depending on plan|
As business domain name registration often costs around $10–$15 per year, IONOS’s affordable email hosting plans essentially bundle business email and a domain for what you would pay just to get a domain. All plans include spam filtering, virus protection, web-based email, 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 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 professional email plans offered by IONOS:
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
*All plans are billed annually
Though these prices are affordable, an even better value is to purchase IONOS’s Starter web builder plan for $1 per month (the first year, renewing at $5/month thereafter). It also comes with a free website domain and the same 2GB email account you’d get by purchasing hosting in the Basic 1 plan above, plus a beginner-friendly website builder.
How to Set up a Free Domain with Email Hosting
Choose the IONOS email hosting plan you want to start with, and then follow the prompts to check the availability of your preferred domain name, add it to your cart, and checkout. Once your domain is ready for use you can set up email addresses on it right away.
Option C: How to Get Free Domains With WordPress Hosting
Hosting is a required cost for building a website. All-in-one site builders (like Wix and Squarespace) already have hosting included, but if you’re building a WordPress website, you’ll need to purchase web hosting separately.
There are many great hosting providers, but 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.
|Domain free (for one year), email addresses, and site builders with hosting plans WordPress users will need anyway||Domains are only free for the first year|
|Get a free .com domain or another popular top-level domain like .net or .org (TLD) for the first year||Web hosting prices can jump up significantly after introductory pricing expires|
|Choose from a variety of hosting plans, like shared hosting or dedicated WP hosting||Must pay at last annually to get a free domain (month-to-month contracts don’t usually have domain inclusions)|
|Domain will auto-renew annually|
|Automatically connects your domain to your website|
How to Set Up a Free Domain With Web Hosting Plans
Top WordPress web hosting companies like DreamHost and Bluehost include free domain registration in affordable shared hosting plans with other extras. For example, your SSL certificate that encrypts site visitor data is free, as are email addresses on your domain. Both providers also include a no-code WordPress page builder to make it easier for you to build your website.
To get your domain for free, simply choose which web host you want to use and select a plan. Both include domains in hosting plans starting at $2.95 a month the first year (although DreamHost has allowed you to save more long-term in their 36-month plans). 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 domain registration process.
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: Best for getting everything you need to make a small business website on WordPress in one plan, including hosting a domain, unlimited websites, SSL security, and unlimited email addresses on your domain for under $3 per month in Shared Unlimited or WordPress Unlimited hosting plans.
- Bluehost: Best for easily building a WordPress website with its very intuitive WordPress drag-and-drop builder. Plans (starting under $3 per month) are also affordable, and like DreamHost, come with everything you need to build and maintain your WordPress website as well as free emails on your domain.
- InMotion Hosting: 24/7/365 US-based customer support makes it the best web hosting platform for businesses that need customer care. InMotion is also unique in that it offers a domain for free in a monthly plan—its most expensive shared hosting plan, Pro. However, you can also get a free domain name with an annual Launch plan at $6.99 per month.
Not sure which web host is right for you? Get the complete breakdown of the best web hosting companies for small businesses.
Option D: How to Get a Domain Free Through a Registrar
If you’re only interested in a domain name registrar that offers a 100% free domain forever, you can opt for a free domain name registrar. However, it can result in untrustworthy-looking domain extensions, such as .tk, as opposed to a standard .com. As such, we don’t recommend this option for small businesses.
If you’re still set on using an alternative domain from one of these registrars, first consider whether saving $10 a year is worth the risk of not presenting your brand in the best way to prospects and customers.
|Get a free domain forever (though policies can change)||Non-top level domain extensions look unprofessional and untrustworthy and are often unreliable|
|.com and other popular TLDs (e.g., .net, .org, .us) are not available free|
|You don’t own it|
|More susceptible to hackers|
How to Set Up A Domain Through a Free Domain Registrar
Free domain registrars might be tempting to use, but they 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, you’ll likely notice that this list is deceiving, and upon clicking the “Get Now” button, odds are the domain you want won’t actually be available.
Get free domains from these three domain registrars:
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 like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace, or dedicated email hosting through IONOS. Alternatively, simply purchase your domain from any of the best domain registrars like Domain.com.
If you’re running on a truly tight budget, we suggest that 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 the like.
These free website builder plans are also 100% free to use. As you grow, you can then get a free domain through your site builder when you’re ready to upgrade to a paid plan or purchase a domain separately through a domain registrar like IONOS or GoDaddy to connect to your site.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the best way to get a free domain name?
The best way to get domain names for free is through other services your business needs, such as web hosting. For example, Squarespace and Wix both include a domain for the first year in the all-in-one website builder and hosting plans, and DreamHost includes a free domain and unlimited free email addresses with purchase of its $2.95 per month Unlimited hosting plan.
Simply select a hosting plan, follow the prompts to search for a domain, select an available domain, and buy web hosting. Learn more about the process with our step-by-step instructions for business domain name registration.
How do I get a free email using my domain name?
Many hosting plans offer free domain name registration and at least one free email account with a matching email address (e.g., email@example.com). DreamHost offers the best value, with unlimited free business email addresses within its ultra-low-cost plan for just $2.95 per month in the first year. It also comes with many other money-saving extras such as unlimited website hosting, a free domain name, and free SSL certifications.
How can I get a free website?
There are many ways to get a free website, but the best way is to go with a reputable website builder that offers a free plan to start with such as Wix, Weebly, or HubSpot. Technically, 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 how to get a domain for free, your best bet is to get a legit and professional domain bundled with other services you need. Get your free domain through a WordPress web hosting plan for as little as $2.95 per month from DreamHost, a free domain with a website builder like Wix, or dedicated email hosting through IONOS from $1 per month.