Want to just get started? Sign up for Bluehost and get a free domain today.

If you’re ready to launch a new website, the first place you need to start is with the domain. The domain is the address people type to visit your website, so you can see why this first step is crucial. You need to start with finding and registering a domain name, which can be a bit confusing if you’ve never done it before. However, we’re here to show you that it’s actually quite easy to find a domain name and register it—for free.

Yes, you read that right. Whether you’re starting a blog, building an online portfolio, or creating a personal or business website, we’ll show you the quick and easy way to get a free domain name. 

  • Free domain included with hosting
  • 24/7 support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Affordable domain hosting
Get your FREE domain

The 7 Best Domain Registrars

  • GoDaddy — Best for domain protection and privacy
  • Bluehost — Best for bundling domain registration and web hosting
  • Porkbun — Best for creative domain extensions
  • Domain.com — Best for fast and simple domain purchasing
  • Network Solutions — Best for long-term domain registrations
  • Namecheap — Best for affordable domain registration
  • NameSilo — Best for buying domains in bulk

Want to learn more about the best domain registrars? Read our detailed reviews of each of our top picks.

6 Steps To Get a Free Domain Name

Getting a free domain is easy, and it only takes six simple steps.

  1. Go to Bluehost.com
  2. Select a web hosting plan
  3. Set up your domain
  4. Create an account
  5. Choose your billing terms
  6. Enter payment information to claim your free domain

Today we’re going to show you how easy it is to claim your free domain name with Bluehost. Why? Because hands down, Bluehost is one of the easiest ways for someone new to domain names to get one for free.

There are a few other ways to get a free domain name with free hosting, and we’ll cover those later. But going with Bluehost means you won’t run into the limitations that come with those other options.

Bluehost is a great option to get a free domain since it comes bundled with its most affordable web hosting packages. These bundle deals are really valuable because you’ll still need someone to host your future website once you secure your domain name.

With a bundle, you kill two birds with one stone. Plus you keep domain registration and web hosting with a single provider. Bluehost’s low-cost bundles also include WordPress, a free SSL, free CDN, and other tools you’ll need to build a great-looking website.

The signup process for Bluehost is incredibly easy. Everything is geared toward beginners, so you don’t need any technical experience to get started.

Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk to sign up. If you aren’t happy for any reason, get in touch within a month of the start date to receive a full refund.

Bluehost keeps it simple: Just pick any web hosting plan, and your domain is free for one year. We’ll walk you through these steps in greater detail below.

Step 1: Go to Bluehost.com

The first thing you need to do is visit the Bluehost website. The company regularly runs specials, so be sure to pay attention to the offers displayed on their home page.

Click Get Started. Or you can navigate to the Hosting menu, and select Shared Hosting from the dropdown list.

Screenshot of Bluehost's homepage with arrows pointed to the Get Started button and Shared Hosting menu
Get yourself to Bluehost’s shared hosting page to start the free domain registration process.

You’ll see other types of web hosting, like cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and email hosting. Ignore those.

Shared hosting is the most affordable way to get a free domain name, and it requires the least amount of maintenance and security know-how on your part.

If your website gets super popular, or you want to add some interactive features, you may outgrow shared hosting.

If and when that happens, Bluehost makes it easy to upgrade your hosting arrangement. More resources, more control, more websites—it’s just the click of a button when you’re ready.

Step 2: Select a Web Hosting Plan

After selecting the appropriate type of hosting, you need to choose the right plan.

Bluehost offers a few different options for shared hosting. So check them out, and see which one is right for you.

Screenshot of Bluehost's shared hosting pricing table with a free domain highlighted on every plan
Every Bluehost plan comes with a free domain for one year.

All of these plans are solid options. You can get away with the Basic plan if you aren’t expecting a ton of traffic and don’t need tons of storage.

We’d recommend the Choice Plus plan for folks who are regularly updating their site or expecting a significant amount of traffic. You can host up to three sites on this plan, and it has four times as much storage compared to the Basic tier.

It also comes with added perks like malware scanning and free site backups for your first year. The ability to restore your site is crucial. Handling backups on your own is a hassle you can avoid with Business plans.

Step 3: Set Up Your Domain

Bluehost prompts you to set up your domain immediately after selecting your plan. You’ll be asked to do this even before you create an account or enter your billing details.

Screnshot of Bluehost's domain setup page
Enter your desired domain name to check its availability.

From there, Bluehost will walk you through the process of selecting a domain name that’s available. Within seconds, you’ll have an answer—and even if it’s unavailable, Bluehost will recommend similar names that you could use as an alternative to your first choice.

Bluehost offers domains with different extensions, including:

  • .com
  • .net
  • .tech
  • .me
  • .org
  • .website
  • .blog

For the vast majority of websites, we recommend getting a .com domain. But you can consider an alternative extension if the .com version is unavailable or too expensive. 

Even though you’re getting the first year for free, you should still pay attention to the cost of your domain. Otherwise, you may end up paying more than you wanted or expected upon renewal. 

For example, the average cost of a domain is just $10 to $20 per year. But if you unknowingly purchase an aftermarket domain, that number could be significantly higher. 

Cost aside, .com domains are better for the long-term success of your site. While Google says that having a top-level domain (TLD) doesn’t play a role in its ranking factors, .com domains are usually more memorable for site visitors. 

Here’s why.

First, .com domains are widely known and convey trustworthiness for your site. Website visitors and other sites will think you’re legitimate when they see a .com extension. This can encourage other sites to link out to yours, which is crucial for link building and SEO value.

It’s also important to recognize that .com domains aren’t tied to a particular extension. For example, customers in the US may think twice before purchasing something from a website with a .uk extension. 

There are a few reasons why it’s important to get your domain set up right away:

  • Someone else could grab your preferred domain name while you are hesitating.
  • You’ve already paid for the service, so forcing yourself to take this step keeps your project moving forward.
  • If you made it this far, we’re confident you already gave quite a bit of thought about the domain name you want, so stop second-guessing yourself and register your domain.

However, if you skip this step now or click out of the window for any reason, don’t worry. You can always claim your free domain later through your Bluehost dashboard.

If you’re struggling to think of a good name, you can always use a domain name generator for inspiration.

Step 4: Create an Account

Once you’ve added the domain to your cart, you’ll need to create a Bluehost account.

Bluehost's account creation screen
Bluehost requires a valid email address to create an account and claim your free domain.

This is very straightforward. Simply fill out the form to proceed.

Just make sure you provide an email that you check regularly. If there’s ever an issue with your site, this is how Bluehost is going to get in touch with you.

Remember, Bluehost only offers a free domain to new web hosting customers. So if you already have an existing Bluehost account that you’ve used to host another website, you can’t use that to claim your free domain. You’d need to create a completely new account to claim this special offer.

Step 5: Choose Your Billing Terms

Once you’ve selected a domain and added it to your cart, Bluehost asks you to choose a period for your plan—12 months or 36 months.

The 12-month plan has a cheaper monthly rate, which may seem like a no-brainer. But you get a better deal by committing for longer. This is not a Bluehost thing, it is just the way every host does it.

Bluehost's Package Information, showing 12 month terms at $2.95 per month or 36 month terms at $4.95 per month
You’ll get a free domain for one year with either billing period.

Your plan renews at $11.99 per month after the introductory rate expires. So even though the monthly rate for 36 months is $2 more, it ends up saving you nearly $180 over the course of three years.

The downside to signing up for a longer period is that you have to pay upfront. Again, this is typical of every host. But it’s worth it to take the hit with Bluehost because it is a really great deal.

When you factor in the savings of a free domain name, the price only gets better.

Like many web hosts, you’ll need to navigate through a handful of upsells at this stage in the process. Some of these upsells may be selected by default. So make sure you look at everything carefully to ensure you’re only signing up for what you need.

Some of Bluehost’s web hosting add-ons include:

  • Ecommerce – $4.99 per month
  • Domain Privacy and Protection – $1.99 per month
  • CodeGuard Basic – $1.99 per month
  • Single Domain SSL – $3.33 per month
  • SiteLock Essentials – $2.99 per month
  • Professional Email – $2.49 per month
  • Yoast Premium SEO – $1.99 per month

The only one worth adding is domain privacy and protection, which gets billed at $11.88 per year. If you sign up for a Choice Plus plan or higher tier, then this is also included free for your first year along with the domain name.

Everything else you can skip. The whole idea of getting a free domain is to save money, and these add-ons can really eat into your budget.

It’s also worth noting that these extras get billed annually. So you’ll be paying for them upfront when you sign up for hosting.

Plus, you’ll always have the option to get SEO, email, security, and backup tools at another time. So don’t feel pressured into buying them now.

Step 6: Enter Payment Information to Claim Your Free Domain

Bluehost supports every major credit. Or you can checkout via PayPal.

Bluehost's payment information screen during the web hosting checkout process
Add your payment details to finalize your hosting plan and claim your free domain.

Double-check that the total checkout amount is accurate based on the plan and services you selected.

While you can configure SSL certificates and CDNs yourself, potentially without spending a dime, it’s not easy unless you know what you’re doing. Bluehost makes all of this happen with just a few clicks. Beginners never have to worry about expiring SSL certificates or CDN issues.

Once you’ve confirmed how you want to pay, enter your payment details and the Submit at the bottom of the page.

Other Ways to Get a Free Domain Name

While Bluehost is definitely one of the best ways to get a free domain, it’s not your only option. We’ll cover some of those alternative options in greater detail below:

Use a Free Subdomain

Most website builders offer free subdomains. A subdomain exists within an existing domain name.

For example, let’s say you’re using a free website builder like Wix. You don’t have to pay for a domain. However, your site will have a subdomain in this format:


Here’s what that would look like if your Wix username was “My Stunning Website 123” and the domain you wanted was “myblogsite.”

Wix subdomain url example.

This is obviously not ideal, especially for business websites. No credible site has a domain like this. The only time we would consider using this method for a free domain is if you were just experimenting with the free features of the website builder. But it’s not a viable long-term strategy.

Your domain name should be short and memorable. With a subdomain, it’s neither of those things. Just another generic domain with a bunch of letters your customer has to remember (or rather, forget). Plus, it shows people you’re not even willing to invest the money into an actual domain name.

WordPress is another popular option for a free subdomain. It’s not quite as complex as the free Wix subdomain.

The format for a free WordPress subdomain is:


You can get away with this for in the short term if you’re using WordPress to run a small blog or personal site. But eventually, you’ll want to get rid of the subdomain once you’re ready to establish a sense of authority online.

Pay for a Premium Site Builder Plan

Similar to the option above, you’ll likely notice that site builders like Wix (or Squarespace, Zyro, or most of our other recommended website builders) have options that eliminate the need to settle for the free subdomain.

But there’s a catch. You’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan with your website builder.

This option may not be a worthwhile solution for some of you. Paying for a premium site builder plan is likely to not only negate the savings of a free domain—it’ll almost certainly cost you more. Plus, whatever savings you do get will disappear after one year.

However, if you’re setting up an ecommerce site or something else that needs the enhanced features of a premium Wix or Squarespace plan anyway, this can be a way to mitigate some of that first-year expense.

Fortunately, even the base-level paid plans for Wix, Squarespace, and Zyro offer this bonus.

Be very careful to research the rates at which these domains will renew. You don’t want to get stuck with a bad deal that totally wipes away the savings of the first year for free and is more expensive in the end than just paying for a domain from the get-go.

Pay for a Business Email Service

GoDaddy business email and free domain page

Along the same lines as paying for a site builder plan and receiving a free domain, you can pay for a business email service and receive a free domain. Places like GoDaddy will allow you to pay for a business email account while receiving a free domain for the first year. 

Keep in mind the drawbacks that we mentioned in the last section. With some of these services, you will have to pay any ICANN registration fees for your domain. You also will have to begin paying fully for the domain in year two and beyond, and some of these renewal rates can be quite high.

Do your homework before you try to obtain a free domain name by subscribing to a business email service. You may find that it’s a better deal to just pay for a web hosting service like Bluehost to receive your free domain name.

Many domain registrars offer free domains in exchange for running ads on your website.

We do not recommend this.

There’s nothing wrong with ads on your website. But if you’re doing so through a domain registrar, you won’t have any control over the ads and their placement. This will not only hinder the experience for your website visitors but will also damage your SEO ranking.

Plus, if your website gets thousands or even millions of views, you won’t see a dime from those ads. All you get is a free domain.

If you want to run ads on your website, do it through a legitimate advertising network like Google. Don’t exchange ads for a free domain.

There are tons of TLD (top-level domain) services on the web, each offering a range of different country codes. This refers to the extension after your domain name.

So instead of getting a .com domain, you can register your domain using an alternative country code like:

  • .tk — Tokelau
  • .ml — Mali
  • .ga — Gabon
  • .cf — Central African Republic
  • .gq — Equatorial Guinea

You can get these from services like Freenom or Dok.tk.

Again, this is not something we recommend.

Some country codes can make your website seem sketchy, which doesn’t help you build trust with those who visit your site. If you look up reviews about these ccTLD services, you’ll find nothing but criticism. From malicious ads to adult content and random domain removal, you won’t have a pleasant experience if you choose free ccTLD services. 

Another big drawback here is that you do not gain ownership of the domain name when you subscribe to one of these services. This means you can’t transfer the domain name to anyone else, and you could lose the domain name at some point in the future if the service changes its mind. 

If you are trying to run any sort of legitimate business or blog, using one of these services is not the way to go. It might be free, but it almost certainly will cost your site its reputation.

Almost Free Domain Promotions

While they’re technically not free, it’s common to see web hosting providers and domain registrars run promotions throughout the year for cheap domains.

For example, GoDaddy periodically runs $0.99 or even $0.01 promos on domains for new customers for one year, and paying a penny to register a domain is as good as getting it for free.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something you’ll find online every day.

While these types of deals tend to fall around holidays, it’s impossible to predict when they’re actually coming. They sometimes only last for 48 hours.

If you’re ready to register a domain today, you can shop around for various promotions like this. You could get lucky and snag a deal on an almost free domain.

But we don’t recommend waiting to register. Holding off can mean losing out on your desired domain name, which isn’t worth it for the long-term success of your website.

Affiliate Programs

Lots of web hosts and domain registrars have affiliate programs and reseller packages. While most don’t actually offer a free domain in exchange for being an affiliate, you could use your affiliate revenue to offset the costs associated with your domain.

This isn’t a practical approach for most people seeking a domain name. But there’s an opportunity here to earn some extra cash if you’re starting an agency or start a side hustle.

If you’re interested, check out our guide on the best reseller hosting plans. Your commissions can easily make the domain purchase seem “free.”

Web Design Services

It’s possible to get a free domain when you sign up for web design services. You won’t find this everywhere, but for example, GoDaddy offers a free domain if you hire them to build and design your website.

This isn’t necessarily the best way to get a free domain because you’ll end up paying significantly more to have someone else design your site. Saving $10 to $20 usually isn’t worth it if it means you’re forced to spend anywhere from $500 to $1,500 or even upwards of $2,5000.

Web designers will gladly pay for the first year of your domain registration if it means they’re getting thousands of dollars from you.

So even if you are planning to hire a web designer, it’s still better to get a free domain on your own through your web hosting provider. That puts you in control of everything, and the domain isn’t contingent on something so pricey.

Getting a Free Domain Name: Your Top Questions Answered


Bluehost is the best way to get a free domain name. Just sign up for a web hosting plan, and they’ll give you a free domain for one year.

There are other ways to avoid paying for a domain: using a free subdomain, joining an affiliate program, or using a sketchy ccTLD service. But we wouldn’t recommend the majority of alternative options.

If you’re thinking about getting a free domain using a random country code from some island in the South Pacific, don’t do it. Saving a few dollars isn’t worth the cost of running a spammy website.

Stick with Bluehost, or check out the best domain registrars for paid alternatives. They’ll give your website and brand a professional edge. First impressions are everything. You don’t want yours to be ruined by a bad domain name.

  • Free domain included with hosting
  • 24/7 support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Affordable domain hosting
Get your FREE domain