GoDaddy is another major hosting company that offers a free domain when you purchase one of their hosting plans. From shared and WordPress hosting to VPS and dedicated hosting options, GoDaddy has something for everyone. While features vary depending on the plan you select, all of GoDaddy’s hosting packages offer a free domain, guarantee 99.9% uptime, and provide top-notch 24/7 support.
GoDaddy is also a formidable domain name registrar in its own right, currently managing over 78 million domain names. If you purchase a domain name (without hosting) you will notice that GoDaddy does not offer a free SSL certificate or domain privacy protection with their domain names. However, you do get:
- Up to 100 Subdomains
- 400 professional email aliases
- Real-time uptime monitoring
Now let’s find out how to register a domain name for free when you buy hosting with GoDaddy:
How to register a free domain name with GoDaddy
Step 1: To get started, select the hosting plan you would like to sign up for.
Step 2: You will now be prompted to select the length of your hosting subscription term. Although there is a three-month option, to benefit from the free domain name you must sign up for a contract of at least 12 months. You will also find that the longer the term you select, the cheaper the price will be.
Step 3: As you scroll down the page, you will see that Godaddy offers you a selection of premium services that you can subscribe to.
- Website backup ($2.99 per month)
- Website security (starting at $5.59 per month)
- SSL Certificate ($6.67 per month)
Select the services you wish to purchase and then click Continue at the bottom of the page.
Step 4: Next, type the domain name you have chosen in the domain search bar and click Domain Search.
GoDaddy will now display a list of domain extensions that are available. Like NameCheap, GoDaddy displays a list of all discounted and renewal prices, so you can see exactly what your domain will cost you in the long run.
Once you have selected the right domain name and extension for your website, click Add to Cart > Continue to Cart.
Step 5: GoDaddy will now try to sell you more premium add-ons!
- Privacy Protection ($9.99 per year)
- Protection and Security ($14.99 per year) – This includes security monitoring and malware scans.
- Professional Email (starting at $1.99 per month).
Step 6: Next you will need to create a GoDaddy account. You will need to enter your personal details, including payment information.
Step 7: Before confirming payment, review and check what you are paying for. Be sure to remove any extras, (such as free trials of Office 365 Email or GoCentral Website Builder) that may have crept into your shopping cart!
GoDaddy also adds taxes and fees at checkout, so you will find that the hosting plan will run slightly more expensive than the prices originally provided. You can now go ahead and purchase your hosting plan.
The domain name will remain free for the initial term of your hosting contract (so if you sign up for a three-year hosting plan, your domain will remain free for these first three years, which is a better deal than Bluehost’s one-year free domain name offer). However, after that, you will have to pay for your website domain name.
So let’s take a look at the domain name prices:
- .com – $11.99 per year
- .net – $13.99 per year
- .me – $3.49 per year
- .shop – $2.99 per year
- .site – $0.99 per year
As mentioned above, GoDaddy adds taxes and fees at the end of the checkout process, so when you get to the checkout page you will find that the prices have increased slightly.
Purchasing your domain name through your hosting provider is the fastest and easiest way to set up a domain name. HostGator is another well-known hosting provider that offers a range of hosting plans. All packages come with a free SSL certificate, and all domains purchased include:
- Domain locking
- Automatic domain renewal
- 24/7 support
Although HostGator does not offer a free domain name with their hosting plans, they encourage you to purchase a domain name directly through their website while shopping for a hosting plan. (Alternatively, you can purchase a domain name separately from HostGator and host your website elsewhere).
So let’s see how to buy a hosting package and a domain name together at HostGator:
How to register a domain name with HostGator
Step 1: Open the HostGator website and choose the hosting package that best suits your needs.
Step 2: Now you will be asked to choose your domain. Type in the domain name you have chosen and select the TLD you wish to use. HostGator will display the available domain extensions, along with prices – choose the domain you would like to purchase.
Step 3: Scroll down the page to Domain Privacy Protection. Here HostGator shows the annual cost of this service and you can select whether you would like to opt for registration or not.
Step 4: Next, you will need to check your hosting plan details, provide some personal details including address and email, and then add your credit card details.
Step 5: The last step is to decide if you want to purchase any extra products or services that HostGator offers.
- SiteLock Security ($19.99 billed annually)
- Google Cloud Professional Email ($6 per month)
- CodeGuard Backup ($23.95 billed annually)
Once you have reviewed your order details, select Buy Now. HostGator will then set up your new hosting plan and domain name.
So let’s see how HostGator’s domain name pricing compares to its competitors:
- .com – $12.95 per year
- .org – $12.95 per year
- .net – $12.95 per year
- .guru – $8.99 per year
- .site – $0.99 per year
Some of the above prices are discounted and will be completely renewed, so check before you buy.
The last registrar we will discuss in this guide on how to register a domain name is Hover.com. Hover.com, a no-nonsense domain registrar, provides hundreds of domain extensions and allows you to quickly search for and purchase a domain name.
Here’s what you can expect when you buy a domain name with Hover.com:
- Free WHOIS Privacy (with most top-level domains)
- Transparent pricing – Hover.com displays a clear pricing table, sharing discounted purchase prices for all TLDs, renewal prices and transfer costs.
- Support – Hover.com offers email and phone support.
So let’s find out how to register a domain name at Hover.com:
How to register a domain name at Hover.com
Step 1: Type your chosen domain name into Hover.com’s search function. Hover.com will now display a list of available TLDs, along with their prices.
Once you have decided which domain extension you want to go with, click the + icon.
Step 2: Next, click on the shopping cart icon. Hover.com will now display your domain options, which include choosing the number of years for which you want to purchase your domain name, and enabling the WHOIS privacy service.
Step 3: Under Show Email Options, you will see the email service offered by Hover.com. Starting at $5 per year, this service allows you to use your domain name to send and receive personal and business emails.
Refreshingly, this is the only sale Hover.com promotes – a big difference from many of the other domain registrars we’ve mentioned.
Step 4: The last step is to create a Hover.com account, which involves adding your personal information and payment details.
Once completed, check your domain name details and then confirm your order. Your new domain will be registered by Hover.com, then a confirmation email will be sent.
Let’s see how Hover.com compares in pricing with the other domain registrars:
- .com – $12.99 per year
- .org – $13.99 per year
- .net – $15.49 per year
- .co.uk – $10.99 per year
- …global – $14.99 per year
Obviously, Hover.com is not the cheapest option, but the easy-to-use service definitely makes up for the slightly more expensive prices.
Frequently asked questions about domain name registration
So now let’s finish by answering some frequently asked questions:
How can I get a free domain name?
Some web hosting companies provide free domains if you sign up for one of their web hosting plans. In addition to Bluehost and GoDaddy, which we have already mentioned, other hosts that offer a free domain include:
However, keep in mind that most hosts only provide a free domain for the first year of your hosting subscription, after that you will have to pay.
What should I expect to pay for a domain name?
An average domain name will cost you between $8 and $16 per year. However, many domain name extensions are offered at a much cheaper discounted price, some as low as $0.99 per year. (Always be sure to check the renewal price before purchasing a discounted domain name.)
What is a TLD?
TLD stands for top-level domain. Some examples of TLDs, also known as domain extensions, are:
Although .com, .org and .net are still by far the most popular domain name extensions, there are hundreds of TLDs to choose from.
What is an IP address?
An IP address is a string of numbers that represents the address of a computer or server; computers use these IP addresses to connect and communicate with each other, finding and serving websites to users.
When someone types the domain name of a website into their browser, the Domain Name System (DNS) translates this domain name into an IP address, which is the address of the server hosting the website. The server will then be contacted and the website will be served to the browser that made the request.
Should I purchase my domain name through my hosting provider?
Buying a domain name from your hosting provider is definitely the quickest and easiest option. Your hosting company will take care of setting up both your new hosting package and your domain name, so all you have to worry about is building your new website.
However, you may be able to find a cheaper domain name with a third-party domain registrar. In that case, you will need to point the domain name to your hosting server. This process is a bit technical, but your hosting provider will be able to guide you through it.
Do I need domain privacy?
Although not essential, we always recommend purchasing WHOIS Domain Privacy Protection. The WHOIS database maintains records of all domain owners, which are displayed to the public. This means that anyone can see your personal details, including address, phone number and email address.
By purchasing WHOIS privacy protection, your data is blocked from public view, keeping your personal information secure. If this service is important to you, then look for a domain registrar that provides it for free.
Should I select automatic renewal?
Again, this is totally up to you, but we recommend that you do so. When you buy your domain name, you can select for how many years you want to keep it. When this term expires, if you forget to renew it, this domain name will no longer be yours and can be immediately acquired by someone else. This could be disastrous for your agency.
By selecting automatic renewal, you can rest assured that you will own your domain name indefinitely, until you notify your domain registrar differently.
Final Thoughts on Registering a Domain Name
As you can see, each domain registrar mentioned in this guide differs in terms of products and features, pricing strategies, user experience, and the domain name registration process. They are all awesome domain name registrars, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
Once you have registered your new domain name and selected a hosting plan, the next step is to start designing your new website.