Can I own a Blog or Website for Free?
Since blogging came to existence and the discovery that we can actually monetize our blogs easily, this has become a recurring question that many intending bloggers ask every day. The answer is YES and I will show you how in this post.
Owning a website for free (i.e without paying anything) has been made easy with the increase number of domain name registrars that is companies that you can buy a domain name (a.k.a web address or website address) from.
A domain or web address when used in this post means what you type in a browser when you want to visit a website (e.g www.nateconnect.com ). Getting free website and hosting is easier today.
Some registrars even go further and give you an opportunity to host your website with them for free. This may be for a period of time or for a lifetime depending on the web hosting company.
Before I go ahead and give you a list of some of the companies offering free domain registration and hosting, let me outline some advantages and disadvantages of having a free domain.
FREE WEBSITE AND DOMAIN
ADVANTAGES OF HAVING A FREE DOMAIN
1. You don’t have to pay anything for some time or a lifetime as the case may be.
2. Useful if you want to run a website for just a short period of time e.g short term blogging.
3. It helps people who want to learn website design and see the effects on devices such as smart phones but don’t have the technical abilities.
4. It is Useful in making college projects.
5. It can be used to advertise products and services to gain customers.
1. You may not get the domain extension that you want (.com .net .club .online etc) for free. : Though some providers give you the extensions, not all do.
For example if you want to have a website www.example.com, a registrar may only be able to give you www.example.com.tk or www.example.com.ml or www.example.ml e.t.c.
2. You may have to pay from the second year of the web domain. : Some companies only offer free domain for the first one year and you will have to pay for the second year and above if you want to keep your website.
3. You can lose your domain name and customers: Failure to pay for the domain from the second year may lead to the website been taken down and you losing some of your customers as a result.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Unfriendly: Free domains can’t be indexed in search engines easily. If you want a good SEO for your blog/website, then forget about free domains and go for a paid domain.
5. No guarantee of your website appearing in search engine: Google may decide to ban free domains and if they do, your website may not appear in search engines anymore which can lead to you losing your ranking in search engines.
6. You don’t really have 100% control over the website: If the website you are using is hosted with a company, they can decide to flood your website with adverts without telling you and you can’t do anything about it.
Read also: Internet Marketing
Here is the list of some companies that provide free domain name and/or hosting.
Judging from the above points, I will advise you to go for paid domain name and hosting (note that some companies give free domain names if you buy a hosting plan with them. that is safe) since you will have absolute control over your website and no unwanted ads will be posted on your website.
You should only go for free domains and hosting for short term purposes.
When you have gotten a website which you may decide to use for a blog, you should know that understanding search engine optimization is key to driving huge website traffic.