A domain name is a key to establish a strong online presence – helping build brand credibility, authority, and professionalism. Owning the right domain name gives an impression that you have a legitimate and established business – something your customers can trust easily. Furthermore, premium domains help generate more traffic at no additional cost.
But are domain names available for free? Can you host unlimited domains on your account? These are some common questions that you might be worried about when trying to register a domain name for your website, blog, or eCommerce portal. If you are looking for a free domain name, Bluehost is perhaps the first name that comes to mind. The leading website hosting company provides a free domain name for the first year when you buy any of their hosting plans.
In this article, we will discuss everything you should know about getting Bluehost free domain name, explaining common misconceptions, the process, and more. This is a helpful review that will answer all your questions about getting a free domain from Bluehost.
Is Bluehost Domain Free?
Yes, Bluehost offers “free domain” registration for every new hosting account you buy. That means, whenever you buy a Bluehost hosting plan, free domain registration is included in it if you follow the necessary steps to get the free domain offer. If you have registered a domain with some other hosting provider and want to switch to Bluehost, your domain name will be free for the first year.
How To Get BlueHost Free Domain Name?
When you sign up for a new hosting account with Bluehost, you will get the free domain registration offer. Discussed below is the step-by-step process to get a free domain name from Bluehost:
Step 1: Visit Bluehost.com
- To visit the official Bluehost website, click here. On their website, you will find several tabs at the topmost Menu section.
- One of the tabs is “Domains”. Make sure you do NOT visit the Domains page because you will not get your domain name for free on this page.
- Instead, click on the “Hosting” tab next to Domains. When you scroll the Hosting menu, you would see Bluehost offers 3 types of hosting plans – Shared Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, and VPS Hosting. All these hosting plans include a free domain for the first year.
- For most WordPress websites, shared hosting is the ideal option because it provides all the necessary features you need to get started. Additionally, Bluehost shared hosting plans are also less expensive than dedicated and VPS hosting plans.
In this article, we will explain the process to get a Bluehost free domain name with the shared hosting plans.
- Note that Bluehost provides free domain only when you sign up with one of their hosting plans; not otherwise. Therefore, to get a free domain name, you’d need to select a preferred hosting plan.
- Bluehost offers four different shared hosting plans. Free domain for 1 year is available with all the plans. Check out the plan features and pricing here:
For most businesses, the Basic Plan is an ideal hosting solution. It allows you to:
- Host 1 website
- 50 GB SSD storage
- Free SSL certificate
- Unmetered bandwidth
- 5 parked domains with 25 subdomains
- Easy WordPress integration
- $150 Free Ads Credits
- 24/7 customer support
- This plan is affordable and costs only $3.95/month for a 36-months term.
If you want to host more than one website or if you have a complex enterprise-grade website that needs higher security and privacy features, then Choice Plus is the ideal hosting plan for you. It allows you to:
- host unlimited websites
- Unlimited SSD storage
- Free SSL certificate
- Free Office 365
- Free domain privacy
- Free automated backup for 1 year
- Choice Plus hosting plan costs $6.95/month for a 36-months term.
Following on our steps, proceed to:
- Choose a hosting plan and click “Select”.
- Regardless of the plan you choose, you will get a free domain name.
Step 3: Select A Domain Name
When you click on “Select”, you will be redirected to the page where you will have to create a domain name.
Here, you will have 3 options:
- Create a new domain
- If you already own a domain, mention it in the box “Use a domain you own”
- You can also choose to create a domain later
If you plan to create a new domain name, you can look for it in the box mentioning “Create a domain.” Your next step is to select the preferred domain extension. Bluehost offers a wide range of domain extensions, including .com, .site, .online, .net, .space, .co, .info, .biz, .blog, .tech, .us, .org, and many others.
The choice of your domain extension will depend on availability and price. Popular domain extensions like .com, .net, .org, etc. are costlier as compared to the less popular ones like .tech or .site. Even though you get a domain name for free (including the extension), you must give it a thought because, after 1 year, Bluehost domain name charges will be applicable.
However apart from the price factor, using popular domain extensions can help build website authority and credibility while attracting more traffic. However, if the domain you choose is not available, Bluehost will provide the other available options.
Step 4: Create Your Bluehost Hosting Account
Once you choose a domain name, Bluehost will lead you to create a hosting account. Even if you skip the process of domain registration and jump to this step, you will still get a free domain when you sign up. You need to know that Bluehost provides free domain only with new hosting accounts and not with the existing accounts, even if you host a new WordPress website.
The account creation process is pretty straightforward and will take only a few minutes. You will have to fill the form shown below with all the necessary information:
Step 5: Select Your Preferred Billing Terms
In the next step, you will have to choose the billing term that is most suitable for your hosting needs and budget.
Bluehost now offers 12 months, 24 months and 36 months periods for web hosting plans. The price will vary depending on the term length you choose. However, Bluehost offers attractive discounts when you select the 36 monthly billing term.
- 12-month price: $5.95/month – $71.40 for 1 year
- 24-month price: $4.95/month – $118.80 for 2 years
- 36-month price: $3.95/month – $142.20 for 3 years
These rates are only applicable when you sign up for the first time. Bluehost Basic shared hosting plan will renew at $7.99/month.
Step 6: Select Add-ons & Make Payment
Before you make the final payment, Bluehost will present you with additional features that you might want to include in your plan. Remember, these are addons and you can get them at an additional charge.
It is up to you whether you want these add-on features or not. Select the addons that you want or you can directly move to the payment section. Bluehost accepts payment through Credit Card or PayPal. Once you make the payment and agree with their terms of service, your website hosting account will be set up and you will have a free domain name for the first year.
Bluehost Free Domain For Life
Bluehost offers a free domain for life – this is one of the common misconceptions that has been around for some time.
To state the fact, Bluehost does not give a free domain for a lifetime with a hosting account.
In fact, Bluehost earlier had an offer that stated that the domains that were registered and maintained before 22nd February 2011 will continue to have the free domain for life. The hosting provider issued a domain coupon, through which a hosting account registered before the previously-mentioned date could enjoy a free domain for a lifetime.
However, this offer is no longer available for any Bluehost account. Currently, they offer a free domain only with the new hosting accounts for the first year. After the first year is completed, you will be charged for the domain as per Bluehost’s standard rates.
Does Bluehost Offer Multiple Free Domains Or Just One?
This is a common question that will come to your mind when buying a hosting plan with Bluehost, especially when you choose a plan that supports hosting unlimited websites. Will you get a free domain for each website you host under the plan?
NO, you won’t!
Regardless of the hosting plan you choose or the number of websites it supports, Bluehost offers only “one” free domain. So, if you host multiple websites, you will have only one domain for free and you will have to pay for the other domains according to the standard charges.
How Much Does Bluehost Charge For Domain Name After The First Year?
After the first year, standard domain name registration and renewal pricing will be applicable. The pricing will vary based on the Top-Level Domain (TLD) Names you choose. All domain prices are applicable for 1 year.
The Domain Pricing Is Mentioned Below
- Original Top-Level Domain Names: The following registration and renewal fees will be applicable for all Original TLDs that Bluehost offers:
- Country Code Top-Level Domain Names: If you are specifically looking for TLDs with country codes, the following domain pricing is applicable:
- New Generic Top-Level Domain Names: To know the registration and renewal pricing for new generic TLDs after the 1st year, click here.
Can You Get A Refund On A Domain Name From Bluehost?
Domain renewal pricing is applicable for 12 months after which it will automatically get renewed at the applicable price. Unfortunately, even if you want to cancel your domain with Bluehost, the renewal fees are non-refundable. Therefore, if you do not wish to keep the domain make sure that you do not auto-renew your domain the next year.
To stop auto-renewal of your Bluehost domain
- Login to your account. Under Domains, click “Manage” and then “Renewal”.
- Uncheck the box against “auto-renew” if you want to cancel your domain and you don’t want it to go on auto-renewal. The amount that you have already paid for the current domain renewal period will not be refunded even if you cancel the domain.
Therefore, you should continue using the domain for a minimum 12 months period and stop the auto-renewal just before the domain expires.
If you choose to continue using the domain and it expires before you could renew it, Bluehost will save it within 30 days from the expiration date. You have the option to renew domain registration during this period with the renewal price applicable.
Bluehost Domain Name Search Tool
Bluehost is a preferred choice for many for getting a free domain name. All you need to do is sign up for one of their website hosting plans and you will have a free domain for the first year. The domain renewal prices are also quite economical, considering that these are applicable for an entire year. However, the only drawback is that domain registration and renewal fees are non-refundable under Bluehost.
There is no denying the fact that Bluehost is one of the best options to get a domain for free. There are other alternatives to get a free domain like – joining an affiliate program, using a free subdomain, or leveraging the ccTLD services. But we do not recommend using these alternatives as these may be detrimental to your website in the long term.
Opt for a free domain with Bluehost or you can look for other hosting providers and domain registrars that offer paid and reliable alternatives. To save a few dollars, refrain from getting a domain for free using any random country code from some remote location. Do not ruin your brand name with a bad or vague domain name; choose trusted options like Bluehost that will give your website a professional edge.
In addition to a free domain, Bluehost also provides a comprehensive set of website hosting features, high-end security & privacy protection, and round-the-clock customer support for an improved hosting experience. The hosting pricing plans are also quite competitive.
If you want to add to the information given in this review article, you mention it in the comments section below.