As I read the various forums on website development and domain names, I am amazed at the number of people who are searching for free internet domain names. There is no such thing as completely free domain names, there is always a catch involved. The internet is no different than the offline world in this regard. How many offline businesses will give you something of value for free?
If you sign up with a host that is offering free domain names, you can be sure your website pages will have advertising that you have no control over, let alone make any money from. There may be other restrictions placed on you as well, like I said, there’s no such thing as free internet domains!
The next obvious drawback to using free domain names, more than likely it will be a sub-domain, not an actual domain name. For example; yourname.hostprovider.com or hostprovider.com/yourname. How can you possibly build any type of brand using a name like that? You can’t!
Developing a website that generates a decent amount of targeted traffic is quite an undertaking to say the least. What if you have success with your free name and down the road you decide to register your own unique domain name. What will happen to the existing traffic you have worked so hard to generate? What will happen to your search engine indexing and ranking that you have worked hard to achieve? If you change your domain name midstream you will very likely loose everything you have worked so hard to achieve. Does it still sound free?
Now if your website is a hobby site that doesn’t rely on income and you dabble with it when you feel like it, a free name will probably work for you. What amazes me though is the number of people that are developing websites for their business and want a free name!
Business and website owners must realize the internet is not a game or passing fad that can be taken lightly. The consumer shift to the internet is real and is here to stay. You need to establish your unique web presence by having your own domain name. Your domain name is what separates you from the 120 million or so websites on the internet today.
When you are doing the do diligence for your website, do not underestimate the importance of your domain name. You may spend several hundred or several thousand dollars to develop your website, don’t blow it with a free domain name.
Without a domain name no one can find your website!