Getting a free domain is easy, and it only takes six simple steps.
The first thing you need to do is visit the Hostinger website. They regularly run specials, so be sure to pay attention to the offers displayed on their home page.
You’ll see several different menu navigation options. Click the “Hosting” option, and select “Shared Hosting” from the dropdown menu.
You’ll see other types of web hosting, like cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and Minecraft 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, Hostinger 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.
After selecting the appropriate type of hosting, you need to choose the right plan.
Hostinger offers a few different options for shared hosting. If you want to get a free domain, don’t select the Single Shared Hosting plan, as it does not come with one.
The cheapest plan is a steal, no doubt, but if you want a free domain, it’s the wrong way to go. That leaves you with the Premium and Business Shared Hosting plans.
Here’s what each plan offers.
Premium Shared Hosting (includes free domain name)
Business Shared Hosting
Either of these plans is a solid option. I’d lean toward the Premium plan if you aren’t expecting to hit your resource limits in terms of storage or monthly traffic.
I’d recommend the Business plan for folks that are regularly updating their site or expecting a significant amount of traffic. Business plans include automatic daily backups for the last seven days and weekly backups for the last seven weeks.
The ability to restore your site is crucial. Handling backups on your own is a hassle you can avoid with Business plans.
After you select the appropriate plan, Hostinger asks you to choose a period for your plan: monthly, 12-month, 24-month, or 48-month.
If you want the free domain, do not select the month-to-month payment option. Hostinger only includes the free domain with terms of one year or more.
The longer your commitment, the greater the discount. You also stretch out that discount for as long as possible, because renewal pricing is never as good. This is not a Hostinger thing, it is just the way every host does it.
If you sign up for longer, Hostinger will actually lower the renewal rate. This is not common. As you can see in the image above, the renewal price for a single month of service is $11.99/month, whereas the renewal price for a 48-month term drops to $6.99/month.
The downside to signing up for a longer period is that you have to pay upfront. Again, this is typical of every host. But I’m willing to take the hit with Hostinger because it is a really great deal.
Do the math: Hostinger Premium Shared Hosting saves you over $400 for four years of hosting. Pay a hundred and change today, and don’t worry about your website hosting again until this year’s high school freshmen have graduated.
When you factor in the savings of a free domain name, the price only gets better.
After selecting your plan period, you’ll need to share the email address you’ll use to log into your new Hostinger account. Alternatively, you can log in using your account from Facebook, GitHub, or Google.
I’d make this an email you check regularly. If there’s ever an issue with your site, this is how Hostinger is going to get in touch with you.
After you set up your email, choose your preferred method of payment. Hostinger supports a range of popular credit cards and payment gateways.
Normally, I’d walk you through some of the other add-ons you want to select as part of your package, but because we’ve decided to go with a 48-month term of Premium Shared Hosting, all of the critical features are included:
All of these added services are great. 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. Hostinger makes all of this happen with just a few clicks. Beginners never have to worry about expiring SSL certificates or CDN issues.
Hostinger also waives the setup fee, which month-to-month customers have to pay for.
Once you’ve confirmed how you want to pay, enter your payment details and click the button to submit at the bottom of the page:
Once your payment goes through, you’ll have the option to claim your free domain name.
Select this option unless you want to buy additional domains or connect other domains you own.
From there, Hostinger will walk you through the process of selecting a domain name that’s available. You can search right on their site.
Hostinger offers domains with different extensions, including:
In most instances, a .com domain will be the only one I recommend. But there are two reasons why you might get an alternative domain extension: price and availability.
Getting a .site or .tech domain is cheaper than a .com extension. But in this case, you’re getting a year for free anyways.
Price aside, .com domains will be better for the long-term success of your website.
I recommend getting your domain name set up right away. 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 by on your Hostinger dashboard:
Last updated Apr 06, 2022
Applies to: Domain