The intense competition in the web hosting industry has resulted in many web hosting companies offering more services or features these days to attract new sign-ups. One such popular service is the free domain name registration that comes with a new hosting plan. Many of these popular web hosts also offer free advertising credits which is great to help you get more traffic to your website.
Now, there are two ways you can register a new domain. One, through an independent domain registrar such as GoDaddy and NameCheap. The second method is, through your hosting provider. Both has its pros and cons. In today’s article, we will discuss the latter.
Why register your domain name with your Web Host?
A frequently asked question indeed. Especially when you might be able to get a cheaper domain price if you were to register separately. Some domain registrars are known to offer as low as $3.99 per domain. This price is of course, depending on your TLD (Top-level Domain) extensions and promotions that are being offered. Popular TLD like .com can come up to $12.99 and for .net $9.99, which are slightly lower than what the hosting providers are offering.
So why register with the hosting provider?
Most web hosting providers offer this domain registration service to reduce the trouble you need to take in configuring your DNS (nameservers) to your hosting provider’s servers. For most of you who are experienced, this step is very quick and simple, but for new users, they may not be able to do this by themselves.
Ease of management
With your domain name and hosting being from the same company, you can manage both of them from the same account. And as above-mentioned, there are hosting providers who are offering complimentary domain name registration or domain transfer.
Hosting Providers Who Offer Free Domain Names
Bluehost is one of my favorite hosting providers because of its reliability. They provide a free 1st year domain registration for their new customers. This is worth $11.99, which is the price you would need to pay should you decide to just buy a domain from them. Subsequently, you will be charged a renewal fee of $13.99 per domain per year.
All 12, 24 and 36-month plans quality for this free domain name offer.
Bluehost can register .com, .net, .org, .us, .biz and .info TLDs only. If you require any country level domain names, such as .com.sg and .com.my, then you will have to register it with a local web hosting company. For example, if you are in Indonesia, you can check out Jogjahost, a popular web host based in Indonesia, while for registering a .com.my, you can check out these top 10 Malaysia web hosts.
If you are transferring an existing domain to Bluehost, you would enjoy a full 1 year extension to your domain name following its current expiration date.
LunarPages‘ Basic Web Hosting plan (not Starter Web Hosting plan) offers free domain registration for the 1st year too, just like Bluehost. This freebie, however, must be redeemed within 30 days of your signup. The good news is that you have LunarPages’ assurance that you will always retain the domain name ownership.
Domain names that you can register with LunarPages are .com, .org, .name, .us, .biz, .info, .net, .ca and .co.uk. And for an extra $7.95 per domain per year, LunarPages will help you make your domain name private (also known as private whois), except for .us domain names.
LunarPages’ yearly domain renewal price varies depending on the number of years you are registering for, ie:
- 1 to 4 years @ $19.95 a year
- 5 to 9 years @ $13.95 a year
- 10 years @ $10.95 a year
What if you were transferring a domain over?
Well, LunarPages charges a one-time transfer fee of $12.95 per domain. This is not deduct-able from your free domain registration coupon.
InMotionHosting offers a free domain name for the first year for their 12-month or 24-month Business Class Hosting plans. The domain names supported by them are .com, .net, .org, .biz and .info.
The good news is that there is no expiry date on this free domain name credit. So you can apply this free domain name credit anytime you wish!
InMotionHosting used to provide free domain registrations for as long as you host with them. However, due to rising costs, they recently (July 2012) had to remove the free-for-life clause and instead, offer free for the first year domain registrations. Domain renewal in subsequent years costs $11.95.
WebhostingHub, being the sister company of InMotionHosting, naturally shares similar features with the latter. This includes offering free domain name registration for the first year. They are able to register slightly more domain names than InMotionHosting ir .com, .net, .org, .us, .biz, and .info. Upon renewal, WebhostingHub too charges $11.95 per domain per year.
So, what’s the difference between the two? Well, InMotionHosting caters to small and medium sized businesses as can be seen from its 3 different Business Class Hosting plans. Meanwhile, WebhostingHub is more suitable for personal and small businesses.
Another web host who also has a sister company is HostMonster, who shares the same data centers, servers and technology with their sister company Bluehost.
HostMonster too offers one free 1st year domain registration or free domain name transfer from another provider. Subsequent domain registration is currently priced at $13.99 per domain per year.
Features wise, both offers pretty much the same with unlimited disk space and bandwidth as well as 24/7 support.
To make it easier for you to glance through the prices, here is a summary of the 5 web hosting providers discussed above.
* This is the fees incurred should you purchase a one year domain registration only, without buying any web hosting plan.
As you can see from our comparison chart above, Bluehost has a really good offer. No wonder they are so popular and is highly recommended!
Why Bluehost is recommended
Below are some reasons why we highly recommend Bluehost.
- You get one year of free domain name, regardless whether you are registering it for the first time, or you are transferring it from another web host. Currently, no web host is offering free domain name for life.
- Subsequent renewal is pretty cheap, at $13.99 per year. This might be slightly more expensive ($2 more) compared to InMotionHosting and WebhostingHub, but you will save a lot more in the monthly web hosting fee, at $3.95/month only (when you activate the discount through our special link).
- WebhostingHub’s domain name renewal is slightly cheaper compared to Bluehost ($2 cheaper). But, we still prefer and recommend Bluehost as it has better customer support and is more recognized globally. See the web search interest comparison chart below.
Web Search Interest: Bluehost, WebhostingHub, HostMonster
From the chart above, it is clear that a lot of people are interested in and trusted in Bluehost. The number of searches for this web host over the years have increased tremendously, and Google is forecasting that this trend will continue for the next couple of years.
While it is great to sign up for web hosting plans that provide free domain names, this should not be the only feature to influence your decision. Do bear in mind that there are other equally important features such as your website requirements, budget, customer support, free marketing credits and money back guarantee.
The above is a list of 5 of the most reliable and affordable hosting providers around, based on our hosting experiences. So if you are researching for a good hosting provider, I would encourage you to check them out. Any of them is good, although we highly regard Bluehost as the best.