Purchasing a domain name is one of the first steps towards building your real estate website.
Your domain name is the address where people will find you online.
If you are looking for a free real estate domain name, this guide will explain in detail how to get one:
The quick answer
If you don’t have time to read this lengthy article, here is the quick answer for you:
If you are building your site on self-hosted platforms such as WordPress.org, you can purchase hosting from a trusted hosting provider that offers a free domain name.
Bluehost is one of the most trusted hosting providers. When you purchase a hosting plan with BlueHost, you get a free real estate domain for the first year.
While a domain name is the address of your business online, hosting is the ‘home’ for your website. In a recent article, I discussed the best hosting providers for a real estate website. BlueHost is one of the most cost-effective options as you can purchase hosting for a single domain for as low as about $3/month. At this price, you get not only a free domain but also free CDN (for faster load time) and free SSL (for security).
There are a few more options to get a free domain name which we will discuss later in this guide.
Getting your free domain with BlueHost in 3 easy steps
Now that you know the best way to get a free real estate domain name, I will explain in detail how to set up your free domain with BlueHost:
Step#1: Pick a hosting plan
The first easy step is to go to the BlueHost website and pick a hosting plan. All the plans include a free domain for the first year.
If you need hosting for just one real estate website, you can go with the Basic Plan which is $2.95/month.
Step#2: Select your domain name
Once you click ‘Select’, you will be directed to the page where you will get the free domain. You will have three options:
- Create a new domain
- Use a domain you own
- Create your domain later
To avail of the free domain offer, the first option – Create a New Domain – is what you should pay attention to.
You can select from a wide range of domain name extensions including:
I would recommend you go with .com as it’s the most commonly used and most recognized domain extension. Most other extensions are useless for a Realtor or real estate investor website.
Keep in mind that a domain name has to be unique. Two websites can’t have the same domain name for obvious reasons. So if you find that the domain name you are planning to get is unavailable, go through all alternative domain names that BlueHost will suggest.
Once you find the domain name that is available, you can proceed to the next step.
Step#3: Create your account and checkout
After selecting a domain name, you will be redirected to the account creation page. Some of the information you will need to provide here include:
- Your personal info
- Business name
- Email address
- Any additional services you want to purchase
BlueHost offers many extra services such as privacy protection and SEO packages. Make sure to uncheck them if you don’t need them. Finally, you will be asked to provide your credit card details and agree to the terms of services.
What will give you peace of mind is the fact that BlueHost comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you are not satisfied with their services, you can easily get a refund by contacting their support team. They are very easy to get hold of. You can reach out via email, chat, or phone.
Other ways to get a free domain name
Here are a few other ways to get a bargain on your website domain name:
If you are not tech-savvy, you can consider using a website builder instead of hiring designers and developers to either set up a theme or build a website from scratch.
Squarespace is one of the best website builders for real estate professionals including Realtors and real estate investors.
START YOUR FREE SQUARESPACE TRIAL
Here is the step-by-step process to claim your free Squarespace domain name for the first year:
- You first need to sign up for a Squarespace plan The popular website builder provides free domain with all plans. If you pay annually, you can get a website starting at just $14/month. Since it’s a website builder, you can build your Realtor or investor website within minutes by dragging and dropping different components.
- Once you’ve have signed up, Squarespace will generate a site ID which you can change later. It will look like this: yoursiteID.squarespace.com. This is like a domain name created by Squarespace. You don’t pay for this.
- You can get a custom domain name for the first year. You can then connect the website you have built with the Squarespace ID to your custom domain. After the first year, you will pay nearly $20/year for the domain.
- Squarespace in partnership with Tucows offers over 200 domain extensions including .com and .net. You will get Whois privacy and SSL security free of cost.
A Free Subdomain
I don’t recommend this method, but just for the sake of being comprehensive, I will explain it.
Apart from Squarespace, there are many website builders. They include WordPress.com (not self-hosted WordPress.org), Wix, and Weebly.
These website builders allow users to create a subdomain free of cost. For example, Wix will combine the user name and your desired domain name to create a free subdomain for you. So, if the user name is myrealtybusiness and your desired domain name is ExampleRealty, the subdomain will look like this:
Needless to say, it doesn’t look professional. An ideal website URL should be memorable.
Many realtors and investors want to save money, so they build their websites on a subdomain. But it hurts SEO and your brand-building efforts in the long run.
If you’ve published a lot of content on your subdomain and want to switch to a custom domain in the future, you will lose your rankings in search engine results even if you follow the best real estate SEO practices such as URL redirecting.
However, just like Squarespace, almost all website builders let you purchase a custom domain and connect your website with it for a monthly or annual price.
Free registrar with ‘not-so-common’ domain name extensions
.com, .org, .net and country-specific domain extensions are widely recognized. However, there are domain registrars which offer free domains with not so common domain extensions. For example, .ga, .nom.za, .cf, .gq, and ..zik.dj.
Domain names with these extensions don’t look trustworthy, so it’s better to avoid these.
Besides, there are strings attached. Many domain registrars will run ads on your website in exchange for a free domain.
Your domain name is the address of your business online, so you need to pick one very carefully.
If you are looking for a free domain for your real estate investor or agent business, you should consider either a hosting provider such as BlueHost that offers a free domain and go with a popular website builder such as Squarespace.
Avoid using free subdomains or domain names with untrustworthy extensions. It will hurt your digital marketing efforts in the long run.