Free Domain Names: What's the Catch?

by Paul Flyer - Date: 2007-01-15 - Word Count: 278 Share This!

My high school economics teacher used to say, "There is no such thing as a free lunch". He implied that someone, somewhere, was paying for it.

Advertising offers for free domain names popup often on websites. Are users paying for that free name in some form? Is there a catch to having a free domain name?

There are several issues to be aware of when considering a free domain offer:

First, is it a real domain or a subdomain? The physical difference is versus The former is far easier for users to read and remember. The functional difference is a matter of ownership. You would own, but the service would own the subdomain version. Owning a real legitimate domain name is critical to any websites success. MAny people fail to realize this fact. Buy a real domain for your website and your future success won't be hampered by a lousy subdomain domain.

A lot of free "real" domains are offered by web hosting companies. Web hosts will offer free domains with a web hosting package. Be careful signing up for such service. You may end up with a free domain but a year's worth of junky web hosting service. The best advice is to keep your domains registered and web sites hosted with different companies. As my high school economic teacher also used to say, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

Finally, seriously consider what domain ownership means. Domain ownership means possessing virtual real estate. Domain names have value and can be bought, sold, traded and developed. They are an investment. Don't let anyone or anything keep you from true domain ownership even if the offer is free.

Related Tags: domain names, free domain names, choosing domain names

Paul Flyer writes about domain name registration on his Recommended Web Tools website. For more information on choosing, registering and managing domain names, download his free ebook, The Domain Name Handbook at

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