How to Get a Free Domain & Web Hosting Package
OK some for some mundane technical reasons that I won't go into here and now, I needed a new domain name and free hosting so I can use a little trial and error before publishing to my site.
After a quick Google search I found a few reasonable free domain name providers, some more useful than others. Some only grant you the name without an option to add your own hosting package or existing host details (meaning you'd need an existing website or blog already hosted/online to use them).
These can be immensely handy for people wishing to secure a better, shorter and more professional domain name looking for their blog or website; for example.co.nr instead of examplehas-a-longblogname.myblogacc.com. They seem easy enough to use, just register your email and details and then forward their cooler and shorter URL to your prior live site or blog. No coding experience required, although I'm assuming these sites the thesis that they must for be personal and/or non-commercial use only.
Personally I've chosen a name from Dot.tk and hosting from Free Hosting Packages (detailed below); www.owendaniel.tk now forwards to a site mirroring my .com - although they look identical, they're essentially hosted in separate places. NB: this domain expired after one year and then they asked for monies, so expect to pay out eventually.
Free Domain Names Only (No Hosting Options):
• FreeDomain.co.nr (Republic of Nauru)
º Register any available www.somename.co.nr completely free, no banners or advertising and forward to an existing name of your choice for example ihavealongblogname.blogger.com. Compatible with Google and Bing's Webmaster Tools.
Free Domain Names & Hosting:
º One of, possibly the, oldest free domain and hosting services on the web. The package also offers three free emails, a free integrated website builder, blog and photo album.
• FreeHosting.eu.pn (European)
º For up to five nothing-to-pay domain names ending in eu.pn or .me.pn, with webmail and ftp access, Joomla sites and Wordpress blogs plus PHP and MySQL hosting.
• Dot.tk (Tokelau Island)
º Apparently now bigger than .ru (Russia) and .cn (China) combined! It entered the charts as the third most popular domain name in 2011. Easy to use and setup, all you need is to forward to your longer domain name, or point to your host's servers.
Free Web Hosting:
º Offers free web space, php5, mysql5, ftp (allegedly including Filezilla - but I haven't sussed that bit yet), unmetered traffic, up to 1500MB web with emails managed via GMail.
The major downside to these services in general, is that you get a slower response from their tech support teams. I suppose, seeing as 'you pay for what you get' the customer service levels aren't exactly as high as they could be. It's always tough to complain about a free product.
Also it's imperative that the sites are used and don't lay dormant. Some services are cancelled without warning if the site is not used or visited. On the flip side if you become too popular, they'll probably insist you cut them a slice of the cake.
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