Getting a domain for free can cost you. Besides having a thing for a good paradox, that line has a lot of truth to it. Let me narrate the story of my search to get a free domain name and hosting. A domain is the name of your site and hosting is where you store it. Many of you on WordPress might have “yourblogname.wordpress.com” ,If you went for the free plan or you’ll have a “yourblogname.com” ,If you paid for your site.
WordPress is a safe bet if you want a free blog. But having a subdomain, that is the .wordpress in your site name is not what I wanted. I couldn’t apply to any advertising companies like Google Adsense or WordAds to monetise my site so I wanted a full fledged domain name. And I wanted it for free. Because I thought, why pay for something when you can get it for free!
There is a way to do that. You can get your domain name from a website called freenom and host it at hostinger, a site which does web hosting for free. You can look up this process on YouTube. This is a simple matter of pointing your domain to the nameserver of your host. In simpler terms, making the name of your site point to where it’s contents are stored. So when someone types in your site’s name, it’s contents show up on their screen.
So I did that and installed WordPress. I was the proud owner of “http://www.theobsessivewriter.ga” the free website didn’t come with a .com, they gave me a less preferred .ga, but I was okay with that. Then I installed WordPress and had my own self-hosted site.
After that came all the issues. Like, I could not install any widgets. The host gave me a very small storage and it couldn’t even handle installing jetpack(a blog stats widget). And to top it all off, I went onto freenom to try getting another free domain name. when I typed in my site “theobsessivewriter.ga”, in the name search just to check, it did not say it was taken like it was supposed to. Instead, it simply made that free domain name a paid one. And it was priced at around 3 dollars. So anyone could buy my site and I wouldn’t even know.
The thing is, I shouldn’t get mad. I had no right. I didn’t pay for it so they don’t owe me anything. But they did not have to make such false promises. This is just something you should know before you step into these things. Free things are always unreliable. All the hard work you put it will just be taken away without an explanation if someone is willing to pay for what you got for free.
In WordPress the free plan is pretty trust worthy. They won’t take away your blog unless you violate their terms and conditions. And incase you ever want your own domain like I did, be very careful when you make your choice. You can go for a self-hosted blog or upgrade your current free plan to personal or premium or business in WordPress.
I preferred to upgrade to the person plan on WordPress. Because I am a blogger/ writer. I just post my own content and it’s not under any niche. I am here for the community. If I had gone for a self-hosted site, my posts won’t show up in the WordPress reader anymore and I would have lost all my followers. That’s another thing. When you upgrade from free to a paid plan on WordPress, it automatically transfers your followers to your new site. So I’d say, self-host your blog only if you have a niche. Stick with WordPress if you’re a personal blogger like me.
Thank you for reading! I hope this recount of my experiences were useful. If you like these type of posts please let me know and I’ll post more blogging tips related content for you guys. 🙂
– The Obsessive Writer