Domain name is a MUST to show up your website on internet. A good and easy to remember domain name will improve your site visibility for better business success. Domain registration always costs you several bucks per year and you may need to pay additional fees for various addon services like domain privacy. But since there's free domain registration available on web, why should we subscribe to paid domain service? When should you use free domain name service and when to pay? We're going to compare both pros and cons side by side between free and paid domain registration service.
Introduction of free domain registration service
Free domain registration service is only provided by few registrars where you can register any available names with specific TLD extensions. Generally, you can sign up free domain hosting account to add as many domain names as you want. You have options to manage domain DNS servers and records in account panel, you can also set redirection to other websites. Currently, free domain registration service is mainly offered by two popular sites: dot.tk and dot.ml
Introduction of paid domain registration service
Paid domain name registration is the main type domain service on internet. There're hundreds of ICANN certified domain registrars from different areas on the planet. With a paid service, you have full access to any domain related service like DNS, domain transfer, domain privacy and domain parking etc. You can register most available domain tlds with a paid service. The largest domain registrar so far is godaddy(www.godaddy.com).
Free domain vs paid domain – available tld options
Free domain names are only provided through a specific domain tld. Till present, such servers is only provided by two providers – dot.tk and dot.ml sites. You can either register .tk or .ml domain name based your prefers. However, please note some branded names like microsoft, google and dell etc can not be registered.
Paid domain name service is completely different, you can register most available domain extensions based your needs. dot com domain is the most popular choice by most business. Because of this, you should use dot com whenever you want to register a domain since it's the first impression when people refer to a website. You do not have this advantage from free registration service.
Free domain vs paid domain – security
Free domain registration just requires you to register with a user/password without further private details like home address, phone numbers and credit card etc. Thus, in case your account is hacked by somebody, you can not call for support about it, mostly you will loose domains in that account.
With a paid domain registration service, you're fully supported and protected by registrar and country laws. If anyone accessed into your account for modifications, you will get email alert instantly so you can take actions. Because you have submitted payment information when registering the domain, you can easily get it back if it's hajacked.
Free domain vs paid domain – SEO friendly
As we known, different domain extensions are managed by different countries. For example .us is managed by American, .cn is managed by China. Their institutions handle domain propagation in their own countries. Means if you browse a dot cn site, it's propagated from China so it might take longer time to load if you're outside this area. From SEO sight, if you're going to promote a site in specific area, a local domain site with local language is suggested. You have a range options to register different extensions domains from paid registrars. However you don't have such option from free domain service. What you get is their local extension site which is less popular than leading selections. Internet connections are not so good in those areas so major search engines may not be able to crawl it smoothly.
Also, because of the free, the service is heavily abused by people. The free point greatly reduced spam site investment and heavily affected the search engine SERP. Because of this, most dot tk domain sites were cleared out from baidu search in China and got almost no ranking at all from google. if you're going to promote business on such domain, all your efforts will be useless.
When you need a free domain service?
The free domain service is not bad itself, its just abused by people. It's still good choice if you want to upload a hobby site with no extra consideration such as search visibility, money making etc. Some web applications only works with a top level domain, but you're not ready to pay for a new domain yet. In this case you can get a free domain for testing purpose. The registration is almost instant so you don't have to wait a bit.
Free domain service is only good choice for hobby purpose. It's never suggested putting your business on such domain for any side consideration. Instead, you should go with a decent paid service like godaddy, namecheap etc. Also, if you're going to host your website with a web hosting service, many of them will give you free domain opportunity, much better than those unprotected service.