- What to know about having a custom email domain
- What are the benefits of having a personal email domain?
- How to get your own email address domain
- Choose a hosting provider
- Get a hosting plan from Bluehost
- Get a hosting plan from Hostinger
- Get a hosting plan from HostGator
- Register the domain name
- Connecting your domain to an email address
The domain name is part of an email address that comes after the @ symbol. Most of us use addresses provided by the company we work at or a public mailbox service like Gmail.com, Yahoo.com, etc.
When someone starts a small hobby-type business, they usually settle for a free mailbox for correspondence and a free hosting to create a web page. As the business grows, a need for a paid hosting plan with more features will arise. This is the perfect moment to get a dedicated domain name and create an email address on that domain.
And you know what, you could get a domain for free! Well, not totally free, but at no extra cost apart from what you pay for your hosting plan. Read on to learn the available options.
What to know about having a custom email domain
Nearly all businesses use a custom domain for their website and email because it looks more presentable when communicating with any third party. A custom domain speaks for itself. People may not take your message seriously if it comes from a free public mailbox.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with emails having generic domain names. The issue is that everyone can use them, and you need a way to stand out. The simplest way to achieve that is by acquiring a fancy domain name and creating email addresses attached to it.
Domains are quite inexpensive as is, but you can get one for free when you purchase a hosting package from some popular providers. You effectively kill two birds with one stone: pay for much-needed web hosting space and get a free domain for your email address.
One important thing to check regarding the free bonus domain is whether you are the legal owner of this domain. If the domain name is actually owned by the hoster, you may be unable to move to any competing service without having to pay a substantial sum.
What are the benefits of having a personal email domain?
The benefits of having a personal email domain include:
As we’ve mentioned, a custom domain makes you look professional to anyone you’re conversing with via email. Take two examples: [email protected] and [email protected]. The former address looks way better, and people are more likely to respond to an email from it. A custom domain greatly increases the chances of people wanting to engage with you after receiving an email pitch.
With a custom domain, you can create and manage multiple email addresses from a single dashboard. Hosting solutions allow an administrator to create new mailboxes on the fly, and you may access them independently or set up email forwarding.
Public mailbox services may have different policies regarding security and service level. At worst, the company may close your account or discontinue its email service without offering an easy way to migrate your archives. With a paid service, you’ll be more confident in your mailbox availability.
How to get your own email address domain
You can get a domain name from an accredited registrar, usually for an annual fee. Registrars pay money to ICANN, the organization overseeing domain licensing, so they recoup costs and get profits by charging customers for the domain name.
However, some web hosting companies run promos offering a free domain to people who buy their hosting plans. These hosting companies are also domain registrars, so you can buy a web hosting and register a domain name on the same platform. Below, we’ll show you how to create your own email domain for free.
Choose a hosting provider
Seek a web hosting provider that offers free domains as perks to new customers. Three such providers are Bluehost, Hostinger, and HostGator. They offer hosting services for relatively low prices, and you can get a free domain from them to make it a better bargain.
Get a hosting plan from Bluehost
Bluehost offers a free domain name to customers who pay for one of its shared hosting plans. The free domain is available only if you pay for at least one year. If you cancel the plan within the first year, Bluehost will charge you a non-refundable domain fee based on the regular price.
The domain name is free for the first year, and you’ll have to pay to renew it in subsequent years and retain your email and web address. You can choose one of the Bluehost plans below:
Get a hosting plan from Hostinger
Hostinger is another popular hosting service offering free domains to its customers. You can get this perk if you buy a hosting plan of at least 12 months. Hostinger offers two main web hosting plans, Premium and Business, which cost $96 and $108 annually. First-year subscribers get a 71-75% discount on these prices.
Like with Bluehost, Hostinger’s free domain name lasts one year. You must pay a renewal fee for subsequent years to retain it.
Unfortunately, Hostinger's offer is limited to about two dozen TLDs (Top Level Domains, the last part of your domain name), including .NET, .COM, .XYZ, etc.
Get a hosting plan from HostGator
HostGator offers one free domain registration to customers who pay for an annual Cloud, Shared, or Optimized WordPress hosting plan. The free domain name is also limited to around a dozen TLDs, including .NET, .COM, and .TECH. Alas, some popular ones, like .CO and .ORG, aren’t available.
HostGator’s free domain lasts one year, and you must pay for renewal in subsequent years to retain your custom email address. Both new and existing customers can take advantage of this freebie.
Register the domain name
After getting the hosting plan from the provider of your choice, the next step is to open the platform’s domain registration dashboard and choose an available domain.
Of course, you may only claim a domain name that is not already taken. As we’ve mentioned, some hosting providers additionally limit their free domains to certain TLDs, so ensure you choose one they offer. To find out whether a name is available, you may also use a free online tool like DNSChecker.
After buying a relevant hosting plan, Bluehost shows you the option of creating a domain name. You can choose the domain name immediately and claim it if it’s available. Otherwise, you can select I'll create a domain name later; in this case, you’ll need to contact Bluehost’s support team when you’re ready to create the free domain.
Claiming your free domain immediately after paying for a hosting plan is advisable because the process is smoother.
After selecting a Hostinger hosting plan with a free domain, you'll find it in your cart.
You can use two methods to claim the free domain:
- Create it immediately after paying for the hosting plan.
- Take your time and click the Claim domain button on your account homepage later.
HostGator immediately redirects you to the section where you claim a free domain after paying for a relevant hosting plan.
- Select the shared hosting plan you want and add it to your cart.
- Head to your cart and click Buy Now. You’ll be redirected to the page to create your free domain name. Choose any available one.
- Select your billing cycle for the hosting plan (at least one year).
- Create a hosting account.
- Enter your billing information and make a payment. You’ll get the free domain once the payment is confirmed.
Connecting your domain to an email address
At this point, you need to know how to create email addresses for your domain. The good news is that many web hosting companies also offer email hosting services.
Bluehost, Hostinger, and HostGator each offer this option. You can use the domain you’ve claimed to create custom email addresses. Hostinger will charge separately for email accounts, while Bluehost and HostGator offer email services under their web hosting packages. All you need to do is create a mailbox right in your control panel. The hoster will provide you with the settings you’ll need to enter in your email client in order to access the mailbox.
Apart from the hoster’s service, you can still choose an external email provider like Google Workspace or Zoho Mail. You’ll have to pay for the email service and connect the domain you purchased on Bluehost, Hostinger, or HostGator to them. Connecting a domain to an external email service involves changing the MX records on the DNS settings. The process is described in the provider’s documentation.
Using an email address with a custom domain name has many great advantages. To make things better, you can get a free domain name by paying for a hosting plan from some providers. We have explained how to create your own email domain for free; follow our tips, and you shouldn’t have any problems doing that.
FAQ – How to Create Your Own Email Address Domain
How do I set up a free domain name for email addresses?
You can get a free domain name when you purchase a hosting plan from some providers, such as Bluehost, Hostinger, HostGator, etc. These providers usually require you to purchase a hosting plan for at least 1 year to claim the free domain name.
Will my free email domain expire?
Most companies offer free domains for only one year. After the year runs out, you must pay a renewal fee to keep the domain for yourself. Failure to renew means the domain will expire and be auctioned off to another person.
Do free email domains cause my emails to go to spam folders?
No, they don’t. If the message is legit and comes from an address attached to a custom domain, it’ll likely reach the recipient regardless of whether you acquired the domain for free or not.
How do I connect a domain name to another email platform?
You do that by adding the MX records provided by the email service to your DNS configurations. Log in to your domain registrar and look for Advanced DNS configurations or something similar. Add the MX records, and you’re good to go.