Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Why You Should Beware Of Free Domain Names
We all love free stuffs and there is nothing bad in that - free books, free software, free apps, free bikinis, free shirts and if possible, free food. There is a city in Liberia called Freetown (it's actually the capital of the country) and when I was young (I mean, very young), I used to think that everything was free in the city and was looking forward to settling down there. But to my chagrin, I was wrong! I later discovered that nothing was actually free in Freetown and I felt bad. In fact, I was of the opinion that the name should be changed as it was misleading. However, the city was so named because it was the point where returning freed African slaves berthed after regaining their freedom when the slave trade was abolished.
Since nothing is actually free in Freetown, can a domain name (or web space), which you will use to launch your website, be actually free? The answer is YES and NO! Yes, in the sense that there are lots of free domain offers online and no, in the sense that there are many conditions attached to the offers. If you come across any free web space online, it is very important for you to go through the details before taking any action. This is because there are different forms of domains and if you choose the wrong one, it may adversely affect your chance to succeed online. Some of the popular forms of domains are generic top-level domains (gTLD), country code top-level domains (ccTLD), sub-domains, just to mention a few.
Majority of sub-domains are absolutely free because they are extensions of TLDs. For example, if I register a web space (TLD), say 'bead.com', I can create so many sub-domains from it, like 'black.bead.com', 'blue.bead.com', 'white.bead.com', etc. I can decide to give you any of the sub-web spaces for free but on my terms. I can decide to place adverts on the web space I'm giving to you in order to make up for the cost of registering, hosting, designing and maintaining the site.
CCTLDs are reserved for sovereign nations, countries and dependent territories and are usually two-lettered long, e.g .uk, .us, .ng, .in, .za, etc. Some ccTLDs are restricted to residents of the countries while some are open for worldwide registration. Some of them are offered for free, for example .tk, .ga, .ml, etc. However, there are conditions attached and they include the non-inclusion of your name in the whois record, inability to sell the site, just to mention a few.
GTLDs are the most popular domains and they are the .com, .net, .info, .biz, as well as the new ones like the .band, .club, .college, etc. They are the desire of every online entrepreneur as they can be easily monetized, among other benefits. You can't get a gTLD for free but if you can buy a web hosting package from a reputable company, you can get it for free with no conditions attached, except that you will get it for free for the first year only.
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