Choosing a domain name is an integral part of establishing an online presence. When you’re getting started with websites and web design, you will be faced with the decision of a free domain or a paid domain. It can feel a little daunting for beginners, but the choice is ultimately up to you and how you see your business or website growing over time.
The best link building services will tell you that a domain is your web address. It’s the name of your website, typically, and it’s what users will type into their search bar or URL bar to find your site. A free domain is a web address that you get from web builders like WordPress and Squarespace or content management systems like Blogger. Free domains will have the domain name you choose followed by the hosting domain name. Your domain name appears as a subdomain of the web builder or content management system. The purpose of free domains is to allow bloggers, brands and other entities the ability to create content on the internet at no cost–as little or as much as they see fit to create on a single named site or multiple named sites.
Free Domains and SEO
While it is true that free domains and subdomains aren’t indexed as easily by search engines, they are not invisible to significant SEO metrics. There are no significant negatives when it comes to optimizing SEO on a free domain. What makes the biggest difference to SEO metrics is your content and how it is organized and presented. There’s no substitution for useful and relevant content that gets plenty of organic traffic. Your free domain can be branded just as any paid root domain name and even become a top ranking branded query in Google. It has been done before. Although it’s a rule of thumb for Google to treat subdomains as subdirectories of the root domain, if your free domain is offering enough content that proves to be of unique value that is different from the root domain, it will be listed as separate and distinct.
Pros and Cons of Free Domains
It is true that having a custom domain name is far more memorable and holds more authority in the minds of most internet users, but there’s no real harm in taking advantage of a free domain name. Using free until you get more established is a perfectly fine thing to do. Paying for hosting and a domain name isn’t going to be financially feasible for everyone, so it’s nice to have options.
The fact of the matter is that content is king. Whether you’re using a free domain or a paid registered domain, you have the same opportunities as any other website to establish your site as unique, valuable and an SEO dream. When you put your focus on creating great content, the SEO metrics will often follow fairly naturally. As you continue to grow your brand, you will undoubtedly learn more about how SEO works and find ways to integrate it seamlessly into your content for even better distinction.