Monster Backlinks

Can using a free domain be bad?



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

Can using a free domain be bad?

I have noticed recently that there are quite a few forums out there that have free domains yet are extremely active. There are several forums on these free hosted and free domain that have posts in the hundreds of thousands. But I always thought that we should always buy a proper top level domain because it makes the site look a bit more professional and legitimate. Do you guys think that nowadays people don't care too much about forum domains as long as the community behind it is good?

Comments

Please login or sign up to leave a comment

Join
Gandalf

It does depend on the domain extension, but in general most of the free ones don't rank highly in searches. I have a couple of free domains that I used when I was setting up my websites and they didn't get much traffic. Now I use them mainly for forwarding or as holding pages.

The extension does still matter, but as long as it's not obscure then it will get traffic. These days .net, .co, .us, .co.uk and extensions associated with a country generally rank well. I have a few .xyz sites and they have struggled to be honest mainly because there have been so many scam sites associated with the extension. As a .com costs less than $20 it's a worthwhile investment and the best choice for an extension.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

PedroP

I chose a paid domain to my website but I thought that it didn't matter. I thought that free domains could rank just as well. I guess I made a good choice then.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

thart

Having a website with a free domain does not look professional at all. Visitors to your website and potential customers would find it quite difficult to take your website seriously when you don't even have a proper domain name.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

PedroP

Well, so I heard. But I also heard that free domains could rank well if the content was good. I almost got a free domain but since I wanted to make some money out of my website I decided to spend a few bucks more and make sure I was going to get some credit for being on a .com domain.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

thart

I had an experience with a free domain before, and after a while they ask me to pay if I want to keep using that domain.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

PedroP

Oh damn, I had no idea. Then I guess it's better to pay up given the benefits of using a paid domain from the start.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

thart

Yes that's what i thought in that time, to choose a paid domain from the begining. I think they just attract you to have their domain by telling you that it's free.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

cmoneyspinner

Truly excellent question and you provided a truly excellent answer. You are right. Domains are cheap.

  • What is your opinion about buying a Parked Domain? Is that better than creating a brand new domain name?
  • Also, when you do buy a domain, should you also purchase "versions" of the same name with a .biz, .info, .net ... extensions?



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

cmoneyspinner

CC: Cristian ; idealmike
Feel free to chime in if you have any thoughts on this.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

hermessantos

I've read somewhere that free domains have a minor relevance to search engines. However, what I'm sure is that having a free domain can simply take away the credibility of your site. So I'd rather invest in paid domains.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

Olaryeankarh

One thing I know for sure - you one less of a brand/authority in whatever niche the forum is. Unless you are willing to spend lots of money to show some seriousness. But then again, people would ask you: "Why don't you invest your lots-of-money in a quality domain as well as host?".
Low budget that is! So it really doesn't cut it to run any kind of serious/money-making site on a free domain if you are considering long term benefits.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

Tronia

Yes, using a free domain can be bad... I wouldn't really recommend it. Just because it works for a tiny amount of forums or websites it doesn't mean that you should take it over the paid domains. I really believe that it is far better to simply buy the domain - you can easily find many good, cheap ones with relevant extension. It will make you look far more credible, it will be easier and faster ranking your site up in different search engines and more! So why not invest a few dollars into that? a free domain is riskier.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

vinaya

It has been found that free domains like co.cc and tk are being used by spammers. Google once even blocked co.cc domain. We can find xyz and club domains for less than a dollar, therefore investing money on a domain is a better idea.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

zeedollar

For there is the reason they say content is king. If you see so many activities of such websites, then it was because they really had very good contents but imagine if they then opted for a premium domain name, they there website success would skyrocket even futher. Free is good if you deliver good quality, but if you really want to take your business futher, you should just spare a few change and get a proper domain name.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

overcast

I have seen people making use of the squarespace and webs. And those people are doing just fine. They are getting the leads they always wanted. And it also gives them some control over their content. Not that domains are any bad. But having your own is recommended. So the sooner you can get it the better. You should avoid using free domain if you are into profession that requires having domain name to be taken seriously.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

thart

And many of these free website services often turn out to be limited trials. After a while you are asked to pay for it. In most cases, this price is usually way higher than normal wordpress hosting services. If you added a credit card during sign up, then they can charge you without giving you any warning.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

overcast

Blogger.com and WordPress.com are not much of a trial but finished product. They just have limited restriction on monetization part. But apart from that I can think of those sites being good enough.I have used their services. And with free domain from them. You can get good results. So make sure you have a good option. I'd say they don't even require credit card. Not sure which site you are saying.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

thart

Like I said above to a member, that I have an experience with a free domain before. And after one month maybe they ask me to pay if I want to keep using that domain, I just forgot the name of that service, but I will try to remember and tell you about, if you have any idea.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

overcast

I see. There are many such in that case for example typepad which does like you mentioned. There are also livejournal and wix who does that. So depending on the plan you choose things may be different. I am thinking that it is possible to find it service such as that. So check if that's possible.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

thart

Thank you for the information, and i remembered the name, it's freenom. I will check that. Thank you again.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

jayzen

Paid domains can certainly have big benefits, but in the end it all depends on what you use your site for. Free domains are fine if you're not planning on making a new social network with thousands of pages.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

thart

Most free website hosting providers put hundreds of websites sharing the same server. This makes all their websites load at very low speed. Slow websites create bad user experience and are bad for SEO.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

airfightermax

I guess if you want to be taken seriously, you would avail a paid domain. It's the only way to look legitimate.

But if you are just starting out, I don't see how using a free domain would hurt. It is just your first time after all especially if our doing it to become more experienced in this endeavor.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

JoeMilford

I agree that a paid domain would look more professional and serious, and you always get what you pay for, in this respect, I guess. That being said, I do employ a WIX site for my own personal page, and people seem to deem that acceptable and don't judge me for it. I only promote myself as a personality there, and there is no blog or commercial content--it's more encyclopedic or me just saying, "Hello--I am Joe and I am out here for you to see" kind of thing. However, I would use paid domains for other business, to be sure.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

arachnophobik

Using a free domain is not so bad if you only want to test out the features of your site and get a good grasp of how everything works. But if you want to make a site that looks professional, then having your own domain would definitely be much better. I for one see those sites that are hosted with the free domain as a bit unprofessional, especially because there are a lot of cheap domains available now.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

wallet

I agree with you, some don't care anymore that is true. I am using a paid domain because it looks much better, a great design and graphics don't compare with a free domain. It is true that youmust invest in a paid domain but a nicce desing will attract more visitors than a free domain!



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

amazingsteven

If you want your site visitors to take you seriously, always go with a paid domain name. Free domain name doesn't look professional at all. There are a lot of cheap domain name registrar,that you can get a domain name for less than $2 for the first year.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

Corzhens

When the community is active and in full support of the forum then I guess the domain does not matter much. And perhaps even the design is not an issue because most members are probably at home with the contents of the forum and also the interaction on the boards. I have been to some forums where I find some great posters that we became online friends. And if they would have a forum that I would be invited to join, it's the invitation that would have value and not the forum per se. So a free domain with an active community can save you money.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

centurion

Using free domain is not enough hard or enough bad. But it will be tough if you want to make the website on rank. Some parts of website can become of good page rank I mean articles or post but to need the full website page rank you have to do huge work.You can take the help of web 2.0 platform for creating a free website with free domain. Check my one. I have created one. Bangla SEO.

Thanks
Centurion



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

giovanniiiii

I don't approve of using these domains even if they are free because the lower traffic, compared to buying a domain that could actually give you more traffic because of ranking in searches. Other than that, I find it suspicious thought to use free domains. For some reason I don't find them trustworthy, because it seems too good to be true.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

ajlancer

Hi there,
Thanks for your query. We may discuss about this matter several time on CD. Hope that will help to you too. I would like to say free hosted domain and business hosted domain has basic different is limitation. Free hosted domain, control by who provided you, And you need to use specific script, which you can not customize as your requirement. Hosting space also has limitation and many more.
On the other hand, if you purchase business domain and hosting, you can customize everything as your demand and you have own right to choose anything.

Free hosting only better who testing to do something as new. And before coming in business hosted, you can try to run for understanding of value.

Most importance is, free hosting site google not much care as much as business hosted. So, you have less change to get good SERP rank.

Regards by Ajlancer



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

sima061

It depends on how the domain ends up looking - it is hard to remember something with a long or weird extension. However if it looks neat enough, I don't think it should be a problem. If the forum is not very active and popular itself, I don't think it can rank well in searches, however if it is then it could become one of the top results.
For a well-working site or forum, it shouldn't be a problem to afford a paid domain. As you said, it does look more legitimate and professional. It's just kind of... you know, neater. But I don't think it's necessary either.
If you're in a niche that's not over-saturated and you can offer good content, I'm sure people won't reject it just because of the domain. However if the niche is competitive, you should go for any little thing that may help, and one of them is a paid domain.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

iamawriter

For beginners that is how they should go about. Once they become experts it is better that they buy it so that there is no threat from those who have provided free space to suddenly withdraw and all the work just vanishes. We must also pay for hosting. Nothing like having control over our work without anyone dictating terms to us



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

kgord

I think as you get more serious about your blog and have accrued some followers, you may want to switch to a paid domain so that you get better features and that your blog or website ranks better with the search engines. This is just one of the reasons to consider a paid domain as opposed to a free one.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

limberg

Using a free domain would definitely affect your earnings negatively. First of all, a free domain would look very unprofessional. It would have an extension that would make your domain name kinda long. I think it would also be bad for SEO because search engines appear to be giving priority to websites that are using a paid domain name.

Second, it's hard to earn the trust of a visitor especially if you're trying to sell a product. Since your domain would look unprofessional, it would follow that your content is also unprofessional. Chances are, people aren't going to buy if you're using a free domain name.

Try to invest a bit of money on a paid web hosting site if you're really serious with making money online via websites.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

augusta

I think a blog on a free domain does not look professional and I don't think Adsense would be used as monetizing tool on such a blog.

Most visitors wouldn't like to do business with such blogs because it looks plain and a joke like a unserious business.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

vinaya

Search engines never see whether your domain cost your money or was free. Search engines also do not recognize your domain extension. Therefore, when it comes to SEO, domain extension does not matter. As long as you have unique and original contents with relevant keywords, great title and good number of backlinks, your site will get a good page rank.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

mildredtabitha

I have been using a free domain for quiet sometime. I will agree the site might not look professional and readers might not take it seriously. But if you desire a free domain, then use it. If you want to invest and earn from your site, then buy a good domain.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

Corzhens

One writer friend said that a free domain has a built-in advertisement which is the compensation that the domain provider gets from their free users. Does your free website have that kind of advertisement and is it annoying? My writer friend said that it is worth to spend for the domain fee when your website is for professional business. Sometimes I get to a website with so many advertisements that I feel it is a free website.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment

Jeane

There is absolutely no reason why one would opt for a free domain. Even if you are only testing the waters to see whether your blog might be successful, every investment requires you spend money upfront.

$20 or so bucks for a domain name isn't that expensive as others have already pointed out. It certainly is possible to be mildly successful if you use a free domain name but I wouldn't be too sure about it unless you are providing something your target audience will find nowhere else on the net.



Enter a reason for deleting this comment