This week I was considering hardships I experienced when starting my developer journey, one of which being free domains and the difficult nature of procuring them. When thinking of this I decided I should share one of the easiest and most secure ways to get 52 free domains in 52 weeks!
The value of domains...
Domain names are strings that often translate to physical server addresses such as matt.lgbt or mjdws.com; they allow you to connect to a web server and gain access to the site’s content. As well as being a simple path to access a web server, domains allow you to put your brand name against your website as well as being another part of the endless customisation of these assets and the construction of a consistent brand identity. With the power that a domain has to drive traffic to a site and connect a brand with their website, they can be worth anywhere from $5-$1M+ with the average domain name costing between $10-$20.
How can a domain be free?
Domains always cost someone, whether it’s the central registry, the registrar, or the customer, there is almost always a cost for all of these parties with the registration of a new domain. Usually free domains are immediately guessed to have the .ga, .gq, .tk, .ml, or .cf, TLD, but what if I told you that you could get a TLD such as .co, .tech, .study, .biz, .courses, .us, .tel, .design, .club, .compare, or .select completely free for a year as many as 52 times per year as well?
If a domain is free, it’s still being paid for by someone somewhere. This is where hackathons come into this! Almost every hackathon you ever compete in will have a domain sponsor, this could be GoDaddy Registry, Domain.com, Verisign or any other licensed domain registrar. In most hackathons at least one registrar will be offering a free domain for use in your hackathon project. Hackathon organisations such as MLH host a hackathon every weekend and with 52 weeks in a year that means 52 opportunities to get a free domain!
So how do I claim my free domain?
To claim a free domain all you need to do is participate in a hackathon with free domain sponsor. You can claim a free domain with a provided code or URL and set your project underway by immediately claiming your name and setting out a thorough and consistent brand identity.
What if I wanted a different TLD?
While it is difficult to get alternative TLDs for free, there are still options to get them affordably! I recommend using Dynadot and if you use my referral link (dynadot.com?s8i6L8pAu9Br7M) and spend $10, you automatically get $5 back on your Dynadot account to spend on more domains or ready for your domain renewal!
While it is definitely possible to register 52 domains per year and potentially more please remember that these domains are meant for projects entered in hackathons and should not be registered for alternative purposes. While these domains are free you may still be subject to alternative privacy fees and/or renewal costs.