Domain names are a critical part of our connected world today. Any resource that is on the internet needs a domain name so that it can be accessed. In South Africa alone, there are over 1 million domain names that are registered and active, while hundreds continue to be registered every day. How can one acquire a domain name and hosting in South Africa, for free?
Domain and Hosting
While a domain name refers to an address that is used to locate a resource that is in the cloud, hosting refers to the actual space that the resource is stored. The resource could be a website, emails or any files that need to be accessed online, while the hosting could be a shared hosting, virtual machine or a dedicated server somewhere in the cloud.
These two are the main requirements for getting online, and there are tens of people who provide this service in South Africa. Of course, all of them do it at a fee, although it is possible to get a very good price that is nearly free.
Free Domain and Hosting
Where can one get a free domain name and hosting in South Africa? Even in the cloud there is no free lunch. This means that one has to pay for these services. However, one can still hack a free domain hosting, although with limited control. The following are the easiest way to get free domain and hosting service for a website in South Africa.
Using WordPress, Blogspot and Wix
WordPress allows one to host a website for free using a subdomain on WordPress.com. Such a subdomain would be something like example.wordpress.com.
The disadvantage with this approach is that you cannot use your own domain name such as a .co.za domain, unless you are willing to pay some money for it which is expensive. In that case, one is better off using a paid hosting service.
Using a host who gives either a free hosting or a free domain
If you cannot get both hosting and domain name for free, you could opt for at least getting one for free. There are many web hosting companies who offer one of those services for free. You pay for one, you get the other one as part of the package.
However, note that you are not getting anything for free, just that the price of the free one is included in the other.
Just pay for hosting
The best option you have is to simply pay for hosting and domain. This would allow you to choose for the most affordable domain name, and the most affordable web hosting. Usually, these do not necessarily come from the same service provider. A thorough market research can help one figure out who is the best registrar and host in South Africa.