Can you create a website without a domain name? When I started researching and deciding to create a blog from scratch, I had this one single recurring question.
The world of online blogging and making money can be difficult and a career change for a beginner starting.
For many online entrepreneurs, this question might seem like common sense and everybody should know the answer to. Common sense isn’t so common and that’s why I’m going to answer this question for you today.
So, let’s get into it…
The short answer to this question is YES. Starting a website without a domain name will limit what your options are in the future. Read below as I have outlined and explained why this is and why it might not be a good idea.
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What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name in simple terms is your website name. For example, the domain name for Google is “www.google.com“
A domain name and website address name is technically the same thing.
Domain names were created to solve the issue of remembering IP addresses. IPs are assigned to every electronic device that can connect to the internet.
An example of an IP address would be: 18.104.22.168
Domain names make it easier to remember a written name rather than several number sequences that only a computer would be able to recognize.
Now for the big question…
How Do You Have A Website Without A Domain Name?
Many free hosting companies will allow you to create a subdomain. Before I continue let me quickly explain to you the difference.
The difference between a domain name and a subdomain, is that a domain name can exist on its own whereas a subdomain has to form part of the main domain name. Hence the word “sub” in the prefix.
To explain it a little easier, here is an example:
Let’s say the free hosting company you decided to use is “freehost.com” (This is not a real web host company). You create an account with them to create your free subdomain name which will be your website name.
You decide to name your website “jamestravel”. When visitors want to visit and view your website, they will then search “www.jamestravel.freehost.com”. This full domain name would be your website name.
To break it down:
“jamestravel” would be the subdomain that you created for free
“freehost” would be the primary domain name which would be the host company you decided to use
“.com” would be the top-level domain.
The host company allowed you to create a free subdomain linked to their primary domain, you don’t own your website. This comes with its own set of risks which will be discussed in the next section.
Which Is More Risky – Free Or Paid Domain Names?
It seems like an obvious choice to choose a hosting that offers a free subdomain. The benefits might not be what you think they are.
Starting an online business, keeping to a budget is top priority. Investing in a domain name that you can also own is definitely less risky than one that isn’t your property. It is a small expense for the piece of mind it can bring.
If you’re looking for convenience, using the same hosting company for your domain and hosting makes sense. It would be less confusing, and less work technically but I don’t recommend you do that.
You will not have any control over your subdomain for the simple reason that you do not own it.
Like the example above, the host company owns “freehost.com”. They hold all the power and decision making on when to either delete or create subdomains as they choose. Hosting companies can shut down or go out of business, taking your business with them.
All your hard work, building traffic to your blog would be lost forever…
This is why it’s better investing a little more money and buying your domain name separately from your hosting. If something happens to the hosting company you are using, you would still have your domain name.
As a result, you would be able to reconnect it to a different hosting company instead of losing both your hosting and entire website altogether.
Every hosting company has its terms and conditions when using their services. I highly recommend you read through those and their policies to better understand your rights as a customer.
Related Article: SiteGround Review – The Best Hosting Company You Need
What Happens If You Want To Create A Website For Fun?
Whether you are thinking of creating a website as a hobby or a legitimate business, it is important to note that the risk will come either way when deciding to use a free subdomain.
The reason I say this is if you initially created your website to have it as a hobby and lost your website, even though you would be upset, it would not impact your life significantly.
The problem comes when you start to enjoy the process of working and creating content online. You decide to turn your hobby into a full-time business and start spending more time growing traffic to your website.
It would be such a shame if all that work you put in was created with that free subdomain linked to your hosting company. At the time it was free and you didn’t worry so much about it, but now has become a huge risk.
Under no circumstance do you want to find yourself in this scenario. There is absolutely nothing you would be able to do about it except start all over from scratch, only the next time to hopefully make a decision not driven by saving money.
1.You don’t have to have own a domain to start a website however it’s not advisable.
2. It’s always in your best interest to think about investing in buying your own domain name over that of taking a free subdomain through a hosting company.
3.Last but not least, the most important lesson. Make good and clear decisions from the start to avoid complications later on that are irreversible.
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