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Free one year domain, email and hosting via Microsoft (need CC).

Some months ago (3-4?) I was surfing Slickdeals when someone mentioned that you could get free domain hosting for forever from Microsoft. The “free” and “forever” part got my attention and so I investigated a little. I found out that Microsoft was no longer offering the free-forever domain hosting offer, but they were offering free domain + email for one year ($14.95 after the first year) and hosting free forever. At the time, I just signed up myself, made a post about it [1] on SlickDeals and went on my way. Now it seems that CNET has caught on [2], and thus started a chain reaction with websites like LifeHacker posting [3] about this deal.

One PMnet reader, who read about this at LifeHacker, just e-mailed me and requested me to post about this in the ‘Freebies’ section, so here I am. Before we go on, know that you do have to have a credit card (you won’t be charged for the first year however) to complete this offer.

Microsoft Office Live Small Business [4] is offering ‘businesses’ free web hosting, free domain, free e-mail, and other goodies:

2009-02-13_222630 [5]

Technically while it says ‘businesses’, you don’t have to be a officially registered business so basically anyone can sign up (technically I am a ‘business’ if I want to be – but this offer is definitely in the ethically gray area, albeit I don’t think illegal if you sign up as a home user).

Visit OfficeLiveOffers.com [4] to attain this offer.

You have to have a Microsoft Live account. If you don’t have a Microsoft Live account, you will register in the process of signing up for this offer so no worries.

I can tell you now that building a website is very cumbersome with this service because you can only use Microsoft’s website builder. To me, Microsoft’s website builder is the 21st century GeoCities website builder. It sucks. However, for beginners it is nice. For people who have some website creation experience, this offer from Microsoft is only good for the free domain for one year since you can transfer the domain/point it to another website after you signup. The domain that registers is registered through Melbourne IT [6], an Australian company.

If you are interested in only the free domain and not the web hosting from Microsoft do the following after you sign up for this offer (this is how I did it few months ago – someone should verify the steps in case they have changed; contact Microsoft support if you have any concerns):

Last thing to remember is that if you don’t cancel your domain within one year, you will be charged a $14.95 renewal fee, which is really expensive for renewals.

Once you have your own domain, I suggest you read up on my list of good/web web hosts [11] to see which web host you want to buy web hosting from.


P.S. Anyone else think it’s divine justice that I spent $7 transfering my domain away from Melbourne IT and to GoDaddy (when you transfer to GoDaddy you must pay $7  but you get to keep the time you have registered on the domain + get an extra year) and I don’t even use the domain?