I’ve always wondered what free services there were out there that allowed you to connect your domain name. I’ve found a few services over the years and I will attempt to document a bunch of them here. I am writing this from the perspective that an individual would find some of these useful. These services shouldn’t require a whole bunch of skill. I guess, in a way, I want to show the average person that there may be some value in owning a domain name even for those without many technical skills. Some of these services are probably even adequate for a small business.

Create an e-mail address through Skiff

Skiff is a privacy-respecting e-mail provider that gives all users usage of at least one custom domain. With the alias feature, you can better organise incoming e-mail.

Bonus: Set up PayID (Australians only)

Most Australian banks support a payment system called PayID in which the payer only needs to know an identifier that the payee has configured. Usually, only a mobile phone number or an e-mail address is allowed. Giving out an e-mail address is less privacy-invasive and is my preferred way to give out a PayID identifier.

Use Short.io to create short/branded links

Short.io allows users to create links that redirect to other addresses. It’s obviously not very private so bear that in mind. They don’t ask for a lot of information when signing up so if you create a Skiff e-mail address first, you can use this service pseudononymously.

Use your domain name as your handle on Bluesky

Bluesky is a decentralised social network that aims to address the shortcomings of centralisated social networks such as Twitter. Given the design of the social network, users have handles are domain names. A neat property of this is that it effectively means that John can verify that they do in fact work for Microsoft if their handle is @john.microsoft.com. The Bluesky blog contains a guide on how to achieve this.

Get NIP-05 verified on Nostr

Nostr is another attempt at decentralised social media. Like Bluesky, users on Nostr can verify their domain name to let everyone else know that they are indeed randompersonwithawebsite.com. I don’t personally like Nostr because the main demographic at the current time is really just cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Start a Tumblr blog

Tumblr allows users to connect their custom domains. I’ve never personally done this so I can’t verify whether this actually works or not! Rather than running a Tumblr blog, you might like to give yourself a bit more control with the next option.

Create a static website (various providers)

There are many providers out there that provide hosting of static webpages. These can usually be combined with a static website generator such as Jekyll or Hugo. I personally like Codeberg Pages as my provider since they align closely with my personal values. Aside from learning some basic commands from the SSG tool, you’ll probably also need to learn to use a few basic Git commands.