1. a domain name
2. Web hosting account.
There is alwas a choice of free domain and free hotsing,paid domain and free hosting or paid domain name and paid hosting. But let us get an overview of what these two terms represent.
A domain name is simply yor adress on the internert.
It acts like your physical adress. When someone has your domain name, he or she can visit your website the same way someone with your physical adress can visit you business if he is having your adress. The domain name of my website is ransbiz.com.
A hosting account on the other hand is the space a website owner buys for his business online. If you business is located in Douala, then you must either have a physical structure where your activities are carried oiut and where you can keep your documents and other material in the business.
A hosting account acts in the sameway. You can host one or more domains depending on your hosting account type,store file among others.
There are some web hosting companies that actually offer webspace free of charge to those who are interested in getting an online presence. With this the user have a choice to purchase a domain name or use a subdomain belonging to the hosting company.
Here is are some domain name that offer free hosting
blogger.com ( domain ends with .blogspot.com)
wordpreess.com( domain ends with .wordpress.com).
wix.com among others.
Other domain name like mybusiness.com,.net,.biz,club,guru,ca,cm and others are refered to as top level domain and is owned by the business owner.
Using free hosting and domain name should not be something permanent if you are serious with your business online.
It is recommeded to get atleast a domain name if you are using a free hosting account.
Equally note that you will not get all you need with your free hosting account. You will not be able to store files, have access to root folder,FTP account,data base and others. Of course you will not be able because you dont own the account. You are just begging.
with a free host, you can thus choose free hosting and domain or just free hosting and spend some dollars on domain name. domain names cost as low as 15 dollars per year on some website like Godaddy.com,namecheap.1&1 among others.
The last option to serious people is the option of owning your hosting account and your domain name( self hosted websites). With such an option you have the freedom to make your website look the way you want.Such an option is equally good for anyone who wants to create an e-commerce website.
Every good business should have a top level domain and an email adress. This shows your online presence clearl and equally help your customers to build trust in your brand or product.