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How to create a server and domain name for free!

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Bertiecrafter avatar Bertiecrafter
Level 61 : High Grandmaster Cyborg
Let's get straight to it. This is what we're going to do:
  1. Get a free server
  2. Setup file access
  3. Get a free domain name
  4. Moving the domain name and linking it to the server
Just a small disclaimer: Everything in this world costs money. Although the server won't have amazing performance and you will have to constantly renew multiple services, be grateful for what you get for free nowadays. Renewing consists of pressing a couple buttons every so often to let the service know you're still using it. Also note that the server host I'm going for does not support plugins free of charge, although you can still use data packs.

Step 1: A free Minecraft server

Companies offer free servers to let you try out their service, hoping to get you to pay more later on. In this tutorial we'll be using SkyNode (skynode.pro). Start by pressing the button to create a new server. Once your server is created, click "View" in the servers list.
  1. Go to Configuration > Jar installer: Choose the right type and version. "Vanilla" means without mods/plugins. Also check the box that says to wipe everything and press the big install button.
  2. Go to Console and press the start button. Do not leave the page while the server is booting, since you'll have to agree to the EULA (document with rules) once it's booted up. After agreeing, the server will restart automatically.
  3. Once restarted, see if you can join the server using the IP and port given in Server Details > Service Information.
  4. Go back to console, type "op <your username>" and press enter. You should now be able to perform any commands. Press the stop button afterwards.
  5. Go to Configuration > Public Renew. Fill in the required information, you can leave the reward command blank, but you probably want to check the box that allows your server to start if renewed. Make sure to share the link that appears on the right after saving with all players, so they can help keeping your server online. The server can be renewed every 10 minutes, adding 1.5 hours to a countdown timer, with a maximum of 12 hours. When the timer hits 0, your server gets stopped. If the server stays stopped for 3 days (72 hours), the server along with all files and the world save will be permanently deleted. So make backups using file access.

Step 2: Setup file access

In order to set the properties of the server, backup worlds and view the server logs, you need file access.
  1. Start by downloading FileZilla.
  2. Click the icon with 3 white rectangles and a line underneath, it should be the most left icon on the toolbar. Press the New Site button.
  3. Set protocol to SFTP and get the address and port from the SkyNode dashboard in Server Details > SFTP Credentials. My host was "freena3.skynode.pro" and port was "2022". Choose Logon Type "Normal" and use the provided username and the password of your SkyNode account. Click Connect.
  4. You should now see the files of your server. Open up server.properties to customize your server. View descriptions of all properties here and learn how to add color to your MOTD here. A motd is the text that servers show on the multi-player screen. If you changed any properties regarding world generation, you will have to delete the world by removing the folder named "world". Do not change any settings related to connectivity or your server might break, this includes the port number and IP address.
  5. Now boot up the server again on the Console page. Consider using the /gamerule command to customize your game-play experience.

Step 3: A free domain name

You might not want to give your players a hard to remember address like "124.532.643.754:45623", but instead something like "my-epic-server.ml".
  1. Head over to Freenom to get yourself a free domain name. You'll have to create an account and there will be a checkout process, but no worries, no payment details are asked if you go for a free domain name.
  2. After you successfully "ordered" your domain name, go to Services > My Domains > Manage Domain. Keep this page open for the next step.

Step 4: Moving the domain name and linking it to the server

The conversion from a domain name to an IP address is handled by a DNS (Domain Name System) Server. The server has records with different types indicating what to do with a request in several conditions. Unfortunately, Freenom servers do not allow the desired record type that points a domain name to an IP address with a different port. This is why we're moving the domain name to a different server. Note that Freenom will stay the owner and can cancel the domain at any time.

  1. Head over to Namecheap FreeDNS and enter the domain name, e.g. "my-epic-server.ml". After creating an account, you'll see a green alert telling you to change the name servers.
  2. In the Freenom Management Dashboard, go to Management Tools > Nameservers. Click the "Use custom nameservers" option and enter the servers listed on the Namecheap page.
  3. On the Namecheap page, hover over your account name on the top left and click Dashboard. Then click Manage next to your domain name. Click the Advanced DNS tab. If it blocks you from doing anything in this or the next step, then Namecheap did not verify the name servers yet, just keep refreshing the page.
  4. Click the add new record button to create the following records:
    A record@[​SkyNode IP address]Automatic
    SRV record
    _minecraft _tcp 0 5 [​SkyNode port] [​Freenom Domain Name]
  5. Make sure to press the green checkmarks next to the records to save them. In the Minecraft client, you should now be able to connect using just the domain name, e.g. "my-epic-server.ml". If not, try again in a couple hours.
And that's it! You should be good to go now. To recap:
- Use the SkyNode dashboard to manage the server status and renew the server.
- Use FileZilla to manage server properties, the world save and the server logs.
- Use the Freenom dashboard to renew your domain name once it runs out.
- Use the Namecheap dashboard to manage the records (rules) that point your domain name to the ip address and port.

Enjoy =)

How to create a server and domain name for free!
How to create a server and domain name for free!
CreditFree Services used: SkyNode, FileZilla, Freenom, FreeDNS by Namecheap

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10/17/2020 10:33 pm
Level 1 : New Explorer
pocketspatch avatar
This is literally so helpful, thank you! This is even better because players can renew the server for you, and I can give them diamonds for doing so.
07/22/2020 7:52 am
Level 21 : Expert Pixel Puncher
Cybear_Tron avatar
Will it allow cracked players to join
07/22/2020 8:06 amhistory
Level 61 : High Grandmaster Cyborg
Bertiecrafter avatar
You can configure the server.properties file to achieve this.
07/21/2020 8:33 amhistory
Level 61 : High Grandmaster Cyborg
Bertiecrafter avatar
Thank you Luracasmus, TheBlindBat, PixieMax, Nitrox Nova, RealPandaBoyPlaysYT, Mayonnaise2124, Vailt, RedFuzzyTurtle, nitro_dynamite18, StarLander5772, CorporalKeith, robbieradiant, Ranger_Danger, Vellaris, iheartstriders, HTMLComputer, MaterialEnergy5, Hynii and Polokalap Gaming for the diamonds!
07/22/2020 5:53 pm
Level 24 : Expert Skinner
RealPandaBoyPlaysYT avatar
Planet Minecraft


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