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Google Domains Review: Pros And Cons (+ How To Register A Domain Name)
If you are looking for a service to help you register a domain name, Google Domains is one of the best services you can find. In this Google Domains review, we'll help you understand why we recommend Google Domains by providing comprehensive coverage of what this Google service has to offer. Here's everything we'll cover in this review:
What are Google Domains?
Google Domains is a domain registration service launched by Google in January 2015.
Google Domains will help you register the domain name that you are using on your WordPress site (or any other website).
Unlike many other well-known domain registrars, Google Domains does not offer any type of hosting. That means you have to buy the hosting separately. For example, you could buy your domain name from Google Domains and then connect it to Kinsta for hosting.
Google Domains also makes it easy to connect to other Google services like G-suite, Google Search Console, and more, and you can access Google Domains using the same Google Account that you use for other services.
Although it was introduced in 2015 and is fully functional, Google Domains is technically still in beta.
Google Domains features
- Register new domains.
- Transfer of existing domains from other registries.
- Free data protection is included.
- Google-based DNS.
- Simple management dashboard in line with other Google services.
- Part of your existing Google account, no separate login. Also enables two-factor authentication.
- Email forwarding (up to 100 aliases).
- Domain and subdomain forwarding.
- Integrated integration / verification with other Google services.
Google Domains FAQs
Can you use Google domains with WordPress?
Yes, you still need WordPress hosting to run your website, but Google Domains makes it easy to connect your domain to any WordPress host (Kinsta included).
We even have instructions on how to point your domain to Kinsta, which works perfectly with Google Domains.
Is Google Domains a host?
No, unlike many other domain registrars, Google Domains does not offer a complementary website hosting service (except for Google Sites which is pretty limited).
You have to buy the hosting separately if you want to start a website. You can then use the Google Domains interface to point your domain to your hosting service.
Does Google Domains work for email?
Yes! Google Domains is a great option for creating your own custom email address. BTW, do you need to find someone's email address? Here are a few solid tricks.
There are two ways to use email with Google Domains:
Benefits of using Google domains
Well-designed, familiar user interface and single sign-on
Google Domains is just like any other Google service:
- It uses your existing Google user account.
- The dashboard styling adapts to the Google aesthetic.
This has two major advantages:
First, you don't need to create a new account as we can almost guarantee that you have a Google account. Just make sure you lock your account with a strong password and two-factor authentication, as this creates a single point of failure.
Second, you can use the UI very quickly as it feels similar to existing tools you might be using, like Google Analytics.
Competitive, transparent pricing
Google Domains isn't always the cheapest option (more on that later), but it has the most transparent pricing. And it's more affordable than much of the competition for many popular domain extensions.
With Google Domains, you know exactly what the domain name will cost you now and in the future. That said, the price you pay to register your domain name is the same as the price you will pay to renew it.
Some other domain registrars lure you in with big discounts the first year before they increase the price when you renew. For example, GoDaddy charges $ 11.99 for the first year of a.com domain, but then charges $ 17.99 when you renew it. Google Domains, on the other hand, is only getting a flat $ 12.
Free data protection
When registering a domain name, you will need to provide your own personal information such as address and phone number.
By default, all of this information is publicly available in the Whois registry, leaving you open to spam or other annoying / malicious activity.
Data protection changes this by hiding your data behind general data protection information.
Many domain registrars will charge you up to $ 10 per year for privacy protection.
However, Google Domains includes free privacy as part of your purchase.
Google powered DNS server
DNS, short for Domain Name System, connects your domain name to your web server. It is often referred to as the "phone book of the Internet".
Each domain registrar has its own DNS service, as do many hosts.
But here's the thing:
Not all DNS are created equal, and the DNS you use can have an impact on the loading times of your page.
With Google Domains you can use Google's Cloud DNS, which is supported by Google's own infrastructure. This offers premium-level speeds at no additional cost to you.
Sidenote: If you host at Kinsta, we integrate premium DNS over Amazon Route 53, which is also a good option.
Two-step authentication to protect your account
It is important that you keep your account with your domain registrar safe because malicious actors would just love to get their hands on your domain names.
It's easy with Google Domains because you have access to all of the Google 2-step verification options. You can use text messages, smartphone applications, physical keys, and more.
If you'd like to use your own custom email address (like [email protected]), you can use Google Domains to create up to 100 email aliases that you can forward to your existing email accounts like Gmail.
Or it's also super easy to connect Google Domains to Google G Suite for email hosting, although you have to pay extra for G Suite.
Automatic verification with other Google products
If you run a website, you will almost certainly need to verify your website on some Google products.
The most popular scenario is to verify your website with the Google Search Console, but there are also other properties like Google App Engine, Cloud Run, etc.
However, when you register your domain with Google Domains, Google can automatically verify your domain with these properties, which saves you some time and effort.
Cons of Using Google Domains
You can always find cheaper alternatives
While Google Domains' transparent pricing is very competitive, you can still find cheaper alternatives for some domain extensions. However, this really depends on the extension. For example, Google Domains is one of the cheapest options for .orgDomains, but quite expensive for .ioDomains.
Let's look at a few examples so you can see how Google Domains is doing:
- Google Domains - $ 12
- Namecheap - $ 10.98 ($ 8.88 first year)
- GoDaddy - $ 17.99 ($ 11.99 first year)
- Domain.com - $ 9.99 (with a strong upsell for privacy)
- Google Domains - $ 12
- Namecheap - $ 12.98 ($ 9.98 first year)
- GoDaddy - $ 20.99 ($ 9.99 first year)
- Domain.com - $ 14.99
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- Google Domains - $ 60
- Namecheap - $ 32.88 ($ 25.88 first year)
- GoDaddy - $ 59.99 ($ 44.99 first year)
- Domain.com - $ 49.99
Not so many minor extensions
Google Domains supports more than 100 domain extensions, including all popular options. However, other domain registrars provide even more support.
For example, Namecheap offers more than 400 extensions.
Does this difference matter? Not for most of the people as the majority of people will buy a mainstream domain extension (which Google Domains supports).
But if you're in the market for something "out there" like one .vodkaDomain names, you may need to search outside of Google Domains.
Google Domains vs. The Competition
So how does Google Domains compare to other popular registrars? We're going to look at two of the most popular options to find out: GoDaddy and Namecheap.
Google Domains vs. GoDaddy
If you try to choose between Google Domains and GoDaddy, Google Domains will display quite cheaply.
Google Domains is significantly cheaper than GoDaddy for most common domain extensions. While GoDaddy might have cheaper first year prices for some extensions, GoDaddy’s renewal prices are typically much higher than Google Domains.
All in all, there are very few reasons to consider GoDaddy for domain registration through Google Domains.
Google Domains vs Namecheap
When you're trying to choose between Google Domains and Namecheap, the picture isn't quite as clear.
Namecheap offers a competitive service with:
- Regular prices that are still competitive with Google Domains while offering generous discounts for the first year.
- Domain privacy rights included for free, just like Google Domains.
- A complementary hosting service (if that's what you want),
- A wider range of domain extensions.
Google Domains still has a lot to offer, such as integration with other Google services and Google DNS. But honestly, you won't go wrong with either Namecheap or Google Domains.
In fact, when we asked our Twitter followers about their favorite registrars, Namecheap actually knocked out Google Domains:
Kinsta poll of preferred registrars
How to register a domain with Google Domains
When you're ready to buy your first domain with Google Domains, here's how to do it:
1. Choose your domain
To get started, go to Google Domains and find the domain you want to buy:
Search for your domain on Google Domains
Google will then show you a list of the available domain extensions. If all goes well, you should see a green check mark next to your desired domain name, which means it is available. Click the shopping cart icon to add them to your shopping cart:
Check the availability of your domain
If your domain name isn't available, you may need to use a different domain name or choose a different domain name extension.
2. Checkout and purchase your domain name
Once you've added your domain name to your shopping cart, open your shopping cart to purchase it.
Google Domains shows you a summary of your shopping cart as well as two options, both of which are activated by default:
- privacy: This 100% free service keeps your personal data secret. We recommend leaving this on.
- Automatic extension: The automatic renewal ensures that you don't accidentally forget to renew and lose your domain. That's entirely up to you, but we recommend leaving it on if you have long-term plans for your domain name.
Once you've made your selection, click the button Check out:
Choose your add ons
You will need to enter your contact details on the checkout page. But remember: as long as you have activated the free data protection function, this information is not public.
Enter your contact information
Then enter your payment information to complete your purchase:
Enter payment information
3. Point your domain to your host
Once you've completed your purchase, Google Domains will open the dashboard for your domain:
The Google Domains Dashboard
To point your domain name to a host (like Kinsta), go to the tab DNS.
There you can:
- change your name server to your host's name server.
- Add resource records to your Google name servers.
How to change the name servers on Google Domains
4.Setting up email forwarding (optional)
If you'd like to use email forwarding through Google Domains (instead of setting up email through your host or a service like G Suite), you can go to the tab e-mail go and on Email alias click add to get started:
How to Create Google Domain Email Aliases
How to Transfer a Domain Name to Google Domains
If you have already registered your domain with another registrar, you can also transfer your domain from this registrar to Google Domains.
The process is pretty similar, but you'll also need to take some action on the registrar that your domain name is currently registered with.
To do this, open your Google Domains Dashboard and click on the tab transfer. Then enter the domain name you want to transfer:
Enter the domain you want to transfer
Google Domains automatically recognizes where your domain name is currently registered and provides a step-by-step wizard that guides you through the transfer process:
The Google Domains Transfer setup wizard
Once you have completed the transfer, you can manage your domain name as if you registered it directly through Google Domains.Do you have to register a new domain? Read our review about Google Domains and find out how it compares to the competition 🌐🆚 # domain names #domain registrarClick to Tweet
Google Domains is definitely one of the best places to go to register a domain name.
Google Domains offers transparent, competitive prices for most of the popular domain extensions. It can be used for certain extensions - like.OK - be expensive, but it's close or below the competition for endings like.com otherorg.
They have a well-designed user interface and nice features like free data protection, Google DNS, Google Search Console automatic verification, and strong two-factor authentication.
And if you're looking for WordPress hosting to connect to your new domain, check out Kinsta.
If you enjoyed this article, then you will love Kinsta’s WordPress hosting platform. Speed up your website and get 24/7 support from our experienced WordPress team. Our Google Cloud based infrastructure focuses on auto-scaling, performance and security. Let's show you the Kinsta difference! Check out our packages here
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