Buying Existing Domain Names
Google Domains can help you find a domain name that an owner is offering for resale if you would rather buy an existing domain than start your own. Existing domains offered for resale often carry a far larger initial price than starting your own domain. However, when you need to renew the domain in subsequent years through Google Domains, you will pay the standard renewal price based on your domain ending.
Comparison To Amazon Route 53 Domain Registration
When Google announced their domain registration service last summer, Amazon made a similar announcement where they are . The two services are quite similar in price, but are clearly are meant for two wildly different customers.
To buy a domain through Amazon, you have to setup an Amazon AWS account. The process is tuned for IT pros and developers who are already using Amazon AWS and want to host their DNS in Route 53. There is nothing consumer-friendly about Amazons process if youre not familiar with AWS. In contrast, Googles domain registration is very simple and clearly targeted at the small business owner who just wants to get on the web.
Even more interestingly, neither Google nor Amazon is actually in the business of domain registration. Despite the fact that you may register a domain name with Google or Amazon AWS, they are not actually the provider of domain name services. They are simply resellers of other domain registrars. In the case of Google, they use the German registrar Key Systems and provide WHOIS privacy service via Whoisproxy in New Zealand. In Amazons case, when you register a domain through AWS, the registrar is actually Gandi.
Registration Period And Renewal Rates
Most domain registrars offer promotional pricing for your initial contract term. Some limit your initial contract term to one or two years, while others may give you five to 10 years.
So if youre looking to save money, your best bet is opting for the longest registration period available. Max out the discount for as long as possible.
This is also a great way to ensure no one else can buy it, since you dont have to remember to renew it every year.
Of the domain registrars that Ive reviewed in this post, Namecheap, NameSilo, and Google Domains will each allow you to purchase a domain for the full 10-year term at checkout. Domain.com maxes out at five years. There arent any tricky rebate policies with any of them, though, which is why I like these registrars the best.
With Hostinger, you get a free domain for the first year when you sign up for hosting and the renewal rate is usually only a few dollars more.
For Hostinger and the domain registrars, both the promotional and renewal prices will vary according to the top level domain you choose. See the table below:
As you can see, the price changes a lot depending on the TLD . Another name for TLD is domain extension, so you might see that term, too. They are the same thing.
Lets talk a little bit more about these TLDs and how to choose a registrar that will make your hunt for the perfect domain as easy as possible
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What I Looked At To Find The Best Domain Registrar
Finding a good domain registrar is a task Im very familiar with.
I dont always pick the same one, because certain domain registrars are better to use in different situations.
Lets go through your options.
There are basically three ways to get a domain name:
Domain registrars handle the tech side of assigning IP addresses to domain names and reserving domain names as well.
Popular domain registrars include Domain.com and Namecheap. Both of these sites make it incredibly easy to find and purchase an available domain name.
In order to get your site online, however, you need to get web hosting in addition to a domain name.
Some great web hosting providers, like Hostinger, offer domain names bundled with hosting.
If you already have a web host you like, I recommend using a domain registrar.
But if you dont currently have web hosting for your site or you arent thrilled by the quality of your current hosting situation, Id go with Hostinger.
The third option, domain resellers, are exactly what they sound like. They resell domain names in partnership with domain registrars, but resellers typically charge extra so they can make money, too. Also, they usually dont have dedicated support.
For these reasons, I dont recommend buying through a reseller.
All of the recommendations on my list are domain registrars, with the exception of Hostinger.
Google Domains Offers A Wider Variety Of Support Than Godaddy
Google Domains outshines GoDaddy in the support arena. If you need help with an issue, you have multiple options for support. First, there are extensive help articles that cover most questions about Google Domains. And if you need additional help, you can contact a support agent 24/7 by live chat or email. You can even request to have a technician call you back.
GoDaddy also offers you multiple support options, but theyre not all 24/7. You can search their help documentation for answers, contact them via live chat, or you can give them a call. They have support lines in over 50 countries, and most with 24/7 support. Their live chat is available only on weekdays from 5am to 6pm U.S. Pacific Time.
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Network Solutions Review The Best For Long
Network Solutions offers the full range of services a company needs to establish and maintain a professional presence online. That doesnt separate the company from other domain registrars like Namecheap and Domain.com, but Ill tell you what does.
You can register your domain for a century with Network Solutions. Im not kidding. If you want, the company will let you sign up for 100 years.
Let your great-grandkids worry about the renewal.
I understand that option is not for everyone, but Network Solutions also offers 20-year registrations. This is twice as long as you can get with other vendors.
Every day, hundreds if not thousands of domains fail to get renewed. For companies with a brand or identity tied to their domain, this is a nightmare. Best case scenario, they are able to buy their domain out of redemption, which can be like $200 or more.
But if their registration is expired for long enough, they might lose their domain altogether. This is bad news, especially if they have sunk a ton of time and energy into building their site and online presence.
So if you are looking for a long-term domain registration to avoid these type of headaches and hassles altogether, Network Solutions offers you peace of mind like no one else.
One potential downside to Network Solutions is that there is not much more than your domain included. Whereas other vendors throw in domain forwarding, SSL certificates, and such, Network Solutions does not.
Not As Many Smaller Extensions
Google Domains supports 100+ domain extensions, including all of the popular options. However, other domain registrars support even more.
For example, Namecheap offers 400+ extensions.
Does this difference matter? Not for most people because the majority of people will purchase a mainstream domain extension .
But if youre in the market for something out there like a .vodka domain name, you might need to go outside Google Domains.
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How To Transfer A Domain Name To Google Domains
If youve already registered your domain at another domain registrar, you can also transfer your domain from that registrar to Google Domains.
The process is fairly similar but youll also need to perform some actions at the registrar where your domain name is currently registered.
To get started, and click the Transfer tab. Then, enter the domain name that you want to transfer:
Google Domains will automatically detect where your domain name is currently registered and provide a step-by-step wizard to guide you through the transfer process:
Once you finish the transfer, youll be able to manage your domain name just as if youd registered it directly through Google Domains.
Google Domains is definitely one of the best places to register a domain name.
Google Domains offers transparent, competitive pricing for most popular domain extensions. It can be pricey for certain extensions like .io but its near or below the competition for extensions like .com and .org.
It offers a well-designed interface, along with nice features like free privacy protection, Google DNS, automatic Google Search Console verification, and strong two-factor authentication.
If youre having trouble getting a specific domain name, that domain might be parked. Learn more about that here.
And if youre looking for WordPress hosting to pair with your new domain, give Kinsta a look.
Save time, costs and maximize site performance with:
Its A Service Designed For Pros Mostly
Okay, actually buying your domain is simple enough. Search for a domain, shake your head at the inflation of domain prices, and then buy one. Simple stuff. You can pay via most major credit cards, and I had absolutely no issues with my actual purchase.
Once youve bought your domain, youll need to know more or less what youre doing. Enough to put in your hosts nameservers, at least.
However, if you want to configure your domain for use with Googles other services, thats not as complex. You have options for intra-Google integration right on the dashboard:
My experience with the service was nearly flawless. It took me a minute to figure out the process of writing A records, because thats still, like, a new thing for me. But once I did have things figured out , I got a disappointing message:
Changes to your domain can apparently take up to 48 hours to apply. That is very, very slow and mostly not true, thank God. Look, Google is covering its corporation-sized behind with that statement, and my changes actually updated in about half an hour.
With my test site in place , it was time to see what kind of customer support I could get from, you know, Google.
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Google Domains Vs Godaddy
If youre trying to choose between Google Domains vs GoDaddy, Google Domains stacks up quite favorably.
Google Domains is significantly more affordable than GoDaddy for most popular domain extensions. While GoDaddy might have more affordable first-year prices for some extensions, GoDaddys renewal prices are typically much higher than Google Domains.
All in all, there are very few reasons to consider GoDaddy over Google Domains for domain registration.
Google Domains Is Strictly A Domain Registration Service
They allow you to claim, register, transfer & manage domain names plus allow your domain to resolve via their DNS servers.
Google does not offer complementary services such as web hosting in the traditional sense.
Google does have a simple website builder with , but for most is too limited. They also have email and business services through . Google Suite does require a custom domain name to get started.
Ill explore this point more later below, but its important to understand Googles purpose with .
They want getting online simpler & less daunting for very small and/or less tech-savvy businesses that means getting these businesses a domain name.
And even further, it means making the process of getting a domain as simple & transparent as possible.
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What Are Google Domains
Google Domains is an online domain name registrar run by Google.
You can search for just about any name, and if it is available, you can purchase it for a yearly fee.
You can also transfer existing domains.
Google Domains has over 300 domain endings.
You can find unique endings that suit your brand, such as .cafe or .photography.
They also offer a few different services, including email forwarding, privacy protection, and one-click DNSSEC.
With the email forwarding feature, you can create up to 100 email aliases, which will be helpful for larger companies.
Furthermore, you can get a professional email address as well.
Overall, Google Domains has a pretty good reputation.
It is not known for hidden fees or unnecessary, paid add-ons.
Namesilo Review The Best For Buying Domains By The Dozen
NameSilo is my top pick for people who need a lot of domains at once.
Along with Namecheap, NameSilo has some of the best prices on domain names out there. This is obviously important if you are buying domains in bulk.
If you order more than 50 domains, NameSilo will cut the price. If you order more than 100, the price drops even further. Need 500? 1,000? 2,500? The price keeps going lower at every tier.
The bulk pricing discounts through NameSilo can give the edge to resellers or provide a huge discount to buyers who need a whole bunch of domains to secure their online presence.
Since WHOIS privacy is free forever with every purchase, youre also saving $10-15 per year per site compared to a domain registrar who charges for it. With dozens or hundreds of sites, this adds up quickly.
NameSilo has a massive selection of TLDs. Youre never going to run out of options.
The incredibly rich search tools make it easy to find similar domains with different TLDs. Or you can search based on batches of keywords , which can yield results of available domains you might not have thought about otherwise.
The bulk domain search is useful, too. You can simply check off the domains you want, filtering your search by TLD or extension category.
Another nice perk is that you can earn money off parked domains. This is not always the case, but with NameSilo, you get to keep all the ad revenue.
Every domain you register through NameSilo comes with:
Lets talk about those low prices on domains:
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Yeah Google Does Domains Too
Google, as a company, needs no introduction I think. And Google Domains is just one more thing in a long, long line of products and services that Google offers becausewhy not? It may as well.
It certainly has the money lying around to do whatever it wants.
And apparently what Google wants is for you to buy your domain on its own dedicated domain registrar. The main target audience seems to be businesses and professionals, and Google customers in general, but is it right for you? I bought a domain, and hooked it up to a test website to find out.
Note: If youre unfamiliar with how domain names and DNS work, please check out our beginners guide to everything domain-related.
Automatic Verification With Other Google Products
If you run a website, youll almost certainly need to verify your website with some Google products.
The most popular scenario is , but there are also other properties like Google App Engine, Cloud Run, etc.
When you register your domain with Google Domains, though, Google can automatically verify your domain with those properties, which saves you some time and effort.
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