If you’re looking to purchase a domain and wondering where to start, why not start with Google? No, we’re not suggesting you should Google a bunch of prospective domain names to see if someone already owns them. Now you can literally shop for and purchase a domain from the world’s largest search engine mega-giant.
Since the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to broaden the selection of URL extensions over the next few years — going from just a handful to a projected 1,300, the domain registration industry is seeing a virtual explosion of new players ready to get you started with an online presence, including Internet-based powerhouses Amazon.com and now Google.
After first dipping its colossal toes into the water with an invitation-only preview period, Google Domains has now opened up to all comers in the United States, with hassle-free processing at competitive pricing. You can choose from over 80 different extensions on the menu, from .academy, .actor and .bike to .us, .vacations and .ventures. Of course, if you’re not feeling like a .ninja, you can also purchase the conventional .com, .org and .net extensions. Prices start as low as $12 a year, and renewals are the same price every year.
In addition to competitive pricing, Google Domains offers free private registration for those wishing to keep their contact information anonymous in the WHOIS directory. Other registrars can tack on an additional $4 to $10 annually for that service.
Website Hosting and Creation Software
Like most other domain registrars, Google Domains is a one-stop-shop for everything a beginner needs to get online. Once you purchase your domain, you can select Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly or Wix to create and host your new website. You can also choose to use another third-party web developer and host, or even use your new domain to forward traffic to an existing website.
Free email forwarding is also available, for up to 100 different email addresses. It’s helpful if you already have a Google Apps account before you purchase your domain in order to set up your email hosting. You can also use it to integrate your domain with Google Apps and Blogger.
Franchises will like the customizable subdomain feature, which allows the purchaser to add up to 100 subdomains. A franchise called Foxtail Pub, for example, with franchises in various cities such as Denver, Boulder and Aurora could use the subdomains denver.foxtail.pub, boulder.foxtail.pub and aurora.foxtail.pub. Conversely, the feature can also be used to distinguish different pages on a site, such as dresses.sexy.clothing, separates.sexy.clothing, jeans.sexy.clothing and intimate.sexy.clothing.
Powered by Google
So, with so many other places to purchase a domain, what’s the big deal about Google jumping into the market? Well, besides competitive pricing, free private registration and an easy-to-use setup for the uninitiated looking for a quick, easy way to get online, Google Domains are powered by Google, which means they use Google’s DNS servers.
What is DNS? Short for Domain Name System, DNS is the protocol that translates a domain name, like Google.com into a physical IP address, such as 220.127.116.11. As you can imagine, using Google’s DNS servers will ensure that your domain connects quickly and reliably to your website.