Google Domains is a domain name registrar that launched in January 2015.
Google Domains lets you purchase one or more custom domain names for your business (yourcompany.com) or yourself (yourfirstnamelastname.com).
.Com is only one of over 330 top-level domains — a.k.a. domain endings. Other popular endings include .org, .net, .info, and .us.
Many new technology companies are using .io and .ai. Lesser known domain endings include .finance, .school, and .digital.
The Google Domains website has a simple user interface. The site’s primary focus domains. However, it does provide some subtle suggestions for other services.
Other popular sites for domain registration, such as Domain.com, GoDaddy, and Namecheap.com, present many different buying options outside of domains — sometimes with popup windows. By comparison, Google Domains is a quieter and more streamlined user experience.
If you have a Gmail account, you can go to domains.google.com. If you are logged into Gmail, you will also be logged in to Google Domains.
Domains start at $12 per year and go up from there. Pricing varies a lot — for example, California.Online, an aftermarket, premium domain, will cost you $10,800 per year.
If you do a domain name search, you’ll see the prices for available domains that meet your search criteria.
You pay for domains using Google Pay, the same payment mechanism for services such as Google One, YouTube Premium, YouTube TV, and Nest Aware.
Here is some information about use cases for a custom domain.
Custom Email Addresses
Even if you aren’t ready to launch a website for your business, you can still get a custom domain for your email addresses.
One of the options within Google Domains is to set up a paid Google Workspace account for a domain. A domain you have already purchased and have linked to a Google Workspace account will get transferred to that account by default.
Alternatively, you can set up one or more email aliases for no additional cost. For example, you could create an email alias such as ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and forward that address to your gmail.com address.
Connect a Domain to a Website
If you plan to set up a new website or change website platforms, there are several website options to consider.
If you need to set up a small website for your domain quickly — and at no additional cost — a Google Sites website is a good option.
If you create a Google Sites website under the same Gmail login as Google Domains, connecting your site to a domain is easy. You can simply select one of your domains from Google Domains in the Google Sites editor.
If you create a Google Sites website within a Google Workspace account, you’ll need to make the connection to a domain in the Google Workspace admin console.
A WordPress Website
WordPress is the go-to website hosting platform for people who are serious about SEO and website traffic.
Wappalyzer has data showing that WordPress has had the highest growth in global traffic compared to other web platforms compared to its customer growth.
Google Domains offers an easy connection to its partner Bluehost as a WordPress.org hosting site.
However, you may prefer to use a dedicated WordPress hosting site such as WPEngine or Kinsta. In this case, you will need to follow the respective web host’s instructions for connecting your domain to your WordPress hosting service.
Usually, it’s just a matter of adding a CNAME record and one or two A records into the DNS (Domain Name Server) area of the domain in Google Domains.
An All-in-One Web Hosting Company
Google Domains offers easy connections to partners Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, which are all-in-one website hosting companies.
‘All-in-one’ means that the hosting platform, design tools, and e-commerce functionality are all served up by a single vendor.
These platforms are a good choice for individuals and small business owners who don’t want to deal with some of the complexities of WordPress, such as installing and maintaining a variety of third-party plugins for different functions.
Wix, in particular, has invested a lot of time and effort into SEO.
A Standalone Ecommerce Site
You may be looking to start an online business with a catalog and shopping cart.
Google Domains offers Shopify as its eCommerce partner. As this chart from Wappalyzer shows, Shopify is the leading standalone eCommerce technology.
Widely-used WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin.
A Blog-Only Site
If all you want is a simple blog site, Google’s partner is the company’s own Blogger platform.
Another option for a simple blogging site is WordPress.com.
An App Site
If you want to build an app, the preferred partner is Google’s own Firebase.
There are several reasons you may want to order a new domain and forward that domain to another domain.
You may want to buy multiple domain endings to protect your brands, such as yourbrand.com, yourbrand.net, and yourbrand.org. For example, if you use the .com ending for your website, you can forward the other domains to that domain.
Managing brand confusion
If people frequently misspell your brand, you could buy one or domains that are common misspellings of your brand. You can then forward those domains to your primary domain.
A company rebranding
If your company rebrands and gets a corresponding new domain, you can move your website to the new domain. Then, you can set the Forward path option from your old domain to your new domain. All pages and posts from the old domain will forward to their new counterparts.
Multiple websites on one domain name
Keep in mind that you can have different types of websites on the same domain name through the use of subdomains.
For example, you may want to use WordPress on www.yourcompany.com to drive website traffic — and then use store.yourcompany.com for your Shopify site.