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What is Google Domains and how do you use it?

Google Domains lets you purchase one or more custom domain names for your business (yourcompany.com) or for 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 is mainly focused on domains. It does provide some subtle suggestions for other services.

Other popular sites for domain registration such as Domain.com, GoDaddy, and Namecheap.com present a lot of 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 the Google Domains homepage. 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. In fact, pricing varies a lot. California.Online, which is an aftermarket, premium domain, will cost you $10,800 per year.

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 are some of the uses for a custom domain.

Custom Email Addresses

Even if you aren’t quite 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. By default, a domain you already purchased and you link to a Google Workspace account will get transferred to that account.

Get Custom Domain For Google Workspace

Alternatively, you can set up one or more email aliases for no additional cost. For example, you could create an email alias such as ‘info@yournewdomain.com’ 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 a number of different website options to consider.

Google Sites

If you need to quickly set up a small website for your domain — and at no additional cost — a Google Sites website is an option.

If you create a Google Sites website under the same Gmail login as Google Domains, it’s easy to connect your site to a domain. In the Google Sites editor, you can select your domain from Google Domains.

Connect a Google Site to Google Domains

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.

We are testing out a one-page affiliate marketing site using a custom domain and Google Sites.

A WordPress Website

WordPress is the go-to hosting platform for people who are serious about SEO and website traffic. In fact, Wappalyzer has data that shows that, compared to other web platforms, WordPress has had the highest growth in global traffic relative 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 simply 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.

Google Domains DNS Records

An All-in-One Website

Google Domains offers easy connections to partners Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, which are all-in-one website vendors. ‘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.

A Standalone Ecommerce Site

Google Domains offers up Shopify as its eCommerce partner. As this chart from Wappalyzer shows, Shopify is the leading standalone eCommerce technology. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin.

Ecommerce Technologies Market Share

A Blog Only Site

If all you want is a simple blog site, Google partner is the company’s own Blogger platform.

Another option for a simple blogging site is WordPress.com.

An App Site

If by chance, you want to build an app, the preferred partner is Google’s own Firebase.

Domain Forwarding

You may want to order a domain exclusively for the purpose of forwarding that domain to another domain.

Brand protection

To protect your brand, you may want to buy multiple domain endings, such as yourbrand.com, yourbrand.net, and yourbrand.org. 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 rebrand

If your company rebrands and you get 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. That means all pages and posts from the old domain will forward to their new counterparts.

Domain Forwarding: Forward Path

Multiple websites on one domain name

Keep in mind that you can have different types of websites on the same domain name by using 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.

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