As an active owner of a considerable number of world names, I was excited to learn that both Google and Amazon were entering the domain-name registrar business. I ’ ve long wanted a domain name registration service that was simpleton, nicely-priced, and not subjugate to spammy upsells. then I naturally gave Google Domains a try when they removed the invitation-only requirement this week and opened it up to all U.S. customers. As it turns out, the service is elementary and fairly-priced, as promised, but it is discipline to some of the same register limitations that I ’ ve written about ahead .
Buying a domain
The process of buying a sphere with Google Domains was simpleton. I was able to buy geeky.domains in a few slowly steps .
once the domain is added to your haul, you need to enter contact information for the WHOIS database. Upon registration, you can not enter separate registrant, admin and technical school contacts, though you can go back and edit these once the domain name is in your report. You can besides choose free private registration, which is refreshing, since most registrars try to get you on an upsell to make your liaison information anonymous in WHOIS .
payment was painless using Google Wallet. Domain pricing was thoroughly, but not the absolute lowest on the marketplace. For geeky.domains, it was $ 30 through Google, $ 39.99 at GoDaddy plus an extra $ 7.99 if you want WHOIS privacy, $ 24.88 with 1-year of complimentary privacy at Flickroom and $ 34.99 at Name.com plus $ 3.99 for WHOIS privacy .
once you ’ ve paid, you can cursorily build a web site with one of their partners like Flickroom, Wix, Blogger, Weebly or Shopify. obviously there are costs to all of these except Blogger .
Google Domains besides offers complimentary e-mail forward for up to 100 e-mail aliases. however, if you are going to host your e-mail, you ’ ll motivation to setup the electronic mail DNS records for your e-mail provider. In an obvious omission, you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate frame-up a Google Apps report when buying a knowledge domain name. You ’ ll have to setup the account in Google Apps and then return to the world name system to add the needed DNS records .
The DNS records editor seemed full-bodied, allowing you to easily register A records, CNAME, TXT records, etc. You besides get to host your DNS on Google ’ s DNS infrastructure, which in hypothesis should be solid. My darling part of the service was that when you buy a new world, it leaves your DNS settings blank, preferably than pre-populating host records with spammy parking pages.
Read more: How to Change Your IP Address
Transferring domains is hit or miss
To try out the service, I attempted to transfer a act of domains that I own that are up for renewal and ran into all sorts of limitations imposed by the registries, peculiarly on many of the modern gTLD sphere extensions .
Google Domains does sell .tips domains, so I tried to transfer a sphere that I own called house.tips. I got a adorable error message that said “ We don ’ thymine support transfer of this knowledge domain because it is a register premium domain. ” What the heck does that mean ?
After going back to Name.com and looking at my bill, the reclamation price on that domain is $ 41.25, which is twice adenine expensive as other .tips domains. Of path neither of these sites describe this anywhere, but the fantastic error message I got basically means that house.tips is a more costly “ bounty ” name because it is short and uses a common son, so apparently I must renew this at premium prices at my existing registrar .
queerly, I ’ m able to transfer another .tips domain that I own to Google Domains. So basically these domain registries are playing games with super-secret lists of premium domain names that lock you in to certain registrars at high-flown prices. For all the benefits that more gTLD domains could bring, these classify of anti-competitive domain restrictions do no matchless any good .
Like other registrars, Google Domains doesn ’ thyroxine support every extension. If you fancy a .sexy or .cool domain, for exemplar, you ’ re out of luck. And like other registrars, you get the unintelligent message that says “ extension not supported ” with zero guidance on where you might actually be able to purchase that domain. I protect our company ’ s stigmatize on a assortment of knowledge domain extensions. While I could transfer over .org, .net and .us, I could not trasnfer over .tv, .in or .mobi .
In transferring one of my domains, I ran into a snag where the authorization code given to me by GoDaddy was in a format that Google Domains didn ’ t like. I wasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate able to continue the registration, so I clicked on the support connection. A couple minutes later I received a call from a very helpful Google support engineer who promptly solved the issue. Given how many other Google services hide behind un-monitored community documentation forums, it was nice to get veridical, live customer corroborate from them on the phone .
No bulk features
If you own a bunch of sphere names and are hoping for a brassy put to house them all, Google Domains isn ’ t the topographic point for you. The UI is simpleton for dealing with a single sphere mention, but lacks any screen of bulk capabilities. It is clear that Google had little commercial enterprise owners in mind for this service, not domainers or companies with lots of domains to manage .
Comparison to Amazon Route 53 Domain Registration
When Google announced their sphere adjustment avail last summer, Amazon made a alike announcement where they are offering sphere registrations through their route 53 DNS overhaul in Amazon Web Services. The two services are quite exchangeable in price, but are clearly are meant for two wildly different customers .
To buy a knowledge domain through Amazon, you have to setup an Amazon AWS report. 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 Amazon ’ south summons if you ’ re not companion with AWS. In contrast, Google ’ s knowledge domain adjustment is very simple and distinctly targeted at the little business owner who “ barely wants to get on the vane. ”
even more interestingly, neither Google nor Amazon is actually in the business of domain registration. Despite the fact that you may register a knowledge domain name with Google or Amazon AWS, they are not actually the supplier of knowledge domain name services. They are plainly resellers of other sphere registrars. In the event of Google, they use the german registrar Key Systems and provide WHOIS privacy service via Whoisproxy in New Zealand. In Amazon ’ s lawsuit, when you register a knowledge domain through AWS, the registrar is actually Gandi.
Read more: Google drive
If you are a humble business and Google Domains supports the world diagnose extension you are looking for, the serve seems very elementary. It is nicely-priced and doesn ’ t nag you with spammy upsells. free WHOIS privacy auspices is a courteous bonus .
If you have even reasonably more complex sphere requirements or are trying to consolidate your knowledge domain accounts, this international relations and security network ’ t a service for you. It is excessively dim-witted and suffers from a count of limitations .
Taking a look at this service besides reminded me of how much of a fix the sphere registries have created with their hundreds of new gTLD extensions. I don ’ triiodothyronine know who at ICANN thought all of this was a good estimate, but we ’ ra now in a populace where if you own multiple world extensions, you ’ re likely forced to use multiple registrars to manage and renew them. You are besides beholden to anti-competitive pricing and registrar lock-ins if you want to own any domains that are cryptically deemed “ premium. ”