Were you aware that Google offers web domain registration services? A lot of people still aren’t, but it’s true. Google Domains has been competing quietly with GoDaddy and other popular domain registrars since earlier this year.
Now the king of search has released a widget that will help you interact with Google Domains from website-building services such as Squarespace, Duda and Webflow. You’ll be able to hunt for the perfect name, register it and pay for hosting using the widget right inside these third party integrations, with other companies sure to sign up in the near future.
Mid-sized and large accounting firms will obviously be sticking with professional help to manage their sites and handle registration and hosting, as will many small firms. But for solo practitioners or those who are starting an independent blog to share insights with additional audiences, Google Domains may be quite helpful.
The service is still in Beta development but after the extensive testing that’s been going on since 2014, it’s likely that any kinks have been worked out already. Google Domains offers many of the standard features you’d get at any other domain registration company, along with a few bonuses. Besides basic registration and the just-added integration with site builders, here’s what you have access to:
- Google hosting for sites built on Blogger, Google App Engine or Google Sites, and direct access to third party web hosts.
- Sub-domains that you can customize – up to 100 per domain.
- Tools to help you manage your domain. You won’t want to mess with these unless you’re a pretty competent site manager, but they’re here if that happens to be your thing.
- DNS lookup using Google servers (which may mean a faster connection)
- Limited tech support. This isn’t 24/7 by any means, but the people who answer your email, call or instant message are likely to know what they’re talking about.
- Private domain registration, if desired. Most companies will charge you to keep registration information private, but it’s included in the standard registration cost here.
- Email forwarding for 100 email aliases. This lets you create email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org and have emails forwarded to the accounts you actually use.
- Custom email addresses. If you choose the Google Apps for Work service you can create email addresses that match your domain name, e.g. email@example.com.
- Fancy schmancy domain name endings. This is an emerging trend that isn’t exclusive to Google. Google Domains is going with the flow here though, offering access to a bunch of new endings for your url that include options like .accountants, .expert, .partners and .financial. The cost varies, with .com and .org listed at $12 per year to register and .accountants at $120.
Building and managing a website that reflects the high quality you want to associate with your professional brand is a lot of work. This isn’t something to take on yourself unless you have a lot of time and a good bit of experience with site design and management. If that’s you, go ahead and take a look at Google Domains for your next project. You might as well, based on the assumption that all (online) roads lead to Google anyway.