What is Google Domain Hosting ?

If you are looking for an easy way that can help you manage your domain name and hosting, Google offers a simple solution with their Domain hosting product.

Google Domains is available in the United States and those countries where Google Cloud Services has established local presence. This is currently Australia, Ireland, France, Canada, Brazil (coming soon), Germany (coming soon) and the UK. More domains will be added regularly.

Google Domains is available to paid customers who already have a .com, .net or .org domain name. At the moment it costs $12.99 per year for a 1-year term. If you’re interested in Google Domains, please read our article about considerations before you sign up here.

In this article I will explain what is Google domain hosting and what are my observations about the service so far.

Since the beginning of 2017, I’ve had a Google Domains account. I use it for two domains: One domain name on my main website and another one for my side project (which is also hosted on Google Cloud Platform).

Why do you need Google Domain Hosting?

There are probably many reasons why you would consider changing your current domain provider to Google Domains. Personally I’d say there are 2 main reasons:

  1. Free WhoIs privacy protection.

The free WhoIs privacy from Google Domains will protect your contact details for up to 90 days if someone registers your domain name through your registrar and tries to see the contact information associated with it (without consent).

Let’s say your domain is nic.com and the privacy protection from Google is enabled. If someone buys nic.com from a registrar and tries to see the contact information associated with it, he will see the following message:

How does this work for Google Domains users?

If you are charging money for a product or service online, your contact details will be hidden automatically unless you tell Google Domains not to do so. This means that if someone buys one of your products but can’t get in touch with you, they may try to find another provider if there are any.

My website: WebBeast.org

In this example, I have 2 levels of privacy protection in place:

A) The registrar (thethirdparty.com) will hide my contact information unless the buyer contacts them and asks to see it.

B) Google Domains will also hide my contact information unless I explicitly approve it.

That’s why you have to be careful with the rules that you set up in Domain Privacy Manager or else you may end up having a bad user experience on your website and get lower sales conversions or leads quality, as people can’t reach you.

  1. Free SSL certificate.

Google Domains will also offer a free SSL certificate for your website if you’re charging money for products or services. This is of course not a reason itself to use Google Domains but it’s a nice bonus! Being able to display the green padlock icon on your website instantly signifies that the website is trustworthy and has valid encryption. It also increases conversions, as people will know they’re protected automatically when they enter their credit card information on your website.

Why is the pro level domain plan free?

The reason Google Domains offers a free domain plan in all regions. Google basically wants companies to join the Google Cloud Platform and they know people are waiting for years for a low-cost product. So they want to make sure people can use it really quickly. I assume that’s why Australia is an exception and not an included region (apart from some promotional offers). If Australia would be included, then the free plan would only be available in Germany, Canada, France and the UK – so it would be even harder for new businesses to get onboard. So in my opinion, this is not a bad thing for Google.

What do you get with your pro plan?

After evaluating the free and paid plans myself, I found that the pro-level domain plan is really good for me. This means I can keep my domains free forever. However, there are some caveats for the free plan. For example, if you want to change your domain name within 90 days after you signed up or if you renew one of your domains without having linked it to your Google Domains account within 90 days after signing up, then suddenly it will cost money (a certain amount) per month.

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