Start your online presence by securing a great domain name. Google Domains is a domain registration service that offers transparent pricing, privacy protection and great email features at an affordable price. Learn how to find and register your domain name via Google Domains.
The process is similar across all domain registrars. Other domain registrars like GoDaddy lure you with great discounts for the first year before raising the price when you renew. Let me highlight the features you need and those that you don’t.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is a short, easy to remember address that you type into your browser to load a website. For example, you can easily type ‘vjdesign.com.au’ into your web browser to bring up my website.
This is far easier than trying to remember and type an IP address like 220.127.116.11.
The web browser then talks to a Domain Name Server (DNS) which confirms the corresponding IP address. It’s just like looking up an address in a phone book.
Find a good Domain Name
Get started on your online journey the right way – choose a domain name that is catchy, unique and brandable. It can be a hassle to switch your domain name later on without hurting your search rankings. Renew your domain name every year.
Things to consider when choosing a domain name:
- Include keywords in your domain name to improve your SEO (for example, vitaminsforall.com.au sells supplements)
- Your domain name should be short, unique and memorable – i.e. create a brand
- Your domain name should be easy to pronounce and spell
- Avoid the use of hyphens or non-standard spelling
- Stick with standard domain extensions like .com
.com.au is a preferable option for Australian websites. You need an Australian Business Number (ABN) to register a .com.au site (more trusted).
- If you find a domain that you like, buy it immediately before someone else takes it. Domains cost less than $20 to buy (but several thousand to buyback if you miss the boat)
Use a service like Instant Domain Search to check domain availability instantly. Search domain names, domain extensions, and domains for sale.
Domain Registrars – to buy your domain name
There are several popular domain registrars including GoDaddy, Domain.com, Name Cheap, Net Registry, Crazy Domains and more.
If you need hosting, then my preferred option would Site Ground for both domain name and hosting. A cheaper alternative for hobby bloggers and for very small businesses is BlueHost (it is my second choice). BlueHost includes a free domain name for the first year.
However, Google Domains (see below) offers transparent pricing and a simple easy to use interface.
What are the benefits of Google Domains over other registrars?
Over 300 domain endings – You can register new domains with an ending of your choice like .com, .com.au and more.
Transfer domains – You can transfer your existing domains from other registrars for $18 fee (not .com.au).
Free privacy protection – Google offers this for free, usually costs $10 – $25 per year .
Transparent Pricing – what you see is what you get. With other registrars like Go Daddy, you may find that your bill has considerably gone up next year.
No upsells – only what you need, nothing extra.
Best in class DNS – The Google-powered Domain Name System is far better and faster.
Email forwarding – Use the power of Gmail and G-Suite.
Built-in integration with other Google services.
What are the disadvantages of Google Domains?
Google Domains does not offer web hosting.
How to register a domain (using Google Domains)
Watch the video How To Register Your Domain Name with Google Domains or follow the steps below.
Having selected a good domain name, it is easy to buy or register one. These are the basic steps. Whilst I am illustrating with Google Domains, the process is the same across all major domain registrars.
Total Time: 15 minutes
Go to your domain registrar
Enter the domain name you want to buy
Enter your domain name (including the .com, .com.au or .co.uk).
You can also transfer or move your domain for a standard fee.
Confirm and add to cart
Ensure that the domain registrar confirms the correct domain name (1) and click on Add to cart button (2).
The registrar will prompt you to register alternate endings (3) and suggest alternate names (4).
Proceed to the cart
At any time click on the Cart button in the top right corner of the window to proceed.
Select the correct registration options
1. Select if you want to register for 1 year or more (1). Register up to 10 years.
2. Set the privacy protection – this is available for free on Google Domains. Usually costs $15 or more with other registrars.
3. Select Auto-renew – in case you forget to renew,
Get a custom email
Get Google Workspace (previously known as G-Suite) for a professional email address at an affordable price.
The business starter package (2) is a good place to start.
Create your first email user (3); the admin account.
Other registrars also offer email packages – either through Google or Microsoft 365 or something similar.
Provide contact details
Provide your contact details.
Then select Review Purchase (2).
Review your purchase
Confirm that you are registering the correct domain and that you are happy with any add-ons. For example, auto-renewal, email package, privacy protection (if required) and hosting.
If you have paid for one of my webdesign packages, I can help you connect your domain name to the hosting provider.
Provide me with the username and temporary password (temporary until I finish set up).
I will direct your domain, install WordPress, required theme and plugins and design your website to your needs (and then you can change your password).
Set up custom name servers – to point your domain to the webserver where your website is hosted. Go to Step 10.
Get your name server details from your hosting provider
If your hosting provider is SiteGround, get your name server details from your Client Area > Websites > Site Tools and make note of your IP and name servers (NS).
My name servers are:
Other hosting providers may have a slightly different process (e.g. BlueHost Domain Management), get your name server details from your BlueHost Portal > Domains > My Domains > Website > Manage and make note of your IP and nameservers (NS).
Point your domain to your hosting
If you purchased your domain name through Google Domains and your hosting through SiteGround, you will need to point your nameservers to SiteGround.
Sign in to Google Domains (if you are not already signed in) and select the name of your domain.
Note: If you purchased both domain name and hosting through the same company (e.g. SiteGround or BlueHost) then you would not need to complete this step.
Select your domain to manage
From your My domains dashboard, click on the Manage link for the site you wish to manage.
Go to DNS settings
From the left-hand menu, select DNS.
This is a protective measure used by Google Domains. We need to disable it temporarily. Your name servers may not change if this option is enabled. Google recommends that you disable it.
Select Disable DNSSEC
Important: Remember to enable DNSSEC after your name servers have changed.
Set up custom name servers
Select Use custom name servers.
Then enter the name servers provided by your hosting account (from step 10).
Wait for your name servers to propagate
Done! You have changed the name servers.
Changes to the name servers may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 48 hours to propagate.
To check your DNS settings use this tool https://www.dnswatch.info/