Alternatives for Google Domains
November 9, 2023
For the second year now, I have been using Google Domains to register domains – I really like their service: low prices, free Domain Privacy, convenient management, no restrictions, automatic verification of sites in Google Search Console. Overall, I could definitely recommend this domain registrar if it still worked…
Note: Domain Privacy is the hiding of your personal data (your first name, last name, address, phone number, etc.) from the public WHOIS.
Google is currently outsourcing its domain registration business to Squarespace. I can’t say anything specific about Squarespace, since I heard this name from the news about the transfer of Google domains to this company.
I never found a page with domain prices on the Squarespace website – I don’t like such vagueness. The description of purchasing domains mentions hosting, which I don't need at all.
But in the news about the transfer of Google Domains to Squarespace, I still found information that it is not necessary to buy hosting for clients from Google Domains to manage domains, and even the prices for the first year are promised to remain the same as they were in Google Domains.
But the catch is that at the time of the transfer (which is currently happening), accounts for Google Domains users on Squarespace have not yet been created, and Google Domains itself can no longer register or renew domains.
I don’t want to register a new account with Squarespace, since it won’t be eligible for the old prices and I might have to buy hosting that I don’t need.
New domains need to be registered now, so what are the alternatives for Google Domains?
In describing its advantages, Cloudflare places special emphasis on the fact that they do not make a profit (they do not charge their own commission) when registering domains. And also the fact that in the second and subsequent years the cost of domain renewal does not increase – almost all registrars have a bad habit of increasing the cost of the domain in the second and subsequent years, except for Google Domains, which I have already begun to miss.
Yes, some domain zones really are cheaper, but some are very expensive - perhaps they don’t charge a commission for some domain zones, but for others they charge a tenfold commission.
There is also free Domain Privacy.
But I still didn’t register domains with Cloudflare immediately after I got to know that for domains registered with Cloudflare it is not possible to specify their own nameservers (NS).
You probably don't believe that such a limitation exists. I have never encountered this myself. But this is written before paying for domain registration, also a link to help or something similar: https://community.cloudflare.com/t/how-can-i-change-the-nameservers-on-cloudflare/70904
Currently you can’t change the nameservers in Cloudflare registrar. Ask your new host for an A Record IP value instead.
In general, despite its cheapness, Cloudflare did not interest me.
If you now start talking about A and AAAA records, then I know about it as well as you do. What I need is the ability to specify arbitrary NS name servers.
The advantages of domain.com include the fact that they have a separate page with a full list of services: https://www1.domain.com/domreg/extension-popup.bml
A .COM domain costs $11.99 for the first year and $21.99 for the second year. Domain Privacy is not free and costs $12.99 per year. In general, it's just expensive. But I liked the price transparency.
GoDaddy offers free Domain Privacy.
GoDaddy has completely unclear pricing. Having already chosen a domain, I switched the number of years for which I want to buy it, but I could not understand the logic of pricing.
Some completely incomprehensible prices for subsequent renewals.
In general, I didn’t like this turbidity and decided to continue my search.
The domain registrar namecheap.com is quite good.
When paying for a domain, they offer a lot of bloat stuff, and I paid with great caution so as not to accidentally check the box in the wrong place.
But in general, domain prices are transparent and listed on this page: https://www.namecheap.com/domains/
Registration of a .com domain costs $10.28, but for a new user they registered it for $6.
The cost for subsequent years is $16.
Domain Privacy is free.
There are no restrictions on changing name servers. Actually, there are no such restrictions anywhere except Cloudflare.
As for additional services, you can configure the payment form so that they will not be shown – that’s exactly what I did.
Namecheap.com also has a discounted first year price on domains you transfer to them.
In my opinion, this is the most ideal option – the lowest prices, all the necessary free services are available.
I have registered several domains in this place, I will watch how it goes further. For now, this is the #1 choice.
So, if I don’t like something about Squarespace, then I can transfer domains to alternative registrars. Some of them turned out to be no worse than Google Domains, and the price is even lower.
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