I recently received an invite to be a beta tester for the latest and greatest attempt by Google to take over the online world. Google Domains is offering reasonably priced domain name registration. What it is offering in addition to this is what’s really interesting.
Much More Than Just Domains
Google Domains offers much more than just registering your new domain name, or transferring an existing URL. Once I signed in through my everything-Google account, I was guided by simple steps with very clear directions in the typical Google fashion. I purchased a test domain by checking out through Google Play. This already has all my credit card information since I have an Android phone and need this account to purchase more lives on app games. This took me about 30 seconds to type in my new domain name and purchase it.
After I purchased my desired domain name, Google Domains took me to a simple admin screen with my domain and three options:
- My domains
- Transfer in
Once in the admin screen, I select my domain name. It then gave me four options to administer my account: Website, Email, Settings, and Advanced. I can create or edit my website with the Website tab, my email controls and settings are in the Email tab, Settings gives me all the registration information for the domain name, and the Advanced tab is where I manager my name servers. The Website and Email tabs are primarily for beginning and intermediate users, and the Settings and Advanced are for advanced users. One wrong move in the Settings or Advanced tabs and you can take down your entire website. The good news is that setup of a website is easier for beginners than most systems I’ve tried.
Build A Web Presence With Google’s Partners
The WYSIWYG systems they offer really intrigued me. In order to be called a “Partner” of Google’s, they must comply with many of Google’s best practices. This is great for user experience and excellent for SEO.
Google Domains offer Weebly, Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix for you to build your web presence. Weebly $4 per month, Shopify is $14 per month, Squarespace is $8 per month, and Wix is $4.08 per month. I chose Squarespace since it had a free trial, I’ve worked with it before, and wanted to see how they’ve improved the ability to customize certain areas of the website for search engines since I last used it.
Squarespace is a powerful solution that has some good template designs to begin with, is very intuitive when it comes to creating the site, has 24/7 support, creates responsive designs, has some ability to customize through the WYSIWYG interface, and has extra areas for custom coding. The last part is what I like. I really don’t think the average beginner can create a business website without investing more time into it than it would cost to have a professional do it. If you want to create a quick wedding website or blog site, this is for you. If you want a business site, this system will be a reasonably priced option to customize and optimize for local companies wanting increased visibility.
The negatives are that Squarespace still injects code onto the page rather than externalizes it as recommended by Google because lots of code slows down your website. This isn’t a custom content management system (CMS) so it will have limitation on what can be customized and what can be optimized. The trade off is that this option is much less expensive and great for startups or small businesses looking to establish their online presence.
I think Google Domains is a good service option for startups and small businesses. I don’t think it will be easy enough for everyone to use. You will need to have a background in website development to create a professional-looking website, but you can create a basic site easily. I’m looking forward to seeing if my test website ranks, how long it takes, and how the Squarespace system compares to other options such as WordPress and Joomla.