Sep 082014
 

I’ve been a long time user of GoDaddy for my domains, mostly because I’ve never found a better domain host for both price and services offered.  I know there are other hosts out there and I know there are also quite a few that are cheaper and have decent management tools but there is a level of trust that I’ve not been able to find.  Now this isn’t to say I fully trust GoDaddy, but they are a bigger company so the level of trust is higher than a company i’ve never heard of.  

The downside of using GoDaddy is that I haven’t actually been happy with GoDaddy for awhile.  I moved off of their hosting what seems like forever ago but never moved my domains/email hosting because it was going to be too expensive and way too much of a hassle.  Aside from the cost I also never found a host for my domains that provided exactly what I wanted.

Then came along Google Domains.  As soon as I saw a news article about it I went to the domain and signed up for the beta.  Recently I received an invite and started playing around with it.  From the basic interactions i’ve had with it so far i’ve been able to make a simple pro/con list compared to my current host, GoDaddy.   Now this list is very basic, but will give you some insight into Google Domains and hopefully give Google some input on what they could do better.

Pros:

  • Integration with Google (Login / 2 Factor Auth)
    • It’s another password I don’t have to remember and it offers the security of Google that i’m already accustomed to.  That security being 2 factor authentication, phone recovery options and automated monitoring of login attempts from outside of your normal physical login locations.
  • Simple Pricing
    • It doesn’t matter if you are buying a new domain, transferring or renewing an existing; the price is the same.  The only place the price varies is by the different top level domains.   For instance .COM/.NET is $12/yr and .CC is $20/yr.
  • Clean/Simple UI That Loads Fast
    • One thing that Google does well?  Simple and clean UIs.  The website loads fast and navigating through it is very clean, simple and easy to use.
  • Free Private WhoIS
    • If you don’t want to be contacted as the owner of a domain then this is a huge benefit.  When you host your domain through Google you get this benefit for free.
  • Easy DNS copying (On Transfers)
    • When you transfer your domain to Google Domains you are given the option to copy all of your DNS information from the existing domain to Google’s DNS servers.  Makes for hassle free switching and leverages Google DNS powerhouse.
  • Simple Check-Out
    • Check-out is quick and painless using Google Wallet.  Unlike GoDaddy you don’t have 6 screens to click through of offers you don’t want before you actually have paid for your domain.

Those are the pros of Google Domains that make it nice and a good competitor, unfortunately it’s not all coming up roses so there are quite a few cons as well.  These are all features I would like and the only things keeping me from moving more of my domains over.

Cons:

  • Lack of Grouping
    • In GoDaddy I had the ability to group my domains into folders.  Which made them easier to manage for my own peace of mind and helped me easily identify which ones were with what web host so if anything changed (and i’ve had to change IPs many times) it would be easier to know exactly what domains I had to go in and fix.
  • No directly connected services
    • You get nothing but the ability to purchase domains and manage DNS through Google Domains. I would love a basic Google Apps account to be available when hosting a domain through Google Domains (like what used to be available for free; up to 5 users).  This would add huge value to the service as a whole since right now I get free email through GoDaddy for all of my purchased domain names.
  • No group pricing or discount codes
    • While pricing for Google Domains is very simple it also isn’t the greatest deal, especially for bulk sales.  Buying through GoDaddy I can get a much lower cost per domain than through Google although the base price is cheaper on Google Domains.   So if you are buying multiple domains you are going to get more value using GoDaddy.  Bulk .COM through GoDaddy is $8.99/yr.
      Edit (10/8): The group/bulk rate for renewing domains on GoDaddy is however still more expensive than the $12/yr for renewing through Google Domains.   So it would be cheaper to initially buy with GoDaddy and then transfer to Google Domains

Now some of those negatives are far worse than others.  My biggest hiccups are on the lack of grouping and then group pricing/discount codes.   When those are addressed I think I will have an easier time justifying the moving of all my domains over to Google Domains.

  5 Responses to “Google Domains: Pros and Cons versus GoDaddy”

  1. I think another (perhaps missed) one is up to 100 e-mail aliases for free on Google Domains, I will use the heck out of that, if I can avoid doing a mailserver and still just get the data sent to me through another address, I’ll take it

  2. Check out http://www.namesilo.com. I wasn’t really that impressed with Google domains. Namesilo’s price and honest policy has kept me for years.

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