If you're a user of Google Domains, you may have heard the recent news that Google is discontinuing the service and selling it to Squarespace. As someone who relies on Google Domains for domain registration and management, this news can be concerning.
Squarespace is way more expensive than Google Domains. The price of a domain on Squarespace is $20/year, while Google Domains is $12/year, a significant amount for those who own many domain names. Like many indie makers, I tend to buy a lot of domains for my projects and this price increase can be a problem.
Another issue is that Squarespace is a popular platform who don't have a technical background. It also means that Squarespace may be limiting for developers who require more advanced customization options.
In this article, we'll explore some of the best alternatives to Google Domains.
To avoid transferring your domain again in the future, we'll focus on well-established domain registrars that have been around for a while. It also means the discounted price for the first year is not a priority. Indeed, many domain registrars offer a discounted price for the first year, but the price will increase significantly after the first year. Sometimes, the price can be 2x or 3x more expensive than the first year.
Another requirement is that the new domain registrar must support privacy protection.
As an indie maker, we tend to buy a large number of domain names, so I've tried many different domain registrars over the years. And, here are the 3 best alternatives to Google Domains.
Cloudflare is a well-known CDN provider. But, they also offer domain registration service. It should be one of the cheapest domain registrars on the market because they sell domains at cost. This means you only pay for the wholesale price of the domain name.
.com, the price is $9.15/year. It's a lot cheaper than Google Domains and Squarespace. On top of that, Cloudflare also offers free privacy protection and email forwarding.
Using Cloudflare as a domain registrar can be a good choice if you're already using Cloudflare as a CDN provider or planning to use it. But, it also has some downsides. For example, you are required to use Cloudflare's DNS servers, so you can't use other DNS providers like Amazon Route 53.
Another downside is that Cloudflare provides a lot of other services: CDN, Firewall, Pages, Workers, etc. It can be overwhelming for those who only want to use Cloudflare as a domain registrar.
More information at Cloudflare Registrar.
I mostly use Cloudflare as a domain registrar. But, I also use Porkbun for some of my domains when I don't need all the extra features from Cloudflare.
Porkbun is a little bit more expensive than Cloudflare. But, it's still cheaper than Google Domains and Squarespace. For
.com, the price is $9.73/year, it's still one of the cheapest domain registrars on the market. And, it also offers free privacy protection and email forwarding like Cloudflare.
Porkbun is a good choice especially because their user interface is very clean and easy to use. All the features are well organized and extremely simple.
More information at Porkbun.
Namesilo is another domain registrar that I'm currently using. It's also one of the cheapest domain registrars on the market. For
.com, the price is $10.95/year. It's slightly more expensive than Cloudflare and Porkbun. But, it's still cheaper than a lot of other domain registrars.
Namesilo also offers free privacy protection and email forwarding. But, the user interface is not as good as Porkbun. It's a little bit more complicated to use. Especially, since they have a lot of legacy and old-school UI elements.
It's more expensive and the user interface is not as good as Porkbun. But, it's still a good choice if you're looking for a catch-all email forwarding feature. Namesilo allows you to forward all emails to your domain to a single email address. So, you don't need to set up email forwarding for each email address.
More information at Namesilo.
Google Domains is a great domain registrar and its user interface is extremely simple and easy to use. Unfortunately, they are discontinuing the service and selling it to Squarespace. But, it's also a good opportunity to explore other domain registrars, many other domain registrars are cheaper and offer more features.
Like many indie makers, I tend to buy a lot of domains for my SaaS projects even if at the end I don't use them. So, I've tried many different domain registrars over the years.
If you are building SaaS projects, I recommend you to check out my article about the best SaaS Boilerplates. It's a collection of boilerplates and starter kits for building SaaS applications. It can help you to save a lot of time and money when building your next SaaS project.