Google launches domain registration service

Google has publicly opened its Domains (Beta) service, which allows top-level domains (TLDs) to be rented for a year at a time or alternatively for a fixed amount of years.

The Domains service was announced by the company last June, and has been an invitation-only affair until now. Some of the TLDs available for rent include '.cc', '.co', '.company', '.enterprises', '.haus', '.net' and '.org'.

Online shopping giant Amazon hit headlines last September when it bought the '.buy' domain name for an alleged $4.5 million (just short of £3 million).

The aim of Google Domains

The Domains (Beta) welcome page states: "Google Domains is designed and built to make getting online easy and managing your domains simple. We allow you to find, buy, transfer and manage your domains and directly connect you to website builders such as Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix."

The annual rates vary between $12 (£8) and $110 (£72), depending on the TLD in question. This can be renewed annually for the same price, or several years of registration can be bought at once.

Within Google's list of supported TLDs, the '.co' domain is the only one which has a restriction on the amount of years it can be rented for. All the other TLDs can be rented for a decade at a time, while '.co' domains have a maximum of five years' registration.

Google Domains users will have a dashboard at their disposal, enabling them to carry out day-to-day maintenance of their websites and integrated blogs. In addition to that, each domain will be allowed to create up to 100 email addresses.

Other features that come with each domain include:

- Free private registration
- Email forwarding
- Customisable sub-domains
- Easy-to-use domain management tools
- Use of the same DNS servers as Google

At present, the Domains service is only available to webmasters based in the United States (Google checks the Google Wallet billing addresses of those who try to purchase domains).

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