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Google Domains vs GoDaddy – Only One Can Win in 2021

Ari Denial Ari Denial

GoDaddy is the king of cheap domains, and offers pretty much every kind of web-hosting related product you can think of. I’m always a bit suspicious about companies that offer everything, because they usually end up stretching themselves too thin – but could GoDaddy be the exception that breaks the rule? Google Domains is run by the king of search engines, but does that make it a good fit for domain registration – and what happens if you want more than just a domain name?

I set out to find out by comparing these two giants on a variety of features, including pricing, privacy, web hosting capabilities, and more. You can head straight to GoDaddy to check out the best deals – or keep reading to find out why GoDaddy is crowned king!

GoDaddy Has Great Initial Pricing But Raises Your Domain Fee

GoDaddy is famous for offering dirt-cheap domain names, primarily for .com addresses. If you want an alternative address, such as .xyz, you may also find excellent deals. However, there’s a big caveat to this domain pricing. The cheap pricing is only for the first year; afterward, your pricing may increase dramatically. You can control some of this by registering your domain for 2+ years, but each year after the initial year will be billed at the full rate.

Google Domains doesn’t offer dirt-cheap domains, but pricing is still reasonable. Also, when it’s time to renew, you’re not going to get a big shock, as you’ll pay the same to renew as you did to register.

If you’re looking for alternative domains such as .pub, .restaurant, or even .investments, compare GoDaddy’s renewal pricing with Google Domains before registering. While your first year may be cheaper, Google Domains may offer better pricing in the second year and beyond. Of course, you could always sign up with GoDaddy at a low-cost price, then transfer the domain to Google Domains (or another provider) later – getting the best of both worlds!

Google Forwards Your Emails – GoDaddy Offers Email Services

One advantage of having your own domain is setting up a professional email address. Both Google Domains and GoDaddy allow you to give off a professional email presence, but how they work is starkly different.

With your Google Domains domain, you can create up to 100 email aliases that will forward to an email address of your choosing. By contrast, GoDaddy provides a truly professional email setup, but for a fee.

GoDaddy offers three email plans, with their smallest plan offering 5 GB of email storage along with the ability to sync email, calendars, and contacts across all your devices. For those who want a separate email plan rather than using Gmail or their personal email, this is a solid alternative but does incur a monthly fee.

GoDaddy Offers Website Hosting – Google Domains Gives Referrals

Google Domains offers a simple control panel allowing you to manage your domain and related services. You can control your DNS, website nameservers, email settings, and other general settings from one location. However, Google Domains doesn’t offer website hosting. They’re partnered with several website builders you can use to create your website, but that requires that you manually configure your hosting and Google Domains.  There is Google Sites, but this is only really suitable for very basic websites – and configuring your domain to work with Google Sites is more complicated than it should be!

Google Domains Control Panel

For those new to website building and domain management, GoDaddy makes things much easier. During the signup process, you can opt-in for a free trial to GoDaddy’s Website Builder. Afterward, you can sign up for service and use GoDaddy as your hosting provider. When you do so, your domain is automatically added and updated to your hosting, with no extended configuration needed. Read our review of GoDaddy Website Builder for more info.

Use Google Domains with Wix

One option with Google Domains is to use your domain name in conjunction with a website builder like Wix. In addition to a free plan (which you can’t use with a domain name of your own), Wix has plans starting at as little as $14.00, and it’s extremely beginner-friendly.

While Wix’s support team can’t actually point your Google Domains domain name to your Wix site for you, you can get help from the knowledgebase. Although most annual Wix plans include a free domain, purchasing your own domain is often cheaper than getting your domain name from Wix – plus you can pay monthly (great if you’re on a tight budget!).

If you prefer not to use a website builder, then you might want to sign up for GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting. If you pay for a year (or more) upfront, a domain name is included free for the lifetime of the plan. You can find out more about GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting in our expert review.

While this is a slightly less beginner-friendly option, your domain name will be automatically configured and you won’t have to worry about things like updating WordPress or making backups as these features are included with some GoDaddy Managed WordPress hosting plans.

Google Domains Offers a Wider Variety of Support than GoDaddy

Google Domains outshines GoDaddy in the support arena. If you need help with an issue, you have multiple options for support. First, there are extensive help articles that cover most questions about Google Domains. And if you need additional help, you can contact a support agent 24/7 by live chat or email. You can even request to have a technician call you back.

Google Domains' Customer Support Channels

GoDaddy also offers you multiple support options, but they’re not all 24/7. You can search their help documentation for answers, contact them via live chat, or you can give them a call. They have support lines in over 50 countries, and most with 24/7 support. Their live chat is available only on weekdays from 5am to 6pm U.S. Pacific Time.

Google Domains Is Great for Domains Registration – GoDaddy Is Better For Beginners

The decision of whether to go with Google Domains or GoDaddy boils down to your general needs and experience levels. Here’s a quick head-to-head comparison:

Google Domains
GoDaddy
Pricing
Reasonable pricing and no price hikes at renewal
Cheap .com domains, but significant price hike at renewal
Email
100 email aliases that point to your personal or third-party email
Paid email plans with a professional email address and 5 GB or more of storage
Website Hosting
Does not offer website hosting; offers you partner services, or you can use Wix
Provides a range of hosting services, with a free trial for GoDaddy Website Builder at registration
Support
24/7 live chat, email, or callback
24/7 phone support, and live chat on weekdays from 5am to 6pm PT

Choose Google Domains if you’re looking for basic domain registration and don’t mind having to connect your domain to your hosting yourself. It can work out cheaper than GoDaddy and other domain registration providers since there are no big price hikes. Because Google Domains doesn’t provide hosting, you will have to sort that out for yourself. You can connect your domain to any hosting service or website builder – but Wix is a good place to start.

Opt for GoDaddy if you want the ease of having your domain automatically configured for web hosting, WordPress hosting, or the GoDaddy website builder. The free trial of the website builder is a good starting point, and you have plenty of time to decide whether it’s the right fit for you – and you can easily disconnect your domain name and sign up for WordPress hosting instead – and benefit from GoDaddy’s 30-day money-back guarantee on your hosting, too.

FAQ

Is Google Domains any good?
Google Domains is great on a technical level. The free privacy features, steady pricing, and 24/7 support make Google Domains an ideal registrar for anyone who’s running a business. It’s also great for techy people in general, and provides features that the expert user will find handy. If you do decide to go with Google Domains and need hosting, check out our review of Hostinger, which is one of the best cheap hosts around.Are GoDaddy domains good?
While I can’t really say that GoDaddy has the “best” domain service around, it’s one of the old guard, and has lasted this long for a reason. That’s because it works. While you may have to pay extra for some features that other companies include by default, you can’t deny that GoDaddy has been a reliable source of domains for decades. Plus, there are more than a few extra features to help you get your website up and running, such as hosting, plus GoDaddy’s own website builder, which you can read about in our expert reviewIs Wix or GoDaddy better?
GoDaddy’s main competitor in terms of website builders is Wix, which also provides its own domain registration service. And well, the answer depends on what you want. If you want a domain registrar that will let you configure your domain name a hundred different ways, go with GoDaddy. If you want to keep things simple, and want a site builder with a lot more design variety, and a lot more precise control over how your site looks, go with Wix. Wix will also help you with things like SEO and marketing; it’s just better that way. If neither site builder seems right for you – or you want to look around a bit more before making a decision – check out our list of the top site builders in 2021Which is cheaper: Google Domains or GoDaddy?
That depends on a variety of factors. While domain prices are semi-standardized, domains with popular keywords and letter combinations can be very pricey, to begin with. That said, there is one thing to take careful note of: GoDaddy generally provides cheaper initial prices, but that price can go up by a lot after the first year (or your chosen renewal period). With Google Domains, things are a bit more standardized, and what you see is what you get. While GoDaddy might be better for quickly trying out a new website idea; Google Domains could be better in the long run. Either way, you can get your domain (and possibly your hosting) a bit cheaper by visiting our coupons page.

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anonymus
Google does offer emails? Not just aliases, you have to set up a workspace to have your professional email created. With 4+ years experience on GoDaddy and Google I can surely say Google is the much better option here.
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viswa
So I am a beginner and I don't have any developer to build my site Which one is best for me in starting stage after reaching of my site i go further?
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Martina Bogdanovic
SITE123is the easiest for building your website. However, there are also other options worth trying. Check out our review about website builders for beginners to find out more.
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anonymous
For cheap domain I would recommend NameSilo to check out. I have some domains there and they have great services. Best regards, Gabor
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anonymous
Google Domains doesn’t offer website hosting! Have I got this wrong? Google Sites is a website building platform from Google.
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Martina Bogdanovic
That's correct, Google Domains doesn’t offer website hosting. To find out more about Google Sites, check the review on our website.
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MJ2021
Great piece James. Question if I may? I have some Google Sites and am thinking of buying domains at Google Domains. What else do I need to do to build SEO once I buy and set up domains with the sites? Sorry, I'm easily confused with tech.
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Martina Bogdanovic
In this review, you could find useful tips for SEO. Hope that helps.
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