In this guide I’ll cover everything you need to know when it comes buying and setting up your first domain name.
We will be using Google Domains for this tutorial, although, you’re more than welcome to use any domain registrar.
Why Google Domains?
Personally I choose Google services when I have the choice, with the exception being Amazon Web Services for my storage needs.
Google is reliable and with the direct integration with the G Suite, it makes setting up email accounts and app management a breeze.
If you already have a personal GMail account, it’s a no-brainer. In just a few clicks your new professional email will be a dropdown away right within your GMail inbox.
Here’s the pros of buying a domain from Google
- Reliable company managing your domain portfolio
- Get free privacy features to avoid spam
- Simple interface that gets the job done
- All of the best Google integrations
- Integrated with all the major website builders
- Easy to transfer if you ever sell or move on
- Transparent pricing structure
I didn’t find many cons other than the pricing was a bit higher than most of the other options. It’s also important to note that many domain registrars charge more the next year and they do not include the free privacy.
How do you buy a domain name?
In most cases you’ll simply type in your desired name and the registar will search for all possible domain extensions available. Once you’ve added the domain name to your cart, you will then check out with your credit card and the billing will occur annually. It’s that simple to buy your first domain name.
Buying and Configuring Your Domain
Let’s go ahead and break this down step-by-step using Google Domains.
Step #1: Go to Google Domains and search for your desired name.
Step #2: Pick the best domain extension for your domain or as Google calls them “endings”. I recommend a “.com” or “.net” but ultimately it doesn’t matter for SEO.
Step 3: View the helpful insights about your desired domain and then click the add to cart icon on the far right.
Step 4: Click the cart icon at the top right in the main menu to finalize your domain purchase. Enter your billing details and prepare to be billed annually if you do not turn off the automatic renewal option.
Step 5: Now that you officially own a domain name, you’ll want to point it to a web server, eCommerce platform or simply forward the domain for now.
Step 6: Get a professional email address (like [email protected]) using Google’s paid G Suite subscription upgrade, which is basically a professional GMail account. Normally, this is annoying but this is where Google Domains really shines.
Step 7: Go to the “DNS” settings from within your dashboard and scroll down to the custom resource records section and set your A Record(s) and any CNAMES you may need as well. In most cases you will point an A Record to your Server IP Address. Don’t worry about doing this now if you haven’t set up your website.
Step 8: If you don’t have a website for your domain, check out our best website hosting for beginners post. Otherwise, you can use the built-in integrations Google Domains has to offer.
Purchasing and setting up your first domain name will be easier than you think. I can’t see you spending more than ten minutes getting a domain name and connecting it to a server.
Google will make the process a breeze and if you have any issues, please message me in the comments below.
Also, please be patient when making changes to your DNS settings since these changes will take time to propagate.