After a Seven Year Wait, Google Domains is Finally Out of Beta

The domain name registrar has been in its development phase since 2015, and is now available to all customers.

Remember Google Domains? Well, this week, Google announced that the domain registration service is finally accessible to all customers, after being in beta mode since January 2015.

The software is now available in 26 countries, and according to Google's own sources, is already boasting “more than 7 million active registrations”.

The service allows users to find, manage and buy domain names. But is the finalized version really worth the wait? And does the company's own website builder solution, Google Sites, provide businesses with the best way to build their online page?

Google Domains is Out of Beta

While Google is no stranger to extended beta periods, with Gmail remaining in the stage for five years, seven years is the longest time a service of its kind has been under development.

The exact reason behind the lengthy beta phase is unclear, but experts suspect that the release was delayed to give developers ample time to fix bugs and to perfect the services features.

Now the registrar is finally out, the tech firm is celebrating its release by offering new and returning customers 20% off any single domain registration or transfer with the code DOMAINS20.

What Does Google Domains Offer?

When it comes to Google Domains offerings, its list of features is fairly solid. Aside from its flagship domain registration service, the software also offers domain forwarding, DNS hosting, emailing forwarding and free privacy protection, among other useful features.

It allows users to pick from over 300 different domain endings, boasts a slick and familiar interface, and even offers 24/7 support from real people, should customers encounter any problems. Domain prices start at $7 a year, with the price increasing to $12 for .com domain extensions. While there's no denying this pricing model is reasonable and fairly transparent, it's far from the cheapest option available on the market.

In terms of software compatibility, Google Domains integrates seamlessly with other products on the server, including Google Maps, Gmail, Google Search and Google Calendar. For customers interested in setting up their own web page, the software provider also recommends that customers use its own website building service, Google Sites.

How Does Google Sites Stack Up Against Other Website Builders?

Before you opt for the company's default option, let's take a look at how it compares to similar services on the market.

A certified member of the G Suite family, Google Sites is free to use up to a designated storage threshold. Feature-wise, the platform comes with a drag-and-drop tool, a HTML editor, and is able to be fully integrated with other Google Apps.

While these features are enough to manage simpler projects, Sites falls short when it comes to customizable options, search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities and theme options. For this reason, if your businesses is looking to build a website with a bit of flair, it's probably best to look elsewhere.

Our research has shown that Wix is currently the best website builder for businesses, regardless of their size and scope. Not only does the platform offer an abundance of useful features and a slick, user-friendly interface, it also won't break the bank. If you're looking to create an ecommerce site or portfolio, however, Squarespace might be more up to the task.

For a more detailed summary of the best website builders out there, take a look at our helpful guide

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Isobel is a writer at Tech.co with over three years of experience covering business and technology news. Since studying Digital Anthropology Bsc at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also worked as a freelance tech researcher. Isobel’s always up to date with the topics in employment and data security and has a specialist focus on POS and VoIP systems.

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