Google Domains is shutting down. Here’s what domain owners need to know

So you’ve registered your domain with Google, and now they’re shutting down. Where should you take your business and when should you transfer your domains? We’ve been working on this problem ourselves, read on for our advice on what do to next.

Background

In mid-June of 2023, Google announced that it had sold its domain business to SquareSpace. This is an interesting move because it’s unclear, as of this writing, when the domains will be moved to SquareSpace. SquareSpace doesn’t currently offer registration so it’s hard to know whether or not they will be providing it as a stand-alone service or for use with their core offering, which is a website builder.

It’s interesting that Google are getting out of the domain business, because they own and sell a lot of cloud infrastructure, and setting up your Google Workspace was quite easily done because they were well integrated. However, I’m not very happy with the idea that all my Google Domains registrations will be transferred out to SquareSpace, so I looked into some alternatives to plan the next steps for my domain registration. We own many domains and most were registered with Google so moving them is a quite a process, and potentially an expensive one.

Domain Registrar Selection Process

The criteria used for the domain registrar selection process was as follows:

Transfer-in fees: Does the registrar have a charge to transfer in the domain? Usually this is lower than the renewal rate, and includes a year’s worth of domain registration.

Renewal fees: Domain registrars often charge promotional pricing to and on renewal the price is a lot higher.

Do they offer .ca domains? Relevant for Canadian domain owners.

Is domain privacy included? This is when a registrar will provide a privacy screen for your domain in the WHOIS database to keep your personal information private. Every domain has a WHOIS record and it is compulsory to have contact information in there, but this is provided by many domain registrars at no additional cost.

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