Before you start your business website, you need a domain. Google Domains and GoDaddy have affordable options no matter your industry, and both give you a wide selection of extensions, top-notch security, and help with building your site.
Both companies have the resources to help many businesses boost their online presence, and they can help you find the right domain while providing other services to reach your target audience online.
Google Domains and GoDaddy Compared to the Best Domain Registrars
Google Domains didn’t make our top list, but GoDaddy did, rivaling Hostinger as the best for most people. Hostinger comes out ahead with its low prices, free domain name included with web hosting, and bundling options. Get up to 75% off when you sign up with Hostinger.
- GoDaddy—Best for domain protection and privacy
- Hostinger—Best for bundling domain registration and web hosting
- Porkbun—Best for creative domain extensions
- Domain.com—Best for fast and simple domain purchasing
- Network Solutions—Best for long-term domain registrations
- Namecheap—Best for affordable domain registration
- NameSilo—Best for buying domains in bulk
Google Domains vs. GoDaddy High-Level Comparison
While Google and GoDaddy are widely known and used, not everyone knows you can get your domain through Google Domains. Meanwhile, GoDaddy has built a reputation over 26 years as a domain registrar and web hosting service.
Google Domains sticks strictly to domain registration, but it provides high-quality service with free security options and straightforward pricing. GoDaddy has its own website-building tools, so you can buy and build your website conveniently in one location. Google Domains offers some pointers and educational tools, but you’ll have to go elsewhere to build your website.
Although Google has been around for 24 years, Google Domains didn’t launch until 2014 as a beta product and moved out of the beta process in early 2022. GoDaddy has much more experience with domain registration, which may explain why it offers so many more services. That said, with Google Domains, you can also take advantage of other Google products to help you run your business beyond domain registration.
Products and Services Offered by Google Domains and GoDaddy
Between Google Domains and GoDaddy, GoDaddy offers a much broader range of services. However, Google Domains can still serve you well if all you need is a quick domain purchase, and you can continue using Google to help run your business.
With GoDaddy, you get a reliable domain registrar with plenty of extension options and fair prices. It doubles as a web host with shared, dedicated, VPS, and managed WordPress hosting, and when you go through GoDaddy for your hosting service, you can get a free domain. GoDaddy also sets its hosting options apart with Windows hosting made for specific server types. It gives you plenty of storage with its plans, as well as free one-click WordPress installation, a free SSL, and daily backups.
Google Domains stands out for its free security features and its overall quality. It’s easy to get your domain, and with Google’s integrated services, you can use Google Sites to build your website, Ads to market your business, and tools like Workspace to manage your website. Google Domains has a huge selection of domain extensions with over 300 to choose from—more than GoDaddy and most other domain registrars.
Company Health and Stability of Google Domains and GoDaddy
GoDaddy has been around since 1997, and as of writing this post, it’s registered more than 84 million domains. Having raised $800 million in funding with 29 acquisitions, it’s established itself as a household name. Headquartered in Tempe, AZ, it’s traded publicly under NYSE:GDDY.
Google itself has been around since 1998, but Google Domains has only existed for about nine years. With $26.1 million in funding and 258 acquisitions, Google overall is larger than GoDaddy and has a better-than-average employee culture with over 10,000 employees.
Google Domains vs. GoDaddy Pricing Comparison
Google Domains and GoDaddy have similar pricing models in that they both charge yearly and by the domain, but GoDaddy is a lot more expensive over time.
Google Domains doesn’t offer many deals, which can make it look less attractive at first than GoDaddy. However, once you take a closer look, you’ll notice that Google Domains renews at the same price every year, whereas GoDaddy has a big price jump. Google Domains offers high-quality free security, which sets it apart from GoDaddy and many other domain registrars.
If you need web hosting with your domain, GoDaddy isn’t a bad option, since it gives you a free domain. But if you’re only in it for the domain, you might be drawn in by its deals, like $0.01 for a .com domain for the first year, until you realize it locks you into a two-year contract and renews the second year for $19.99. You’re paying almost as much for two years of Google Domains, making GoDaddy better for bundling.
Pricing Structure of Google Domains and GoDaddy
Google Domains has straightforward pricing where you can get all three most popular domains, including .com, .net, and .org, for $12 per year. It renews your domain at the same price, but the lack of initial deals is disappointing since so many domain registrars offer them. Google Domains only offers domains, too, so you don’t get any bundling like with other companies.
GoDaddy offers a lot of initial deals for domain registration, including it’s $0.01 for a .com domain for the first year. It also gives you a free domain with its web hosting service. With a domain only, it’s $19.99 per year, and since GoDaddy tends to lock you in for two or three years, it’s a good idea to look at the fine print before you commit.
Cost Comparison of Google Domains and GoDaddy
For domains alone, Google Domains is a lot cheaper than GoDaddy. If all you need is a domain without web hosting, or if you’ve already got a website builder picked out, GoDaddy probably isn’t the domain registrar for you. However, it becomes much cheaper than Google Domains if you need web hosting.
While GoDaddy has a reputation as an affordable web hosting service, Google Domains comes in much cheaper for domains on their own, despite offering fewer features. GoDaddy is also known for its upsells, which means you may end up paying even more for things like security, which Google Domains offers for free.
GoDaddy’s domain costs vary widely, and some of its deals, like its .net extension at $14.99, are still more expensive than Google Domains’ $12 consistent pricing. When you bundle your domain with web hosting, prices start at $5.99 per month for the cheapest plan with a three-year contract. The cost can be worth it, but it depends on your needs.
Trials and Guarantees for Google Domains and GoDaddy
GoDaddy doesn’t have any domain registration trials or guarantees. However, you can try its website builder free for a month, and it guarantees 99.9% uptime as a web hosting service.
Likewise, Google Domains doesn’t have any specific domain registration guarantees, but it does promise excellent service. It also says you can use other Google services, like Sites, to build and improve your web presence. There are no free trials for domains.
Google Domains vs. GoDaddy Core Criteria Comparison
I put Google Domains and GoDaddy side by side using the same criteria to show you which has the better security, web hosting, transferring, and bulk purchasing options. I compared each one based on whether they had these features and, if they did, the quality, accessibility, and convenience of them.
I found that Google Domains is better for people who only need domain registration and no extra services. It can also work well if you’re focused on the long term since it coordinates better with Google’s other tools, which you may use over time as your business grows. Since it’s run by Google, it also gives you helpful tips for creating a website that will rank on search engines with good SEO.
GoDaddy is better for people who want to bundle their services and need more than just domain registration. It has good deals to get you started, and buying your domain, web hosting, and website builder is easy. It works best for small or medium businesses that plan to keep growing.
Compare GoDaddy and Google Domains to other services with our review of the best domain registrars.
Domain Protection—Google Domains Wins
When you buy a domain, you need protection for yourself and your customers. Having a secure website means that customers know their information is safe with you. For you, it means you have protection against cyberattacks, so you don’t have to worry about having your information stolen.
While GoDaddy and Google Domains both boast excellent security, Google Domains comes out ahead for its accessibility. GoDaddy is the king of upsells, and part of those upsells are its security features. It has some for free, but Google Domains offers more.
Google Domains has free Whois privacy features that make sure people can’t get your contact information and prevent spam and identity theft. It gives you two-factor authentication and free one-click DNSSEC to guard against DNS spoofing and other attacks on your domain. Having these features available automatically with your domain gives you high-quality security, and most domain registrars don’t offer it for free.
Web Hosting Services—GoDaddy Wins
If you have a website, you need a web hosting service. This essentially keeps your site online, as it provides space and storage for your website. Your web hosting service determines your website’s speed, uptime, and other important factors that can affect whether people stay on your site.
GoDaddy comes out ahead here since Google Domains doesn’t offer this service. GoDaddy has several different web hosting options, including four plans for shared hosting, starting at $5.99 per month. If you opt for shared hosting for your business, I recommend going with the Ultimate plan, starting at $12.99 monthly, offering more storage, websites, and processing power than the cheaper plans.
GoDaddy includes a free domain with its web hosting service, two free mailboxes with Microsoft 365 ,and a free SSL certificate for a year. GoDaddy isn’t the cheapest web hosting service out there, but you get a decent amount of features, and the free domain saves you from spending more on GoDaddy’s pricey domains.
If you already have a domain but want to change your domain registrar, domain transferring moves your domain from your current registrar to a new one. Usually, the new registrar handles the bulk of the work, and transferring saves you the trouble of buying a whole new domain.
Google Domains and GoDaddy tie here because, although Google Domains offers transfers, it’s a bit limited. Still, Google Domains performs this service for free, whereas with GoDaddy, you need to pay $9.99. Most other domain registrars transfer domains for free, so GoDaddy is an outlier here, and it takes up to 10 days, which is longer than average.
That’s not much faster than Google Domains’ 5-7 days, but when you’re talking about potential business disruptions, faster is better. GoDaddy transfers multiple domains at once, a service Google Domains doesn’t offer, tying it with Google Domains, as they offer different advantages that can benefit different customers.
Bulk Domain Purchasing—GoDaddy Wins
Bulk domain purchasing makes the process more convenient if you plan to buy multiple domains. With it, you can often get discounts, and it’s more efficient than buying one domain at a time. As a business owner, this makes things more efficient, and some companies even let you transfer domains in bulk.
Google Domains doesn’t offer bulk domain purchasing, so GoDaddy wins by default again. With GoDaddy, you can search up to 500 domains at once. GoDaddy offers a discount on bulk domains, but the amount varies based on your domain and extension.
Along with buying domains in bulk, GoDaddy lets you transfer up to six domains at once. It offers up to 31% off bulk domain transfers, depending on your extension.
Final Verdict—GoDaddy Wins
Google Domains and GoDaddy both have their merits for the right customers. GoDaddy pulls ahead with offers that Google Domains lacks, like bulk domain purchasing and web hosting services. These features can make all the difference for some business owners by increasing efficiency and convenience.
GoDaddy also offers more discounts and deals than Google Domains. It ranks among the best when it comes to domain registration, so it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for an easy way to buy a domain and build your website.