Every website, no matter how it’s developed, begins at the same point – choosing a domain name. This an essential aspect of your whole online presence, as it represents your brand and image – it’s your business’s digital footprint.
Throughout the years, we’ve purchased dozens of domains from many domain registration platforms. While we’ve had a poor experience with the majority, there were some that exceeded our expectations. They delivered what they promised from the moment we had discovered them and that’s why we still use their services to this day.
Two of the top domain registrars currently on the market are Namecheap vs Google Domains. but which one should you go for? In this article we went over every aspect of both businesses to help you chose. Spoiler alert: the results may surprise you!
Without further ado, let’s get going and compare these two platforms.
But First, Why Choose Namecheap or Google Domains?
Google Domains and Namecheap are one-stop-shops when you need anything connected to registering and managing your domains. Namecheap goes beyond this specialty as it’s a fully scalable website building solution. However, we’re going to concentrate only on the domain management segment for this article.
Namecheap is a real veteran in the domain trade. They have been in the business since 2000 and were named one of the fastest-growing companies by the Inc. 5000 in 2018. Since their foundation, they have served over 11 million users and have over 10 million domains under their management.
On the other hand, Google Domains seem like they are still in high school compared with their contender. Bred and raised by its parent company Google, it joined its sister companies in 2015 under beta development. As of now, it’s still in the beta stage like many of Google’s services, but it’s fully functional. As a matter of fact, even though they don’t provide anything beyond domain registration and management and are much younger, they do their job impeccably well.
Who’s Better – Namecheap vs Google Domains?
To give you a full perspective of what these two platforms offer and how they differ, we took a look back into our purchasing history and examined how their domain management systems work. We also went as far as to inspect how they price their services and even scanned through other users’ experiences to see what they’ve got to say about their endeavors on the subject.
Here, you’ll have a chance to observe the most prominent aspects of Google Domains and Namecheap from 8 different viewpoints. The platform that outperforms its opponent in each category will receive a point for its victory, and before we wrap things up, we’ll declare a winner – the service that’s overall best for most people.
These are the 8 categories for our today’s comparison:
- Ease of Use
- Extra Features
- Domain Migration
- Customer Support
- User Reviews
May the match begin. Good luck to both!
Ease of Use
Purchasing and registering a domain is one of the simplest procedures of the whole website building process. It should always be a piece of cake to do so, however, we’ve encountered services that make the task look like you’re about to perform a real-time surgery where, if you make a mistake, your end product will suffer some consequences. This is why the UX (user experience) is one of the main factors when choosing a service.
While Namecheap’s interface is easy and simple to navigate throughout, there are a few areas that feel a bit cluttered and confusing at moments. This is mainly because the platform offers a plethora of other features, such as hosting services, a logo maker, a professional email registration, a supersonic CDN, and much more.
Even with the domains section itself, there are advanced options included there that can make the experience feel a bit overwhelming. However, once you get familiar with the platform’s design, you’ll realize that it’s actually pretty intuitive and quite straightforward.
As a contrast, once you purchase your domain you can access your account panel and be pleasantly surprised at how uncluttered it is.
There’s a really big chance that you’ve used a Google service at some point. If you have, you’d know how simple and clean Google keeps things across everything they offer. There’s a consistency and seamless synchronization between all of their tools, and that’s the case with Google Domains as well.
Google Domains doesn’t offer any additional services besides its domain registrar, and having no confusing extras greatly helps the customer experience.
We greatly appreciate how Google Domains simplifies everything as you’re required only a few clicks to arrive at your final destination.
Namecheap and Google Domains are both great at offering an effortless experience, but Google Domains is much simpler and cleaner, and it scores its first point!
Offering extra options alongside your basic service can be a great way to lure more customers to your business. And this is not just a deception trick; our two contenders provide some additional features that are genuinely beneficial and can come in very handy in moments when you don’t even know you needed them.
When compared to similar services, Namecheap excels considerably when extra features are in question. The platform offers some amazing stuff like Bulk Domain Name Search, Marketplace, and Whois Lookup among the other less prominent ones.
The Bulk Domain Name Search is an incredibly useful feature designed to help you discover the right domain name for you. With it, you can enter up to 5,000 keywords, choose a price range, exclude premium and unavailable domain names, and pick your favorite domain endings. It’s indeed a highly valuable option to discover new ideas, find hidden gems, and get results in seconds.
What we really love about Namecheap is its Marketplace feature. This option allows you to buy and sell any domains that you have laying around. While you can browse and discover some amazing domain names offered by the minute, you can generate some extra buck by offering your own domains.
This category is where Google Domains falls a bit flat behind Namecheap. It offers some additional features, but not as near the amount and value as Namecheap.
Some of Google Domains’ extra features that we like are their domain name credibility suggestions and the tips you get during your search; also the option to share domain access with your team for easier management.
With Google Domains you can pick from more than 300 domain endings and the platform will tell you which one goes well with your brand name to ensure high credibility.
We’ve got an obvious winner in this category. Namecheap outmaneuvers Google Domains by offering more additional extras and scores its first point here.
Unless you plan to build a business as a reseller, a domain is pretty worthless on its own. Its significance shines through when attached to a successful website so it can fully unlock your brand identity and help you grow your business. That’s why it’s important that you have easy access to integration tools with which you can connect your domain with important business-oriented services.
As we mentioned earlier, Namecheap offers a full package of tools to create your whole professional online presence.
Their hosting service is one of the best options to host your websites on. It seamlessly points your domain to Namecheap’s DNS servers and offers one-click installs for popular website builders.
Furthermore, Namecheap provides a professional email registrar, great for all of your email marketing intentions.
They also throw in a superfast CDN in there that will greatly assist your SEO efforts.
The platform takes great care to save you valuable time by offering integrations with other Google services and trusted partners.
When in need of a professional email service and tools for collaboration, integration with Google Workspace is just a click away.
If you plan to attach your domain to a blog, a landing page, or an eCommerce store, you can easily do so by connecting with Google’s trusted partners like Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, Bluehost, and Weebly.
We’ve posted extensive articles on all the features offered by Shopify and Wix and WordPress, so if you’re interested in learning what they offer, feel free to check them out.
Both Namecheap and Google Domains make great efforts to integrate your domain with high-quality tools that will drive you more traffic and score you more deals, that’s why we declare a tie in this category.
It’s unacceptable that your new domain registrar doesn’t offer options to transfer your old domains and manage them alongside your newly purchased domain names. But rest easy, our two opponents don’t disappoint in this department.
Transferring your domains from somewhere else to Namecheap is not only fast and easy. It also brings its own merits.
Namecheap will help you follow through with the domain migration process at no extra cost to you. You’ll simply continue paying for your annual renewal price, but not until the date your renewal with the previous service is due.
With each domain transfer, you get free lifetime WhoisGuard privacy protection, and Namecheap promises zero downtime. Your website will continue running smoothly with no interruptions.
Google Domains makes domain migration stress and hassle-free as well. However, the service isn’t free like it is with Namecheap. You’d be immediately required to pay for registration for an additional year upfront.
Aside from that, the process is easy and you’re offered assistance with access to 24/7 support. You only need an authorization code from your former domain registrar that you enter in Google Domains and then you wait for the migration to be approved.
The whole procedure can take from 5 to 7 days, which is more than Namecheap’s waiting time (from 30 minutes to 6 days).
Namecheap scores its second point in today’s battle. The reason for that is because it offers faster and cheaper domain migration opportunities than its rival.
Many users fall prey to services that advertise themselves as fundamentally secure when they actually do very little to protect you from external threats. We take great care when it comes to endorsing only those services that are secure and constantly improve and upgrade their systems to ensure they are up-to-date with all the latest safety practices.
In order to protect you and your customers from identity thieves and cyber attacks, Namecheap implements two main channels of security.
They provide a wide variety of SSL certificates that instill trust into your visitors by letting them know they can’t ever get their identity compromised when using your website. The other main channel is the WhoisGuard privacy protection service. With it, your contact information is kept private and safe from spammers.
What’s more, Namecheap provides you with two-factor authentication to keep your account secure. There’s also the Namecheap VPN service – a way to securely access your preferred network when you’re on public Wi-Fi and keep your data safe from hackers and trackers.
On top of it all, Namecheap offers a Premium DNS service that’s specifically designed for businesses to ensure their websites are always online with 100% uptime and protected from DDoS attacks.
With Google Domains you have the privilege to rely on Google’s infrastructure. They provide free Cloud DNS support that’s scalable to meet your website’s traffic demands and offers super-fast DNS resolution at no cost.
Additionally, Google Domains offers free privacy protection through Whois and RDAP to prevent spam.
They also have super-useful options to protect your domains from DNS threats like cache poison attacks and DNS spoofing.
What they don’t offer, though, is SSL certification. You’d need to rely on a third-party service and that can extend your website building process.
Even though Google Domains also does a great job at keeping your information and data safe, we’ll award a point to Namecheap only because of the SSL certificates feature, which can be a crucial component in many situations.
Some problems are simply waiting to happen and some we unconsciously create ourselves. So, when they eventually do appear, it’s great to have a highly skilled team to make them disappear for you.
Expedited support is a priority for Namecheap. The platform offers invaluable help through live chat where you can talk to a real person, explain your problem, and receive the required assistance.
You can also describe the issues you’re facing at the moment by submitting a ticket. Namecheap’s response time is incredibly short.
Google Domains is more focused on keeping things sharp and in order, so you’d never even need any help. After all, the platform only offers domain management and no extra features, so the risk of anything going wrong is minimized.
Nevertheless, they do have a 24/7 support team that you can reach through phone, live chat, or email.
And just like Namecheap, Google Domains provides a help center with many useful articles.
Both Google Domains and Namecheap don’t disappoint with their customer support departments. This is the second tie between them.
Domain prices aren’t always directly influenced by the service where you make your purchase. It has more to do with the domain name that you search for and how popular and desirable it is. How domain registrars can make a difference when it comes to price is with the domains’ renewal prices. Let’s see how Namecheap and Google Domains compare in that regard.
Whether you buy your domains through Namecheap or transfer them to the platform, you have to pay a domain renewal price every year. This is usually around $8/year with Namecheap.
If you want to register a domain with a name that doesn’t hold much value, the price would be pretty cheap – around $10. However, if you want a popular domain name (cookies.com, for example) that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
What’s great about Namecheap is that they offer hosting services that come with a free domain for the first year. So if you don’t know where to host your site yet, this may be a good deal for you.
Google Domains is a bit more expensive than Namecheap. The renewal prices with them are usually around $12/year and upward.
In addition, the service doesn’t offer premium domains, so you’ll have to perform your search elsewhere if you’re interested in obtaining a more recognizable domain name.
Namecheap is slightly cheaper than Google Domains and offers more scalability when managing your domains in the long run. So, it’s another point for Namecheap.
For our last category, we’ll take a look at past experiences some users had with these platforms. We’ll also investigate how they rank with popular reviewing sites.
“Very fast, reliable, and efficient.”
What do you like best?
“Namecheap purchasing was a fast, efficient process which gave me no troubles and the domain has worked perfectly fine since the day of purchase. Namecheap domains in my opinion is one of the best. Namecheap domains provides you a free Whois Guard.”
What do you dislike?
“The downsides to Namecheap domains is that the interface is not the most user friendly and could be made a bit more smooth and easier to use.”
“Super Easy to Use”
What do you like best?
“Google Domains is by far the most inexpensive option to having a domain. It helps me look a lot more professional than sending out my Etsy link. It’s super easy to use as someone who doesn’t know a lot about running a domain.”
What do you dislike?
“There’s nothing to really dislike about it; it’s very easy to use. I haven’t run into any troubles so far since I only use it to forward to my Etsy shop. It looks very clean this way though.”
Google Domains scores a point by being favored slightly over Namecheap.
It’s time to declare an overall winner. For that, let’s summarize who scored the most points in the above-mentioned categories.
- Namecheap was better than Google Domains in the Extra Features, Domain Migration, Security, and Pricing categories;
- Google Domains owned the battle in the Ease of Use and User Reviews categories;
- We declared a draw in the Integrations and the Customer Support categories.
That makes it 4 points for Namecheap and 2 for Google Domains, meaning that Namecheap is today’s champion. We recommend it to anyone looking to register and manage their domains. The platform offers many useful features, seamless transfer of your old domains, and ultimate security – all for affordable prices.
Google Domains is also a good option for when you want a simple, user-friendly interface.