In the unusual and unexpected news department, Google announced today that it would be selling off the company’s Domain registrar service to Squarespace. In case you weren’t aware, Google Domains has been around for nearly a decade and for us Google-y folks, it has been the go-to for buying and maintaining domains for a number of reason.
First, you can readily purchase available domains from Google for as little as $12 and that includes .com domains. Once you’ve made your purchase, those domains live in your Google Domains account where you can access many other features such as creating a Workspace account for your domain and setting up Gmail using said domain. Of course, you can manage your DNS settings, set up forwarding and even build a free website with your domain using Google Sites. If you want to go bigger, you can also access a number of hosting and website building platforms such as Bluehost, Shopify, Wix and more.
Just the simple fact that you can start a new Workspace account and set up your basics like a company email is the reason I have long used Google Domains for all my domain purchases. It’s a one-stop shop for any startup, small or large. Sadly, that will no longer be the case once this acquisition is finalized and Google Domain users will have their domains transferred to Squarespace.
In keeping with our efforts to sharpen our focus, we have entered into a definitive agreement with Squarespace for the acquisition of customer accounts of the Google Domains registrar business. Supporting a smooth transition for customers over the coming months, with the help of the Google Domains team, is our top priority. Squarespace can provide an integrated experience of purchasing and managing domains along with offering other tools that these customers may need to build their online presence.Matt Madrigal, Vice President and General Manager, Merchant Shopping of Google.
For now, nothing will change for Google Domain customers. You will still manage your domains and connected services through domains.google.com. Per the agreement, Squarespace will honor Google’s $12 renewal fee for a period of 12 months. After that, I presume customers will have to pay the standard $20 and up that Squarespace charges for an annual domain purchase. Squarespace will also provide billing and support services to Google Workspace customers that signed up for the service through Google Domains.
Of course, this will be an opportunity for Squarespace to peddle its website building platform to Google Domains owners. However, the statement that went out on the wire said that Google Domains customers will be offered special incentives to use the services available from Squarespace. Once the deal is finalized and the transition is complete, your Google Domains will then be transferred to Squarespace and managed via their dashboard.
I’ve become accustomed to Google killing things but I must say, this one really rubs me the wrong way. Google continues to lean heavily into the enterprise space and I just don’t understand the benefit to the company or more importantly, its customers. I have nothing against Squarespace but I don’t think I’m going to like the post-Google Domain world. Read the full announcement here.
What do you think? Will you let your domains transfer to Squarespace or are you on the hunt for a new registrar? Let us know in the comments.