When friends ask me which service should they use to buy new web domains on the Internet, I almost always recommend the free edition of Google Apps and here’s why:

#1. Domain registrations done through Google Apps will cost them $10 per year and this includes free email, calendar, online office suite and other Google goodies.

#2. Google provides ‘private’ domain registrations by default and this means, people won’t be able to read your contact information through the WHOIS record of your domain.

#3. You can set Google Apps to auto-renew your domain registration a week before the expiry date and the renewal charges are a flat $10 per year.

I have registered quite a few domains in these years – like labnol.org, sleepingtime.org, indianbloggers.org, talltweets.com, etc. – and they’ve all been purchased through Google Apps for the reasons stated above.

Registering Domains with Google Apps – Things You Should Know

If you have never used Google Apps before but are planning to use the service to register your next web domain, here are three things that you should know:

1. Google Apps is (still) Free

If you visit the homepage of Google Apps, all you see is the business edition that costs $50 per user per year. Is Google App no longer free?

Well, for some reason Google has decided to hide the free edition of Google Apps from their homepage but you can still access it using the following link:

https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/domain/new

Select the tab that says “I want to buy a new domain name” and enter a domain name that has not been taken. You can buy .com, .net, .org, .info and .biz domains1.

2. Choose your Domain Registrar

Google itself is not a domain registrar but they have partnered with eNom and GoDaddy   to make the process as seamless as possible. Thus, when you buy a domain through Google Apps, you are actually buying it from GoDaddy or eNom.

It really doesn’t matter who you are buying the domain from since both are ICANN accredited domain registrars but in case you have a preference, say it here:

https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/domain/providers

Select any one of the domain registrars, then type a domain name and hit buy!

3. Try Google Apps without buying a Domain

This is one useful feature that not many people seem to be aware of. If you would like to test the various features of Google Apps, you can actually do that without even having to buy a domain.

https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/sample/new

Just visit the above page, type in your email address and Google Apps will create a dummy Google Apps account for that email address to help you try out the various features without spending a penny.

[1] You can also use international domains with Google Apps but in that case, you’ll have to buy them separately from another domain registrar.