Google Domains

The very first step in getting started with the IndieWeb is to get a personal domain. It’s the very foundation that the principles of the IndieWeb built upon – that you should own your data and control how it is accessed. Your domain is where you publish your content, provide contact information, and link to your other profiles and content around the web. It’s your place to call home.

And yet, for years I’ve not known what to tell people when they ask me where they should buy a domain. It’s not like there are any shortage of registrars, but there have not been any that I felt comfortable recommending to friends and family. It’s like airlines and cell phone providers… none of them are great, you just have to pick one and hope for the best. As a result I often find it easier to just manage their domains myself; this is what I do for my church and a few family members.

So when the Google Domains teams started dogfooding the product with Googlers some time ago, I was hooked as soon as I heard about it. I was certainly excited about using it myself, but was even more excited about finally having a registrar that I could recommend to family and friends without apology. As silly as it seems, this is one of the more exciting products for me personally that Google has released in a while.

The product itself is much what you would expect, given the design direction that Google has been going in for the last couple of years… very clean and minimal, easy to navigate with no visual distractions. It strikes a really nice balance between helping beginners publish their first website and advanced users that want more control. But for me, the biggest advantage to Google Domains has nothing to do with the product itself.

Security

My Google account is easily the most secure web account I have1 … stronger than my bank, and certainly stronger than any social media or similar account. I have a very strong password, multi-factor authentication, phone alerts for password changes or suspicious activity, and an audit log of all security-related events for my account.

The additional wrinkle for me, though, is that my main Google account is not associated with my primary email address. My primary email is hosted at this domain, and while it is associated with another Google account that has all of these security features as well, the domain itself is a point of attack. Many registrars do not provide two-factor authentication, or near the level of security that Google does. So in hijacking your domain, an attacker can in turn take over your email, and from there can attack many of your other accounts. So if you use an email address at your personal domain, it’s even more important that you choose a domain registrar with very strong security.

I don’t know when Google Domains will be out of limited beta. In fact, I didn’t know it was going to be announced today. What I do know is that this is something I’ve wanted for a really long time and am really excited that it’s here. This is going to be great in helping people control their identity and content online and be part of the IndieWeb.

Read more at https://www.google.com/domains.

  1. My Linode account might be the closest to rivaling Google in terms of security, given the additional IP filtering they support for the Linode Manager.