Cloud Domains overview

This page provides an overview of Cloud Domains features and capabilities. Cloud Domains enables you to register and configure a domain in Google Cloud.

Benefits of using Cloud Domains

Cloud Domains provides the following benefits:

  • Enables you to purchase a domain through Google Cloud and seamlessly attach it to any desired application. You can perform these steps by calling the Cloud Domains API, by using the gcloud command line, or by using the Cloud Console.

  • Bills your domains through the same Cloud Billing account that you already have. Cloud Domains also automatically renews your registered domain as long as your Cloud Billing account stays active.

  • Is available in all locations where Google Cloud is available.

  • Enables you to manage domain registrations per-project, not per-individual. Google Domains allows direct management of an individual account. You can manage one or more of your domains in Cloud Domains as part of a single project, or export your domain to Google Domains if you want to manage it individually. Cloud Domains allows team collaboration because the domain is associated with the project. You can use Identity and Access Management to manage all permissions in one place.

  • Supports programmatic access to domain registration, letting you integrate your systems. You can control access to the API by using standard Google Cloud permissions, quotas, and so on.

  • Offers the same registration prices as Google Domains if you pay in USD. There can be minor differences when using other currencies due to differences in calculating exchange rates. The price is charged proportionally throughout the registration period. For detailed pricing information, see Pricing.

    If you use Cloud DNS to configure your domain name servers, Cloud DNS bills you separately.

Supported use cases

You can use Cloud Domains to do the following:

  • Search for available domains
  • Buy a domain name
  • Manage your registration
  • (Optionally) Export the domain from Cloud Domains and move it to Google Domains for individual management instead of managing it under a Cloud project

DNS providers

Name servers identify the location of your domain on the internet and define your domain's DNS providers. When you register a domain with Cloud Domains, you must choose a DNS provider for the domain. The following table summarizes the three DNS provider options in Cloud Domains:

DNS provider Description Cost
Cloud DNS Google recommends that you use Cloud DNS as your provider for all your name servers. Using Cloud DNS requires that you create a public DNS zone for one or more domains that you want to register. To create a public DNS zone, see Creating a public zone. Additional Cloud DNS charges apply. For details, see the Cloud DNS pricing page.
Google Domains If you choose this option, you can configure your name servers through Cloud Domains, and then use Google Domains to configure the DNS resource records. Note that using Google Domains does not allow API access. No additional cost.
Custom name servers Choosing the custom name server option enables you to set up your name servers using Cloud Domains, then configure your DNS resource records with a third-party DNS provider. Check with your DNS provider.

For instructions on registering a domain, see Registering a domain.

Auto-renew

Once you set up Cloud Billing and complete your domain registration, Cloud Domains automatically sets up the registration to auto-renew every year. Auto-renew helps you keep ownership of your domain by not missing a payment. With auto-renew, Google automatically bills the payment method on your account 1/12th of the yearly billing cost every month. Google also sends you a renewal notice thirty days and seven days prior to your domain renewal.

During the registration process, the price for each domain is available and the total cost is calculated on the registration page as you add domains to your cart. Prices vary based on TLDs. For example, if you buy example.com, example.net, and example.org, the cost of each of these domains might be different because the TLDs .com, .net and .org have different costs.

For detailed pricing information, see Pricing. For billing, see Billing questions.

You cannot terminate a registration or delete a registered resource until your registration expires at the end of 12 months. To stop auto-renewal of your registration, you must export it to Google Domains. For instructions on how to export your domain, see Exporting a registered domain.

Supported domain endings (TLDs)

Cloud Domains supports all the domain endings listed in the Pricing table.

For detailed information about domain endings, click on the domain ending on the Google Domains supported domain endings page.

Note that any domain ending that is not listed on the Cloud Domains pricing page is not supported.

DNS security (DNSSEC)

Cloud Domains supports DNSSEC, which protects your domains from spoofing and cache poisoning attacks. When you use a validating resolver like Google Public DNS, DNSSEC provides strong authentication (but not encryption) of domain lookups. For more information on DNSSEC, see the DNSSEC overview.

If you use Cloud DNS to provide name servers for Cloud Domains, you can enable or disable managed DNSSEC when you create a public zone for your domain. For instructions, see Creating a public zone. If you use Google Domains as your DNS provider, you can enable or disable managed DNSSEC during the domain registration process. For instructions, see Registering a domain.

Contact information

When you register a domain, you must submit contact information for that domain. There are three types of contact information:

  • Registrant: Owner of the domain
  • Admin: Person responsible for administrative decisions about the domain
  • Technical: Person responsible for technical changes to the domain

You can choose to enter the same information for all three types of contacts for a domain or choose to enter different contact details for each type of contact. You can also modify the settings as needed.

Accurate contact information is key because the registrant is the rightful owner of the domain. Access to the registrant's contact information including email, phone number, or mailing address can be used to gain management access to the domain.

Your contact information also enables ICANN to reach you in case of any problems. This information becomes the public contact information for your domain in the WHOIS database. You can control the amount of information available to the public by choosing the appropriate privacy protection settings.

Privacy protection

When you register a domain, ICANN requires Cloud Domains to publish the registrant's name and other contact information in the WHOIS database. The WHOIS database is open to the public, which means published contact information is available to anyone at any time.

Cloud Domains provides three privacy-protection options for most domain suffixes (for example, .com, .net) that allow you to make some, none, or all of your information private.

Privacy option Description
Privacy protection on

Choosing this option ensures that your contact information is not available to the public. To help protect your contact information and prevent spam, a third party provides alternate (proxy) contact information for your domain in the public directory. The third-party provider forwards all messages that are sent to your proxy contact information to the actual private contact information.

Cloud Domains does not offer privacy protection for all domain endings or top-level domains (TLDs). Registries, the organizations that manage domain endings, have policies prohibiting the use of privacy protection for certain TLDs. To see privacy information for a specific TLD, click the TLD on the Supported TLD reference page. Privacy information for the TLD is available in the DNS reference section.

Limit your info available to the public Choosing this option makes limited personal contact information available to the public. The actual information available publicly depends on the domain that you have chosen. To see privacy information for a specific TLD, click the TLD on the Supported TLD reference page. Privacy information for the TLD is available in the DNS reference section.
Make all contact info public Choosing this option makes all your contact information available to the public through the WHOIS database.

Access control

Google Cloud offers Identity and Access Management (IAM), which enables you to assign access to specific Google Cloud resources and prevents unwanted access to other resources.

For details on access control and how to manage access for Cloud Domains, see the Access control page.

General Cloud Domains limitations

  • Once you export a domain out of Cloud Domains, you cannot manage it in Cloud Domains.
  • You cannot delete domain resources until after expiration because billing is set up to continue until the next auto-renewal date. This applies even if you transfer your domain out of Google Cloud.
  • If you use Cloud DNS to configure DNS for your domains, there is an additional cost to using Cloud DNS.
  • Billing with Google Domains but managing the domain with Google Cloud is not supported. You can either bill your domain with Google Cloud, export your domain to Google Domains, or transfer out your domain to other registrars.

Next steps