Advanced Skills‎ > ‎Domain Names‎ > ‎

Get Domain

"Gee, I don't care for the lengthy URL Google provides for my site.  Can I use my own domain name?"

YES!

www.mydomainname.com   ->   my Google Site

You can associate your domain name with a Google Site so you have a personal URL.  To be specific it would be a sub-domain such as "www" so the address would be "www.mydomainname.com"

  • Each Google Site can have up to 5 different external names
This is more complicated than other topics. But it's highly desirable, so it's worth the effort to setup for public websites.
  • While Google Sites is free to use, registering a domain name costs approximately $10 per year (+/- $5)
  • Setup requires that you complete multiple steps both at Google and with a separate Domain Registrar company of your choice.
This page contains instructions to help you get a domain name.

If you already have a domain name, proceed to the Connect Domain page.



Is my desired domain name available?

To check whether a domain name is available, you should perform a 'whois' lookup.  

Note initially you may start by typing your desired URL into your browser to see whether a website or an error message appears.  But that isn't the final determinant.

A whois lookup provides you with information about who has registered a domain name, if anyone.

Whois lookup sites:
You can also use a Linux/Unix/OS X Terminal to run the 'whois' command.

If you keep encountering domain names that are taken, also consider going to the next step, and entering in your desired domain names, since the purchase sites, will not only let you know if your choice is available, but also if similar names are available (i.e. smith.com is taken, but smith.org is free).

Obtain a domain name

There are many places to obtain and register a domain name. Google does not require you to use any particular service, and for setting up the Google Sites mapping, Google even provides step-by-step instructions for many popular vendors.  When you purchase a domain name, you own the domain name (so long as you keep renewing it) and you can move it to another registrar in the future.  Moving is a bit of a hassle, but don't stress out about whether you've chosen the correct company to register your domain name.

Here are three places where you can obtain and register a domain name:
Note, I am not making recommendations or endorsements for specific vendors.

Outside Scope: In addition to using the domain name for websites, you might want to have email addresses such as me@mydomainname.com.  Many companies also provide other internet hosting services such as email and website hosting in addition to domain registrar service. Also if you are serious about setting up email, etc. You may also want to investigating Google Apps if you are considering setting up email and other services for your domain. TBD-add link. This is outside the scope of these materials.


Next Steps

After you've obtained a domain name, then proceed to the Connect Domain page for instructions to Connect a domain name to a Google Site.