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Google Domains opens up to all U.S. users, service starts at $12 a year

Google opened its domain registration service to U.S.-based Internet users on Tuesday, giving individuals and businesses the chance to buy a website name through the Mountain View company.

The Web giant took the wraps off the service in June last year, but until now it’s been an invitation-only offering. It goes up against the likes of GoDaddy, a well established giant in the domain registration space that’s been in business for nearly 20 years.

Related: GoDaddy starts selling .ninja domain

Google’s new service has a number of notable features, including the absence of additional costs for private registration – GoDaddy, for example, currently charges a fee for this.

Buyers can create up to 100 email aliases, eg. help@your_company.com or sales@your_company.com, and so on, and domain forwarding lets you point your domain to an existing one.

You also get a full suite of domain management tools as well as support via phone, chat, and email.

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The choice of top-level domains currently stands at just over 80, among them .us, .solar, .photography, .estate, .email, .cab, and .coffee (you can check out the full list here). Hundreds more are set to be offered over the next couple of years.

Prices start at $12 a year for a .com domain, while most others will set you back around $20 to $50.

Related: The complete noob’s guide to making a website

To get started, you simply go here to enter the desired word or phrase for your site, hit enter, and see what Google comes up with in terms of availability and pricing. A secondary list shows “related” domains, so if all the ones you want are taken, you might find something you like among these additional suggestions instead.

Google Domains doesn’t offer website building or hosting options, though it offers links to firms that do provide such services, so if you’re in need of suggestions you’ll be all sorted on that front.

Google is thought to be particularly keen to bring its service to the attention of small businesses, a large percentage of which still operate without any kind of web presence.

The company said it intends to roll out its new service internationally over time, with anyone interested asked to submit their email address for updates.