Breaking the GoDaddy domain registrar habit

I have never used GoDaddy hosting. This is in part because I have worked with so many clients who did use GoDaddy hosting, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

The good news was that over the years GoDaddy’s hosting and support have improved from abysmal to acceptable. Their hosting now rates a solid C, which is not bad in the hosting business, and their support a solid B. You don’t usually have to wait long on hold when you need their tech support, and their support tends to be good.

I do use GoDaddy as my domain registrar, however. I do this because over the years I learned painfully that to divorce from a bad web host, it helps to keep your domain registrar separate from your web host. Move your files and databases to the new host, point your nameservers for your domains to the new web host and you have the equivalent of a Las Vegas divorce. It’s all done quickly and neatly.

It turns out though that GoDaddy’s domain services are pricey and annoying. If you’ve used GoDaddy, you no doubt learned they will try to upsell everything, and that includes domain management. While that is annoying, when I looked into it I discovered that they really charge quite a lot for their domain registry services. In fact, they are one of the most pricey registrars out there.

So I used the excuse of their latest bill for renewing a domain as an excuse to find a cheaper and less annoying registrar and move my business there. I’ve only got five domains but it looks like I should save at 33%-50% by moving to my new registrar, Not only are their charges for domains significantly less than GoDaddy’s, but they throw in some very valuable extras.

For example, charges $8.99 a year for a .com domain, while GoDaddy charges $15.17. That’s a savings 33%, but the savings are comparable for other popular top-level domains.

I have a blog that I would just as soon not associate with me personally, in part because opinions expressed there might affect this business. The business me is strictly agnostic. I take on pretty much all clients as long as they will pay my rates and I don’t find their content personally offensive. I have worked on some adult sites if their content was clearly legal. This business is less than five percent of my total business.

For my blog, I would like to disassociate its domain from me personally. In case you don’t know, when you have a domain you have to fill in various contact information where you are supposed to enter your actual name and address. On GoDaddy, I paid $9.99/year for privacy protection so this information was not shown publicly. It comes at no charge though on also offers free domain protection. This means someone can’t steal my domain. GoDaddy charges $5.00/year per domain for this service.

It takes about a week to transfer most domains. Transferring my domains also meant a bit of hassle: I had to unlock my domains, get transfer authorization codes for each domain and enter them into various web forms on the site. But it’s all straightforward, while generating a lot of emails from both registrars. works like most registrars: to transfer the domain you are essentially buying another year for the domain.

There’s no point in paying a lot of money to GoDaddy for domain services anymore. Nor do you have deal with GoDaddy’s constant and annoying upselling features. The support on was good when I tried it. It took only a few minutes to get them on their online chat system and they answered my question promptly.