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Namecheap to Donate $1 to EFF for Every Domain Transfer on December 29th (namecheap.com)
568 points by flueedo on Dec 27, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 94 comments

Namecheap is really taking advantage of Godaddy's misstep. I say good for them! Godaddy deserves whatever is coming at them right now.

I was literally thinking the exact same thing.

GoDaddy is an already shady company, hopefully they take a big hit from this and change the way they do things.

Think bigger: hopefully they declare bankruptcy and no longer have the resources to participate in policy decisions.

They should be considered a Corporation Non-Grata.

Don't get ahead of yourself buddy.

GoDaddy is the largest and most wellknown registrar out there.

From all accounts, they've lost less since this began than they gain -in a single day-.

This isn't affecting their bottom line much at all, it's just affecting their image with the techie/hacker crowd.

A vital crowd to have a good image with, but their business is literally built on taking advantage of NON-hackers -- let's be honest, how many people here have ACTUALLY bought anything but a domain from GoDaddy, and MAYBE some cheap/crappy hosting?

If you look at this specific moment in time on Tuesday, no it hasn't effected their bottom line yet, but company perception is everything and GoDaddy's company perception has gone from "gray area that some hate and some don't care about" directly into the RED.

Are any HN'er going to forget this for their next startup? Or their next contract? Or when their buddy asks them to register a domain for them?

No, we are all going to remember that as long as we don't use GoDaddy we will be fine.

That is going to cost GoDaddy a lot in the years to come. I don't think bankruptcy is around the corner, but I think we'll hear about some down sizing in a couple of years.

FWIW, I am thrilled to see the karma fairy show up and pay GoDaddy in full for years of garbage.

"Always" and "never" are particularly strong marketing words when uttered by word of mouth. Non-technical people can easily remember never to use GoDaddy, much more than "use any of these X registrars depending on what you need."

Nonsense, non-technical people will be swayed by some initial special offer, as always. This will all be forgotten about by February.

GoDaddy will just price themselves to be attractive to the vast majority, i.e. cheapskates. The 'elite' will probably also pile in by rationalising that this must be costing GoDaddy money, so by registering a domain with them they are actually costing them money.

Never underestimate the twin forces of "getting a good deal" and geeky self-deception.

Excellent point; I can even imagine some point in the distant future where a conversation along the lines of the following takes place:

"Oh you never want to use GoDaddy." "Why?" "They suck, use Ghandi or NameCheap" "Right... but WHY... ?" "There was this thing a few years back... they just suck." "Oh ok."

How many times do you think a conversation like that took place during the early years of the iPod before it was so mainstream?

Or Ford vs Toyota... or McDonalds vs. In-and-Out... or DirecTV vs Cable back in the day.

You forget the details of the conflict, but you file away the conclusion: "XYZ sucks!" and that is how people will remember GoDaddy until they make an active effort to redefine themselves as a customer-focused company.

Which I doubt they will; they don't know how to run that company and it would be a very expensive transition.

Instead they will just fade into the future until someone else steps in and redefines them and takes them to the next level (e.g. cloud hosting / SaaS offerings) or they dry up and die.

This isn't affecting their bottom line much at all

Well, we don't really know this yet, do we?

That's me to a T.

I have purchased domain names from GoDaddy for years. And only from them, unless there was a TLD I required that they didn't offer.

Recently I started moving all of my domains to namecheap (before the SOPA shit hit the fan) for a variety of reasons. Mainly that I was being penalized by GoDaddy for aggressively SEOing my domains.

Just agreeing with you, that's it!

I wouldn't trust the statistics. DNS plain text data can be changed. They have a history of holding onto expired domains among other attempts to look like they have more.

Also, there's a lot of guesswork to try to gauge how much products vs customers they have.

Reference: Two sources on domains show; some gain vs 300,000 weekly loss.

I don't think they're going to 'go under' anytime soon. Domains are only a small portion of the product portfolio they offer.

well, why wouldn't users abandon those services too?

Maybe, but my judgement is that while domains are relatively easy to move, various other services aren't.

It seems to me that the focus on HN and other sites is to move domains.

I'm not particularly up on GoDaddy TOS, but I imagine their not going to give refunds to prepurchased hosting. This would increase the friction involved in a total dump of GoDaddy. The customer would also have to allocate time to setup the new environments. Same with email, Dedicated and Virtual servers.

There are also SSL certificates. Again, I assume no refund, and the time it takes to gain and install a new SSL certificate from another provider would also increase the friction.

GoDaddy also provides alot of instant website tools. I'm not saying that SOPA opposers do not use these tools, but they tend to be marketed towards a non web savvy user that may not care/know about SOPA. This would reduce the effect of SOPA protests.

In summary I'd say that the tech savvy GoDaddy customer with a decent budget and the time to set up alternatives could dump all services, it's could be unreasonable to expect a total boycott of services from other GoDaddy customers.

>It seems to me that the focus on HN and other sites is to move domains.

I don't think that many readers of HN would have anything besides a domain with GoDaddy anyway.

I have ONE client with a GoDaddy hosting account. I picked up this client on oDesk last week. The GoDaddy account was pre-existing. We have been fighting GoDaddy support for the last week or so to fix an intermittent misconfiguration that other users occasionally also experience. They have heretofore not fixed it and it constitutes a serious disruption to the client's business.

GoDaddy is awful and any tech-savvy individual knows it.

How much of their product portfolio requires a domain registration?

I'd say quite a lot of GoDaddy services require a domain to be registered. But that does not mean they need to be registered with GoDaddy.

Services that do need a domain registered with GoDaddy:

    Domain Name Registration
    Transfer Domain
    Bulk Domain Name Registration
    Bulk Domain Transfers
    Internationalized Domain Names (IDN)
    Discount Domain Club
    Domain Buy Service
    Go Daddy Auctions®
    Private Registration
    Business Registration
    Deluxe Registration
    Protected Registration
    Certified Domain
    Premium Listing
    Premium DNS
    Domain Backordering
    Domain Management
Services that don't need a domain registered with GoDaddy:

    Web Hosting
    WordPress Blog Hosting
    Virtual Dedicated Servers
    Dedicated Servers
    Managed Hosting
    Virtual DataCenter
    Dedicated IP
    Go Daddy Hosting Connection®
    Website Analytics
    Search Engine Visibility
    Website Protection Site Scanner
    Hosting Management
    Go Daddy Email
    Hosted Exchange
    Online Calendar
    Fax thru Email
    Online File Storage
    Email Marketing
    Email Management
    Search Engine Visibility
    Website Analytics
    Email Marketing
    Business Consulting
    Business Solutions
    Quick Shopping Cart®
    Merchant Accounts
    SSL Certificates
    Code Signing Certificate
    Website Protection Site Scanner
    SSL Certificate Management
    Turnkey Reseller Plans
    API Reseller

Well, good luck to them on surviving in their current state on hosting margins and "email to fax."

Yeah, they are absolutely going to town on this one. Can't say I blame them - I'm surprised not more companies have come out of the woodwork to step in as the break-up rebound target.

Not related to recent events, but I remember Hover.com had an advertising run on the TWiT network that was essentially: We're not horrible like Go Daddy, transfer today!

I've been with Namecheap for most of my domains for a couple years now. One of the surprisingly awesome extras:

Dynamic DNS

No more need for DynDNS or another third-party DNS service for this simple but useful feature! Once enabled for a domain, you can simply use an update client to regularly update the IP Namecheap servers point to.

See Namecheap's knowledgebase articles to enable and use it: http://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/category.aspx...

Update clients:

ddclient (unixy) - http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/ddclient

inadyn (unixy) - http://www.inatech.eu/inadyn/

Namecheap's DNS update client (Windows) - http://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/article.aspx/...

Second the recommendation for NameCheap dynamic DNS. In my experience it's much more reliable than no-ip and dyndns.

Also, if you have dd-wrt installed on your router, the firmware comes with a dynamic dns client that works well with NameCheap.

I'm a big fan of their free e-mail forwarding and customer support (they got a domain back for me that I had let expire out of its grace period).

But, I'm surprised so many people tolerated godaddy for this long just because of their control panel. Every time I have to go in there and help a client/friend, I begin to feel like an idiot almost immediately. It's impossible to find anything intuitively and I feel like their design changes every few months.

Namecheaps panel isn't pretty by a long shot, but it's so clutter free I just don't care.

Not to defend them, but GoDaddy's iPad app is pretty good, and I use that rather than their control panel whenever I can. I am fed up with them for other reasons, so this comes at a good time.

That's nice, but it remains to be seen if this is not just cheap (no pun intended) exploitation of sentiments. Some registrars, such as Gandi have always supported various causes (such as EFF, Creative Commons, Debian, etc.). How much does Namecheap donate of regular domain registrations, etc.? What have they done in the past for digital rights?

Also, as some people said before. This attack on Godaddy maybe a godsent diversion for SOPA supporters.

Namecheap has a history of ignoring and fighting abuse complaints from lawyers trying to shut down free speech with spurious trademark and libel claims without a court case. GoDaddy has a history of immediately pulling DNS of a domain after spurious complaints without a court order. This is in line with how Namecheap has operated for years.

I don't understand the notion that this is somehow a distraction to the real SOPA fight. Maybe I'm alone in this issue having heightened my knowledge, opposition and action against the bill?

Go Daddy is totally insignificant in the scheme of things. The list of SOPO supporters is very deep and monopolizes many industries. Can you work out an effective boycott of all major record and movie producers, all major television networks, publishers (Elsevier, Macmillan, HarperCollins, and various coalitions), pharmaceuticals and beauty products (Pfizer, PhRMA, L'Oreal, Revlon, etc), banking (Visa, MasterCard, American Bankers Association), sports (NFL, MLB), Apple, and Microsoft?


Hurting Go Daddy over this is fine, but I suspect it is inconsequential to whether SOPA passes, and most of the key supporters aren't concerned about boycotts anyway.

The point isn't how significant GoDaddy is. The point isn't how much business damage GoDaddy is suffering, if any.

The point is about how much awareness this event is raising and how much of an impact it is having on encouraging people to do something (anything) to express opposition to the bill. One example: I had not seen SOPA on the nightly news until now.

I don't think this event has been or will be considered "inconsequential". There's a small chance it will be one of the more important events in the opposition.

"Also, as some people said before. This attack on Godaddy maybe a godsent diversion for SOPA supporters."

Are you taking a position on this? Or are you content to just hint that others might possibly have done so elsewhere...maybe.

I don't think that it is Namecheap's duty to donate any portion of their profits to the EFF, CC, Deb, etc... If I want to support those initiatives, I will make the donation myself (and get the tax refund).

Namecheap does quite a bit more than GoDaddy in terms of protecting you.

To GoDaddy, you are some cow that needs milking. (re: fines for various "infractions" that GoDaddy writes up themselves).

To Namecheap, you are a valued and respected customer. This means requiring proof to back up accusations.

I've used NameCheap ever since I found out how horrid GoDaddy's service and slimy policies were. NameCheap has always answered my noob questions with haste, and I've never had any issues with them. I have no connections with them other than being a happy customer. If I didn't already have all my domains through them, I'd switch them over.

I couldn't be bothered waiting. I've some domains due for renewal at the end of the year and decided to beat the holiday rush and just move then all over to namecheap.com.

I started the process yesterday afternoon. Still haven't seen anything on the GoDaddy side indicating any pending transfers. I imagine this sort of delay will only be worse come the 29th.

Update: just got a slew of form mail from namecheap. Apparently every EPP/authorization key code I entered, taken from the list generated by GoDaddy, is wrong. Now I have to re-do every transfer.

> Apparently every EPP/authorization key code I entered, taken from the list generated by GoDaddy, is wrong. Now I have to re-do every transfer.

They sure have had a lot of funny accidents lately....

It may be that I entered the domain and EPP info into the namechaep form with some spaces (foo.com, x$fo!ss) and the namecheap form code was too clueless to realize that no EPP code is going to start with a space.

I also discovered that I cannot automatically transfer azhackers.com, apparently because it triggers some "bad, evil, we don't like it" domain name filter.

Are they really that upset with Arizona? :)

I transfer domains regularly between registrars because the transfer costs tend to be cheaper than the renewal costs. I've noticed that the last character of EPP values tend to be minor punctuation ([,.] etc.), which is ignored whenever I double-click to copy & paste.

I'd be certain this is intentional since those characters are ALWAYS (20+ domains transferred over a period of months) at the end of the code, although I cannot fathom the purpose since at that point you've already paid for the transfer and aren't going to give up the money you just spent.

Anybody know WTF the registrars are playing at?

I've noticed that the last character of EPP values tend to be minor punctuation ([,.] etc.), which is ignored whenever I double-click to copy & paste.

I took the CSV exported from GoDaddy, striped it down to multiple lines of

domain, EPP domain, EPP domain, EPP ..

and pasted that in.

That failed.

When I removed the space between the comma and the first character of the EPP key, it worked (so far for the few I retried).

My guess is that the space confused the form parsing code. Or maybe it was just a glitch.

In any event, I've been now moving domains successfully, and in the morning I'll be re-trying the bulk of the remaining names.

BTW, in my initial retry attempt I noticed that some domains were being flagged as not transferable, something I didn't catch when i attempted to moe 30 names at once.

One name was "questionable", two others were too close to the expiration date. I got in touch with Namecheap support and they arranged to get these names transfered as well.

And once all the ducks were in a row I've been getting pretty quick turnaround times from both namecheap and GoDaddy.

So, so far so good.

If I recall correctly (and it has been awhile since I worked directly with the Verisign Registry), the codes are generated by the registry, not the registrar. Therefore the question should be WTF is the registry playing at. Since they have no incentive to keep you from transferring, I imagine that it's just a byproduct of the algorithm they use to generate those EPP codes.

I had this issue with indyhackers.org/.com. Start a live chat on Namecheap and a representative will get the domain transferred for you.

(I also ran into the EPP code issue with indyhackers.com, and a long delay with a few recent recent transfers. Ugh. I am under the impression the issues are on GoDaddy's end, but, regardless, I've never had issues with transferring to Namecheap in the past.)

You're in the AZ area? Interesting.

Also interesting is that I had no idea that Maker Bench existed, even though it's practically within walking distance.

You're in the AZ area? Interesting.

Yeah, Scottsdale.

Also interesting is that I had no idea that Maker Bench existed, even though it's practically within walking distance.

MakerBench seems to do a poor job of promoting itself. I think their RSS feed, for example, used to be filled with posts from assorted other sites (e.g. make.com) such that I gave up on it as being to noisey. It looks to be more focused now so I re-subbed

A few user groups meet there, too, such as the Android dev group.

My AZ Hackers group had been meeting up in Scottsdale but attendance faded to zero after a few months. I've thought about reviving it down at MakerBench but got distracted with work.

Anyways I'll have to write to namecheap about getting the name approved for transfer.

It looks like they have Arudrino night tonight. I might just show up because, for once, work won't interfere.

Oh, wish I paid more attention, might have driven down there for that!

I see it's every Tuesday night. I will have to plan on this ...

Well, it may have been a mistake on the calendar, actually, at least for that particular Tuesday. But I did meet several people working on different projects (unrelated to Arudrino) and it was interesting nonetheless.

The laser cutters they have are pretty interesting.

Had the same thing happen. Highly suspicious on namecheap part, since the second time I submitted the same code it worked.

Another update: The soon-expiring domains that motivated me to get going on the transfer are apparently expiring too soon to allow the transfer.

Namecheap FAQ says that since a transfer might take up to eight days(!) they will not automatically process transfer requests for domains expiring within that time.

However, they say you can open a ticket to see if they will do a manual transfer that completes sooner.

So, I opened such a ticket, and also asked for help moving the suspiciously named azhackers.com domain.

In the meantime the resubmitted domains are now going through; I've told GoDaddy to approve the transfers (via the control panel).

Keeping two or three domains on GD wouldn't be the end of the world, but it means I would not be able to just completely walk away from them (whihc is what I really want).

This incident will in a public relations textbook as a case study in ten years.

Just keep in mind if you transfer to NameCheap - make sure you are happy with their full price for renewals - because you will NEVER get a discount for renewing. They only give new transfers in special pricing.

Ironically you'll be able to transfer back to GoDaddy in a year when they make some kind of "come back to us" offer for a few dollars to transfer in.

> make sure you are happy with their full price for renewals - because you will NEVER get a discount for renewing

This comment is flat wrong.

I have a couple hundred domains with NameCheap. I always get a discount on renewal.

No, you can't just Google "Namecheap Coupon %thismonth%" but you can hop on chat, ask politely, and be given one. It's not the same full discount, but it's a discount nonetheless, and takes but a few seconds.

The problem with expecting to pay the same for renewals as the initial term is that the annual rates are raised to the registrars, so their costs go up year to year, leaving pennies per domain at the rates you pay Namecheap and eventually putting them in the red if the rate to you didn't rise.

Bulk discounts begin at 50 domains. That's far from the average person.

(and if you have that many domains you can do better than NameCheap prices too)

You'd said "NEVER", which wasn't correct.

I'm generally only renewing a few at a time. They've given me a coupon to renew just one, and they were doing that before I had more than 50 with them.

While there are cheaper options, I like Namecheap's bulk management tools, free DNS hosting with records management for all types of records, etc.

After leaving Internic, I stayed with DirectNIC for years because of their reliability (even during Katrina!), no hassle interface, and pro customer practices, but after crossing the hundred domains mark, that started to feel expensive even with their bulk wallet discount system. I'm still using DirectNIC for a few, but Namecheap for most.

That is also definitely bound to happen... "Come back to Go Daddy and we'll give you a free renewal next year! [If you agree to these shady terms and conditions]"

One thing GoDaddy cannot stop is a transfer out after 60 days of a transfer in. Most registrars count on laziness which is surprisingly effective.

Remember .com/net prices go up January 15th (I think).

Namecheap's posted renewal rate is less than GoDaddy's. Does GoDaddy discount on renewals? Other registrars?

Coupons for GoDaddy renewals are generally available if you check RetailMeNot.com or other such sites. The codes tend to change every month/quarter, but I don't think I've ever renewed with them for more than ~$9.

GoDaddy often has percentage-off-order coupons that would work on renewals.

GoDaddy has coupon codes for renewals.

Can anyone explain why would one want to transfer a domain from one US-based registrar to another given that all recent domain-related issues are US-centered?

Your choice of registrar is completely irrelevant; the registry itself is in the US (Verisign), and the government goes straight to the registry. Unless you plan to abandon the .com/.net/etc extensions, you're under US jurisdiction even if you register the domain in another country.

They are being very careful not to mention any specific domain registrars. I wonder who they are talking about...

I just transferred 20 general TLDs from GoDaddy to Namecheap. I did so based on the positive reviews here on HN, but also because Namecheap has been very verbal during this SOPA ordeal. The SOPAsucks coupon was a nice perk. Too bad Namecheap doesn't do transfers for ccTLDs like .nl and .es.

Can anyone suggest a good, affordable registrar with broad ccTLD support and a decent mobile site/app? Preferably an independent company with phone support in the US. (I looked into Hover, but they're owned by Tucows. I also looked into Gandi, but they're based in France.)

I wish you could just give namecheap your GoDaddy credentials and have them move your domains properly for you. I am definitely not looking forward to figuring out GoDaddy's UI for all my domains.

This handy guide should help you through GoDaddy's maze of a UI. http://blog.jeffepstein.me/post/14629857835/a-step-by-step-g...

Hover[1] says they'll handle xfers for you; not sure how far that help extends (we xfer'd ours manually without a hitch) but they've generally been very pleasant so far.

[1] https://www.hover.com/

I'd like to switch to !GoDaddy, and Namecheap seems popular. Are there any useful pro/cons I should know about Namecheap before switching?

Pro: They've refused to disable domains or turn over private WHOIS data to lawyers representing trademark holders and celebrities. GoDaddy's standard response to an abuse complaint is to yank the domain same day, Namecheap's is to say "get a court order or GTFO".

Con: Transfers are absurdly slow. It took 'em 5-6 hours to initiate the transfer after I ordered. I approved the transfer on both ends instantly. Within the hour the root registry showed the domains moved to Namecheap/enom ownership. 12 hours later, Namecheap still shows everything as pending in their interface. That means I have no management of my own domains -- if I needed to change nameservers or such I'm SOL.

I've never had a problem using Namecheap, their support tickets tend to be answered quickly and their prices are reasonable. They also used to charge $17.76 for a two year .uk domain registration, which was amusing.

One con is that unlike Joker and Gandi (and surely others), Namecheap is located in Los Angeles, CA and is therefore subject to US court judgements, US Internet policy, and US privacy laws (or lack thereof).

Isn't part of the whole current kerfuffle that the DoJ considers any Verisign tld under US jurisdiction?

And wants a Great Firewall of America to block the sites which aren't under our jurisdiction....

Sure, but why make it easy for them and keep the domains under US jurisdiction where they don't even have to go to GFA lengths? Why keep your domain in a country with poor-to-nonexistent privacy laws?

No argument here! Just pointing out that they've got that covered, even if they obviously haven't thought it through.

I've used GoDaddy in the past and was frustrated by their interface. Namecheap's is much better. Also, I've gotten $2 SSL certs and very cheap private domain registration from them as well.

Switched over after the elephant cull, haven't regretted it at all. Clean interface, and very easy flow for new domains. Only gripe is that they don't have a mobile site.

Or a mobile app like godaddy does? I like searching for available domains on my phone sometimes and godaddy's app does that well. Does anyone know of any alternative iPhone apps for searching for available domains?

Check out domize.com - great interface, tells you quickly whats available. You can set it to use namecheap as your default registrar, so clicking on one takes you right there. Works really well, but only for searching.

Cool thanks. Sounds like it's exactly what I need.

I've always used them, and they've been flawless for me. Not "amazing service", but "I haven't needed any service" because everything just worked properly. From what I hear they are responsive when you need them as well. I'd recommend them.

NameCheap "doesn't support SOPA", but they're capitalizing on GoDaddy's missteps more than having any firm moral objection to SOPA. Their opposition to SOPA is very qualified, they publicly say they support new IP legislation, and they may well support whatever comes after SOPA.

I use gandi.net personally - Gandi has long supported internet freedom and is based outside of the US.

Yes, but as stated above Gandi is just a reseller of .COM & .NET gTLD's from Verisign which is still US based.

i've also used dynadot which i like a lot. They have a pretty useful API, and good customer service. However, their pricing is only as good as namecheap if you spend more than $500 USD/year on domains.

Tried to read their Terms of Service, long as hell

I'm surprised no other registrars seem to have jumped on this in quite the way NameCheap have. Is it that they feel too small to take the risk of rocking the boat?

Speaking only for myself, there's only a certain amount of opportunism that I'm comfortable with in piling on when a competitor stumbles, especially when it is rooted in politics.

For example, Tucows does a ton of great work to support various causes and we've always (at least as long as I can remember) supported the development of the Open Internet but we've never had a huge animal rights component to our activism, so we didn't feel right adopting an elephant rescue charity for our giving. A few other registrars did, but it just felt weird for us to change our stripes for PR & marketing purposes.

Same dynamics at work with this issue (and it is much more of an issue than it is an opportunity). We do a lot of work with a lot of organizations that oppose SOPA and PIPA and similarly stupid bits of law that might destroy or inappropriately restrain the Internet commons and we're going to continue to do that, but to buddy up to the EFF and promise donations based on business volumes just isn't something we're comfortable with. We think our activism can be expressed much more productively.

We're continuing to talk about what works best for us and our customers while staying true to our values and we may or may not stay our current course - it is always a live issue, but as one of the largest registrars, I can definitely say that it isn't a case of being too small or not wanting to rock the boat. :-)

And as a bonus they get to stress test their servers ;-)

I'd like to point out that name.com (my current registrar) has been an EFF donor for some time already -- but I don't know to what extent.

Why doesn't NameCheap donate a $1 for every domain moved since 12/22 or last week when all the SOPA issues with Godaddy were presented?

I transfered from Namecheap to SpeedySparrow a couple of months ago.

Just consolidating vendors (domain and hosting) to simplify management.

A similar initiative: fightsopa.org will donate 5$ to EFF for each developer solving one coding puzzle

I recall reading that namecheap stores passwords in plaintext? I'd be interested if this was refuted. In any case, I'd be a bit wary to go along with the bandwagon to this particular registrar without further investigation.

I believe its Hover that you're remembering.


That article is horribly outdated. Hover does not store passwords in plaintext.

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