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NameCheap is More Popular Than GoDaddy Among HackerNews Users (leandomainsearch.com)
83 points by matt1 on Dec 7, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 86 comments

I would imagine chlamydia is more popular than GoDaddy among Hacker News users...

Doesn't that entail having sex? I'd check your figures.

News just in: HackerNews users read HackerNews and avoid companies with bad business practises. Pretty much everyone I know with a GoDaddy domain shifted them over the last 18 months, even if it cost them more, as they didn't want to take the chance of sticking with GoDaddy too much longer.

Disclosure: I work at GoDaddy and I still don't own any domains with them. I find that I can get better rates from other places (like Namecheap).

However, I do use their DNS control panel (dns.godaddy.com). You can put in any external domain (no need to transfer). Their DNS manager supports almost every type of record including AAAA and TXT. It's much better than the DNS managers I've used in the past.

I would point out, however, that GoDaddy's focus is on small businesses that (generally) aren't tech savvy and want to buy a domain with email and a hosting account. Those of us that are more tech savvy are more likely to find better prices for various products at different places rather than paying the extra for the convenience of getting it all in one place.

GoDaddy offers a lot of products I didn't even know existing before I started working here, like Online Storage.

I guess this would be a good place to ask. I remember a while ago using a DNS provider that actually let you edit your zone file in a textarea, but I can't for the life of me remember which one it was. Does anyone know?

GoDaddy's has a "Bulk Edit" feature and an "Import/Export" feature that may do what you're looking for, though I haven't used either myself.

Does it support CERT records?

I wasn't aware of that DNS record type.

The free manager supports A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, TXT, SPF, SRV, NS.

There's a bulk edit and import feature but I don't know if those allow you to use other record types.

GoDaddy is definitely cheaper than Dreamhost...but I prefer the latter...because by the time I've figured out how to do something simple in GoDaddy, I've wasted much more money (converting my hourly-rate-to-dollars) than if I had just done the setup in Dreamhost...

Of course, that setup-cost would go down if I used GD all the time. However, my brief experience with them is that they nickel and dime you for a lot of things...is this still the case? For example, private-registration (obscuring your WHOIS by having it be under something like "Dreamhost Services") cost $9.99 a year...DH offers domains for $9.99 and private-registration is the default.

Also, I hate feeling like I'm logging onto an adult site when I'm just trying to configure DNS. I know sex sells but GD is just shameless.

Money isn't really an issue for me as we're talking a couple dollars of difference. Ignoring Godaddy's politics, I would still not use them because their web interface is not only terrible its also user hostile. Its all upsells and ads.

I'd put up with this crap for a free service, but when you're a commodity then you better add some non-negative value to your service.

Jesus, how did GD get so big anyway? Are horny geeks this gullible?

(GoDaddy employee) There's a huge internal push right now to significantly simplify the website.

For example, there was an email was used to send out with new accounts that had tons of ads and coupons. No one clicked on it. We're working on a new simple one with one button and small 20% off coupon at the bottom. Conversions went from 0% to 28%.

Nice. You guys should check out Name.com as a good example of UI/UX design for a domain site. It's one of the most soothing on the Internet. Sometimes I log in when I don't even have anything to do there, just to enjoy the UX.

Maybe it's just me, but having a bunch of strangers staring at me on the landing page was a pretty poor user experience.

I don't think it's the geeks who drove this. Godaddy's big ad purchases make it as synonymous with name-registration as Microsoft Word is to word-processing -- among those who don't deal with web setup on a regular basis.

My roommate, who after 10 years of using a Mac still doesn't know what a right-click is, has registered all of her domains through Godaddy (and guess who has to help maintain them...)

Ugh, sounds like my experience with my parents . . . but my Dad has started using right click! :)

>Also, I hate feeling like I'm logging onto an adult site when I'm just trying to configure DNS. I know sex sells but GD is just shameless.

This has annoyed the hell out of me too for a long time. I have no problem if, say, Victoria's Secret tries to sell me their product with a sex-sells strategy, but internet domains? You gotta be frakkin kiddin me.

You'll be glad to know that our marketing is shifting away from that, though I think it'll be an awkward transition. The newest ad is about how Frank's Pizza is sexy because he can now take online orders thanks to GoDaddy. It's a little weird.

I'm with you.

I use multiple registrars -- Dreamhost for most things, Namecheap for anything DH doesn't support and Ghandi for the remaining ones (mainly .es).

I think a ton of people switched during the whole SOPA thing, besides the bad services. You know what, this reminds of that South Park episode where that big box retailer moves in, grows so big, everyone burns it down to the ground and sings kumbaya together, and starts supporting a local retailer instead. The local retailer becomes so successful that it grows and grows until it's as big and evil as the old big box retailer. Then they all burn it down again and sing kumbaya again. I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised if one day namecheap also eventually turned rotten in eyes of the HN crowd. I'm not predicting that it will happen, I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised.

There is a significant difference in that Go Daddy has specifically engaged in bad business practices, whereas namecheap appear to care about not doing that, so it's not so much about size as behaviour.

I think he was implying that there is a correlation between size and evilness and that if namecheap grows too large, it could potentially turn evil.

I moved everything off Dotster to Gandi this summer. While good business practices were a major factor in my vendor selection process, I also had important technical reasons for choosing Gandi - namely, they supported IPv6 and DNSSEC as well as complete XML-RPC API. Gandi also has done an excellent job translating their user interfaces and documentation into the languages I and my clients use. Other vendors (NameCheap and EasyDNS included, to pick the top two vendors mentioned on Hacker News during the SOPA/PIPA debates) are English-only and only offer modern DNS features in beta (or charge more for the same).

I recently talked to a potential client about a major project that started out as an internal discussion about how to get off GoDaddy. I think there were GoDaddy whois results showing up in Google that they thought presented them in a bad light.

How does a whois record matter to a company? Do customers look that up? And why would NameCheap being the vendor matter at all? Is something like Lycos better?

Right. It's hard to imagine anyone clueful enough to do a whois who wasn't also aware that the registrar is a commodity service.

I can't imagine "NameCheap" giving a better impression. Network Solution is usually the go to registrar for my client who want a "premium" provider.

The registrar for a NameCheap domain will show up as eNom, which is reasonably reputable. NameCheap is a budget reseller for eNom.

I really expected name.com to be on that list. Is there something I don't know about them?

27 people who chose None of the above said they use Name.com which puts them at about 1.7% of the total.

I probably should add them to the registrar list -- thanks for bringing it up.

Ditto. Been using them for the past couple years (only have a few domains with other registrars). They have good prices, no ads or upsells (well, almost none), they don't spam me, and they focus exclusively on making setup and management of DNS easy.

Most other services try to provide about 300 extra services (from hosting to hosted apps and junk I don't care about), and not only spread their support too thin, but make the entire experience (initial purchase to setup to maintenance) less efficient.

One thing GoDaddy does have is rock solid documentation. We recently had a client I had to walk through to make a DNS change. I pretty much read him the steps verbatim from GoDaddy's documentation as we are on the phone and it was spot on.

And that's because GoDaddy's interface is convoluted and confusing; almost designed so that users accidentally click and buy more things instead of get things done.

Accessing the panel to change DNS records shouldn't be 7 or so clicks away from the dashboard.

I really haven't had any problem getting anything done with any other provider.

If you have a half decent UI you shouldn't need to read through documentation to make a basic change like that.

Are you suggesting my non-tech client(a surgeon) should just know how to change his DNS?

If he knows what DNS is, it should be trivial to change it. That someone who is technical has to read through documentation to make a basic change like that is pretty silly...

I'm surprised even that many still use GoDaddy, truth be told. Though of course some domain purchases can last for many years.

Their use of algorithmic prices means that you can sometimes get domains on GoDaddy for cheaper than other registrars. Price is something that is hard to argue against.

Unless it's changed in the last few years, GoDaddy's administration panel is so atrocious that even MySpace would be embarrassed to release it. If you're as frugal with your time and sanity as you are with your money, GoDaddy is far from an obvious choice.

It's honestly the biggest reason I changed. It's so hard to do anything. Half the time I ended up just calling their tech support, which is not toll free, last time I experienced it.

Wow people still use land lines with long distance charges these days? I can't remember the last time I paid for "long distance". I use ObiTalk with Google Voice for free home phone.

Just try to make your contact info private on GoDaddy and then come back and tell us how does it (the total domain price) compare with the straight all-included-no-upsells $15 per domain at hover.com

Namecheap includes private registration for free as well, and their pricing is always cheaper than hover.com even before coupons.

Given the (relatively) low cost of domains, I hardly follow that logic.

Between their customer service, their ethics, their past poor behavior, their shitty admin, etc I would happily spend a much greater margin for !(GoDaddy) than I've ever seen in .com/,net/.org type domains. (And the ones that vary more between registrars aren't even available on GoDaddy anyway.)

I agree, but a few bucks a domain really ads up if you're a startup with a lot of domains.

Sincere question, is it common for young startups to gobble up that many domains?

I don't know how common it is, but it's certainly plausible. My startup has over 50 domains and we're actively using 10 or 12 of them. Buying domains was one of the largest early expenses. It's important for each of our products to stand on its own; using subdomains is not an option from a marketing perspective.

To echo the sentiment above. I use NameCheap, and am very happy with them. Easy to use, and they leave me alone. I will never use nor recommend GoDaddy ever again for their SOPA support, bad business practices in general, tasteless ads (not even offensive, just bad), Bob Parsons, and horrible product.

With plenty of competitors out there, most offering similar prices and better services, I don't see any reason to use GoDaddy.

But it is curious that 27% still use it. I'm guessing those people are just too lazy to switch.

If you are a domainer, with hundreds/thousands of domains, GoDaddy is hard to beat. Price is a big part of it. Also, most people you sell domains to also have GoDaddy accounts which makes it very easy to push domains to them.

If you don't have a lot of domains it is easier to use other registrars, and most HN users are concerned only with their few projects.

I use NameTerrific after I saw them here, they're pretty great. They have DNS snippets you can include in your configuration, they accept BitCoin (not that I use it, but still), and their home page actually shows you a list of your domains! None of the other registrars I tried does this (any more).

Switched over to http://iwantmyname.com

So happy to get away from GD

I'm with IWantMyName.com too :) Really clean and awesome provider.

They also plan to release a revamped dashboard early next year.

Are they an accredited registrar? I was under the impression they were just a reseller.

FWIW I have a .ws domain I registered through iwantmyname.com. Whois says the actual registrar is 1API GmbH.

They're accredited for 80+ TLD. They also have nice, user-friendly business practices:


I love iwantmyname, I buy all my .io names from there.

Thanks. Can you point me to their company name on ICANN's list?


We are not an ICANN accredited registrar but it's something we might consider in the future. Lots of registrars started out as resellers (or still are for ccTLDs, e.g. eNom, Netsol going through a German registrar) so this is not an uncommon thing.

Most of our TLDs are registered through 1API which is a pure wholesale registrar and we're having a very close business relationship with them. I can promise you if there ever is an issue on the registrar/registry relationship part of the business, we will be able to solve it faster than many ICANN registrars.

Well I stand corrected then

What are some recommended registrars if one wants to minimize exposure to USA regulators? I had previously heard Gandi, but more recently have heard the company now operates through a US subsidiary. I'm looking to register a .is domain.

All gTLD registrations are subject to U.S. law. Its an artifact of the structure of the market and technology.

If you want a reasonably safe registration, pick a domain in a country-code TLD with laws you like and registry directly with the registry.

Seems to me that godaddy often has lower prices on domains - sure their tools and customer service are poor - but once you point the nameservers at route53 you never have to login to godaddy again! 1 thing I have always liked about godaddy is their donations option at checkout. You can round up to the nearest dollar and donate the extra few cents to the charity of your choosing. More sites should have this as an option.

I have domains on both, namecheap doesn't cover everything, and do find namecheap a lot cleaner and easier to use and more trouble free. Although honestly, last domain I registered, I just did through my hosting company, DreamHost, for minimal fuss. I trust them to have a clean panel just the same as namecheap, but am logged into them all the time anyway for other things.

I switched to namecheap after the sopa deal and because of godaddy's aggressive email campaigns and ugly ui. I have 12 domains with them and i'm very happy - they don't spam my email, managing my domains is easy and most importantly, they don't go behind my back and deal with government tools to take away the one piece of freedom i have left.

I also heard they don't shoot elephants.

Give Badger.com a try!

I switched to Badger about a year ago. I think I switched when they "launched" via HN and haven't had any reason to switch. I'm not the heavy user most on HN are, but everything works, its easy, and I don't get annoying sales (spam) emails.

Badger does one thing, and they do it well. They also have a kick-ass API.

badger.com is the only non-sucky registrar i've ever used.

Wow, trial admin is a good idea. If the actual admin panel is as fast as that demo is, I'm impressed.

We mocked out the API layer to achieve the demo so it'll be slightly slower when it has to make real requests to our API. That said, the live version is quite snappy!

I use a small local registrar named Namesilo.com. I've been very happy. The best part is "No Upselling".

Checked it. Doesn't seem to support Dynamic DNS. I needed one to maintain my home servers. But looks very good and honest site.

This analysis, but for hosting provider (although most will belong in cloud) would be interesting.

I'm using name.com for years without any trouble. Don't know why it wasn't taken into account.

I thought we were boycotting them? I can't remember why or for how long but someone told me not to use them so I haven't since. Might have been Reddit though too.

It was because of the SOPA issue. However, they backed off on that pretty fast.

Both suck. Use DynaDot (http://www.dynadot.com/)

They're also on the ICANN Accredited Registrar list.

I have transferred most of my domains to hover.com and I love it. name cheap is great too though. oh how I despise GD.

I moved to NameCheap after 1) The SOPA ordeal and 2) I noticed GoDaddy made me want to destroy something beautiful.

They do have amazingly cheap SSLs, I picked up a few wildcard SSLs for <$40/year on Cyber Monday

surprised dnsimple.com isn't there....they rock - especially if you are using heroku...

I have just started transferring my domains to dnsimple. I love how they configured my google apps with one click.

I buy all my domains on there. Good service, but it's not the cheapest.

I think they all suck. We need a open solution to DNS.


I think you mean we need an open solution to domain registration.

DNS is one of the oldest open Internet protocols.

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