GoDaddy vs. Register.com

I've been moving domain names as they come up for renewal, away from Register.com to GoDaddy.

I hate GoDaddy's name and dislike its cheesy advertising, but I gotta say this - they are a TON cheaper, and those dislikes are not strong enough for me to hurt my own bottom line.

Fact is, for somebody like me who doesn't need Web or email hosting (sure is nice having my own server!), there is literally no difference between register.com and GoDaddy - except that register.com charges $35 for a year, and GoDaddy $7-$15 depending on active promotions.

A domain name is something that, once you purchase it and set it up for your web site, is largely invisible. Why pay extra for it?

There was a time when GoDaddy had a bad reputation for customer support and glitches, but those times appear to be in the past, and I find their support people much more personable and knowledgeable than those of Register.com. I will say that you have to be careful when registering domains at GoDaddy, because they throw all kinds of "extras" and special deals at you. Just keep looking for the "no thanks" buttons, ha ha..

If you want to move a name away from your current registrar to GoDaddy, be aware that you want to start the process at least several weeks before the name comes up for renewal. It takes both registrars time to update their databases. Also, before you start the process, make sure you check the contact info for your domain name and make sure it's up-to-date with your current email address. Otherwise, you won't be able to receive the "do you approve?" messages both registrars will send to the domain holder.

The other things that have to be done:

  • Turn off domain locking at register.com
  • Call register.com to obtain an Authorization Code, which is needed when moving domain names from one registrar to the other
  • Go to GoDaddy and under Domains, select Transfer a Domain, and set up your new account.
  • When you kick-off the transfer at GoDaddy, you'll get an email from GoDaddy with two special codes. You'll use these codes and the veeeeryyy long authorization code from Register.com to proceed and validate the transfer.
It seems complicated, but it's not as bad as it looks. I do understand that these registrars need to make it complex enough to prevent fraud and abuse.

Anyway, it's worth it. It took me half an hour to move a domain name, but over the course of five years I'll save about $75.

Now, multiply this by dozens and dozens of domain names, and you too will understand why the Register.com agent who asks "May I ask why you are transfering away from Register.com?" seems, sadly, to already know the answer.

What's your favorite domain name registrar? What are your experiences? Feel free to share your experiences and post a comment here.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your thoughts. I found this very helpful (as a small/new business owner).

Friendly GreenJeans said...

Definitely helpful. I want to get a website/domain for my wife. 2 quick questions you may be able to help me with:

1) If we don't have our own server, will I need web hosting?

2) If I need email and web hosting, do you have any advice about godaddy vs register.com?

Thanks in advance, I really appreciate any assistance!

Vince DiStefano said...

Hi "Friendly GreenJeans,"

Thanks for your message!

Yes, you'll need a place to host web pages. Developing the pages is only half of the equation; once created, they'll need to reside on a server connected to the Internet 24/7, typically with backup drives, uninterruptable power supplies, enhanced network security, and more advanced networking than one would have on his home computer. The server also needs to support the programming language chosen to create the pages. Besides basic HTML, which can be hosted anywhere, there's also active server pages (asp /.net) which is Microsoft's code version, .php which is a Unix/Linux language, and Cold Fusion Markup language. Programming languages are what enable web pages to do more than just show information - for example, site searches, contact us forms, etc. are pages that "do" things and thus must be programmed using an active language.

My advice on hosting is biased, because I run my own hosting operation. It's true that GoDaddy and Register.com provide hosting services "free" along with registrations. Both are fine registrars (I now prefer GoDaddy), but hosting is a different story. They provide hosting free or at low cost because of the volume they can handle. Personal service and support usually can't touch what you get from going with a private operator such as myself.

For email hosting, I use Google Apps for Domains, which is a business version of Gmail that small companies or individuals can deploy to enable their own @mydomain.com email addresses. The admin tools for managing your email services (adding new addresses, setting out of office responses, changing passwords, etc) are fairly simply to use.

Hosting costs for my services range vary depending on if you need a straightforward, static web site or something more advanced such as a database-driven site with more advanced functionality. Setting up a Google Apps for Domains email host for clients typically takes an hour, which I do at my hourly rate for support/server programming.

Let me know if you have any additional questions.