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Should you get your domain from NamEcheap or GoDaddy?

Most of us don't think about who our domain registrar is because we just wrap it up with the web host we want to go with.

However, did you know that most web hosts are only resellers of dedicated domain name registrars?

Domain name registrars themselves are those who are accredited by the Internet Corporation for assigned names and numbers (ICANN). ICANN is the main organization that manages the entire global domain name system. Still, buying a domain name today is quick and easy.

So, is there a difference in who you buy your domain name from? Of course! When you buy a car from a dealer, the dealer is free to conduct promotions, give freebies, and negotiate - within reason. Domain names go through a similar process and there will be times when some promotions or others can even grab you at prices as low as 99 cents!

Plus, each place you want to buy your domain name form has its own unique set of features. Let's call them advantages and disadvantages. Finding the right fit and other features for you can be as complex as choosing your web hosting company (which WHSR has already made it easy for you - check out our list of top web hosts).

FTC disclosure

WHSR is affiliated with and receives referral fees from GoDaddy and NameCheap.

Is GoDaddy or NameCheap the Better Company?

Naming a better domain registrar isn't easy, but before that, let's take a look at these two companies.

NameCheap

Namecheap has been in business for nearly two decades and has built its name from the bottom up. Today it is one of the most famous web service providers in the world and has sold more than four million domain names. Domain names aside, it runs the full range of services including web hosting, email hosting, cloud based services, VPN, and many more.

Go Daddy

Likewise, Los Papa is also an industry buff who reportedly has more than a 30-minute stake in the domain name business. It has sold an impressive 59 million domain names and also provides all of the web services the aspiring online entrepreneur needs.

Let's see what they have to say about their domain name services.

1. Domain Transfers

If for any reason you've found you need to move to a different registrar, don't worry, the process is simple and easy. I recently had the opportunity to move one of my domain names from 1 & 1 Hosting for reasons I don't want to delve into, I still remember the process.

Regardless of your registrar, there are a few things you need to be able to do:

  1. Unlock ownership of your domain name
  2. Apply for the transfer and pay the transfer fee to your new registrar
  3. Generate an authentication key on your existing host and add this to your future host's control panel

After that, all you have to do is wait for approval for the handover to complete. This takes about five days. However, please note the restrictions on the transfer of domain names.

Under ICANN regulations, domain transfers cannot be performed within 60 days of registration or prior to the transfer (other than .au).

2. Contract and Pricing

There are a few different pricing elements you need to know when choosing a registrar ;; Pricing, Renewal, and Transfer. Many registrars often offer domain name sales promotions. So let's take a look at what's on offer now.

How much does GoDaddy cost?

GoDaddy runs at $ 17.99 / year for .com domains and $ 19.99 / year for .net domains.

GoDaddy currently has a $ 2.99 promo on .com domains. Before you take advantage of the offer, however, you should be aware that after the first year the domain will renew at a normal price ($ 17.99 / year). If you switch to GoDaddy instead of buying, expect $ 0.81 and get a free one-year renewal of your lease.

How much does NameCheap cost?

NameCheap runs at $ 8.88 / year for .com and $ 12.98 / year for .net domains during login. Renewal fees at NameCheap are slightly higher, costing $ 10.98 / year for a .com domain and $ 14.98 / year for a .net domain.

NameCheap Free WhoisGuard

The strange thing about NameCheap, however, is the price of wire transfers, which costs $ 9.69 but is later renewed at $ 12.98. However, while this can be a mistake due to too many / frequent promos and not changing the correct information on the pages, it does feel a little unclear. The only good thing about this is that NameCheap domains are free WhoisGuard, which masks the identity of the domain owner.

GoDaddy's $ 0.99 promo is really hard to beat. However, NameCheap got me excited about a lifetime offering of free WhoisGuard that other registrars usually charge a lot for. 

3. Management interface

The DNS management interface is one of the most important features you need to use to manage your domain name. If it's a nightmare to work with, no matter how big your domain name is, your life is going to be hell.

I have an account with both registrars and to be honest I don't really have a preference. They are straightforward and straightforward, which makes them easy to use.

My only real feeling here is that GoDaddy's administrative interface looks a bit like it was designed to be used on a mobile screen. Lots of wide open spaces about the monitor so that I have to wonder if this is an appealing topic that has gotten wild.

On the other hand, NameCheap's navigation bar doesn't offer a direct entry in the DNS movement screen. Not much of a barrier to be sure, but don't most people log in to it? It's the only thing everyone needs and doesn't need to be hidden under other tabs.

4. Support and user experience

Ordinarily I would do pretty well with user support, but in the case of buying a domain name ... well, I'm not exactly sure how hard it can be.

You search, you find and you buy.

Maybe the only thing I can think of when I need some help is DNS management, information that is pretty general and available almost everywhere.

Either way, both GoDaddy and NameCheap offer live chat email support. My own time in these areas was a little limited simply because I didn't know what to ask but just to clarify - I got a "hello" reply!

More importantly, the support is the user experience. In my opinion, the process should be as simple and painless as possible. Let the user search, select and pay as mentioned above. Another thing that needs to be clear and easily referenced is pricing.

Again, both companies are good in the area as you can search for the domain name you want right from their landing pages. What annoys me endlessly is that Namecheap is always trying to get you to add and buy other stuff.

At times I felt like I was standing in line at a McDonald's when I was asked. I wanted to increase my cola, add a dessert, or do a different number of upsell attempts. To be honest, GoDaddy isn't much better, but it's a little awkward.

5. Domain auctions

I left this for last as not all domain registrars offer the service, which makes both registrars one step higher for me. Ever wanted a domain name only to find it was already owned by someone else?

But wait - did you know you might still be able to buy it? Yes, these domains may be owned by what I refer to as a "Domain Name Squatter". They buy a lot of domains and put them up for auction. I think it's good and bad in different ways. Bad as you have to pay more, but good because it doesn't belong to someone who dies before they give it up to you!

Conclusion: who wins?

It was difficult to judge these tow companies by domain names. It's a very small part of an industry with so many services and options. To put things in perspective, my personal tendencies are for simplicity and efficiency (hence, they both pissed me off with these upselling attempts).

GoDaddy seemed to me to be the most competent in this scenario. Nor does it hurt that their variety of services provides a strong point of support. Even if I'm only here for one domain name, I can always sign up for one of their other services.

Also helpful was the ability to log in and click a link to manage my DNS options. That was frivolous.

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About Timothy Shim

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. He began his career in the information technology field and quickly found his way into the print media. Since then he has worked with international, regional and local media outlets such as ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in technology from both a consumer and business perspective.

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