(EDIT 1/2/2015). This post was originally published on the 31st of March 2013. I have made a number of changes to the pricing and terminology in order to suit the audience of 2015.
Note: I only have links with promo codes built in both GoDaddy and NameCheap and I also get referral fees from the companies mentioned on this post but when it comes to opinions, it is purely based on my experience as a paying customer.
I am going to break this review into 6 critical categories; price, user experience, interface, extras, up sells and principles.
Domain name providers have a bad habit of giving you an introducing price then later on increase the price in order for them to continue feeding on your money. Therefore, for me the best way to compare them is by looking at their one year renewal pricing for .com domain names.
GoDaddy goes for $14.99/yr for .com domains while Namecheap goes for $10.69/yr for.com domains.
However, if you are interested with saving money for now, GoDaddy is the best in the sense that they give good discounts.
The following link links you with a GoDaddy promo which goes for $1.69 .com domain names while the link to Namecheap gets you to a .com domain that runs for $10.69 but here WHOSIS Guard and email is also included.
Here is the catch, if you are making plans to have a website that is going to run for more than two years, then Namecheap will sound the best for you but if you are just trying to claim the name first and you are not planning to transfer it later, then GoDaddy will save you a lot of cash. However, I suppose by now you understand that there is more to domain name provider than just the price.
When choosing the two domain name providers or any other, there are a number of things that should always be considered. Things like the general experience of purchasing and using and navigating the site are some of the things that should never be ignored. The following is a list of some things I like and I also dislike about the two.
- Has a straightforward checkout process
- Has a good suggestion engine
- Knowledgebase is put well together
- Has a fast chat support
- Bare bones design
- Auto renewal has a lot of problems
- Doesn’t have phone support
- Has an excellent chat support and phone support
- Suggestion engine gives too many upsell suggestions
- It has an extensive knowledgebase
- Has a confusing checkout process
The domain manager here opens separate windows and they feel weird as if the domains are off-site
Clean color scheme but it is cluttered with upsells
Overall, I have to admit that Namecheap has a wide experience which is partly subjective but at the same time from GoDaddys frequent upsells and cluttered layout. There are times I want to buy a domain name from GoDaddy but then I feel like I am not given the chance to do that unless I buy an email and a photo package. Take note that with Namecheap, the email and the forwarding is done for free.
Their domain interface is a bit different and more specific and more important and that is the reason I have not included it in the overall experience.
The following are the pictures of my domain managers in Namecheap and GoDaddy
The domain manager page is what you use to configure your domain name and it is also a place where you least expect to make any mistakes. It should be straightforward.
From the screens above, you can rightfully conclude that NameCheap is way better than GoDaddy. It has all its options laid out on the sidebar and it also does not have any clutter or unnecessary settings in the actual DNS settings. The other extra settings in GoDaddy are for the sake of trapping you from leaving their upsell emails. The only advantage that GoDaddy enjoys is the fact that it is so popular that you are likely to get its support from the internet or in GoDaddys knowledgebase.
Unlike GoDaddys DNS which was hacked, Namecheaps’s DNS is still intact. This means that security at Namecheap is much better.
Namecheaps is 100% free while GoDaddy pushes upsells
WHOIS Guard Namecheap privacy feature while GoDaddy charges theirs
Godday gives you a limited hosting package which lasts for a year with a photo storage space but Namecheap charges $3 for the same
Namecheap gives you free custom name servers while GoDaddy does not.
As you have realized Namecheap tries to focus on more technical give away while GoDaddy tries to focus on extras like photo storage and hosting
I still feel like there is the need of separating the domain name from the hosting company.
This is where both of them strike a tie since them both offer upsells to hosting and storage packages which are similar in both of them.
It is imperative to do business with companies that do right and this is why I switched to Namecheap back in 2012.
During this time, there was the fight for the internet regulation and GoDaddy stacked out the position over the regulation and less openness of the internet. This was mainly to increase their market advantage given the fact that they were the largest domain name providers. On the contrary, Namecheap created a partnership with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to help fight this legislation. Even though this was a controversial, they pulled an admirable stance and it won me over.
GoDaddy has had a number of controversies overtime like they famously exploited sexuality in their marketing supporting gross stereotypes to sell their hosting products. There is also the story of their CEO who is a renowned elephant hunter and they are also popular in trying to lock their customers in.
Namecheap is an excellent fit for individuals who want a cheap domain upfront and a good phone support. But if you want to run your website for years, your best choice should be GoDaddy. You will never regret that choice. If you already have domains from another provider, you can be guaranteed that GoDaddy makes it easier for you to transfer your domain to theirs. Check GoDaddy Transfer Domain Name here.
If you are interested with Web Hosting, check out HostGator here and use promo code NCLSAVE25OFF in order for you to get 25$ off
You can also find my step to step guide to setting up a WordPress website useful