For as long as I can remember, I have been registering my domain names with GoDaddy. My reasoning wasn’t that they were necessarily the best registrar, but more so that they were cheap. Whenever it’s time to refresh my domains, I just look up a GoDaddy coupon code and tack on another year or two. Anyone who has been their customer before probably knows that doing any kind of transaction with them involves a shitstorm of upsells throughout every step of the process. It really isn’t hard to ignore them (and occasionally uncheck some “default” upsells), but it is annoying. Still, I never really felt motivated to switch to another registrar.
Lately, however, our ever-productive Congress has been pushing through bills that would allow the government to set up “The Great Firewall” of the United States, under the guise of stopping online piracy. These bills, known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate, have caused outrage throughout the Internet. They’ve even summoned opposition from some impressively large websites, including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, and many more. It was Reddit, however, that has so far made the biggest news in the fight against SOPA/PIPA, by targeting it’s supporters. As it turns out, GoDaddy is not only a large supporter of the bill, but they have had at least a small part in drafting it. There is even an exemption included in the bill for registrars such as GoDaddy. Reddit organized and promoted a mass migration away from GoDaddy in to the arms of another registrar that is anti-SOPA/PIPA. Likely the largest single benefactor of this mass exodus has been a company called Namecheap. Not only are they against the bills, but they openly publicize it on the top of their site and offer a nice coupon code (STOPsopa) to give you a discount on the transfer of new domains. (Note: Since this all started, GoDaddy has first dismissed the boycott, then backpedaled a bit on their support, and most recently they claim to oppose the bill entirely. I know bullshit when I see it.)
Based on how open they are with their opposition and how good their pricing is, Namecheap is who I chose as the new registrar for Chai Life and all of my other domains. I quickly created an account and started the ball rolling. Although I’ve only been a customer of theirs for a day now, I have already noticed two major differences between Namecheap and GoDaddy. First and foremost, the upsells were extremely mild, at worst. Do they offer features above and beyond what I was looking for? Of course they do and I would expect them to at least let me know that they are available. GoDaddy’s strategy, however, is akin to throwing shit at a fan. At times, GoDaddy even attempts to trick you in to paying for more than what you want/need by having added “features” checked by default or making them appear essential. Secondly, Namecheap’s interface is so clean and organized. Everything I’ve needed to do has been easy to find and simple to understand. GoDaddy’s domain manager is the exact opposite and their website in general is a cluserfuck of horrible design choices.
Although my tiny account will not be the straw that breaks GoDaddy’s back, I am proud to have done my part. Now it’s your turn.