HOWTO ditch GoDaddy

Domain registrar GoDaddy drew a lot of bad publicity for supporting SOPA, resulting in a large loss of business and a reversal on its public position. But wherever GoDaddy stands on SOPA, it remains one of the worst places in the world to host a domain. The company's terrible behavior and rotten customer service, combined with its awful, stupid, sexist ads make it a great candidate for "that company I'm so glad I'm no longer hosting my domains with."

Wired has a great HOWTO for switching away from GoDaddy to a variety of its better competitors (I use Hover).

First of all, choose your new domain name registrar and management service. There are plenty of services out there, including Hover, Ghandi, DNSimple, Namecheap and many others. Some mention a transfer fee of as much as $10 (Hover) and as little as nothing (Namecheap). In most cases that fee isn’t for the transfer itself, but for a one-year extension of the domain registration at the new service. (In Namecheap’s case, you’ll pay $4.99 for your first year of registration.) DNSimple even courts frustrated GoDaddy users with their “Goodbye GoDaddy” promotion, which offers transfer “at cost.” That means you’ll pay whatever GoDaddy was charging you, starting at $8.50 per year.

Most of these companies have their own articles that explain how transfer domains to their service. The directions are essentially the same, but each site presents them differently. Some have short directions without screen shots, others get into more detail and provide images for every step. For the noobs out there, the screen shots are very helpful.

Break Your GoDaddy Dependency



  1. In all the talk of moving away from GoDaddy, I’ve only ever seen recommendations for alternate domain name providers. Any suggestions for good value/reliable SSL certificate providers? In my experience they are much thinner on the ground.

    1. For that matter, what about the unfortunate souls who host with GoDaddy too?

      (Almost-full disclosure: I work for a large-ish hosting company.)

    2. Honestly, Network Solutions has pretty decent SSL Certificate prices and you can always find an offer code or some discount by doing a quick Google search.

  2. While they may not provide hosting, I quite love EasyDNS: great customer service, no sexist advertising (no advertising at all, actually), really easy to use system and they never ever make you feel trapped or give you run-arounds if you want to change service or registrar. They even have SSL certificates if that’s your thing. Best of all, Canadian and they stand against SOPA.

  3. Any registrars that offer a privacy option (whois protection) that doesn’t contain something like this: “You acknowledge and accept that We will disclose the contact information . . . to any third party that requests it.”?
    I mean, really.  “We will protect your privacy, except that we won’t.”

  4. I don’t have a problem with someone hunting unendangered animals. I’m not a vegan,  I’m not anti-hunting per se, and I’m not hosting the PETA site, so that’s a non-issue.
    Sure, his gloating about it shows that he may not have a whole lot of class; and sure, his advertising is sexist, but if we would only do business with companies who have “classy” CEOs, and who will never resort to sex in their advertising, then good luck buying ANYTHING AT ALL…

    While we know that the GoDaddy CEO may be a scumbag, just because we don’t know *anything at all* about the other CEOs doesn’t mean they’re all angels. They just haven’t been hit by the spotlight yet.

    GoDaddy still has the best deal around for super cheap hosting; and unless they start using sexy models against their will, or start hunting animals that are actually endangered, I don’t really see why I should give my money to somebody else, who may be the same kind of lowlife, but whose only achievement has been  to stay under the radar so far.

    1. The African elephant is listed as vulnerable. The Asian elephant is listed as endangered. It’s just a matter of degree; both species are in trouble.
      Your other comments are spot on.

      (Off topic. My spell check keeps changing back to German. Anyone know how to prevent this?)

    2. “Your boyfriend Joe is a total asshole.  You should leave him.”
      “But I like having a boyfriend.”
      “So find someone else!  There are plenty of men out there.”
      “Yeah, but they’re probably assholes too, I just don’t know it yet.  I’ll just put up with Joe.  He probably isn’t any worse…”

      1. Because even the WWF accepts that villages selling hunting licenses to make some money off animals that are non-endangered, and/or are posing problems for local farmers, is a viable solution (see their Common Ground report).

        1. Let’s not try to squeeze this story into any narrative frame that it doesn’t belong in. Some rich asshole shot an elephant for kicks, and decided to (attempt to) make himself look like a philanthropist in the process.

          But anyway, even from a practical standpoint (and I don’t agree that this solved any problem at all): did he kill all the elephants in the area? If their only solution is to have the rich white guy fly in and save them (Hello, imperial fantasy!), what do they do with the next elephant?

  5. Ugh ugh ugh.  I was halfsies about switching until I watched one of their ads (i am a TV-less dork living in a cave). O-M-G!  It would be passable if it were for Nascar or something but geez, people, let’s have a little class.  As a lady webmaster, I got my domains off Godaddy so fast their .com’s spun.  I just saw the body-painting video, and logged back in to check and make sure i had NOTHING registered with them.
    @User 100, the models’ will is not really the issue, it’s the really blatant sexism that goes with it.  They aren’t even trying to hide it.  Blah blah setting feminists back etc but geez, they aren’t even trying to be polite to the ladies’ causes.  Sex doesn’t sell everything all the time to all the people, esp. when “the thing” is web hosting and “the people” include ladies.  I prefer not to support companies setting such poor examples for girls and women.

    1. Agreed. I finally transferred my domains and hosting away from GoDaddy, and this was a big part of the reason for it.

      I don’t have a problem against any use of models in advertising, but when it’s as constant and blatant as it is in GoDaddy’s case, it says “We assume all our users are straight guys.” I stopped listening to one of the local radio stations for the same reason. They did all their remotes at strip clubs and ran “YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, GUYS, AMIRITE?” spots all the time, as if  their selection of mainstream classic rock / pop songs were just TOO MANLY.

      1. FTFY:

        but when it’s as constant and blatant as it is in GoDaddy’s case, it says “We assume all our users are misogynistic straight guys.”

        I’m a straight guy, and their ads offend me.

  6.  Me too. I like that I’m rarely more than next in line for tech support and they speak English.  Lots of open source software, -plenty of space, host all the domains you want. I’m sure others offer similar advantages but I’ve stayed with Blue Host for many years. It’s shared hosting but that’s never been a problem. Hint: if you are setting up sites for others, join the affiliate program
    -65 bucks a crack! I basically get hosting for free or better if I set
    up at least two accounts a year.

    They recently had a management change and I’m watching to be sure they stay the same.

  7. I arrived at a similar conclusion, and fired Godaddy after my year was up.  They now join the ranks of UPS, Dish Network, Sears, and Best Buy as places I refuse to do business with.

  8. Their CEO is a douche, in a truest meaning of that word. Their initial support for SOPA just shows whose side they are on. Only after the blackout of wikipedia and other sites, and the public backlash they changed their mind. Too late. They must be punished financially as an example to other companies. Next time something like this happens, you know that companies will think twice before turning their back to their customers and general public interest.

  9. Here’s a little secret if you’re transferring to Hover.  When I moved my domains, they gave me the option of how long I wanted to wait to register the domain for (1-5 years).  I chose 5 years.  So for $10 per domain, I was able to re-register domains that were about to expire anyway for an additional 5 years.  Not a bad deal.

  10. Wow that Wired article is terrible and just the quoted section alone has a large number of inaccuracies.

    Every company charges a transfer fee, how they bill it is irrelevant but no matter what it extends your registration a year.

    Does the author truly not understand what “at cost” means?  It has no relation to what GoDaddy charges.

    The pricing for Namecheap is wrong, and again, how he mentions it is unnecessarily confusing.

  11. Hover apparently doesn’t do email (or at least I couldn’t find it on their site) and Namecheap can’t do it right. I’ve been using Dotster for a few years without serious problems.

  12. my 2c : i have been with them for many years and never had a problem. I fear that changing domain name and all content might be a bigger nightmare

  13. I ditched GoDaddy for They were awesome! I got a discount from the MacBreak Weekly podcast; listen and they’ll give you a promo code to use.

    The folks at Hover walked me through the entire process, and were polite, friendly, and professional.

    I highly recommend them.

  14. And endlessly hacked. One site I use there has a mediawiki install whose code is regularly changed by someone else to add user-agent masked search engine spam links. I would not trust anything to Dreamhost.

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