Namecheap vs. GoDaddy? Which domain registrar is best to buy your domain? After you have purchased your domain, who has the best email and hosting services?
These types of questions are frequent. Both Namecheap and GoDaddy are my customers. This review is 100% based on my experience with both Namecheap and GoDaddy in terms of domains.
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Quick Note on Namecheap’s and GoDaddy’s Services
Namecheap and GoDaddy both began as domain name registrars. This allows them to manage and sell domain names. This is the service they are most well-known for.
They also offer tons of free services. This is what I will actually discuss. It’s important to remember that web services like domains, hosting and email can be purchased separately.
Also, I have written reviews of Namecheap web hosting as well as GoDaddy web hosting.
Are you still with me? Great! Let’s get into the Namecheap and GoDaddy comparison! You’re probably already aware that your domain name is your online name. I will break down the review into six categories that really matter. These include price, user experience and interface.
Are you unsure of the terms?
You can find out more about:
- Domain Names
- Web Hosting
- Website Builders
- Domain Registration vs. Domain Registration vs. Web Hosting
Namecheap Pricing vs. GoDaddy
Domain registration is governed by pricing. There are annual fees that domain registrations from ICANN have to pay. This allows a register to set a ceiling on what they can charge without making a loss.
Domain registration can often be a loss leader that allows you to upsell other products.
Introducing pricing is a common practice among domain name providers. Then, they raise the price for future renewals. I believe that the best way to judge apples to apples is to examine their 1-year renewal pricing of.com domain names.
Namecheap Domain Pricing
Register a Domain from Namecheap
GoDaddy Domain Pricing
Register a Domain from GoDaddy
But what if you really want to save money now? GoDaddy is a great choice because of their deep discounts.
So, which is better – Namecheap or GoDaddy? Namecheap is recommended if your website will be in operation for longer than 2 years.
GoDaddy is a great option if you’re looking to quickly claim a name and are willing to transfer it later.
A reader also pointed out the GoDaddy Domain Discount Club. You can join for $239.88 per annum. After you sign up, you will receive.com renewals for $8.85 per annum plus the ability to bid in auctions.
The program could pay for itself if you have hundreds of domains. Namecheap is the best option for you if you have less than 100 domains.
As you might have guessed, there is more to a provider of domain names than just price.
Note: The pricing comparison does not include domain names. Both offer hosting and email services. These combinations can be tricky. Namecheap usually has a lower renewal cost, especially with the built-in WHOISguard or Email Hosting. GoDaddy has a cheaper upfront price. I have reviewed Namecheap hosting, and have compared Bluehost to GoDaddy.
Support and Service
Here’s the Namecheap Account page:
Comparable to the GoDaddy Account page:
Namecheap and GoDaddy are two domain names I consider when deciding between them. While I will be covering a few details, I would like to share my thoughts on Namecheap as well as GoDaddy’s domain registration experience.
- Sometimes has trouble with auto renewal (this was probably due to their old reseller setup, so it is less of an issue now).
- It is very easy to checkout
- A good suggestion engine with many TLD options and domain extension choices
- The knowledge base is well organized and put together.
- Chat support is fast, but Namecheap does not offer phone support
- Other customers have experienced below-average customer service due to miscommunications (again, this is due to the nature of text-based support).
- Minimalist design is good for both good and evil.
- Confusion during checkout (upsells to additional services)
- The Domain Manager opens in a separate window. It feels strange… like domains are off-site
- Suggestion engine with a bias towards TLDs rather than actual names
- A simple color scheme, but overloaded with upsells
- Knowledgebase is extremely extensive
- Chat support and email are acceptable – GoDaddy offers phone support that is decent.
Overall, I give to Namecheap. This is partly due to my subjectivity but also because of GoDaddy’s constant upsells, and the cluttered layout. Cross-sells and upsells are part of the game for some. They can be beneficial if you’re in the market for these products. However, I am not a fan of domain claiming.
Namecheap isn’t without its problems. Namecheap has been experiencing a growth spurt and customers have written in to me with support questions (mostly related to their 2-factor login).
A variety of additional services have been added from WordPress Hosting to VPN.
However, I had to reorganize my domains recently for accounting purposes. It was a very different experience with each.
Namecheap’s domain migration was easy and fast. Although the migration between GoDaddy accounts went smoothly, it took me too many clicks to confirm my preferences.
Sometimes, I feel that I can’t buy a domain from GoDaddy unless I purchase an accounting package, email, and photo. Note: Namecheap provides forwarding at no cost.
The domain management interface for their site could have been included in the overall experience. However, I decided to leave it out as it is more specific and important than the overall experience.
Your domain interface, also known as DNS Manager, is where you will actually set up your domain name. Bad interfaces can cause frustration, while an easy interface may be a quick and painless setup…and only one time.
These are photos of my domain/DNS manager in Namecheap or GoDaddy.
GoDaddy DNS Backend:
Namecheap Domain Manager
To clarify, the domain manager page will be what you use to configure your domain name. This includes setting up email, routing your DNS to your hosting provider, and setting up any subdomains. You’ll probably only need to go in here once or twice to redirect your DNS to the hosting company.
However, you do not want to make any mistakes. This can cause your site to go down and take time to fix.
Namecheap’s sidebar lists all options and leaves no clutter or unnecessary settings in your DNS settings. Many of the extra settings in GoDaddy are actually because of how they upsell email/hosting/services – and want to make it hard to leave.
GoDaddy’s interface has one advantage: it is so widely used, that you can find support on the Internet and in GoDaddy’s knowledge base.
Namecheap’s interface was one of the main reasons why I switched many of my long-term domains to GoDaddy.
Namecheap vs. GoDaddy? Namecheap is the winner, as you can see from the above screenshots. GoDaddy is fine. It’s better than most domain name providers but it’s no match for Namecheap. GoDaddy is so difficult to use. The main Dashboard only displays ads for additional domain products.
Domain Name Extras
You usually get some extras when you buy a domain name.
Sometimes these extras are necessary (like security), and sometimes they are very valuable (like privacy settings). Let’s see how they differ. :
- DNS Namecheap’s DNS has not been hacked . This is a major deal. This was a coordinated attack, but it still is huge.
- Email Namecheap offers email forwarding for no cost, while GoDaddy sells their email products.
- WHOIS Privacy Namecheap bundles domain privacy for the first year, while GoDaddy charges.
- Hosting Both offer solid web hosting services with different plans. GoDaddy offers a limited-time shared hosting plan and photo storage. Namecheap has a variety of web hosting services. Although neither would be my first choice, they each offer a web hosting plan I’d choose at the right price. They offer unlimited bandwidth and good uptime.
- Website Builder Both include a website builder and a hosting package. This is a great way for you to get started, and it’s also a great way to save money.
- Custom DNS Namecheap offers free custom nameservers while GoDaddy does not.
Namecheap tends to focus on technical giveaways while GoDaddy is more focused on extras such as photo storage and Web Builders.
I prefer companies that focus on the basics to those that offer more. GoDaddy does a good job on technical issues if they are a better fit for your site. Namecheap would win if additional factors determined which site to choose, GoDaddy would lose.
Upsells are when you receive a complementary product to your purchase. Although it can be irritating, it can also prove to be very helpful. Domain name registration is a commodity. It is easy to see.
Buying domain names is not a good way to make money unless it’s 1997. It’s necessary to have a website that goes with it.
It’s a smart idea to seperate your domain name (your website address) and your hosting (where it lives). The jobs are quite different and it is a good idea to keep them separate for many reasons (probably a different post).
These web hosting companies are recommended by me:
- InMotion Hosting
Namecheap as well as GoDaddy offer upsells for storage and hosting packages.
Namecheap has a great upsell for a website. This would be useful if your goal is to quickly get it up. You can also get a SSL certificate package as an upsell. Similar upsells are available at GoDaddy.
TIE: Namecheap, GoDaddy
They are tied here overall. GoDaddy has attractive pricing…but it is much more aggressive and almost irritating to me. Namecheap also offers great deals , but these are usually for products I would prefer to purchase elsewhere.
BEST OVERALL: Namecheap
Which one should I recommend? Namecheap or DotDaddy?
It does not matter where you purchase your domain name, as I stated at the beginning. GoDaddy is a great choice for many people, especially those who want to buy many domains at once and have access to customer service by phone. They are used by most of my clients and are excellent.
But, if you’re building a website over the long-term, I believe it is your best option. Grab a domain name at Namecheap. You won’t regret buying a domain name from Namecheap if my experience is correct.
Namecheap makes it easy to transfer domains from other providers. The Namecheap Transfer domain name can be viewed here.
You might also be interested in web hosting.
- Bluehost- Focus on Usability (Bluehost Review).
- InMotion hosting – Focus on support (Review)
- HostGator- Focus on price/value – (HostGator review
- GreenGeeks- Focus on Sustainability – (GreenGeeks Review).
To find the best hosting company for you, take a look at my Buzzfeed-style Hosting Quiz.
Last but not least, my step by step guide to setting up WordPress websites might be of interest.
Best of luck!
Due to the large amount of spam that this post attracts, *note: Comments are now closed For any questions, please feel free to contact me!
For a related post, I also compared Namecheap with Google Domains.