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So you have planned to launch your own website? That’s great. Something very basic you would need is a domain. And yes a domain registrar to start with.

To start with, let me briefly tell you what exactly is domain registration. Domain name registration is the process of reserving a name on the Internet for a specific period of time, such as one year.

The domain remains with you, so long as you renew it. There is no way to purchase a domain name forever.

A domain name gives your website a unique, recognizable name. There are several hosting companies which provide domain registration as well along with hosting solutions.

Indeed, choosing the right domain registration service could be a tedious job, unless you are completely aware of the services the companies offer.

I have been using two equally big hosting brands NameCheap and GoDaddy for quite some time.

Based on my experience, I will give you a comparative review of both of their domain registration services.

Before that, let me give a brief overview of these companies. Starting with NameCheap.

What is NameCheap?

NameCheap was founded by Richard Kirkendall in 2000. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, United States. The products of NameCheap include domain names, web hosting, WhoisGuard, SSL certificates.

Next moving on to GoDaddy.

What is Godaddy?

GoDaddy was first established in 1997, with its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, US. GoDaddy has over 17 million customers worldwide. The products of GoDaddy include domain registration, web hosting, SSL certificates and small businesses.

Popularity Trends:

Comparison of popularity for both these brands is as shown below. Clearly, GoDaddy hits above NameCheap in terms of popularity.

If we check for one specific region, then again GoDaddy is more popular. These stats are for US.

Pricing:

The pricing model for both NameCheap and GoDaddy have multiple variations.

Let me put this across different categories, starting with registration price first.

Registration Price:

Registration price differs based on the domain extension you prefer. Certain premium domain names are expensive in either of these. Let me provide a regular domain name search that I did in both these registrars.

I searched for the same domain with different extensions on both the platforms and below are my findings on these.

Domain
NameCheap
GoDaddy
.com $10.98/yr. $11.99/yr.
.org $9.99/yr. $7.99/yr.
.net $12.98/yr. $9.99/yr.
.in $9.98/yr. $8.99/yr.

Overall, GoDaddy has a good and low pricing for the first year. However, over a long-term NameCheap has a lower pricing.

Transfer Pricing:

Transfer pricing varies based on the extension of the existing domain name.

Domain
NameCheap
GoDaddy
.com   $9.69 $7.99
.in $9.99 $11.99
.net $11.88 $10.99

With NameCheap, the transfer for a .com domain is $9.69. Similarly, .net is $11.88 and .in is at $9.99.

For GoDaddy, any .com extension can be transferred at $7.99. Similarly, .in is at $11.99 and .net is at $10.99.

The prices for transfer are almost similar with not much difference between NameCheap and GoDaddy.

Renewal Pricing:

Both of these platforms have a higher renewal in most cases. Below is a comparison of these costs.

Domain
NameCheap
GoDaddy
.com $12.98 $14.99
.org $14.98 $19.99
.net $14.98 $18.99
.info $13.88 $19.99
.io $34.88 $59.99

Well, in most cases GoDaddy has a higher priced renewal as compared to NameCheap.

Domain Privacy:

Domain privacy is also referred to as Whois Privacy, which mostly all domain registrars offer. For NameCheap, in most cases, the Domain privacy is included as part of the plan and is free for lifetime.

Domain
NameCheap
GoDaddy
First year FREE $7.99
Renewal $2.88 $9.99

With GoDaddy, domain privacy has an additional cost of $7.99 for the first year. Subsequent renewals are at a cost of $9.99.

Well, overall NameCheap has a more affordable pricing option and the renewals are also not very highly priced, as compared to GoDaddy.

Next, let us check the discounts you receive using each of these services.

Discounts:

Let me next speak a bit about their discounts for domains.

NameCheap
  • NameCheap supports a number of generic and country-specific domains such as .com, .net, .org, .us, .co and many more.
  • Though the renewals are at a higher price, still the first time pricing always has a discount. The discount depends on the domain you choose. The average discounted rate varies between 15% to 65% for certain domains.
  • Apart from this certain commonly used domains such as .com, have additional discounts with discount coupons which are time to time available over the website.
GoDaddy
  • GoDaddy has a good support for domain name registration with multiple options available.
  • GoDaddy has discounts varying between roughly 28% to 65%. Well, the discount you would get depends on your choice of domain.
  • However, in certain cases, the discount exceeds above 80% for the first time registration. This is something you might want to check before committing from a longer-term perspective.

Customer Support:

When it comes to customer support, both NameCheap and GoDaddy provide great customer-centric services. There are multiple ways you could get in touch with their customer support. Needless to say, but these options are readily accessible from the website.

NameCheap supports emails, tickets and live chat options. Apart from this they have a knowledge base and is well segregated based on topics.

NameCheap_Knowledgebase

NameCheap also provides a series of blog contents and FAQs. To further try their customer support services, I tried their live chat option.

NameCheap has an amazing live chat option and this is almost instantaneous. Also, the customer support agent was readily available with in-depth details about domain registration and related information.

Namecheap chat

In GoDaddy, you receive 24/7 support with calls and email option. GoDaddy also has a good collection of basic help contents. It has community forum along with support documents available on their website.

The contents in GoDaddy are also well segregated based on topics.

Godaddy_Knowledgebase

I tried exploring more on their live chat option. But this is not 24/7 and hence the chat was offline.

chat godaddy

Both of these platforms have several beginners guides and startup tutorials, making it easy even for beginners to use their services.

Interface:

Next, I will speak about their interface. Let me start this with NameCheap and then go on to GoDaddy.

NameCheap Interface:

For NameCheap, adding a domain and subdomain can be done through their interface.

The NameCheap interface is easy to use and has a separate heading for Domain Management. This includes all features associated with domain such as Domain Name Search, Domain Transfer, DNS and other relevant services.

Namecheap Interface

 

Once a domain is added, you can view other options such as “Advanced DNS”.

Advanced DNS Namecheap

 

Activation of domains in most cases takes few minutes to a maximum of 24 hours. CNAME can be added from the interface and is easy to use.

CNAME added in NameCheap

Godaddy Interface:

Next, let me give you a walkthrough for the GoDaddy interface. Similar to NameCheap, even GoDaddy has a separate header for Domains. You can manage it from here.Godaddy_Domain_Interface

 

The Domain Manager has multiple options embedded in a single screen, which makes this a little more confusing, especially if you are new to this interface.

Godaddy_Manage_Domains

 

Overall both NameCheap and GoDaddy provide an intuitive user interface. However, in case you are new to domain creation and beginning with it, then you would find NameCheap easier to explore and use.

Reasons why you should buy domains and hosting separately:

Most people who are beginning to host a website, get confused between domain and hosting. Well, owning a website has two things. First is your domain and second is your hosting. These are two separate offerings provided by most hosting providers.

A lot of people are of the opinion that; it is best to keep all under one roof. So many choose to register the domain through the hosting provider they choose. This sounds a great deal if everything works fine.

Down the line, for some reason, if you are dissatisfied with your hosting provider services and need to migrate to an alternate hosting platform, then you would also need to transfer the domain you had registered. At times, domain transfers can be time-consuming and confusing.

In such scenario, if you have registered the domain elsewhere, then you don’t have to do anything except update your DNS settings.

It’s best to have all your domains under one roof. This is an advantage if you have multiple domains. Domain management in such scenarios is easier. You can directly login to your registrar and do a mass update on the DNS settings.

This saves your time and efforts from individually logging into different portals and replicating the changes.

Moreover, once you get accustomed to a single domain registrar your work gets easier in managing all your domains, rather than using and getting accustomed to different domain registrar portals.

Another important aspect is the security of the domain. So for instance, if for some reason, your website gets hacked, then the hacker can access your files. In case you have purchased the hosting and domain together, then the hacker can also get access to your domain.

This potentially would mean; the hacker can also transfer the domain. In such scenario, you would have to take a legal battle to prove your ownership for the domain. In case your domain is placed separately, then though your website is hacked still your domain would remain safe.

Marketing techniques to acquire a customer:

NameCheap, as well as GoDaddy, adopt various innovative marketing strategies to attract customers. They do this time to time with some discounts and goodies. This in most cases is displayed over their official websites.

Below is an example of how NameCheap provides a discount voucher for its domains.

discount_on_namecheap

Apart from this, there are some really attractive offers added while selecting a domain such as the one shown below-

Namecheap discount2

Additionally, domain privacy is included as part of NameCheap plans. This makes it more appealing to customers.

NameCheap has a separate section dedicated for promos. This explicitly provides you with details of the available deals. NameCheap also allows users to subscribe to their newsletter to get updated and latest information about marketing communications.

GoDaddy has similar promotions added over their website.

Godaddy discount

Over the GoDaddy website, you would also notice certain articles which would be helpful to readers.

Godaddy discount2

GoDaddy, similar to NameCheap allows users to subscribe to get the latest news and updates about special offers. They also have a section dedicated for promos which have updated information about the deals and offers they have.

Godaddy_discount3

GoDaddy also provides random renewal codes and a discount domain club. Well, the discount domain club is priced separately, which again is a marketing strategy to get some loyal customers.

Godaddy discount4

When I compare both of these marketing techniques, NameCheap, by all means, looks more appealing. They have some genuine offers to make customers save some money. Also, their pricing and their complementary services add value to the domain you purchase.

On the other hand, GoDaddy has offers which also makes customers bear some additional costs. GoDaddy’s has a low-cost first time pricing, but everything post this might seem expensive.

Conclusion:

I have provided you a complete walkthrough of NameCheap and GoDaddy domain registrar services. While both are good options, I would recommend NameCheap over GoDaddy.

In terms of pricing, NameCheap is more affordable and budget-friendly option. GoDaddy is good, to begin with, however as you renew this may seem to be a budget overshoot.

Again, NameCheap has an intuitive and user-friendly interface. This is designed to be easy to use even for novice users. Their support over guides to start using their services are easily available.

Finally, NameCheap has domain privacy as part of domain registration and makes domain registration and subdomain addition a seamless process.

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Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner has 7 years of experience as Network Administrator. His areas of interest includes Servers, Network Management and Cloud Computing.