Namecheap vs GoDaddy – Which one is Best?

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GoDaddy and Namecheap are both excellent ICANN certified domain name registrars. In this Namecheap vs Godaddy guide, we will be looking at a suite of services ranging from email hosting, web hosting, e-commerce and a domain name marketplace. Which one is best?

It depends on what you’re in the market for as each company does something a bit better than the other.

Domain Name Registration

The core service that both these companies provide is domain name registration. When it comes to a registrar, price is the main criteria to look at but it’s not the only criteria to look at. You want a registrar that has good customer service, fast support, an easy interface and so forth.

Regardless, let’s get to the point and look at the prices for Namecheap and GoDaddy. For strictly domain name registration Namecheap is the clear winner.

Namecheap price:

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Namecheap introduction rate fluctuates based on sales, but it’s always at most $8.88 a year and their renewal rates are currently $12.99.

GoDaddy price:

For the same exact domain name, GoDaddy offers a bigger upfront discount discount at $2.99 but then after the first two years will charge you $19.99 or more for the life of your domain name. Nearly twice as expensive than Namecheap.

GoDaddy is an excellent company if you’re in need of hosting or email, but their domain registration prices are simply too high.

Namecheap

Excellent domain name registration prices.

GoDaddy Vs Namecheap Comparison

Their are many excellent domain name registrars, so when comparing Namecheap and GoDaddy, what should you take a look at besides price? While you can get a domain name for free if you register with Bluehost (the most popular shared host in the world), it’s best to use a domain name registrar.

Web hosts tack on fees to make up for the first year being free and it becomes confusing to manage your domain portfolio if you’re using various domain registrars. So what should you take a look at when considering a domain name registrar?

  • Hidden fees and up-sells
  • User interface – how easy is it to lock and unlock domains or change the DNS settings.
  • Price – Which company provides most affordable prices.
  • Domain Name Extras
  • Fast customer support
  • A good track record of service
  • Affiliate Program
  • Website Builder

Hidden fees and Up-Sells

GoDaddy used to be the most egregious with hiding the actual cost of any service plan you purchase, even as something as simple as registering a domain name. Over the past few years however, GoDaddy has under gone a re-branding and a redesign.

They are more clear about the actual price of various services but they still “hide” the full cost as best they can. For example, when purchasing a domain name, GoDaddy will quote you a very low introductory rate and won’t tell you the actual renewal rate until you’re at the checkout page.

They also up-sell you on email and domain name privacy.

Namecheap by comparison is more upfront and simple. They tell you directly on the purchase page what the introduction rate is as well as the renewal rate. So overall Namecheap is much with being more direct about pricing.

With regard to any hidden fees, both companies are acceptable but we like how Namecheap is more clear when you’re making a purchase decision.

Winner: Namecheap.

User Interface

GoDaddy has had a beautiful re-design to make their website a much more pleasing experience. Namecheap however has stayed the same for years and years.

What’s great about GoDaddy is the clean, modern interface that you’ve come to expect from a modern website. Managing your account, your domains as well as any additional services is straightforward with GoDaddy’s interface.

Namecheap has had a consistent design. A bit dated now, but still easy to use. What is great is that Namecheap has not radically changed. Managing your account, DNS information and additional services is equally striaghtforward.

Winner: Tie.

Price

Let’s compare the prices of different services for both Namecheap and GoDaddy.

Domain Registration costs

For domain name registration, Namecheap is the clear winner at almost half the price with WHOIS guard included (Godaddy charges you) so go with Namecheap if that’s what you need. However, both these companies offer multiple services so let’s take a look.

Namecheap Hosting vs GoDaddy Hosting

Both offer great starter packages for hosting. Namecheap has the cheaper plans, GoDaddy is on par with their prices of any shared host. GoDaddy while offering multiple plans, the only shared hosting plan for WordPress websites that’s worth getting is their “ultimate” plan which starts at $12.99 a month and renews at $19.99 a month.

The reason this is the only plan worth getting is because it’s the only one where you get a free SSL included. All their cheaper plans don’t include an SSL which is a deal breaker.

Namecheap however starts with a plan as low as $1.44 a month and you get an SSL and can have 3 websites.

If you’re looking for a cheap starter host, Namecheap is hard to beat. For GoDaddy, at $19.99 a month you may as well sign up to WPX Hosting which is a much better web host that both.

Email hosting for Godaddy and Namecheap

Email hosting is a specific service for small business. Basically, you can buy a private email account with these two companies. In terms of price, Namecheap gives you more for less. More storage for both files and emails, lower prices for creating mailboxes, and a lower overall fee.

Godaddy while more expensive, is the better option for medium sized organizations. Their most expensive plan, the “Business Premium” is feature rich and comes with integration of various Microsoft Office products, collaboration tools and is HIPPA compliant.

Winner: Namecheap if you just need a simple dedicated email solution. Godaddy if you’re a larger organization.

Domain Name Extras

Let’s break down what domain name extras you get with each domain name registrar. Both have their strong and weak points:

Namecheap Extras

  • Free email forwarding.
  • Free custom name servers.
  • No history of being hacked so their DNS is safe.
  • Whois privacy is included for free.
  • For Refunds you’re given store credit

GoDaddy Extras

  • GoDaddy charges for custom name servers.
  • GoDaddy charges for Whois privacy.
  • GoDaddy offers email forwarding as an upsell.
  • Refunds you’re given your money back if you request a refund within 10 days.

Custom name servers? This is only applicable for hosting accounts like a VPN or a full server.

Winner: Namecheap

Customer Support

Both Namecheap and GoDaddy offer 24/7 chat support. If you have any questions about your account, or a technical question regarding a DNS setting both Namecheap and Godaddy are fast and professional with assisting you.

Also, Godaddy and Namecheap has specific user and how-to guides. Overall, Godaddy is slightly faster with their response time via chat support and their in-house guides are more clear and helpful.

Winner: Godaddy.

Track record of service

GoDaddy has been in business since 1999 and Namecheap got their start in 2001. Both are successful domain registrars with a long history of service. However Godaddy has been hacked at different times resulting in obvious security breaches.

Godaddy also suffered a massive backlash that significantly hurt their business by supporting the SOPA act which many believe would have lead to the restriction of the free internet.

Winner: Namecheap

Affiliate Program

Both companies offer an affiliate program that you can take advantage of if you have a targeted and relevant audience. GoDaddy pays a 10% commission and Namecheap pays a tiered commission depending on the service. In general, for most services Namcheap will pay 30%.

This makes the Namecheap program much more lucrative as the commission is much higher for hosting and domain names.

Winner: Namecheap

Website Builder

Both domain name registrars have their own dedicated website builder service you can take advantage of with the purchase of a domain name. You can try out both for free and then pay for hosting for your website.

Namecheap is much cheaper on price, but Godaddy’s website builder is better on all levels. So it’s a trade off of price and quality with this one. Typically, Namecheap offers the same exact service as Godaddy but for less.

The website builder however is one instance of you “you get what you pay for” as Godaddy is much better in terms of design, ease of use and e-commerce functionality offered (at their highest tiered plan).

Winner: Godaddy

Namecheap vs GoDaddy Conclusion

To conclude, we prefer Namecheap over Godaddy for multiple reasons. Better prices on hosting, domain name registration, email and a better affiliate program. Godaddy has a professional and excellent overall design, good support and an effective name brand awareness which continues to benefit them to this day.

For professional looking to create a website, blog or online store with Shopify, Namcheap is the better option.

Namecheap

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