Table of Contents
If you go by the numbers, GoDaddy claims to have over 70 million domain names, whereas Namecheap claims over 10 million domain names. But you cannot just go by the numbers to decide which one is better. The fact that both GoDaddy and Namecheap have access to the same number of domain names and URLs also makes it difficult to determine which one is better.
Having said that, web hosting is not what both specialize in, even though both offer it. Both of them are name registrars, first and foremost and this is what we will base the comparison on, primarily. The few factors that we will base them on are price, services, user experience, interface and tactics they use for upselling.
Both, Namecheap and GoDaddy, offer several promotional offers that are available on many websites through coupons and promo codes. Since both of these websites offer so many services, it would be rather difficult to compare them on this factor, so we are going to compare them on the basis of a 1-year renewal plan for a domain name. But be warned that the price difference between the two would be so close that it will not be fair to compare the two sites on just the basis of that.
Starting off, Namecheap is charging $12.44 annually for .com domains and GoDaddy is slightly more expensive at around $14.39 annually for the same. As you can see, the price difference is marginally high, but Namecheap takes this round. As always, signing up just before the domain name is about to expire will save you money and hassle.
As of now, Namecheap is offering domain names for as low as $0.88 for .site, .website, .space, .us and, host for the first year and GoDaddy is offering the same for the same price.
Please note that both sites run various offers and promotions on many websites and all it will take is a simple search to make you aware of these and then choose accordingly depending upon which company is offering a better price.
Like other web hosting services, both GoDaddy and Namecheap will cost less if you decide to go in for a multi-year deal, that is, the yearly rate for the subscription will go down.
The presence of specialized services has gone up as the internet has evolved a thousand fold since its inception. Upselling is something that is used by nearly every internet company to grab the opportunity to a great many offers that they have on display, so to speak. In short, customers like the chance of getting something complimentary with any purchase they are making.
So it is not unusual for both, GoDaddy and Namecheap, to offer upsells for both storage packages and hosting. If you compare the two, GoDaddy is the more aggressive of the two, which can get a bit annoying for the customers, even though they offer some very attractive pricing on some of their products. A lot of customers have complained about getting a lot of calls and emails a week, to make more purchases than they need.
The constant reminders and upselling also act as a distraction. You are overwhelmed by all types of sales messages even as you are trying to concentrate on a specific plan. So if pushy marketing is not something that you are excessively fond of, GoDaddy is not for you.
Namecheap, on the other hand, has no such problems and their buying process is much simpler of the two. They like to keep it clean and there is a live chat to help you if at any point you are confused about a product. So if you are trying to get something quick, Namecheap is a better option.
The common upselling factor between the two is discounted SSL certificates if you are looking to set up an e-commerce website.
When a potential customer lands up on a domain registrar’s website’s homepage, the experience should be user friendly and not take a lot of time during your visit. The interface should be easy to use at the point of your purchase. Keeping that in mind, we will look at both Namecheap and GoDaddy one by one.
- The site navigation is very straightforward and easy and the checkout is pretty simple. There is no clutter whatsoever when it comes to the control panel.
- It has a fantastic search engine and offers great suggestions for domain names.
- Namecheap has a fantastic knowledge base experience and has topics ranging from hosting, email service, SSL certificates and so on. It also contains detailed inputs from its experts.
- Though Namecheap lacks phone support, it has a fantastic chat system which is super responsive and the answers that come through are not of the stock variety.
- The checkout process is simply terrible. You are continually prompted by advertisements as you navigate through the website and as we mentioned earlier, the upselling comes in the way quite often.
- Navigating the name suggestion search engine is a rather skewed experience.
- GoDaddy has an amazing knowledge base and has great forums which use inputs from both the user community and experts.
- It has moderately good email and chat support and as a plus, has decent phone support.
Overall, Namecheap wins hands down when it comes to a user experience. Their clutter-free control panel and the checkout is thankfully upsell-free. GoDaddy, on the other hand, is hindered by popping ads and the experience comes dangerously close to spamming.
Interface designs should be such that the user does not waste time figuring out what it is all about and jump right into going about making changes to their subdomains, domains, DNS features and so on. Let’s see how Namecheap and GoDaddy fare.
Namecheap has a very streamlined DNS interface. It does not try to confuse you with a number of unnecessary options and you can see all the options on the sidebar clearly. There is no clutter whatsoever and it is completely free of all the upselling. You can quickly go through the settings, make your changes and leave the panel without having to spend too much time.
The interface here feels more cluttered somehow, even though, in its defense, GoDaddy still has a better interface than some domain name providers. Still, it looks plagued by unnecessary settings, that have no value-add to the user experience. You might see features on the panel for services you have not purchased yet or have no intention to. These are for hosting or email, or other services and are a way to upsell more subscriptions. Sadly, they feel cumbersome and come in the way of the overall user experience.
As is quite apparent, GoDaddy does not even come close when it comes to a clean interface. But one thing that can be said about GoDaddy is that thanks to their vast user base you are bound to find solutions in their knowledge base or in user forums.
While purchasing a service such as a domain name, providers usually throw in a few extras for value addition. Let’s take a look at what GoDaddy and Namecheap have to offer.
- Namecheap offers their WhoisGuard, a privacy feature for free and the offer is forever! This protects your email address, your phone number and your name to avoid spamming and phishing attacks.
- Namecheap offers free email forwarding.
- It offers a reliable DNS and has absolutely no hacking history.
- Offers free custom name servers.
- Offers a hosting package, but charges for photo storage.
- GoDaddy actually offers two plans for Whois, for $7.99 and $14.99 a year per domain with some premium features.
- GoDaddy charges $1.99 monthly per user for 10GB storage.
- GoDaddy does have a reliable DNS, but it was hacked in 2012.
- GoDaddy charges for custom name servers.
- Offers a hosting package, but charges less than Namecheap for photo storage.
Straight off, Namecheap is a company that has always stood up for internet privacy and has fought against the controversial bill Stop Online Piracy Act holding the firm belief that everyone has a right use internet as they wish (but responsibly) and without any legislation. GoDaddy, on the other hand, not only supported the bill but also were in favor of more regulation (there was much speculation over the reason). GoDaddy’s former CEO and founder Bob Parsons was also under fire by animal rights activists for trophy hunting in 2011.
Both GoDaddy and Namecheap are great domain registrars, choosing either of them wouldn’t really make a difference if you are thinking about price. GoDaddy is great if you are looking for cheap domain names and want phone support with that. That being said, GoDaddy is great for people who are not planning to use the domain name for a long time. On the other hand, if you have long-term plans, Namecheap is for you. Namecheap also provide some great freebies, has a better interface and unlike GoDaddy, it is not aggressive on upselling.