UPDATE: 12/22/2011

Godaddy recently announced their support for SOPA. If you don’t know what SOPA is, it’s a bill that pretends to want to protect Copyright holders. However, it’s the old “using a club to kill a mosquito” approach that lobbyists seem to love: it will do far more damage than good. It will lead to all kinds of censorship and federal officials taking sites down, without so much as a warrant or any kind of judicial review. Under the bill, they’ll have the ability to do this, even if the infringement was inadvertent, such as someone using copyrighted material in a comment on a blog. This horrible bill is backed by lots of big companies who don’t mind using a club to kill the mosquito, as long as the mosquito is dead, and their copyright holdings are completely protected.

As freedom-loving Americans, we at WordXpress encourage everyone to boycott the supporting companies. Specifically, you should use our guide, below, and LEAVE GODADDY NOW! Don’t pledge to leave if they continue supporting SOPA, just leave. Help send a message to all who support SOPA.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW (published 19 Mar. 2010):

Why We’re Leaving

Godaddy has been the biggest, and supposedly best, in domain registrations for a long time. Because of that, they were the ones I went with when I registered my first domain back in the early 90’s. Since then, I’ve used them to register over 30 domains, sell one for $1500, and transfer over a dozen domains to-and-from my client’s own domain registration accounts. Consistently throughout, two things nagged at me like an itch in the small of my back, that I couldn’t reach:

1. The horrible design. Godaddy tries to hide an overwhelming, super-busy, interface behind bright colors and glossy graphics. But the fact is, it doesn’t work. Godaddy is difficult to use, plain and simple. Their site philosophy seems to be “overwhelm the user and maybe they’ll accidentally buy something they don’t want.”

2. Constant pushing of other products/services. This goes right off the first one. If you’ve ever bought a domain through Godaddy, you know what I’m talking about: you can’t just check out and purchase your domain. First you must scroll through two entire pages of in-your-face offers that sound like they’re “can’t-pass-up.” Then you have to find and click the minuscule “no thank you” link at the bottom of each. Finally, after you’ve run that gauntlet, they put lots more offers on the confirmation page, as if to say “you were too stupid to buy our offers before checking out, but just in case you got smarter, here’s another chance.”

A few other things come to mind, but didn’t bother me from the very beginning.  An example is that I personally really dislike the way they treat women in their commercials and on their site: as if they’re stupid, air-headed beings that are only good for looks, sex, and entertainment. Its really degrading to those women as well as women in general.

So after all this, I’ve decided to leave Godaddy.

A Great Alternative

We’ve been using Hover for a number of years now. They charge slightly more for new domains, but they’re incredibly simple and easy to use. One big upside of Hover is they only offer domains and email, which means they don’t attempt to upsell you to their hosting. Hover’s support is incredible. They’re everything that we liked about Netfirms (who we used for a short time between Godaddy and Hover), and more. We now recommend avoiding Netfirms because of their recent changes that have taken them from being one of the best to, well… crappy. Some of Netfirms’ changes had already invalidated some of the steps below, so you’ll need to modify them a little for Hover. But they’re pretty close to what you do to transfer to Hover.

UPDATED (12-22-2011 with the new introduction about SOPA above): While we recommend Hover for domain registration, they don’t offer hosting. If you’ve been hosting with GoDaddy as well, we recommend moving your sites to WP Engine for WordPress websites.

Switching Registrars in 5 Steps

You can do this for multiple domains at once. All you’ll do is repeat most steps for each domain.

  1. Setup a Hover account.
  2. Go to Godaddy, log in, click “Domain Manager” and click on the domain you want to transfer in the domain manager. Under the heading “domain information” you’ll see where is says “Authorization Code.” Click the link next to that titled “Send by email.” A small window will pop-up, click “okay” and wait to make sure that it says the email will be sent. You’ll also need to unlock your domain (so it can be transferred). This can be done from the main screen of the Domain Manager, but putting a checkmark next to the domain(s) you want to unlock and clicking the “locking” button at the top. You’ll then uncheck the “lock domains” option in the pop-up window, and click the okay button.
  3. Now go to your new Hover account and login to the control panel. Click “Domains” in the menu bar, then “Domain Manager.” Click the “add” button on the top-right, next to the help sidebar. Then when the new panel pops-out, click the transfer tab in the top-left of the new panel. Now just put in your domain name in the first section, and click the “Transfer” button. You’ll have to complete a checkout process (the transfer itself is free, but they require you to renew for an additional year that is added on to however long you currently have that domain for).
  4. You’ll get two emails eventually. It could take a day or so, so don’t freak out if they don’t come right away. One is from Godaddy and contains your Authorization Info. The other is from Hover and contains your Confirmation Key. You’ll need both these numbers to complete the transfer. Once you have them go to your Hover control panel again, then to the domain manager and click on the domain name you’re transferring. It should go straight to the transfer tab. In the 2nd section (“confirm transfer”) you’ll be able to put in your Authorization Info & Confirmation Code. Click the button.
  5. Now you should receive an email from Godaddy begging you not to leave them (as if you were one of their models, who’d finally got some self-respect and decided to quit selling her body). You can either just wait several days and the transfer will happen automatically, or go back to your Godaddy account and click the “Domain Transfers” link on the right hand side under the “Domain Related” heading. You should see the domain(s) that you’re transfering in the new window that comes up. Put a check mark next to it and click the “Accept/Decline” button. In the little window that comes up select “Accept” and “Okay” and you’re all done!

Remember some of these steps where you’re waiting on the registrars could take hours or even a day or two. My experience is a few hours, or overnight at longest.

If you’ve got any questions, or tips, or know of a better option than Hover, let us know in the comments.

Tevya

Hi, I'm Tevya! I wrote this. I am the owner of WordXpress and also created Starfish Plugins. I love helping small businesses and WordPress professionals. My wife Jill, helps with the business and is the amazing CEO of our family (3.5 kids). When I'm not working, I like to play basketball, go boating, shoot targets, swim, serve in my church, play Ultimate, and have outdoor adventures as a family.