domain transfer

Why I am Transferring My Domains from GoDaddy

When I decided to write this post, I did a quick search for the title to see what else came up. Oddly enough, someone wrote a post late last year with a similar, but opposite title. Seems like an interesting site with fairly decent traffic, and based on the comment arguments, he must be doing something right. You don’t get that popular without shaking a few cages. 😉

That site aside, I AM transferring my domains away from GoDaddy. There was no specific nail in the coffin for me, but many little things that bothered me over the years. I seldom make changes like this without some major reason, but I think in this case I’m just ready to move on. Here’s a few of the reasons I have started the process of retiring from using GoDaddy.

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The number of upsells on ordering pages always kind of irked me. I understand you want to sell other services, but I have never seen such cluttered pitching in my life. Every time I purchased or renewed a domain name, I was rolling my eyes on the inside as I went through the process.

The hosting was horribly confusing to me. I bought a cheap hosting account to test a site a few years back so I didn’t care what it had for resources. It was going to be a small sandbox and that is all. I have had hosting at a number of sites over the years, most with cpanel but some without, and GoDaddy was without a doubt the most difficult interface to work with. Within two weeks I emailed them and told them it was awful and I didn’t want it anymore. I paid about $50 for a year up front so they told me they could not refund me anything, but I still didn’t care. I wanted nothing to do with it.

The whole SOPA support thing kind of rubbed me the wrong way. To me that was an indication that GoDaddy did not know their customers. They are just a big dumb money making machine, and there’s nothing wrong with that until you put your foot in your mouth. Being a big company is like being a celebrity. Yes, we know you have political views, religious views, social views, but we don’t want to hear it if it’s going to be divisive. You’re just going to hurt your company/personal image because less people will now be interested in your product. Harsh, yes. True, yes.

While a small price difference might be a concern of someone with a portfolio of hundreds or thousands of domains, I only have about forty, so I’m not going to be realizing any significant savings by choosing a cheaper company. However, at the time of this writing, GoDaddy is over $13 for a .com and NameCheap is under $11. I’m still saving about $80 a year which I can throw towards whois privacy protection.

If I had to pick one thing that pushed me into beginning the migration, it would be the private registration costs. DomainsbyProxy charges $9.99 a year per domain, but at NameCheap I can buy protection in bulk that works out to be only a couple dollars a year per domain. I understand there might be sites that offer this for free, but for the companies I’m using and am familiar with, NameCheap was a no brainer for me.

So, I began the process a few weeks ago and by the end of the year will have my GoDaddy account empty and all swept out. The one thing I read in that aforementioned blog that the writer seemed to be concerned about is the cost of transferring, but transferring domains does not cost a thing. Sure, you have to pay for an additional year on each domain you transfer, but that’s something you would likely be doing eventually anyways, and sometimes you even get the extra/first year for a slight discount. On the other hand, I can’t say I blame him because parting with a grand when you really don’t have to isn’t high on my priority list either. Luckily my annual domain bill has never been that high. 🙂


Buying a Premium Domain

Does it make sense to spend the money on a premium domain name to better your chances of coming up in the search engines for specific keywords? I think so. Often times when you search for certain keywords or phrases, the first few domain names returned are very close to the requested keywords. This isn’t always the case, but I think if you can get something that is obviously related to a popular keyword, it’s usually better than not. If you’d like a prime example of a “Not”, look no further than the top of this page. I have a very popular phrase (open source) in my domain name, but my poor choice of a third word (hack) has made this site into a fly strip for those seeking information on hacking open source applications. Hey, what can I say? What’s done is done. You live, you learn. I’m three months into this now so I’m not turning back.

I usually go for one or two word domain names, so when I saw a dotcom name for sale that exactly matched the second word of a domain I own, AND the first word was somewhat related, I decided to snatch it up. I’ve always casually browsed sites like Sedo, SitePoint, and BuyDomains, but I never thought I would ever purchase a premium domain. I could never justify some of these exorbitant prices that people wanted. I found out that this is partially the fault of the marketplace creators (Sedo in this case) that charge a percentage or a minimum of $50 to sell your domain. Seems a bit high for something that costs in the ballpark of around $10 a year, doesn’t it?

Imagine if you approached a realtor to sell your home. You paid $200,000 for it and would like to sell it at a profit for $300,000, but the realtor says his cut will be a million. You might have to jack your price up extraordinarily high just to make a profit. Yes, I realize this is a bad example, but I think you get what I’m trying to say. There would be plenty of times I would have been willing to sell a few of my fairly decent two word domain names for $100 or so (even that might be considered premium), but if I’ve owned them for three years, and I’m going to pay $50 to Sedo, I’d rather hang on to them (or overprice them at Sedo, so that’s what I did). If they sell, great. If not, I would have hung on to them anyway.

What this means is that it’s not just the marketplace creators fault., but also the sellers. When you can’t earn enough to rationalize parting with a domain, you either hold it or sell it for fifty times the actual value. I should actually correct myself though. After all, the buying and selling of domain names IS a market place regardless of its brokers, so a domain name is only over priced based on the individuals desire. I could definitely understand if someone thought I overpaid for this recent acquisition, but I’m happy with the price and happy to add it to my portfolio. So If I sell my domain names at their current prices, then I can be sure someone really got what they wanted.

It was when I was creating my Sedo account and putting up a half dozen domain names for sale that I stumbled on to this one I wanted and decided to buy it. I waited a few days, did some domain stalking, and then came back to finally buy it. The whole process was new to me, and I have to say it wasn’t very easy. I was patient as I heard it can take days and/or weeks for the entire transfer to complete, so time was not the problem. My issue was that during the whole process I was unsure of what my next step was, and I felt there was not ample information along the way. I’m still not sure I did everything in the best way, but at least I got it done. I manage my domains with GoDaddy, so I decided to add to the Help category here at OpenSourceHack and document the process I followed for buying a domain name from Sedo.

I hope it helps. If anyone has any pointers or tips to streamline the process, by all means leave a comment and help us out. I’ll add the Sedo Transfer Process link here as soon as I get it posted.