Welcome to an in-depth comparison of GoDaddy vs Namecheap!
“Why these two?” – you ask. Well, GoDaddy is the biggest domain registrar of them all (those Super Bowl ads have clearly paid off in terms of building up GoDaddy’s brand), while Namecheap is more of a niche registrar that’s earned its spot on the radar due to very attractive pricing and good quality of service.
So let’s have a look at which of the companies comes out on top, and which is going to be better for you personally when it comes to registering a new domain name in 2017. Here’s GoDaddy vs Namecheap:
1. Which is more popular
Let’s start with some data, just to give you a handle on where both companies stand and how many domains they each have under their umbrellas.
Here’s data as of November 2016:
- GoDaddy: 54,043,922 total domain names registered
- Namecheap: 1,343,957 total domain names registered
GoDaddy clearly wins the popularity contest, having registered roughly 50x more domain names than Namecheap. In fact, GoDaddy leads the domain market as a whole, with all the other players quite far behind (for example, it has registered 5x more domains than the company that’s second on the list).
With the overall number of domain names registered worldwide estimated at around 330 million, this gives GoDaddy a market share of around 16%. Namecheap’s only around 0.4%.
That being said, those are just numbers, and they don’t necessarily mean that one company is better than the other. And you certainly shouldn’t base your decision solely on these market share values.
Here’s a better way to think about this; the fact that both GoDaddy and Namecheap take care of millions of domain names only proves that they are both reputable companies with sound foundations, and that they are trustworthy enough for you to consider working with either of them.
2. Which top-level domains (TLDs) you can register with GoDaddy vs Namecheap
If you’re not sure what a TLD is, please hop over to our other guide – it’s where we talk in-depth about domain names, what they are and how they work.
When it comes to TLDs, both GoDaddy and Namecheap can provide you with nearly exactly the same product. And “nearly” is the keyword here.
Here’s what I mean:
Classic, traditional TLDs, such as
.mobi can all be registered with both GoDaddy and Namecheap.
Then, there are country-code TLDs – these are the ones created to represent various countries around the globe, and are traditionally used for websites that want to cater to audiences in those countries.
Some of the more popular TLDs in this category are:
.ru for Russia (used for 5.1% of all domains),
.de for Germany,
.jp for Japan,
.uk for the UK, and so on. In total, there’s more than 250 of those country-code TLDs available.
The caveat here is that you can’t register some of them with one or either of the companies that we’re comparing today. So, at the end of the day, if you happen to be interested in a particular country-code TLD then the best way to go forward would be to first visit both GoDaddy and Namecheap, and use their domain search tools to make sure that your TLD is even available in the first place.
.pl domains are not available with Namecheap, but they are with GoDaddy. Same for
Lastly, there’s the new set of generic TLDs that go above the standard set of
.net and so on. These days, you can even get things like
.design and others. Both GoDaddy and Namecheap offer a wide range of those TLDs, but the devil is in the details … or more accurately, in the pricing. Depending on the TLD that you’re interested in and the registrar that you’re getting it from, your bill will vary. Which brings me to:
3. Which is cheaper: GoDaddy vs Namecheap
Being totally honest with you, domain name registrars don’t have the clearest pricing models out there…
First off, different TLDs usually have different price tags. Secondly, the price also depends on whether it’s new domain registration that we’re talking about, renewal, or domain transfer (moving a domain from one registrar to another).
So instead of me trying to explain all this somehow, let’s just look at a direct comparison between GoDaddy vs Namecheap for some of the more popular TLDs:
|TLD||GoDaddy new||GoDaddy renewal||Namecheap new||Namecheap renewal|
As you can see, the prices are very very different. You can overpay seriously if you pick the wrong registrar for your desired domain. Some of the most significant examples:
.clubis more than $9 cheaper with Namecheap
.mobiis nearly $6 cheaper with GoDaddy
.designis $23 cheaper with Namecheap, and
.winis $27 cheaper
- all domain renewals are cheaper with Namecheap
Lastly, when it comes to domain transfers, it appears (based on my tests) that the price you pay with Namecheap is their standard domain renewal price, while the price you pay with GoDaddy is their new domain registration price. This means that you can often score a promo price with GoDaddy on your transfer.
Another thing to consider here is that the price may vary somewhat depending on the period of time that you want to register the domain for. Basically, the longer the registration period, the cheaper the per-year price.
Usually, however, registering a domain name for just one year is the right path to take. This gives you some space to pivot the project after a while if needed … so that you’re not stuck with a domain name you no longer need for five or 10 years.
4. Additional things you can buy / get for free
Setting the standard pricing aside, let’s also have a look at what you can get with either registrar as part of the bundle:
Depending on what your plans are for the domain, one of these offers might be more appealing. Like, for example, if you just want to test out a concept website and want to do so quickly and at low cost, Namecheap might be better. But if you want to get started with a WordPress project on a managed hosting account then it might be GoDaddy.
5. Which has the better user panel
Traditionally, domain names and hosting seem like rather complicated and highly technical topics. Hence, a good registrar will do whatever they can to make things more approachable and easy to grasp, even for the beginner user.
Therefore, the customer or user panel needs to be as simple and understandable as possible. Let’s see how GoDaddy vs Namecheap compare here.
Here’s what the domain management panel looks like at Namecheap:
And here’s GoDaddy’s:
As you can see, GoDaddy uses a much more “casualized” panel. Instead of displaying most of the available options on one screen, like Namecheap does, GoDaddy goes the other route and tries to take the user by the hand through what’s possible with their domain names.
For instance, when you click on Use My Domain, you’ll see this:
This is your entry point to either building a new WordPress site, using GoDaddy’s page builders, and so on.
If you’re a more advanced user, you can click the small gear icon visible next to the original GoDaddy domain panel:
Like I mentioned, Namecheap is a little different here. They choose to display everything on a couple of screens and let you switch between the options using tabs. But at the same time, they manage to keep the interface surprisingly understandable.
For me, personally, I like Namecheap’s interface better. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer to see all the available options right away. It just speeds up my work.
6. Customer support
I really don’t want to discuss this in terms of who has better support based on my mere couple of interactions with each support team, so let’s just talk facts instead:
In the end, both companies offer sensible support options and a lot of resources for you to look into if you prefer figuring things out on your own.
7. GoDaddy vs Namecheap: final verdict
Let’s start with the pros and cons of each company:
Long story short, and taking all that’s been said above into account, here’s what I would recommend you do:
- If you just want a cheap domain name to test out a project/website or for any other purpose, and you are comfortable dealing with standard web forms and settings, use Namecheap.
- If you’re a beginner and you’d rather use some friendly builder tools (tools where you’re taken by the hand through each step), and you don’t mind paying a bit more for that, use GoDaddy.
- If you don’t care for either of the above scenarios, probably use Namecheapanyway.
Not sure you quite understand any of this domain stuff? Feel free to hop over to our other guides:
- What Is a Domain Name?
- What’s the Difference Between a Website and a Domain Name?
- What’s the Difference Between a Domain Name and Web Hosting?
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