GoDaddy and Namecheap are both excellent ICANN certified domain name registrars. In this Namecheap vs Godaddy guide, we’re going to 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. If you’re simply looking to register domain names then Namecheap is the better registrar, but if you’re looking for additional services like website builders then you may want to consider GoDaddy.
Why should you trust this comparison?
I’ve used both Namecheap and GoDaddy as a domain name registrar as well as their specific services for website building an email hosting. This guide is based on actually using both companies respectively.
Full disclosure, I keep all of my domain names at Namecheap. I’ve used GoDaddy in the past but have since moved my remaining domain names away from them.
Which one is the most popular?
Both registrars now are quite popular and well known, but if we’re basing popularity on the volume of domains then GoDaddy is much more popular as they have around 60 million registered domains compared to Namecheap’s 8 million domains.
This is mostly due to GoDaddy’s first mover effect. The emerged as the premier domain registrar back in the late 1990’s and have been able to maintain their dominance.
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?
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 offers .com registration between $5-8 per any promotion they are currently running. This low rate can be locked in for up to 10 years in advanced (as is standard with any registrar).
After this introduction price the renewal rate for domain names at Namecheap is $13.98 a year. Last, you get free WHOIS protection with your domain purchase.
GoDaddy currently offers new registration of .com and other extensions for only .01 cent for the first two years and then a renewal rate of $18.99. Sounds good but there is a catch.
So compared to Namecheap, you will be paying significantly more in renewal rates at GoDaddy. GoDaddy also does not provide free WHOIS protection. Instead they charge an excessive yearly fee for the service.
When it comes to registering domain names, Namecheap simply has the better prices. Lower renewal rates and free WHOIS protection. GoDaddy does offer lower introduction prices on select extensions, but renewal rates for all domains are more expensive
Both registrars offer all the popular domain name extensions you as an end user care about. From top level domain (TLD’s) extensions like .com, .net, .org and .co to specific country codes like .co.uk or .ca. You will find that both platforms offer the same extensions.
The real difference between the two again comes down to price. GoDaddy for domain names is simply more expensive across the board. While for some select extensions like .com you can get a better introduction rate, long term you’ll always be paying more. Particularly when you take into consideration the lack of free WHOIS protection at GoDaddy.
Namecheap and GoDaddy offer the same TLD’s, the same country codes for the most part and the same exotic extensions like .tv, .pizza, .store and so forth. The difference is that GoDaddy is simply more expensive across the board and does not provide free WHOIS protection.
The only time to select GoDaddy is if you need a specific country code that’s only supported by GoDaddy.
Email hosting confuses beginners. Why would you ever pay for email when you can use a Gmail account for free? The answer is that the benefit creators and organizations get form dedicated email hosting are privacy, security, collaboration tools and the ease of use with setting up a professional email.
Both Namecheap and GoDaddy offer dedicated email hosting packages you can take advantage of. So which one is best?
Namecheap offers affordable email hosting. Their basic plans allow for:
- Starter: 1 Mailbox / 5 GB storage for emails / 2 GB storage for files /
- Pro: 3 Mailboxes / 30 GB storage for emails / 15 GB storage for files / mobile sync / anti-spam
- Ultimate: 5 Mailboxes / 75 GB storage for emails / 30 GB storage for files / mobile sync / anti-spam / high availability mail servers
Namecheap is an excellent provider if you’re a solo creator an just need dedicated email for you and your clients. The best plan overall is the Pro plan as it provides spam protection.
GoDaddy offers professional level business hosting for small businesses. Their plans are as follows:
- Essentials: 10 GB of storage
- Plus: 50 GB of storage
- Professional: 50 GB of storage / Microsoft office suite / HIPPA compliant emails.
What I liked about GoDaddy is they don’t separate the storage between emails and attachments like Namecheap. However they are much more expensive.
If you want affordable, basic email hosting go with Namecheap. Their basic plan is only $14.88 a year after the introduction rate compared to GoDaddy cheapest essentials plan which costs $71.88 a year.
If you need a suite of collaboration tools then consider the Business Professional plan from GoDaddy. GoDaddy also includes spam protection in all their plans as well as mobile support.
It may surprise some to find out that both Namecheap and GoDaddy offer quality hosting solutions. Everything from shared hosting, VPS, WordPress to full on dedicated servers. So which company is best from having used both?
I personally like GoDaddy more for ecommerce hosting and I like Namecheap for anyone looking to start a blog and create an information website.
Namecheap offers hosting at significantly cheaper rates. Their shared hosting plan costs only $3.88 per month after the first year introduction rate.
They also make it easy to upgrade your hosting as your website grows. So if you need to move over to a higher tier shared hosting plan or perhaps their WordPress cloud hosting plan, they make it easy to do so.
Last, Namecheap offers VPS (your choice of managed or unmanaged) and dedicated servers at a great rate.
GoDaddy offers a wide range of hosting plans from basic shared hosting all the way to dedicated servers. They also have a Woo Commerce dedicated plan with their WordPress ecommerce hosting package.
Woo Commerce is a plugin that adds powerful ecommerce tools to any WordPress installation. Most needing hosting however will be looking at their shared hosting plans.
GoDaddy offers 4 plans for shared hosting:
- Economy – 1 website with low traffic.
- Delux – Multiple websites with under 1000 visitors a day.
- Ultimate – This is their recommended plan. It’s perfect for websites that get 30,000 to 100,000 pageviews a month.
- Maximum – Same as ultimate except you get your site on a top tier server for fast performance.
Anyone needing a hosting account and looking at GoDaddy I suggest the Delux or Ultimate plan. Delux is fine as you’re starting out and can always upgrade later. But if you want a hosting account that can scale from the start you’ll be happy with the Ultimate plan.
If you’re price sensitive go with Namecheap. Otherwise I’ve found GoDaddy to be a much better webhost overall with regards to site load times and responsiveness.
I also like their multiple plans which are customized for different use cases. Online stores powered by Woo Commerce are much more resource intensive than an informational blog.
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 now on par with Namecheap in being upfront with pricing. That is, showing you clearly the introduction rate as well as the renewal rate. They used to hide the renewal rate in fine print until you got to the checkout page but they have since changed this.
They also up-sell you on email and domain name privacy which I don’t like. Namecheap by comparison simply gives you domain privacy for free. With regard to any hidden fees, both companies are acceptable but I personally like how Namecheap has always been more clear and upfront when you’re making a purchase decision.
GoDaddy used to be well known for their hidden fees but they are now the same with Namecheap. Upfront on introduction rates, renewal prices and clear upsells that are not already selected.
GoDaddy has had a beautiful re-design to make their website a much more pleasing experience. With GoDaddy you get a 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. Nothing too fancy but their website design has remained the same since 2016. The interface is easy to use and navigate with regards to your domains and hosting.
I’m surprised to say this given how awful GoDaddy used to be but their modern redesign is quite appreciated as a designer myself. This is not to say Namecheap is terrible, they’re totally fine. But I need to give credit where credit is due and GoDaddy now provides an excellent user experience and an easy to use website.
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 have specific user and how-to guides. With regards to refunds, GoDaddy is a bit better in that if you change your mind within 10 days for domain names you can get your money back. Namecheap by contrast only gives you store credit.
Both offer chat support and knowledge base guides.
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. Namecheap countered this by allowing users to initiate domain name transfers over to Namecheap completely for free.
GoDaddy only withdrew their support for SOPA after facing a massive backlash.
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. Also, Namecheap uses a wide variety of platforms (my favorite being Impact Radius) while GoDaddy only uses CJ.com
Namecheap pays affiliates more and on time. They also use better clearing house services and a wider selection as well.
A reseller program is where you can “resell” the companies services as your own under your own branding. Instead of getting a commission, you can set your own margins and build long term customers.
Margins are typically quite small, but this is a good long term revenue stream as hosting and domain names can become recurring purchases for years if not a decade by clients. Allowing you to build up a sizeable passive income stream. So which program is better?
Namecheap offers affordable reseller hosting. The way it works is you have a WHM account over a VPN and can then add on your clients websites. You setup billing which can be branded as your own company.
Their lowest plan supports 25 cPanel accounts and you get 30 GB SSD. This is adequate enough for around 10 small websites.
GoDaddy allows you to resell hosting, domains, email and their website builder under your own brand. You can white label all their services and have the branding be your own. In addition, they handle the payments and provide support for your customers.
While GoDaddy’s affiliate program is mediocre at best, their reseller program is top tier. You can build a a small business on top of using GoDaddy’s services if you have the right traffic traffic.
Instead of getting a one time commission on a domain name of $1-2, why not build up your own base of customers and get paid every year for the life of your customers?
Both companies 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 from Namecheap is found when purchasing a shared hosting plan. Honestly it feels like an after thought. If you are purchasing a shared hosting plan you may as well install WordPress.
The website builder overall is dated and not as user friendly as other website building options available.
GoDaddy offers a full featured website builder. A perfect alternative to anyone not wanting to use WordPress. With their website builder plans you get all the tools you need to build out a ecommerce focused website.
Their builder is not ideal for anyone wanting to make a high traffic blog, so if you are wanting a quality website builder that has ecommerce functionality, a scheduling system for appointments and the ability to integrate multiple marketplaces like eBay, Etsy and Amazon then GoDaddy is the better option.
Without a doubt GoDaddy has the superior offering when it comes website builders. Their website builder is not the best I’ve seen, I do prefer other options but when compared to Namecheap their is no comparison.
Namecheap vs GoDaddy Conclusion
As a customer I prefer Namecheap overall. Better prices on domain names, email hosting and web hosting. GoDaddy however is much better with regards to their website builder, reseller program and their hosting is generally a bit better for ecommerce websites (for blog they are equal).