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Why I Finally Switched From GoDaddy.


I'd been using GoDaddy as registrar and host for several years. But a few months after I wrote Why I Still Use GoDaddy, For Now., I switched most of my stuff away from GoDaddy.

I had started having more technical problems with the blog hosting (some URL re-writes were failing). I'd identified that the cause was somewhere in the domain's configuration (not in my .htaccess file) by deleting .htaccess. I contacted GoDaddy's tech support (usually quite helpful), but after a few go-arounds, they declared that it was a code problem. I did technical support for years; I know when I'm being flushed.

As a female human, I'd felt un-valued by the company for a while. Then LifeHacker ran a DreamHost promo which brought the costs down to something that my inner cheapskate could deal with, so I said so long to GoDaddy. Getting everything set up at DreamHost was a breeze, and naturally, there were no URL rewriting problems over there.

PS - here's my referral link for DreamHost, if you're into that sort of thing:

Why I Still Use GoDaddy, For Now.


Yes, I'd love to switch from GoDaddy to another host and registrar. GoDaddy's advertising team has for years made it clear that they don't see me in their customer base. I dread using GoDaddy's admin tools to do anything; simple stuff like renewing a domain or hosting or even adding a sub-domain. There is always some sneaky up-sell attempt. But at this stage, I'm pretty good at finding the button for "No thanks, just the loss-leaders".

I'll continue using GoDaddy for my personal projects for the foreseeable future. For one thing, I'm super cheap; I just can't spend an extra $60 - $100 a year for the warm fuzzies from another host/registrar. Also, GoDaddy's customer support is USA-based, and they have always been super-responsive and smart; only once when I've called have they failed to fix the problem on the first try. And in the CSS-Tricks stolen domain saga, GoDaddy's support comes off reasonably well, especially compared to other cheap hosts.

But I can't in good conscience recommend GoDaddy to others. Especially since I found out that Dreamhost offers free hosting to 501(c)(3) non-profits.

The Rules.


I have two simple rules which, as a web developer, I hope not to break:

  1. Never buy registration, hosting or other services for your client. Help them figure out what service they need to buy, but have the client create the accounts and pay for all their services.
  2. Never break rule #1.

This is about "skin in the game"; ensuring that the client has a significant commitment to the project. If you do this yourself, eventually you'll get stuck with the bill, and a client who doesn't care about their website.

Domain Jokes.


Web domain names are not case sensitive. This has lead to some hilarious results in choosing a domain. I just happen to have a list of some sub-optimal choices. (Read them a couple of times to find the jokes.)

Do you know any I've missed?

GoDaddy's Superbowl Ads.


GoDaddy's Superbowl ads are a 4 year old incident turned into a multimedia campaign. I really wish they'd just get over it.

Outlandish CEO Bob Parsons has said these ads are effective at driving traffic to the GoDaddy site. But I wonder how much of that traffic is converting traffic. How many of those folks who came to the site to see boobies also end up registering a domain or buying web hosting services? Is there really a large segment of the population who wants to see boobies and buy domains, but aren't satisfying their boobie-seeing-desires elsewhere on the internet?

I also find the ads tasteless and irritating. The only values these ads promote are traditional beauty; often at the cost of intelligence. What cachet is there to being a GoDaddy girl?

GoDaddy had better hope that irritated female web developers are a small segment of their actual customers. As a current customer, I'm considering voting with my wallet. What domain registration, and very cheap hosting, can you recommend?

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