If you've been a long-time reader, you probably know I run a lot of websites. And you might have seen me mention that GoDaddy was my registrar of choice (or at least the one I used and recommended).
For years, GoDaddy had the best deals. While that might not matter much if you only need to register a few domains at a time, the savings can really add up when you have to renew dozens or even hundreds of them over the course of a year. So I stayed with GoDaddy even though I wasn't a fan of their advertising strategy and some of the behavior from its owner.
As of this week, I've started moving my domains away from GoDaddy to a company called NameSilo.
(Note: This is an affiliate link. That means if you visit their site by clicking this or other links in this post, and you happen to decide they're a good fit for you, I may receive a small commission for referring you to the company. The same is true if you use the discount code shared at the end of the post, or if you use the search box I'm providing for you in the post. You can read my full affiliate link policy here.)
Why I'm Leaving GoDaddy
I'm not moving everything away from GoDaddy at once. Instead I'm moving domains in monthly batches as they come up for renewal. I'm also not saying I'll never use GoDaddy again. I might very well use their first-year discounts for new domains related to new project plans. If I get to the projects within the year, I'll move them to NameSilo. If not, I'll either let them expire with GoDaddy or I'll still opt to transfer them.
The main reason I'm doing this is that I'm sick of GoDaddy's changes to renewals. In an effort to push their customers into buying a membership for their discount domain club. Where you used to be able to renew domains for around $10 with a simple coupon code, now you either buy into the club or pay $12-15 per renewal (for .com domains -- more for some others). Again, that would be fine and dandy if you only have one or two domains to worry about. But it really adds up if you have a significant number of registrations.
Basically, I don't like their new marketing strategy and the way it was sprung on long-time customers in a way that they could see as much as a 50% increase in their typical renewal prices. And you know me. I have very low bullshit tolerance when it comes to sleazy or overly-pushy marketing practices.
Why I Chose NameSilo
When I decided it was time to switch domain registrars, I did my research. I spent a lot of time perusing webmaster communities looking for customer feedback (not those registrar / hosting company review sites where the primary purpose is to make money referring you to everything at once).
NameSilo was new to me. I was shocked to find they've been around for about five years already. I was even more surprised to see the overwhelmingly positive reviews (you know us site owners -- when we have a beef with something we rarely keep it to ourselves).
Better yet, their regular prices are lower than what I'd been paying at GoDaddy for renewals for quite some time. Remember, most of my costs come from renewals rather than new registrations at this point. And with better prices, better feedback, and speedy support response (I tested that too), it's difficult to go wrong.
NameSilo's regular price to register a new domain is $8.99. And they charge the same price for renewals -- none of that higher renewal cost crap registrars are famous for. Even better, they offer free domain privacy if you don't want your information showing up in WHOIS records. I get a lot of spam from companies harvesting my contact info there, so this is helpful for my smaller sites where I don't mind the info being hidden.
So far, so good. I transferred my first five domains over. The process went smoothly and quickly.
I have low BS tolerance. They seem to have a no BS marketing strategy. So who knows? Maybe it's a match made in heaven.
And Now, to Nit-pick
While I'm loving NameSilo so far, that doesn't mean they're perfect. But the issues I've seen so far seem to be genuine mistakes, and they're more copywriting issues than service issues.
For example, if you look at their pricing chart you'll see that the renewal section claims they don't charge more for renewals, other than for .mobi domains. But if you look at the actual prices you'll see that currently they also charge more for .co renewals.
This is what I chose to email them about to test the support response. As mentioned, they got back to me quickly. And the support rep was quite friendly. They passed on the information and got back to me with an explanation. It doesn't change the fact that this is a mistake and it's misleading to customers, but at least they could explain themselves.
In this case, they're currently running a sale on new .co domain registrations. And it looks like someone put the sale price in the first pricing chart for new registrations, making it lower than the standard renewal price. That's not a problem in and of itself. The problem is that they neglected to update the other claim in their copy and / or clearly mark the new registration price as a temporary sale price in the pricing chart.
After contacting them about that, I noticed another issue with their copy, related to the first one. If you look at the home page and find the announcement about the .co registration sale, it says you "save 125%" off the usual price. I saw them tweet this too. But it's false.
Saving 125% off of the usual price of $22.69 would mean the company actually pays you $5.67. What they really mean is that the regular price is 125% higher than the current sale price. But that's a very different thing. And in advertising, you need to be careful about accuracy, especially when it comes to numbers. A correct ad would state that you save 56% off of the usual rate.
While it bugs me to see pretty basic advertising issues like this, if their biggest problem is that they need a copyeditor, that's still a huge improvement over most, if not all, registrars I've done business with.
NameSilo doesn't run a lot of coupons due to their regular low prices. But if you'd like to give them a try in registering a new domain or transferring one from another registrar, you can take an extra $1.00 off by using coupon code WRITER1 when you register or transfer a domain name today. To the best of my knowledge, their coupon code can only be used once, and on a single domain. But with their already low prices, you can still save significantly by switching.