Why GoDaddy lost my business

I’ve been with GoDaddy for many years. Their domains are inexpensive when you use a coupon, you can get cash back through FatWallet, and you get free DNS service.

So why would I move all of my 45+ domains to non-GoDaddy registrars? Here are a few reasons (in no particular order):

  1. I hate their advertising. Although they’ve gotten better over the past year, GoDaddy still has highly inappropriate advertising, including many “banned from TV”-style commercials. That isn’t what I’m looking for in a registrar, and it makes it really hard to recommend the company to friends and family.
  2. I hate all the stuff they try to sell as you checkout. I’ve been a customer for years and have never bought any of their add-ons, but they still feel the need to make me wade through 57 add-on sales pages before I can check out. I understand this makes them money, but an option to never view the stuff I know I’ll never buy would be nice.
  3. I hate being nagged about expiring domains for 6 months. Several months prior to the expiration of a domain, I start getting letters and emails letting me know. I appreciate that. What I don’t appreciate is getting them over and over and over again, even several weeks after I’ve intentionally let the domain expire. For many people this isn’t going to be an issue, but when you have 45+ domains, it gets really annoying.
  4. I hate having to hunt down coupon codes. Every time I need to renew a domain or register a new one, I’ve got to hunt down the latest GoDaddy coupon code. By moving to Resell.biz, I get my .com’s for $7.73 without having to use a coupon. Again, not that big of an issue if you only have a domain or two, but really annoying when you have dozens.
  5. I hate being censored. One day I got a phone call from GoDaddy letting me know that they were deleting my domain because they didn’t agree with its content. The domain’s content was completely legal and didn’t violate the GoDaddy acceptable use policy in any way, but they didn’t care. Luckily I was able to transfer the domain away before it was deleted, but if I happened to have missed their phone call then my domain would have been deleted and I would have lost (literally) tens of thousands of dollars per year.

My current domain registrar recommendations are (starting with my favorite):

  1. Resell.biz
  2. Namecheap
  3. EuroDNS (for those oddball ccTLDs)
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Server upgrade

Server upgrade

The company I host my sites with, The Planet, was recently purchased by another company. Although they say they are going to continue to provide the same level of service, a few chats with their customer service reps made it pretty clear that I was now considered a low-priority customer.

I’ve been needing to upgrade my server anyway, so I decided this was a great time to see what the new company, SoftLayer, had to offer. They have quite a few perks compared to my old host, such as IPv6 support and easy access to reverse DNS records, so I decided to switch. And I made out like a bandit.

With a coupon code and a lot of luck, I managed to get a $479/month + $49.00 setup fee server for only $309/month + $0.00 setup fee. Woot! Savings of over $2000 per year!

The new server has 4GB of RAM, 2 x 250GB hard drives in RAID 1, and dual quad core Xeon 5420 CPUs (2.5GHz with 2 x 12MB cache). This server is crazy fast. My old server could generate 50,000 fake names in about 7 minutes. The new server can generate 50,000 fake names in about 0.6 minutes.

To help my site go even faster, I’ve started using MaxCDN for static files (CSS, JS, images..) on the Fake Name Generator and am using Amazon 53 for the Fake Name Generator DNS. I’ve noticed huge performance gains from doing this and it costs almost nothing. You can get 1TB of data transfer from MaxCDN for about $30, which should last a long long time if you are only using it for static files.

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