Once you’ve decided on what your domain name is going to be, the next important decision you’ll need to make is where to register it. Namecheap and GoDaddy are two of the most reputable and widely-used domain registrars where you can do it. This guide to Namecheap vs GoDaddy will take a close look at these two popular choices to help you make the right decision.
👉 We will examine the following factors:
By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll have all of the knowledge you need to choose between these two heavyweight domain registrars.
Namecheap vs GoDaddy: domain extensions offered
A domain extension, also known as a Top-Level Domain (or TLD for short), is the last part of your domain name. In most cases, you’ll want to use a common domain extension like .com or .net, but there are use cases for choosing other extensions. While .com and .net can be purchased from any reputable domain registrar, things get trickier if you do have a special use case and you want to use a niche domain extension.
For example, if you’re website is going to be focused on AI tech and you want to use the .ai TLD, this can limit your options. This is because some registrars aren’t selling domains with this extension yet. Similar restrictions may exist for other niche domain extensions you’re considering (e.g., the .online TLD or the .store TLD).
Let’s take a closer look at the domain extensions available from Namecheap and GoDaddy.
Namecheap domain extensions
Namecheap offers 536 choices of domain extensions. This includes all of the common TLDs like .com, .org, and .net, plus many niche TLDs, country code TLDs (ccTLDs), and even some numerical TLDs.
Some of the most notable niche domain extensions available through Namecheap include:
💡 Interested in an extension not mentioned in the list above? Check out Namecheap’s full list of TLDs.
GoDaddy domain extensions
In contrast, at the time of this writing, GoDaddy gives you 530 choices of domain extensions, with more TLDs being added on a regular basis. This includes highly recognizable TLDs such as .com, .net, and .org, plus a wide range of ccTDs and niche TLDs.
Some of the most notable TLDs you can get on GoDaddy include:
💡 Looking for a TLD not listed here? Check out the full list of GoDaddy’s domain extension offerings. You can view both currently available TLDs and TLDs that will be made available through GoDaddy in the near future.
The verdict: tie 🎀
When it comes to domain extensions, Namecheap and GoDaddy are on pretty similar footing. Namecheap technically wins the day with 536 currently available TLDs. However, GoDaddy’s site lists 11 coming-soon TLDs. In other words, you might find that the balance is flipped soon. And with new TLDs being added to the lists of both registrars on a regular basis, the winner here may well be in constant flux.
Moreover, with both companies offering over 500 domain extensions – including a variety of popular niche TLDs – there’s no decisive winner for this round of the Namecheap vs GoDaddy battle. The only time it might matter is if you’re looking for a highly specific TLD that’s only available on one of these sites.
Namecheap vs GoDaddy: interface/user experience
The next point to consider in the debate between GoDaddy vs Namecheap is how easy it is to register a domain with either company.
Registering a domain with Namecheap
The first thing you’ll see when you open Namecheap is a domain search bar. Simply type your ideal domain in and click Search to see your chosen domain name combined with a variety of available TLDs:
You’ll also see pricing information for all of the domain options listed, including information about any discounts available.
Once you’ve chosen a domain name, you can click Add to cart to add it to your purchase list. This will reveal a list of add-ons such as SSL certification, SiteLock protection, and website hosting that you can purchase for this domain. You can add whichever of these items to your cart that you want.
This can feel like a pushy upsell if you only want to register a domain. However it can also be convenient if you’re looking for other services as well.
When you’re satisfied with your add-ons, you can either continue this process by purchasing other domains on the list or click the Checkout button visible at the bottom of the screen.
If you click Checkout, a simple payment page will appear where you can make your purchase right away. They also list add-ons below the purchase area, which is technically an upsell, but they present these options in an unobtrusive way and they don’t feel as pushy as the first upsell.
You can enter a promo code here to get a discount on your first term. Note that Namecheap offers a perpetual discount code on .com domains for first-time buyers.
Click Confirm Order when you’re ready and you’ll be taken to a page where you can enter your payment information and make your purchase.
Registering a domain with GoDaddy
Next in our Namecheap vs GoDaddy comparison, we have to look at how registering a domain works with GoDaddy.
Head to the GoDaddy domains page to get started. You’ll see a search bar where you can enter the domain name you’re interested in. Once you type your desired domain name in the bar, simply click the Search button:
One thing you’ll notice right away is that the results page looks very different from the Namecheap domain search results. In fact, the top area focuses entirely on one domain name option, typically the .com, and shares some reasons why this domain name will be effective. This area also tells you about some of the features you’ll get when you register this domain with GoDaddy.
Click Make It Yours to reserve this domain for yourself.
If you want to use a different TLD like .net or .org or claim multiple versions of your domain name to deter impersonators, you can scroll down to find various options. GoDaddy won’t attempt to push other products on you here, either, which is a nice change from the Namecheap domain results page.
Once you’ve selected the domain name(s) you want to register, click the Continue button next to any one of these domain names. This will take you to the first page of the checkout process, where GoDaddy attempts to sell you on domain protection packages:
Basic domain privacy protection is free with GoDaddy, so you don’t need to purchase anything here. However, the page has you automatically set to choose the lower-cost Full Domain Protection package. So if you don’t want to purchase this, you’ll have to actively opt out.
Once you’ve chosen your domain protection plan, click Continue to Cart, where you can view the domain(s) you’ve decided to purchase so far. Each domain box includes upsells for further domain protection, email hosting, and a free trial for the website builder. This is a little more aggressive than the upsells on the Namecheap checkout page, but it’s not obnoxious.
You’ll also notice options for purchasing variations on your chosen domain at the bottom of the page. Technically this is another upsell, but it’s very easily ignored.
Once you’ve confirmed everything you want to buy, click I’m Ready to Pay to head to the page where you can enter your credit card information and make your purchase.
The verdict: Namecheap 🏆
The key difference here is that the Namecheap process doesn’t automatically sign you up for any add-ons. You’ll also be taken directly from choosing your domain(s) to the checkout page instead of being sent to a separate upsell page first. This makes Namecheap the winner of this category, as it’s easier to purchase your domain and to avoid purchasing extras you don’t want.
Namecheap vs GoDaddy: pricing
Here’s a quick roundup of what various TLDs cost on Namecheap:
- .com – $5.98 (through discount code) for the first year, $13.98 per year upon renewal
- .net – $11.98 for the first year, $13.98 per year upon renewal
- .org – $7.48 for the first year, $12.98 per year upon renewal
- .co – $9.48 for the first year, $26.98 per year upon renewal
- .ai – $79.98 for the first year, $89.98 per year upon renewal
Now let’s take a look at the GoDaddy pricing for those same TLDs:
- .com – $0.01 for the first year of a two-year term, $21.99 every year after
- .net – $14.99 for the first year of a two-year term, $22.99 every year after
- .org – $9.99 for the first year of a two-year term, $22.99 every year after
- .co – $0.01 for the first year of a two-year term, $39.99 every year after
- .ai – $59.99 for the first year of a two-year term, $139.99 every year after
The verdict: Namecheap 🏆
This is one place where Namecheap is the clear winner. You might pay a bit more for the first year with certain TLDs, but you’ll pay significantly less over the long term. Moreover, some TLDs, like .net and .org, are more expensive on GoDaddy than on Namecheap even during the first year.
Namecheap vs GoDaddy: add-ons
Namecheap makes it easy to buy everything you’ll need to launch a website or online business, including web hosting, SSL certification, email hosting, and even social media management tools.
Using the domain registration process discussed in this article, you’ll get offers for advanced domain protection, email hosting, and a free trial for their website builder/basic web hosting (which turns into a paid add-on after seven days). If you want other forms of web hosting, you can access them via the Websites & Hosting link at the top of the GoDaddy domains page.
You can also get a digital marketing suite and content + photo creator through the Email + Marketing page.
The verdict: Namecheap 🏆
Namecheap once again comes out on top in this part of the Namecheap vs GoDaddy debate because it makes it easy to buy add-ons during the domain purchase process. Plus it offers a more robust number of add-ons. GoDaddy makes it a little more difficult to purchase certain add-ons, but does offer many of the same options. Therefore, the true winner here may depend on what you want to purchase.
Namecheap vs GoDaddy: the winner ⭐️⭐️⭐️
So, what company wins in the debate of GoDaddy vs Namecheap? Well, let’s take a look at the winners of our individual categories:
- TLDs available – Tie
- Ease of use/interface – Namecheap
- Pricing – Namecheap
- Add-ons – Namecheap, though GoDaddy might have an edge if you’re looking for content creation tools
All in all, I think it’s safe to say that Namecheap is the better domain registrar for most users. However, you may want to use GoDaddy if you’re looking for specific TLDs you can’t find on Namecheap and/or you want to use the GoDaddy content creator.
Need help finding the perfect domain? Check out our guide on how to choose a domain name.