Why I am breaking up with Godaddy and moving to Uniregistry

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year you’ve probably seen an ad or two for Uniregistry, a new registrar that was build for domainers. Yep, a registrar build specifically for us. But despite sponsoring just about every domaining publication out there I haven’t read many reviews from actual domain name investors that really made the switch to the “registrar for professionals” except for Abdul Basit.

As I don’t mind change and it was time to start consolidating my portfolio anyways, I decided to open an account, move 10% of my portfolio as a test and see if they could live up to their marketing promises.

I am one month in and I have decided to move my entire portfolio. Here’s why: 

The platform: Remember that feeling when you upgraded from that bulky Nokia or Blackberry to your first smartphone? After just a couple of days usage it is hard to imagine life without it, which is pretty much how I felt after familiarizing myself with the Uniregistry interface. The company had the luxury of building something from the ground up and they used that opportunity to build a registrar that is fast, easy to use, looks super clean and comes without upsells or other distractions. This is all nice of course but it really is the domain name management, transfer center, bulk managing and domain tracker features where they really separate themselves from the competition. You can really tell it was build by and for domain name investors.

Uniregistry
Track your domain names at different registrars

Customer support: I have to give kudos to Godaddy for the excellent customer support that I receive whenever I have questions or issues but after spending a small fortune with them on registrations, transfers, renewals, auction purchases, hosting and other small stuff It would have been nice to have a dedicated account manager. Uniregistry made a very good first impression on me when Account Manager Chris Aguilar called on a Sunday afternoon to discuss my needs and requirements. Whenever I have something now I can just ping Chris on Skype and so far he’s been very responsive and helpful.

Uniregistry bulk edit
Domain management dashboard

Security: I invest a lot of time and money in growing my domain name portfolio so I want it to be near impossible for anyone else to access my account. Two-step authentication is the perfect solution for this but Godaddy doesn’t support this security feature for customers outside the US while Uniregistry supports free two-step verification for each and every account. They also offer free privacy on all your domains (if you’d like that).

Uniregistry transfer
Fast and easy bulk transfers.

Price: Last but not least: pricing. Uniregistry is unique in the sense that they are willing to work on custom bulk pricing with domain investors holding a decent portfolio size. I currently own 578 domain names of which 82% .Com, 6% .Co and the remaining 12% being a mixture of some new Gs and the odd .net, .org or ,biz. Once I move this entire portfolio to Uniregistry my yearly renewal fees will be $5,560 which is down 6% from $5,900 in yearly renewal fees at Godaddy and if I include the Godady Discount Domain Club membership fee of $8.99/month (based on a 24 month membership) then my yearly savings will exceed 7.5%. If you are heavily invested in .Co or the new gTLDs or when own a larger portfolio your savings could easily exceed 10% compared to most registrars.

Surely there are some cons as well, the biggest one imo being the limited brand recognition Uniregistry currently has with end-users. In many cases buyers request a domain to be transferred to their Godaddy account, meaning you can simply push a domain directly to their account and close the deal the same day. Another reason Godaddy remains popular with domainers are coupons. I personally don’t hand register that many domains but it is always nice to be able to register one for a couple of bucks if you need to.  The solution for this is pretty simple of course, keep Godaddy for handregs and transfer them into Uniregistry when renewals strike.

Efty Banner

Doron Vermaat

Doron has over a decade of professional experience in marketing and business development for technology startups in both Europe and Asia. He is the product guy behind domain name management software, Efty and the founder of High West a specialized recruiter for tech and digital talent. In his spare time, he moonlights as a domain name investor. He lives in bustling Hong Kong with his wife Fay, daughter Isla and their rescue dog Pepper.

49 thoughts on “Why I am breaking up with Godaddy and moving to Uniregistry

  1. Today I had serious problems logging in to GD. I pinged chat support and sent them screenshots of what I was getting. They confirmed it wasn’t a security risk, but I was still edgy. So I once more asked about 2FA. No confirmation that it is even going to be introduced for non-US customers.

    I spoke to Uniregistry before, but they couldn’t match the price I get from GD. I have an account rep, and my DDC is comped. But since I push all my keyword domains to DNS brokers I think I’m going to reconsider moving all those domains over to Uniregistry. GD have had enough time to get 2FA working, and I’d pay a little more to get piece-of-mind at this stage.

    Your review also helped crytalize this Doron, so thanks for that.

    1. Glad you found it helpful. Uniregistry is just a little bit more expensive for .com’s in my particular case but if you include the DDC fee then the difference is pretty much negligible.

  2. I have not heard anything about their hosting plans. For me Godaddy is handy because they also offer a cheap hosting plan. Yes, the 2-factor option not being offered outside the US is a concern. It’s hard to image why they cannot offer it if other even smaller vendors can do. Isn’t the Internet global?

  3. Doron-your post is very timely. I was just recently telling a friend that the GoDaddy support/service has definitely fallen off since they went public. In the past I always thought the support to be exceptional but recently I’ve found myself dealing with many more uninformed support people and a much longer wait time on any call. My guess is this is due to them now having to “manage” Wall St. expectations re earning etc. and it’s very frustrating. I happen to be right here in Scottsdale,Az. so I’ll hang in with GD for a while but not much longer if things don’t change,

  4. Doron
    Had to jump in and read this as the headline caught my eye. I appreciate all the comments on the comparison between GoDaddy and Uniregistry. Of course we are sorry to see you go. If you or anyone else reading this ever need any help at GoDaddy please feel free to reach out to me personally. 2FA is important to us for non US customers and it will be released later this year.

    Joe Styler
    jstyler at godaddy dot com

    1. Thanks for commenting here Joe. My experience with GD has been a positive one. It is just that Uniregistry is beating you guys at most points, incl the security one which is a very important one for me. I will remain a GD customer as I often buy domains from the Auction market and I also have a bunch of sites (including this one) under a managed WordPress account. I hope for other International customers that 2FA will be rolled out soon.

  5. I gave Godaddy a shot, and even began moving my domains there last year. But alas, I hated the Godaddy interface. And the customer service has gone to hades. It once took 3 weeks to resolve a simple hosting issue, with Godaddy issuing contradictory statements, even saying it was fixed when it was not.

    And then there’s silly policies like issuing a 60 day lock on a domain with a whois change. They will release the lock but they make it a hassle, so I began reporting them to ICANN for each domain I was trying to move out. I got my domains out of there. Godaddy may become the next Moniker–Godaddy is hemorrhaging money and that can’t go on forever.

  6. Mr Styler-“Reach out to you” You’re kidding-right? Just try getting a GoDaddy manager on the phone when you have a real issue. The service has gone downhill from exceptional to marginal and wait times are now longer also. It’s a shame GoDaddy didn’t stay private. It was a great company.

  7. @Joe Styler there’s clearly a breakdown in your internal communications, since just yesterday @GodaddyHelp told me it 2FA “may be introduced” for international customers, and my own account manager told me he could not give me any definitive confirmation that it would be provided.

    It’s for that reason that my 1300 names are going to start moving. GD has had enough time to implement this, and it’s clear that the security of international customers is not a priority for GD. Waiting another 6 months for this feature – according to your timeline – isn’t an option for me anymore.

  8. @Doron, thanks for the response. If there is ever anything I can do let me know.

    @richard We are very guarded when releasing time frames on products or product updates as there are many variables. We would rather not give a date on most things, but I am very close to the developers and can assure you 2FA is important and will be released this year.

    @John I am currently a product Manager and have worked in various capacities throughout my 9 years here, including most recently Director level. I am happy to speak with you personally or anyone else I can help.

  9. I see where your coming from, I was tired on fluctuating renewal fee’s so I transferred from GD to thexyz.com and I have had a similar positive experience with improved UI.

  10. I always wondered why domainers use GoDaddy?

    I though all domainers would be using something like NameCheap but not GD!

    I really ate GD when they hijack your domains with upsell and ads everywhere on domain interface AND on cPanel interface. For me, this is UNETICAL and it shows how much GD care for their customers.

    C’mon guys! Just take a look at your cPanel and Domain interface. Don’t you think is sucks?

    NameCheap have very competitive prices. I get my .com domains for only $9/year since I have a portfolio of over 100 domains.

    Another thing to consider is the SPEED at which you can pickup a just released domain into the public when found on expireddomains.net NameCheap let you grab the domain name really fast, thanks to it domain registering interface.

    My 2 cents.
    Mario

  11. The godaddy interface / dns is totally idiot proof nowadays and Uniregistry can’t top it yet. Investors and transparent business owners don’t require private free whois, so that’s an non perk. But the security is.
    Overall GoDaddy provides and great service and the club is a saver for me. Priv auctions. Pushes. Expired.
    No brainer.

    Frank Shilling should look into the expired market, auctions, etc, this could change dynamics for ur.

  12. Doron,

    I appreciate the post. 🙂

    We really do strive to offer the best tools and service possible. Please do reach out to me directly by email Chris@uniregistry.com if I can be of service or help with custom bulk pricing. I’m happy to help!

  13. Doron

    Thank you so much for the write up on Uniregistry. Simplicity, speed and ease of use are our top priorities with our registrar. Our latest new transfer center and manage page make for a seamless intuitive experience that you are getting to witness first hand 🙂

    You are correct – we do have limited brand recognition. As we continue to grow, expect to see more of the Uniregistry brand.

    Thank you again for your recent move to Uniregistry and welcome!

    Michael Ward
    Director of Registrar Operations
    Uniregistry

  14. Completely agree and i moved from godaddy to unregistry since a year for buying domains and just cancelled my hosting with godaddy yesterday, they are the worst hosting company ever.

  15. I agree %100 with you.

    Godaddy’s pricing is way to high!
    $17/year .com.. Realy guys? No wonder they keep giving “huge” discount…

    Godaddy’s security is poor.
    I live in Canada. No 2 step indentificatiob No safety. Also I have read so many horror stories on Godaddy about stolen domains.

    It’s move time!

    Thank you for sharing!

  16. Have you looked at Opensrs the wholesale / reseller side of Tucows? I especially like the level of control over every aspect of the registration and management. Also, everything is on one screen which is a huge time saver. Many other Registrars have expanding menu’s and popup windows that require endless mouse clicks. Pricing is very competitive.

  17. I have just over 200 domains and started out with godaddy some years back. What I’ve encountered is the search problem. I have found some dropped domains using other methods then go to godaddy to grab it and something like this happens. Example: betterways.com then godaddy search will say “great news your domain is available!” but then after relooking at the domain available it’s really “bettersways.com” Personally i think I jumped the gun a few times and never took a second look just hauled off to the checkout and pay to be stumped I didn’t get what I thought I was getting.

    Second problem with their search. Bulk searches, if I search for 500 domains in the .io extensions and some others it will give me a return that some are available but during checkout, they get knocked out of the cart saying they aren’t available. This is a complete waste of my time. On the other hand with the first prob I’ve encountered above, I started using them for search on drops I locate elswhere and then have been going to another register to scoop them up. Some times though godaddy will say it’s not available but I find it is on the other regisiter. Been slowly moving to the other guy.

  18. Here’s another solution.
    I started moving domains from GoDaddy two years ago because they stopped being the cheapest for renewals. At the time I had 1300-plus domains, so the cost of renewals was my greatest priority. I started moving domains in batches to NameCheap.com, but had some bad experiences with them. The support staff I kept getting were shockers. They were arrogant and lazy and I would find myself engaged in email dialgue trying to get simple things done. On one occasion I even got a sarcastic and rude reply to one of my follow-up emails. I couldn’t believe the owner would have support staff like that.. I got my domains out of there very quickly. At first I started transfering back to GoDaddy, but then came across DomainMonster.com, which is wholly owned by Mesh Digital Limited, which in turn is owned by Host Europe Group – the largest privately owned hosting company in Europe. Their pricing beats anyone else on .com renewals – $US9.99 single domain, $US8.99 bulk price for 10 domains, $US8.49 bulk price for 25-plus domains. I think to get on par with this (or perhaps under) you have to pay a fee and join GoDaddy’s domain club, which I’m prepared to do. I tend to do my renewals in batches of 25-30 at DM. Their support to date has been superior. Polite, helpful and friendly support people who respond quickly and follow up on your requests immediately. They even email you back and make sure your issue was resolved. I can’t fault them on service or pricing. Transfering out with DM is the simplest of any of the registrars. I’m down to 600-plus domains now, and most of those are with DM. Eight out of ten stars!

  19. Meant to say I’m NOT prepared to pay a fee and join GoDaddy’s domain club. Once registrars start introducing “clubs” we all end up paying more in the long run.

  20. I always thought Go Daddy was a easy solution because most people had a GD account and it was just a simple push to get the transaction done and in the same day. For transferring domains it was very simple and easy.
    Have you guys ever tried Dynadot? I find there platform to be very simple and prices to be very good as well.
    What are your thoughts on Dynadot?

  21. Let me clarify.. by “free” i mean you don’t have to pay additional membership fee’s to get the pricing.. you simply have to register/renew enough domains at once to qualify

  22. Uniregistry is offshore. All funds leave the US economy. Godaddy is all hype. Customer service from the lower level don’t know nothing.
    They all work for me when I need them since I have a rep name and email. Straight to the boss.
    But I currently have no names there. Why would I?
    Enom is fine and stable US company. Has a long track record and no problems.
    I don’t need to save 10 cents. I need it to work.
    Go USA!

  23. Well, I don’t think Uniregistry is better than GoDaddy. Registration is almost always available for $1-2$ at GoDaddy. Renewals are similar as with Uniregistry. BUT, end users use GoDaddy much more than Uniregistry. You are wrong if you think they don’t care where the domain is and will they need to make transfers.
    Private whois? Which normal domainer wants to be hidden from potential end users which like to directly contact the owner on his email?
    Uniregistry just have strong marketing among domaining community, nothing more.

  24. What a great dialogue you started Doron! Glad to hear everyone’s opinions thanks for sharing. 2FA is coming and no domainers should be paying the rack price for names at GoDaddy. I’m glad to help anyone who needs it. Also don’t forget a few nice sales on the Afternic or GoDaddy networks covers a lot of renewals 🙂 If anyone needs any help listing names let me know.

  25. GODADDY IS FIRST CLASS. I moved from Register.com to GD when they opened in 1999. My account rep today holds an employee number issued their first year. He only recently left my account to work on the nGTLD’s. I have never had better, faster, more committed service than I have had from the team at executive accounts. period. If you have over 375 names, you should be with this group.480.505.8885. I absolutely agree with the rest. I two-step would be a deal breaker if I lived overseas. I just retired as an airline pilot and started buying names in 1996. When it comes to getting tough domain work and transfers finished – these are the people!!

  26. For domain, I always use Godaddy as my registrar. I like their price and I don’t feel their price is expensive than the others. They have good domain panel overview. I love it. If you ask about hosting, then GD is not a good option. I only use them as domain registrar, for hosting I use hostforlife.eu

  27. Uniregistry doesn’t support one of the hottest top level domains for the past few years: .io

    And I’d like to see a DTVS service like GoDaddy offers.

  28. HERE IS THE SOLUTION FOR GODADDY:

    Godaddy, Do You Have The Balls To Implement it???

    For all the domainers (they can create a minimum, perhaps ddc members), they should have a separate interface that has no up sells or allow members of ddc to opt out of all the nasty up sells. I get that they want to up-sell, but not do domainers that clearly don’t want it, and since we are paying for the ddc membership anyway, they can afford to implement it,

    But again I have my doubts on that since a behemoth like Godaddy cannot manage to implement 2 factor auth for intentional users, something wrong with that picture, they have plenty of resource and NO EXCUSE for not already having it setup. Just my 2cents.

  29. Like most domain bloggers and large portfolio owners, I’ve been courted by Uniregistry representatives hoping to seduce me to their registrar for a long time. And for various reasons I’ve been reluctant to move.

    At GoDaddy I’ve always received excellent customer service and cheap rates. 101Domain covers a wide range of ccTLDs. NameCheap is cheap and offers 2-factor authentication. So between those, I’m largely covered. Furthermore, Uniregistry (the registrar) is so closely aligned with other domain industry companies – DomainNameSales / InternetTraffic and Uniregistry (the registry) – that it has seemed unwise to put all one’s eggs in Frank Schilling’s basket.

    Today clinched it, though.

    Jeffrey Gabriel, Vice President of Sales at DomainNameSales, apparently didn’t have any real work to do on a Monday morning. So he spent 7 hours meddling in one of my negotiations, dictating how I must phrase my replies, insisting that I apologize to him for treating a woman’s $27 offer somewhat brusquely (she complained), and telling me that I’m a Uniregistry “representative” because I park there. Because I didn’t kiss the man’s feet as he evidently expected, he banned me from DomainNameSales this afternoon.

    Frank Schilling’s companies like DomainNameSales and both versions of Uniregistry typically launch with an attractive honeymoon period, which does lure many domainers onto those Uniregistry platforms. DomainNameSales, for example, has steadily raised its commission rates until it’s indistinguishable from rivals.

    But ultimately I doubt that these companies have domain investors’ interests at heart. Certainly, I didn’t get the sense that I was a valued customer today after multiple contemptuous, condescending emails from their VP of sales.

    After awhile, the honeymoon period with its attractive rates and understanding customer service runs out. At that point, they’ve built their customer base and run roughshod over their audience. Then watch out!

    I’ve invested in some Uniregistry TLDs. But at this point, I don’t intend to do business with any incarnation of Uniregistry further.

    Find another registrar, guys. I’m sure you can negotiate some favorable rates – especially if you get together as a group and pick up the phone.

  30. My request too, to GD. Create an express lane with minimum number of pages to navigate, and no upsell please. Allow us to quickly buy a domain name. Put all relevant info on one single page to set up a DNS and website. Speed is what we want.

  31. Dynadot is a good registrar – one that I use for a few hundred domains, which in my case is a small fraction of the portfolio.

    Their interface works well, and they offer bulk pricing if you spend a certain amount per year. They also have a referral program that you can use when registering a new domain. If a friend registers something, then you get paid with store credit, I believe – a fairly significant amount too. I assume it works but haven’t verified that.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think Dynadot has 2-factor authentication yet. That ought to be a priority for them.

    I’d definitely use Dynadot, NameCheap, or (my bread and butter) GoDaddy before entrusting any of my domains to Uniregistry. Prices are comparable, and it’s nice to work with stable companies that actually value domainers as customers.

    My perception is that Uniregistry only sees domain owners as market share to be grabbed. There’s another agenda at play with that company. In the short term, we’ll be made to feel welcome; but if my experience with DomainNameSales lately is any indication of what’s to come, then we’ll be regarded as expendable within 2-3 years, after we’ve been exploited to build the platform’s footprint.

  32. Mr. Peterson,

    DomainNameSales.com is a Domain Marketplace that offers Brokerage to our customers for a fee, or they can use our home grown CRM for free to handle their own domain sales/negotiations. All of the correspondence is logged in our CRM whether you choose to use our Brokerage or choose to Self Broker your own opportunities.

    When using our system the messages sent are from “DomainNameSales@DomainNameSales.com”

    Even though we make it very clear to the Buyer when a seller is not an employee of DomainNameSales they are speaking to when inquiring on a Self Broker’s name, Buyers can still become very confused. Whether or not they are in the right, the experience they receive whether bad or good, and in this case bad, creates a negative perception of our brand. That poor reflection shines negatively on DomainNameSales, DomainNameSales Brokerage, and all of your fellow Domainers who use our services on a daily basis.

    Our expectations are for Buyers, Sellers, Brokers and anyone else who uses our product to act in a professional manner at all times. We have a block button for Buyer’s as well.

    Mr. Peterson, we never asked for an apology. I only asked you to act professionally while using our services to communicate. You expressly stated you would not do so. If, in the future, you can agree to avoid communicating with others through our platform in a disrespectful way, you are certainly welcome to return.

    Jeffrey M. Gabriel
    Vice President of Sales – DomainNameSales
    1-800-818-1828 x6261

  33. Is UniRegistry related to InternBS.net? I notice they are both in the Bahamas ….I’m currently with InternBS. Don’t know if its worth it to switch.

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