*** Update… I moved everything back to godaddy.  You can’t beat the services, features and customer service. ***

You may have heard in the news about the mass public exodus from GoDaddy last month, over their support for SOPA.  They have since publicly reversed their support for SOPA however it was somewhat of a last straw for me.  I had grown tired of the increasingly garbage laden user interface anyway.

I decided to join in on “Move Your Domain Day” and transferred 13 of my domains from GoDaddy to NameCheap.  Being no stranger to domain transfers, I started the whole process at midnight and had everything up and running by 5 am.

People often say that there are too many registrars to choose from, to be unhappy with the one you are with.  I don’t necessarily agree with that.  If you are looking for free, reliable, advanced DNS features, the list gets much smaller, fast.   I prefer to use the registrars name servers in order to use their DNS features.  It provides a great deal of flexibility, allowing you to change one service on your domain without affecting the rest.    It also, if you are with a good one, affords you rapid record updating to minimize down time.

So back to NameCheap.  I chose NameCheap because they actually have a few legs up on GoDaddy.  They allow you to use their DNS even if your domain isnt with them, they have more url forwarding options, they allow root c-names, and the UI is, unsurprisingly, much cleaner.  There are, however, some problems I found the hard way.  Once you figure out they have 3 ways they interpret forwarding so that you get it working the way you want, you find it only works about half the time.  If you do set a root c-name you will find that the mx records you set are ignored and the mx is set the same as the root.  Lastly they don’t have phone support.

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not crazy about having to constantly ignore all the ads and garbage GoDaddy throws at you but their total DNS works and you can call them if there is a problem.  Still not sure if I’ll be switching back, trying another registrar or sticking with NameCheap but if you are in the mood to transfer and havent done it before here is a little step by step from GoDaddy to NameCheap to give you an idea…

  • Make sure all domains in godaddy are unlocked and that the contact emails on the domains are set to an email not associated with your domains.  These settings can be changed on all your domains at once.
  • If you don’t have an account at namecheap, open one.
  • If email addresses were updated, wait an hour for info to propagate.
  • Add the domains you are going to transfer, to namecheap’s freedns service and email activate them.
  • Add all the domain records for your domains to the namecheap freedns. While you are getting the current domain records get the authorization code for each domain you are going to transfer from godaddy.
  • Change nameservers of domains you are going to transfer to freedns nameservers in godaddy.
  • What an hour for settings to propagate.
  • At this point your domains are already using namecheap dns.
  • Put all the domains in the transfer box of namecheaps website and start transfer.
  • Add the authorization codes for each domain in the shopping cart.
  • Wait for emails from namecheap and approve.
  • Wait for emails from godaddy.  Once they have all arrived, go into godaddy domain center and approve pending transfers.
  • Now just wait for them to move from pending transfers to complete transfers in namecheap.
  • Once complete go to each domain in namecheap and click “Transfer DNS back to us” if the option is available.
  • Click on “All Host Records” under each domain and double check everything is correct.