July 10, 2024
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min read

Mastering GoDaddy domains: everything you need to know for domain buying

Tetiana Kondratieva
Head of Marketing at Natively

I purchased my first domain on GoDaddy in 2011 and my 101st domain in 2024. Why?

Choosing a domain for your business is like selecting the perfect location to build your home. It sets the foundation and reflects your vision, ambitions, and values.

In this article, I'll share why I trust GoDaddy for searching, purchasing, and hosting domains for all my projects.

GoDaddy serves its customers in various ways, including as a web host, domain registrar, and web services provider. Once you sign up, GoDaddy will host your website and the necessary files and data on its physical servers.

If it’s your first time building a website, you can get everything you need with a shared web hosting package from GoDaddy to get started. Whether you’re an individual who wants a space to share your hobby, photos, or family events, or you’re a business owner who wants customers to find your store or services easily, a website is super important these days.

In addition to shared web hosting, GoDaddy gives you a free website builder, which is great for new users who may not be comfortable with cPanel or WordPress. With GoDaddy’s site builder, you don’t need website-building skills. The builder has walk-throughs that guide you through each step, from adding content to publishing your first website.

GoDaddy gives you a free domain for your first year, but if you already “own” a domain you’d prefer to use, simply follow the instructions to change your domain name system (DNS) provider records. As with any web hosting service, GoDaddy lets you transfer a website from or to its server using its site migration tool.

What does GoDaddy do exactly?

GoDaddy offers various online services primarily aimed at small businesses and individuals looking to establish an online presence. 

1. Domain registration and management

GoDaddy is widely known for domain name registration. It allows users to search for and register domain names (.com, .net, .org, etc.) for their websites. Once a domain is selected, users can purchase it for a specific period (typically 1 to 10 years).

After purchase, domains can be managed through the GoDaddy dashboard, where users can set up DNS records, domain forwarding, and renewal settings.

2. Web hosting

GoDaddy offers various web hosting plans, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and WordPress hosting. Users select a hosting plan based on their needs (personal website, small business site, large enterprise site). These plans include storage, bandwidth, email accounts, and website security options.

After purchasing a plan, users can set up their hosting account. This often includes choosing a domain, setting up emails, and installing a content management system (like WordPress).

3. Website building

Users can build their website using GoDaddy’s website builder or by installing a CMS like WordPress. They can choose templates, customize designs, and add content.

They offer managed WordPress hosting, including pre-installed WordPress, daily backups, and automatic updates.

4. Online marketing tools

Users can use GoDaddy’s SEO tools to optimize their website content for better search engine rankings.

Using GoDaddy’s email marketing tools, users can create and send email newsletters and promotions to their customer lists .

5. E-commerce solutions

GoDaddy's e-commerce solutions allow users to set up an online store. Users can set up an online store by adding products, setting prices, configuring shipping options, and integrating payment gateways.

GoDaddy provides tools for managing inventory, processing orders, and tracking sales.

6. Professional email and productivity

GoDaddy provides professional email services, often bundled with domain purchases.

They offer Microsoft 365 plans for business productivity tools like Outlook, Word, Excel, and Teams.

Can you trust GoDaddy?

I will highlight 5 reasons why I trust and recommend GoDaddy.

1. Reputation and experience

GoDaddy was founded in 1997 in Arizona. As of 2023, it is the world's fifth most prominent web host by market share, with over 62 million registered domains. The company has around 21 million customers and over 6,900 employees worldwide.

2. Comprehensive services

GoDaddy offers various services, including domain registration, web hosting, website-building tools, email hosting, and online marketing tools.

3. User-friendly interface 

GoDaddy is designed to be user-friendly, making it accessible for beginners to search for, purchase, and manage domains and hosting services. 

While many competitors claim to offer a one-click setup, it's rarely that simple. GoDaddy, however, is quite user-friendly. Choose GoDaddy's website builder if you want the easiest path to building a website. It guides you step-by-step through everything you need to get your site published. As an experienced user, I prefer not to waste time hunting for functions and settings.

4. Customer support

GoDaddy offers 24/7 customer support through various channels, including phone, chat, and email, and they are recipients of many prestigious Stevie® Awards (recognizing companies providing outstanding service).

GoDaddy’s phone support is available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and their live chat is available 24/7.

Wait times for phone or live chat are usually short, but we have experienced holds of up to an hour. Before speaking to a representative, complete a secure form with your chosen PIN and customer number. If you have enabled two-factor authentication (2FA), you may also need to provide a code that can feel less secure.

Getting a refund took about 40 minutes. While the long wait involved several steps, it wasn’t difficult. The agent was helpful, patient, and friendly.

5. Security features

They provide security features like SSL certificates, domain privacy protection, and site backups.

GoDaddy's web hosting plans include a few basic security features for your website. You'll get a free basic SSL certificate for the first year, daily backups, and 24/7 network monitoring for GoDaddy's servers. However, you'll need to purchase one of their site security plans for enhanced security. These plans offer additional tools such as malware scans, backup recovery, site cleanups, and a web application firewall. 

GoDaddy’s cons

But like any service, GoDaddy has its drawbacks.

While GoDaddy often offers competitive introductory prices, renewal rates can be higher than some competitors'. Therefore, it’s important to check the pricing details carefully.

GoDaddy is known for aggressive upselling during checkout, which can overwhelm some users.

Some users report that their hosting performance (e.g., speed or uptime) is not as strong as that of some specialized hosting providers.

Although they offer 24/7 support, the quality of customer service can vary, with some users experiencing long wait times or inconsistent support quality.

How to buy a domain with GoDaddy

Step 1: Go to GoDaddy's homepage. Use the search bar to enter the domain name you want. Click on the "Search" button. GoDaddy will display whether your chosen domain is available. You’ll see the price and an "Add to Cart" button if it is. If it’s not available, GoDaddy will suggest alternative names and variations.

Step 2: If your domain is available, click "Add to Cart." If it's not, review the suggested alternatives and select one that suits your needs.

Step 3: Click on the cart icon. Review the items in your cart. If desired, you can add domain privacy protection or other features. Click "Continue to Cart."

Step 4: Select the number of years you want to register your domain. GoDaddy offers terms ranging from one year to ten years. 

GoDaddy offers privacy protection to keep your personal information private. Adding this feature to protect your contact details is a good idea.

Step 5: Log in if you already have a GoDaddy account. If not, create a new account by providing your email, username, and password.

Enter your billing information, including your name, address, and payment method.

Review your order summary to ensure everything is correct. Click on the "Complete Purchase" button to finalize your purchase.

Step 6: You will receive an email from GoDaddy to verify your email address and domain registration. Follow the instructions in the email to complete the verification process.

Choosing a domain name

Here are some tips and recommendations to secure a strong and memorable domain name for your website through GoDaddy.

Keep It Short and Simple: A shorter domain name is easier to remember and type. Avoid using complex words or phrases.

Make It Brandable: Choose a name that reflects your brand and is unique. Avoid generic names that are hard to distinguish.

Use Keywords Wisely: Include relevant keywords that describe your business or website if possible. This can help with SEO.

Avoid Numbers and Hyphens: Numbers and hyphens can be confusing and are often mistyped or forgotten.

Check Availability on Social Media: To maintain brand consistency, ensure that the domain name is also available as a username on major social media platforms.

Think Long-Term: Choose a domain name that will remain relevant as your business grows and evolves.

Consider Different TLDs: While .com is the most popular, other top-level domains (TLDs) like .net, .org, or industry-specific TLDs (.tech, .store) can also be effective.

FAQ about GoDaddy domain

1. Is GoDaddy a free domain?

No, GoDaddy is not a free domain provider. While they sometimes offer promotions that include a free domain with the purchase of other services, such as web hosting or website builders, domains generally have a cost associated with them.

2. What is a domain GoDaddy?

A domain registered with GoDaddy is a unique web address (e.g., example.com) that you purchase through GoDaddy’s domain registration service. This address is used to access websites on the internet.

3. How much does a year of domain cost GoDaddy?

The cost of a domain from GoDaddy can vary widely depending on the domain extension (e.g., .com, .net, .org) and demand for the name. Typically, a .com domain costs around $10-$20 per year. However, prices can be higher for premium domains or after promotional periods.

4. Do I own my domain from GoDaddy?

Yes, when you register a domain through GoDaddy, you have the right to use that domain for the period you’ve paid for, as long as you renew it before it expires.

5. Why is GoDaddy so popular?

GoDaddy is popular due to its extensive marketing, user-friendly interface, wide range of services (including domain registration, web hosting, and website building), and comprehensive customer support. Their all-in-one platform makes it convenient for users to manage their online presence.

6. What is GoDaddy famous for?

GoDaddy is famous for being one of the largest and most well-known domain registrars and web hosting companies. They are recognized for their extensive advertising campaigns and comprehensive suite of online services for individuals and businesses.

7. Why not use GoDaddy?

Some reasons people might choose not to use GoDaddy include:

  • Higher renewal costs compared to introductory prices.
  • Aggressive upselling tactics.
  • Mixed reviews on customer service quality and support wait times.
  • Some users report better performance and features from other specialized hosting providers.

8. Is GoDaddy free to use?

GoDaddy itself is not free to use; most of its services, including domain registration, web hosting, and website building, come with associated costs. However, they do offer some free trials and promotional offers for new customers.

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