By Gary Nugent

GoDaddy-Discount-Coupons-DiscontinuedLast month I posted about my findings regarding how expensive GoDaddy domain renewals had become.

This month I learned that GoDaddy are discontinuing all their domain renewal coupons. They’re still using Bait & Switch tactics for luring the unwary into their grasp with offers of low-priced domains such as $1.99 .com domains.

Yes, that link does work and it’s a good offer if you only want a domain for a year. But if you’re looking for long-term domain ownership, you’ll be looking at renewal fees of around $15 next year, per domain. GoDaddy are currently, with those prices, 50% more expensive than other domain registrars. “Greedy” barely describes their business model.

How To Get Discount Domain Renewal Prices

It is, in fact, still possible to get discounted prices for domain renewals at GoDaddy. But here’s the rub: you have to join their Domain Discount Club.And it’s not free.

It will cost you $89.95 per year. However, with this coupon code, you can get it for the reduced fee of $58.49: CJC25NEWC.

Since GoDaddy coupons come and go, there’s no saying how long this one will work. But, the discount price is only for the first year. After that, you pay $89.95 per annum and possibly more if GoDaddy decide to increase their fee.

For that fee, you could buy 45 brand new .com domains ($1.99 each) or 29 new .coms if you’re looking at the $58.49 discount price.

Now, if you decide to join the club, these are the current savings you can get:

  • .COM renewal: $8.29/year – 44% Off
  • .CO renewal: $24.99/year – 16% Off
  • .NET renewal: $7.99/year – 52% Off
  • .ORG renewal: $8.99/year – 50% Off
  • .INFO renewal: $8.99/year – 50% Off
  • .ME renewal: $16.99/year – 15% Off
  • .BIZ renewal: $8.29/year – 47% Off

So, if you have 9 or more .com domain names at GoDaddy, that you want to keep there, then it will be worth joining the club. On the other hand, when GoDaddy’s domain renewal coupons were working, you could have renewed 9 .com domains for the equivalent of the Domain Discount Club fee (13 domain renewals would be the equivalent of the non-discount Club fee).

Also bear in mind that GoDaddy can change these discounts at any time, as well as the Discount Club fee. And the base prices they charge for domains are 50%+ more expensive than other registrars charge from the outset. For example, GoDaddy are 64% more expensive than Dynadot for .org domains.

Current State of GoDaddy Affairs

GoDaddy are still the largest of the domain registrars, being responsible for about 30% of all domain registrations. However, they’ve been losing money consistently since 2009 (which might explain why renewal fees have been rising there consistently as well) and they’re finding it harder to pull in new customers (hence the low initial fees for new domains to entice the unwary).

The company has always provided poor quality service (I know this from first-hand experience) and that has led to some bad press for them which, in turn, has probably put off some potential customers from using them.

GoDaddy was sold by the original owners in July, 2011 to private equity firms (who don’t know the business). Again, that might account for some of the poor customer service provided by the company.

There is one discount coupon that still works: ACOSKS65. This will give you $10 off a renewal order of $50+. It’s probably best used on multiple orders, if you renew 5 or 6 domains at a time per order rather than renewing more domains than that in one go.

One To Watch

Google are getting into the domain registration business with Google Domains. As with many of their services, this one will initially be by invitation only. They’re offering private registration for free (almost every other registrar charges for that service), along with branded email accounts that can be linked to a Gmail account.

Prices will be the real determining factor in whether Google Domains could be a GoDaddy killer.

Google Domains

But I do have one major reservation about this new offering. Google are not transparent and they’ve removed the ability of customers to engage with Google staff when querying issues. A great example is in relation to Adsense. If you’ve ever had a site banned from the Adsense network and can’t see what’s wrong with it, even after reviewing the broad (rather than specific) information they provide in their takedown notice to you, there’s no one to engage with to figure out what’s really wrong with your site so you can fix it. Google don’t care about you. You’re a minnow in an ocean of minnows. I’d just worry that they’d bring this ethos of non-engagement with customers to Google Domains.

Final Thoughts

My advice would still be to transfer your domains away from GoDaddy to another, cheaper domain registrar.

UPDATE: Here’s a new Google+ Community that’s been set up for those interested in Google Domains.

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