GoDaddy

xkcd.com is registered with GoDaddy. This is an artifact of my registering my own domains nearly ten years ago, back when I was completely new to making websites.

I’ve always been a little uneasy about having all my domains with them, since they’ve got a long history of screwing over domain owners, but never got around to doing anything about it. A little while back, as the SOPA thing blew up, I poked davean, the xkcd sysadmin, about whether it was time to make switching to someone more geek-friendly a priority.

He’s also wanted to switch away from GoDaddy for years (and recently met with the reddit folks to chat about SOPA stuff). He’s periodically done surveys of the alternatives, but—strange as it sounds—he’s actually had trouble finding an affordable registrar with the feature set we needed. In particular, he said he had trouble finding any that support IPv6 Glue and DNSSEC via a control system that doesn’t rely on filing and waiting on support tickets, which he says (and I quote) “freaks me out” as a means of handling registrar stuff (he’s very much an xkcd.com/705 style of administrator). The ones that did offer those features tended to be a little too high-priced for our large number of domains.

We’ve had a number of alternatives recommended in the past week or two, but none have quite satisfied davean’s criteria. If you know of any registrars that might work for us, you can email us at contact@xkcd.com and he’ll take a look.

We’re being cautious about how we handle this switch, since GoDaddy has seemingly been obstructing transfers in a way that can leave the sites trapped in limbo. But don’t worry—it’s in the works!

278 thoughts on “GoDaddy

  1. You could always become your own registrar, expanding the power and influence of the entire xkcd network.

  2. Disclaimer – I am a GoDaddy employee so I’m posting with a completely anonymous name. I like my job.

    I know there’s been a lot of discussion about the official GoDaddy stance on SOPA and I haven’t been following all that much since the info on the internet seems highly slanted. The internal stuff is pretty bland – “We’ve taken our name off the list of companies that support SOPA.”

    Back to hosting. If GoDaddy is giving you a good price on hosting and bandwidth and you really haven’t been having issues then there’s no real reason to switch. Changing hosts is always a headache and your site is so popular that it would be a major undertaking. The “pay as you go” hosts could get unreasonably expensive with your continued usage levels.

    Anyway. I have 3 domains and they’re tiny little things. My host is set up for niche sites. I wouldn’t recommend them for a major one.

    Consider all the aspects of a domain change and do what’s best for you both technically, ethically and financially. Those are the base criteria for the company you choose to use.

  3. Have you check http://www.gearhost.com/ ?, i have heard its good, not that expensive either for a cloud hosting, i may host my page there once it’s alive, but i’m still considering just hosting it myself :P.

  4. as a former godaddy employee that had the privilege of talking with you when you called in once (i wasn’t aware of the comic at the time either) i too have been looking for a better alternative for my web design clients, but have not found one

  5. R4L (register4less.com) has IPv6 glue records, is cheap and “for geeks” – I’d go with them (if you don’t need hosting, only DNS services, since they don’t provide “big” hosting), in fact, I use them for all Domain needs for myself & my company.

  6. my comment may not have posted, so ill try again.

    i do recommend http://dyn.com/dns/ . they are very helpful and willing to work with their customers in my experience. you should poke them about their dnssec plans and if they dont have any, they might use you as an early adopter/guinea pig since you care about it.

  7. Hi! Love your stuff. I used to host with GoDaddy.com too until I got annoyed of their ridiculously slow servers. All I had was a simple wordpress gallery to display my artwork and for some reason with godaddy, my site was ALWAYS slow or down. After much complaints and lies from Godaddy, I switched to site5 and never looked back. I recommend you switch with them; they’ll even complimentary switch EVERYTHING for you from godaddy to site5 for free. I highly recommend site5.

  8. Cory Doctorow recommends hover.com for domain and email (see his post of about a month ago on boingboing.net).

  9. I know that Joker.com supports DNSSEC without any support tickets, they just don’t support that with their built-in DNS server so you need to point them at your DNS servers to host the DNSSEC components on from what I’ve seen.

    If you’re abdicating running your own DNS servers, yet you’re wanting DNSSEC, waiting for a support ticket to get processed seems pretty trivial by comparison to me. A true 705′er wouldn’t give up control of the actual DNS servers I’d think. :)

    I can vouch for Joker having great and transparent support for IPv6 though, my own site works fine over IPv6 on every test I’ve run even though my home and work connection isn’t IPv6 yet.

  10. Actually, I take it back… Joker *DOES* support DNSSEC directly from their webinterface now, it’s just *NOT* in the “Records Adding” page.

    You have to go to the “Domain Settings” icon (the man with a yellow ‘key’ hefted over one shoulder) and mid-way down the page… boom, DNSSEC settings.

    So Joker.com appears to do everything you’d need then, and their prices are pretty reasonable from what I can see?

  11. I have heard some stories about godaddy, I guest their service will go fine for average users, advanced users might get into some trouble with them now and then. NameCheap offers a better solution in my oppinion.

  12. You should poke them about their dnssec plans and if they dont have any, they might use you as an early adopter/guinea pig since you care about it

  13. Not sure if it’s right for you, but I use http://www.nearlyfreespeech.net for my site, and I have been happy with them. Admittedly my traffic is pretty light, and I have no interactive features, so the cost and technical issues may not be the same. Still, they seem like good peeps, so I wanted to give them a shout-out. Good luck with your search!

  14. I was using godaddy for one of my domains for 2 years. They decided to not sufficiently warn me that my domain was about to expire. So I lost my domain. I wasn’t keeping up on it, so I didn’t notice it for a month or so. I came back to find that they had bought up my domain and were now trying to sell it back to me for $500 a year as a “premium domain”. They also bought the .net version of the domain. Now I have to go with the horrible .info domain and switch everything that has references to the old domain. This has been such a huge hassle it’s ridiculous. I do NOT recommend godaddy to ANYONE. They’re horrible and they’re just trying to get tons of customers with sleazy commercials and low prices. DON’T BUY INTO IT.

  15. Thanks for telling us! Just updated My Yahoo! to get RSS content from http://72.26.203.99/rss.xml . This cuts the DNS middleman out of the picture entirely. GoDaddy can posture all they want, but those postures shall NOT disrupt my xkcd viewing!

  16. Reading 705 again and having just rewatched the LotR trilogy, I came to a startling realisation: Gandalf was the sysadmin for middle earth.

  17. I accidentally visited 70 instead of 705 for the sysadmin reference and I thought “weird choice” but also “it totally makes sense”.

  18. I like easydns.com myself (Canadian-based but global of course). No web hosting here but they understand DNS better than most providers. They do IPv6 and DNSSec is available as a beta. They use 3 ANYcast strings and you can (almost) automatically setup to also replicate the Amazon’s Route53 DNS ANYcast strings as well. Support is quite responsive but via email after hours. Price is very cheap. I like the idea of having my DNS spread across multiple providers and am just as happy to have at least one of them not doing anything involving web hosting. These guys are at least honest about various problems that have occurred unlike all the other providers who just pretend there is no issue when there is a real DDOS attack.

  19. I know this post is quite old now, but have you posted anywhere on whether you’ve actually transferred away from GoDaddy, and if so, where?

  20. I love how 95% of the comments here are suggesting hosting solutions when it’s fairly clear that xkcd has a dedicated server and the post was regarding domain registration…

    I use namecheap, but have been meaning to look for alternatives, as DNS outages with them are not unheard of. Their notifications feed also shows that some hosting server or another of theirs is taken down by a DDoS attack on a daily basis; not a direct concern for me, but worrisome in general. Is this the norm?

  21. Hover.com – tons of management options too. I moved everything from GoDaddy there.

  22. i’m not enough of a geek to know if these guys would meet your specifications, but i have loved them – pairnic.com (and hosting at pair.com).

  23. Four months later:

    $ whois xkcd.com

    Domain Name: XKCD.COM
    Registrar: GODADDY.COM, LLC
    Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
    Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
    Name Server: NS1.SCIESNET.NET
    Name Server: NS2.ISOMERICA.NET
    Status: clientDeleteProhibited
    Status: clientRenewProhibited
    Status: clientTransferProhibited
    Status: clientUpdateProhibited
    Updated Date: 11-aug-2011
    Creation Date: 25-jan-2003
    Expiration Date: 25-jan-2019

  24. I realise this is old news, but just in case anyone is still listening, I have a dual-registrar strategy. I register the domains I really care about (eg mywebsite.com) at a decent higher-priced registrar and the domains I care less about (eg mywbesite.com) at a cheap registrar. The former is comparatively bulletproof, and if I lose resolution of typoed domains for a while it’s not the end of the world.

  25. Are you doing anything to raise awareness of CISPA? It’s already passed the House and Congress votes on it the week after next, but this Friday is pretty much our last day to tell them not to let it pass because they break next week.

    And while Obama says he’ll veto it, he’s said that about other bills but then signed them into law when the media was looking the other way.

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