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GoDaddy Increases Default Registration Period to 5 Years

Be careful as you click through checkout on GoDaddy.

If you’re used to quickly clicking through the GoDaddy checkout process to register domains, be warned: the default registration period has changed to 5 years. The graphic below shows the default when I tried to register the domain RegisteringDomainsForMultipleYears.com.

Most domainers already stop at this step to change the default from two years to one, and it’s likely that you’ll catch the change when it comes time to pull out your credit card and you see the $49.95 charge per domain (the price for 5 years).

Don’t blame GoDaddy for making this change, as it makes sense for the company to boost revenue. Frankly, any small business registering a domain should go ahead and register it for 5 years. $49.95 is a small start up expense. Domainers, on the other hand, usually register domains for one year at a time to manage cashflow.

Incidentally, GoDaddy is still offering .com domain names for $9.99 plus the 20 cent ICANN fee. After VeriSign increased its prices in October GoDaddy increased its official rate to $10.69 plus the fee, but has sense had the domains “on sale” for $9.99. I suspect that $10 is a heavy marketing barrier. By charging $10.19 and pulling out the 20 cent fee, domains stay below the psychological barrier.

Have an opinion about GoDaddy? Review and rate registrars at Registrar Judge.

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  1. Dominik Mueller

    I do blame them:

    New sleazy way from GoDaddy to take away their customers’ money. Many people will simply click through the checkout trusting that nothing has changed, so they purchase a domain for 5 yrs ($50) instead of one year.

    There is no comprehensible explanation to this other than GoDaddy.com being greedy once again.

    • JAC OAT

      OMG, so what you are saying is that you like to walk through life with your eyes closed. Good grief, this is the exact problem with society today is that people want to complete things but as mindlessly as possible. I call that being lazy. If GoDaddy and others for that matter can capitalize on the zombie state that is consuming our country, good for them. If you don’t like, slow down, engage your brain, and make sure your order is accurate. Pretty damn simple!

  2. Patrick McDermott

    This is a good topic to bring up.


    I agree with Dominik.

    GoDaddy should make it very clear that the default is more than one year instead of sneaking it in.

    GoDaddy also often tries to sneak in auto-renewal.

    With all the “noise” on the GoDaddy web pages it’s very easy to miss those little boxes and deselect the defaults.

    If you have lots of domains with GoDaddy,it’s a good idea to periodically run a search thru the control panel for auto-renewed domains.

    This will help with billing surprises later on.


  3. Andrew

    Dominik and Patrick – I understand your points. But I don’t think GoDaddy is “switching” anything on the customer. The customer doesn’t really add a domain to their cart at one year and then have it show up as 5 years…at least that’s my impression.

  4. Patrick McDermott

    Yes Andrew,

    Your right that the customer can see the # of registration years and the total price in the shopping cart.

    But you cannot see auto-renewals there and it’s very easy to miss that little box while going thru the clutter.

    Also, by forcing you to deselect the multiple years option, GoDaddy is slowing you down which can cause you to lose a domain to someone else.

    This is particularly true for fresh domain drops and the GoDaddy $5 firesale domains.

  5. Jamie

    It would be “sleazy” if GD did this with the Auto-Renew feature… but not if you can see it plain as day during checkout.

    At 5 years even, the price is pretty close (minus $10) to what NetSol charges PER year…. Now that is “sleazy”!

  6. Jamie Parks

    To not think that there are sales traps in the GoDaddy registration process, is to be in denial of the obvious. GoDaddy, hands down, has the most cluttered landing page interface in the industry.

    Many people may be lead to believe that they MUST register a domain for 5 years. GoDaddy realizes that and also knows that most people who are registering a domain are not experienced with the registration process and have no idea what they are doing. Besides if they can get the other 4 years of fees right now, then they’ve increased profits. This is precisely what their ‘strategies department’ is hired to do.

    Is there room for improvement? TONS. Especially if they start losing domainer portfolios. Will that happen? Maybe, but right now what’s a better alternative? GoDaddy’s domain management interface far surpasses most registrars, and they are constantly improving it. And you gotta love it when they redesign it every 6 months, and force us to relearn where to direct our eyes and mouse clicks.

    I’m sure someone will write a “GoDaddy For Dummies” book pretty soon… Hopefully it will be one of us domainers 😉

  7. Andrew

    Part of the challenge is that GoDaddy deals with not only professional domainers but also retail customers. I suspect if they don’t have auto renew on a lot of these customers call to complain that they lost domains they forgot to renew. Not defending that action, just pointing out they have lots of constituencies to satisfy.

    Also, Amazon.com is one of the best sales traps in the world, by this definition. Every single pixel is thought out and tested to maximize revenue.

  8. Patrick McDermott

    “GoDaddy is still offering .com domain names for $9.99 plus the 20 cent ICANN fee.”

    I found a link on the GoDrops.com website that offered GoDaddy .COM domains for $7.49
    (plus ICANN fee).

    I tested a nonsense domain and I did receive the $7.69 rate.

    You can probably use this as a coupon code: cjc695t1

    Or click on the link next to the coconut on the GoDrops homepage.

    Link says: “Go Daddy $7.49 .com Sale!”

    By the way, when I went thru the reg process
    “Customize My Domain” was pre-selected.

    But the reg period in my cart was only for 1 year.

    Maybe GoDaddy folk have been reading this blog today. 🙂

  9. Patrick McDermott

    “…right now what’s a better alternative? GoDaddy’s domain management interface
    far surpasses most registrars, and they
    are constantly improving it.”

    I can offer some better alternatives.

    How about Name.com and Dynadot.com.

    Both have very clean, easy to use control panels with bulk management tools.

    Much easier to use and faster than
    GoDaddy. IMHO


  10. Couch Potato

    Thanks Patrick. The coupon code worked perfectly, although it defaulted to 5 years for me. Even so, it still was going to give me 5 years at the 7.69 per year price but I changed it to one year, no problem.

    Jamie, keep in mind that while I am sure Godaddy has a number of domainers who use their service, I think their primary customers are small businesses. That seems pretty obvious from their marketing and product mix.

  11. Jamie Parks

    Patrick, you’re right. Name and Dynadot have lightweight UI’s. Wish they got more attention in the mainstream. GoDaddy has become a ‘trust’ brand for newcomers. Only if they knew…

  12. Patrick McDermott

    “I’m sure someone will write a “GoDaddy For Dummies” book pretty soon… Hopefully it will be one of us domainers”

    Jamie P.

    If GoDaddy keeps up with their antics that piss off domainers (see Kentucky gambling domains case, FamilyAlbum.com,etc),the domainer who does write that book will title it:
    ““GoDaddy’s For Dummies” 🙂

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