Alternatives to GoDaddy
December 17, 2005 9:57 AM   Subscribe

I have a website that is hosted by DreamHost but the domain registration is at GoDaddy. I want to transfer the registration somewhere else because of GoDaddy's politics. One thing I'm looking for is private registration so that my info is not available to spammers on Whois -- GoDaddy and a few other companies do that. Anyone have any suggestions for good registration companies? Namecheap? 1&1? RegisterFly? Thanks.
posted by stacyhall1 to Computers & Internet (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I use Dotster and they allow you to put practically anything in the public domain registration records. None of it is used by Dotster for any purpose. Your billing information is kept private and separate. While I have some domains where I put my business address, on others (such as experimental and social projects) I put nonsense like "1313 Mockingbird Ln" and "888-888-8888" in there. Of course it's not 'allowed', but I claim ignorance.
posted by rolypolyman at 10:04 AM on December 17, 2005

If you post false information, you can have your domain taken away from you. Just FYI.
posted by null terminated at 10:05 AM on December 17, 2005

Namecheap is currently offering free "WhoIs Guard" with every $8.88 domain (a whopping 7 cents less than GoDaddy). I'm in the process of transferring my umpteen cool-but-unused domain names there, so I reccommend it. So, I'm sure a more informed MeFite will come along any minute to explain why that's a dumb move.
posted by wendell at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2005

DreamHost also does domain registrations.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:12 AM on December 17, 2005

You can change your contact information found on your WHOIS with GoDaddy anytime you like, as simple as typing it in.
posted by vanoakenfold at 10:16 AM on December 17, 2005

PS-- Do you mean the politics of the owner? Try not to get the opinion of the owner confused with the opinions of the company.
posted by vanoakenfold at 10:17 AM on December 17, 2005

Response by poster: Yes, the politics of the owner... which he posts right on GoDaddy's home page. There's no way of knowing the politics of every company -- nor would it be a world I'd be very happy about if every decision about where I bought an orange was political. But I can't support a company when the owner goes out of his way to splash his opinion around -- one that I so violently disagree with.

Yes, mcwetbot, DreamHost does registrations, and I love DH, but they don't do private ones.
posted by stacyhall1 at 10:50 AM on December 17, 2005

I heard that anonymous registrations were being done away with. . .
posted by BrandonAbell at 11:10 AM on December 17, 2005

I've used both namecheap and registerfly for domains and both do a decent job. For extra money they both offer whois protection, but I've never used it. I just use a throwaway hotmail email account, and a P.O. Box and cell phone number for my registrations.

The whois protection service gives you a throwaway email address with spam filters, and uses the registrars phone and street adresses for the registration. I feel safer using my own info.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:17 AM on December 17, 2005

I might add, as null terminated said above, you can lose your domain if you put bogus information into the whois.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:18 AM on December 17, 2005

stacyhall1, as far as I know, it's too late for you to take it private. It's something you have to do the first time you register the domain otherwise people will be able to find it even though it would currently be "hidden" by your new registrar.

I also use dreamhost as a host and goddady as a registrar. What I did was create an address called and then I simply created a flag in my email to delete any email that comes to that address which is *not* from godaddy. This automatically deletes all spam and allows my renewel reminders to get thru without issue.

I also do the same thing with large sites I buy from, like amazon. I have and tell it to delete all emails not from amazon. Same with emusic, etc etc.
posted by dobbs at 11:18 AM on December 17, 2005

Oh! and Please don't use 1and1. They absolutely suck. Do a search for them on the green and blue and you'll see many mefites have been screwed by them.

I might add, as null terminated said above, you can lose your domain if you put bogus information into the whois.

I could be wrong about this but to my understanding you can only lose it if you put in false *contact* information. Ie, if you use a bogus name but you have a valid email address, that's fine, as the only way the confirm "bogus info" is by a lack of response to the admin email address. Don't take my word though, as I've never verified this.
posted by dobbs at 11:20 AM on December 17, 2005

BrandobAbell....Only private registrations of .us are being disallowed. .com, .net and others can still be registered privately. Why? Who knows why these silly things are done. I read the article about it and still don't understand the logic behind it.
posted by Independent Scholarship at 11:25 AM on December 17, 2005

other thread
posted by Rhomboid at 11:53 AM on December 17, 2005

I've got my domains registered with, and you can put whatever you want in the whois. You can pay by paypal too, so it can be completly anonymous if you want.

I understand your concerns with GoDaddy.... they can screw you over like no other, and will.
posted by cgg at 12:33 PM on December 17, 2005

I like RegisterFly a lot and have transferred all of my domains from GoDaddy to RegisterFly. I also really like their ProtectFly feature which anonymizes your Whois info for $0.99 per domain, indefinitely (meaning they don't charge you for the service on a yearly basis).
posted by lunarboy at 12:33 PM on December 17, 2005

I registered my domain with yahoo, + the private domain registration, though it's $9/yr, though I host with dreamhost.
posted by ejaned8 at 1:50 PM on December 17, 2005

Response by poster: The RegisterFly deal looked good but I read someone online say that when they tried to transfer their domains away from RegisterFly, RF held on tight and made it nearly impossible.
posted by stacyhall1 at 3:13 PM on December 17, 2005

I understand your concerns with GoDaddy.... they can screw you over like no other, and will.
posted by cgg

Absolute and complete nonsense. Before the whole political controversy, they were pretty much treated as gold on metafilter, probably over any other registry company. I've use them, I know tons of others who've used them, all with no problem.

If you disagree with their politics and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to switch, then fine. But if you're talking the business side of registering your domain you have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by justgary at 2:21 AM on December 18, 2005

dobbs: Some registrars can and *do* try and verify the actual email address AND physical address. A company that I worked for lost an important domain name because nobody was paying attention to the snail mail that was coming in. went to great lengths to ensure that the mail got to the right place (it did) even though the whois info for a domain was bogus. The mail was simply ignored, and they yanked the domain.

If the sole reason is to avoid spammers, why even bother? I have my real email address in domain registrations and very very rarely get spam sent to the address. It's more trouble than it's worth to try to avoid spammers *that* way.

You could also just get a cheap UPS Store mailbox and use that as the information for WHOIS. I do that too. No junk mail, no spam, but very real information.

Oh, and domainsbyproxy and places like that will cough up your real information at the mere threat of a subpoena. Google around for it.
posted by drstein at 12:15 PM on December 19, 2005

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