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When the dot coms began selling back in the 1990s it was an expensive operation. At AINEO, we paid $30-50 dollars a year to purchase each of our domains from (the monopoly called) Network Solutions. Things do not seem to have changed much since then at NetSol.

Five or six years ago a new kid came on the block. A company named Godaddy offered domains for essentially $10 USD a year. They offered the standard dot com, dot net, and dot org domains for that price. If you buy one of their non-domain services (not recommended) along with the domain, you can get the domain for $1.99 in the first year. These guys at Godaddy are marketing masters.

Where did Godaddy come from? Godaddy was founded and is owned by Bob Parsons. He is either a marketing whiz or has surrounded himself with a great marketing team. Clearly, Mr. Parsons is a smart guy. He has gone from nothing to number one in a few short years. Mr. Parsons is no stranger to building a company. In the past, he had a Bible software company called Parsons Technology. He evidently sold that off to some business folks some time back before Godaddy.

Godaddy seems to be a great company. They now have several thousand employees and are the best at what they do. Their customer service is excellent. Their staff seems to be mostly young college students in the Arizona area. They are well trained and courteous (the folks at Comodo could use some help there) It is very nice to have native English speakers to service native English speakers. A stark change for a customer service division in general which is usually outsourced to someone in the Philippines, India, or some other English speaking nation.

Every call that you make to them you are asked to do an online survey. They are constantly tweaking their services and products and watching the market around them to be cost effective and sell volume. Unfortunately, Godaddy has some weaknesses. The glaring problems are

-the overall control panel is disjointed (along with their product offerings) and hard to navigate around for the average user

-they seem to nickel and dime you on every service. Webhosting is inexpensive but you have to pay extra for email, mailing lists, etc (lots of etceteras)

-their system is so heavily customized that it isn`t really something you can migrate your data to easily from a more standard service such as Cpanel. Another example is their SSL certificates are cheap, but don`t work if you want to use it with a mail server and smartphones, for example. Verisign would work out of the box in this instance as every smartphone has Verisign verification built in.

-They have finally released a version of IMAP, but from our testing it only works on a Windows Machine, you cannot connect from any Mac via their IMAP

-Godaddy:s default settings are a bit illogical at times. For example, when using their webmail, you have to go in and set the system to save your sent messages. Save your sent messages? Who wouldn`t want to save the messages they have sent when using webmail.
Overall, they are a pretty good service. However, here is advice that would benefit them greatly.

Suggestions for Godaddy-

1) Lose the sleazy “sex sells” advertising mentality. We`re all tired of seeing busty women bouncing around in tee-shirts trying to sell domain names. Further, Godaddy`s attempts to be controversial to get more attention (ie. Superbowl commercials); this makes Godaddy come across as cheap, unreliable, and unprofessional. That is unfortunate misrepresentation of such a good company.

2) Now that you have the lion`s share of the domain market, focus on a system that is more focused on packages and services that peoples needs. The incessant “how about this” or “how about that” when you place an order is a huge turn off for any good customer.

3) While you are rebranding, changing that dreadful logo might be a good idea as well. The balding guy with the hair sticking up should probably be replaced.

In summary, our conclusion for Godaddy is to stick with them for domain name purchases only. Their other services are a bit of a patch-work of technology and services that are not industry standard and don`t seem to work all that well together. They are a great company and have excellent customer service. Clearly they will continue to grow and develop their product/service lines.