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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, though none have quite satisfied davean's criteria. If you know of any registrars that might work for us, you can email your recommendation to contact@xkcd.com, and we'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!
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82 comments
 
If +Rackspace Hosting doesn't have those features at reasonable prices now, I bet they'd make it happen. I think they'd be happy to host XKCD (of course, maybe they're now cringing that I suggested such a thing--some dude out of the blue making promises on their behalf).
 
You mind sharing the results of your research? Automatic DS RR submission (=DNSSEC) is something I see lacking in about all registrars I am aware of..
 
We used to use GKG.net (not sure why we switched to GoDaddy, I guess for price). Their support was awesome and resolved a lot of problems for us. From a quick Google search, it looks like they have good support for IPv6 and DNSSEC.
http://gkg.net
 
I think the "GoDaddy obstruction" thing was a bit overblown. I transferred 13 domains away from them & it was very quick. I don't need the DNSSEC stuff but I wouldn't worry too much about them blocking you, especially with such a high profile site as yours.
 
I have a small proofreading website hosted by 1and1 - my needs are minimal, but they offer a ton of other services and on the two occasions I've had technical difficulties in the six years I've been using them they responded quickly and effectively.
 
GoDaddy are such dingbats! I hope everyone ditches them.

For some reason i've always been creeped out by the name GoDaddy... even aside from the SOPA nonsense and the creepy commercials and stuff. It sounds vaguely pedophilley or something.
 
I applaud your decision and wish you luck. It is quite pleasing to see the internets drop godaddy like a hot potato.
 
One question : how much more expensive the registrar with features you require are ? I mean, if it's $15 instead of $5, that's not such a big problem, considering it's a yearly fee.
 
I'd suggest that you not try to find a one-stop-shop for everything, but use specific services that focus on doing one thing well. In that vein, I've had great experience with gandi.net for registrations, and dnsmadeeasy.com for DNS hosting (and StartSSL for SSL).
 
Ah, okay. I've only used three (dotearth, tucows via Lunarpages, and another that I forget) and for rather basic features, so I suspect the other suggestions on registrars would be more useful.
 
No helpful suggestions here (my brain sputtered out * Geocities *, so...yeah!), but man is that SOPA stuff ever freaky! Good luck finding a good alternative to GoDaddy!
 
Their privacy service for domains--while probably not true privacy if somebody really really came looking for you--is another feature, I'd really like to see as a feature elsewhere in any sort of switching I'd make. I suppose I could just go with a PO box though.
 
I've been using gkg.net for many years. I haven't had any reason to use the more advanced features, but they have been great for what I have been doing.
 
I also use 1and1.com for my hosting. I'm not sure if they have the features you want, though.
 
+Josh Ryan +Andrew Williams I doubt 1&1 has the features they need. Small check shows I'm right - They didn't pass/take the OTE for .org yet; this means they technically can't provide a backend for the needed features througout all (major) TLDs; and I doubt they'd dare to offer DNSSEC with incomplete coverage.
 
1&1 held two of my domains hostage, which I ended up losing, and is still billing me a year after canceling service. They keep saying I need to log into their site to properly cancel my service (which I did last year) and my credentials to log in no longer work. And no matter how many times I tell billing and support this, they won't cancel my service nor stop billing me.
 
You can also separate out your registrar and DNS providers. I use a dumb registrar but have Afraid.org for my DNS provider since they offer IPv6 support (sadly, I don't see anything about DNSSEC on their page so I'll need to research a bit more). A single-stop provider is nice, but IPv6 and DNSSEC may be a tall order for someone who's primary focus is on web hosting.
 
I wouldn't worry about dnssec at Godaddy, if they get their way, no-one in the US (including themselves) will be able to offer it - or participate in it.
 
+Aric Aasgaard The removal of their name from the support list is pretty much token only by this point. They've donated the money and lobbied the representatives already.
 
OVH (fr) never failed me. IPv6 and DNSSEC are in their ropes as far as I can tell, and they're overall reluctant to orwellian control. Good *nix-fu, too.
 
+Szabolcs Péter xkcd used to be IPv6 but currently the image content (on imgs.xkcd.com) is not available over IPv6.
+Ingmar Hupp I am on gandi, used to like them but they are promising dnssec "real soon" for a looong time, and it's still not there.
 
I came here to say that I thought GoDaddy dropped their support for SOPA, so why the switch +Randall Munroe?

But then I read +Lars Clausen's comment.

Will GoDaddy really turn to the dark side?
 
+Berke Hitay It's not just the fact they support SOPA, They are a fairly awful company to begin with.
 
A company I've been perfectly happy with is pairnic.com. (It helps that they are based in Pittsburgh, where I went grad school.) I have to admit I have no idea if they meet your needs -- for my trivial number of domains they've been fire and forget.
 
I've been with dreamhost for the past five years and they're amazing, with great support. And practically everything is self-service.
 
+Berke Hitay , as far as I know, they are still supporting SOPA on paper. And they've lobbied for this bill quite a bit, so they aren't just going to turn their back on all that money they've given. They're just trying to save face. The example we need to make by this uproar is that a company can't support such a devastating piece of legislation and just pretend to "take it back" once the people notice. No remorse, no repent.
 
+Kevin Marks Holy crap, Tucows! I remember them from way back, I can't believe they're still around!
 
I switched from GoDaddy to namecheap.com last week. It took a week to do the transfer, and my DNS was not resolving for a few hours, but that was it. I got a bunch of spam from GoDaddy trying to get me to change my mind, but they didn't otherwise obstruct me.

Granted, I am a single person, not a company, with only 2 names, so maybe they don't care so much
 
My single domain name transferred over within 4 hours, no obstructions from godaddy and no loss of service, couldn't have gone smoother.
 
I cringe every time I hear someone say "yeah, they're jerks but they're cheaper so I'm going with them".

Consider that they might be cheaper because they are jerks. And if we all ignore the fact that they are jerks and patronize them anyway, then eventually all of our options will be run by jerks. (And, apparently, our laws will be written and bankrolled by jerks.)

Please, pay the extra money to the nice people who are doing the job right. Maybe they charge more because they are doing the job right. And maybe next year there will be a few more nice people instead of a few less. And perhaps one day our laws will get written and bankrolled by nice people.

It's worth the money.
 
As others have suggested use separate providers for registrar and dns services.

Check out: dyn.com for dns services

They may meet your needs. See the following links for details.

http://dyn.com/?s=dnssec
http://dyn.com/labs/ipv6-updates-transition-ipv4-addressing/

They have lots of different levels of service at various prices.

I use them because they support dynamic dns, and it's cheaper
to use them instead of getting a static ip from my ISP.

We are on the low end $30/yr plan. You will certainly need a more expensive plan.

Don't know if they will work for you.
 
I don't know of any good registrars to recommend, but I'm glad to hear that you guys are switching.
 
Avoid 1&1 (don't think it has the feature set you want anyway) and +T. J. Brumfield you need to do a "chargeback" and get your money back. You initiate a chargeback with your bank or credit card company and there are some forms to fill out. Usually once you fill out forms for and complete a chargeback the company won't be able to charge you again unless you file some additional paperwork allowing them to again bill you (though double check with your bank ... it's been awhile since I've had to do one of these.)

+Randall Munroe if you do end up switching, can you post to this thread (as well as many a second post so it doesn't get lost in the comments) what you decide to use or even several if there was a debate between several choices?
 
I'm with +Hilary Baumann , it would be a great benefit to hear what ultimately gets decided and why. I was really hopeful about dyn, until I found out that they wanted $30/month for DNSSEC (I only have one low-volume site; $30/year is too much)
 
It's positively surreal how many people are conflating hosting and DNS registration services here. Is goo+ an unrepresentative sample of xkcd readers or am I being a snotty ubernerd?

I use namecheap for all my domains and can vouch for their general pleasantness. Since I'm posting from my phone I'll just hope some other lazyweb member has already addressed whether they meet your feature reqs. I too would appreciate some sort of vendor/feature run-down after this is all settled. It's always nice when I can outsource my ocd.
 
I've switched everything over to +DreamHost. They might be a bit too end-user-targeted for your needs, but they're good people.
 
+Hunter Freyer They may be good people, but they stand to learn a lot about web design. How long has it been since anyone thought that popups were ok?

Does +DreamHost support DNSSEC for the domains that come with their hosting packages?
 
Tim, they're terrible in many more ways.
 
I've been hunting for a registrar that supported IPv6 glue records. Before all this happened I considered switching to GoDaddy for this reason.
 
Tim, they're only dropping support now because they're losing customers, not because they genuinely feel like SOPA is a bad piece of legislation (besides, last I checked they still support PIPA). They're sorry they got caught, not legitimately sorry they were supporting it. They're just trying to save face, nothing more. You don't let up the punishment now. You teach them to never again mess with the internet community, period.
 
Watching Die Hard to see in the new year - found the xkcd posted to be perfectly timed
http://xkcd.com/705/
(Continuing the viewing under the assumption that John McLane is just an everyday sysadmin going above and beyond)
 
As some have mentioned, GoDaddy doesn't support SOPA anymore and as a result I have decided to stick with them. I've never had any negative experiences with them and I have been quite impressed with their service.

EDIT: Oh right, they still support PIPA. I may have to reconsider.
 
If you are not afraid moving your domain overseas, to France, OVH has all you need. Their web interface is really good and service really excellent.
 
Someone reccomended "Hover" to us, no idea if it meets your needs though.
 
I'd +1 this, but it's at 222 +1's. And I don't want to spoil that beautiful pattern.
 
I moved all 13 of my domains off GoDaddy this evening to Gandi.
I do my own DNS, so all I need is good glue.

It wasn't as easy as it could have been, since the bulk change form didn't work, but I did get it done finally, with a lot of clicking.
 
I use joker.com for domain registration, with my own (and friends') name-servers because I'm snobby like that. They support IPv6 NS glue and DNSSEC, although I've not yet used the latter (a check, and I see I can enter up to 6 record sets per domain). They're based in Switzerland, their system PGP-signs all automated mails, and if you register enough domains it might make sense to become a reseller, which gets you email control access, by sending PGP-signed mails in; plus an HTTP API, etc. It's $7.something/yr for a .com domain.

When I've had issues in the past, by being demanding, their tech support was helpful, escalated accordingly and got real engineers to address the issue: that was stuff with IPv6 NS glue, a few years ago, before they had web UI to control it: they put something in manually for me, then updated their UI to give everyone the ability to make those changes.

They're a CORE registrar, have been around for many years. I spotted today that they had one run-in with ICANN in 2008, which when you look past the headlines at the was "ICANN didn't think they were doing enough to investigate the accuracy of supplied whois data". Well, now I know why they started sending periodical reminder mails to the domain owner contact email address asking "are these details up-to-date?".

I'm a very happy customer.
 
+Randall Munroe Please don't be one of those dumbnuts who thinks that switching from GoDaddy is a useful or logical way to protest SOPA. It's just a way to punish a company who was probably more than anything else, trying to brown-nose a bit to the government in exchange for a hope of leniency.

If you watch TV or movies, or listen to music, you have to face facts and admit you support SOPA. GoDaddy doesn't fund SOPA, they just said they agreed with it, but you're supporting the companies who actually pay for SOPA, more than likely. That's like punishing someone for having a different opinion as you, at the least, while deciding not to punish the companies who are actually to blame, because you have no alternative way to watch The Big Bang Theory (legally).
 
Well that's a terrible summation. I do in fact entertain myself with copy protected material, but like hell I support SOPA. Yes they get my money, but so do a ton of internet companies that are against SOPA. It's a piece of garbage legislation that lets private entities (i.e. rich corporations) play judge, jury and executioner with any website they feel infringes on their protected works. I am against piracy, but I'm even more against SOPA.
 
Which ones handed both IPv6 and DNSSEC via U.I.? I'm got the same criteria, but since I'm only dealing with 6 domains or so, may be a bit less price sensitive.
 
+Kris Wise But if you are financially supporting companies who actually financially support SOPA, by literally paying Congressman, you're contributing to buying the law!

If you can stomach that, as I do as well, what's the point of boycotting GoDaddy? They aren't paying for SOPA, but you are (indirectly). So if anything, you're more guilty than they are, even if you personally don't agree with SOPA.

I'm not saying SOPA is right, but I am saying that boycotting GoDaddy is hypocritical. Now mind you, some people have also left partially for the elephant-shooting incident, but I've heard Parsons isn't even the CEO anymore, though they certainly drop his name a lot still on the home page.

I use GoDaddy, I admit. Have about 20 domains there. I use it, because I can call at three in the morning, speak directly to an American support agent, who has some clue what they're talking about, and can assist me immediately. Despite the irritations their website provides, their customer service is exemplary.
 
+Oliver Vollmer - The theory is that their initial support of SOPA has rendered them terminally untrustworthy. I would tend to agree with this assessment, but to each his own.
 
+Aleks Bromfield If you are supporting any company financially which financially supports SOPA, you are basically donating to a pro-SOPA lobbying group. It's not like you can't survive without any of the products any of these companies produce. None of them produce vital services or products for life.
 
Linode (hosting provider) and their DNS manager are amazing. Letting registrars handle your DNS server is a recipe for headaches in my opinion.
 
I've had exactly the same difficulty for the same reason. "IP what?". Love to hear what you guys come up with.;
 
Shot an email, but gandi.net will do AAAA glue. DNSSEC seems to be a work in progress though.
 
I couldn't find one that did all of that either, so I just gave up and decided to forgo dnssec for now. I went to amazon as they are reliable and cheap. If I needed dnssec, I wouldn't accept poorly implemented dnskey ds record submission, just like your sysadmin won't. When dnssec becomes more prevalent, I will take another look. 
 
+Jake Weisz There is no hypocrisy.
If I am a trekkie, I have no choice which studio I want to give my money to when I buy Star Trek movies. They do only come from one.
Whenever I have a choice of supplier, I can choose a company that does not support anything I'm absolutely against.

One of my NoGo-companies is Sony for example, due to their past "copyright-trojan"-activities etc. So, for example I'd never buy e.g. a car stereo, a TV set or HiFi-components from Sony, or a mobile phone from SonyEricsson, because there are plenty of otther possibilities. But still, I do buy DVDs from Sony Pictures. Becaus I can't just go and purchase Hancock or Ultraviolet from Warner Brothers. When there's the game I must play and it's only available on Playstation, I'd even buy one of those - because I have no other options if I want to play this game.

And regarding DNS registrars, there's plenty of competitors of GoFaggy that are against SOPA and PIPA.
 
+Sebastian Baboo Finally I found another Sony "Boicotter" XD I got rid of every Sony artifact and I won't buy anything from Sony, they don't respect their consumers, let them Rust In Peace.

+Randall Munroe I celebrate your decision.

Why are some people unable to see that SOPA is another step to Big Brother?
 
+Randall Munroe Not to do a shameless plug, but I belong to a open UNIX community called SDF that offers domain registration services as one of the member benefits. I'm sure that we'd be honored to have you there as a member. :)

http://www.sdf.org
 
Randall: Thanks for speaking out against SOPA. Everyone: Thanks for the recommendations. I was looking for a hosting service, and I chose Dreamhost.
 
Hi +Randall Munroe -- one more late entry: http://moniker.com -- which I use for a handful of domains and I find their service and domain management tools to be quite excellent. They give me nearly direct access to my zone files (i.e. I can add/edit/remove entries through a web form) and you can manage domains in bulk including categorizing them.

Here's a small sample of prices of various TLDs that you can get by going to their site and searching:

GIBBABLASTER.CO $26.99
GIBBABLASTER.COM $8.99
GIBBABLASTER.ORG $8.82
GIBBABLASTER.NET $7.99
GIBBABLASTER.AERO $98.67
GIBBABLASTER.BIZ $8.98
GIBBABLASTER.CO.UK $6.95
GIBBABLASTER.EU.COM $26.99
GIBBABLASTER.INFO $9.12
GIBBABLASTER.JOBS $157.30
GIBBABLASTER.MOBI $8.69
GIBBABLASTER.NAME $27.17
GIBBABLASTER.TEL $14.99
GIBBABLASTER.TRAVEL $89.95
GIBBABLASTER.TV $26.99
GIBBABLASTER.US $7.29
GIBBABLASTER.XXX $98.00

It's going to cost you a pretty penny if you move into the arena of .JOBS or stick figure porn for a .XXX domain, but other than that it seems to me that .com, .org, .net, and .us are pretty much on par with (or better) other registrars.
 
As a brief followup to this : I asked Gandi when they would be supporting DNSSEC. Their reply was that they're working on a SimpleHosting product now, and as soon as that's released, the next feature will be DNSSEC for external DNS, then DNSSEC for hosted DNS. They didn't actually give me a timeframe, though. I guess they only have a few people working on feature development.
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