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I wrote about the GoDaddy checkout process about a year ago, and it was one of the longest and most annoying checkouts I have seen on any e-commerce site.

There were up to ten separate steps in the process, depending on the options you select along the way, and so much cross-selling that finding a path through to the end was a real challenge. It was the very opposite of checkout best practice.  

Since I last looked, GoDaddy has made a few changes to the process, so I've been seeing if it is an improvement on the previous version...

However, if you search for 'GoDaddy checkout' on Twitter you'll see that the current checkout process remains a big headache for users. I noticed this because I have a search column on Tweetdeck for the phrase 'checkout process', and I see at least one or two negative mentions of Godaddy's checkout every day.

Here are a few recent Tweets about GoDaddy's checkout (the last one is my favourite): 

is it just me, or does the godaddy.com checkout process get longer and longer every day? I'm tired of clicking, "No Thanks".

GoDaddy's checkout process is so hostile. Buy a domain seal! Buy these similar domains! No, you haven't finished the checkout process yet!

You didn't know it, but you actually accidentally clicked one of the 361 addons/options on the way to Godaddy's checkout page.

godaddy.com has the MOST obnoxious checkout process I have EVER seen.

I hate GoDaddy. What brain-injured moron wrote the checkout procedure for the web site? Hang one on a sail-yard!#wtf

One person did like it though...

Just bought 25 new domain names. Love the flow of checkout and organization of domains so much better. Way to go @godaddy!

So is the new checkout any better?

It has improved, though despite the promise of three easy steps, there are actually more like five or six steps until you reach the payment page.

This pop-up, which seem to count as one of the 'three easy steps' is one such annoyance. Note that the 'no thanks' option which takes you further along in the process is made deliberately small:

A few steps in, you are forced to scroll down a long list of extras, email addresses, web hosting etc, for you to add to your order. The 'continue' button is there at the bottom of the page, but GoDaddy makes sure you see all these extras first:

I have to admit that the whole process is a lot easier than when I looked at the site around a year ago. A lot of the worst features, such as pre-checked boxes for various options have now gone, and the process has been shortened, but then there was a lot of room for improvement.

The checkout process is still a minefield, and the whole site is so cluttered that you really have to concentrate to make sense of it. If I needed a domain name, I'd go anywhere but GoDaddy for it.

Perhaps GoDaddy does enough successful cross selling here that it doesn't matter that so many customers are annoyed by the process? Then again, maybe it would do even better with a smooth and more transparent checkout process.

Graham Charlton

Published 3 February, 2010 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (18)

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Jim Callender

Good point well made. I don't use godaddy, however verified by visa is the used and dislliked by the general population - http://econsultancy.com/blog/3887-verified-by-visa-a-conversion-rate-killer.

Having to remember a 15 digit password is not something everyone can manage, and the inaccessible technology can crash even modern web browsers.

Perhaps by people leaving their best of the worst we can do a top 5?

over 6 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Jim, good idea - all suggestions welcome...

over 6 years ago

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Michael Ageev

lol. I've just bought a domain via godaddy. it's really obnoxious

over 6 years ago

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Matthew Bertocchi, Information Architect and User Experience at We Are Vi

Their standard checkout procedure is a nightmare, designed to squeeze every last penny from uninformed buyers.

However, GoDaddy recently added an Express Buy feature - similar to Amazon's 1-click ordering - which makes things much better for repeat customers; you search for your domain and then go straight to checkout without all the annoying steps inbetween. Ideally it should be like this for all users, but it's a step in the right direction!

over 6 years ago

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Matthew Bertocchi, Information Architect and User Experience at We Are Vi

I take that back - Express Buy is available for all users, although the link for it on the homepage isn't particularly clear. They have ExpressCheckout which is for repeat customers; if you find a domain and click the button it charges your card on file there and then, emailing you the receipt.

over 6 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Matthew, I spotted that, though there is still a lot of work to do before you get to that point.

over 6 years ago

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Fredrick Nijm

You hit it the nail on the head with your post - there is nothing longer than their checkout process - you have to click next and next and next just to get to the end, but I buy my domains there because their customer service is great.

They could bring the annoying pop ups down to a minimum, but it seems that no matter how annoying their checkout is - their sales continue to rise. thoughts?

over 6 years ago

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Gardenwife

There are few things in life for which I reserve the word hate. GoDaddy is one of them. It's not just their checkout that's a nightmare, it's their whole site. It's unnecessarily complicated, unnavigable and cluttered. I have some domains registered with them, but am transferring them away, even if I must pay more for their renewal elsewhere. Their ad campaigns are low class and demeaning toward women. I really think of GoDaddy as a bottom-feeding company with shady tactics. It's just not worth it to me anymore.

over 6 years ago

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Gardenwife

Sorry for the duplicate! I received an error, didn't know it had posted.

over 6 years ago

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Mark Bolitho, New Business Director - Ecommerce at more2

You can add Maplin Electronics to the baaaad list - I will drive into town and pay for parking next time rather than buy from their site.

over 6 years ago

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Shaun Byrne, Web Statistics Analyst at Nottingham Trent University

Ever tried Vista Print, that is just as painful. What appears to be a free offer quickly turns into heavy sales pages, oh and then VAT is added at the check-out.

over 6 years ago

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Jessica Washington, Sr Account Executive at MediaSpin360

I have been using Godaddy for many many year. The reason I stayed with them is beacuse their exceptional service. All the domains that we purchased for our clients have great rankings by using some of the addon features. I know it is annoying with all the upsells they are trying to do in the checout process but you will just get use to it if you are a returning customer. That's how any company makes money...lure you in with a great promotion but they try to upsell you with everything you got. This reminds me of buying anything at BestBuy which they try to sell you warante and all other junk you dont need. Godday's SEO enhancement has been a great tool for our new subsidiary MediaSpin360.com that offers 360 product photography. It does not hurt to try some of the offers tho...

VistaPrint is bit different..they lure you in with free stuff but you always walk away with more than a regular order. That is not a honest practice.

over 6 years ago

Alec Kinnear

Alec Kinnear, Creative Director at Foliovision

I stopped doing any business at GoDaddy as a consequence of checkout pain and all their spam emails. Goodbye $3K/year, SOB's.

over 6 years ago

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LadyEz

An hour spent trying to purchase 4 domain names last night, I have 4 grey hairs......impossible to remove items once they are in the cart unless you want the page to crash that is.

over 6 years ago

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seo consultant

One needs to be careful with the checkout process , if you cancel the cart after adding a product and later return back with a new one in the cart, it gets added with your older request and keeps piling up, unless you take each one out manually.

over 6 years ago

Ross Kendall

Ross Kendall, Web Developer at Ross Kendall

The Heart Internet checkout process suffers in a similar way. Too many upsells, very frustrating.

over 6 years ago

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Simon Kemp

Graham Charlton, I did expect more from eConsultancy blog than including and highlighting a joke comment about brain injury. It's not very nice is it?

If you don't approve this comment for publication, then please just take this comment on board for next time, 

over 6 years ago

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Benjamin Allen

Personally I don't mind the GoDaddy checkout - we use them for all our domains because they're the cheapest and fastest (.COMs go live in a matter of minutes) yet still provide the best service. Freephone/toll-free numbers to speak to actual human beings who are knowledgeable and happy to help? I'd crawl through fire to get that from every company we deal with. Oh and @Simon Kemp - the world isn't here to protect you from offense. Grow up.

about 6 years ago

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