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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.