GoDaddy’s recent drama around SOPA was just the swift kick in the pants I needed to actually make the switch (The fact that the company has since changed its tune makes no difference to me). A lot of the press around this has been focused on the Dec 29th "boycott" day, but I think the lessons learned go beyond that. Here are my takeaways from the transfer experience:

There are choices. I thought GoDaddy was the only game in town, and that any other domain registrar out there must be even worse. This is simply not true. There are a bunch of registrars out there that people have used and recommended for years.

The domain transfer process is not hard. I avoided the transfer process because I assumed it was just too much of a pain to bother. But its not that bad at all. The entire process hinges on the EPP code: get the code from your old registrar, give it to the new registrar, and let them handle the rest.

It doesn’t stop here. I don’t expect the 5 domains I’m transferring away from GoDaddy to make much of a difference to them. But the next time I need to register a domain, it will not be with GoDaddy. The next time a friend asks where he should register a domain, I will not recommend GoDaddy. And if I meet someone who wants to switch from GoDaddy but thinks its too hard, I’m prepared to explain how easy it actually is. December 29th is just the beginning.

I am in control. But most of all, this experience has taught me not to feel trapped when it comes to domain registration. Rather than be at the mercy of the domain registrar, I am the one in control. If it doesn’t work out with my new registrar, I have the confidence and know-how to always switch.