GoDaddy is one of the largest and well recognized companies in the web hosting industry. Primarily, GoDaddy is a domain registrar but it has also been offering web hosting services for quite a while now. The company was found in 1997 in Maryland, and has registered more than 71 million domains till date, making it the world’s largest domain registrar. However, the question that we are concerned with is whether GoDaddy is as good a webhost as it is a domain registrar?
There is a mixture of both good and bad reviews about GoDaddy on the internet. Although it wasn’t easy for us to determine a general public review about the overall service quality of this company, we did manage to spot some key areas that were appreciated by the lots, and also some features that people weren’t really happy with. For a fair review based on our own experience, we setup a WordPress website with GoDaddy’s shared hosting plan to assess the company’s service quality ourselves. We carefully observed several aspects of the company’s hosting service including its uptime, speed, customer support, and control panel. Here are the results based on our observation.
The Pros of GoDaddy
Pricing Plan: One of the areas where GoDaddy is far ahead of its competitors is the pricing plan. As an introductory plan, the company offers you shared hosting only at $1 a month, including a free domain name (if you subscribe for a year or more). Upon renewal, as with almost all other web hosts, the price will rise up to $7.99/month; however, the company offers several coupons that let you bring down the price up to $3.99/month. GoDaddy offers standard shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, and managed WordPress hosting, all at a reasonable pricing plan.
Uptime: GoDaddy claims to have an uptime of 99.9% on its website, but we found the uptime to be slightly lower than this. During our observation, we recorded downtime averaging to about 10 minutes each week, bringing the uptime slightly lower than the 99.9% that the company claims. It is still an acceptable deal and is better than several of the company’s competitors.
Free Domain: Since GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar, it should come as no surprise that the company offers you a free ‘.com’ domain name if you choose to subscribe for a year or more. For new webmasters, GoDaddy offers one of the best packages in the web hosting industry i.e. a free domain and a year’s hosting only for $1/month. Usually, a ‘.com’ domain costs around $10-$12 a year.
A complete set of hosting solutions: Like any other good web host, GoDaddy offers a diverse array of hosting services namely standard shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, managed WordPress hosting, domain registration, SSL certificates, security features and many other add-ons that you can purchase for your website.
Security: One thing that we really liked about GoDaddy is that they take the security of your website very seriously. They constantly take measures to ensure your website is protected against spammers and hackers. In fact, GoDaddy recently acquired SiteLock and Sucuri, two major companies that provide website security against spammers and hackers. This a major perk for those who aim to set up an ecommerce based website as GoDaddy offers solid security for your website.
Control Panel: Until 2014, GoDaddy used to have a custom control panel that while offered you a great level of control, was quite complex to use and understand especially for new web masters. Addressing this issue, GoDaddy adopted cPanel, a standard control panel in the web hosting industry. It is a simplified, powerful, and easy to navigate interface that lets you monitor and control all aspects of your website.
The Cons of GoDaddy
Customer Support: This is one the major areas that the company lacks in. While researching reviews about the company, we found that about 80% of the people were complaining about a terrible customer support. Many people had stated that the customer support representatives were neither friendly nor responsive, and they really seemed to know little about webhosting. One customer even said that he was asked by the representative to “Google” his problem. Based on our personal experience with the company’s customer support, we believe these reviews to be pretty much true. A representative showed up after making us wait for 14 minutes, and after chatting with him for about 15 minutes, we signed off concluding that the company’s customer support is far from impressive.
Speed: By speed, we mean the amount of time it requires for your site to load up when someone types the address of your website in their browser. Speed is very critical for the success of your website, as well as for your ranking in the search engine results. During our observation period of GoDaddy’s standard shared hosting, we recorded an average loading speed of 910ms, which is slightly faster than the industry standard of 985ms. However, we would like to see better loading speeds as some of the company’s competitors, such as SiteGround, offer a massive loading speed of 501ms.
WordPress issues: The site we had setup with GoDaddy was a WordPress site, and we came across multiple errors and bugs during the observation period. GoDaddy did not allow caching (temporarily storing data on your computer for fast retrieval), which is necessary for some websites. We’re not sure if the same would happen with a dedicated WordPress hosting plan, but we did arrive on the conclusion that it’s not a good idea to host a WordPress website with GoDaddy’s standard shared hosting.
GoDaddy doesn’t let you go easily: We learned this from the reviews of hundreds of users, and found it to be true after trying it ourselves. While GoDaddy warmly welcomes you with a great pricing plan and value when you choose to sign up, it doesn’t let you go easily if you choose to switch to a different web host. GoDaddy makes it unnecessarily complicated to migrate to another webhost, putting up several obstacles along the way that can be frustrating for new webmasters. We highly recommend not to sign up for a long term subscription until you test its services and are sure that it’d work for you.
Reputation: This doesn’t have to do with their hosting services, but the company does have a rather bad reputation in terms of ethics and transparency. They also have odd marketing tactics and their ads are purely based on sexist notions. The company is also accused of tracking domain names that people search for, and then acquiring them to sell them at a higher price.
While GoDaddy is a big name in the industry, their overall services are not as good as one would expect from a company of this stature. As great as it is as a domain registrar, the company needs a lot of improvement for its web hosting services. The company lacks greatly in customer support and loading speed, two of the key factors for the success of a web hosting company. While GoDaddy offers good value for new webmasters by offering a very affordable package, we suggest you find a better web host if you mean to do some serious business with your website.
We Recommend Siteground
Weighing both the pros and cons of SiteGround, it can be concluded that SiteGround is one of the best webhosts overall. The most important aspects for a webhost to consider are their uptime, speed, customer support, and security; and SiteGround excels in all of these areas. SiteGround is amongst the most ideal webhosts in the market today.