GoDaddy is one of the biggest Web hosts on the internet. From the outside, GoDaddy cuts the figure of a Web host that is trendy, cool and just the right amount of edgy (if their Super Bowl adverts are anything to go by). However, anyone conversant with the language of the public image will know that most times, things aren’t what they seem. On the outside, GoDaddy seems to be a popular and fairly competent Web-host, but is that really the truth? There are no two ways to find out, so we purchased a plan and set to work in creating this complete, in-depth and utterly comprehensive GoDaddy review.
Not to get ahead ourselves, but this is probably the most complete GoDaddy review on the internet.
GoDaddy Hosting Overview
|Overall Rating||4.1 / 5|
|Hosting Rank:||#6 out of 25 Web-hosts|
|Registrar Rank:||#2 out of 12 Registrars|
|Hosting Speed:||712ms in September 2019|
|Uptime:||99.98% in 2019|
|Support:||Chat / Phone / Mail|
|CMS:||WordPress / Magento / Drupal and more...|
|Best for:||Beginners / $1 Hosting|
|Pricing:||$1 /mo with discount|
GoDaddy Company Overview
GoDaddy is one of the oldest Web-hosting services on the internet. However, there aren’t as old as Network solutions, founded all the way back in 1979. If you want to see how these two dinosaurs compare, you can check out our GoDaddy vs. Network Solutions review.
In 1997, GoDaddy was launched by Bob Parsons. Initially called Joomax technologies, GoDaddy got the name “GoDaddy” when Bob Parsons suggested it. The first choice of a name had been BigDaddy, but it had already been registered. So the name “GoDaddy” was essentially a second choice. It doesn’t seem to have worked out badly, though. GoDaddy has over 59 million domains registered and 13 million customers all over the world.
Today, GoDaddy is the biggest domain registrar on the planet. Perhaps, GoDaddy’s success is due to a slew of (in)famous commercials. For example, we are not sure that women in bikinis are an effective medium of advertising a Web-host during the Super Bowl, but we are sure that it is an extremely attractive medium.
Most people must have also heard from GoDaddy from their NASCAR sponsorship. From this alone, it is clear that GoDaddy isn’t quite the average company. The irony, of course, lies in the fact that GoDaddy’s customer base is the average website owner.
GoDaddy is under new management
GoDaddy has, perhaps, noticed the ineffectiveness of previous advertising strategy and are now changing their strategy. Rather than being known for bikini ads and the controversy that comes with it, GoDaddy now wishes to be known as a company that is very progressive.
Most of the changes in GoDaddy’s management can be explained by the stepping down of Bob Parsons as CEO in 2011. The new CEO, Blake Irving, for the most part, changed GoDaddy’s reputation and installed new management that was focused on progressive ideas such as gender parity and tolerance. Interestingly, this tactic hasn’t worked out badly for GoDaddy and they’ve recorded some impressive gains.
For example, GoDaddy’s Scott Wagner recently had this to say about pay parity in GoDaddy; “I’m very proud of where GoDaddy is on pay parity today and also the progress we’re making to close gender and ethnicity gaps”. That is quite the departure from the days of using almost naked women to sell Web-hosting services, wouldn’t you say?
However, in August 2019 Irving announced his departure from GoDaddy. We hope they don’t get back to the dark days of bikini ladies wearing GoDaddy jerseys.
Small Businesses and GoDaddy
Along with a change in management came a change in marketing strategy too. And we aren’t just talking about ads either. GoDaddy now targets small businesses. The days of celebrity spokespeople are gone, and GoDaddy is investing vigorously in services that will appeal to small businesses and pricing those services accordingly. The web hosting service that most small businesses require is that of shared hosting, and we’d see in a minute how GoDaddy has managed to provide an attractive deal to small business owners.
GoDaddy’s Hosting Offer
Yes, Godaddy is a Web-hosting company, but what services do they offer exactly? GoDaddy, as expected of a giant in the business, offers a lot of services. We won’t go into specifics yet, though. Let’s first get a general idea of GoDaddy’s hosting offers.
- GoDaddy is probably the largest domain registrar in the universe (we are assuming that aliens have avoided the trap of developing the internet). Whatever domain registration service you are looking for, whether .net, .com, .org, or even .law, you can get it with GoDaddy. However, although GoDaddy’s services are targeted at small businesses, GoDaddy isn’t exactly the poster company for cheap prices.
- Like many other Web-hosts, GoDaddy has gotten into the business of WordPress optimized shared hosting services. However, unlike the managed WordPress hosting services that we’ve seen, GoDaddy doesn’t seem to provide anything exciting with their WordPress optimized service. They offer the basics; WordPress comes pre-installed, higher WordPress performance and a selection of themes. Nothing to go crazy about, really.
- Shared hosting plans are offered by GoDaddy, too. This is basically a kind of service where several customers share the services of one server, and of course, pay the aggregate price via different plans. This kind of service is perfect for websites that do not need a high level of performance.
- Customers in need of special server configuration are covered under GoDaddy’s VPS plans. With this plan, users get root access and are able to configure their servers themselves. As expected, VPS servers also perform at a higher level than that of shared hosting servers.
- There are situations where a VPS server won’t just cut it, and customers that find themselves in such a bind can go higher and purchase a dedicated hosting server plan from GoDaddy. As the name implies, a dedicated server plan means that you get your own server dedicated to only your needs. However, it is quite difficult to make use of this plan on a budget as it is quite expensive.
- In need of a professional-looking email for your website? You can have that $4.99 per month with GoDaddy’s email hosting plans. The plan also comes with 5GB storage.
- Most small business owners aren’t tech-heads who can build a website right out of scratch, so GoDaddy has them covered with a website builder. Unfortunately, though, GoDaddy’s site builder isn’t one of the best (more on this later) but it is perfectly competent if you desire a basic website.
Asides from all these, GoDaddy also offers web design services, SEO consulting, and a hosting reseller program. With this program, you can sell hosting services to third parties. This isn’t a service that a lot of Web-hosts offer.
GoDaddy Shared Hosting Reviewed In-depth
This is, without a doubt, the most popular hosting plan. Why? It is cheap, reasonably effective and caters to the needs of the highest number of people… probably because it is cheap and effective. The name “shared hosting” comes from the fact that you are literally hosted on a shared server. That is, the resources of the server are shared between you and some other people. What this means, obviously, is that you don’t get the full benefits of hosting since you are essentially sharing resources with other people. So if you’re expecting an A+ performance with a shared hosting service, it’d be better for you to reconsider your position.
GoDaddy offers a range of Windows or Linux based shared web servers. With four plans ranging from the Economy, Deluxe, Ultimate, and Maximum plans, GoDaddy allows a lot of room for scaling. Like most Web-hosts in the business, the initial purchase of plans is discounted (up to 65% off at any given moment). However, the discount periods vary so there is rarely ever a fixed price for initial purchases. Renewal prices are fixed, though.
The Economy plan is GoDaddy’s basic plan and it comes with
|# of Websites:||1|
|Email:||1y of Office365 Starter Email|
All this comes at $1 per month and $8.99 per month upon renewal. This plan is great for people who are just starting out. For example, new blogging sites that have low budgets will find this plan to be a lifesaver if they intend to choose GoDaddy.
|# of Websites:||Unlimited|
|Email:||1y of Office365 Starter Email|
The Deluxe plan has an initial discounted price of $3 and a renewal price of $11.99. The plan comes with all the features of the economy plan and builds on them by having unlimited storage and domain capacity.
This plan is great for bloggers with huge traffic and the following. New online e-commerce stores might also find this plan to be an answer to their prayers.
|# of Websites:||Unlimited|
|Email:||1y of Office365 Starter Email|
Apparently, GoDaddy understands the need for small businesses to expand slowly, so the ultimate plan is basically just double the processing power of the deluxe plan, and adds a one-year secure socket layer (SSL) certificate. The initial purchase for this plan costs $5 and renewals cost $16.99.
|# of Websites:||Unlimited|
|Email:||1y of Office365 Starter Email|
The maximum plan is for websites that want the highest level of performance at the cheapest price available. With this tier, you get all the features of the ultimate plan but with 2GB of memory and 4 CPUs. This guarantees maximum performance. The plan costs $7 for the initial purchase and $24.99 for renewals.
GoDaddy Economy vs. Deluxe vs. Ultimate vs. Maximum
|# of Websites:||1||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|CPU:||1 CPU||1CPU||2 CPUs||4 CPUs|
Godaddy WordPress Hosting Reviewed In-depth
Can a website be managed without the owner having to worry about technical matters other than content? Faced with this question, the idea of managed WordPress hosting was created by the Web-hosting market. Basically, managed WordPress hosting is a faster and more secure platform for users to build their WordPress sites. The server environment is optimized and organized for WordPress CMS. It comes with superior security, faster load times and great support. Although you’d probably be better served by going with an officially recommended WordPress Web-host like DreamHost, GoDaddy still has a pretty decent WordPress hosting package. You can go through our GoDaddy vs. DreamHost article for more pieces of information. We encourage you to go through our GoDaddy vs. WordPress comparison as well.
GoDaddy has a lot of managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting plans. They all have roughly the same price and specs of GoDaddy’s shared hosting plans.
Basic WordPress Hosting
|# of Websites:||1|
|Ideal for:||25k Traffic / mo|
|Sign Up Forms:||Yes|
GoDaddy’s basic plan comes with one website, 10GB SSD storage, 25000 monthly visitors, free daily backups, and a free domain with purchase of annual plans. With the discount, this plan is priced at an extraordinary $1 per month.
25000 monthly visitors might seem like meager numbers, but when one considers that newbies at blogging would be extremely lucky to even drive half as much traffic, GoDaddy’s deal gets more appreciation. This plan is great for bloggers who are just starting out.
Deluxe WordPress Hosting
|# of Websites:||1|
|Ideal for:||100k Traffic / mo|
|Sign Up Forms:||Yes|
This plan comes with one website, 15GB of storage, 100k monthly visitors, one-click staging site, and all the additional features of the basic WordPress plan. This plan is priced at $5.99 on the initial purchase. However, you may be required to pay more on renewal.
This is a great plan for bloggers who are already recording great numbers.
Ultimate WordPress Hosting Plan
|# of Websites:||2|
|Ideal for:||400k Traffic / mo|
|Sign Up Forms:||Yes|
The Ultimate plan allows two websites, 30GB storage, a capacity of up to 400k visitors, and provides an SSL certificate for one of those websites. There is also an integrated SSL plugin for both sites. This plan is great for professional web developers who handle multiple sites. It costs $12.99 per month
PRO 5 Hosting Plan
|# of Websites:||50|
|Ideal for:||800k Traffic / mo|
|Sign Up Forms:||Yes|
This plan comes with a capacity of hosting 5-50 websites, 50-200GB storage, real-time performance and uptime monitoring, capacity for up to 800k monthly visitors, and all the other features of the Ultimate plan.
You can go through our complete review of GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting to gain better insight.
Godaddy WordPress Basic vs. Deluxe vs. Ultimate vs. Pro5
|# of Websites:||1||1||2||50|
|Ideal for:||25k Traffic / mo||100k Traffic / mo||400k Traffic / mo||800k Traffic / mo|
|Sign Up Forms:||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
VPS Web Hosting
GoDaddy’s Virtual private server hosting or VPS web hosting is exactly what it sounds like. In this case, like that of the shared hosting plans, you’re sharing a server with other users. However, in this case, the server is private and much more is done to isolate your server from that of others. This has the dual advantage of ensuring that your site performs on a better level and has a better capacity for work. VPS hosting has increased power, a higher level of control and a greater level of resources and that makes it superior to shared hosting.
GoDaddy offers both Linux and Windows-based servers. The company also offers monthly data transfer and unlimited domains.
Like under the shared hosting and managed WordPress plans, GoDaddy has different tiers of plans under VPS hosting. They are the Launch, Enhance, Grow and Expand plans.
Launch VPS Plan
|Storage||40 GB SSD|
The Launch plan comes with 1 CPU core (virtually allocated CPU), 2GB Ram and 40GB storage. Presently, the plan can be purchased at a discounted price of $17.99 per year. It was formally $21.99, however, unlike other GoDaddy plans, you only have to pay the discounted price upon renewal.
Enhance VPS Plan
|Storage||60 GB SSD|
The Enhance plan is priced at $25.99 per month (formerly $33.99) and comes with 2 virtually allocated CPU cores, 4GB ram, and 60GB storage. Like the launch plan, the discounted price also applies during renewal.
Grow VPS Plan
|Storage||150 GB SSD|
The Grow plan costs $45.99 without discounts, but $33.99 with discounts. The plan comes with 3 virtual CPU cores, 6GB of ram, and 150GB storage.
Expand VPS Plan
|Storage||200 GB SSD|
Formerly £54.99 per month (now £39.99), the Expand plan comes with four virtual CPU cores, 8GB of ram, and 200GB storage. To qualify to pay the discounted amount, you must be paying for an annual plan or multiple years in advance.
GoDaddy VPS Launch vs. Enhance vs. Grow vs. Expand
|CPU||1 Core||2 Core||3 Core||4 Core|
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB||6 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||40 GB SSD||60 GB SSD||150 GB SSD||200 GB SSD|
Go through our complete GoDaddy VPS hosting review to learn more.
Dedicated Web Hosting
The answer is in the name, and dedicated web hosting means exactly that, a service dedicated to your use and yours alone. This means no sharing of any kind. Dedicated servers mean that your site exists on a server all by itself, with no other site sharing resources with your own. For websites that record millions of visits per month or week, this is exactly the sort of hardware that is needed.
Like all major Web-hosts, GoDaddy has a dedicated web hosting service. They offer both Windows and Linux operating system options, and they have different tiers of plans to meet the requirements of customers.
DS-32 Dedicated Hosting Plan
|Processor||Intel Xeon 3.0 GHz|
|RAM||32 GB DDR4|
|Storage||8 TB SSD|
This plan will set you back a whopping $99.99 per month. This is a discounted price of 23% off, and you can only qualify for the discount if you pay for an annual plan or pay for years in advance. The plan comes with 2 x 4 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1), 4C/8T – 3.0 GHz Turbo, 32 GB DDR4 RAM, and Intel Xeon-D 2123IT.
DS-64 Dedicated Hosting Plan
|Processor||Intel Xeon 4.5 GHz|
|RAM||64 GB DDR4|
|Storage||8 TB SSD|
With 22% off on plans purchased for more than a year, the plan is priced at $139.99 per month. It comes with Intel Xeon-E 2136, 64 GB DDR4 RAM, 2 x 4 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1) and 6C/12T – 4.5 GHz Turbo.
DS-128 Dedicated Hosting Plan
|Processor||AMD EPYC™ 7351P|
|RAM||128 GB DDR4|
|Storage||16 TB SSD|
Users can save up to 16% when they purchase an annual or multi-year plan at $249.99. It comes with AMD EPYC™ 7351P, 16C/32T – 2.9 GHz Turbo, 128 GB DDR4 RAM, and 2 x 8 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1).
DS-256 Dedicated Hosting Plan
|Processor||AMD EPYC™ 7351P|
|RAM||256 GB DDR4|
|Storage||16 TB SSD|
This is the last plan and can be purchased at $329.99 if you’re paying for an annual or multi-year plan. This price represents a discount of about 17% off on the original price. The plan comes with AMD EPYC™ 7351P, 16C/32T – 2.9 GHz Turbo, 256 GB DDR4 RAM, and 2 x 8 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1).
Godaddy Dedicated DS-32 vs. DS-64 vs. DS-128 vs. DS-256
|Processor||Intel Xeon 3.0 GHz||Intel Xeon 4.5 GHz||AMD EPYC™ 7351P||AMD EPYC™ 7351P|
|RAM||32 GB DDR4||64 GB DDR4||128 GB DDR4||256 GB DDR4|
|Storage||8 TB SSD||8 TB SSD||16 TB SSD||16 TB SSD|
The dedicated web-hosting scene is more or less dominated by Amazon Web services. Check out how GoDaddy compares to them on our GoDaddy vs. AWS complete comparison.
Cloud hosting is an alternative to traditional hosting that draws resources from more than one server. Unfortunately, GoDaddy doesn’t offer this kind of service, which is proper weird for a company of GoDaddy’s size. Is it a case of GoDaddy seeing no need to provide cloud hosting, or could they simply not care enough to make an effort? We don’t know, and we suspect that we never will.
Reseller Web Hosting
This is a special plan for people who wish to get into web hosting but lack the funds for infrastructure or the desire to deal with the technicalities of infrastructure. GoDaddy has two plans, the Basic and Pro plan, to cater to the needs of these sorts of customers. The plans cost $8.99 and $14.99 respectively. Sadly, though, GoDaddy’s reseller plan doesn’t offer email support. You’ll have to sign up on a separate email plan, but on the flip side, you can apply your own branding to the rented servers and you’re entitled to 24/7 Tech-support.
To see how GoDaddy’s Reseller hosting compares to others, you can check out our GoDaddy vs. Enom review.
In 2014, GoCentral, an eCommerce solution from GoDaddy was released. Basically, GoCentral is the combination of a website builder and an online Shopping-cart host. What is immediately clear to us is that GoCentral is a basic platform for people who are just starting out.
GoCentral is quite easy to use and easy to set up. There is a standing offer to sign up for a 30-day trial that is two times the free-trial time frame that other shopping carts offer. Unlike other shopping carts, you don’t need to input any credit card information to start the trial. GoCentral has a simple interface with drag and drop tools that ensure that the user experience is pain-free as possible.
It offers integration with eBay and basic eCommerce features. However, since there is no GoCentral Appstore and no open API, there is limited functionality when it comes to integrations. However, GoDaddy still offers some integrations such as Etsy, Facebook, eBay (for listing items on eBay), SurveyMonkey (surveys in newsletters), Google Analytics (site traffic and reports), Spree Commerce (email marketing), and Salesforce (to sync eCommerce newsletters with robust CRM platform).
SEO Tools for the eCommerce Plan
GoCentral basic eCommerce SEO tools allow you to better maintain your website. You have the tools available to track orders and inventory quickly. You can also create coupon codes and make different sorts of deals for your customers with them. The abandoned cart recovery feature is also a very useful feature provided by GoCentral. This helps in improving sales in checkout and allows you recoup lost revenue in the abandoned Shopping-cart.
GoCentral has basic SEO features. This means that you are only able to edit areas that are SEO relevant like page titles and meta descriptions. GoCentral doesn’t support the changing of URL names or adding ALT tags to images. Unlike other shopping carts like Shopify, GoCentral doesn’t allow users to enhance Google optimization. This can adversely affect the exposure that your website gets because SEO optimization is very important if you want to getter a high level of visibility.
More information on GoDaddy’s eCommerce structure can be found on our complete GoDaddy E-commerce review.
eCommerce Hosting General Features
Here is a list of some of the features that GoDaddy’s eCommerce solution offers.
- Website hosting
- 24/7 support
- SSL security
- Basic SEO optimization
- Email marketing
- Social media integration
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Globally-optimized speed
- PayPal integration
- Google analytics for checking visitor statistics.
GoDaddy offers four eCommerce plans and they are the Personal, Business, Business Plus, and Online Store plans. It is to be noted that the Online store plan is the only pricing option for GoCentral.
This plan comes with a month free trial. It costs $5.99 ($71.88 per year after) and comes with a responsive mobile design, website hosting, and 24/7 support.
This plan costs $9.99 per month and comes with a free one month trial. Some of its features include responsive mobile design, website hosting, PayPal integration, SSL security, and Search Engine Optimization.
Business Plus Plan
This plan is for businesses looking for more customers. It costs $14.99 per month and some of its features include responsive mobile design, website hosting, PayPal integration, SSL security, Email marketing, Social media integration, and Globally optimized speed.
This is the biggest e-commerce plan offered by GoDaddy and it costs $29.99 per month. It has all the features of the business plan including the GoCentral built-in Shopping-cart, shipping configuration, abandoned cart recovery, and text notifications once orders are placed. This plan also accepts PayPal, Apple and lots more. Unlimited bandwidth is also offered alongside other features.
GoDaddy is the biggest domain registrar and currently has about thirty percent of the domain registry market. However, that isn’t enough reason to go with their domain registration services.
Before choosing a domain registrar, it important to understand that all domain registration companies have access to the same data and URLs and so no company can provide you with a better domain name than the other. What is important to know, though, is cost, extra features and whether the process of managing your services is easy.
GoDaddy doesn’t merely offer the services of purchasing a domain name, they also allow you to purchase an already bought domain name in an auction. The company probably has the largest collection of high-tier domains available. GoDaddy also offers unique extensions like .earth, .air, .art etc. GoDaddy, like most websites, runs a lot of discounts throughout the year, and under certain conditions, you can get a domain name for as low as one dollar. However, renewal prices are fixed.
Domain management with GoDaddy is also really easy. Managing and configuring domain names with GoDaddy has zero complexity and is perhaps the easiest that we have seen. The control panel is well laid out, and even dealing with certain thorny issues like setting up new domain name servers is quite straightforward too. Additionally, if you have a number of different website addresses, we don’t think that there is any interface as suitable for managing them as GoDaddy’s.
GoDaddy charges a renewal fee of $11.99 per year to purchase a .com domain. GoDaddy also allows you to register your domain name in advance for up to ten years. Special domain names like .net, .us., .io and so on attract different fees from the .com plan.
If you want to see how GoDaddy’s domain plans stack up to others, check out our GoDaddy vs. Google Domains comparison.
GoDaddy offers the services of a proprietary drag-and-drop website builder called GoCentral. We don’t usually think very much of proprietary website builders and we’d rather much prefer a third-party builder like Weebly (You can check out our GoDaddy vs. Weebly comparison). However, GoCentral wasn’t as bad as we expected and gave a really decent performance, considering the hopes that we did not have for it. In about ten minutes or so, we were able to put together a basic website using the services of GoCentral. Amazingly, we only had to click through five pages. GoCentral may not be elegant, but it sure is efficient.
GoCentral has a lot of website templates already categorized (this is usually a problem with proprietary website builders) to specific products. So whatever the site you want to build, GoCentral probably has a template for you to structure your site on.
However, there is one little snag, GoCentral isn’t what we’d exactly called a theme wizard. So while it is unlikely that you’ll find a template to structure your website after, it is likely that you would find their collection of themes to be limited. To be precise, GoDaddy has only eight theme choices.
Impressively, though, you can try out Gocentral for a month without paying. Afterward, it costs $9.59 per month.
GoDaddy also has a WordPress optimized site builder called WordPress QuickStart. Before checking out this builder, we guessed that it was designed to make bloggers build their WordPress site in a jiffy. Were we wrong?
No. Not by a long shot.
WordPress Quick Start allows you to build your website quickly without even knowing the first thing about WordPress. This is made possible with a protective (?) layer of drag and drop features that allow users to focus on content instead of the technicalities of hosting a website.
However, you cannot try this plan without paying. No free trial to set up WordPress in five minutes, sorry!
If none of GoDaddy’s website builders appeal to you, they have a team of professionals who can help you design your website according to any specifications that you might have.
If you’re interested in checking out other proprietary website builders, you can go through our complete GoDaddy vs. SquareSpace comparison to see how GoCentral compares to other website builders.
Structure wise, GoDaddy has much going for it. In terms of ease of use and competitive pricing, GoDaddy is perhaps one of the best web hosts in the business. However, performance isn’t something that we would rate them very highly on.
If you have a big website with huge traffic, it is possible that you experience speeds that aren’t quite enough. Although our uptime was great, we had a very short testing period to test them on so we cannot say for sure if GoDaddy is really dependable. This is especially in light of the fact that the internet is awash with reviews that do not say a lot of great things about GoDaddy’s general hosting.
After purchasing our plan, one of the first things that we checked out was GoDaddy’s uptime. In terms of server performance, uptime is probably one of the most important metrics to consider. We monitored uptime for about three months, and we recorded a good uptime rating of 100%.
The important thing, though, is that GoDaddy guarantees an uptime of 99.9%. This means that if uptime drops below a certain level, you get about 5% credit of the monthly hosting fee. You do need to contact GoDaddy for your compensation, that’s if you do find out about the experienced downtime.
If GoDaddy continues with this kind of uptime, there might be no need to even bother about their uptime guarantee at all.
Page Loading Speed
No matter how you look at it, all available metrics point to one salient fac: a slow website discourages visitors. And in most cases, the determinant of a website’s speed is the infrastructure out in place by the Web-host. So speed is much like uptime – most of the job is left to the hosting company.
When we think of GoDaddy, the first thing that comes to our mind isn’t half-decent speed unlike some Web-hosts like SiteGround, for example. In fact, most reviewers have written GoDaddy off as one of the slow and cheap web hosting services. So we were surprised when we discovered that GoDaddy has recorded an average speed of 510ms over our testing period. While we certainly wouldn’t rate GoDaddy’s speed as something truly remarkable, we were pleased that GoDaddy recorded this in an industry where most Web-hosts are consistently slower.
Most Web-hosts put information about their data-centers and attendant infrastructure out there. This doesn’t seem to apply to GoDaddy, though, as there is scarcely any information online about GoDaddy’s structure. We were able to find out, though, that GoDaddy has more than 35000 servers scattered across nine data-centers.
One of those data-centers is in Phoenix, Arizona and is the only one that we can confirm is owned by GoDaddy. Other locations include Los Angeles, Chicago, Ashburn, Virginia, Scottsdale, Amsterdam, and Singapore. With these, you have a lot of locations to choose to host from.
If you want, you can choose between using Linux and Windows servers. This choice is only available to those on VPS and dedicated hosting plans. For WordPress or shared hosting, you are automatically assigned a Linux server.
GoDaddy is not Perfect but Constantly Improving
When we first started measuring GoDaddy’s speed, we were appalled by the numbers that we were getting. However, as time went on, their speed kept getting better and better. It’s rare to see numbers improve constantly and constant improvement is something that most Web-hosts profess but few ever really practice. This isn’t so for GoDaddy, though.
The question of security is basically the question of what is provided and what you have to pay for. GoDaddy doesn’t do enough in this regard and most security features are only available on higher-tier plans. Users have to pay extra to have them installed. For example, SSL certificates are not free and will cost you up to $63.99 per year for a single site ($79.99 per year for renewal ) $159.99 per year for multiple sites ($199.99 per year for renewal), $295.99 per year for all subdomains ($369.99 per year for renewal).
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there as backups and website security will have to be paid for separately and can cost up to $2.99 per month and $5.59 per month respectively.
Too much money for security, we think. Could and should be cheaper.
As is the industry standard, GoDaddy boasts of 24/7 customer support with phone, live chat, and ticketing channels. Generally speaking, because of our experience with other Web-hosts, we tend to take anything that has “24/7” at the beginning with a pinch of salt. GoDaddy provides all of their plans with the full support infrastructure. Some Web-hosts, like WpEngine, don’t offer phone support on their lowest plans. Read our complete WpEngine vs. GoDaddy review to know how both Web-hosts compare.
And were we wrong for doing that? No. We had to wait for almost an hour before we got connected to a live rep on GoDaddy’s live chat channel. Needless to say, we were somewhat disappointed with the lack of life on GoDaddy’s live chat channel. Await time of almost an hour is quite possibly one of the worst we’ve ever experienced. Perhaps all that could have been countered if the live reps that we spoke to were actual technical gurus. They weren’t and although the representative was courteous enough, he had to take a break to confirm the information that he was providing us. Absolutely not good enough.
GoDaddy’s phone support is better than their live chat support for sure, but let’s face it, literally anything beats almost an hour of wait time. Regardless of the fact that we would much rather phone in than wait for an hour before getting a response on GoDaddy’s live chat, we still weren’t quite impressed with the level of customer support that we received. The reps we spoke to rarely had definite answers to our questions and we were referred to literature in order for some of our questions to be appropriately answered. So, yes GoDaddy’s phone service is better than their live chat support, but it is not a service that will get decent reviews from anyone.
To make up for this, if you’re a more hands-on person, you’d find GoDaddy’s knowledge base to be more than effective.
However, we do understand that customer review is largely personal, and while we might have gotten a bad experience, it is possible that some others got a great experience.
GoDaddy provides a WP premium support service for its Managed WordPress hosting customers. The service is provided through a tiered credit structure – the higher the tier of plans you purchase, the higher the support credits that you get. This credit can now be used to call upon the services of a support agent for the required help.
It is very difficult to get a consensus on certain things. People seldom feel the need to agree over issues, because that’s what makes them people. However, something like a consensus has been reached on the matter of GoDaddy’s user experience and the consensus is this: GoDaddy is very easy to use.
Asides testing out GoDaddy ourselves, we went through pages and pages of trusted reviews and it appears that everyone reached the same conclusion as we did. GoDaddy doesn’t get everything right, but when it comes to providing a painless user experience, it is quite difficult to fault them.
We are not surprised by this though since GoDaddy is probably the biggest web hosting company in the universe (again, we are working on the assumption that alien companies have avoided going into the web hosting business). It follows that they would provide a superlative user experience since a great bulk of website owners couldn’t be bothered with advanced features.
GoDaddy uses cPanel, the easiest and most popular interface panel in Web-hosting. So if you are migrating from another Web-host to GoDaddy, there’s the chance that you won’t have to figure out a new interface. However, GoDaddy’s cPanel is specially configured to make things easier for the end-user.
Sadly, even the best things come with a snag. While GoDaddy’s cPanel might be really easy to use, navigating it can be totally tedious. For example, there are almost a thousand pages for everything and you might have to click through a lot of pages to get to the area you want. But everything is clearly labeled so that it is unlikely that you’ll ever get confused. So we guess that everything works out well in the end.
To know how GoDaddy’s user interface stacks up to others in the web-hosting world can check out our GoDaddy vs. InMotion comparison.
GoDaddy now makes use of accounts bundled with Microsoft Office 356 Business Premium instead of the traditional cPanel hosting service. Email essentials, the first email hosting plan, costs about $4.99 per month or $3.99 per month if you’re paying for two or three years in advance. The plan comes with 5GB of email storage.
The second plan, Online essentials, starts at $9.99 per month or (it costs $7.99 per month if you’re paying for more than two years in advance). The capacity of this plan is 50Gb and one terabyte of cloud storage.
The Business Premium plan starts at $14.99 per month ($9.99 per month if you paying for two to three years in advance). The plan retains the 50GB storage space of the Online essentials plan but adds unlimited web conferencing and access to online Microsoft Word and Excel.
The Premium security plan is the most expensive plan and it costs $24.97 per month and $14.99 per month if you’re paying for 2-3 years in advance. The plan retains the specs of the Business Premium plan but adds Microsoft office mobile applications and encryptions.
Basically, this is an online accounting service that helps freelancers and contractors, basically self-employed people, to keep track of what they would owe in taxes every quarter. It isn’t a big part of GoDaddy’s hosting services, so we won’t say a lot about it.
Over the years, the website has grown and now includes invoicing tools that aid integration with services such as eBay, PayPal, Amazon, and Etsy. This makes it easy for small businesses to link their sales via these services to their bookkeepers.
The service is set at different tiers of price, like most of GoDaddy’s services. The first tier is Get Paid and it is the simplest, coming at $4.99. You can send invoices, track time and mileage, take mobile payments, and construct business year financial reports with this plan.
The Essentials plan costs $9.99 per month and comes with the features of the Get Paid plan. The plan upgrades on the Get Paid plan by adding connections to credit card accounts and online bank accounts. It also comes with unlimited reports and data integration with sales sites.
The Premium plan costs $14.99 per month and comes with all the features of the Essentials plan plus the ability to schedule and if you want, send recurring invoices.
Notable Features of GoDaddy
- GoDaddy offers a free domain name for the first term for every created website.
- GoDaddy offers free migrations.
- All hosting plans have access to a free website builder. The website builder allows you to create backups of your site whenever you want. You can check out how GoDaddy’s website builder compares to other website builders in our GoDaddy vs Wix comparison.
- Access to over 125 apps with one-click installs. This includes the more popular applications like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
- An extensive knowledgebase ensures that you have limited contact with customer care support.
- Publicity is one of the reasons why businesses get a website in the first place. However, it may not be enough to have a website alone. GoDaddy helps new websites to get their name out on the big worldwide web through $100 worth ad credits for every $25 spent. The credits also include $50 in Bing and Facebook ads.
- GoDaddy also offers managed WordPress. What this means is that there is a plan of hosting where GoDaddy manages all the technical aspects of hosting like plugin updates and software updates and leaves users to focus on content creation. Some of the features that users get with managed WordPress hosting is automatic daily backups, one-click restores, loads of pre-built website to choose from and customize, access to a wide range of WordPress themes and Plugins, 24/7 access to WordPress technical experts, the WordPress auto-install feature, free domain, and a free email account.
- People with a Deluxe hosting plan or higher have access to the one-click website staging tool. This ensures that you experience zero downtime while updating your website. Your website will still be live and accessible while you work on a copy, and then it is very easy to replace the copy with the live version. It is also useful because you can see the effects of whatever design decisions you make before it goes live.
- GoDaddy Pro is an extra feature provided by GoDaddy that allows resellers or people with multiple products to manage their accounts from a single dashboard. This means that all updates can be achieved through one dashboard. You can also clone your websites, get real-time analytics, perform migrations, and set automatic backups. You can also manage online stores and/or websites, and make purchases on behalf of others with GoDaddy’s pro client.
- GoDaddy has a reward and referral program called Pro rewards that allows you to buy upgrades or pay for websites with reward points.
- GoDaddy’s one-click migration tool helps you migrate with little or no effort from you. You simply click a link on your dashboard, provide GoDaddy with the link of the website you want migrated and an email will be sent to you once the migration is completed.
Cons of GoDaddy Hosting
Before making any deal, you want to know the kind of dangers you might be exposed to. It is the same as picking a website. No matter how perfect, there is always a catch, a snag, an annoying detail that you might not be very comfortable with. And you want to know them before committing to a decision. Very well.
First of all, there are a lot of upsells with GoDaddy. That is one thing we don’t think that anyone would like. The renewal pricing too wasn’t something that we loved. We also found a problem with their vague (to be mild) money-back guarantee.
- Let’s first take a look at their money-back guarantee. On the surface, GoDaddy has a pretty straightforward money-back system where you get a full refund if you aren’t satisfied with the services of the first month. However, it doesn’t really work this way. First of all, the 30 days money-back guarantee only works if you purchase anything above an annual plan. For a shorter plan, you only get 48 hours to decide whether you are satisfied with their services or not. Then, to get your refund you will have to call their customer care hotline where you will be convinced, in a particularly ineffective way we suppose, to not cancel your plan. Way to further complicate an already uncomfortable situation, GoDaddy. We went through their fine print and discovered yet another obstacle to getting your refund. GoDaddy’s user conditions have this to say about refunds: “If a hosting service has already been performed, then it is non-refundable (if not yet performed, eligible for a refund within 30 days of the date of the transaction)”. We are no law gurus, but doesn’t this mean that if you have already used GoDaddy’s services, you immediately get disqualified for a refund? Like we said, vague at best. Possibly mischievous too. If the money-back guarantee policy is your main concern we encourage you looking into our GoDaddy vs. Hostgator comparison and you’ll find what you need.
- If you want unlimited domains for economy plans, you might have to look elsewhere or upgrade. So many Web-hosts provide unlimited domains with their lower plans, but not GoDaddy. You can have up to 90+ subdomains, but they can only be associated with a single domain. Definitely not a feature that fills one’s heart with wonder and ecstasy.
- If you’re someone really concerned about ethics and social justice, GoDaddy is perhaps not the Web-host for you you might want to check our Bluehost vs GoDaddy article in that case. Recently, they’ve made steps to redeem their image, but the 2010s aren’t so long ago. It may be hard for GoDaddy to completely shake off the sexist language that they have been known for. Asides that, GoDaddy was also one of the big companies that backed bills that reduced internet privacy and anonymity. This shows that their hearts may not yet entirely be in the right place. Web-hosts aren’t usually known for controversy, but GoDaddy is almost like a controversy magnet. If you don’t want to have to boycott GoDaddy’s services in the future, it is advisable for you not to purchase their plans.
- When it comes to upsells, GoDaddy is probably a father figure to all other Web-hosts. Or we could say GoDaddy is the Father of upsells. Or the Daddy of selling up. You get the point. GoDaddy tries to sell you a lot of extras at checkout. One good example is that you’re automatically signed up for automatic backups that will cost you $2.99 per month for three years. If you’re buying a low tier plan like the economy plan, website backup alone almost doubles the price. Does it stop there? No. GoDaddy wouldn’t be the father of upsells if it did. On your journey through checkout, you encounter a lot of extras that need paying for like SSL certificates, Office 365 web access, “website security”, and others. Only after defeating the various ogres, demons, and evil elves of upsells can you finally pay for your plan. You have to be careful, though – one mistake and you can end up paying the price. Literally. It is also advisable that you pay for three years in advance, if not you can end up paying two to three times the price on a shorter plan.
- On the surface, GoDaddy looks really cheap. In fact, their initial pricing is one of the cheapest on the market, but renewals are much higher. About 200% to 300% higher. This can be great if you know how to plan to purchase your plans, but it can cost you more money in the long run if you get locked in by their system of upsells and high renewal rates.
Concluding our GoDaddy Review
While GoDaddy managed to drag its weight on many different aspects, we were sorely let down in some others. Basically, GoDaddy, like most things in life, has good and bad aspects. Whether or not you’d enjoy or be satisfied with their services depends a lot on what your needs are and what your budget looks like.
Regardless, we must come to an objective conclusion. Is there an area that GoDaddy stands out in for us? Except for ease of use (which is arguable, to an extent), there is nothing that GoDaddy stands out in. Initial prices might be a dream, but when we take renewal costs into consideration, GoDaddy isn’t even the cheapest Web-host on the market. Other Web-hosts like Namecheap have more competitive prices. You can check also out our GoDaddy vs. Namecheap comparison. So if you are looking for an affordable Web-host, you need to plan very well before choosing GoDaddy. As regards performance, we weren’t let down – we weren’t blown away either. There are probably a number of Web-hosts with better performance, and you can check out our Godaddy alternatives to find out more.
To cut it short, yes we’d recommend GoDaddy but only to certain classes of people. If you’re new to the world of Web hosting and are on a budget, you’d scarcely get a Web-host better than GoDaddy. GoDaddy isn’t an outstanding performer but manages to be comfortably above average in most of the important areas so if you need a decent combination of speed, uptime, usability, and competitive pricing, we’d also recommend GoDaddy.
If you still aren’t sure about choosing GoDaddy, you can sign up and if you aren’t satisfied, request a refund within the first 30 days if you signed up for an annual plan or within 48 hours if you signed up for lower.
In any case, remember to have fun hosting.