GoDaddy Review

Rating:

Reviewed by:

Pros: Ease of use, responsive customer service

Cons: Account actions can be relatively slow to process and functionality over control can be somewhat restrictive compared to other hosts

Bottomline: GoDaddy is overall a good host with valuable services and responsive support that is based on a solid company.

GoDaddy (www.GoDaddy.com) is hailed as the top domain name registrar, yet in this review we will determine if their hosting services are just as notable as their domain enterprise.

Godaddy Hosting Features and Pricing


Go Daddy $7.49 .com sale 200x200
For the purpose of this web host review, we utilized a Linux server with their Deluxe Hosting plan (priced at $6.99/month). This provided us with 150 GB of disk space and 1,500 GB of transfer. In this review, we will focus on GoDaddy’s shared hosting plans, although it is important to note that they also offer virtual dedicated, dedicated, as well as grid hosting.

With GoDaddy, both Linux and Windows hosting is available for the same price. Just like many other popular web hosts, GoDaddy’s billing is available in increasing discounts, ranging from 5 to 15%, depending on what billing period you select. All costs and billing options are presented up front so you’re not left guessing whether or not the cheapest price comes tagged with a longer billing period as with some hosts. While GoDaddy does offer discounts for longer terms of billing, they do not require customers to enter into a long-term contract to take advantage of this.

The Economy plan can be quite affordable at $4.99/month (for the minimum three month billing cycle). The shared unlimited plan offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth and is on par with the price points of the competition, and like other hosts, this must be used legitimately and the disk space cannot exceed the space “on a single server.” Therefore this space may very well be dependent on the other accounts occupying the same server.

GoDaddy Hosting provides “Dozens of FREE Add-on Applications” through their Hosting Connection platform, yet it is worth understanding that these free add-ons are free anywhere else as well, including popular software such as WordPress and Drupal. The advantage that GoDaddy presents is that they offer automated installation of these applications, which does provide added convenience and ease of use.

Though GoDaddy does support many scripting languages, not all are included in all plans. ColdFusion support is $1.99/month extra. Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and Perl are not supported on the Linux Economy plan either, so if you have a script that requires support for one of these languages, you will need at least a Deluxe plan.

While many hosts provide unlimited databases, GoDaddy is one that does limit the number and size, yet for the average user this does not impose a problem. It is also important to understand that while many hosts offer the popular cPanel control panel (or Plesk for Windows hosting), GoDaddy provides its own proprietary control panel for Linux shared hosting.

Since GoDaddy is such a large company offering numerous services, they are able to leverage this to provide their customers with some free credits including up to $25 for Google AdWords, $50 for Microsoft adCenter, and $50 for Facebook Ads. If you plan to capitalize on your website by selling products or services, these can all be very powerful tools to reach your target audience. There are other web hosts who also provide such credits, and this is not unique to GoDaddy, though they provide an especially good value.

GoDaddy’s dedicated plans are competitively priced and offer generous disk space and a fair amount of bandwidth and memory for what they charge. The Windows dedicated server plans run between $13 and $30 more a month than the Linux ones, yet they offer the industry-standard Plesk control panel instead of the generic Simple Control Panel offered with Linux. cPanel can be added for an extra cost for Linux plans. A nice feature of GoDaddy’s virtual dedicated and dedicated hosting services is that they can both be completely customized through the individual selection of features such as operating system, control panel, disk space, bandwidth, memory, among other features. This can be advantageous to someone who wants to really customize hosting to fit their needs.

Again, like the shared hosting, GoDaddy offers some valuable ad credits ranging from $175 to $375 depending on the dedicated plan selected, and between $125 and $225 on the virtual dedicated plans. These can be very nice for marketing and present a value-added component to the hosting. It is important to note that these ad credit offerings may change at any time, but it is also likely that the offers will continue.

Terms of Service

When proceeding through the account setup process, GoDaddy will present a set of terms that are specific to their hosting services. These terms are, for the most part, the usual jargon. Yet one thing to definitely take note of is their uptime guarantee. It comes with several exceptions. They guarantee 99.9% uptime and you may request a 5% credit if you find that they have not provided this level of service. This credit may only be used towards the purchase of other products and services they offer, so it apparently does not come off of your bill.

Not only is it limited in this way, but you will also not be receiving a credit if the downtime is caused by scheduled maintenance, your own errors (fair enough), “outages that do not affect the appearance of the website but merely affect access to the web site such as FTP and email,” “causes beyond the control of Go Daddy or that are not reasonably foreseeably by Go Daddy,” and issues involving “programming environments.” Errors caused by the user and issues with programming environments are reasonably exempted, yet when one’s email and FTP are inaccessible, this can pose quite the problem.

So these provisions are telling that if you’re interested in mission critical operation, the accessibility of email communications, and the ability to make changes to your site, there may be interruptions which GoDaddy has made themselves non-liable for and therefore they might not be the best choice for you in that case. Since their uptime is at their discretion you might not always be able to argue the 5% credit out of them. Many other hosts provide better money-back promises, including some that provide an entire month credit applied to your account.

There is another side to the uptime issue and that is realistic scenarios as opposed to the legal stipulations. When I called support and asked about a money-back guarantee I was informed that their cancellation policy is quite liberal and that GoDaddy will refund a customer for unused portions of their bill. So although they may hold themselves explicitly non-liable for many instances of downtime, it is apparently possible to cancel and receive a pro-rated refund. The support representative also mentioned that downtime is rare and they don’t really have issues with it, though this of course has to be taken at face value.

Control Panel

cPanel is the industry-standard control panel for Linux web hosting. Yet GoDaddy Hosting provides its own control panel. The functionality is very similar, and GoDaddy can pass the savings on to the customer through their use of their proprietary control panel. With GoDaddy’s virtual dedicated or dedicated services, if you are used to using cPanel and would like to utilize it, the option is there for an additional charge, while Plesk is available by default for those services.

A customer should have no issues in general administrating their hosting account with GoDaddy’s own control panel. It is quite user-friendly and offers a good amount of functionality.

Godaddy Hosting Control Center

Testing

The installation of an application through Hosting Connection is not quite one-click, yet it is a very guided process that walks you step-by-step through the necessary information. This can make such things as a blog or forum something that can be setup within minutes with little technical ability. Although the process is simple, it still presents you with valuable options to customize the installation.

I wanted to place WordPress on my site. The latest version was available through their system. Through a simple search I was able to find it, along with useful information like a description, rating, and reviews by other users. The page informed me that my hosting plan was compatible with the software; I assume that if it wasn’t that it would instruct me what I needed to make it compatible, whether it be an upgrade or a settings change. I clicked “Install Now!” and was then presented with a disclaimer informing me that GoDaddy was not liable for any third-party applications, very understandably. I then preceded to a four step setup process where I began by selecting my domain name. If my hosting was not compatible, I would have been presented with the second step of purchasing new hosting. I was then required to enter a database description and password, as the username was automatically generated. I then specified the directory into which I wanted it installed, and was then presented with some WordPress specific options for my admin username and password. In those few steps, I had my WordPress installation setup.

I then had to wait afterwards for the request to process with such status items as “Creating database.” Normally database creation is a near-instant process with many hosts, but not with GoDaddy. It took a good five minutes or so to create that one database and then it proceeded to the status of “Installing Application.” At this point it appears that these requests must be going into some giant queue for actions to be performed on them. It should be a fairly quick process for the server as it is simply creating a database and putting some customized files in place. It ended up taking about ten minutes for the two-step installation process to take place. Yet in the end, there it was, my shiny WordPress blog, with little effort on my part besides thirty seconds of entering data into a simple form and some patience for the server to process the request. For the ease of use, the small wait is no doubt worth it, especially since this process is free of charge and simply included as part of the hosting.

When creating databases in general it appears that with shared hosting that the database name must not only be unique to the one hosting account, but unique to the entire system. I therefore had to throw some numbers on the end of my database name to make it unique. It seems as if GoDaddy is really capitalizing on their size by scaling servers to accommodate specific needs. They may very well have a large database cluster to handle many customers. It then sat “Pending Setup” and after 10-15 minutes, it was finally setup. With our shared account it was not possible to setup more than one user for use with the database. For most individuals this likely is not an issue, but for some with specific needs it could be.

Godaddy Customer Support

I contacted customer support at 6:30 PM on a Saturday and after some very straightforward selection prompts I was connected to a representative within seconds thereafter. They asked me for my customer account number, which I didn’t have immediately accessible, so they accepted my username and call-in pin. I presented the representative with a question regarding their terms of use, seeking some clarification and they were able to quickly answer. I was off the phone in a matter of minutes. With other hosts it is possible to wait for many minutes for a representative to pick up the phone. Yet with GoDaddy the phone response time in this particular instance was extremely quick.

If an issue would be better handled in writing they do have an easy to use browser-based email form on their site that allows for questions to be submitted. Unlike other hosts that may offer a myriad of support options via channels such as live chat, ticketing, forums, instant messenger, among others, GoDaddy provides their phone and email options. Since customer service is seemingly quick to respond, these seem to be very suitable mediums for support.

Conclusion

GoDaddy provides a wide range of shared hosting services at competitive price points with some value-added services and features. Their customer service is easily accessible, quick to respond, and helpful. The one downfall noticed here is that the servers are slow to process requests made on the hosting account including the “quick-install” of applications and database setup. The services are quite easy to use, yet some patience can be required at times.

For those looking for turn-key solutions who don’t mind that they might not have total control over every element of configuring their services, and that they may have to wait at times for services to take effect, GoDaddy is a great solution at a reasonable price.

Price: $2.99

Visit: GoDaddy

Disclosure: Clickfire has an affiliate advertising relationhship with GoDaddy

34 comments

  1. I use godaddy and pretty satisfied with their service. But their database server seems to be a bit slow for running e-commerce solutions such as Magento.

  2. chris

    I have had an issue with email with GoDaddy as my host. Apparently they have an email spam filter – but users have no control over it. I have not gotten certain emails – recently trying to recover a password that I had forgotten. I had it sent three times, but it never came. I found several discussions about this issue (google it). Just be aware as you choose.

  3. ugur

    Great review

    Thanks answered all of my questions
    :)

  4. @chris – having the exact same problem. It seems to be related to URLs to your site being included in the topic and/or body of the message. So if people tries to email me at my domain and references some articles or pages within my site by URL, it gets bounced back to them as spam.

    I’ve had a support ticket in their system for almost a month now and they’ve stopped communicating with me completely despite repeated attempts to find out the status of this problem. What I did find out though is that it’s not configurable by site, but has something to do with their server-wide spam blocker configuration. So turning off the spam filter on the domain does nothing.

    Ironically, I’m still receiving plenty of spam, despite my per-domain spam filter being on.

  5. Also, does GoDaddy support multiple add-on domains managed through a single hosting subscription? I currently have 4 domains registered through GoDaddy, and use them for DNS services and (unfortunately – see above) catch-all emails. Could I get a single GoDaddy hosting plan and host all 4 of my domains through it, or would I need to pay 4 * the hosting fee to do so?

    A lot of hosts, like BlueHost and HostGator for example, advertises “unlimited domain management”, but GoDaddy makes no mention of this.

  6. Nicky

    Hi, I am here to get help for Godaddy Website Tonight account.

    I want to know whether can I sign-up a “Website Tonight Deluxe Plan” without any domain with Godaddy?

    Currently, I have registered a domain (MySite dotcom) in a Godaddy account which was offered by Blogger through my Blogger account and my site (actually a blog) was hosted at Blogger.

    So now, I am thinking to host a “real” website with my current domain – MySite dotcom and will discard the blog. After completed my new website and will link it to MySite dotcom.

    I can’t use my current account which sign-up offered by Blogger to purchase “Website Tonight Plan”. That was why I am asking about sign-up Website Tonight Deluxe Plan without any domain.

    Can anyone help me?

  7. Emory Rowland

    Nicky, I would just visit Godaddy.com and call or email them to find the answer.

  8. Nicky

    Hi Emory,
    I am ok, I have created webpages in website tonight account.
    And I have also created a hosting account for SQL database.

    Now I need to write php commands in website tonight’s webpage in order to run database. But I found website tonight seems doesn’t support php?

  9. Emory Rowland

    Hi Nicky, I haven’t used Website tonight personally but the features seem to be targeted more toward non-coder types. You might consider giving Godaddy a call and just ask.

  10. i’ve always wanted to have my own domain but its expensive for me to maintain since i am not that knowledgeable in creating websites or anything like that. but as soon as i’m okay with it i will try to sign up in godaddy because as what the others said, they offer good services

  11. Jeff

    I have used Go Daddy for about 8 years. Using Frontpage I like to upload with Frontpage server. 2 of my accounts located on one server would not work with frontpage which was fixed in 24 hours. The 3rd on a different server did not share the problem.I have many others but not as independent sites. Last night,February 22,2010 I had the same upload issues on the same 2 sites. Called support and the person ID himself as the head Tech person said they did not have a issue and it was all my problem. I said it was not as I tested the sites and they will upload onto other servers but not these two that were fixed 2 days before. He refused to look into moving my sites to another server and said he could not be wrong.Very rude and a know it all. The next day I called and tried to get to a supervisor without any luck. They did another test and found a issue with the Frontpage upload on one site and also on the other but not with every try. Still not fixed as of 12 hours later and NO performance questionaire was sent from the first Tech person last night. They always send one when things are good but guess they can stop them when things are not resolved. After 8 plus years I am moving all my 25 domains and other accounts. I will not be talked down to by a Tech support person with a ego out of control. Looks like Go Daddy got too big for his pants. They need to get back to basics and spend money in teaching employees how to fix client issues and not in more ads.

  12. Skip

    I’m working with a client whose website is hosted through GoDaddy. This is the first, and hopefully last time I ever have to deal with GoDaddy for hosting purposes. All I’ve run into are problems with PHP scripts. Granted, part of that is because my client is using GoDaddy’s Windows hosting, which is just a disaster for PHP 5, but I’m not even happy with their interface – too many steps just to get to the files and then several more to get into the databases.

    I wouldn’t recommend GoDaddy to anyone. GreenGeeks, Hostmonster, BlueHost, etc are much better hosting companies with much easier interfaces to navigate for even the inexperienced user.

  13. I have been with godaddy since at least 2005/6. In the past I have had very good cust svc, and response to issues have been supportive. One of my sites (www.juliatrops.com) was experiencing slow times, and it was migrated to a better server. I appreciated that, so when I found my site (www.okanaganeroticartshow.com) was running slower than molasses, I asked for the same thing. First Christian P, then Bobby (below) said no, you have to pay for a faster web host. WHAT????

    Dear Julia,

    We do not perform migrations upon request. As previously stated you are free to migrate your site to a new hosting account on a grid server to improve performance over the legacy hosting servers. While we cannot perform the migra…tion for you we are happy to credit a new hosting account with any unused time from a canceled account or to refund any unused time from a canceled account. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

    Please let us know if we can assist you in any other way.
    Sincerely,
    Bobby P.
    Online Support

    In the past I have had good customer service with godaddy. But if the cust svc is gone, then guess what, so am I. It doesn’t take much to migrate a site. I am paying for a service I expect that service to be fulfilled. A slow site does nothing except piss people off.

    This is why I am checking out other hosting solutions. So far, have determined ipage.com and hostgator.com are potentials.

    Godaddy would rather lose a customer and the word of mouth recommendations I HAD been giving (the world is still small godaddy!), than to fix this issue.

  14. ShannonP

    I am currently in the market for a host for my very first website. I purchased my domain through GoDaddy yesterday on a colleague’s recommendation, and then realized I should put a bit more research into the process before building my site. I would love to see a GoDaddy v HostGator review, not that it would happen in time to be of help to me right now.

    Thank you for providing these great, unbiased reviews. Much of it is still a bit over my head, but the more I read, the more I understand it.

  15. Emory Rowland

    Definitely putting some time into research will save you some headaches in the future. You can do a comparison based on the Godaddy and HostGator reviews here. Great idea though, we should do a Godaddy vs HostGator.

  16. Thanks for the Godaddy review. I am happy that I am using Godaddy hosting for my blog.

  17. Brian Lake

    Lachek, yes GoDaddy does allow multiple websites on one webhosting account/plan. I do so but I am on the Windows plan as I use ASP, I assume the linux side would be the same. Go to the hosting page and click on plan details the scroll down to the line that lists “Multiple Web Sites” and hover over the “?” next to it and it will give you some info. Note this is not available in the economy plan.

  18. John

    Godaddy seems to work for the less complex situations.
    And if you call them about a question, and it doesn’t pertain to something they can sell you, or upgrade you….out of luck bro:(
    I have over 90 domains with them, and like the fact that I can call them 24 hours/day. But sometimes, I spend more time teaching them on the matter.
    I’m thinking of switching to another host provider, or just putting my domains on my own server somewhere. Probably would be better off $$$ in the long run.

  19. Gregg

    Never host with the same people who hold your registration. Beyond the many horror stories about GoDaddy registration nightmares, their hosting leaves much to be desired. If you are not with GoDaddy, my suggestion, “If you value your domain name and website, stay as far away from GoDaddy as possible” Make sure you are not with one of their affiliate resellers as well. Their policies are very unfair to their consumers and the low prices will end up costing you many hundreds our each contract year. For more information, just contact me.

  20. rushin2

    We host our client’s non-profit site at godaddy. Rather – we inherited client’s relationship with godaddy.

    For a few years no issues – everything was great including support in those “golden” years of 2004-2007.

    For the last three years it’s nothing, but surprise after surprise.

    Deluxe Linux hosting was moved to their infamous “Grid.” Without ANY notice to us or our client. The site performance went downhill from than on.

    Needless to say that their e-mail servers (as stated by their support) only send out mail every 15 minutes. Our site users have to wait for 30 minutes to get their password reset e-mails.

    The site performance is disgusting. The outages happen from typical 10 minutes to 4 HOURS in any given day! Thanks be to Pingdom – Godaddy support kept blaming joomla scripts for slow site performance until we pointed out to official published site performance. No discount considered for such disgusting performance. Their infamous “uptime” of 99.99% is non-existent! Our real site performance is at 97% on average. The problem is that the site goes down way too often (multiple times a day).

    We are so fed-up with this! Calling support does NOT produce any results. Very rare when you can get someone, who knows what they are talking about. Install of joomla being stuck (at the beginning of our relationship with them) – it took 48 hours (!) to stop the script and restart it. Un-flipping-believable.

    Even though we have 2 more years pre-paid with this host – we are advising our clients to move their site to a different host. By the way – we always thought that back-up directory should never exist in parent directory. Apparently that is how godaddy sets-up this function. Strange… Not safe…

    We are “done” with godaddy and moving our client’s site and domain names…

  21. Emory Rowland

    Shane, thanks for detailing your experience here. You’re not the only one who has stayed with an original host too long. I’ve been there. Moving hosts is not something anyone looks forward to.

  22. Shane Elliott

    I started with Godaddy probably about 8 or 9 years ago.

    Early on, the hosting was great. And I probably had 20+ domains and six hosting accounts with them.

    But in the past year and a half, I have had problems with them that have literally cost me thousands of dollars in lost business. They make changes to your hosting that screw up your settings and do not tell you. You call support and they might say “We are aware and working on it” but they really aren’t aware of anything. My php runs super slow. At one point, it ran so slow for THREE WEEKS that it took a minute to load a shopping cart page. Support kept telling me everything was fine. Really? They changed something with the Zend Optimizer and my php stopped working, which I eventually fixed in 2 minutes on my own, but they told me for days that they had people working on the problem. Then they change their email servers to not allow contact forms from your website to list emails from gmail, yahoo, aol, and hotmail in the FROM address. But they tell no one. So many businesses just have inquiries from those email services disappear into the abyss with no notice. And no notice of changes to the hosting. I definitely lost a lot of clients because they think I am a stupid jerk. And I am a stupid jerk. For sticking with Godaddy so long. Think of Godaddy’s advertising now, too. It is all about low prices and boobs. They don’t sell themselves on service, they just have a guarantee. Guarantees are the tools you use when something looks too good to be true and you want to close the deal. Godaddy has screwed this formerly loyal customer for the last time.

  23. Gayathiri

    Very stupid server. For each process their server will investigate and waste our time. I think above ppl. hosting only html files. Poor guys. Very difficult for a programmer to handle. i will not recommend this hosting.

  24. funwidmasti

    I still think Host gator is much better than godaddy!

  25. mark

    I recently purchased godadday linux VDS $491 per years 5 june 2011
    after uploading my site shared hosting to Linux VDS
    i’m shock my site is down every 4-5 min
    why did we waste this much amount
    i’m satisfied godaddy shared hosting is never down but very disappointed with VDS

    i do not know what is the issue. did not resolve my live chat then he sent me an email to please hire our expert team to this issue and pay $50

    this is not acceptable

  26. Ken Durham

    I’ve used GD dedicated servers for many years with no problems. And if I was going to use their shared hosting, well, I just wouldn’t. But I hear claims of people losing thousands of dollars because of GD’s shared hosting. The fact is, if your site is making thousands of dollars per month, then it is your fault if you are losing money. You should have moved to a dedicated server a long time ago. Shared hosting is for beginners that have little to no traffic. Systems that are not database intensive and for sites that do not care if they share the same server with a thousand others. It’s a “get what you pay for” world. If you deem your website as only being worth the luxury of a $4.99 per month hosting, then that is what you will have. If your site is getting traffic and generating income, then why not toss in an extra $70 per month to have your own server where you can host as many websites as you desire? Certainly a site making thousands per month can afford this and should be a little more concerned with the security of their users. By far, GD has the cheapest dedicated servers out there. They leave me and my servers alone and do not pry into what I am doing. I have no fear of being “reconditioned” and any screw ups and or security flaws are my own fault, with no one else to blame.

    • Emory Rowland

      $70 is pretty cheap for a dedicated server. I am looking at the Godaddy server options on godaddy.com and it looks like it’s a pretty bare box that would need some addons.

  27. Ken Durham

    It is fairly bare but will suffice for most websites, unless you are really hitting it good. A person should know (or hire someone) a thing or two about Linux / Apache / Mysql management and optimization (the first thing you would want to do). I also shut off all of the bells and whistles, up the memory allocation for PHP, and install a firewall. But once you have it set, you are good to go for a long time. I believe you get several IPs to start, with more available for the asking. For people that are using shared hosting and the time has come to need a little more, instead of going VPS, they can get several other people together to share the cost and have a system all to themselves. It beats any shared hosting that you will find.
    When I was with Gambling.com we started off in this way, but eventually moved to several co-located servers in Canada with failover clustered servers for both the website and the DB system. This was back when just one server cost us $20K+. The good old days :)

  28. Dedicated Cpanel

    I have had ok service with Go Daddy but I like Host Gator better. VPS.net is the worst That i have found, too much down time.

  29. Shadab

    With my personal experience, Godaddy.com is good for Domain Registration, but for quality hosting…invest your money elsewhere….because they’ll take MUCH time on the day you need them badly. ENJOY!

  30. Thanks for the Godaddy review. I am happy that I am using Godaddy hosting for my website.

  31. Patrick

    I have had two domains with Go Daddy and years ago when I got my first domain with them they were an awesome company offering real solutions, good prices, and great customer service and help.

    But now, years later, they seem to have gotten greedy and are putting customer service last and their own selfish concerns first.

    Recently when I wanted to cancel one domain I have with them, but had mislaid the passwords to the account, I called their customer support who told me to basically drop dead.

    I know that I am at fault for misplacing my documents, but this is no excuse for CS to be incredibly rude and unhelpful and to cheerfully tell me that they were going to continue charging my CC forever and that neither they nor I could do anything about it.

    I now have to cancel the credit card they are charging then renew it under another card number to escape their unauthorised charges.

    I would NEVER recommend anyone to use this company unless they enjoy being taken advantage of, being abused by their staff, and paying for services you do not want and if you like being told to drop dead. I hope that this arrogant and greedy way of doing business and treating customers like dirt spells their ruin.

  32. J.

    Just want to say one thing about Godaddy.

    My dad has hosting with them and we wanted to just add WordPress. But Godaddy wont let you install it manually! You have to submit a ticket and wait 48 hours for them to install it!

    Really? My dad swears by them, but it’s like using hosting for beginners. And no cpanel! Extremely basic stuff.

  33. At ClickHOST we love WordPress and offer 2 ways for you to install WordPress:
    1. We do it for you — no charge, and it takes usually less than 2 hours.
    2. You do it yourself using our easy-to-use quick installer for WordPress!

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Cheers,
    Carel (ClickHOST Owner)

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