GoDaddy is a super popular web host, but is it any good? We find it best for beginners and those who buy a lot of domain names, but you can find better hosting elsewhere.
What is GoDaddy Web Hosting?
GoDaddy is the largest internet domain registration service in the world, managing well over 60 million domains. As of 2020, they're now the largest web host in the world, with 6.5% market share.
Does that make them the best for hosting?
GoDaddy has improved tremendously since the “raunch ads” days, and they are a slick operator that has always-on support.
That being said, there are a lot of things you're going to want to look at before you pull the trigger.
Special note: For the rest of 2020, GoDaddy is offering their cheapest hosting starting at $1 a month with this link.
How Good is GoDaddy Hosting?
GoDaddy is arguably the best know domain and hosting company. Thanks to their provocative and memorable TV and Super Bowl ads, GoDaddy quickly made a name for themselves. Their ads have often featured scantily clad women and jokes that Parsons himself has described as “inappropriate” and “edgy”. They're perhaps the only hosting company that can be called an international brand.
That being said, GoDaddy is the WalMart of domain names and hosting: cheap, ubiquitous, and nobody's definition of classy. They have historically relied on low pricing and branding to garner customers, but as numerous new hosts have popped up over the last few years, they have improved their customer service and technology to keep their competitive edge.
They're in the post-Parsons era where they are moving beyond their controversial image into a long-term brand. If you're just starting out, GoDaddy has all the basics that a typical novice webmaster could need. But if you are looking for more advanced features, support, and perhaps a more refined brand to back, you may want to look elsewhere.
Our Official GoDaddy Review
Very few people haven’t heard of GoDaddy. They were a big player in the dot-com era of the early 2000s. Still around and still one of the strongest players on the worldwide market, the convience and prominence of GoDaddy hosting are undeniable.
Best Features of GoDaddy Hosting
There's a lot to be said for being able to manage your domain, web hosting, and email all in one place. Part of the reason why GoDaddy is so cololassal is that they make this process incredibly accessible to the everyday webmaster. If you're looking for the cheapest, quickest way to get a website up and running, GoDaddy will surely deliver.
1) GoDaddy Features are Abundant
GoDaddy hosting offers more consumer-level choices than almost any other hosting provider on the market. They have shared server options, as well as dedicated server and VPS plans. There are one-click installs for all of your favorite names like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. They are a large enough company that they can offer almost any level of hosting services for very competitive prices, and you can bet that no features will be missing. GoDaddy has a suite of 1-click applications that they use to perform some of the more common functions you may need on your website. If you are setting up a blog, they have an application for it. Need a shopping cart? They have that too. Photo album? No problem.
2) Fast Loading Times & Solid Uptime
GoDaddy used to be notoriously slow and prone to crashing, but in recent years they've made huge improvements in both of these areas. GoDaddy now has an 99.99% uptime average and loading speeds to rival their budget competitors. They also have no bandwidth limit; if your page ever ends up going viral, the sudden influx of visitors won't crash your site. Even if it does, GoDaddy will give you your money back for that downtime. Which brings us to our next point…
2) Money-Back Guarantee with No Expiration Date
Most hosting services offer a 30-day money back guarantee. GoDaddy hosting takes it one step further by offering a money-back guarantee that doesn’t expire. For every payment, you can always get a refund for the time you didn’t use should you choose to cancel. Canceling within the first 30 days? GoDaddy will honor you with a full refund.
3) More than What You Bargained for – Google AdWords Credit
To help new business owners with the overwhelming cost of starting a business, GoDaddy offers free advertising credits that include over $100 toward Google AdWords for every $25 spent. To cap it off, these credits also include $50 in Bing ads and Facebook ads. It’s a nice little bonus for choosing GoDaddy hosting; a definite advantage of getting in bed with large corporation.
4) More Than Just Templates – They’ll Design Your Website (if you want it)
GoDaddy offers a slew of various templates – including WordPress templates. However, if none of those really do it for you, GoDaddy employs a team of professional website designers who will be will more than happy to help you design your website and make it personal just for you.
It's great they offer to design your site, and very small mom and pop shops can use them, but very quickly you'll want to get some professional on there. At the end of the day GoDaddy is a globo-corp and they're not going to spend much time with you.
5) GoDaddy WordPress Integration
GoDaddy has one-click WordPress imports for self-managed sites, but it also offers a managed WordPress hosting plan. This managed plan offers auto upgrades and lots of security benefits among other things.
6) GoDaddy Security is Awesome for the Price
GoDaddy has dedicated a ton of resources to thwarting hackers, spammers, and scammers of all sorts. Part of this has to do with their super up-to-date technology, and part is simply their due diligence as a huge corporation. But that said, it would be hard to find a more secure hosting provider for such low prices.
Even on the cheapest plans, they back up your data nightly. This is where we feel they blow HostGator, their top competitor in the budget hosting field, out of the water.
BEWARE, however. If you don't purchase a backup plan, GoDaddy may charge up to $150 to restore your website. This conflicting information depends on the plan you choose.
HostGator only backs up your data once a week, and has a troubling lack of spam and virus protection. For the same price and with many of the same features to offer, GoDaddy is the better choice for security-conscious webmasters.
The flipside of this security is that GoDaddy has a ton of restrictive policies in place to keep spam out, which sometimes means that plugins, wikis, and even IMAP don't always work the way they do elsewhere. It's possible to do these things, it just takes special work arounds that can sometimes result in more work for you. But if security is of utmost importance to you, these workarounds are just part of the tradeoff.
Special note: For the rest of 2020, GoDaddy is offering their cheapest hosting starting at $1 a month with this link.
Downsides of GoDaddy Web Hosting
Even if you regularly shop at WalMart, chances are you don't love everything about it. GoDaddy is a corporation, and it can sometimes feel like there's this gross fluorescent lighting cast over the whole experience. For a more personalized or innovative hosting experience, go for one of the smaller guys like SiteGround or A2 Hosting.
1) GoDaddy Customer Service is Underwhelming
Before I go into details on customer service, just look at this atrocious 35 minute wait time with GoDaddy chat support:
That is just terrible. No reason I should wait 35 minutes on chat.
And 20 minutes later…
I'm baffled chat can be this bad still. I can get through the line at the DMV faster than that!
That being said, GoDaddy is generally pretty fast on phone support. That's their default mechanism for support – but let's be honest, sometimes you don't want to talk to customer service on the phone.
GoDaddy offers 24/7 customer support, but part of being such a large corporation with a huge amount of customers means that you are likely to encounter red tape and formalities every step of the way when calling for support.
GoDaddy customer service reps are generally quick to respond, but they tend to refer you to existing literature or walk you through all the troubleshooting techniques you've already tried before they really start probing.
These dilly-dallying tactics really show when you call to end your service. GoDaddy customer service does not make it easy for you to leave. This is not a painless or gracious break up, and it may leave a bad taste in your mouth about the whole experience. GoDaddy reviews left by real customers tell some horror stories about support tickets.
2) Limited Economy Hosting Plan
They have three plans – Economy, Deluxe and Unlimited. The Economy plan allows you to have 90 subdomains associated with a single domain. The same holds true for their Deluxe and Unlimited plans. So many other hosting companies allow you to have unlimited domains – no matter what plan you have. However, GoDaddy only lets you have one domain with their Economy plan. If you wish to exceed that, you’re forced to upgrade. Check out Myhosting.com for unlimited domains.
3) Ethical Concerns & Historical Controversies
These issues may or may not bother you, but GoDaddy has run into huge amounts of controversy since their inception. Bob Parsons once posted a video of himself killing an elephant on an African safari. Their SuperBowl ads, even when not overtly sexualized, tend to have crude or insensitive punchlines. GoDaddy was also a huge corporate backer for SOPA & PIPA, bills that internet privacy advocates on the whole abhorred. They only backed down from supporting the bills after so many of their customers boycotted their services. GoDaddy has recently sanitized their brand of much of the edgy and sexualized language and imagery that they first used to gain prominence. Their new branding casts them as champions for small businesses. If all of this historical controversy has turned you off from GoDaddy, look into eco-friendly HostPapa for a web hosting company that can make you feel good about where your money is going.
4) Higher Pricing on Renewals, Nickel and Diming
“Get your domain for $0.99!”
That's how they hook you. They get you in the door at cheap prices on both domains and hosting, and then renewal fees are high!
Domain renewals are $14.99, compared to about $10 for NameCheap.
Hosting may be cheap with GoDaddy to start, but renewals will be higher as well. They know when they get you in the system they can nickel and dime you!
If you are organized and manage your renewals properly, the cheap pricing can pay off. Or you can take advantage of their low pricing and switch domain registrars later. But if you're not technical, this can be hard to do.
Just be aware that they LOCK you in.
5) PHP on GoDaddy Linux Hosting is Outdated
GoDaddy's standard shared hosting does not currently allow PHP 7.
This is a problem with some WordPress plugins, such as Wordfence:
This goes to show that GoDaddy's standard shared hosting is behind the times, and not a great pick for serious web hosting.
Jumping in bed with a big corporation comes with a ton of advantages: large portions for low prices, convenience, and a bevvy of extras to boot. You can expect that GoDaddy has an easy, low-cost, and perfectly adequate solution for any hosting needs you may have. However very few expert webmasters would ever recommend GoDaddy, if not on principle, then at least because GoDaddy isn't really developed for developers. It's a one-stop shop that makes their bucks not because they offer the best or most innovative service around, but because they are cheap and everywhere. It just so happens that over 5 million people worldwide are looking for exactly that.
GoDaddy Hosting FAQs
Are GoDaddy renewal prices higher than the entry price?
Yes. On average the introductory price on a hosting plan is between 40-50% lower than what it will cost when you go to renew. Of course, the introductory discount is larger on more expensive plans.
Is there a minimum contract and how often do I have to pay?
There are different types of contracts available, ranging anywhere from 3 to 60 months. All payments are on a monthly basis, no matter what your plan is.
Is WordPress Free with GoDaddy?
Yes. WordPress is free with GoDaddy. Like many web hosts, GoDaddy makes it fairly easy to install WordPress after you purchase the hosting account.
The GoDaddy WordPress Hosting product has additional features such as staging and other WordPress tools to make management easier than if you were on a basic plan.
What development languages are supported by GoDaddy hosting?
GoDaddy supports PHP 5.4, 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5 custom PHP.ini, PERL and Python.
What is GoDaddy's uptime guarantee?
GoDaddy offers a 99.9% up-time guarantee, which comes out to 8.76 hours of allowed downtime per year.. If they fail to maintain their service up-time guarantee in a particular month — keeping in mind that their failure to maintain the service is determined by them — you can contact GoDaddy and request a credit of 5% of your month hosting fee for that particular month. If you think your website was down for more than the average allowance, make sure you check out their terms of service to ensure you are within your right to request that credit.
Are GoDaddy servers managed or dedicated?
GoDaddy offers both. There are several plans for those who are looking for a fully privately managed server, but there are also plans that feature a Linux server. There are multiple plan options for each type of server configuration.
Does GoDaddy offer VPS plans?
There are a number managed virtual private server plans which are powered by cPanel available. You can also choose if it is self-managed or managed for you, just be aware of which one you would like to do when you are choosing your plan.
Where are GoDaddy's servers located?
GoDaddy is based within the United States, with its headquarters located in Scottsdale, Arizona. The primary data center is located in Phoenix, Arizona.
Is GoDaddy a good option for hosting lots of images?
If you are on an entry level hosting plan you are limited to 100GB, but other plans are not limited in the same way and many offer unlimited storage. The GoDaddy site builder offers features that are designed specifically with images in mind, such as photo and video galleries.
Which packages should I choose for video streaming?
GoDaddy does offer video streaming, but it is not available on shared plans. Shared servers can be used to embed videos from other sources like YouTube, but if you want to use GoDaddy servers to stream your videos you will need a dedicated server plan.
Do I really have unlimited bandwidth and storage?
Nothing is truly unlimited, so neither is your bandwidth or storage. You should check the terms and conditions of your contract carefully. Like other big hosts, GoDaddy does reserve the right to review your account if excess bandwidth or storage use is detected.
Does GoDaddy offer domain registration? If so, how much does it cost and can I keep my information private?
As a leader in the domain registrar industry, GoDaddy does offer domain registration. Prices will vary as it is dependent on the options you choose. However, GoDaddy does offer free domains with its hosting plans. The offer applies to the 12, 24, 36 month plans, but it does not include the $0.18 ICANN fee. It will cost you $7.99 per year, or more depending on your requirements, to keep your information private.
Are there any discounts on GoDaddy for students, schools or non-profits?
There are not specific discounts offered for students, schools or non-profits, but GoDaddy does have a few community outreach programs that are designed to help charitable organizations. If you think you or your business qualifies as one of the organizations within these groups you can check out the GoDaddy Cares program for more details.
Is there any kind of money-back guarantee on GoDaddy?
GoDaddy does offer a limited 45-day money back guarantee; however, it does not apply to all products and services. If you are concerned about getting your money back you should read the fine print on each purchase that you make through GoDaddy.
What is GoDaddy support like? Do they offer support in multiple languages?
GoDaddy offers a 24/7 support hotline, but does not feature an online chat support option, which could be a problem for some people. GoDaddy support is available in several languages, including: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Spanish, German, Turkish, Dutch, and several others.
I am looking to transfer my site to GoDaddy. What is this process like?
GoDaddy does offer limited support when it comes to website and domain transfers. If you are having trouble, there is a large amount of comprehensive documentation that cover both of these processes available online. There are also other private, third-party organizations that will walk you through it or do it for you.
Will GoDaddy automatically transfer existing Joomla installs from my current host?
While there is no auto transfer option, GoDaddy does offer a step-by-step guide for installs that you have on your current host. If you need additional help with the migration, documentation is available on joomla.org.
Does GoDaddy support Magento? Do they offer transfer support for existing Magento sites?
While Magento can be used on GoDaddy, it is not recommended. The company strongly suggests that customers use VPS or dedicated servers to host their Magento sites. GoDaddy does not offer any type of migration support so you will have to sort that out yourself.
Is it expensive to host and manage more than one website with GoDaddy?
A entry level plan only supports one site, but other plans can handle more. The cost of hosting multiple sites on GoDaddy really depends on the plan, and the features of the plan, you end up choosing.
Does GoDaddy offer easy site building software? What about customizable templates?
GoDaddy does offer an easy to use site builder program and it features hundreds of customizable settings. There are three tiers of plans for this feature with different themes and mobile-friendly templates available depending on the plan you choose.
Is GoDaddy a good choice to host my WordPress site?
GoDaddy does offer several WordPress specific hosting packages, three of the available plans involve managed hosting. Since GoDaddy largely supports and encourages the use of WordPress as a content management system, they offer a built-in migration too to make it extremely easy for you to move your WordPress site hosting to GoDaddy. As expected with large hosting providers, there were a few highly publicized security incidents involving GoDaddy in the recent years. As a result, GoDaddy is constantly updating and improving their security policies.
Does GoDaddy offer any special security features?
In addition to SSL certificates and code signing certificates, GoDaddy also offers Sitelock website security which is designed to identify malware and monitor your site.
Am I able to host my e-commerce on my website on GoDaddy through programs such as Prestashop? Will I be able to get an SSL certificate so I can accept credit cards?
Prestashop can be installed on GoDaddy platforms, as well as other alternative e-commerce solutions depending on your specific hosting plan. GoDaddy does provide an SSL certificate plan starting at $59.99. There are also a number of other options if you would like to accept credit card payments, or create a complete e-commerce solution with the use of GoDaddy hosting plans. Major credit cards are accepted in all regions and accepted currencies; however, if you are planning on using PayPal or Skrill, you should check to make sure the currency you are using will be accepted. There is also the option to get professional e-commerce design services available to you as well — again, depending on your hosting plan.
Is there a reseller program offered by GoDaddy?
GoDaddy does offer a number of reseller options. There are two tiers available, with 20-40% discounts over retail prices, a ready e-commerce storefront, credit card processing and 24/7 support.
Does GoDaddy have an affiliate program?
GoDaddy features an extensive affiliate program. The company offers both domain and hosting affiliate programs.
Does GoDaddy ever team up with Google AdWords to offer advertising credits?
Periodically GoDaddy will team up with Google to offer AdWord credits to new users.
What's the History of GoDaddy?
Founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons, GoDaddy is also a web hosting company and they claim to host over 5 million websites worldwide. The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona but has several more offices throughout the States and India. GoDaddy was one of the first hosting and domain registry companies to make it big, immediately becoming the biggest name in the field once Network Solutions was no longer the only place to by domain names on the web.
- Lots of features
- Many onboarding discounts
- Money back guarantee
- 1-click application options
- Not the most helpful customer service
- Limited Economy Hosting Plan
- Controversial political stances and marketing tactics
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