If you are an American, you probably know GoDaddy for its edgy and sometimes controversial Super Bowl ads. When it comes to domain registration and web hosting services, you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger name.
GoDaddy was founded in 1997 in Baltimore, Maryland by software entrepreneur Bob Parsons as Jomax Technologies. By 2000, it had gotten into the business of domain registration. It rapidly began making a name for itself by selling domain names at significantly lower prices than the top registrars at that time.
Since then, GoDaddy has built a massive name for itself. By 2005, it was already the largest ICANN-accredited registrar on the internet.
- Good uptime (99.96%)
- Decent speeds
- Customer support with phone, live chat, and email
- Robust knowledge base
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Shared hosting, WordPress, VPS hosting, Reseller packages, and Dedicated servers
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- cPanel present
- No free backups or SSL certificate for all plans
- No free website migration ($99.99)
- Free domain name for the duration of the first subscription
- Linux and Windows hosting
In 2018, GoDaddy became the world’s largest web host company by market share. It is reported to host upwards of 5 million websites, with more than 70 million domains registered. Headquartered in Arizona, the United States, it currently has upwards of 7000 employees.
So GoDaddy is absolutely massive, no doubts about it. But that is not what this review will be focusing on. Having tested its services, WebHostBros is going to lay out what we have found. Go ahead and read this if you are pondering over whether or not this will be the new home for your website.
GoDaddy offers a wide range of services including domain name registration, web hosting, email hosting, website builder, SSL certificates, etc. As usual, we will be focusing on its web host services. If you are considering hosting your website on GoDaddy, there are shared, VPS, WordPress, and dedicated, hosting plans to choose from.
Here, a server and its resources are shared by multiple websites. These websites are assigned the server’s resources depending on what shared host plan they are on. Shared hosting is the least powerful type of web hosting, as the activities or traffic on other websites may result in adverse effects on yours.
GoDaddy has a range of Windows and Linux plans for shared hosting. All plans come with unmetered bandwidth, 1-click install for over 150 apps for CMS sites, and 1-click domain name setup.
For Linux systems, there are four plans on offer. The Economy plan is entry tier and costs $5.99/mo. It comes with 100GB of storage and up to 10 databases. You can only host one website on this plan and you don’t get a free SSL certificate.
The Deluxe plan comes next, and it improves on the Economy plan, with unlimited storage, unlimited websites, and up to 25 databases. It starts at $.7.99/mo.
GoDaddy recommends the Ultimate plan for “high-traffic sites”. You get unlimited databases here, with increased processing power. A free SSL certificate is also included, but only for the first year. This plan starts at $12.99/mo. Finally, we have the Maximum plan, which starts at $12.99/mo. It offers a free SSL certificate for the duration of the plan, with even higher processing power.
GoDaddy’s shared hosting plans are not near the top of the rank of the best we’ve seen. For one, while it is not very expensive, it is not the cheapest. Additionally, there are quite a few extra costs for features that come free with some other hosting providers. For example, you will need to cough up extra for website backups and migrations.
VPS hosting is a variation of shared hosting, except it comes with a virtual server, and there is a lot more in terms of resources and your control over them. Fewer websites get to share the server too, which is a definite plus. As a result, it is generally more expensive than shared hosting.
GoDaddy’s VPS offering is a choice between self-managed and fully managed VPS hosting. The self-managed option comes with full root access. It is a good fit for developers or system administrators with the technical knowledge and experience required to properly manage the virtual server. It starts at $4.99/mo. for 1 vCPU and rises to $69.99/mo. for 8 vCPU.
If you would rather let the experts at GoDaddy handle the administration of your virtual server for you, then you can opt for the fully managed VPS plans. It starts at $99.99/mo. for 1 vCPU, rising to $159.99/mo. for 8 vCPU.
Like its shared hosting plans, GoDaddy allows customers to choose between Windows and Linux packages. They are not dirt-cheap, but GoDaddy’s VPS hosting plans are solid and better pound-for-pound than those of the shared hosting.
For websites with a huge number of expected traffic, sharing a server with other websites may be counter-productive. A virtual server may not kick it even. In this case, dedicated servers are the way out. As the name suggests, a website is assigned an entire server, together with the resources that come with it.
Dedicated web hosting is a very powerful form of web hosting. Because there are no other websites competing for resources, you can expect better uptimes and performances. In addition, the website owner gets control of the server, with full root access and permission to install software and customize it to their preferences.
GoDaddy has an impressive array of dedicated server options to choose from, both Windows and Linux. As with the VPS plans, there are options for self-managed and fully managed dedicated servers. All plans come with free SSL certificates with dedicated IP, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and a choice between SSD and HHD storage.
Self-managed plans start from $129.99/mo. or you can opt for the fully managed plans instead, starting at $234.99/mo.
Let’s explore the benefits you stand to gain if you decide to give GoDaddy a try.
1. Decent Speeds
The speeds that your website loads have a very significant impact on the user experience. In fact, speed as a performance metric has a direct correlation with a website’s conversion rate, research shows. A 0-4 second load time has been found to be best for conversion rates. In addition, speed affects how high your website is ranked by Google.
GoDaddy has a solid performance when it comes to response and page load times. We monitored a test website over a period of three months using the Pingdom tool. The results showed an average load time of 634 ms for that period. This is a remarkable improvement from its speed from a few years ago.
2. Good Uptime
A website’s uptime is the time that the website is available for its visitors or traffic to access it. Every website experiences downtimes intermittently, but it is crucial that this is kept down to the barest minimum. Customer retention, revenues, SEO rankings, and a lot more depending on your website being up when your visitors need it.
The average website uptime is around 99.4%. While this may seem high, it means that a website that is up for that average time will experience downtimes for 52 hours a year. The lower the uptime gets; the more hours your website will be down.
GoDaddy has this average beat, barely. Using UptimeRobot, WebHostBros monitored its uptime over 3 months. Over that time, our test site has an uptime of 99.96%. You can expect higher uptimes with SiteGround, but this isn’t bad.
3. Easy 1-click App Installations
One of GoDaddy’s services is website building, and its site builder comes with drag-and-drop features. If you are looking for more than just this though, you will be glad to know that you can integrate up to 150 popular applications with just one click. Examples of this are content management platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
You also get developer tools like cPanel, CloudLinux, MySQL, Python, and PHP. GoDaddy’s range of 1-click apps and tools are suitable for a wide spectrum of webmasters, from newbies to those with a wealth of technical experience.
4. Windows Servers
Web hosting providers generally offer two kinds of hosting – Linux hosting and Windows hosting. Because of its affordable price and flexibility, Linux systems are usually the preferred choice, with many web host providers not providing an option for Windows.
GoDaddy has a robust Windows offering though. On most of its plans, customers get to choose between Linux and Windows hosting, so users with Windows-specific preferences like ASP, and .NET are not left out.
1. Mediocre Customer Support
GoDaddy has a large knowledge base, with tons of articles, videos, tutorials, and walk-throughs. This knowledge base covers a lot of the inquires you may have.
Still, a strong customer support system is important for those moments it seems you are way in over your head. GoDaddy has 24/7 customer support, with access through telephone, live chat, and email. In reality, reaching a customer care agent isn’t always easy.
Skimming through user reviews on review sites will show that customer support is an area GoDaddy needs to improve on.
2. Lack of Basic Features for Free
Many web host companies throw in a host of features as freebies. This serves as a way to attract more customers. This is largely not so with GoDaddy.
SiteGround, A2 Hosting, and Hostinger all offer varieties of extras like free daily backups, free SSL certificates, and free website migrations. GoDaddy does not offer any of these for free.
3. Plenty of Upsells
Due to the lack of extra features mentioned earlier, users will need to fork out more money to get these features. This can rapidly add up to a lot. For example, on plans that don’t come with free SSL certificates, you will need to pay an extra $6.67/mo. to beef up your website’s security. Backup fees start at $2.99/mo.
GoDaddy boasts of millions of web host customers, and it is not all down to the very expansive marketing. It has options for most website owners, from small personal websites to websites that can expect millions in traffic monthly.
There are a lot of positives to look out for, like its performance, competitive pricing, and the wealth of 1-click app options available. On the other hand, there are downsides worth noting, such as the lack of extras and the upsells.
It is not the top web host option in the market in spite of its popularity, but GoDaddy is certainly a solid web host, and largely reliable.