Internet guru Bob Parson has been in the business for more than 20 years and he's made arguably the most famous hosting empire of them all. A combination of AOL's "Go" command and a phrase "Big Daddy", GoDaddy is a name many hold synonymous with web hosting. More than 6,000 employees in 2017 and over 55 million hosted domains (all the way back in 2013!) tell the entire story. This company is a business giant and GoDaddy reviews are almost always positive. So it is time for me to see what they're worth. Let's check GoDaddy web hosting services and see whether this business giant is worth your money or not.
Shared web hosting
Recently, GoDaddy announced it will be scrapping its cloud servers but there are still plenty of other services to choose from. Shared GoDaddy hosting is arguably one of the most popular hosting in the world. For those who grow out of that, the company offers virtual private and dedicated servers, as well as reseller hosting.
Of course, it shouldn't surprise anyone that GoDaddy is in the ICANN Accreditation list. It is expected for one of the biggest domain name companies to take matters into its own hands and register domains itself.
GoDaddy hosting has a fair share of extra features. If well executed and helpful, they will nicely benefit every person who uses this hosting. Let's see what those features are:
An advanced website builder
GoDaddy has a solid website builder. There are over 300 website templates you can choose from. Many of those templates are completely mobile-friendly. That means you can easily make a great looking website and immediately have it optimized to look amazing on desktop, mobile, and tablet.
24/7 phone support
Many people enjoy using phone customer service. However, many companies now try to avoid it and instead rely on chat or ticket support. GoDaddy is not one of them. This host goes a step further and offers phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Some hosts don't give you much flexibility. For example, you can only choose either a 1-month or a 12-month plan. Some are slightly more flexible and offer two or three years. GoDaddy is the most versatile of them all, offering introductory plans ranging from 1 month to 10 years.
Being a global superpower in the world of shared hosting world, GoDaddy has a firm grip on the market. That includes having advertisements in the America's biggest televisions as well as Superbowl and English Premier League games. This is why it is going to be very exciting for me to finally give GoDaddy a proper test.
You'd imagine that one doesn't get to rule the market by simply having good marketing - surely services have to be great as well? Well, I am going to buy shared web hosting and compare the positive GoDaddy reviews with my personal experience.
What's included in GoDaddy packages?
You are given a selection of three different plans (Business Hosting is a VPS package!) :
Economy - a plan which allows you to host only one website but gives a generous 100GB of disk space and unmetered bandwidth.
Deluxe - unmetered in both disk space and bandwidth, this plan is more expensive but has fewer limitations.
Ultimate - this plan adds an extra SSL certificate, as well as unlimited databases and FTP accounts. That allows you for maximum flexibility and security.
If you want to have a clearer picture of what these plans offer, look at this table, providing an in-depth comparison.
If you've been paying enough attention, you'll know the drill with the "monthly" hosting prices. When a hosting provider offers you a "monthly" price, it usually means that it proposes a long-term plan, for example - two years. By choosing it, you would be prompted to pay for the entire period in advance. So, a "$5 monthly fee" would mean 120 dollars but when you pay that, you get two years worth of services.
These are the prices you'd be charged in the cart for each of the three plans:
Payment Period / Plan
Renewal prices are very straightforward, $7.99 a month for Economy, $10.99 a month for Deluxe, $16.99 a month for Ultimate.
*The prices displayed here are without VAT - you may get extra taxes included for the purchase from your region.
GoDaddy doesn't offer much without you paying up. SSL certificate is only free with the top-tier plan (and is free for 1 year only). Malware and DDoS protection cost extra. Assisted site migration is $99. Plenty of things you may assume to be free will require extra funds. Almost everything is available - you just need to pay.
The fact there's a 10-year plan is actually amazing: I don't know but it might be a record of some sort. The renewal prices are pretty steep but if you pick hosting for 10 years, it won't be a problem anytime soon. Price-wise, it doesn't make much sense to pick a plan shorter than 12 months here. If you look to run a short project and want to save, going elsewhere might be better. Check out the list our top web hosting services - that may help you (link opens in a new tab!)
GoDaddy Customer Service
Good customer support is often quite underrated. It's almost a rule that no matter how good your service is, eventually you're going to run into some problems. With those problems around you, a good customer support agent is going to either make or break your day. This is why many companies try to help their clients by providing plenty of ways to contact customer support. They often include phone, Skype calls, tickets, live chats, etc. Surprising or not, GoDaddy provides only two:
On one hand, it makes sense. Some people like talking, some people like texting. On the other hand, I was perplexed by the lack of ticket support. Some problems may include multiple lines of code and require some extended specialist work - neither live chat nor phone are suitable for solving those. But enough of that, let's see how good are the two available options.
Phone Service Evaluation
You are given two numbers to choose from. After picking one, I called and as usual, was greeted by the automatic voice system. It was cheery and made multiple cheesy jokes. They were fairly good but a bit distracting. After finally choosing my option, I was allowed to wait with or without background music. Personally, I thought that was a nice little touch that could make waiting in the line a bit less stressful.
I called multiple times. At some of the attempts I was told an approximate waiting time, at some I wasn't. However, those times were almost never accurate. As a rule, it took me 5 to 8 minutes to get connected. While I waited, music on or off, I was still subject to plenty of recorded upselling attempts.
During the chats, I've encountered a lot of really great agents. One good example was Jared, who got my request for "FTP hosting". Instead of offering a VPS (a logical solution), he said that I would save a lot of money by contacting Dropbox or looking for a similar online storage company. I checked and GoDaddy appears to have no affiliation with Dropbox. It meant that Jared offered me a solution that is the best for me, not his company's interests.
Such a personal touch is very welcomed - especially when you consider that GoDaddy has been trying to sell me something once every two minutes. Other agents have shown a similar level of knowledge and compassion. If those wait times could be cut by at least 50%, I would say that GoDaddy phone support would even rival SiteGround.
Chat Service Evaluation
Chat service is not always available. As weird as it may appear, you are not always allowed to ask for a conversation. When the lines would be too long, you are just not allowed to start one. The option to start a chat only pops up in the basket and when you're browsing the support page.
Otherwise, getting someone to talk to you in a live chat would be difficult. There are two conclusions we can draw from this. Either GoDaddy trusts its phone support way more than chat and does everything so people would call, or the live chat is very understaffed and can't carry on with the requests. Knowing what a huge company GoDaddy is, I think that they just see more positives when people use phone support.
If you managed to sneak around and actually score a live chat, this is how its agents perform:
In every chat service evaluation, I look into three things. First up, there come wait times. Then, I check the knowledge. Finally, I evaluate the human contact and general behavior.
In terms of wait times, there's not much to say - every chat started instantly. Considering you have to channel your inner James Bond to even score one, this is not that much of an achievement. However, in terms of knowledge, the customer support representatives have been helpful. They immediately answered most of the general questions. In the matter of human contact and familiarity, I have no praises or complaints. Everything was simple, I felt respected and received the support I needed.
I must also add that de facto, GoDaddy has a ticket support system. If you are an existing client and contact via live chat or phone, you have to prove your identity. Later, if there's a problem the agents can't solve, a ticket gets sent to a separate support team. The team would solve your issue and send you an e-mail with its response. It's not so much a separate support method, it's only used if your agent did not provide you with necessary help.
First Impressions During and After the Purchase
GoDaddy reviews rarely mention any problems happening with the purchase. Such was the case for me as well. Everything was smooth sailing - linear and easy. No additional activation processes were needed as well. Everything was as simple as it can be. They even showed me a quick welcoming video - which is always welcomed.
Soon after, I had my first problem. I was unable to find how to login back into the account and had to open a chat window to find all the necessary information. The chat was quick and pleasant. The agent was not very knowledgeable in terms of technical questions but they were very polite all the way and eventually, everything was perfect. I logged back in and finally got to see the dashboard. Here it is:
The cPanel link is clear and easily visible. Unlike some competitors, GoDaddy sticks to what works and uses a rather simple panel skin.
I've started writing this review ready to be impressed. After purchasing the services, that was very much how I felt. Impeccable phone support matched well with a simple to use dashboard and panel. However, the thorough evaluation revealed some dents in the GoDaddy armor as well. Aggressive upselling of the features which many hosts give away for free was a bit disappointing. Also, I did not like the fact it was very difficult to get chat support. Nevertheless, the most important test is still yet to come. It is now time to check the performance.
These are the things I will be testing here:
Host’s speed during low upkeep
Host’s speed with a website created with GoDaddy website builder
Server’s overall uptime
Anti-theft security evaluation
The tests you will see here are going to be constantly updated - if the host fixes up its problems and improves (or does the exact opposite!) that will reflect in the review as well.
IMPORTANT NOTICE - we do not claim for these tests to be 100% accurate representations of the server speeds. In order to get the most precise numbers, we tested multiple tools and eventually settled on Bitcatcha. This tool provided us with the most consistent results. Nonetheless, even Bitcatcha depends on its own access points. In order to get the best possible results, I've conducted 10 tests in quick succession. Results you see posted here are the average ones.
Host Speed During Low Upkeep
A simple HTML website is perhaps the quickest one possible. After all, it only contains a few lines of code. I used GoDaddy File Manager to upload a website.
Those were the Bitcatcha results:
I've uploaded two because I want to highlight one interesting thing. Most of the speeds were pretty consistent. However, it pretty much all of those tests, either Bangalore (India) or Singapore has been underperforming. Never both.
Host Speed With GoDaddy Website Builder
This test is going to show how well optimized the GoDaddy website builder is. By comparing the speeds between the HTML site and a builder one, we are going to see just that. Here is the page we will test:
Here are the results:
We can see a couple of very interesting extremes. Once again, at least one international server (Japan, Singapore, or Bangalore) is underperforming. Following that, we see the East Coast servers showing absolutely impeccable numbers. In all 10 of the tests, not once this server has exceeded 10 ms.
To sum it up, GoDaddy website builder performs quite well. Also, nothing should be taken away from the fact that the host's servers are genuinely very quick. Impressive.
NOTE - This section of the review will get constant updates as well.
A simple WordPress website was created. Then, an uptime tool was set up in order to track its performance. This test is going to show the host's overall availability in the server the website was hosted. This kind of test isn't 100% correct as well, as GoDaddy datacenters have multiple servers. A temporary server failure may cause some websites to go offline but some still stay up. What we're testing here is the performance of one specific server GoDaddy has given us at random.
These are the results (late October, 2017):
Here they are, after one extra update (early January, 2018):
Once more - in February 2018.
And finally, pictured below is the ultimate, all-time response time and uptime graph. From the very first day we began our testing, to the day I am writing this update in!
Overall, we can see a trend of decent, slightly improving performance and very good uptimes. In the link above, you can check everything out by yourself. In these several months, I myself have noticed that performance is definitely not a stick to beat GoDaddy with.
Not all is perfect, of course. GoDaddy stability has always been questionable. Just like in that February graph, sometimes the servers tend to hiccup and take 20 or 30 seconds to properly load. However, there are days of complete smooth sailing.
In terms of uptime, GoDaddy is doing fairly well. There are downtimes taking place, but they are relatively minor - the website is usually down for 10 minutes or less at the time. Such outages occur once every one or two weeks. Generally not bad - such downtimes are unlikely to cause serious problems. Sure, may be slightly disappointing once they occur but a rare hosting provider is 100% perfect.
Anti-Theft Protection Evaluation
This test was conducted in two parts. In the first one I was testing the security measures of the system itself, in the second I tried to steal the password using GoDaddy live chat.
The first part was rather simple. I cleared my cache, changed my IP to an Austrian one and simulated a brute-force break-in. After typing 20 incorrect passwords in succession, I finally got it right on my 21st attempt. This is what I was shown then:
"There seems to have been a problem with your account. Please wait 15 seconds before logging back in."
This is quite interesting. If you're using brute-force software to get inside the account, the program will treat this screen as "a failed login" and will continue guessing. If you are a person trying to guess the password, this screen will be an active indication that you finally guessed it right. Although there may be ways to go around this even when you're using brute-force software. In general, GoDaddy have security measures they use to stop brute-force break-in attempts. Perhaps they could be improved but it's better than nothing.
For the second part, I tested how GoDaddy customer service handles sensitive user information. Once again, I logged out, cleared my cache, changed my IP and tried to get my password without providing any tangible proof of owning the account. This is what happened:
As you can see, GoDaddy is so secure, you can't get your password back even if you own the account. This is quite rare, as many companies do have a "last resort" verification process, which usually requires payment details or an answer to the security question. Here, if you lose your contact email, your account is lost.
IMPORTANT - take care of your personal information. Don't use repeating passwords and regularly change them. Additional software that encrypts your passwords, such as LastPass, could be very helpful as well.
GoDaddy Reviews - Conclusion
GoDaddy web hosting isn't all fancy marketing. Behind those expensive advertisements, there is still a solid company offering good services. Those services combine two very important features that every host should prioritize - an easy to use interface and great performance. Add solid phone support into the mix and you get a very serious contender for your money.
On the other hand, there are some flaws as well. Many features and services, such as assisted website transfer or an SSL certificate require either a separate payment or a very expensive plan. Also, it is going to be quite difficult to get hold of the chat support - and if you do, trying to get your password back, you may be disappointed
All in all, many GoDaddy reviews are bang on. It's a fairly solid hosting provider, offering good services. If you are prepared to pay a little bit extra, you won't go wrong.
Free domain name for the entire length of your starting package. Many providers provide it free of charge for only 12 months - not GoDaddy.
Starting package up to 10 years.
A great website builder.
High renewal prices.
Plenty of upselling, many services not included.
No "Last Resort" password reset.
Global data centers
Long introductory plans
99.9% uptime guarantee
Prices range from $2.49 to $3.49 on following 6 hosting plan offers
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