GoDaddy Web Hosting Review
Last Updated: 05 Nov'15
Choosing the perfect web-hosting service is a critical decision that can make or break an online business, so it is very important to go for one that addresses all your needs. Here we review GoDaddy, a behemoth in the domain and hosting industry, as a part of our web-hosting product review series.
In 1997, Bob Parsons founded Jomax Technologies, which changed its name to GoDaddy Group Inc. in 1999. Currently, it is the world’s largest domain registrar, with 59 million domains under its management, and has a massive figure of 12 million customers. GoDaddy is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has facilities in many other cities and countries, like Washington, D.C.; Singapore; India; and the Netherlands. It also offers e-business-related services and software along with domain and hosting.
GoDaddy comes with a wide range of web-hosting plans, including Shared and WordPress hosting, starting at $3.99 per month; dedicated hosting, at $129.99; and managed VPS, starting at $29.99. It also has a plan called Dedicated IP, offered at $5.99 per month, which is a perfect option if you require the ability to access your website during DNS propagation periods.
If you want to create a website on your own, then GoDaddy offers website builder tools for both personal and business users. The personal plan starts at $1.00 per month, and the premium plan, which is for growing businesses, is offered at $10.99 per month. The difference among all the plans lies in the major features, like the number of themes provided, disk space, bandwidth, email addresses, and additional features, such as mobile compatibility, search engine friendliness, SSL certificate, etc.
The best part is GoDaddy enables you to easily track inventory by stock keeping unit (SKU) and price. With the e-commerce builder, you can upload unlimited products; integrate major payment gateways, like PayPal and Stripe; enable customer review and rating options; integrate Facebook Store; and do many more.
Ideally, an outsourced website-development company or a developer will only create your website, but GoDaddy’s website design services offer tons of free tools, like email accounts, SEO tools, a website editor, and a one-year SSL certificate, which make GoDaddy distinct from other hosting services. Additionally, it doesn’t charge you setup fees, and there is no need to make changes yourself. You just need to raise a request, and the GoDaddy technical team will make half an hour of updates every month.
WordPress is the most popular blog and web-publishing platform, so GoDaddy has a dedicated plan for setting up a WordPress site or blog to ensure it is not left behind. It offers three plans—for startups, small businesses, and large agencies—and the pricing varies between $3.99 and $29.99 depending on the plan chosen.
Once the plan has been purchased, all that’s required is to log in and create the website directly from the control panel. GoDaddy offers the latest version of WordPress, and the same goes with the themes and plug-ins offered. Also, it takes care of the database setup process, which saves users significant time and effort.
If you want to move your WordPress site from some other hosting company to GoDaddy, then you would be happy to know that the process is easy and can be done with just one click. Just put it on a temporary domain or move it to your domain name, do a quick review, and that’s it! You are ready to publish your dream site.
Like other hosting providers, GoDaddy has in place a good control panel that makes the job of configuration and customization easy. Customers need to use the normal log-in credentials for accessing cpanel, which is permanently integrated with the main GoDaddy website.
However, the screens look a bit crowded with links, information, and hidden menus, so there is a learning curve involved—not because it’s complex, but just so you become familiar. The file manager, database manager, and domain managers are good. The online file manager may not serve all your needs, but it’s armed with more than the standard array of features.
GoDaddy’s features make it a leader in the domain and hosting industry. Let’s look at a few of them.
GoDaddy has over 4.1 million apps and scripts available to satisfy all kinds of needs. Whether the requirement is to set up an online store or a blog or to incorporate forums, message boards, or project management, it has specific apps available to completely address your needs. Some popular one-click apps it provides are:
- Geeklog, a PHP/MySQL blogging tool
- Serendipity, a PHP-powered weblog app
- DotNetNuke, an open-source web application framework
- Moodle, a course management system
- osCommerce, leading online-store management software
- Leading shopping cart software, like Pinnacle and Zen Cart
- 4Images, an image gallery management tool
- phpBB or PHP Bulletin Board, leading open-source forum software
- dotProject, a web-based project management app
- Website add-ons, like Piwik, Web Calendar, and PHC Download
Additionally, it offers freebies, like free stock images, Google Adwords credit, Facebook advertising, Fotolia credits, and SSL certificates, depending on the product and plan chosen.
GoDaddy offers POP3- and IMAP-configured email accounts that can be customized and includes spam filtering and virus and fraud protection. You can use GoDaddy’s web-based email client that comes with a user-friendly interface with loads of good features, like message filtering, text-mail, and greeting cards.
If you want to purchase GoDaddy’s email specifically, then it has three plans, namely, Email Essentials, Online Essentials, and Business Premium. Email Essentials comes at a starting price of $3.99 per user per month and gives you 5 GB of email storage and 2 GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage space. Online Essentials starts at a price of $6.99 per user per month and comes with 50 GB of storage for email, a shared calendar, and contacts; 1 TB of OneDrive storage; unlimited HD video conferencing and online meetings; and web versions of Microsoft Excel, Word, and other programs.
These days, data theft activities have become a serious concern for everyone, and so GoDaddy has secured its email service better by enabling Rijndael, an advanced and powerful encryption technique for its web mail users along with its very own security certificate.
The email setup process is easy as you can do it right at sign-up. All you need to do is select the domain to which the email address would be linked, key in your preferred email handle and password, and that’s it! Quick and easy.
However, there have been some recent complaints regarding its loading time, and one reason could be its overcrowded server with a large number of different websites. We must mention that there can be more reasons affecting site speed, and hosting providers may not even be responsible for it. So it’s advisable to get a basic understanding of all the factors that can cause a site to slow down, which will help you make a better decision.
GoDaddy offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and you can claim a credit of 5% of your monthly hosting fee that can be used to buy other products or services from GoDaddy if it fails to maintain the uptime promised for that month.
However, there are some clauses specified where the guarantee may not be applicable, such as during periodic scheduled maintenance done by them, interruptions caused by you, outages due to certain programming environments, and causes that are not reasonably foreseeable or are beyond GoDaddy’s control.
GoDaddy offers incremental and routine backups on users’ sites at a fixed frequency, and to alleviate the risk of any on-site issues, all backups are transferred away from the data center. Although the 99.99% uptime guarantee seems like a good offer, there was a class-action lawsuit against GoDaddy for such a claim. So you may expect a bit less uptime than what it offers.
GoDaddy has several security features, namely, SSL certificates, a code signing certificate, SiteLock website security, and premium DNS enabled, to protect its customers.
An SSL, or secure sockets layer, is used to secure online transactions, data transfer, and passwords, and recently it has become a benchmark for securing the browsing of social media sites. Additionally, an SSL (HTTPS) boosts a website’s search ranking on Google.
Some of the interesting features it offers under all the plans are:
- Supports SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption
- Compatible with all kinds of browsers
- Backed up by a million-dollar liability protection
- Installed in one click
For open-source projects, GoDaddy offers free one-year standard SSL certificates. It keeps sensitive information private, an independent authority validates the domain name and control, and the service offers 256-bit encryption.
The GoDaddy SSL certificate is used by top brands, like American Express, Toshiba, Microsoft, Samsung, and BMW, so you can certainly trust GoDaddy for security, especially since it offers the best encryption.
Code Signing Certificate
A code signing certificate is a digital signature that proves the identity of a software author. It doesn’t alter software but instead provides an additional layer of assurance to end users.
SiteLock Website Security
Hacking has become a serious concern for everyone, so GoDaddy has another security feature in place, called SiteLock, to protect your website from hacking and other online threats. SiteLock scans a website for common vulnerabilities, like SQL injection flaws, cross-site scripting (XSS), and phishing exploits; detects malware; and notifies you as a security alert.
The Premium plan is ideal for any online business that needs ongoing vulnerability scans. It protects up to 500 pages of a website and comes at a starting price of $83.88 annually. All other features offered are the same as those covered under the Professional plan. All the plans include a money-back guarantee and offer a full refund within 45 days of purchase if you’re not happy with the service or you don’t want to continue.
GoDaddy offers 24/7 support throughout the year. Customers can contact the support team by phone, email, or web chat. The live chat option is not available across all countries, and you can contact the team only between 5 am and midnight MST. Their ticketing system is good, and GoDaddy has a forum where customers can participate in conversations and find answers to their queries.
Additionally, GoDaddy has a staff blog in place and has created IdeaShare, which features a suggestion box for customer input on new updates and features. Dedicated-server users need to pay an extra fee if they need additional support. GoDaddy claims to waive all support fees on dedicated and virtual servers if the company is the source of any fault at issue.
The support team respond quickly, and the response time for emails is typically within 24 hours. However, there have been several complaints regarding GoDaddy’s sluggish support (e.g., long waiting times for phone support), but this could be due to its being a large hosting provider and managing millions of websites. Its support is expectedly slower than others’.
GoDaddy is undoubtedly a leader in domain management and poses a serious threat to its hosting competitors. Cost-wise, it’s pretty affordable, especially the shared hosting, but the inclusion of a fee-based website builder tool puts it behind others.
However, if the intent is to have a reliable provider serving both domain management and hosting in one place, then GoDaddy should be a good choice. Also, it is a compact hosting provider with all the necessary tools and applications, and the world-class encryption makes it a winner when it comes to security.
Have you used GoDaddy yet? Are there any other points you would like to add here? What other hosting services would you recommend? Please feel free to leave your comments, and thanks for reading!