Let’s look at how GoDaddy fares in the aspects most critical to website owners
GoDaddy markets itself as the ideal hosting partner for individuals getting their personal ventures off the ground. Indeed, they have helped millions of online business owners and creatives. Establish an online presence to increase their reach and transact directly online.
They established the company in 1997 and thus boast commendable experience in this industry. Over the years, GoDaddy has developed a reputation for aggressive marketing. This could be the reason they have registered the highest number of domain names, according to ICANN.
Some of GoDaddy’s marketing techniques in the past have come in for criticism. The company has radically transformed its image of late, shedding its chauvinistic campaigns.
Besides offering you a place to register your domain and host your website. GoDaddy will give you guidance on how to achieve the best results from your investment. When you enlist on GoDaddy, it will connect you with a community of fellow entrepreneurs you can learn from.
You can easily manage your email and other features of your GoDaddy account from their user-friendly dashboard. If you don’t have a website yet, you can build one from scratch using GoDaddy’s highly intuitive website builder. This builder comes with an online marketing suite. Let’s look at how GoDaddy fares in the aspects most critical to website owners.
Performance and Reliability
GoDaddy promises customers 99.9 percent uptime and tests revealed they lived up to their promise. In fact, they exceeded their promise with an uptime of 99.96 percent being observed by an independent reviewer. This is slightly higher than the industry standard of 99.95 percent. Comparing this with other providers, we can say GoDaddy offers more than average reliability.
However, in a field where some competitors offer 99.95 percent uptime. GoDaddy can’t say to be the best. Unless you’re running an extremely busy blog with thousands of visitors daily, their performance should be good enough. A downtime of just 18 minutes in a month won’t be disastrous for most websites. But for some critical web apps, it may be unsustainable.
Speed tests showed that GoDaddy is not the fastest hosting provider in the market. Their average page loading time on Websitetooltester.com came to 2.5 seconds. But this was only 0.4 seconds slower than the numbers posted by SiteGround, the fastest of the providers tested.
Having good speeds for your site is important. As it can directly dictate whether your site will help you achieve your goals or not. Visitors to your site who have to wait for ages for pages to load have a higher chance of leaving. Before they find out more about your products, let alone placing an order.
What if your audience is beyond the four walls of the United States and you wish them to access content with no noticeable delay?. A hosting provider will better serve you with data centers in different parts of the world. GoDaddy has server farms in Amsterdam and Singapore besides several sites across North America. It gives you decent speeds outside the U.S.
However, GoDaddy do not use Content Delivery Network (CDN) by default. That means speeds in locations not near their servers will be noticeably slower. But if you select some of their more expensive plans, you will enjoy the boost in speed a CDN brings.
GoDaddy offers flexibility in several ways. Whether you would like to build your site on Joomla, WordPress, or Drupal. You can do so at the click of a button with GoDaddy.
If you would like to add functionality to your site with plug-ins. you can easily do so with a one-click installation. You will have access to over 150 free integrations and there are over 150 third-party web applications you can install to enhance your visitors’ online experience.
Their site builder may not offer much in terms of e-commerce functionality. But you can take advantage of the pre-packaged WooCommerce plan GoDaddy offers. This will help you set up shop (up to 70 percent, according to them) faster than you would have if you were doing so from scratch. Fork out $25 per month for this, but you will have SSL, daily backups, and many other security features thrown in.
They will boost your site’s performance with CDN and offer you a bunch of handy features that will make life easy for your customers. Such as shipment tracking and automatic calculation of shipping charges. Sweet as all these sounds, if you’re just getting started in the business, $25 per month will be steep. After all, you will have other bills to pay from revenue streams that are yet to stabilize.
Another way GoDaddy shows its flexibility is by allowing you to host your website or web apps in either a Linux and Windows environment. Not every other provider offers this option. GoDaddy’s Windows customers will manage their files, websites, email, etc. using the intuitive, user-friendly Plesk server panel. Tech-savvy customers can use the root access GoDaddy provides.
GoDaddy offers business owners scalability; you can opt for the Maximum or Ultimate plans if you need higher performance than the entry-level package. If you still need higher performance, you can ask for VPS hosting or dedicated servers.
If all you need is more storage or RAM, you can increase these specs at the click of a button without having to set up an entirely new server. GoDaddy allows you to upgrade to VPS mid-contract without having to pay additional fees apart from the difference between your current plan and the VPS plan.
Like many other hosting providers, GoDaddy offers tempting introductory pricing. You can start on the Economy plan for under $7 per month, but come renewal time. It will require you to pay an additional $1.30. For this, you will get hosting for a single website. But it will come with 100 GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth. This is quite generous as compared to what other providers offer with their entry-level packages.
While the pricing may appear reasonable on the face, it may not be so when you read the fine print. For instance, you will only be able to enjoy the above pricing if you pay for at least one year upfront. If you opt to pay monthly, you will end up spending $10.99 per month.
You will also have to pay extra for such essentials as backups and SSL certificates (other providers including DreamHost and HostGator will throw in SSL for free). These alternative providers also offer much lower introductory pricing than GoDaddy, starting at just $2.49.
Whichever plan you opt for, you will get cPanel access without having to pay for it separately. cPanel is one of the most popular platforms for server and website management. Known for easy to learn and use and is highly customizable. The cPanel dashboard well laid out and features clearly categorized to help you find what you need quickly.
All GoDaddy plans also include a free domain that you can use for a year before having to pay for renewal. You will also get a year’s access to Office 365 email free. Freebies aside, having to pay more than $13 every month for entry-level hosting considered exorbitant considering what the competition offers.
For your added peace of mind, all GoDaddy’s shared hosting plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Their 99.9 percent uptime promise also comes with a guarantee. If they cannot live up to this standard, they will refund you 5 percent of your hosting fees for that month.
But looking at GoDaddy’s terms of service, it is hard to tell when you will actually be eligible to get your money back. If you don’t commit to at least a year-long hosting contract, request your refund within 48 hours if you’re dissatisfied with GoDaddy’s product.
Another thing to be wary of is the premium extras that are available as pre-checked or unchecked options during checkout. If you’re not careful, you may end up paying for a service you may not have been aware you were using. You may end up for instance, with privacy protection, which while useful will add another $10 to your annual billing. Other domains and hosting providers offer this service without additional charges.
Moving your site, apps, and databases to GoDaddy’s servers is not free you have to part with $99.99 for them to do it for you. Other hosting providers lure in customers with free migration. And they will usually have this done in a couple of hours.
Even after parting with that princely sum, GoDaddy can only assure you they will migrate your site in 7-10 working days. This can be particularly frustrating if you were hoping for seamless migration that would affect your customers minimally.
Having a host that will help keep your website safe from DDoS attacks and hacking while deterring spam and phishing email is a welcome bonus for most website owners.
GoDaddy offers DDoS protection and the assurance that the servers hosting your site are being monitored 24/7 by a team of dedicated cybersecurity experts. The email accounts they offer come with enhanced privacy protection and 256-bit encryption.
On the Flipside, GoDaddy does not provide SSL certificates with some more basic plans. Be signed up for the $16.99/month Ultimate or $24.99/month Maximum plans to enjoy HTTPS notation on your URL. Either that or purchase the certificate as a separate add-on for $79.99 annually.
When Google uses SSL as one criterion to rank websites, you cannot do without this feature. But you don’t have to pay extra for it- many providers’ offers include it in even their beginner plans.
GoDaddy’s multi-lingual support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They have guides who will walk you through setting up and help you sort out any issues you encounter in any of 27 languages. You can get in touch with them by phone or chat any time in the day or night. You’re guaranteed to receive a solution without having to wait too long.
The beauty of GoDaddy’s support is that it’s not restricted by the plan you’re on. Some hosting providers limit live chat and phone support to customers subscribed to pricier plans. Others make in-person support an add-on you have to pay for separately.
Several customers complain their chat is slow and suffers from technical glitches from time to time. Them not offering to help migrate your site from your existing provider if you already have to host is another minus.
This could stem from the fact that they offer web design consulting as a premium service. Some customers feel the lack of support on some issues could be down to the fact that GoDaddy wants you to pay them to do it for you.
For a hosting service provider of GoDaddy’s stature, they could do with more consistent support. But as it is, reviews show that it’s a mixed bag. Besides the chat issues, some customers complain of being served by agents who kept them close to an hour on the phone without resolving their queries.
Other GoDaddy customers say they’re called by the firm’s sales representatives in efforts to cross-sell or upsell them other products. But some customers believe the service has improved over time and will continue to get better. One improvement noted is how you’re now connected directly to a support agent when you use the live chat instead of receiving pre-programmed answers from a chatbot.
GoDaddy offers customers a drag-and-drop website builder that even non-technical users can use to put together a functional site. If you love the Squarespace interface, you will find the GoDaddy website builder just as intuitive to use.
The website builder is quite business-oriented and offers you many themes to customize to better connect with your target audience. It also comes with a very user-friendly SEO wizard that will help you boost your website’s rankings on the search engine results pages without having to be an SEO guru.
A real plus this builder offers users over competing platforms is its usability on mobile devices. You can add features and edit existing ones on your web pages on the go. Even popular standalone website builders like Wix and Squarespace won’t give you such functionality. You also benefit from free SSL if you build your site using GoDaddy’s tool.
Talking about functionality, GoDaddy’s website builder comes with a suite of tools to help you with creating content and social media marketing, among other tasks, to promote your brand and products. For instance, you can create a post in one place for all your social media accounts and schedule its publishing.
While there can be no doubt about the website builder’s utility and user-friendliness, it can frustrate you when you want to customize your chosen theme. You won’t be able to make simple amendments like changing a heading’s font or adding elements to a block.
GoDaddy limits you to a selection of just 22 templates, and these offer little variety in terms of the layout of the pages. There are yet more limitations with e-commerce. Checking out items using their tool requires you to go through a third party, which produces a foreign URL that can lead to distrust among your customers.
Your customers also won’t receive an email receipt from you but from that third party. The tool does not automatically factor in taxes you have to configure your local tax deductions manually. Something you wouldn’t have to do on Shopify or other platforms.
To get the most out of this website builder, be ready to spend on premium add-ons. There have also been complaints that sites built using this platform load slowly. With SEO, you will get little help from the GoDaddy website builder, especially in the backlinks department. For all these shortcomings, you will still have to pay $9.99 per month for use of the website builder.
It will be cheaper for you to build your site on WordPress, and you won’t have to put up with the creative restrictions imposed by the website builder’s themes. While it may not be as easy to use as the GoDaddy web builder, WordPress will offer you hundreds of templates to choose from. You will also be able to customize your chosen template to your liking while extending functionality using hundreds of readily available plug-ins.
Signing up on GoDaddy is a breeze. You can easily register, select your plan and the add-ons you want, and select the payment method you prefer. We can make payments using most credit and debit cards or PayPal.
Account activation is quick. If you’re just getting started, you will find a few better places to register your domain. There is a reason millions of website owners have chosen GoDaddy for this. The complications begin when you wish to migrate your data and launch your website.
- Offers novice website owners an easy-to-use platform to manage their websites.
- Offers free access to industry-standard cPanel for website management. If hosting on Windows, they provide access to the equally user-friendly Plesk.
- You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use their tools and get the most out of your website.
- Comes with a very user-friendly, drag-and-drop website builder.
- Relatively well priced for shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers, assuring customers of cost-effective scalability.
- One-click installation of add-ons for enhanced functionality.
- Free email- up to 100 accounts in their most basic plan.
- There is no data transfer limit with even their beginner plans.
- Support is available 24/7/365 on phone and web chat if you need help.
- You can easily scale up to a higher-performance hosting plan whenever the need arises.
- Commit to a 1-3-year plan to save on hosting.
- Not the best provider in terms of speed. Lack of CDN is a factor.
- Lack of a user-friendly search feature for customers who prefer DIY support to find help articles. When you find the support materials, they’re not as detailed as you want.
- No SSL certificates in economy shared hosting plans.
- Pay extra for additional security features, some of which you can get for free elsewhere.
- Unclear terms of service regarding their money-back guarantee.
- Their customer service has a reputation for being slow.
- Pay GoDaddy for them to migrate your website to their servers.
- GoDaddy’s website builder offers limited flexibility to customize its design.
If you’re new to online business and would like to set up a website. GoDaddy is a good place to start. Even with limited technical expertise. You can get your hosting and domain, set your email accounts. And build your website from scratch. If you get stuck anywhere, you can rely on their enthusiastic, ever available support team to get you through.
GoDaddy’s plans are quite pocket-friendly and come with several great freebies. There are options to scale up when your business grows and you require more storage, processing power, email accounts, etc. The 99.9 percent uptime guarantee is nothing more than the industry baseline, and GoDaddy’s upload and download speeds won’t blow your mind.
In a nutshell, GoDaddy is ideal for small businesses or individuals just establishing their online presence. However, bigger enterprises with higher performance demands might want to consider other hosting options.