GoDaddy is a decent web hosting provider. Their huge presence in the web hosting market means they’re quite reliable, and their support team is one of the best and quickest we’ve had the pleasure of dealing with. However, they don’t seem to provide as much value as the competition. Learn more.
September 21, 2020•
To be honest, we didn’t really want or need to write this web hosting review.
I mean, everyone who’s not a complete neanderthal would have heard, or have some sort of experience with the GoDaddy brand by now. Seriously, go ask the densest, most ignorant person you know about GoDaddy.
It’ll sound at least vaguely familiar to them.
Pros of GoDaddy
Cons of GoDaddy
GoDaddy Plans & Pricing
GoDaddy Against The Competition
Compared to GoDaddy, we’re a teeny-tiny-itty-bitty ant, whose opinions are like a baby’s farts – slightly unpleasant, but easily dispersed with a few waves of the hand.
The thing is, we feel that we have a duty to our readers. After all, our mission is to empower small businesses, and we’re pretty sure small business owners would like to know how GoDaddy’s actual web hosting service performs against the competition.
Since the proof is in the pudding, we’ve gone and gotten ourselves a GoDaddy account and built a test site, so we can perform experiments and get a feel of how it’s like to use their services first hand.
What we discovered just might shock you!
But before we get to the meat & potatoes of this review, here’s a little history lesson on how the web hosting giant became what it is today.
Honestly, we hate the name GoDaddy. It sounds weird and it has the word… daddy in it.
Perhaps they’re named quite aptly, because the web hosting behemoth is undeniably one of the most successful ones in the industry.
Founded in 1997 by a very wealthy Bob Parsons, GoDaddy was initially named Jomax Technologies.
In 1999, they decided that a rebranding was due for the company and decided on the worst name ever – they wanted to call themselves BigDaddy. Fortunately, the domain for that gag-inducing name was taken so they went for the next best thing – GoDaddy.
Giving themselves such a name turned out to be a good thing, because the company blew up in popularity and currently boasts over 20 million users (as of June 2020).
A company that large will obviously need the manpower to run it, and GoDaddy currently provides over 7,000 people around the world with a steady income, out of which, 2,900 of them are dedicated support staff.
In 2013, GoDaddy became the largest I-CANN accredited domain registrar in the world. They also went on to purchase Neustar’s domain name registry service, and will be changing their domain registration business to be called GoDaddy Registry.
On the web hosting front, GoDaddy is simply killing it. They’ve got the largest piece of the pie in terms of market share with 62 million domains hosted, and has become the web hosting giant to beat.
The thing is, no one really knows if GoDaddy’s web hosting service is so successful because they’re actually better than the competition, or if they just got lucky because they’re… popular?
Well, we rolled up our sleeves, got our hands dirty and tried out every single feature in their list of benefits just so we can provide you with a detailed review of our experience.
Without further ado, let’s get ready to rumble.
The one thing GoDaddy got right is that they understand what their users want – which is to create a website as soon as they possibly can, instead of hanging out at the dashboard not knowing or understanding what to do next.
So, GoDaddy obviously hired a UX team that made the user experience so user friendly, anyone can create a website without the need for much help.
They made it so that the user goes straight from signing up, to setting up their website in a seamless process, guiding the user step-by-step so that no one feels confused or at a loss of what to do.
Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, GoDaddy prompts you to create a domain name.
Sort that out, and they’ll ask you to pick a data center. Make sure to pick one that’s closest to your target audience!
Once your data center is selected, GoDaddy will ask if you want to install WordPress – since we like how easy WordPress is to use, obviously we’ll follow instructions like a good little boy scout.
When you’re done filling up all the necessary details, they’ll notify you that onboarding has been successfully completed and that WordPress is installed. You’ll be presented with a big ‘ol button to access your dashboard, where you’ll find access to all the necessary controls.
Access WordPress from your Dashboard, and you can move on to customizing your site.
That’s literally it. No need to waste time, getting lost and confused figuring out how to install WordPress. They’ve made 1-click install even simpler by offering it as an option in their onboarding process.
Quite a stroke of genius I must say.
In short, GoDaddy makes it so that users can get their websites up and running in as little time as possible. They leave no space for confusion whatsoever when it comes to setup, as everything is designed to be intuitive for the user.
The company actually claims that you can “get online under an hour”, and from our experience, they can actually back this up!
This wouldn’t be a Bitcatcha review without our usual server response time test, so we put our GoDaddy test site through our server speed checker tool, and boy were we impressed.
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||Sao Paulo|
|167 ms||218 ms||197 ms||10 ms||337 ms|
|111 ms||182 ms||7 ms||245 ms||173 ms|
GoDaddy ranked an impressive 171.1 ms in our global average test, making them a really fast A+ ranked web hosting provider!
Since the data center is located in Singapore, the test site tested very well with countries closest to them, even all the way in Bangalore at 111 ms.
From locations further away like the USA, the West side received pings of 167 ms, which is still pretty decent while the East side felt a little sluggish at 218ms.
Speaking of sluggish, response times were really poor in São Paulo at 337 ms, but that’s to be expected since the data center we picked isn’t exactly near.
Speaking of data centers…
GoDaddy has 3 data centers in 3 continents, namely Europe, America, and Asia.
They’ve also got plans to build a data center in India just to serve that particular market, which provides a nice coverage for audiences around the world.
If you could so kindly refer to the speed test results in pro #2, you’ll notice that the response times for São Paulo and Canada are pretty… sloth-like.
If that’s a concern for you, let us allay your fears – our test site is hosted with GoDaddy’s Asian data center, which is considerably further from those locations, hence the relaxed response times.
If your target audiences are in those locations, all you have to do is just to select a data center closer to them, like the one in North America. The closer your server is to your audience, the quicker your site will load for them.
Do keep in mind that you can’t have your cake and eat it. You can’t please everyone from everywhere, as response times will always be a little sluggish for audiences further away.
The best thing you can do is to decide where the majority of your audience resides, and pick a server nearby.
If it’s too late and you’ve already picked a data center that’s not ideal, fret not – GoDaddy offers 1 free data center migration.
This means you’ll be able to move your website over to a server of your choice, completely free of charge!
One of the things that really piss me off when it comes to services like these, is when their support team is made up of a bunch of lackadaisical donkeys.
What we mean by that is, we really hate it when we have to wait more than 15 minutes to connect to a live chat agent.
Here’s looking at you, A2 Hosting.
Anyway, we typically only reach out to support when something goes wrong, and in situations like these, the problem needs to be fixed IMMEDIATELY.
It’s really frustrating to wait an eternity to connect to a live chat agent. It’s even worse when that said agent takes their sweet time attending to your concerns.
GoDaddy boasts an award-winning, responsive support team and in all honesty, they actually live up to the hype.
Our live chat times wait times never lasted more than 2 minutes long, and the support agents we communicated with were patient, knowledgeable and skilled in solving problems.
Best part is, they provide support in 15 whoopin’ languages, covering the most commonly spoken languages in the world to ease communications and cut down frustrations stemming from language misunderstandings.
If you haven’t realized by now, we’re kinda obsessed with site load speed, and we’ve got a very good reason to be.
As mentioned by thinkwithgoogle, shoppers will bounce off your site if they have to wait longer than 3 seconds for it to load.
That’s a huge loss of potential sales, which sucks especially if it’s due to something that’s within our control.
We’re happy to see that GoDaddy is ready for PHP7.4, because it significantly boosts performance, which directly affects site load speed!
GoDaddy’s dedication to PHP is quite reassuring, as it means they’re actively getting their servers ready for new PHP versions; the next major update is PHP8 and it’s rumoured to provide a MASSIVE speed boost.
You can bet your ass GoDaddy will have their servers ready for the update in no time at all!
In pro #5, we mentioned that shoppers just don’t give a damn and will bounce off your site if they have to wait longer than 3 seconds, which obviously will cost you in terms of sales.
That’s pretty bad, but not as bad as having your site consistently down due to server downtime – people lose trust in your site, you look unprofessional, and you lose out ALL the sales you’ll get if your site wasn’t down.
Worse part is, search engines might even give up ranking your site, which causes a whole lotta long term hurt.
This is why we’re pretty happy to see that GoDaddy has a 99.9% uptime guarantee! It basically promises that your site won’t go down due to server downtimes (planned maintenance downtimes don’t count), or they’ll reimburse you for it.
Have a look at their service uptime guarantee clause – looks like GoDaddy has the gonads to walk their talk!
Uptime since August 2020
To ensure that we get our money’s worth in uptime, we’ve been tracking their uptime on our test site via UptimeRobot and so far, we’re still above 99.9%.
Needless to say we’re pretty happy about this.
Of course we like freebies, because who doesn’t?
GoDaddy’s shared web hosting plans come with plenty of complimentary benefits and perks, making us giddy with excitement.
We’re looking at 125+ free applications with Installatron, free security features (we’re talking fraud, virus and spam protection), Office 365 Email, free webmail, SSH access, and unmetered bandwidth allocated for your monthly usage.
The one freebie we really found to really make a difference is GoDaddy’s free domain, available for all shared hosting customers.
Domain names can range from a few bucks to hundreds of thousands a year, so having GoDaddy provide one for us for free made us feel less burdened with everything we had to pay for.
Do note though, the domain name is only free for the first year. You’ll need to pay the regular price for it from the 2nd year onwards.
Looks like it’s not all rainbows and sunshine with GoDaddy’s servers, because we found 3 very distinct cons that we’re not too happy about.
Most respectable web hosting providers know that server response time is of utmost importance, so they engineered software solutions to boost site load speed.
SiteGround’s SuperCacher is one good example of this.
Aside from compatibility with PHP7.4, GoDaddy has no software or setups that increase loading speed, and that is quite a bit of a disappointment to us.
Yes, we mentioned their freebies as one of the pros above, we know that.
The thing is, those freebies, felt superficial at best.
Pretty sure GoDaddy, being on top of the food chain as they are, can afford to provide free SSL, more websites, and free daily backups as part of their arsenal of features.
I mean if Hostinger can do it for just $0.99 a month, GoDaddy really doesn’t have an excuse not to.
GoDaddy’s entry-level Economy plan will cost the first-timer only $6.99 a month, based on a 12-month contract.
However, most people suffer from discount goggles and don’t realize that the onboarding price won’t last forever, giving them a minor heart attack when presented with the renewal bill.
Basically, the onboarding prices are 29% off the actual price, so you’ll be paying $8.99 a month upon renewal.
Here’s a little pro-tip for you – If you want to enjoy lower onboarding price for a longer time, sign up for their 36-month contract.
You’ll be paying 33% off their actual prices, so that’s only $5.99 a month for 36 months. Once the contract period is over, you can always migrate over to other web hosting providers.
The Economy plan is best suited for small or personal sites. If you’re expecting heavy traffic or if you’re managing multiple sites, you’d be better off picking the Deluxe plan.
If you’re planning on setting up an ecommerce site involving transactions and/or sensitive information, the Ultimate plan would be better suited for your needs as it comes with premium DNS, free SSL and twice the performance!
For those of you looking to start bigger ecommerce, high traffic or resource-heavy websites, you’re gonna need some muscle. Luckily, GoDaddy has its business hosting plans to cater to your needs.
Unlike Shared Hosting, the Business Hosting user gets all the resources all to themselves. They won’t have to worry about rogue users stalling the entire server, or stress about their own websites causing slowdowns for others.
Prices for their Business Hosting plans start from $19.99 all the way to $59.99 a month.
Looking to start your own web hosting business?
You’ll probably have to take out a huge loan that your grandchildren will never be able to pay off, just to build your data centers.
That is, unless you do the smart thing and use one of GoDaddy’s Reseller Hosting plans.
You’ll receive the tools to control pricing, payment options, invoicing, and to manage support tickets while GoDaddy takes care of everything else.
Their plans start from $39.99 – $89.99 a month.
We all know by now that GoDaddy is the king of the ring in terms of market share, but let’s have a look at how they actually perform when pitted against some of the smaller competition.
Based on our server response time test, SiteGround’s servers beat GoDaddy’s by a whopping 11.2 ms!
It might not seem like much but in a world where speed is key for sales/conversions, every single millisecond makes a difference.
We believe that this is due to SiteGround’s software configurations like their SuperCacher and NGINX setup. These might seem like little enhancements, but it makes a big difference to site load speeds.
When it comes to data centers, it seems that both are equal as both companies have servers located in Asia, Europe and America.
However, GoDaddy’s only got 3 data centers vs SiteGround’s 6 data centers across 4 continents. Obviously, SiteGround has the advantage of better coverage, hence better for people targeting audiences worldwide!
Also, SiteGround recently migrated their servers to leverage off Google’s Cloud Platform, which would give them an edge in terms of speed.
SiteGround may cost slightly more than GoDaddy, but we personally feel that it’s worth it for more speed-enhancing features and wider data center coverage.
Head over to our complete SiteGround review to learn more!
Performance-wise, GoDaddy and Hostinger are neck and neck in terms of speed, with the former’s global average at 171.1 ms vs the latter’s 175.8 ms.
Regardless, both are very speedy, scoring an A+ in our server speed benchmarks.
Both companies have reliable and responsive support teams, able to help their customers in multiple languages.
In terms of features, Hostinger has quite a few perks that makes them quite a bit more desirable compared to GoDaddy.
Let’s have a look at them side by side so you’ll have a better idea of what we’re talking about.
If you’re thinking that we’re comparing apples to oranges because we’re pitting GoDaddy’s Economy plan against Hostinger’s Premium Shared plan, you’re actually right. It is an unfair comparison.
However, we have good reason to do so – Hostinger’s introductory price is only $2.89 a month for their Premium Shared plan vs GoDaddy’s $5.99 for their Economy plan.
In short, Hostinger’s Premium Shared plan is much cheaper than GoDaddy’s entry level plan. Of course comparisons are gonna be made.
Doesn’t take a genius to figure out which actually provides better value.
Find out more in our in-depth Hostinger review!
If you’re dead set on using GoDaddy as your web host of choice, it’s perfectly fine.
They make a perfectly good web host, with fast speeds, decent features, a fantastic support team, an uptime guarantee and a free domain.
For all intents and purposes, their web hosting services work well enough, and your website will have no problem whatsoever with them. The only thing is that they don’t seem to provide as much as the competition in terms of value and features.
They beat SiteGround in price, but they do not have any speed-enhancing software or special optimized configurations leaving them lacking in that department.
Compared to Hostinger, GoDaddy is just a smidge faster. However, Hostinger seems to be really generous in terms of perks, and their superb introductory prices are really quite something.
To put things in perspective, why would you pay $5.99 for a regular Cheeseburger when you can pay slightly more to get a Double Cheeseburger, or pay much less to get a value meal consisting of a Cheeseburger with fries and a drink?
However, credit where credit is due – GoDaddy still runs cPanel, even though cPanel’s price increases are so high, most companies have decided to bail on them.
If you’re fond of cPanel and not willing to change, then GoDaddy might just be the right choice for you. If you’re looking for more value or more features, best look somewhere else.