With over 19 million customers and a management portfolio of 78 million websites, GoDaddy is the world’s largest web hosting provider. However, before investing in GoDaddy’s products and services, you should ask whether the platform suits your business needs and if it’s worth the price.
This article explains everything there is to know about GoDaddy web hosting and will prepare you to make an informed decision.
GoDaddy’s web hosting plans begin as low as $5.99 per month if you subscribe to a three-year plan. Many plans also include appealing extras such as a 5GB Microsoft Office email inbox free of charge. However, the platform’s introductory plans are limited in many ways, which becomes apparent if you read the fine print. For example, storage space starts at 100GB, which is too small for all but the simplest of websites. Furthermore, MySQL databases are limited to a maximum of 1GB.
We’re also disappointed that GoDaddy doesn’t provide SSL certificates as a default in its introductory plans. If you’re planning on installing an eCommerce solution on your website, an SSL certificate is a must. Being forced to pay extra for one can be frustrating, especially when providers such as Bluehost, HostGator, and InMotion all provide one with even their most basic plans.
However, move up the platform’s pricing tiers and you’ll find some very competent products. The Ultimate plan, for example, includes unlimited numbers of domains, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, premium DNS management, and a free SSL certificate. This comprehensive plan will cost you, though. A first-year promotional price of $14.99 per month rises to $19.99 per month upon renewal. Hostgator’s equivalent plan, for example, costs only $8.99 per month for the first year, and $11.99 per month thereafter.
Nonetheless, GoDaddy’s strength lies in its flexibility, and we believe there’s a plan to suit every business. For example, if you’d prefer not to use the standard Linux hosting, you can switch to Windows hosting at no extra cost.
And if you’re looking for a better performing hosting solution, GoDaddy also offers virtual private servers (VPS) starting at $19.99 per month for the first two years, and $29.99 per month after that. This plan includes advanced cPanel management and a free SSL certificate valid for one year.
If you want to host a WordPress site, this can be purchased beginning at $6.99 per month.
If you’re looking for a premium solution, a dedicated server can also provide you with the ideal balance of flexibility and performance. These plans enable you to customize hardware options (RAM and storage space), the type of hosting provided (fully managed or self-managed), and the length of the commitment (ranging from 1 to 24 months).
With all of GoDaddy’s plans, a money-back guarantee is offered, enabling you to try different products and see what suits you best. However, we’re disappointed that GoDaddy appears to make it deliberately difficult to access refunds, with the terms and conditions totaling more than 1,500 words. And if your subscription is for less than a year, you’re only provided with 48 hours to request a refund.
We’re unsure whether GoDaddy is the right provider if you’re just starting out with web hosting. We think there might be better value to be found elsewhere. For example, Ionos’ $4 per month starter plan provides 10GB of storage and an SSL certificate with no ongoing commitment.
Nonetheless, GoDaddy provides a wide range of products and enjoys the benefit of an established market share. If you’re looking for a new web hosting solution for your business, GoDaddy is a must-have on your list of potential providers.
When first creating an account with GoDaddy, you’ll have to make many decisions about what products and services you want and the length of time you’d like to subscribe. Fortunately, you can add or remove most products at a later date, so there’s no need to make final decisions immediately.
As a general rule of thumb, a longer-term period will slightly reduce the per month cost of your subscription. For example, the Launch VPS plan costs $29.99 per month when billed monthly, but is only $24.99 per month if you commit to a 36-month subscription. Similarly, the Economy plan costs $10.99 per month when billed quarterly, but only $8.99 per month on a 12, 24, or 36-month plan.
When choosing your plan, you’ll also be encouraged to purchase several add-ons such as website backup, malware scans, and SSL certificates. Make sure to check your cart before proceeding to payment, as GoDaddy will sometimes add these items to your cart by default. And we’ll repeat it: most of these paid extras are included in similarly priced competitor plans.
The final steps you’ll need to complete when setting up an account include connecting your domains, choosing a regional data center for your hosting, and creating a cPanel account. If you’re not sure exactly what choice to make, don’t fret. You can always come back and edit these settings at a later time.
The web dashboard is where you control your site’s hosting and manage all related settings. Fortunately, GoDaddy’s web dashboard is simple, effective, and easy to use.
The layout is straightforward, and relevant information is displayed prominently. Products you’ve purchased are clearly displayed, and links to other important applications and plugins are also easy to find. Finally, the cPanel launch button is conveniently located.
One of our criticisms with other web hosting providers is that they make it difficult to cancel or remove certain products. Fortunately, this isn’t an issue with GoDaddy. From the account action menu, three options are prominently displayed: upgrade, reset, and cancel. This makes it easy to control your expenses.
We’ll have more to say on this in the support section, but if the web dashboard is confusing you, then the help button will launch a pop-up help menu, making it easy to get support without leaving the current page.
In summary, we think GoDaddy’s web dashboard is excellent. It has all the critical information and options displayed prominently but remains easy to use.
WordPress is one of the most popular website builders and is fortunately easy to host with GoDaddy.
From within the setup wizard, you can choose to Create a WordPress website. After entering your WordPress credentials, the wizard will do the rest. This is the easiest way to connect a WordPress site to your GoDaddy account.
However, this method provides little control over how your site is set up. Users looking for greater control might want to Installatron instead. More on that later, however.
GoDaddy’s web hosting plans don’t enable you to build a website, so if you haven’t yet designed your site, you’ll need to find a website builder.
The good news is that several website builders are helping people create beautiful, powerful websites at low cost. Some of the most popular include Wix, WordPress.com, and GoDaddy’s very own website builder.
With a one-month free trial and a range of affordable and feature-packed plans, GoDaddy is an excellent choice of website builder. There are numerous plugins available, as well as powerful eCommerce solutions. Prices range from $10 to $25 a month, depending on your business’ specific needs.
Another benefit of building your site with GoDaddy, of course, is seamless integration with its web hosting services.
One of the best parts of any GoDaddy web hosting plan is Installatron. This software package enables you to install your choice of 125 apps, including favorites such as WordPress, Drupal, MediaWiki, PrestaShop, and Magento, among many more. It’s not the best installer software, but it will provide adequate functionalities for most business users.
Installatron also enables you to categorize apps by type (such as content management, eCommerce, or file management). This is ideal for when you’re looking for a particular kind of application, but don’t have a specific provider in mind. For most apps, GoDaddy will provide you with a preview of the app, examples of other sites using the app, or the ability to access a live demo.
Installatron also provides advanced management tools and enables users to back up and secure their site using popular file transfer protocols. This is ideal when migrating your site from one web hosting provider to another.
GoDaddy might be the largest web hosting provider globally, but is it the best performing provider? We put GoDaddy’s services to the test.
Using Uptime.com, we conducted a week-long performance test using our GoDaddy shared hosting account. Uptime.com tested the site’s availability and response times every five minutes from locations in both Europe and the US.
The good news is that GoDaddy achieved 100 percent uptime. This isn’t particularly surprising given it was only a week-long test. Nonetheless, it’s a start!
The less good news is that response times were below average, with a typical response time of 649ms. The range was from 574ms to 813ms, which is more encouraging, as it shows that GoDaddy is a consistent performer. Although some web hosting providers will have quicker response times (Hostwinds, Tsohost, Hostinger, and Ionos all averaged between 150-200ms at the time of testing), they will also regularly have bad days when response times exceed three seconds.
It’s also worth mentioning that our test covered GoDaddy’s basic shared hosting plan. If you purchase a VPS or any of the more premium products, you are likely to enjoy far superior performance.
When it comes to web hosting, you get what you pay for.
The first place to go when needing support with the GoDaddy platform is the help center. As previously mentioned, this appears as a floating window, which is a feature we appreciate. From here, you can access a variety of support articles and other explanatory documents.
There is a large amount of information available, and there is a search bar to help you find the relevant information. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, scrolling to the bottom of the support window will enable you to access live chat and 24/7 phone support.
Our experience with live chat support was positive. The customer representative we spoke with provided us with a succinct and helpful response to our question. Phone support, however, can be more challenging to access. Several menu options must be navigated, and wait times can be fairly lengthy at peak periods. Nonetheless, we were similarly impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of the customer representative we spoke with.
Still, there are several aspects of GoDaddy’s support center that left us disappointed. For example, some articles don’t discuss what we thought they would. One article, titled “Publish my website”, ended up discussing how to install applications on your site. Weird.
We were also perplexed by the alarmist suggestion that setting up a cPanel hosting account might cause your current website and email addresses to stop working. We’re very familiar with cPanel, and we’re confident in saying that users always remain in control when working with cPanel, and most mistakes are easily fixed.
So although we appreciate the diverse and extensive support offered by the GoDaddy team, some seem to be of a lesser quality than we would hope for.
GoDaddy offers an impressive range of products and services, which is perhaps not surprising given its large market share in the web hosting sector. By and large, we think that GoDaddy web hosting is reliable and will perform as described. However, you get what you pay for, and you’ll have to pay more if you want top-quality performance or add-ons such as SSL certificates and malware protection. We think there might be greater value to be found with other providers.
Nonetheless, it’s worth considering GoDaddy for your business’ web hosting solution, because with so many options it’s likely there will be a plan that suits your needs.