From their overly sexualized Superbowl commercials, to their incessant YouTube ads, to the proliferation of GoDaddy affiliates in the web hosting space, you gotta hand it to them for producing awesome content.
I guess McDonald’s doesn’t really do any of that. But – they are easily the most widely known web hosting company in the world.
Is their fame the result of a high quality product or are these commercials responsible for their success?
We’ve been testing their services to answer that exact question.
Let’s dive in, pop the hood, and take a look at what GoDaddy really offers.
- 1 Who is GoDaddy Hosting?
- 1.1 GoDaddy Hosting Pros – Great Performance 👍
- 1.2 GoDaddy Cons 👎
- 1.3 Pricing 💳
- 1.4 Do We Recommend GoDaddy? 🔎
- 1.5 FAQ 🙋
Who is GoDaddy Hosting?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock… on another planet… in a different solar system, you know who GoDaddy is. 🛸
Heck, even your grandparents are probably familiar with GoDaddy. 👴🏼👵🏼
And it’s easy to see why…
Founded more than two decades ago in 1997 in Baltimore, Maryland (under the name Jomax Technologies) GoDaddy has experienced a meteoric rise through the rankings of the web hosting world and raked in a jaw-dropping $2,231,900,000 in revenue last year.
Considering that Bob Parsons, the Founder and President of GoDaddy, sold one of his previous companies to Intuit for a “small” sum of, oh $65,000,000, this doesn’t really come as a surprise.
Today, GoDaddy employs more than 6,000 people, serves 17 million companies worldwide, and is widely considered the largest web hosting service provider on the planet.
So I think it’s safe to say that they’re doing just fine.
But here’s the thing about big companies. They tend to fall under one of two umbrellas.
- “I deserve my success because I offer the best damn product on the market.”
- Or, “I’m the biggest cat in town because I know how to manipulate unsuspecting consumers into paying way too much for a subpar product.”
So which umbrella does GoDaddy fall under?
Oddly enough, both.
GoDaddy Hosting Pros – Great Performance 👍
With the sheer abundance of resources at their disposal it should come at no surprise that GoDaddy does a great job delivering high quality performance to their users.
As their annual revenue is higher than the GDP of many developing countries
Here are just a few of the aspects of GoDaddy’s performance that impressed us over the past 12 months. You can see the live tracking here. Read more about our 4-step research process here.
1. They Have Great Uptimes (99.95%) ☝️
While they don’t offer jaw dropping uptimes like some of their competitors (namely, SiteGround), GoDaddy posts a healthy uptime of 99.95% which is exactly what you would expect with an inexpensive host.
Although they aren’t going to win any awards for their uptimes, I’m happy to report that we didn’t experience any major crashes or noticeable periods of downtime during our time as GoDaddy customers.
Here’s a quick look at the past few month’s performances.
2018 avg. uptime:
- January uptime: 99.98%
- February uptime: 99.96%
- March uptime: 99.91%
- April uptime: 99.99%
- May uptime: 99.94%
- June uptime: 99.98%
- July uptime: 99.85%
- August(20’th) uptime: 99.99%
2. Fast Speeds (448 ms) 🚅
Despite what your momma and other internet newbies have told you, website speeds matter… A lot.
In fact, recent studies have shown that more than 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2-seconds or less. And if it doesn’t? Bye bye revenue.
This makes selecting the right web host one of the most important decisions you’ll make if you ever hope to earn money from your website.
So how does GoDaddy compare to their competitors?
Actually… Pretty darn good.
Clocking in at an average load time of only 448 Ms, GoDaddy is easily one of the fastest web hosts we’ve ever reviewed and offers blazingly fast speeds that will keep you and your visitors happy.
2018 load time:
- January avg. speed: 363ms
- February avg. speed: 415ms
- March avg. speed: 386ms
- April avg. speed: 395ms
- May avg. speed: 415ms
- June avg. speed: 492ms
- July avg. speed: 541ms
- August(20’th) avg. speed: 587ms
3. Plenty of Great Bonuses and Additional Features 💯
Although none of these bonuses or features are free, GoDaddy does their best to make sure that every new customer has the ability to great a beautiful and high performing website with as little work as humanly possible.
They offer everything from their custom website builder, GoCentral to high level web design professionals to one click application installations to ensure that your site gets up and running with all of the bells and whistles you need (or don’t).
Website Builder: GoCentral is GoDaddy’s website builder. Using the builder is free and allows you to edit from your computer, tablet, or phone. They also throw in an SSL certificate if you use their builder.
Web Design Professionals: GoDaddy offers web design services from professionals. All you have to do is call their consultation line and explain what you need. They promise a website online within 4-6 weeks and offer a 24/7/365 support line.
While they don’t offer the sort of value you can expect from SiteGround or A2 Hosting, there’s still plenty of additional features and bonuses to keep even the most enthusiastic webmaster satiated.
GoDaddy Cons 👎
Ok, so GoDaddy has passed both the uptime and speed tests with flying colors. They’re well known, reputable, and they give you access to a boatload of nifty extra features.
Where do we sign up, right?
Not so fast.
Although GoDaddy does a lot of things right from a performance standpoint, the customer service and payment aspect of their business is, shall we say, less than savory.
1. Limited Economy Plan and Ridiculously High Renewal Fees 💰
In an attempt to compete with the ever-increasing number of cheap web hosts, GoDaddy offers an insanely low pricing package for their more frugal customers.
In and of itself, this isn’t a bad thing.
I mean, let’s be real… We all want to stretch our money as far as it will go, right?
The issue that you bump into, however, is that they’ve not only reduced the price of their web hosting service, but also the value.
The ‘Economy’ plan is completely bare bones and doesn’t offer the standard features you’d expect from a reputable web host such as a CDN, daily backups, or an SSL certificate.
Although that $2.49 price tag might look appealing, trust us…
It’s not worth even that much.
And while we’re on the topic of GoDaddy’s pricing, it’s important to note that they charge exorbitantly high renewal fees.
Not only is GoDaddy one of the least valuable hosts for the price you pay (you’ll see why in a second), but, after the conclusion of their introductory period, they’ll turn around and increase your rate by more than 200%.
That $2.49 Economy plan? Yeah, that’s going to run you $7.99 a month now.
Considering that you can enjoy ridiculously high uptimes, lightning fast load speeds, and all of the free extra features and bonuses you deserve for a fraction of that cost, we’re hard pressed to recommend using GoDaddy to anyone who is a fan of saving money.
2. Unnecessary Upsells and Overcharges Galore 💸
If you’ve read any of the web hosting reviews on this site then you probably know that you should never buy hosting from a company that doesn’t offer a ‘gratis’ SSL certificate.
Google will, quite literally, prevent users from accessing your website until they acknowledge that your site is not secure and that it poses a significant risk to the safety of their information.
So it makes sense that most hosting companies have taken the hint and begun to offer a free SSL certificate to all of their new customers.
But what about GoDaddy?
On the surface, everything looks fine. All new users are given an SSL certificate when they sign up for any of GoDaddy’s hosting plans (other than ‘Economy’).
But when you read the fine print, you’ll soon realize that all is not as it first appears. In fact, GoDaddy charges an outrageous $75/year for the ‘privilege’ of having a secure website.
And that’s not even the worst part.
If you’ve just purchased a new domain name and web hosting package, you would expect that you would be able to send emails from that website right? I mean, after all… It is your website now.
Well, that’s what you think. But GoDaddy thinks differently.
… $60/year per email account differently.
Whereas other top providers will give you access to an unlimited number of email accounts (or 25 at the very least) GoDaddy isn’t even willing to give you one.
Remind me how these guys are the biggest web hosting company in the world again? Oh right… It probably has something to do with this…
But I digress…
3. Not-So-Guaranteed Money Back Guarantee 💵
With more than 17 million customers worldwide, you’d assume that GoDaddy must have earned a reputation as a transparent and reputable web host that is willing to refund unhappy customers for their purchase, right?
At first glance, their ToS claims that any customer is entitled to a refund if they cancel their hosting plan within 30 days of the initial purchase.
Seems fair enough.
But then they say this..,
If a Hosting Service has already been performed, then it is non-refundable (if not yet performed, eligible for a refund within 30 days of the date of the transaction).
Now, I’m no legal expert but that sounds suspiciously like a well crafted and jargon filled clause designed to ensure that GoDaddy can legally get away with stealing from displeased customers.
What is a ‘hosting service’, can you actually get your money back if you aren’t happy with the service? I don’t know. And chances are, that’s exactly how GoDaddy likes it.
4. Mixed Customer Service Reviews 📑
Customer service is pretty hit or miss with GoDaddy.
Although their U.S. based phone support is great, some of the best in the business actually, you probably don’t want to spend 20-45 minutes on the phone to resolve minor hiccups and quick questions.
Which makes it all the more disappointing that GoDaddy’s live chat support is so darn unreliable.
I was frequently met with a “connection unavailable” error whenever I tried to access their live chat feature.
And on the off chance that I actually got through to a service representative the live chat would either crash and disappear or I would get so frustrated with the “representative’s” (a.k.a. robot’s) inability to answer the questions that I had in a satisfactory manner.
At this point, I’m beginning to wonder why exactly they need 6,000 employees to keep their ship running? (They must need someone to count all the non-refundable cash they’re taking with those sleazy upsells and renewal fees).
As you can see – GoDaddy pricing is kind of a bait and switch. This is common in this industry but GoDaddy’s change in price is higher than average. If you are after a cheap hosting service available in Canada GoDaddy probably is not your choice.
Do We Recommend GoDaddy? 🔎
While I personally don’t mind their in-your-face overly sexualized marketing, no number of scantily clad women sporting GoDaddy tanktops can make up for the company’s blatantly dishonest policies and shameless money grabbing.
Their performance might be up to par with other leading hosting services, but unless you enjoy paying 2-3X what you should for your web host, your money would be better spent with SiteGround, A2 Hosting, or even HostGator.
GoDaddy just doesn’t cut it…
Is GoDaddy Reliable?
Yes, GoDaddy is reliable. They are in the top ten of web hosting service providers. The uptime of their servers are positive and their speed tests are relatively quick.
Is the Godaddy Website Builder Any Good?
The GoDaddy website builder is okay. It definitely works and can get a website built for you. There are better alternatives to check out such as Wix and Squarespace.
How Much Is Godaddy per Month?
The pricing for GoDaddy is all over the map. They offer promotional pricing at $2.99 per month for the first year but then raise the price to $7.99 per month.
Is Godaddy Good For Small Business?
GoDaddy isn’t bad for small businesses but the honest truth is that there are much better alternatives to hosting on the market.
GoDaddy is more expensive with a not as good product.
What Do People Use Godaddy For?
GoDaddy is used as a web host and domain registrar. What that means is when people want to buy a domain name they can go to GoDaddy and purchase it. After they purchase the domain name they can host their website with the service.
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