You probably have heard of GoDaddy. Their commercials in the US are those that you, well, can’t ignore. Many of their recent commercials have sexual contents. These controversial commercials have caused endless debates.
However, regardless of whether you are supportive or against the moral behind their commercials, you have to admit that these commercials have helped them gain much attention and subsequently, customers.
Now, the question that we should ask is whether GoDaddy’s services are any good. Were their customers satisfied with GoDaddy’s services or were they not? To find out, simply Google for “is GoDaddy good” and check out what others say about this web hosting and domain registration company.
GoDaddy was founded back in 1997 and today, they are hosting millions of customers worldwide, from personal websites to small businesses. This web host’s success can be partly attributed to the wide range of services provided by them, from shared web hosting to domain registration and hosting to web design to bookkeeping and many others.
For now, web hosting and domain registration are still their main businesses while the other services are offered to provide a more comprehensive service to customers. In fact, there aren’t many web hosting providers who can offer services and products as comprehensive as theirs. However, do note that many of these services and products do require additional fees.
But how is their service quality? Well, if you had Googled for “is GoDaddy good”, you will notice that there are more negative reviews compared to positive ones. You will also find many users telling you to avoid GoDaddy’s web hosting services at all cost and some will even teach you how to move your websites away from their hosting!
So, are they really that bad? If they are, then there must be something else that they are good in in order to stay competitive in this industry!
GoDaddy quick review
Here is my view based on my personal experience on GoDaddy’s shared hosting and maintaining domain names with them.
A) Shared hosting
Though GoDaddy is one of the few web hosting providers who offer not only Linux shared hosting but also Windows shared hosting, their shared hosting service still leaves a lot to be desired. To their credit, their services had improved quite a bit over the years. Nevertheless, there are lots more that they should do in order to remain competitive.
There are 2 ways that you can get in touch with their support team i.e. 24/7 phone call and email (ticketing system). Now, you may not feel the pinch so much if you were calling from the US but it’s a different story for international users like myself. It is very expensive for me to make a phone call to their support team everytime I have a problem.
Emails? Well, replies were sometimes slow and not very helpful. In fact, some of the support staff can be quite rude too. Others are nice and polite but often lack the knowledge to sort out the problems.
Contrary to what GoDaddy would like you to think, hosting with GoDaddy is actually more expensive than what other leading web hosting providers are offering. Check out the following chart comparing GoDaddy’s cheapest shared hosting plan, the Economy Plan to offers by Bluehost and iPage:
Bluehost iPage Price/month $3.99 $6.99 $3.95 $6.99 $1.99 $8.49 Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Disk space 100GB Unlimited Unlimited MySQL databases 10 (Linux)
100 Unlimited Email accounts 100 Unlimited Unlimited
From the above comparison table, you can clearly see that not only is GoDaddy more expensive than Bluehost and iPage, GoDaddy is also offering less features compared to the other two world leading web hosts. That’s poor value for money.
GoDaddy has been troubled by repeated outages especially in recent years. Sometimes, it may just be a server or two that are down and if your website so happens to be hosted in these servers, then you will not be able to access your website. Sometimes, you may experience email problems… for the entire 2 weeks! And there have been a few cases when the entire network seems to be out and thus, thousands of website taken offline.
Whether it was because of technical problems or because GoDaddy is overselling their server space, this is serious and should be sorted out and avoided in future.
Imagine running an online business and suddenly finding your website inaccessible. What would your customers think about your business? How will it affect your sales, your productivity and your reputation?
There had been reports that GoDaddy suffered a DNS attack in November 2012 and resulted in many websites being hijacked by criminals. These hackers created new subdomains in many websites and have them pointed to a malicious IP address. Hackers used these webpages to run ransomware scams where a visitor’s computer is hijacked and a malicious software installed. This software will then ask inform the victim that their computer is locked due to fictitious computer crimes allegedly committed by these victims. The computers will only be “unlocked” when the victims pay a “fine”!
I personally have not experienced this on my websites hosted with GoDaddy. But the thought that one of my websites might one day be hacked is scary enough and I have since moved most of my websites out.
B) Domain Name Registration
If you look at GoDaddy’s website, you will feel that they emphasize more on domain name registration and you are not wrong. In fact, GoDaddy is one of the top few companies when it comes to domain name registrations. I do not have any problems with their domain name registration service though I would prefer for them to cut down the upsell suggestions which I think is too aggressive. Nevertheless, I have many domain names registered through them.
Another domain name registration company that I usually use is NameCheap. They are one of the easiest and cheapest places to buy domains through.
Price wise, NameCheap is slightly more attractive where domains are renewed at $10.69 per year compared to GoDaddy’s $14.99 per year. NameCheap also gives a free 1-year WhoisGuard Domain Privacy Protection worth $2.88 per year for each registration or transfer. Meanwhile, GoDaddy offers free domain forwarding and domain locking for each domain name.
GoDaddy’s current management seemed to be making a bid to stay in competition, especially after all those bad press in recent years. They had gone into an acquisition spree and had been buying up companies over the past few months. Here are some of their latest purchases:
- February 2013
Bought M.dot, a new mobile website building app. GoDaddy is looking into gaining a share of the mobile website making industry with this purchase.
- September 2013
Bought Afternic, a specialist in aftermarket domain sales. Afternic is a domain marketplace where domain owners could list their domain names for sale and buyers can browse through these domain names to find the ones they want to buy.
- October 2013
Bought Ronin, a company providing online invoicing services. This service will be integrated into GoDaddy’s Online Bookkeeping accounting product.
- October 2013
Bought Media Temple, a domain hosting and website services company. GoDaddy hope to expand their web hosting business into providing more advance and technical hosting, which Media Temple is known for.
I have mixed feelings about GoDaddy’s services. Their web hosting service is not very reliable and their customer service is not the best. I am trying to be tactful here. On the other hand, GoDaddy provides pretty competitive domain name registration fees as well as supporting a wide range of TLDs (you can register domain names with a lot of domain extension).
In short, while I am not recommending that you host your websites with GoDaddy, their domain name registration is worth checking out.
I feel that if GoDaddy wants to stay competitive in the web hosting industry, they will have to do something about their reputation. Building a good reputation is not easy and takes time, effort and money. But losing it is simple. There are many web hosting providers and web hosting competition is getting stiffer. Users are more informed these days and would not so easily fall for cheap advertisement tactics. Reliability and technology are more important and it seems to be what GoDaddy is thinking judging from the acquisitions that they have been making in recent months.
So, for those of you who are thinking of signing up with GoDaddy, make sure you have a few other web hosting providers to compare with, like Bluehost and iPage. For that matter, even if you are planning to register your domain name with GoDaddy, you may want to compare them with other registrars like NameCheap.