GoDaddy was established back in 1997 by Robert “Bob” Parsons, after changing its name from Jomax Technologies, when web hosting was not as sought after as it is today. With a lot of experience under its belt, GoDaddy has had a long history of domain hosting over the past 20 years before moving into WordPress hosting. GoDaddy has expanded enormously; today it has over 63 million domains registered and is among the most well-known platforms around. They advertise annually at the Super Bowl and are famous for their extensive and varied domestic marketing.
GoDaddy aims itself primarily at customers who are new to web hosting and are looking for a reasonably sized personal or business website. Their prices reflect this and are more accessible to private owners, rather than strictly business owners.
Based on the size of their user base, web hosting prices at GoDaddy are generally positioned in the middle of the market related to comparable services. Godaddy prioritizes special offer prices and quietly references a higher rate underneath.
While GoDaddy’s prices are certainly lower, their renewal rates (both for hosting and for SSL certificates) are quite different from the displayed starting rates, which can confuse or mislead new customers.
Purchasing an SSL certificate, which will become a necessity in 2017, is only offered with GoDaddy’s second-to-highest and highest plans. The price for these certificates is £48.99 annually.
GoDaddy provides regular malware scans, though it seems GoDaddy will only perform these scans if you have purchased their security bundle.
GoDaddy has only just started supporting PHP5.6, whereas PHP7 was recently introduced and is already supported by many Web Hosting Companies
GoDaddy will automatically update the WordPress core files and installed plug-ins for security updates, but site owners cannot run multi-site installations. Instead, GoDaddy offers instructions on their website to activate Multisite through editing the ‘wp-config.php’ file and then enabling the installation through your WordPress site.
GoDaddy is also relatively behind when it comes to version upgrades, particularly on their shared platform. Their database size limitations are not like those seen with other web hosting platforms. Compared to what a Content Management System can normally support, their monthly user traffic limits are far too low. This in itself can often lead to compatibility issues for developers.
GoDaddy blacklists many WordPress Plugins which can be found on their website. Some of these plug-ins are cache-based and are not allowed as their hosting service provides caching already, the same applies to backup functions. Others are disallowed due to performance-lagging or mimicking existing functions
The restriction on backup plug-ins may disappoint some customers however, as web development experts recommend backing up your WordPress site manually, even if that service is provided by your host. The loss of sites has been an issue for GoDaddy customers and not being able to perform manual backups with plug-ins may exacerbate this issue.
GoDaddy’s user interface may be in some need of streamlining but has not been of huge concern to many people. Although GoDaddy’s website is easy enough to navigate, the wide array of services and sections on their site means that there are many tangential paths even when searching for straightforward services or advice.
The compartmentalizing of their services means that staff also have more products, and opportunities, to flog to existing clients. Many customers have reported that GoDaddy’s Support Staff even attempt to upsell other products to them while they are trying to resolve an issue.
Another reported problem from consumers is that GoDaddy has taken important customer information and sold it to third-party companies. This means that customers receive a lot of spam emails and even phone calls from external companies. Very often, website domains that were not renewed promptly have been deactivated and auctioned off to other agents, even after a payment delay of only 1 day. At which point, a reactivation fee of £80 is charged, even to long-term customers.
GoDaddy has suffered the most downtime and website instability. This is likely a result of overpopulated servers containing too many websites; this might explain why GoDaddy does not offer multiple websites in their price plans until the 2nd highest plan – they already host too many sites.
The size of a company can become a hindrance to itself after enough expansion. GoDaddy seems to have too many customers to assist considerately and too many sites sharing the same space on their servers.
Since GoDaddy reportedly spends most of its earnings on advertising (like the extremely expensive Super Bowl advertisements), there is less care and investment given to larger server space and quality customer support.
GoDaddy’s primary focus appears to be on acquiring new customers, this is illustrated by their very low onboarding costs and emphasizing their ‘unlimited’ features. In reality, the renewal costs for their hosting are quite expensive in the long run and less effort is put into treating their faithful customers with the same revelry as the new ones. Long-time customers will likely not receive the same effort as that given to support newer customers.
Frequently, little notice is given to clients whose renewal dates are approaching; if visitor limits are reached on a website, then it will be taken offline until the next month when these limits are reset. Apparently, GoDaddy has some of the highest customer drop-off rates within the hosting industry.
Uptime rates for GoDaddy vary wildly. As a shared hosting platform with such a wide customer base, GoDaddy tends to fill servers with websites to the point of overcrowding. This very often results in slow loading speeds, security issues, and worst of all, downtime. Web sites can remain offline for extended periods due to GoDaddy ‘overselling’ and stuffing their servers to the breaking point.
There are countless reports of extended downtime periods and customers who have been bounced around without solutions.
While GoDaddy also has a 99% uptime record on their site, the sheer volume of complaints regarding website downtime and crashes suggests otherwise.
Unfortunately, as of the time of this review, GoDaddy has discontinued their Support Team’s Live Chat for customers and primarily operates over the telephone, which can be expensive and time-consuming. GoDaddy’s claims to have award-winning Technical Support, but many customers complain that their issues are not dealt with promptly or considerately. Being such a big company, their audience is very large which results in such varied feedback.
GoDaddy’s customer support is not local and is instead outsourced to other countries which unfortunately diminishes the quality and competence of their support. Very often, customers have found themselves being peddled other items and packages while dealing with issues on Tech Support.
It was not difficult to find huge quantities of customer complaints and, indeed, Customer Support does seem to be one of the key problems that users have with GoDaddy.
Although GoDaddy has made efforts to improve its interface and custom cPanel control, there are still too many tangents and paths when browsing their site for help. Information (as well as products) are very compartmentalized and GoDaddy could afford to make more of an effort to collect this dispersed information and optimize their site for efficiency.
As a potential customer, there are also several things that may be worth knowing before making any commitments with GoDaddy. Namely, GoDaddy is no stranger to controversy and their charges are numerous.
They also did not have much fortune with a recent Super Bowl advert depicting a young puppy being dropped from the back of a moving van, who was then sold by its owners using their new GoDaddy-hosted retail site.
GoDaddy has also gained a reputation for dishonest marketing and promotion in their pricing. Many customers are surprised and shocked come their renewal dates as GoDaddy charges users automatically. These charges have often continued even after the date of cancellation, much to the annoyance of many customers and their banks.
The confusion over account specifics can also lead to cancellation and refund difficulties; overall, GoDaddy makes it difficult for existing customers to leave while simultaneously enticing new customers with less-than-honest prices.
As mentioned previously, GoDaddy’s sub-par customer support creates many issues among its user base. The support experience is largely impersonal and delayed, with most of the useful information stored away in pockets across GoDaddy’s knowledgebase and support forum.
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