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Go Daddy is one of the oldest and best known hosting companies in the world. Founded in 1997, it is now the largest ICANN-accredited domain registrar with its closest competitor being ¼ the size. The company has numerous awards for varied aspects of their business, including “Best Place to Work” and “Best Security Team.” Today, it is difficult to compete with Go Daddy’s myriad of features and ridiculously low prices. Granted, the company has an unfortunate list of controversies, such as its backing of Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which gave authorities the right to block access to certain websites, potentially hindering free speech.
- Competitive hosting prices
- Mind-boggling number of features
- Great response to security issues
- “Jack of All Trades”; no third parties required
- Most features are “add-ons” with an additional cost
- Outspoken about political issues
Hosting Package: (Rating: 8/10)
GoDaddy offers a variety of web hosting packages including WordPress hosting, Linux and Windows hosting, dedicated IPs and Premium DNS servers. Their plans offer power, security and excellent reliability. It is their goal to create packages that can grow with a customer as well as their website needs – something not all hosting services can boast about.
For shared hosting, you can choose between Windows and Linux. Prices are the same, but certain features can change out. You can also opt for WordPress hosting and choose from four different WordPress optimized plans. If you need a dedicated IP you can start doing so at just $5.99 per month while their premium DNS service starts as low as $2.39 per month.
While they have excellent prices, you want to look at the specifics of what you are getting for that hosting package cost. They offer a high volume of storage, including unlimited (but within their fair use limits) and tons of email addresses, but things like site backup and restore aren't included in the price – when they are with other services. These are things you will want to compare when looking at the prices.
Features: (Rating: 10/10)
Feature-wise, GoDaddy does have a lot going for them – including more generous features for a cheaper cost than the competition. For example, they offer high storage capacities – even their entry-level hosting plans come with 100GB of storage space. They have unlimited storage, unlimited websites and unlimited bandwidth on plans too (but within their fair use limits).
Other features include multiple email addresses per account – ranging from 100 to as many as 1,000. MySQL databases, FTP users, MSSQL databases, free domain with annual plans, Premium DNS (on higher plans only), one year of an SSL certificate, free 24/7 support, access to themes and website builder tools, one-click installs of Joomla, Drupal and WordPress, DDoS monitoring and protection, one-click setup for registered domains, one-click purchase for additional resources and an easy-to-use control panel.
Security: (Rating: 8/10)
Go Daddy offers SSL certificates, daily backups (assisted or self-managed), and secure FTP access. Site owners can also take advantage of SiteLock, a malware scanner that tries to prevent people from hijacking the website, stealing accounts, or otherwise making a mess of sensitive information.
We also give props to Go Daddy for changing their security policies as problems arise. In early 2014, the company faced a highly publicized social engineering attack that led to Go Daddy transferring a domain to a thief. The company owned up to their mistake and now requires customers to better prove their identity. On top of transferring the domain back to the original owner, Go Daddy worked with other “industry providers” to help get the victim’s site up and running again.
WordPress: (Rating: 9/10)
GoDaddy has joined the ranks of services out there catering to those that want to host a WordPress site. Back in the day, GoDaddy was not very WordPress friendly, but they have taken great strides to accommodate those using the popular platform.
For those looking for just WordPress hosting, GoDaddy has four different plans to choose from. You are limited on sites – something other companies don't do with their higher plan options (ranging from one to only five WordPress sites per plan). You get generous storage and anywhere from 25,000 to 800,000 monthly visitors. You also get a free domain, one-click staging (for the last three plans), SFTP and SSH access, search engine optimization, one-click installs, malware scan, access to thousands of themes and plugins, automatic WordPress Core software and security updates, free daily backups and one-click restore and a premium WordPress hosting platform.
Ease of Use: (Rating: 10/10)
It can’t be stressed enough that Go Daddy has a little of everything. Customers can register a domain with them, buy an SSL certificate, enlist Go Daddy’s help in designing the entire website, and even have Go Daddy manage the site’s store and payroll, to an extent. Basically, if you don’t want to do something or don’t know how, Go Daddy can help… for a price. Strictly speaking from an ease of use standpoint, grade schoolers could (and probably do) use Go Daddy.
Reliability: (Rating: 9/10)
GoDaddy boasts a 99.99 percent uptime gaurantee. They have servers throughout the world, but the capacity and reliability of those servers will vary. Their primary data center is located in Phoenix – where they have three state-of-the-art data centers. Over the last few years they have continued to add more data centers and they now have 37,000 servers live in nine facilities around the world. Some locations include Arizona, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ashburn, Amsterdam, Singapore and Virginia.
Despite all of this, they do have their issues – including a huge DDoS and DNS issue a few years ago. This just goes to show that even the largest web hosting companies have their faults.
Help and Support: (Rating: 7/10)
Go Daddy has 24/7 phone support with representatives who speak English and Spanish. Their chat support is available from 5AM to 12AM MST. Their average wait isn’t impressive at 13 minutes.
Linux Hosting Plans
- Economy: 1 website, 100GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, 100 email addresses, free domain. Starts at $3.99 per month.
- Deluxe: Unlimited websites, unlimited storage and bandwidth, 500 email addresses, free domain. Starts at $4.49 per month.
- Ultimate: Unlimited websites/storage/bandwidth, 1,000 email addresses, free domain, two times processing power and memory, premium DNS, one-year SSL certificate. Starts at $7.99 per month.
Windows Hosting Plans
- Economy: 1 website, 100GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, 100 email addresses, 10 MySQL databases, 1 MSSQL database, 50 FTP users, free domain. Starts at $3.99 per month.
- Deluxe: Unlimited websites/storage/bandwidth, 500 email addresses, 25 MySQL databases, 2 MSSQL databases, 50 FTP users, free domain. Starts at $4.49 per month.
- Ultimate: Unlimited websites/storage/bandwidth, 1,000 email addresses, unlimited MySQL and MSSQL databases, unlimited FTP users, free domain, premium DNS, one-year SSL certificate. Starts at $7.99 per month.
- Basic: 1 website, 10GB SSD storage, SFTP access, 25,000 monthly visitors, free domain. Starts at $3.99 per month.
- Deluxe: 1 website, 15GB SSD storage, 100,000 monthly visitors, SSH/SFTP access, free domain, one-click staging site, search engine optimization. Starts at $4.49 per month.
- Ultimate: 2 websites, 30GB SSD storage, 400,000 monthly visitors, SSH/SFTP access, free domain, one-click staging, search engine optimization, one SSL certificate for one year, malware scan and removal. Starts at $7.99 per month.
- Developer: 5 websites, 50GB SSD storage, 800,000 monthly visitors, SSH/SFTP access, free domain, one-click staging, one-year SSL certificate. Starts at $13.99 per month.
Unlimited domains, secure DNS, 99.99 percent uptime, advanced reporting, templates, easy-to-use dashboard, built-in error checking. Starts at $2.39 per month.
Starting Monthly Price: $3.49
# of Domains: 1 to Unlimited
Money Back Guarantee: 45 Days
Disk Space: 100GB - Unlimited
# of MySQL Databases: 10 - Unlimited
Data Backups: Daily
Unique IP Address
Optimized Wordpress Hosting
# of Email Addresses: 100 - 1000
Email Storage: 100MB - 1 GB
1-Click App Installs
Custom Cron Jobs
Dedicated SSL Certificate
Shared SSL Certificates
Help and Support
What we Like About GoDaddy
Competitive Hosting Prices: Webmasters will be hard pressed to find a cheaper economy hosting package than Go Daddy’s. Paired with a free domain and a huge amount of storage, it’s a wonder how Go Daddy profits from this package. The company likely counts on customers buying add-ons, which quickly add up.
Mind-Boggling Number of Features: Go Daddy is so much more than a web hosting company. They offer marketing tools, graphic design, and bookkeeping software. If you own a small business and want to limit spending to one company for convenience’s sake, Go Daddy is your best bet.
Great Response to Security Issues: Go Daddy boasts an award-winning security team, and the company rolls with unexpected punches. After a huge fallout where it was revealed that Go Daddy essentially gave away someone’s account, the company changed its policies to tighten security. In addition, they offer SSL certificates, secured FTP access, and products built to protect websites from hackers.
Jack of All Trades: No Third Parties Required: Go Daddy offers so many products in addition to hosting that they virtually eliminate the need to use a third party. If you need a website built from the ground up for your small business, Go Daddy has an expert ready. If you want to SEO optimize a website without having any SEO knowledge, Go Daddy has that covered too. They can also provide domains (national and international), SSL certificates, and CDNs directly.
What we Don't Like About GoDaddy
Most Features are Add-Ons with an Additional Cost: Go Daddy has few 100% free features. Although their packages start at a measly $3.49, an Economy package with a standard SSL and private domain registration runs $143/year. Add a personal website builder ($1/month), online store ($4.99/month), and a logo design service ($499.99 for one logo). Go Daddy excels at convenience. Customers on a tight budget may want to find a third party for their graphic designs anyway.
Outspoken about Political Issues: Most people love a company that speaks its mind, but only when it sides with our own opinions and political stances. Go Daddy spokespeople aren’t silent on certain political issues, openly backing SOPA and provoking tens of thousands of customers to drop their Go Daddy accounts. This is likely a non-issue for some, but a deal breaker for others.
Who is This Web Host Best Suited For?
GoDaddy is by far one of the bigger names in web hosting and domain registrations, but that doesn't mean they automatically qualify to meet everyone's hosting needs. Their introductory prices are great for entrepreneurs and bloggers new to websites and they do have a good selection of plans to meet even large developing needs.
You can keep your domain and hosting in a single location for a great price with GoDaddy, but they put a lot of emphasis on selling rather than hosting. Their features are so-so and not as robust as other hosts – despite their being one of the larger service providers out there. Overall, we'd recommend GoDaddy for bloggers, startups and small-to-medium-sized businesses looking for a place to start. After that, you'll probably need to move elsewhere.
Despite its impressive list of controversies on Wikipedia, Go Daddy is a decent web host. A basic account for a personal website costs less than a venti hot chocolate at Starbucks, and it comes with a free domain, free email addresses, and $250 of ad credit. This deal is difficult to beat, hence Go Daddy’s empire.