Even if you’ve never registered a domain before or purchased web hosting, you’ve probably heard of GoDaddy. They put a lot of time, money, and effort into marketing, they’ve even had commercials that aired during the Super Bowl. But are they the right host for you? I actually started out with GoDaddy when I first began building websites 15 years ago, and I’m still a customer. My needs have always been fairly simple: a few domains and a shared hosting plan that houses a few websites that run on open-source content management systems like WordPress. I also use them for my email accounts. Everything runs fine, I’ve needed to contact customer support twice in a decade and a half.
GoDaddy is arguably the world’s largest Web Hosting company and has been ranked as the #1 Domain Name Registrar. In January 2016, it was estimated that GoDaddy managed more than 61 million domain names. They are currently serving over 13 million customers and provide jobs for over 5,000 employees. Their service is predicated on affordability and a user friendly model that anyone—even the complete novice—can use to establish an online presence.
While their primary service is domain registry, shared hosting and email, they also offer virtual and dedicated servers as well as e-business software and services. In addition, their award winning security protocols promise cutting edge measures in combating the latest cyberspace threats.
The Bottom Line:
- Industry standard uptime scores
- Primarily a shared hosting provider, but do offer VPS and Dedicated servers
- Can host email with them
- Simple to use host for hobbyists and small businesses
- Inexpensive, provided you don’t go for all the ‘upsells’ (ie. their Website builder, you can just use one of the many free one-click content management installs available instead such as WordPress)
- SSL certificates available
Our Uptime Scores:
99.86% – very good
With an uptime score of 99.86%, GoDaddy sits right at the average for shared hosting providers. If you were unsure, uptime is the amount of time that your website loads when somebody tries to visit it. Obviously the higher the number the better, however it’s very rare to find a shared hosting provider with an uptime score of 100%. Shared hosting is exactly as it sounds, you are sharing the server with other customers and they can’t guarantee that one of the other sites won’t get hit with a ton of traffic and bog the whole thing down. You could get yourself a private server but those are very expensive and far more server than the average user needs.
The Types of Hosting That GoDaddy Offers:
Based on your needs, GoDaddy offer multiple plans for you to choose from such as Shared, WordPress, Dedicated, VPS, Cloud, and more. Each plan has a few different price points depending on the package contents included, and if you’re seeing faster growth than anticipated, the GoDaddy team will be there to assist you in any upgrades you require.
Their Shared Hosting plans are compatible for both Windows and Linux, and you get a free domain with an annual sign-up even with the cheapest Economy plan. With this package you will also receive 100GB of storage, allowance for a single website, free email, and unlimited bandwidth, but GoDaddy doesn’t stop there. They’ll also going to throw in 10 MySQL Databases of 1 GB each, 1 MSSQL database of 200MB, and 50 FTP users.
The Deluxe plan is the next tier up, adding on unlimited domains, storage and bandwidth. You’ll also get a raise in your MSSQL and MySQL Databases.
Lastly, we come to the Ultimate plan. This gives you essentially unlimited everything, including MySQL and MSSQL Databases, and FTP Users. You’ll also get a Premium DNS, enabling you to prevent people from accessing your website. Finally, a one-year SSL certificate is included, securing your data and increasing search rankings.
Like with the Shared Hosting plans, GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting packages also come with a free domain with an annual sign-up. You will also receive thousands of free themes and plugins, daily backups, security updates, 24/7 support, and 1 Microsoft Office 365 email (free for the first year).
While there are four different packages to choose from (Basic, Deluxe, Ultimate, and Developer), we suggest checking out the Deluxe package for great all-around features that should be all you need unless you have a career in web development, or you’re running an online business and need more than one website.
The Deluxe package gives you 1 website, 15 GB SSD storage, 100,000 monthly visitors, SSH/SFTP access, one-click staging site (so you can test your site before making it live), and an integrated SEO wizard which walks you through the steps needed for Google to recognize it in the search rankings.
Their VPS Server plans are compatible with Windows and Linux, and any patching, security monitoring, or backups are done on the fly from their end so you can focus solely on your business without any unneeded stress. The servers themselves run on the latest-gen Intel processors, enabling you to be up and running in minutes instead of hours. As always, you’ll be provided with GoDaddy’s infamous cPanel, giving you full control over your website.
Need Cloud service? No problem. GoDaddy offer five different Cloud Server plans, the most exuberant of them giving you 80GB of storage, 8 GM memory, 4 Core processor, and 8 TB transfer. All of their Cloud plans come with automatic backups, cPanel, OpenStack, private networking, SSD High Performance and permanent IP assignment. Whether you’ve got one server or 1,000, you’ll be in total control. Though not included with Cloud packages, GoDaddy have an array of Cloud apps to choose from as well.
Developing close-knit professional relationships with your customers can mean the key to success or failure. Email may be just one way to communicate with your online followers and patrons, but it is still vital if you desire to see your presence grow.
We’ve already established that GoDaddy gives you a free email with the purchase of one of their Shared Hosting plans, but what if you want more? Well we’re happy to tell you they’ve got four professional email plans for sale. The bottom tier Email Essentials plan gets you a single professional email using your domain name and 5 GB of email storage. The top tier Premium Security plan adds on 1 TB of secured online storage, Office 2016 installed on up to five PCs or Macs, Office mobile apps, DocuSign Free, HIPPA Free, and encryption and archiving capabilities.
Security and Other Included Freebies:
While GoDaddy does provide you with 24/7 security monitoring and DDoS protection to keep your site safe, you’ll have to hand over extra cash if you want something like SiteLock Web Security or SiteLock 911. Regarding SiteLock, GoDaddy gives you a few different choices—are you an individual, or a large corporation with hundreds of servers?
In case of the SSL certificate included with your plan wasn’t enough there are a wide variety of other certificates such as:
- Extended Validation SSL Certificates
- Organizational Validation SSL Certificates
- SAN SSL Certificates
- Wildcard SSL Certificates
- Code Signing Certificate
Aside from the aforementioned bonuses already included in their available packages, GoDaddy doesn’t seem to give out any additional freebies. However, they do offer a cheap “bonus” called Site Backup & Restore for any Shared Hosting plan. It costs $2.68/mo at the moment (Jan 2017) which saves all of your data to the cloud once a day.
Having trouble setting up your site? Got technical difficulties with your VPS server? Don’t smash your head against the wall just yet because GoDaddy is ready to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are available through their various Global Support toll free numbers, and thankfully you won’t be held on hold for too long. If you’d prefer to text a representative, you may do so through their online support service.
Not satisfied with GoDaddy? They offer a 30 day money back guarantee for Annual Plans. If you’ve bought monthly plan then you’re only eligible for a refund within 48 hours of the transaction—not quite long enough to really give anything a good test.
In my personal experience, GoDaddy is a reliable hosting company for your small business or hobby website needs. It’s convenient to be able to have your domain, hosting, and email all with one company, and it saves you money as well. In the future if you need or want to scale up, you have the option to do so. For the features included at the price point they offer, you’re getting very good value for your money.