Regardless of what marketing stunt you know GoDaddy from, most of you will be familiar with this web hosting company in one way or another, but 30 seconds of airtime is not enough to explain how GoDaddy’s services can benefit you, let alone what their services are exactly. Particularly if we refer to GoDaddy’s ‘Perfect Match’ Super Bowl ad’, however, we won’t touch that topic as that’s a different ball game.
Going beyond their clever, yet questionable marketing strategies, GoDaddy’s website is very good at explaining its services via their engaging animations and useful comparative charts. Though once we started to delve deeper, we realised that searching for the right deal can be mind-boggling for some, as most of the web hosting and domain packages were applicable to a multitude of needs.
To help, we have produced a thorough breakdown of all the information you need to know when choosing the right web hosting plan with GoDaddy.
First of All, Who Is GoDaddy?
Before you pass any judgement, or rush to buy their web hosting services, it may be best to know what the company is all about.
As you may already be aware of, GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar and web hosting provider, and delivers its services to over 17 million users worldwide.
In 1997, GoDaddy initially started off as ‘Jomax Technologies’ – a name given to a road Bob Parsons (founder of GoDaddy) passed on his way to work. By 1998, the company first launched its website building software and hosting services.
One year down the line, the company then changed its name to ‘GoDaddy’ and since then, it has become the most searched web hosting service internationally. Fun fact #1, the initial suggestion for their new name was ‘Big Daddy’, however, this couldn’t be registered at the time, as it clashed with Dennis Duggan’s 1999 movie.
Through their obscure choice of marketing campaigns, and of course their cost-effective services, the company has grown to create 73 million domain names, employ over 7,000 staff globally and continues to cater to its original target audience, a sum of 420 million small businesses across the world.
However, despite GoDaddy’s colossal growth spurt and noteworthy developments following Blake Irving’s take over, the company continues to work towards the same objective: to build an environment for “people to come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract and manage their work.”. At this point, we can’t help but praise the company for their development, as not many other organisations (let alone web hosting companies) can achieve continuous growth from the same, original business idea.
If we also consider GoDaddy’s web hosting packages, again we can’t complain. Regardless of which price plan you decide to purchase, each one offers “24/7/365 hosting support, superior performance and load times, guaranteed 99.9% uptime,” so, where do you start?
GoDaddy’s Web Hosting Services
In short, GoDaddy offers three main types of hosting: shared web hosting, VPS and Dedicated. All of the hosting plans are split into three or four ‘different’ price plans, which are tiered towards both the volume of traffic your website is looking to attract, as well as its usage, including storage, memory, resources, applications, etc.
For example, if you have one website that uses a limited number of resources and attracts less than 2,000 visitors a day, then you’ll be using a different hosting service at a lower cost, compared to those who are looking to manage several websites and receive around 10,000 visitors per day.
If you’re not too sure about the amount of traffic your website will draw, then GoDaddy offers example sites next to their price plans, as well as explanatory animations on their website to help you decide which one is best suited to your needs.
To further shorten the process of searching, GoDaddy has also listed brief details of their most popular web hosting plans: Shared web hosting, Business hosting and Managed WordPress, as well as Virtual Private Server (VPS) and also Dedicated Server hosting – all of which we will cover in this review.
Undoubtedly, the price plans coincide with the level of support you will receive, so the more you pay, the more GoDaddy can sustain your online presence and services. However, users can be left confused when asked about which hosting account they want to choose, Windows or Linux; but don’t be thrown!
In short, the Linux hosting account caters to a higher number of developing tools, but in essence, this all depends on how you’re looking to build your website.
Even so, we realise that this simplified response can make things a little ambiguous, and if that’s the case, then here are GoDaddy’s recommendations:
|WordPress or other web apps||✔||✖|
|Dreamweaver or other WYSIWYG apps||✔||✖|
|PHP, MySQL, CGI, Python or Perl||✔||✖|
|ASP, ASP.NET, MS SQL||✖||✔|
|ASP, ASP.NET and PHP, MySQL||✖||✔|
To put your mind more at ease, some of GoDaddy’s popular web hosting packages for both Windows and Linux come at the same price, and all include a free annual domain plan, unmetered monthly bandwidth, direct database access, backup and restore and DNS management.
Which Plan Should You Choose?
GoDaddy’s shared hosting plans are by far the most popular, as they’re ideal for anyone who is getting to grips with ways of web hosting. GoDaddy offers various types of web hosting packages.
However, the most popular plans for Shared Hosting are described in accordance with the customer’s needs:
For Starter Sites
For Multiple Sites
For Complex Sites
The Economy Plan
The Economy plan is the cheapest and unsurprisingly the most popular web hosting package worldwide, providing its users with 100GB of storage, a free Microsoft Office 365 Business email, a free website domain (if you choose to pay for either a 12, 24 or 36-month plan) and ‘unmetered’ bandwidth.
This plan is ideal for any start-up business, but the unmetered bandwidth is an exceptionally great offer, particularly for such a low price! If you read up on any techie’s blog, you’ll find that many editors advise their readers to always choose ‘unmetered bandwidth’, since many other web hosting companies either offer a limit or claim to have ‘unlimited bandwidth’, which can be a pricey problem if your website ever exceeds its usage.
The Deluxe Plan
The Deluxe package offers the same specs as the Economy plan. However, this covers those who are looking to host more than one website, giving you access to both unlimited websites and unlimited storage.
With regards to those who can’t predict their website’s growth, then this package would give you the peace of mind you need if you’re ever worried about your pages’ performance or your site’s development for that matter. For just $3 more, we deem this as a top pick as this ‘better safe than sorry’ bargain will give your website the flexibility and support it needs for development and the likeliness of higher traffic.
The Ultimate Plan
The Ultimate package, on the other hand, is excellent for complex websites that attract high volumes of traffic. If you’re either an e-commerce site, a large business, or simply have a large following, then you’re going to want to invest in a plan which enables your website to perform to its potential.
With GoDaddy, this package offers support for an unlimited number of websites and provides unlimited storage and like the others, unmetered bandwidth. However, don’t be fooled by the word unlimited. Ironically, the word unlimited does have its limits. Take phone contracts, for example, some network providers cap your data usage at around 22-32GB to keep the connection stable and relatively fast for other users – likewise, GoDaddy has a similar policy which is detailed in their ‘Hosting Agreement’.
As stipulated in their overviews, GoDaddy’s web hosting plans are catered towards “personal, small business and organization websites” and for that reason, do not have a limit on the amount of storage or bandwidth used. However, if your website does pose a risk to the “stability, performance or uptime” of their servers, then you may have to upgrade to a different server – and therefore, pay more. Nonetheless, this is supposedly very rare, and if for whatever reason your website is exceeding such limits, then GoDaddy will notify you so you will never be left in the dark.
VPS vs Dedicated Hosting Plans
For more advanced hosting solutions, GoDaddy offers its users both Dedicated and VPS hosting services for those that wish to have more control over their website. Since we are stepping into the techies’ territory, these plans would only be beneficial for websites that are most likely to receive a high number of visitors. So, if you find that this information may be irrelevant to your needs, then you may want to scroll further down to the other advanced web hosting services that GoDaddy has to offer.
GoDaddy’s VPS and Dedicated hosting plans cater to both Windows and Linux based servers, offers an ‘unlimited’ number of domains, email services and data transfers on a monthly basis. However, as previously mentioned, we will be reviewing GoDaddy’s services based on the Linux operating system, as this is the most popular amongst GoDaddy’s customers.
With regards to Dedicated Hosting, GoDaddy gives your website(s) exclusive space on the server and allows you to control and personalise the computer’s software and operating systems.
VPS, on the other hand, is pretty similar in the sense that you have your own space on the server, but others may share the same space as you. Nonetheless, this doesn’t make a massive difference to the amount of control you have over the server, nor does it alter your access to bandwidth and resources. In fact, it’s a more cost-effective solution if you’re not fussed on the excess space, and the amount of power dedicated hosting provides.
With VPS hosting looking to be the more ideal web hosting solution, what exactly is the difference between the two?
The most notable difference between VPS and Dedicated hosting is the price.
GoDaddy’s Windows and Linux VPS plans differ in price, with costs increasing depending on the amount of memory and storage you choose to have, yet all plans provide users with ‘unmetered’ bandwidth, 3 dedicated IPs and a free year of Socket Layer Protection.
The lowest priced Linux Economy plan offers 1GB memory and 40GB of storage and starts at $17.99/mo, increasing its price to $29.99 once renewed. Although this plan is not the cheapest on the market, it is, however, slightly cheaper than other high-end VPS hosts and arguably a better investment, as its speedy uptime, easy-to-use cPanel and credible relationship with SiteLock, makes it a trusted buy for first-time VPS users.
With regards to GoDaddy’s Dedicated server plans, there is a significant difference in the cost, as the lowest Linux Economy package comes at $69.99/mo and ups nearly double the price to ($169.99/mo) once renewed. Like VPS and other web hosting plans, the dedicated server plan comes with Linux and Windows configurations – both of which vary in price – and provides users with 4 CPU Cores at 3.1 GHz, 4GB storage, 1TB storage (RAID-1), as well as the same bandwidth, IPs and SSL as the VPS.
The highest priced plan comes in at $129.99 ($349.99 once renewed) and offers 32GB of memory and 2TB (RAID-1) storage. Although this is a lot more expensive than GoDaddy’s VPS plans, it ultimately comes down to how seriously you take your website and how much control you want to have over it. There are some obvious limitations with regards to your ISPs bandwidth, but other than that there are no significant limitations – providing you use the server for an appropriate use – so you can customise and configure your environment to your own accord.
Although GoDaddy’s isn’t the most preferred option when it comes to Dedicated hosting, one reason why GoDaddy is the most popular choice is because of its ease of use, speedy admin panel, technical support and security. Its free 1-year SSL certificate, malware removal and scanner and other security add-ons, as well as its affiliation with SiteLock, is what makes it the world’s number one trusted web hosting company.
So, keep in mind that when buying a hosting plan, you’re paying for both the company’s services, as well as its features, and with GoDaddy, their server plans are a bargain.
Ratings are also a prominent aspect to reviewing, so with that being said; it would be pretty silly to ignore other reviews – especially since this wouldn’t have been the only one you would have read.
According to further research, GoDaddy has received higher ratings for its Dedicated servers, than its VPS hosting. This could be down to the fact that GoDaddy is quite new to VPS, compared to other hosting sites and therefore, cannot provide a better level of service when it comes to speed, support and features. Nonetheless, GoDaddy’s VPS plans have received top-notch reviews, as its all-inclusive features are great for either those that are either new to VPS hosting, or to those who want to have more power and control over the server, but at a cheaper cost.
Additionally, both GoDaddy’s VPS and Dedicated hosting plans continue to be the most reliable, as their 99.9% uptime and around-the-clock support team received ratings close to five stars.
To find out more what GoDaddy has to offer, visit their website to look at their VPS and Dedicated Hosting offers.
Other Advanced Web Hosting Services
Aside from the three main types of web hosting, GoDaddy has also extended its services in response to their customers’ comments, and now offers the following alternative web hosting packages for both WordPress users, and growing businesses.
Business hosting is another tier of web hosting, which is said to be an excellent middle ground between the shared web hosting and VPS, and as indicated in the title, is perfect for entrepreneurs, or growing businesses.
Currently, GoDaddy’s Business hosting price plans are evaluated on the amount of storage, memory and central processing units (CPU), the cheapest of which offers 2GB of RAM, 60GB of storage and 1 virtually allocated CPU. All Business Hosting plans provide unmetered bandwidth, unlimited websites, unlimited databases, a free year SSL certificate as well as a Microsoft Office 365 Business email, and vary on the following prices:
For high-traffic sites
For eCommerce sites
For resource-heavy sites
The Business hosting plan is a significant step up from shared hosting, especially since it does not require the level of technical skills to control a VPS or Dedicated server. However, if you’re considering Business hosting as a cost-effective web hosting solution, then we suggest that you evaluate your website before making the switch.
To make the decision easy for its users, GoDaddy has suggested the following types of websites that could potentially benefit from the Business Hosting package; these include e-commerce sites, websites used to store or showcase digital portfolios, service listings, discussion forums, etc. If your website falls into any of the following categories, then great! GoDaddy’s Business hosting is most likely to work for you, as the amount of storage available will guarantee high performance.
Alternatively, if you find that your website doesn’t fit these specifications, then you may want to consider opting for the cheaper shared hosting plan.
If for whatever reason the shared hosting plan isn’t doing much justice and you still want to get your money’s worth, then you need to look at the exact number of visitors and resources your website uses to evaluate its potential growth.
If your website is data-heavy or has a high volume of visitors, then GoDaddy’s Business hosting is going to guarantee you the level of stability you will need to run your website smoothly. Though more expensive, the technical requirements and parameters are the exact same as the cheaper shared web hosting plans. However, the Business hosting plan can be interpreted as both a good and a bad bargain, depending upon how you view the pros and cons – and this is why it can be confusing for some customers.
If you’re a ‘glass half full’ type of person, then you can argue that this package is a win-win, because you will be receiving the same level of performance as a VPS, for less of the price. Also, you are not expected to have advanced technical skills to have more control over the server, as GoDaddy’s cPanel makes it easier for users to manage.
However, if you don’t have a clue about the potential of your website, then you are more likely to see your glass as half empty, as there is no point in spending more money for the same service as the basic shared hosting package, for the hope of improving your website’s performance.
Managed WordPress is another hosting solution which is said to be perfect for both the beginners and more advanced bloggers. Despite the fact that GoDaddy has their own website builder, the web hosting company have come to recognise the popularity of WordPress and rather compete with its web design features, GoDaddy has catered to the market accordingly; supplying its customers with high speed, extensive security and greater versatility.
With the cheapest package priced at only $3.99/mo ($7.99 once renewed), its two other plans are also inexpensive and vary depending on how advanced your site is.
For first time bloggers, GoDaddy offers an easy-use WordPress installation process, with step-by-step video tutorials, multi-site management tools and a free domain with their yearly plan.
For the more advanced bloggers, GoDaddy goes on to offer support for more websites through its Search Engine Optimisation tools, increased storage and free SSL certificate at an annual price of $119.88. However, some may argue that this is too high of a price for GoDaddy’s extra security and basic elements of SEO, so why should WordPress users bother with Managed WordPress? Well, they don’t have to as GoDaddy has implemented yet another tier of WordPress hosting.
Pro Managed WordPress Hosting
Pro Managed WordPress Hosting is relatively different and arguably a better deal for those that take blogging seriously and want to their site to stand out amongst others in the blogosphere.
Designed for busy bloggers, this advanced web hosting solution offers quicker uptimes, faster page load speeds, heightened security and better support services. With this new development, users are also made aware of the technicalities of the web-hosting site, as it states exactly how many visitors can visit your website before having to upgrade, as well as the exact amount of resources that can be utilised, such as the number of websites and storage capacity. An efficient way to save money, particularly for those who are forking out more money for an ‘unmetered’ bandwidth plan.
Like the previous shared web hosting packages, these also vary in price depending upon how many websites you are looking to host, which is indicted in the number of the Pro package.
The only downside to the Pro Site packages is that it is only available in the US and Canada. Nonetheless, according to their website they’re “slowly moving across regions” and to access the Pro Managed WordPress page, simply change your location to either the USA or Canada and visit GoDaddy.com.
The Pro packages are perfect for web developers who are looking to efficiently manage their websites from a touch of a button. With the packages, you can add all your websites to one dashboard and update them simultaneously just by a click of a button.
Each plan offers an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) for each website you host to secure your website’s connection.
The Pro package also provides the perfect balance between a shared hosting server and a higher quality one, as your website won’t be affected by the busyness of servers, due to the availability of PHP 7.1 and the dedicated amount of resources.
The Pro plan also notifies web developers when their website is down, as well as any other technical issues that may occur. To make this issue easier to manage, GoDaddy performs around 90 days of manual, downloadable or cloud backups and provides its users with a ‘one-click restore’ option to reverse your update if something goes wrong.
For business-based websites, we recommend either the Pro 1 package or for smaller businesses, the Managed WordPress plan. If your website is guaranteed to have no more than 100,000 visitors, then the 20GB storage capacity should be enough for you to provide your services at a high-quality rate at a lower price.
The Basics of Web Building
Most of GoDaddy’s web hosting plans include GoDaddy’s updated website builder, ‘GoCentral’ at no additional charge. For those that wish to purchase, GoDaddy offers its customers a free one-month trial period and four different web building plans, starting from $5.99 a month and increases to $19.99.
Although GoDaddy’s website builder has been previously criticised for its very basic and limited layout, GoDaddy claimed that the new version would help users build their websites in a matter of “minutes”. Or, “just under an hour” (according to their website), from not only their desktop but also their phones – which makes sense as their layouts are optimised for mobile devices.
The ‘edit panel’ is incredibly easy to navigate around and straight-forward to use, particularly with regards to its editable elements such as the themes, background colours, fonts and headings. Its drag-and-drop feature also makes it less difficult for users to add in elements such as images and contact forms which can sometimes be problematic with other web hosting sites.
So, in this instance, GoDaddy’s statement is right, as it is excellent for anyone that wants to create a website quickly and efficiently. However, because of its easy-to-use features, we can argue that GoDaddy’s new update is still too basic.
We’ve also noticed that the website builder can be frustrating for those who would like to have more of a creative input in the design of their website, or even for those who don’t like the six themes and 30 blocks of colours GoDaddy provides. Unless, of course, you are willing to upgrade to either a Business or Business Plus plan, where users are supplied with 300 different styles and business-related themes.
The website builder also doesn’t allow users to resize videos, install alternative fonts or rearrange elements included in the layout, such as the header, footer and even the text for that matter. Although, if you already designed your own website from site building software such as Dreamweaver, then you can add your own scripts and HTML code to the website through the drag and drop HTML tool. However, according to GoDaddy, this tool should not be used if you’re not “experienced in hand coding”.
One thing we can praise GoDaddy for is its integration with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, as well as its email marketing, PayPal integration and SEO features. However, all of these features come at an added cost.
For just $4 more than the cheapest website builder plan, GoDaddy includes a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) section in their website builder which, again, is pretty basic.
The ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ section allows users to include “keywords that describe what your site is about, to help people search for those terms on Google”, which is, of course, handy to have. However, this section doesn’t really do much for ‘optimising’ your website.
Though it allows users to inform their visitors about the details or the website, it doesn’t guarantee traffic to your website through the likes of Google. As a matter of fact, we can argue that this feature is very misleading – particularly to those that are familiar with Search Engine Optimisation.
Overall, unless you have either coded your own website or are willing to pay for an upgraded package, you’ll also have to make do with the linear layout and limited customisation tools that GoDaddy provides. Also, please note that GoDaddy’s website builder is not ideal for anyone who wishes to build a blogging site, or even to include a blog section.
Even though this arguably speeds up the process of designing your website, the missing feature has been a controversial topic for many users – particularly amongst entrepreneurs who are wanting to further engage with their visitors. Nonetheless, GoDaddy’s WordPress plug-ins and web hosting packages cleverly cover this downfall to some extent. GoDaddy catered the gap in the market and came to a compromise. Now GoDaddy supplies both their own and WordPress’s customers with the flexibility to build their site to their own accord, with all the added bonuses GoDaddy’s web hosting packages offer.
However, we can’t help but fault GoDaddy’s SEO section, as it can be somewhat disheartening for knowledgeable users, or perhaps it could be us being too picky?
GoDaddy’s Key Features
The good thing about GoDaddy is that your website will remain accessible to visitors around the clock. GoDaddy prides itself in giving 99.9% uptime to all of its customers, regardless of the plan you pick, and even though this is an essential asset for many other web hosting companies, GoDaddy does guarantee this.
Yet, this promise couldn’t have been made without GoDaddy’s ideal location for its global operation units, including its infrastructure, databases and network operations, all of which is protected and maintained all day, every day.
It’s worth noting that GoDaddy’s security features contribute to the company’s credibility considerably.
On a daily basis, GoDaddy backs up users’ websites and scans for malware to ensure that it’s covered by intrusive viruses. Also, the company allows users to create back-up copies of their website and offers to store them at a small, monthly cost.
Even GoDaddy’s cheapest web hosting package provides an extra layer of support, through its spam detection software on the cPanel and email accounts. Furthermore, at an additional cost, its various plans offer several other levels of security and provides its users with a free year of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and offers SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption for every plan, as well as the choice to purchase SiteLock, which covers all measures of security.
Even if you know the ins and outs of your website and the technical specifications, your site needs to work efficiently, having the GoDaddy support team onboard is always useful regardless of what advice you’re seeking.
No matter which package you choose to purchase, the team will always be on stand-by 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and are accessible via phone and email, though their live-chat only offers support between the hours of 06:00 and 22:00.
Best of all, the company received an award for their ‘exceptional customer service’ in 2017, but if that doesn’t faze you, we monitored their response time which is currently set at an average of 7-10 minutes – perfect if you need a quick solution to your problem.
Further to this, GoDaddy has a community support page that provides solutions for your website problems from other GoDaddy users. These users are also rated in relation to their credibility so that you can judge the legitimacy of their answer. However, this forum won’t be handy for anyone whose question falls in the ‘unanswered’ section.
No one likes to be ripped off and better still, everyone loves a good money-back guarantee service. With GoDaddy, customers can claim their money back if they find that the service they paid for is not suited to their liking. Of course, there are underlying terms and conditions that establish the ground rules of such claims. All of which you should read – yet the period of time in which you can claim is rather extensive compared to other web hosting companies, as GoDaddy offers a 45-day claim period with their annual packages.
GoDaddy Pros and Cons
- Cheaper than what you get with other website plans.
- No caps on bandwidth.
- All-encompassing website setup, including domain registration, a website builder and web-hosting facilities, all of which offer email and security protection.
- Ability to optimise your website through basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) functions.
- An easy-to-use cPanel which includes the essential features you need.
- Once you’ve selected the theme you want to use for your website, there’s no going back. If you try to change the pre-made template, you will lose your content.
- Despite its top-notch customer service ratings, according to online-forums GoDaddy is not as helpful when it comes to wanting to change your web host provider.
- Website builders limited customisation features.
GoDaddy’s Future Plans
If you’re still unsure whether to choose GoDaddy, then maybe their future plans may sway you as there’s good news for growing business!
Although GoDaddy is good at keeping its prospects under wrap, a couple of press releases have unveiled that the web hosting company is likely to further its marketing services, following its integration with Google My Business and Main Street Hub.
Despite criticisms of the company’s web builder, GoDaddy has gone the extra mile to provide small businesses with the opportunity to further integrate their services in the web through its social media integration tools, Search Engine Optimisation and its latest instalment, Google My Business (GMB).
GMB is said to be included in the Business Plus and Online Store web building plans and offers users further visibility amongst its local, online competitors through Google’s online business listing. The update enables users to set up a GMB profile which provides internet users with updated information about their business on both Google’s search engine results and Google maps.
Further to this, the GMB toolkit also allows users to monitor their website’s activity more efficiently through its dashboard panel and visual insights. The new integration will also enable GoDaddy’s customers to build more of a rapport with their visitors, as they can respond to visitor reviews and post engaging updates.
But, that’s not all. GoDaddy has also managed to conjure up a relationship with the Main Street Hub; another smart integration technique which will allow GoDaddy users to adequately market their website online.
Following GoDaddy’s recent investment, the Main Street Hub – an organisation which specialises in boosting business’s online visibility through the likes of Customer Relationship Management, social media and email marketing – could soon cross over its services with GoDaddy’s online web hosting and building services.
If this is the case, then GoDaddy can provide its users with an effective web building platform, domain registrar and web hosting services, as well as extended web integration and other e-marketing tools; enabling them to become an all-inclusive website building service suitable for any business.
In a nutshell, GoDaddy’s elaborate website hosting services cover everything anyone would need to start-up their business online, and what’s even better is that their services are only going to get more sophisticated.
Already, GoDaddy has listened to their customers’ criticisms and altered their web hosting services accordingly, answering to both the worries of the WordPressers and wavering web builders. So, in this instance, don’t be fooled by their current customer reviews as developments are underway.
Though GoDaddy is not the perfect web hosting company when it comes to its more advanced hosting platforms, they are the most cost-effective, and for anyone who is after an all-inclusive web hosting package that’s easy to manage, then it’s the top contender.
However, the only downfalls are its basic website builder, which arguably isn’t worth the extra cost, and their additional security add-ons and plug-ins, as this could lead some users astray when trying to upgrade to a more cost-effective package.
Needless to say, GoDaddy started as they mean to go on and with development plans in the pipework, they could soon be a high contender.