Compared to GoDaddy, we’re a teeny-tiny-itty-bitty ant, whose opinions are like a baby’s farts – slightly unpleasant, but easily dispersed with a few waves of the hand.
The thing is, we feel that we have a duty to our readers. After all, our mission is to empower small businesses, and we’re pretty sure small business owners would like to know how GoDaddy’s actual web hosting service performs against the competition.
Since the proof is in the pudding, we’ve gone and gotten ourselves a GoDaddy account and built a test site, so we can perform experiments and get a feel of how it’s like to use their services first hand.
What we discovered just might shock you!
But before we get to the meat & potatoes of this review, here’s a little history lesson on how the web hosting giant became what it is today.
Honestly, we hate the name GoDaddy. It sounds weird and it has the word… daddy in it.
Perhaps they’re named quite aptly, because the web hosting behemoth is undeniably one of the most successful ones in the industry.
Founded in 1997 by a very wealthy Bob Parsons, GoDaddy was initially named Jomax Technologies.
In 1999, they decided that a rebranding was due for the company and decided on the worst name ever – they wanted to call themselves BigDaddy. Fortunately, the domain for that gag-inducing name was taken so they went for the next best thing – GoDaddy.
Giving themselves such a name turned out to be a good thing, because the company blew up in popularity and currently boasts over 20 million users (as of June 2020).
A company that large will obviously need the manpower to run it, and GoDaddy currently provides over 7,000 people around the world with a steady income, out of which, 2,900 of them are dedicated support staff.
In 2013, GoDaddy became the largest I-CANN accredited domain registrar in the world. They also went on to purchase Neustar’s domain name registry service, and will be changing their domain registration business to be called GoDaddy Registry.
On the web hosting front, GoDaddy is simply killing it. They’ve got the largest piece of the pie in terms of market share with 62 million domains hosted, and has become the web hosting giant to beat.
The thing is, no one really knows if GoDaddy’s web hosting service is so successful because they’re actually better than the competition, or if they just got lucky because they’re… popular?
Well, we rolled up our sleeves, got our hands dirty and tried out every single feature in their list of benefits just so we can provide you with a detailed review of our experience.
Without further ado, let’s get ready to rumble.
The one thing GoDaddy got right is that they understand what their users want – which is to create a website as soon as they possibly can, instead of hanging out at the dashboard not knowing or understanding what to do next.
So, GoDaddy obviously hired a UX team that made the user experience so user friendly, anyone can create a website without the need for much help.
They made it so that the user goes straight from signing up, to setting up their website in a seamless process, guiding the user step-by-step so that no one feels confused or at a loss of what to do.
This wouldn’t be a Wphosti review without our usual server response time test, so we put our GoDaddy test site through our server speed checker tool, and boy were we impressed.
GoDaddy ranked an impressive 171.1 ms in our global average test, making them a really fast A+ ranked web hosting provider!
Since the data center is located in Singapore, the test site tested very well with countries closest to them, even all the way in Bangalore at 111 ms.
From locations further away like the USA, the West side received pings of 167 ms, which is still pretty decent while the East side felt a little sluggish at 218ms.
Speaking of sluggish, response times were really poor in São Paulo at 337 ms, but that’s to be expected since the data center we picked isn’t exactly near.
Speaking of data centers…
GoDaddy has 3 data centers in 3 continents, namely Europe, America, and Asia.
They’ve also got plans to build a data center in India just to serve that particular market, which provides a nice coverage for audiences around the world.
If that’s a concern for you, let us allay your fears – our test site is hosted with GoDaddy’s Asian data center, which is considerably further from those locations, hence the relaxed response times.
If your target audiences are in those locations, all you have to do is just to select a data center closer to them, like the one in North America. The closer your server is to your audience, the quicker your site will load for them.
Do keep in mind that you can’t have your cake and eat it. You can’t please everyone from everywhere, as response times will always be a little sluggish for audiences further away.
The best thing you can do is to decide where the majority of your audience resides, and pick a server nearby.
If it’s too late and you’ve already picked a data center that’s not ideal, fret not – GoDaddy offers 1 free data center migration.
This means you’ll be able to move your website over to a server of your choice, completely free of charge!
One of the things that really piss me off when it comes to services like these, is when their support team is made up of a bunch of lackadaisical donkeys.
What we mean by that is, we really hate it when we have to wait more than 15 minutes to connect to a live chat agent.
Anyway, we typically only reach out to support when something goes wrong, and in situations like these, the problem needs to be fixed IMMEDIATELY.
It’s really frustrating to wait an eternity to connect to a live chat agent. It’s even worse when that said agent takes their sweet time attending to your concerns.
GoDaddy boasts an award-winning, responsive support team and in all honesty, they actually live up to the hype.
Our live chat times wait times never lasted more than 2 minutes long, and the support agents we communicated with were patient, knowledgeable and skilled in solving problems.
Best part is, they provide support in 15 whoopin’ languages, covering the most commonly spoken languages in the world to ease communications and cut down frustrations stemming from language misunderstandings.
If you haven’t realized by now, we’re kinda obsessed with site load speed, and we’ve got a very good reason to be.
As mentioned by thinkwithgoogle, shoppers will bounce off your site if they have to wait longer than 3 seconds for it to load.
That’s a huge loss of potential sales, which sucks especially if it’s due to something that’s within our control.
We’re happy to see that GoDaddy is ready for PHP7.4, because it significantly boosts performance, which directly affects site load speed!
GoDaddy’s dedication to PHP is quite reassuring, as it means they’re actively getting their servers ready for new PHP versions; the next major update is PHP8 and it’s rumored to provide a MASSIVE speed boost.
You can bet your ass GoDaddy will have their servers ready for the update in no time at all!
Of course we like freebies, because who doesn’t?
GoDaddy’s shared web hosting plans come with plenty of complimentary benefits and perks, making us giddy with excitement.
We’re looking at 125+ free applications with Installatron, free security features (we’re talking fraud, virus and spam protection), Office 365 Email, free webmail, SSH access, and unmetered bandwidth allocated for your monthly usage.
Looks like it’s not all rainbows and sunshine with GoDaddy’s servers, because we found 3 very distinct cons that we’re not too happy about.
Most respectable web hosting providers know that server response time is of utmost importance, so they engineered software solutions to boost site load speed.
SiteGround’s SuperCacher is one good example of this.
Aside from compatibility with PHP7.4, GoDaddy has no software or setups that increase loading speed, and that is quite a bit of a disappointment to us.
Yes, we mentioned their freebies as one of the pros above, we know that.
The thing is, those freebies, felt superficial at best.
Pretty sure GoDaddy, being on top of the food chain as they are, can afford to provide free SSL, more websites, and free daily backups as part of their arsenal of features.
I mean if Hostinger can do it for just $0.99 a month, GoDaddy really doesn’t have an excuse not to.
GoDaddy’s entry-level Economy plan will cost the first-timer only $6.99 a month, based on a 12-month contract.
However, most people suffer from discount goggles and don’t realize that the onboarding price won’t last forever, giving them a minor heart attack when presented with the renewal bill.
Basically, the onboarding prices are 29% off the actual price, so you’ll be paying $8.99 a month upon renewal.
Here’s a little pro-tip for you – If you want to enjoy lower onboarding price for a longer time, sign up for their 36-month contract.
You’ll be paying 33% off their actual prices, so that’s only $5.99 a month for 36 months. Once the contract period is over, you can always migrate over to other web hosting providers.
If you’re dead set on using GoDaddy as your web host of choice, it’s perfectly fine.
They make a perfectly good web host, with fast speeds, decent features, a fantastic support team, an uptime guarantee and a free domain.
For all intents and purposes, their web hosting services work well enough, and your website will have no problem whatsoever with them. The only thing is that they don’t seem to provide as much as the competition in terms of value and features.
They beat SiteGround in price, but they do not have any speed-enhancing software or special optimized configurations leaving them lacking in that department.
Compared to Hostinger, GoDaddy is just a smidge faster. However, Hostinger seems to be really generous in terms of perks, and their superb introductory prices are really quite something.
To put things in perspective, why would you pay $5.99 for a regular Cheeseburger when you can pay slightly more to get a Double Cheeseburger, or pay much less to get a value meal consisting of a Cheeseburger with fries and a drink?
However, credit where credit is due – GoDaddy still runs cPanel, even though cPanel’s price increases are so high, most companies have decided to bail on them.
If you’re fond of cPanel and not willing to change, then GoDaddy might just be the right choice for you. If you’re looking for more value or more features, best look somewhere else.
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