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GoDaddy is a name that usually comes to anyone’s mind when thinking of registering a domain name. In addition to domain registration, they offer a plethora of other services and tools like website builder, email hosting, SSL certificates, to name a few. With close to 20% market share, they are also one of the leading providers of web hosting. In this article, we are going to review how well GoDaddy’s web hosting services work.
If you have already searched about this on the internet, you might have seen a couple of not-so-good reviews about GoDaddy. Keeping those apart, let us see how good is it in terms of real facts and figures. For the past three years, I have been using GoDaddy to host some of my own sites and a few client sites. This review is based on those experiences.
Plans & Pricing
Under the normal web hosting (shared) category, GoDaddy offers four tiers of plans – Economy, Deluxe, Ultimate & Maximum. The Economy plan starts at $2.99 and is suitable for one website. To host unlimited websites, you have to buy at least the Deluxe Plan which starts at $4.99.
However, to lock these offer prices, you have to purchase any plan for at least three years. When buying for one year, all these prices increase more than double while the monthly prices are even higher.
The high-end plans offer more processing power and their prices are close to that of starting VPS plans. So these are economical only if your site gets a lot of traffic. In the below performance report, you can see how caching can improve the concurrent user load capacity.
In short, GoDaddy’s pricing is economical, but not the cheapest.
According to our own tests, GoDaddy performs very well when it comes to loading times, uptime, and, response times.
On their pricing page, GoDaddy recommends the Deluxe plan as the best value for money. Moreover, it is the starting plan that comes with unlimited storage and unlimited websites. So, I chose that plan with North America as the data-center location.
For testing, I set up a WordPress website with some dummy text and two images on the homepage. The page weighed 609KB with 10 requests.
For measuring response times and loading times, I ran five tests each with caching enabled and disabled. Then I took the average of all the tests to produce a result.
The average response times were good even without caching. After enabling the caching plugin (WP Fastest Cache), the response times went below the 200ms mark.
Using UptimeRobot, I have been monitoring the uptimes of three websites hosted on GoDaddy for the past six months. Two of them were hosted on the same server (North America) while the third was hosted using a different account with Asia as the datacenter location.
Uptime percentages for the three sites were as given below:
- 99.99% (6 minutes of downtime in 6 months)
- 99.98% (9 minutes of downtime)
- 100% (haven’t been down so far)
On their website, GoDaddy guarantees only 99.9% uptime. As you can see, it was always above that in my tests.
The shared server could handle up to three concurrent users on a WordPress site (w/o caching) while keeping the response time below 1 second. The response time increased steadily and timeouts started to occur when 35 users tried to connect simultaneously.
Since WordPress consumes a lot of server resources, I tested again with caching on. This time, the server handled everything like a breeze.
As a budget shared host, the basic plans gives only 512MB of RAM and 1 CPU. So, I have noticed some issues while running resource intensive plugins like Duplicator. Backup plugins like these try to create huge SIP files while taking site snapshots. Occassionally, this can cause your shared server to run out of memory and CPU.
|Without Caching||With Caching|
|Fully loaded time||1.26s||920ms|
GoDaddy offers a bunch of useful features. These are the top things to note:
After purchasing a hosting plan, you can select a data center region from one of the three options.
- North America
You can switch from one location to another later also. Such migrations are not free though.
By selecting a region closer to your visitors, you can reduce network latency.
One-click Application Installs
GoDaddy makes use of Installatron to automate the installation of popular applications and content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc.
The tool is available right from your CPanel dashboard. With this, you can install 100+ applications on your web host without any technical know-how.
You can enable SSH access for you hosting account from the settings page. The user name and password are same as that of your cpanel account.
All plans come with the option to easily upgrade resources when your CPU and RAM usage cross the limits. You can check the CPU and concurrent Usage statistics under the Metrics section of your CPanel.
Easy to Setup Domains
We know that GoDaddy was primarily a domain registrar. So, if you buy both the domain and hosting from them, you can easily connect those domains with your hosting account. No need of messing with Nameserver settings and DNS records.
While on GoDaddy, their team continuously monitor your server for malicious visitors and DDoS attacks.
Earlier, GoDaddy was using a custom-made control panel for managing hosting. It was not that smooth to operate. Recently, they have completely switched to CPanel, which has made things so much easier.
On the other hand, the lack of free Let’s Encrypt SSL integration is a disadvantage although you can install it manually from the CPanel. Also, unlike some of the other web hosts, they do not give free one-time site migration when you join.
Ease of Use
As a big company that offers multiple services, GoDaddy’s website shows many more things than just web hosting. Still, nothing is cluttered and you can easily navigate the site.
Purchasing a product like hosting or domain from GoDaddy is a streamlined process. However, keep an eye on upsells. If you do not pay attention, unwanted items can get into your shopping cart, thereby rising your bills.
Upon logging in, you will be lead to a dashboard which is big and easy to look at. On top of the Products page, you can see the domains you have bought while other products like hosting and email appear below that.
To get into your hosting dashboard, click the Manage button on the right. There you can see the specifications like server IP and data center region at the top. You can also see the options to set your CPanel username and password on the bottom left side.
To access the CPanel, click the bold blue button on the top right corner. Unless you are completely new to hosting, the CPanel won’t be unfamiliar to you.
GoDaddy offers support through phone and live-chat. After trying the live chat facility, I can say that it is one of the fastest. The wait time was less than ten seconds. The support staff could easily answer the question I asked. The person was polite too.
However, in the end, he asked whether I want to renew a product which was about to expire in one week. Excluding that unwanted question, the quality of support was very good.
Pros & Cons of GoDaddy Hosting
Now, let sum up the above points. Firstly, these are the pros
- Excellent performance & load times
- Above average uptime
- Easy to use dashboard and cPanel
- Support is fast
Now, these are the disadvantages that I felt:
- Pricing could be cheaper
- Numerous up-sells while purchasing hosting or domains
- Does not offer one-click Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates
We have seen that GoDaddy is one of the best web hosting solution you can use to make a home for your websites. Despite being a huge company with lots of customers, they offer adequately fast support round the clock. Since they are mainly a domain registrar, you can easily manage your domains and hosting from one place without logging in at multiple places.
So, is GoDaddy’s hosting worth considering?
Yes. If you are looking to buy a quality hosting, then GoDaddy’s offerings are worth considering.