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We’re very close to recommending GoDaddy; we’re close but we’re not quite there. Why? Customer service and their failure to provide what we deem to be core features (free SSL, HTTP/2, website migrations and an uptime guarantee).
Average uptime for all hosts in January 2018 (to date) is 99.80% while average response time for all web hosts in January 2018 (to date) is 1,254ms.
Their economy package is advertised at $2.99 per month however, like with many web hosts, you only qualify for the advertised rate if you’re willing to pay 36 months in advance.
We opted for a 12 month subscription.
The economy package cost is $2.99 per month (however you can’t actually pay monthly) and the total cost is $53.88 if you pay 12 months in advance. You can also pay over a term of 3 months (total cost is $23.97 however it’s worth noting that if you do this you’ll no longer qualify for the 30 day money back guarantee and you won’t be offered a free domain name).
A regular .com registration costs
We had significant trouble finding our nameservers. We had to jump to the third page of our zone file before we came across them and could finally point our domain name to the correct zone file.
We suspect it’s this difficult – most people we speak to who are buying hosting don’t know what a zone file is and why should they? – because GoDaddy wants to discourage you from registering domains externally and hopes, if you spend enough time looking, you’ll just opt for a transfer.
Other web hosting companies make finding nameservers remarkably easy, some even display them on sign-up (eg Hostinger), largely because they know it’s one of the first things a large number of people are going to do.
GoDaddy? Not so much.
Aside from this, they do offer website migrations except they only offer them on a ‘courtesy’ basis. According to their TOS, your domain must be registered with them before they’ll consider migrating your website from another host.
They’ll only consider a website migration if the total size of the website is under 10GB.
Their service contrasts with a number of other hosting companies like Siteground, InMotion and Hostgator, all of which offer completely free site migrations for customers (on the other hand Bluehost charges $149 and Dreamhost charges £99).
While we’re not keen on some of GoDaddy’s restrictions, we do at least admire their transparency (well, as far as placing restrictions in your TOS counts as ‘transparency’; it’s a lot more than other hosts do)
For a full breakdown of all restrictions which apply to your account – and to compare these restrictions to those set by other web hosts – please see our comparison pages.
It’s arguable whether these restrictions will affect the vast majority of users reading these reviews, however all of these are pulled from their help pages, their terms of service and their hosting agreement (and they’re also ‘quite good’ relative to restrictions set by other web hosts at this price range):
There are harder restrictions on free trial accounts:
The factors they list which will affect CPU usage are the factors you’d typically expect:
All in all, these restrictions aren’t likely to affect the vast majority of small websites (however, it really depends on how your website is coded, the number of database queries, whether you’ve implemented caching, etc., and it’s important to know they exist prior to purchasing).
One thing we love about GoDaddy is that most of your usage is displayed on the homepage of cPanel so you can quickly identify where any potential problems may arise.
Their 99.9% uptime guarantee isn’t great.
Yes, it’s good that they actually offer a guarantee to all shared hosting accounts (InMotion, for example, only offer an uptime guarantee for their more expensive shared hosting accounts) however their compensation is poor (they only offer 5% your monthly hosting cost).
What’s more, if you do receive compensation you must spend it on GoDaddy services and any determination on whether they have or have not violated the uptime guarantee is at their discretion (ie you can’t use third-party monitoring tools, largely because ‘scheduled maintenance’ – as is the case with most web hosts – doesn’t factor into ‘downtime’).
They offer a fairly standard 30 day money back guarantee, not you’d know it from looking at their shared hosting page (it isn’t mentioned anywhere other than on their refund policy).
It’s worth noting that only annual packages qualify ie if you’ve purchased a monthly or 3 month hosting package, then you’ll only receive a full refund if you cancel within 48 hours.
All in all, we don’t like that it’s hidden from view and we don’t like the terms. There’s no mention about what happens in the event you purchase a free domain as part of a hosting package (most web hosts demand that you pay the registration price in full, or they deduct it from the refund).
It’s worth noting that they are quite generous with refunds on domain names (according to their refund terms). From what we can interpret, .com domain names which automatically renew can be refunded up to 45 days after they renew.
They don’t offer a free automated backup service however you can backup your website manually via cPanel as standard.
If you want to take advantage of their backup and restore options then you’ll need to pay an extra $1.99 per month. It provides automatic daily backups of your website files and your database.
We like GoDaddy’s admin panel, in fact we’d almost rank it as highly as Hostinger’s in terms of usability (we love Hostinger’s panel!).
Of particular note is their decision to place most of the restrictions your limited by on the homepage of cPanel, as well as the fact cPanel is relatively easy to access and a lot ‘cleaner’ than most implementations we see under other web hosts.
In short, you can’t really go wrong. We like their installation of cPanel and it has everything the average user could need.
GoDaddy, like a number of EIG brands, doesn’t offer ticketing support.
The ticketing platform was removed in 2014 and, according to Nick Fuller of GoDaddy, “customers love the ‘real time’ support experience. Email is not instantaneous and in fact many in the industry are putting an end to their email service as well because fewer than half of tech customers believe their problem can be solved by email – it’s sort of going the way of the cassette tape.”
Email is going the way of the cassette tape? That’s more than a slight exaggeration; according to the Radicati Group 205 billion emails were sent every day in 2015; they estimate that figure is 247 billion per day in 2017 (hardly the ‘cassette tape’, is it?).
A cynic may think it’s cheaper for GoDaddy to facilitate live chat enquiries than it is to facilitate email enquiries. However, there are a number of other factors:
All in all, we can’t recommend a web host which doesn’t offer customer support by email (or the ‘cassette tape’, as they refer to it).
We tried their live chat but – and this probably won’t surprise you – we couldn’t get through. Rather, we were given this:
Shocking, eh? (detect the sarcasm) Of course, if you can’t get through to live chat, and you don’t like the idea of trying to spell URLs over the phone, you can always use GoDaddy’s ‘community’ forums.