Saturday 18th August 2018

GoDaddy Review

Overview

Overall rating:

6.5/10

Price:

$2.99

Uptime (Jan 18):

100%

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Overview

Overall rating:

6.5/10

Price:

$2.99

Setup:

24 hours

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Overall

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).

  • Their managed WordPress hosting packages support HTTP/2 but their shared hosting packages don’t.
  • They offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee however their compensation terms are some of the worst we’ve seen. They offer 5% of the cost of your monthly hosting fee and it has to be spent on their services. Hostgator, for example, offers 1 month of free hosting
  • They offer ‘unmetered bandwidth’
  • They offer a 30 day money back guarantee for annual subscriptions but a 48 hour money back guarantee for monthly and non-annual subscriptions (they don’t mention this on the front-end of their website).
  • You’ll receive 100GB of storage for the economy package while the ‘deluxe’ and ‘ultimate’ packages claim to offer ‘unlimited storage’. In reality, all accounts are restricted to 250,000 inodes (simple explanation: an inode is a file). It’s worth noting that 1 email equals 1 inode. See more below.
  • MySQL databases are restricted to 1,000 tables (which is more than enough) and no more than 1GB total storage (you can create 10 databases on the economy package)
  • There’s a free domain with every shared hosting account
  • CPU usage is restricted to 25% of one CPU core – this is identical to restrictions imposed by some other hosting companies eg Hostgator; the ‘economy’ package is limited to 1 CPU core while the ‘ultimate’ package is limited to 2 CPU cores.
  • They also state all users on their Linux shared hosting plans are restricted to 100 website connections, 100 entry processes, 100 active processes and 1MB/s I/O (I/O simply means input/output). There’s more information below.
  • There are specific account restrictions for free trial users too (all of the above applies, however the restrictions are a lot tighter). There’s more information below.
  • Your hosting package will auto renew however you can switch this off in your admin panel.
  • GoDaddy offers free website migrations, however they aren’t very well publicised and they aren’t guaranteed (they are offered on a ‘courtesy’ basis). There’s more information below.
  • GoDaddy doesn’t offer a free backup service. They refer to backups in their features (but don’t provide additional details). They also offer a backup and restore option for an additional cost.

Features

6.5/10

service

4.5/10

Performance

8/10

Cost

7/10

Host overview

Performance: January 2018 (to date)

Response Time:

588ms

Uptime:

100%

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.

Cost, setup and website migrations

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).

Restrictions

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):

  • You’re restricted to 100 entry process connections at any given time (this is good – A2 Hosting restricts at 15 and InMotion restricts at 20). We’re informed by live chat support that this means you’re restricted to 100 simultaneous visitors on your website at any one time, however it’s not quite that simple in our view; each of those 100 visitors would need to be executing a request simultaneously before the limit would be exceeded (an entry process is ‘reset’ after it’s fulfilled and it can often be fulfilled in a second).
  • Total number of processes (nPROCs in Linux terminology) is restricted to 100.
  • GoDaddy restricts CPU usage ie you aren’t allowed to use more than 25% of a CPU core at any given time. We doubt this will affect most users however CPU usage is predominantly affected by tasks like querying databases excessively or relying on too many plugins or scripts. You can review CPU usage in your control panel.
  • The ‘economy’ plan only has to access to 1 CPU core while the ‘ultimate’ plan has access to 2
  • They offer unmetered bandwidth which typically means ‘bandwidth isn’t monitored’.
  • You’re limited by both the number of files you can store and the speed at which you read or write to storage. They restrict I/O (reading and writing to storage or the speed at which the hard disk transfers data to RAM) to 1 MB/s (1,024 KB/s); this is low relative to other web hosts (eg GreenGeeks restricts at 4MB/s). With I/O it’s important to note you can’t ‘exceed’ your restriction but rather your website will just ‘hang’ until it’s finished transferring data.
  • They restrict storage to 250,000 inodes for all shared hosting plans. It’s important to remember that each email you store will also count towards your inode total. A standard WordPress installation will comprise about 2,000 inodes.
  • The economy plan has access to 512MB RAM while the ‘ultimate’ package has access to 1GB RAM
  • You’re also limited to 30 concurrent connections to the MySQL database (all shared hosting accounts) and each MySQL database is limited to 1GB total size.

There are harder restrictions on free trial accounts:

  • 50,000 inodes as opposed to 250,000 inodes
  • I/O of 0.5MB/s (512 KB/s) as opposed to 1MB/s
  • Maximum of 10 concurrent website connections as opposed to 100

The factors they list which will affect CPU usage are the factors you’d typically expect:

  • High volumes of traffic
  • Poorly written code
  • Extensive number of third-party plugins

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.

Backups, guarantees and security

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.

The admin panel

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.

  • They’ve got 1-click installs for every application imaginable, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and phpBB.
  • Their DNS management options are a bit painful and take you out of cPanel and into GoDaddy’s custom admin panel. The records are also paginated (which we didn’t spot initially and you have to make a few clicks to get them) and fully editable
  • You receive easy access to PHPMyAdmin within cPanel as well as the ability to create and update your MySQL databases
  • There are endless number of email management options (as is the case with most cPanel installations) eg forwarding rules, autoresponders, etc.
  • All of the standard options like hotlink protection and IP address blocking, as well as setting up cron jobs, are also included

In short, you can’t really go wrong. We like their installation of cPanel and it has everything the average user could need.

GoDaddy Customer Service

  • Live chat support: yes
  • Ticketing support: no
  • Phone support: yes

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:

  1. Live chat is a more accessible form of contact while other enquiries are routed through email. When you remove email as an option, guess what happens to live chat? Those who formerly used email now need to use live chat.
  2. Emails can be sent and left; they are an infinitely superior method of communication for busy people who don’t want to have to wait for 30 minutes to get through to a live chat operator.

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:

GoDaddy - Live Chat

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.

3 month term - economy

Price

$7.99

Bandwidth:

Unmetered

Storage:

100GB

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12 month term - economy

Price

$4.49

Bandwidth:

Unmetered

Storage:

100GB

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24 month term - economy

Price

$3.99

Bandwidth:

Unmetered

Storage:

100GB

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36 month term - economy

Price

$2.99

Bandwidth:

Unmetered

Storage:

100GB

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