According to BuiltWith, 1 in every 20 websites seems to be hosted on GoDaddy. Undeniably, they are a hosting titan, with around 19 million customers, over 9,000 employees and more than 78 million domains managed.
But this is not a popularity contest…
… Instead, I am about to review GoDaddy, so that you know what to expect from their performance, what the deal is with their support and how much it will really cost you – spoiler alert, their pricing can get confusing.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
What Products Does GoDaddy Offer?
GoDaddy offers dozens of products and comes with many available plans. So, first let me tell you a bit more about their hosting offer.
- GoDaddy is one of the largest domain name registrars. With them you can get almost any domain extension you are looking for: .com, .net, .org, .law or even .today. A .com domain will cost you $11.99 the first year and $17.99 after, not the cheapest.
- At GoDaddy, there are shared hosting plans available too. It’ll cost you between $8.99 and $24.99 at renewal. With this type of hosting service, you’ll share a server with other clients. It’s suitable for small and medium projects that don’t need top performing servers.
- Like many other hosting providers, GoDaddy has a WordPress optimized shared hosting service. They seem to prepare their servers for a higher WordPress performance, offer WordPress pre-installed and have a selection of themes available. Nothing too exciting if you ask me.
- GoDaddy VPS plans are for those with special server configuration needs. With the root (administrative) access you’ll be able to configure your server to your preferences. They also come with a higher performance than shared hosting plans. VPS plans at GoDaddy start at $30 a month.
- If the higher performance of a VPS is not enough for your site, a dedicated hosting package is your best next option. With these, you’ll have your own server for yourself and won’t have neighbors interfering with your project. But you’ll need a budget for that as dedicated servers start at $169.99 per month at GoDaddy.
- GoDaddy also offers email hosting plans, so you can have a professional-looking address like email@example.com. They start at $4.99 per user per month for 5 GB of email storage.
- For the less tech-savvy users, they also have a website builder to create your site with. To be honest, it’s not my favorite site builder as some features come up a bit short (e.g. the blog). Other alternatives like Weebly, Wix or Squarespace seem to me more well-rounded.
But their offering doesn’t stop there, among others they also have a hosting reseller program so you can sell hosting plans to your clients, web design services and SEO consulting.
|Max. files amount||250,000||250,000||250,000||250,000|
|Bandwidth||Unmetered *||Unmetered *||Unmetered *||Unmetered *|
Max. DB size
|SSL certificate||No||No||Included free the first term||Included free the first term|
|Backup||Paid add-on||Paid add-on||Paid add-on||Paid add-on|
|First-term prices||$6.99 a month||$9.99 a month||$14.99 a month||$22.99 a month|
|Renewal price||$8.99 a month||$11.99 a month||$16.99 a month||$24.99 a month|
* Even if officially they don’t limit the traffic you can get, if your website gets too much traffic or uses too many resources, they’ll request that you upgrade.
The Economy plan is for those only looking to host 1 website (1 domain) and don’t need more than 100 GB of storage. It also comes with a database limitation of 10. SSL certificates aren’t included either.
The Deluxe tier comes with the same specs and features as the Economy package, but you’ll be able to host unlimited websites with it, and a maximum of 25 databases are allowed.
If you need a higher performance (e.g. 2 CPUs and 1 GB of memory) you can purchase the Ultimate plan. It also comes with free SSL certificate (for the first term) and unlimited databases.
With the Maximum tier, you’ll get 2 GB of memory.
I don’t like that some basic features you’ll need aren’t included with the shared hosting plans. For example, if you want to have your sites backed up, it’ll cost you around $3 extra a month for 5 GB of storage, and SSL certificates are about $7 extra a month (in a time where most hosting companies offer free Let’s Encrypt certificates!).
This adds up quickly. The Economy plan jumps from $7.99 to $17.50 a month when these must-have add-ons are purchased. Not so ‘Economy’ anymore.
GoDaddy Review: Pros & Cons
GoDaddy is one of the largest domain name registrars and reputable hosts. Their performance is good and offers tons of web storage. However, it lacks some features like backups, SSL certificates and staging areas.
Let’s check out the main pros and cons in detail:
But you are probably wondering when is it a good idea to use GoDaddy and when it’s not. Let me give you a couple of examples.
When to Use GoDaddy’s Hosting?
First of all, you should set aside some budget for hosting, as GoDaddy comes out a bit pricey, especially when you start adding the basic add-ons.
I would suggest GoDaddy’s shared hosting for those looking for a host that’s very generous with the storage and doesn’t measure your traffic.
In our tests, GoDaddy has also proved to be a reliable hosting provider as their uptime and speed were decent. So serious projects like avid bloggers could be happy with GoDaddy’s hosting.
When Not to Use GoDaddy’s hosting?
Even if GoDaddy offers decent performance, it’s probably not for those looking for a top performing provider. SiteGround and DreamHost may be better alternatives.
Finally, those looking for advanced options like staging areas, server-side caching or CMS (e.g. WordPress) optimization options may want to check out other alternatives.
|Ease of use||Good||I have to say that registering can be a bit tricky, there are way too many add-ons offered at check out. Their cPanel-based backend is easy and intuitive. Perhaps their support materials could be a bit more detailed.|
|GoDaddy will give you a free domain for the first term if you purchase a 12-month (or longer) deal.
With the Economy plan, you can only have 1 domain name (website), the other plans will let you have as many domains as you wish.
|Very good||Email accounts are pretty generous at GoDaddy. Get up to 100 accounts with the Economy plan, 500 with the Deluxe tier and unlimited with the others. There’s not a direct email storage limitation. *|
|Databases||Good||All databases are limited to Where your servers are1 GB of size. With the Economy plan you can have up to 10 databases, 25 with the Deluxe package and unlimited with Ultimate and Maximum plans *.|
|Applications||Very good||Using their cPanel you’ll be able to easily install all sorts of applications like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Magento.|
|Webspace limit||Very good||The storage is limited to 100 GB with the Economy plan, the higher plans offer unlimited web space. However, the maximum files (inodes) hosted can’t be over 250,000, which is pretty generous.|
|Monthly data transfer limit||Very good||GoDaddy doesn’t meter the traffic you can get with any of their plans. However, if your website uses too many server resources they may require you to upgrade your hosting account.|
|FTP accounts and secure FTP||Very good||Create up to 50 FTP accounts with the Economy and Deluxe plans, and unlimited accounts with Ultimate and Maximum tiers. Secure FTP connections are allowed and SSH access too.|
||Very good||You can choose between servers in America, Europe and Asia.|
|Security features||OK||They seem to monitor your server’s security and possible attacks (e.g. DDoS) 24/7. I can’t get my head around why SSL certificates are paid extra. It’s also difficult to understand the lack of backups (more on this later).|
|Server speed||Good||Although GoDaddy’s speed is not as good as SiteGround’s or DreamHost’s, their hosting server is fast and shouldn’t disappoint you. They also offer the latest PHP version, which will give you an extra speed boost. Sadly, they don’t offer a server-side caching system and their shared hosting doesn’t come with dedicated speed optimization plugins for WordPress and similar CMSs.|
|Uptime||Good||According to my experience and tests, GoDaddy’s shared hosting uptime is reliable too.|
|Backups||Very bad||They only offer a database backup, but after speaking to support I am unsure how often is it run and what exactly is backed up. You’ll need to purchase a paid add-on for having proper backups, which starts at around $3 a month for 5 GB of backup storage.|
|CDN (content delivery network)||Not included||It doesn’t include a CDN out-of-the-box. However, you can always add an external service like CloudFlare.|
|Server features||Good||With GoDaddy, you can use the latest PHP version (at the moment 7.3) and MySQL for your databases. Using other programming languages like Python or Perl is also possible. Advanced features like staging areas or Git repositories are missing. You can also get a Windows-based server instead of a Linux one.|
|Refunds and guarantees||
|If you purchase a 12-month hosting plan or longer, you’ll have a 30-day money-back warranty. You have a 99.9% uptime service level agreement.|
|Assistance and support||Good||You can reach GoDaddy via live chat or phone. I didn’t have to wait long to be connected with an agent, however, the quality of the support could be better. I wish their learning materials were a bit more detailed.|
4.2 out 5
|GoDaddy’s performance is good and their support isn’t terrible. However, they can be a bit overpriced as you’ll need to add some add-ons (e.g. SSL and backups) to have a fully functional hosting service.|
* All your files combined (storage, databases, emails, etc), can’t be more than 250,000.
GoDaddy Performance Tests
I checked GoDaddy’s performance to see if they are a reliable hosting provider. I’ve tested their uptime and speed using several tools: StatusCake, Pingdom, GTmetrix and Webpagetest.org.
GoDaddy Speed Test
No one wants to have a slow hosting provider. Website visitors hate having to stare at a blank page that never seems to load.
This can cost you conversions as visitors will go elsewhere if they have to wait too long to read your content. And of course, the faster your site the higher search engines will rank it.
|Test||Average Ranking||Average Speed|
|5 GTmetrix test||4 out of 8 providers were faster||2 s|
|5 Pingdom test||4 out of 8 providers were faster||1.34 s|
|5 Webpagetest test||3 out of 8 providers were faster||5.20 s|
I did several speed tests for GoDaddy and some other competitors and as you can see in the table above, they were one of the top performing services. Only top providers like SiteGround and DreamHost beat them.
Is GoDaddy’s Uptime Good?
The uptime measures how much time your website was online. Believe it or not, hosting providers can’t always guarantee that your site will be online 100% of the time.
Having a 99.95% uptime (or 0.05% downtime) is considered a good result. So if you are serious about your website, you should always aim for this. Otherwise, you may get punished by search engines and of course you’ll be offering a poor user experience to your visitors.
|A2 Hosting||99.93 %|
To monitor uptime I use StatusCake, a tool that checks each website every 5 minutes.
I am happy with GoDaddy’s uptime performance. As you can see in the above table, they had an uptime of 99.97% – not too bad.
GoDaddy Review: Do I Recommend It?
Overall, I think GoDaddy offers a solid product to host most small to medium websites. I liked:
- Their decent speed and uptime
- Apart from classic Linux hosting, they also offer Windows-based hosting services – not many providers do
- Their easy to follow and intuitive interface
- Their unlimited bandwidth and generous storage
However, it has a couple of hidden downsides that you should know about. Some basic features like SSL and backups aren’t included in their already pricey plans – in the end, GoDaddy gets expensive.
Advanced features like staging areas are also missing, and they don’t offer migration services for new accounts. This may be a deal-breaker for developers or agencies.
I think most projects could be hosted using GoDaddy without serious issues (if the backup add-on and SSL are added). However, this doesn’t mean that GoDaddy is the best option for your project.
Let me go over a couple of scenarios so you can compare GoDaddy to other alternatives:
- I would say that DreamHost and A2 Hosting offer the best price to quality ratio
- I’ve found the best support at SiteGround, DreamHost and InMotion, no doubt about that.
- DreamHost and SiteGround are the top performing providers for both uptime and speed.
- For those needing a hosting provider with a lot of WordPress features (e.g. staging and speed optimization), I would recommend to check SiteGround out.
I hope you found this GoDaddy review interesting. But if you have any question, please leave comment and I’ll try to help you out.
12 Jul 2019: First review