“We have been a paying customer for GoDaddy since August 2018.
We are monitoring Godaddy’s shared hosting servers for Uptime and Performance through our website hostingpill-gd.website.
This review of GoDaddy is based on actual testing done on their servers.”
This Godaddy Hosting Review was revised and updated on April 3, 2019.
Once upon a time, I was a younger man. I decided to take a big step: no more free website builders for me, no sir… just the real thing:
A PAID web host. One that would let me build a REAL website.
So I went to GoDaddy. Why?
Because GoDaddy had EVERYTHING. It had a website builder, a domain name, and the hosting ALL for (at the time) about a DOLLAR a month. INREDIBLE!
I was thrilled. I built a site. I was happy…
For a year.
And then, I was charged for hosting, at a MUCH higher rate than I had first signed on for. And then I got charged for the website builder. And the domain name.
Now, this experience is unfortunately not just limited to younger-me. Countless newbies have learned certain aspects of hosting the HARD way, and NOT just from GoDaddy.
But, while many popular hosts are guilty of misleading advertising, GoDaddy is particularly infamous for it. Why?
Cause it’s HUGE. GoDaddy has over 18 MILLION customers and manages over 77 MILLION domains, making it the biggest domain registrar and probably the biggest consumer web host.
But, you can’t be that big without problems. At that size, you might as well be a target.
And it’s so big that it does a little of EVERYTHING:
And it’s also infamous for trying to sell you a little of EVERYTHING.
But it is first and foremost an internet hosting company and domain registrar. We’ve evaluated GoDaddy as a registrar, but now I’ll be looking at GoDaddy as a super popular web host.
It’s infamous for being misleading, having too many upsells, and being too big to care about its customers, among other things.
But is it really SO terrible? Or is it just guilty of stuff that all hosts are guilty of?
Is it just an easier target because of its size?
I care about facts. And so do you. So let’s talk about the FACTS of GoDaddy right now, and get to the full truth of how GoDaddy measures as a web host.
I’m gonna kick this off by looking at basically the first thing most of us should be looking at when investigating hosting:
The UPTIME. In other words, how long is my site actually UP?
Well, I’ve measured GoDaddy’s uptime since August 2018, and boy, have I got something to show you.
Check this out:
Here’s the average Uptime:
- Mar 2019: 99.99%
- Feb 2019: 100%
- Jan 2019: 100%
- Dec 2018: 99.98%
- Nov 2018: 99.99%
- Oct 2018: 100%
- Sep 2018: 100%
- Aug 2018: 99.97%
Here’s the average Response Time:
- Mar 2019: 490 ms
- Feb 2019: 476 ms
- Jan 2019: 482 ms
- Dec 2018: 458 ms
- Nov 2018: 522 ms
- Oct 2018: 467 ms
- Sep 2018: 487 ms
- Aug 2018: 473 ms
GoDaddy Uptime Score: Last 8 months, detailed data you can see here.
Yep. Look, I understand the impulse to hate on GoDaddy.
But the thing about those scores is, they’re great. True, we’re not talking PERFECT…
But over an 8-month period, the WORST score was 99.97%, which translates to about 12 minutes of downtime over the month. Not ideal of course, but so much better than a lot of rival companies.
Plus, 99.99% uptime or higher was the case for 6 of the 8 months, AND the response times were on the lower side.
So yeah, I can’t say GoDaddy is perfect, but my uptime tests show a pretty strong candidate. If you still want to see GoDaddy get bashed—well, you might want to skip the next section, because it’s not a weakness
Ease of Use and User Experience
Oops, did I spoil it?
Well…GoDaddy is easy to use.
And that’s not a surprise, because if it’s certainly one of the biggest hosting companies around, and that amount of size usually implies a high minimum of user-friendliness.
GoDaddy IS generally easy, but if there’s something I don’t like, it’s that logging in is not a super-efficient mode of managing your account or products.
It feels like there are a million different pages for everything. And, there is a LOT of upselling. Take this as an example:
Please understand that I have a LOT of products with GoDaddy, most of them domains. When I go to “My Account,” this is what I see as the “home.”
I see an UPSELL for just ONE of many products I have, because the free trial expired.
So it’s very EASY to move around and navigate, but it’s REALLY annoying, too.
I have to navigate to “My Products” to see all the stuff I have, and retract several drop-down menus to actually see my web hosting products.
Then, I can click “manage all” to get to a DIFFERENT page that lets me see my different hosting products. With upsells.
Or, I can just click “manage” for the specific site that I want, and get taken to this:
Which lets you finally get taken to a page where you can directly view your hosting settings for a site.
And THEN you can FINALLY get to your cPanel by clicking that top right button:
Look, GoDaddy isn’t totally unique in this. And in the end, you won’t lose a ton of time. It’s just very frustrating and reflects, in my opinion, poor design.
So, yes, interface can be tedious and too spread out, but it’s NOT difficult.
If “payment methods” isn’t self-explanatory enough, there’s a little description under the option letting you know what you’ll get into.
And when you consider that everything is clearly labeled, easy to read, and often explained, it becomes clear that for all its fault, GoDaddy IS very easy to use.
If you’re a GoDaddy hater, don’t worry. We’re about to get into something you’ll enjoy…
Pricing and Features
The thing that will get GoDaddy’s critics excited? It’s this—a discussion of GoDaddy’s prices and features.
You’ll find out why as we get into it, so I’ll just jump in and start with the shared hosting plans. GoDaddy has three types of website hosting plans. The first is normal shared web hosting:
|Number of Sites||1||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
When I started typing up this review, these were the prices GoDaddy offered. The next day they dropped the first tier with a special promotion:
This is the deal GoDaddy is especially famous for. And they’re famous for adding and dropping these promotions regularly.
So if you want to buy the cheapest shared hosting you can, and find that GoDaddy’s shared plans start at nearly $3 a month—just wait. It’ll go to $1 again soon.
Anyway, OVERALL, this pricing is among the cheapest in the web hosting world, at least for the first year. And sometimes, it’s even cheaper with special discounts.
Plus, the renewal fees AREN’T that bad compared to some of the others I’ve seen.
The result is that these plans are, in the scheme of things, on the affordable side even when you take renewals into account.
Everything else is pretty standard. You start with one website, unmetered bandwidth, email, a domain, and 100 GB of storage.
This is where you start to see some of what GoDaddy is criticized for:
The business email is only a three-month free trial. The domain? It’s free for the first year, and then renews at its current price.
The storage is alright. On paper, it’s really not that glamorous, compared to a lot of shared plans that START with “unlimited” storage or lots of SSD storage.
But here’s the truth:
If you’re working with the most affordable shared web hosting plans, you’re sacrificing power for affordability and accessibility. So 100GB is totally fine, and in any case, every tier afterwards has “unlimited” storage.
Plus, higher tiers get unlimited sites, unlimited subdomains, SSL (sometimes), and just an overall increase in power.
This is pretty common, and so far, GoDaddy hasn’t been deviating from the normal shared web hosting plan structure or feature allocation too much.
Overall, these are okay, with an exception:
“Economy” probably isn’t worth it, even if you’re looking for a budget solution.
The free stuff isn’t so free, and for a slightly higher price with other hosting companies or even a higher GoDaddy tier, you can get a lot more bang for the buck.
I have thoroughly reviewed of Godaddy’s other plans so If that information you don’t want to read then you can skip by clicking here.
Here’s the SECOND type of website hosting, another shared hosting set of plans:
|Storage||10 GB||15 GB||30 GB||50-200 GB|
|Number of Sites||1||1||2||5-50|
This is managed WordPress hosting. Managed in this case means, yeah, that most things are taken care of for you. You just need to use WordPress to set up your site. Easy-peasy.
The prices are pretty good—most managed WordPress hosting I see is significantly more expensive the first year about the same price upon renewal.
It’s true that you’re getting limited in some ways—10GB of space is pretty low for storage, even if it’s SSD.
Here’s something that is outdated:
GoDaddy has overage fees.
This is in contrast to having “unmetered bandwidth.” Now, the difference isn’t as big as you’d think on shared servers (see the FAQ at the bottom for more information), but the result is that you pay extra fees if you reach a certain quota of visitors.
Other than that, things are pretty standard. The overage fees will suck to a lot of people, but on the lower-tiers, it probably won’t matter that much. The storage is pretty low, but if you know what you’re doing on a basic site, it won’t matter.
The managed WordPress plans are thus similar to the normal shared hosting:
Decent. Lower prices, and mediocre features that will get the job done.
Anyway, GoDaddy offers another type of website-oriented hosting, a set of plans that is significantly higher-powered:
|Storage||60 GB||90 GB||120 GB||150 GB|
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB||6 GB||8 GB|
This is “business web hosting” and it’s a little unique. It’s similar to shared hosting, but with more power. You know, for businesses. Here’s how GoDaddy describes it:
So even though GoDaddy presents its business hosting as similar to its shared hosting on the website, the resources are dedicated, not shared.
This is a KEY point and makes business hosting worthy of consideration.
It also makes the prices comparatively reasonable. However, I have some issues with the resources allocated. Here’s why:
Even if you get the promise of reliability and a guarantee __ amount of resources will be available for your site, some of these are a little low for the price.
60GB of storage for “multiple basic sites” at $30.00 a month (after the first year)? Some of the other plans may be better for your business, but I’m hesitant. Here’s the honest truth:
You can get other high quality hosting packages for similar prices with other hosts. Sometimes these might even be top-tier shared hosting, but not necessarily.
Regardless, you can probably get similar prices with better specs, resources, and a longer list of features.
On the other hand, the appeal of these business hosting plans is that they combine ease of use with power.
And again, the PROMISE you can get the resources the plan describes is a huge deal. So I’ll leave these plans at “good,” but something to be wary of.
Don’t dismiss them, but investigate whether or not other hosts can support your businesses in a similar fashion FIRST.
If you looked at that chart I just showed, you know we’ve got another type of hosting coming up. That would be virtual private server (VPS) hosting:
|Memory||1 GB||2 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||40 GB||60 GB||120 GB||240 GB|
As you can see, these are roughly in the same price range as the business hosting plans. And what’s really great is that GoDaddy offers both Linux plans (above) and Windows plans:
|Memory||2 GB||3 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||40 GB||90 GB||120 GB||240 GB|
Of course, whether or not you need Windows or Linux servers is up to you, but I think both are decently priced. And it’s not uncommon for Windows servers to be more expensive.
But there’s something I REALLY dislike:
Some of these renewal fees just seem really unnecessary. I’ll grant that VPS plans are just generally pricier options, but I still find the price jumps unfortunate.
But this is, in the scheme of hosting, a more minor complaint. It’s also true that GoDaddy’s first year prices are on the less expensive side.
Taken together, here’s the situation:
The VPS plans are DECENT. For the first year, they’re a pretty good deal, but in the long run, they’re just moderate. You can get your work done just fine. But I don’t think GoDaddy is the BEST VPS hosting.
Anyway, here’s our last item:
|Memory||4 GB||8 GB||16 GB||32 GB|
|Storage||1 TB||1.5 TB||2 TB||2 TB|
These are the big guns, the dedicated servers. As with the VPS options, GoDaddy has a great strength in offering both Linux (above) and Windows servers:
|Memory||4 GB||8 GB||16 GB||32 GB|
|Storage||1 TB||1.5 TB||2 TB||2 TB|
Now, if you were looking closely, you might have noticed something.
The dedicated Linux servers renew at almost TWICE the initial purchase price. The Windows servers aren’t better.
Now, look, I KNOW! Dedicated servers are always the priciest hosting plans!
Why DOUBLE the price after a year? It’s not like GoDaddy is lying to you, but I still find it skeevy.
But for all my hate, there’s a lot of good, too. Because those first year prices?
They’re GREAT. They start pretty low, considering what you’re getting. This is to the point that if you’re holding on to a dedicated server for two years, you’re still probably getting a decent deal.
Now, I’ll admit, GoDaddy doesn’t have the latest specs:
But the Xeon E3 series is still a tried-and-true decent processor. Some hosts offer the latest models, but not everyone needs that, and the E3 series is still ubiquitous in dedicated hosting plans anyway.
What I particularly like is the resources:
The entry level servers come with 4 cores at 3.1GHz, 4GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. As you scale up, you can get more RAM and more storage, but the rest doesn’t change.
Oh, about the storage…yeah, it’s RAID-1 not RAID-10 (which is more secure). Although, that leads me to another negative point…
NONE of the dedicated server plans have RAID-10. RAID-10 adds a layer of performance, power, and security, and it’s become pretty common with other hosts.
AND, you can’t get more cores—but the fact that you START with 4 is good.
Nonetheless, remember that GoDaddy isn’t offering you the BEST dedicated servers. They’re offering you AFFORDABLE, DECENT dedicated servers.
And this is not a bad thing at all. Even if you’re getting a dedicated server, you don’t need to go all out. This makes GoDaddy’s dedicated servers pretty great mid-tier options.
So, let’s wrap up the pricing and features, folks. What’s the gist, again?
Decent pricing, mid-tier options. None of GoDaddy’s plans scream “EXCELLENT!”
But the simple truth is we don’t all need “EXCELLENT!”.
A lot of us just need something quick, effective, and affordable. And so far, all of GoDaddy’s plans are those things. This is true for all the different kinds of hosting—prices are low or standard, and features and resources are usually okay. Limited for some, good on others.
So GoDaddy’s pricing and features, generally, are just decent but not exceptional.
But that’s only part of the picture…GoDaddy’s target, newer hosting customers, will also need something else:
Customer support is a big one. It’s big for all hosting companies, just because of the technical nature of the service—mistakes happen, complications arise, security issues need solving, etc.
So even if you’re an advanced user, you’ll want great customer service—because great customer service can help YOU do more with your hosting plan. And if you’re less experienced—well, I don’t need to explain that.
But customer service is especially integral to GoDaddy. Remember, GoDaddy has over 17 MILLION customers to support.
So whereas most of the big hosts have a few hundred customer service representatives on the high side, GoDaddy has THOUSANDS.
And they’ve GOT to be good, right? Because they support SO MANY people?
I mean, LOOK at this:
Okay, let’s slow down. The truth is, GoDaddy’s customer support isn’t bad, but we can’t just assume it’s great. My experience has been more nuanced.
Please let me start us off with something that, I for one, HATE:
I understand why GoDaddy and other companies employ these digital assistant/AI chats. They’re cost-effective and can sometimes get the job done.
But as a hosting customer, I already know that GoDaddy is HUGE, and I’m already concerned it won’t spare any more resources on me, beyond a bare minimum.
So when I see this AI chat getting pushed at me as my first line of support, I DON’T like it.
And, it’s only marginally effective. It’s a search bar, basically, which can be sometimes useful, but it feels more like it’s for show than a serious tool.
But, the good news is that GoDaddy does have plenty of representatives available for contact. In fact, check this out:
I don’t think any other hosting company has so much global support.
Now, I can’t attest to the quality of GoDaddy’s phone support in other countries, but in the United States, my experience has been really good.
There is a little bit of waiting involved, but it’s not too bad. Reps were nice and best of all, helpful, so I give GoDaddy props for keeping the representatives quality (at least in the United States).
Of course, you can’t only rely on phone support. Phone support can sometimes be too time-consuming, or you might not be in an environment good for speaking out loud.
So that’s why GoDaddy, like everyone else, has a live chat. It’s decent.
But sometimes, this happens:
So that’s unfortunate, but I guess ultimately not surprising.
The truth is that it’s not uncommon for the live chat to be too busy. It’s not an everyday occurrence, but it happens often enough that I wouldn’t call the live chat reliable.
If you DO get on live chat, the quality is decent. You’ll get a quick answer to a quick question, nothing special, but definitely necessary.
But hey! If you’ve got a serious issue not suitable for live chat, or if you just can’t get on the live chat, at least there’s another option:
Nope, just kidding. It’s either the chat that is often busy, or the phone.
At least the phone support is good.
To its credit, GoDaddy compensates for these deficiencies by having great onsite resources and information.
This is a good example:
This is GoDaddy’s Help Center.
The Help Center is mostly composed of “guides,” which are pretty detailed, media-rich articles that are GREAT for the inexperienced.
Browsing by product will take you to the more practical stuff, the stuff that will address your FAQs.
Once you find a category to explore, you’ll be shown a bunch of sub-categories that each have their own articles.
And each article is pretty clear and sufficiently detailed.
However, browsing Help Center isn’t the only useful resource.
For people who prefer step-by-step tutorials, this is great:
The how-to page has a ton of video tutorials, which are pretty well-made given the number of them.
There’s another major and UNDERRATED resource on GoDaddy:
GoDaddy’s community page has a ton of forums that feature a lot of community involvement.
Here’s why it’s useful:
It taps into GoDaddy’s MASSIVE customer base. Even if the vast majority of customers never post on the forums, you’re still left with THOUSANDS of people who do.
The result is that, even if GoDaddy’s community page isn’t my favorite forum/community page in terms of layout or organization, it’s simply one of the BEST because it’s so used.
This makes things complicated:
GoDaddy has GREAT on-site resources and information, but it’s mediocre or sub-par for contacting customer service representatives.
On the one hand: there’s plenty of information available, it’s easy to find and easy to use.
On the other hand: even if phone support is great in the United States, live chats are frequently busy and there’s no email support.
My conclusion is that GoDaddy has overall GOOD customer support, but it’s LIMITED, an important distinction.
Now, we’ve got one last factor to look at. This is the one that should, hopefully, prevent a LOT of customer service calls when done right:
Security is an essential, for so many reasons. Given that it supports so many customers, you might think GoDaddy HAS to be pretty secure.
Plus, GoDaddy even owns one of the most respected security companies, Sucuri, so you’d think it has fantastic security.
Well…it’s not such a rosy picture, friends. I’ll start with this…
Because this is what GoDaddy is INFAMOUS for:
Trying to sell you AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
Look, to an extent, it’s perfectly understandable. GoDaddy is a huge company with a lot of products, so naturally it’ll have spin-off security packages. The key here:
“TO AN EXTENT.” Because at the end of the day, you should simply be able to count on great security, no matter your package, if you’re working with a quality host.
But this is the unfortunate truth about GoDaddy:
The security is largely an unknown. We simply don’t know that much.
Some of what we know is okay. For example:
14 data centers dispersed around the world—that’s pretty solid, and an advantage to taking on a big host that can invest in multiple data centers.
And this other thing is great:
Oh. Yeah. That’s it. At least, that’s all GoDaddy has on its site, which is where public information SHOULD be.
Now, I’m not going to accuse GoDaddy of not having ANY security:
Obviously, GoDaddy has to have some in place, and we can probably assume it’s decent ENOUGH, or the company couldn’t have become the most popular hosting company and domain registrar.
But for some people, that “take it on faith” won’t be enough, and I don’t blame them.
True, various GoDaddy plans have this or that security feature, but even those are minimal beyond “SSL included.”
So sure, this SOUNDS great:
But I’ll have to see more info before I praise GoDaddy’s security.
My verdict on GoDaddy’s security: if you’re willing to trust GoDaddy, then go ahead. But if security is SUPER important to you, just skip on principle.
Ouch. That sounds pretty harsh. Let’s lighten the mood:
For all its flaws, GoDaddy hasn’t gotten to its popularity without doing some things right. Here they are:
- Pricing on shared web hosting plans is generally cheaper, both for the first term and overall. GoDaddy is a particularly decent option for those who want to quickly host a site for cheap.
- GoDaddy’s frequent promotions can make its entry tier one of the cheapest hosting plans around.
- GoDaddy’s performance is really good even on the more basic plans.
- GoDaddy has many different hosting plans, from shared to dedicated options, and most of them have Linux/Windows options.
- GoDaddy is beginner-friendly.
- GoDaddy has great phone support in the United States, and great on-site information and guides. Particularly, the community forum is uniquely robust.
If you came here just to see GoDaddy get bashed, knock yourself out:
- Features and resources are sub-par for some of the plans, though not all, and especially compared to GoDaddy’s competitors.
- GoDaddy has A LOT of upsells.
- Even aside from the upsells, some people (like me) get very annoyed navigating GoDaddy’s user portal and pages.
- A lot of GoDaddy’s more premium hosting plans STILL have big price jumps. The worst is the dedicated servers, which almost double in price after the first year.
- GoDaddy’s live chat can often be busy, and there is no email support—so phone support is the only reliable option for contacting customer service.
- GoDaddy says almost nothing about its hosting security.
Conclusion: Do I Recommend GoDaddy?
I’ve done a lot of evaluating, and it’s finally JUDGMENT time.
GoDaddy has a lot of bad and a lot of good. How it stacks up mostly depends on what your hosting needs are.
Having said that, there are a few things I should make clear:
First, even if you’re looking for AFFORDABLE hosting, GoDaddy isn’t necessarily the best option. Some hosts have worse performance, and similar or slightly higher prices, and way more features/resources.
Or at least, they make up for a lot of GoDaddy’s flaws.
There isn’t anything I’d say GoDaddy is the BEST in—even ease of use. It might have the LOWEST prices, which is good for some, but it doesn’t have the BEST prices.
Here’s who GoDaddy is best suited for:
People who are newer to hosting, people who are on a budget, and people who just need a quick, affordable solution.
Another point is that GoDaddy is GREAT for people who need hosting for a short amount of time—a year of hosting with GoDaddy will perform well and be super cheap.
But if you want to use GoDaddy for a longer period of time, that’s not a bad idea. The thing about GoDaddy is that it’s ultimately okay in most areas. It’s not horrible at all.
But because it’s not the best in any single area either, GoDaddy is best for those who need that unique combination of low prices, good performance, good user-friendliness, and decent “everything else.”
If you’re unsure, the best way to settle things is to try them out! You can request a refund within 30 days if you don’t like a yearly plan, or within 48 hours if you don’t like your monthly plan.
If you’re not handling a ton of visitors, this is unlikely to matter to you.
But, most website owners would probably like to have MORE visitors, not less, and the nature of the internet is that you can suddenly see upticks in your popularity overnight.
So, it’s good to know the differences. In short:
Overage fees charge you a certain amount when you pass a certain threshold of visitors per month. These thresholds are usually set per plan.
The fees certainly range in price, but usually won’t be “low.”
Unmetered bandwidth basically means “no overage fees.” You won’t get charged when you pass a certain threshold.
Most shared hosting plans nowadays have unmetered bandwidth. Which is great, right? Clearly, that’s perfect! Why even have overage fees?
Well, when you’re sharing a server’s resources, there are natural limitations to what your site/account can pull. Shared hosting only works when users keep their resource use on the lower end.
So while most shared hosting plans have “unmetered bandwidth” and “unlimited storage,” the truth is that if you actually used as much storage as possible and tried to get hundreds of thousands of people to your site…
Shared hosting just wouldn’t work, for everyone else. So if you begin to make things difficult for everyone else:
A lot of hosts will contact you and ask you to upgrade your plan and/or they’ll suspend your hosting. Nothing personal, but they have to make sure their other customers work.
The result is that while overage fees can SUCK, sometimes it’s preferable to KNOW what your plan can accommodate with a clear threshold.
SOMETIMES. The reality is most of us will prefer unmetered bandwidth, as it’s statistically unlikely we’ll seriously present problems for a shared server. And that’s what I recommend, especially for beginners.
The thing about this question is: if you ask it, the answer probably isn’t relevant to you.
This is because Windows and Linux servers are preferable for different types of usage, but the distinction matters at a more advanced level.
For example, the difference affects the programming languages you/your team can use, or the types of applications may run better on this or that type of server.
Windows plans tend to be more expensive (because Linux is open-source) but usually also offer more customer support.
Linux may be easier to modify and more flexible, but Windows may be better for running or testing certain applications.
So if you’re newer to hosting, or otherwise don’t really want more advanced hosting—then the difference won’t really affect you.
You should look more at the prices, performance, and features as opposed to the operating system.
This question is especially pertinent to GoDaddy, although GoDaddy is not the only hosting company guilty of this misleading “FREE ____” stuff.
The exhausting thing is it really depends on the hosting plan you’re looking at.
I’m not just talking about the TYPE of hosting, but the specific plan. Why?
Because as you move up a tier, some features get “added.” Which sometimes means “added for free the first year, but you’ll have to pay after.”
Now, for shared hosting, the important parts are the domain name and the email. Both of these will be free for the first year, but auto-renew at cost afterwards, unless you go to your settings and reconfigure it before time goes up.