Is GoDaddy the right website host for your small business?
Choosing a website builder and hosting service is one of the first major decisions for any business owner. If you’re not entirely sold on the benefits of Godaddy, or just overwhelmed by the choices available, you’re definitely not alone.
GoDaddy is a globally recognized brand, with SuperBowl Ads and top positioning in search results. Their authority with search engines and popularity with users is well established. That being said, negative press and mixed GoDaddy reviews from users can easily be found with a little searching on Google. How do you sort out fact from fiction?
Important Note: This is an unbiased review of GoDaddy and we are not affiliated by any means to describe the product. None of the links on this article are affiliate links as well.
We’ve broken down the essential criteria you should be considering, compared reviews, researched other website hosting services and here’s what we were able to discover:
GoDaddy Domain Hosting: Highly Competitive
Hands down, GoDaddy is one of the most affordable domain hosting services out there. Registering a domain is super easy and there are frequent deals available. Top-tier domains (.com/.ca) can be purchased for as little as $0.99/month for the first year. Dedicated servers are provided to give users the assurance of reliable hosting, security, and efficient load times.
GoDaddy Website Builder: Highly Competitive
GoDaddy has one of the most user-friendly interfaces for building a website. Their cPanel hosting provides users with an intuitive graphical interface, suited for beginners or experts. You won’t need a high level of expertise to create, publish, and manage your website.
GoDaddy Design Features: Fairly Competitive
GoDaddy’s website builder is fairly robust. Over 300 professional design templates are available, which can be easily customized using their drag and drop tool. You can upload your own images (logo, trademark, etc) straight from your desktop or phone. Music and video can also be embedded.
Data Access: Restrictive
Restrictions on email addresses, database and memory can be problematic for web administrators seeking more control. Web forms, wikis and auto-generated content will take more effort as you try and navigate GoDaddy policies. Other hosting services are less restrictive.
Backup and Restore features are included in most of their hosting plans. Save and backup as many versions of your website as you want, which other services do not offer. GoDaddy also makes it easy to import third-party MySQL files.
Pricing: Highly Competitive
There are four basic plans: personal, business, business plus and Online Store for eCommerce enterprises. Cost ranges from approximately $100 – $500 annually, which works out to somewhere between $8 – $40 monthly. All of them include 24/7 support, but the features and customization vary with each tier.
Uptime: Needs Improvement
One of the most important criteria for evaluating the quality of a domain hosting service is uptime or the amount of time a server is functioning. A server fulfills millions of request each day, transmitting billions of bytes to IP’s around the world. While Godaddy boasts dedicated servers for your website, the feedback from users has been generally poor when it comes to uptime. Loading issues with mobile and desktop have been experienced widely and continue to be a major source of dissatisfaction for unhappy customers.
GoDaddy Security: Highly Competitive
Your data is in good hands with GoDaddy. They use the latest technology and invest heavily in security to reduce spam and hacker attacks. With the addition of SiteLock and Sucuri, GoDaddy’s web security is a definite plus.
GoDaddy Support: Adequate
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of GoDaddy’s service is their customer service, which many users rate poorly. They offer 24/7 live, phone and email support, but help desk attendees are often criticized for their lack of expertise in addressing technical issues (i.e. downtime, re-directs, hosting, WP, SQL databases). Web administrators seeking HTML access to their server will run into problems. SSH access is limited. There is SFTP access but you won’t be able to overwrite files.
GoDaddy WordPress Hosting: Competitive
GoDaddy has partnered with WordPress to provide users with three hosting plans for building an affordable WordPress website or blog. Domains are free with an annual subscription. A free image library exists, along with an auto-install Quick Start Wizard to help you launch your website quickly. You won’t find a better deal.
If you have an existing WordPress site, migrating to GoDaddy requires some technical expertise in. Some WordPress plug-ins and themes require a tutorial to be integrated smoothly. While there are step by step directions for moving your WordPress site to GoDaddy, following the steps can be a challenge even for experts. Correcting errors down the road will cost you around $150 to repair. Small websites with no plug-ins are relatively easier to migrate.
GoDaddy has been under fire for unusual marketing tactics, aggressive upselling and poor customer service, but their affordability, brand recognition, and comprehensive tools make them a popular choice for many start-ups.
If your business is fairly established, involves a lot of eCommerce, and you’re looking to expand, there are better options. Small business owners with little technical expertise can register a domain and launch a website with relative ease, but getting the help and guidance you need from a customer service representative may leave you frustrated and annoyed.
Creatives and professionals working with a hyper-local focus will find GoDaddy is a great bargain, but if you plan on expanding into eCommerce, you might want to look around for a provider with more knowledgeable and responsive customer support.
Ideal For: Creatives, Restaurant, Local business entrepreneurs, Professionals with a local focus (real estate agents, lawyers, accountants)
Not Good For: E-commerce, Retail, High volume traffic
More GoDaddy Reviews You Can Check Out: