Best for Extra Features
For decades now, GoDaddy has stayed on top as one of the biggest names in web hosting, domain registration, and online marketing. GoDaddy offers a ton of services and aims to be a one-stop shop for all of your Internet needs.
Web hosting and domain name registration doesn’t sound like an exciting business, in fact it sounds downright tame. Even so, GoDaddy has managed to stay in the public eye with its infamous Super Bowl commercials and the recreational habits of its founder.
But what of its hosting? GoDaddy came in 6th in our web hosting research with a decent overall score of 4 out of 5. In fact, beginners may find a certain advantage to choosing GoDaddy, since you can manage your domain easily with a dedicated domain registrar, as well as get your web hosting needs fulfilled with a capable service.
However, GoDaddy isn’t the cheapest company around. In fact, in our value-for-money research, we gave it an overall score of 3.5 out of 5. Certainly not the worst, but not the best either. You do get a lot for your money with its services, however.
Higher prices don’t always mean you’re being ripped off, and GoDaddy is a fine example. Its hosting services are as good as anybody’s, and its free add-ons are among the best in the business. It’s a question of finding a plan that fits neatly with your needs. Convenience and peace of mind have their value as well, and that’s where GoDaddy shines.
GoDaddy Hosting Prices
GoDaddy’s pricing starts at just $6.49 per month for its shared hosting. WordPress hosting costs $7.49 per month, and VPS hosting starting at only $5.99 per month. The most expensive GoDaddy plan is for dedicated hosting, which costs a minimum of $149.99 per month.
Top Web Hosting Providers – our comparative review of the best hosting providers on the market, including GoDaddy.
- Excellent template-based website builder
- Free Office 365 email with shared hosting
- Pricing is higher than other major website hosting companies
- GoDaddy’s unlimited offerings require a close reading of the fine print
Founded in 1997 as Jomax Technologies, GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar in the world. It’s not clear how many websites it hosts, but the company manages more than 76 million domains. It has 14 facilities around the world, and more than 17.5 million customers worldwide.
Before most people around the world even understood what a domain name was or why you’d want one, GoDaddy became a household name. This was largely due to its Super Bowl commercials that began in 2005. In recent years, GoDaddy has given up its Super Bowl ads.
Beyond its memorable ads, GoDaddy continued to grow and offer more and more services until it became the full service web shop it is today. Its pricing is not as competitive as some other web hosts; however, you do get some nice perks such as Office 365 email, a website builder, and strong customer support.
If all you need is a beginner WordPress site, we’d suggest that pricing should be your primary concern. Not to be too flippant about it, but the WordPress user experience is pretty much the same once you’re in the blog platform’s content management system (CMS).
WordPress review – our full breakdown of WordPress.org and how to get the most out of it.
GoDaddy says it promises 99.99 percent uptime, which amounts to less than a day of downtime per year. Now, whether GoDaddy actually performs at that level is another question. A recent test by Down.com, a website that runs uptime tests on web hosts says GoDaddy has an average uptime of 99.97 percent. That equals a little less than three days of downtime per year, which is still excellent.
A 100 percent uptime simply isn’t possible due to inevitable technical problems that can arise. But close to 100 percent, as GoDaddy offers, is what you should realistically expect.
In our research, we only gave GoDaddy a 2 out of 5 overall for uptime. But in testing the individual hosting prowess we found that GoDaddy’s best performance score was 4.1 out of 5 for dedicated hosting, while its lowest performance score was 3 out of 5 for blog hosting.
GoDaddy has all the fundamental features you need in a web host. Its basic plan offers a free domain when you register for a year or longer. GoDaddy restricts its free offering to specific top-level domains including .CLUB, .COM, .NET, .XYZ, .ORG, .CO, and .CN.
In fact, that’s all GoDaddy really can offer: the basics. In our research, it earnt a 3.8 out of 5 for features, putting it slapback in the middle of the list. Not the worst, not the best.
It’s worth noting that you must also pay the ICANN fee of 18 cents per domain per year for the length of your commitment.
On the basic shared hosting plan, GoDaddy offers a free year’s subscription to Microsoft Office 365 business email, typically a $60 annual cost. GoDaddy hosting also offers unmetered bandwidth, which includes unlimited storage and website bandwidth. While unlimited bandwidth is typical for basic web hosting services, unlimited storage is less common.
That said, GoDaddy does have some specific limits to its unlimited plans. If you’re using its Linux hosting you are limited to 250,000 inodes — files, directories, and so on — per account. On Windows-based hosting the limit is 500,000 files and folders per account.
If that sounds complex to you, you’re not likely to be affected. GoDaddy offers a lot of storage that will take a while to fill up for most sites.
Also, take care of what hosting you need as well. GoDaddy struggles with dedicated hosting features, with a score of 2.7 out of 5, but comes stronger for shared hosting with a feature score of 4.3 out of 5!
This is an improvement over the last time we reviewed our scores, making GoDaddy one to watch!
Then there are the different plans. Beyond the basic Economy plan, there are several higher-priced tiers. Deluxe has all the basics of Economy, but it gives you an unlimited number of websites and subdomains. The Ultimate plan increases the processing power of the server plus you get free HTTPS for one year, and beyond that business shared hosting adds more computing resources.
Choosing your hosting plan is very straightforward with GoDaddy. You pick the plan you want, and then there are well-marked offers for several optional add-ons. The only add-on chosen by default is website backup. The other possible add-ons include site security and an SSL certificate for HTTPS.
After the package is set-up you arrive on a simplified interface. From here you can set-up your email, build a website, and access your site’s cPanel control panel. Everything in this section of the website is very clean and simple — ideal for new users.
Once you get into the cPanel section things can get a little more confusing, but the design is still very clear. On the left you see the statistics for your website such as file usage, storage and so on. This can be helpful if you want to see the demands your site is putting on the server, and whether you’re maxing out your allowances.
The main part of the window taken up with the various cPanel categories such as Files, Preferences, Databases, Web Applications, Domains, Email, Metrics, Security, Software, and Advanced.
If you’re running a WordPress site or other dedicated content management system then cPanel won’t be a huge concern. But if you’re going to spend a lot of time in cPanel then you might compare GoDaddy to Bluehost to see which simplified design you prefer.
GoDaddy has its own drag-and-drop website builder. It starts by asking you to select a category and name for your website. Then it automatically selects a basic template for you to get started. The website builder then guides you through the creation process including the ability to change the automatically chosen theme.
It’s an excellent tool for beginners who want to build their own site but aren’t sure where to start. In our trial with the tool, it let us choose from eight basic templates and then gave us the freedom to adjust the colors and fonts. From there we could customize everything and changing any element was as simple as clicking on it, and then making the change in the right-hand sidebar.
While this isn’t free with the basic plan, it’s a great option if you’re looking to build a website quickly and easily.
GoDaddy website builder review – our review of GoDaddy’s in-house website builder and its need-to-know features.
If you have any problems with your GoDaddy site there are numerous official and unofficial options open to you to find a fix. GoDaddy actually consistently scores high for help and support, scoring 3.5 out of 5 overall.
GoDaddy’s knowledge center should be your first stop. It’s likely your problem is not so unique and that a common fix is available. Surprisingly this often saves more time than waiting for a support representative.
GoDaddy’s help site is well organized with the most common issue categories represented by large icons; these include questions about domains, cPanel, Windows Hosting, SSL certificates, Office 365 email, and account management. Clicking on the More products link reveals further potential issue categories in a text-only list.
After selecting an issue, GoDaddy helps you drill down until you find an article that’s specific to your issue. Most of the solutions, however, are found in forum posts where customers help each other.
There are some basic tips at the top of each specific issue page, but GoDaddy typically doesn’t have the lengthy support articles that some web hosts create on their own. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as forum posts tend to keep the issue solutions more current, but it’s not for everyone as it usually requires a little more research.
If the knowledge base route fails keep in mind that a regular old Google search might also help. GoDaddy is so big and popular that many sites and YouTube channels write articles with fixes for problems specific to GoDaddy.
When that kind of research isn’t in the cards, GoDaddy also offers live chat, 24/7 phone support, and responses to support issues on social media.
GoDaddy’s overall value for money score is 3.5 out of 5, but there are a lot of variations in that average. For example, GoDaddy has the lowest value for money score for dedicated hosting, with a 1.9 out of 5. Shared hosting fares little better, with a 2.5 out of 5. But for VPS, GoDaddy actually manages 2nd with a 3.8 out of 5!
GoDaddy has frequent sales, where prices for shared hosting with the Economy plan start as low as $6.49 per month when you sign up for 3 years. After that initial period, the price goes up to $8.99 per month. The Deluxe plan has an introductory price of $7.49 per month, and the Maximum is $22.99.
That’s quite a bit more expensive than Bluehost or HostGator, where prices start under $5. In fact, value for money is one of the major areas GoDaddy has gone down, with the Economy plan costing only $1.99 before.
However, that extra cost could be worth it for anyone that wants to use GoDaddy’s user-friendly website builder.
GoDaddy’s dedicated WordPress hosting for higher-traffic blogs has an introductory price of $8.99 per month ($9.99 after the initial period), and Deluxe and Ultimate plans with starter prices at $11.99 and $18.99 respectively.
There’s also the Web Hosting Plus plans, which puts WordPress site on a private VPS site for you. It starts with the Launch plan at $21.99 per month and goes up to the Expand plan starting at $69.99 per month.
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting starts a lot cheaper than other providers at $5.99 per month for a VPS with 1GB of memory, 20GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, 2 dedicated IPs, and a free SSL certificate for a year. There are three other VPS plans with prices ranging from $23.99 per month to $83.99 per month at the introductory rate.
Dedicated hosting, where you basically rent a server from GoDaddy, starts at $149.99 per month and goes all the way up to $469.99. That might sound expensive (and it is), but they renew at those prices as well. This plan is saved only for the biggest websites, so if you just have a blog or a small store you don’t need to concern yourself with them really.
GoDaddy won’t be for everyone such as those on a price-sensitive budget, due to its inconsistent value scores. But with a feature score in our research of 3.8 out of 5 and a 4 out of 5 for types of hosting, GoDaddy is a great choice for those who want a dependable hosting provider that’s easy to use. If you don’t want to waste time and configure settings, plus get a load of extras such as free Microsoft Office 365 email, a free SSL certificate on larger plans, and a mostly free domain, GoDaddy is well worth looking at for new users and experienced website owners. When a GoDaddy plan fits, it really fits.
If you’d like to try GoDaddy today, you can try it risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. Otherwise, that’s it from us. Hope to see you again for another thrilling hosting review, done by the one-and-only Website Builder Expert!
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