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GoDaddy Web Hosting Review 2021 – It is Good, If You Have Money

Is GoDaddy a good web hosting company?

Yes, GoDaddy is a good web hosting company. That’s what my overall notion is. With 99.9% guaranteed uptime, and an easy to use interface, GoDaddy is a good choice for starters.

However, they do have outrageous pricing structures that make shared hosting more expensive than cloud hosting.

They have a very dubious money-back guarantee policy. Web hosting is not the only service they offer. They are one of the world’s biggest domain registrars and offer a service similar to Wix and Weebly.

The Verdict – Do I recommend GoDaddy?

Yes, I do! However, my recommendation comes with these conditions:

  • If you are a starter in websites and web hosting and don’t want to deal with cloud hosting complexities, GoDaddy is a good choice.
  • If you don’t mind paying high prices for simple shared hosting, GoDaddy is a good option.
  • If you don’t mind paying for an SSL certificate (which most hosts provide for free), GoDaddy can be an option.
  • If you are okay with their aggressive upsells, GoDaddy may be a good option.
  • If you are okay with severe limitations of their so-called unlimited parameters, yes, you are welcome to use GoDaddy.

Are GoDaddy Servers Fast?

This is a very stupid question that even I used to ask in my initial days. Why do I call it a stupid question? That’s because figuring out the server response time is a difficult thing. Almost every review in this world will speak about a website’s page load speed and equate it to server response time.

That’s not true. The server’s speed depends on many factors that include complex things like the number of I/O operations per second. End users like us do not have the tools to measure those things.

So, we resort to one basic thing – webpage load time! But load time of a webpage is dependent on several factors that include (but are not limited to) things like:

  • The website theme.
  • Image size.
  • External scripts (analytics, for example).
  • The number of plugins in use (if you are using WordPress).
  • CDN availability.
  • Ads on the website.

All these things contribute to page load time. The problem is that no two websites are identical. The website I run may be lighter than the website you run. So, my site may have a faster page load time than yours.

Having said this, I will show you my website’s speed hosted with GoDaddy. Please note that the website is a test site with the following configuration:

  • Uses WordPress
  • Uses GeneratePress Premium Theme
  • Uses 4 plugins
  • Uses system fonts instead of Google fonts
  • Uses Cloudflare CDN (because it’s free)

The website in question contains some content duplicated from my production site to ensure some images and real content exist on the site that can impact the page load speed.

All the servers that I test have the same website files. I need to just point the domain to different servers when I need to review a host. This gives me an identical set of configurations for work with except the server hardware.

This method gives some room for understanding the servers’ capabilities.

So, here are my test results with the site:

Results with Google PageSpeed Insights

The image you see above is the result of the PageSpeed Insights test for mobile devices. That’s an impressive speed on mobile. It is impressive because Google tests webpages using 3G connectivity on mobiles.

What about the desktop result? Here is what Google has to say for the desktop:

It cannot get better!

Now, what about the server response time? How fast did the GoDaddy server respond? Here is what Google has to say for the mobile test:

What happens in the case of the desktop? This is what Google says:

GoDaddy server responded in 310 ms for the mobile test and 340 ms for the desktop test. That was fast and impressive, to say the least.

Though Google is the ultimate authority in search, and there is no test your website anywhere else, I still prefer testing with two more services. Here is what I found in my test results.

Results with GTMetrix

That’s an incredible result, don’t you think so? But if you want to see further, here is some more data for you:

TTFB is the Time to First Byte. It shows the total amount of time it took for the server to return the first byte of information after the request was made. In this case, it was 263 ms. That’s impressive.

Results with Pingdom

This is what I found with Pingdom:

You will notice that the number of requests has risen to 10 (it was 8 in both Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix). You will also notice that Pingdom asks to add ‘gzip compression’ and ‘expires headers.’

Pingdom’s problem is that they don’t support Brotli compression, which is enabled on my site using Cloudflare. That’s the reason for the red and orange flags you see. Still, the performance was very impressive, with a total load time of 395 ms for the website’s first fold.

Here is what I find on further digging:

Notice the color legends. The cyan color shows the time a web browser takes to connect to the server and receive its response. Further down, the green color shows how long the server takes to send data to the browser. That’s 1.6 ms!

In total, it takes 206.1 ms for the browser to get to the server and receive data. That’s fast! Really fast!

Understand one thing clearly. The page speed that you see for all the tests is dependent on many factors, including server hardware (for instance, servers with SSD storage are faster), website caching, CDN, minification of codes, and more. There is no singular factor that you can depend on.

It is always a combination of many things that you need to focus on. So, my suggestion is:

  • Minimize the number of plugins you use. Use only the ones that you need.
  • Don’t use separate plugins for adding features like security, Google analytics, etc. Use a theme that allows you to add analytics. Cloudflare should be a great choice for security, or you can go for Sucuri’s cloud protection (paid).
  • Use the most lightweight theme you can put your hands on. I will suggest you go for GeneratePress or Genesis or several of the lightweight themes from MyThemeShop.
  • Use Cloudflare CDN for free.
  • Try to minimize the usage of images or at least use the webp version of images.
  • Don’t use Google fonts.
  • Combine CSS, HTML, and JS files. Your caching plugin will do that for you. You can use LiteSpeed Cache or WP Rocket or WP Fastest Cache.
  • Avoid using Jetpack.
  • Don’t use too many icons and social media APIs.

I will do a detailed article on how to increase your WordPress site speed, but the above tips should work as a guide to get started for now.

Getting back to the point, the overall performance of GoDaddy is impressive. The average server response time clocked by GoDaddy server (as per Google PageSpeed Insights) for the past 12 weeks is:

MonthWeekAverage Server Response Time
SeptemberWeek 1315 ms
Week 2300 ms
Week 3340 ms
Week 4322 ms
AugustWeek 1313 ms
Week 2317 ms
Week 3335 ms
Week 4321 ms
JulyWeek 1312 ms
Week 2315 ms
Week 3343 ms
Week 4320 ms

Again, the data will vary for you depending on the factors I mentioned above, and depending on the data center’s location. The farther away from the data center from your visitor base, the slower the server responds. That’s a rule of thumb. So, I will always suggest that you select a data center close to the area from where you get most of your visitors.

What About Server Uptime?

This is another important factor that you need to worry about. If the server keeps registering downtimes, the chances are high that your users will leave your website for good. After all, who likes to visit a website that becomes unavailable every now and then?

While visitors may stop coming to your website because of server downtimes, the worst comes when Google takes a not of that and discards your website as a piece of junk. If Google notices regular server downtimes, it will remove your site from the Google search index by either pushing you down in search results or, even worse, deindex your site!

In my three months of testing, I noted 12 minutes of downtime, which is just fine. You will barely notice that, and your visitors won’t mind that, and neither will Google say a damn word.

However, if such outages start frequently happening, in simple language – You Are Screwed.

Ease of Use

Is GoDaddy easy to use? Yes, it is! I will not tell you how to signup or how to log into the GoDaddy account. That’s something anyone can do.

You need to select a place, make a payment, and use the details they send you over an email to access the hosting account. There’s no rocket science involved in that.

The good thing is that GoDaddy has ditched its proprietary web-based control panel that was awful, to say the list. They are now offering cPanel (Plesk for Windows hosting) support that allows for a 1-click installation for 125 applications, including WordPress.

This is how the cPanel looks like in GoDaddy:

You can manage everything from here. Mail accounts, file manager, MySQL databases, DNS manager – everything is accessible from the cPanel.

You can also access the most important services from the quick links on the top. Here is a closer look at the quick links:

Here is how the file manager in GoDaddy’s interface looks like:

It is indeed pretty easy to work around with GoDaddy’s hosting account.

Quick List of Features

This is where GoDaddy is bad! There is a shortage of interesting features that most of the other web hosting companies offer. Let’s take a look at what GoDaddy has to offer:

1-Click Installation

GoDaddy will offer a 1-click installation of several famous web applications, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. Unfortunately, that’s not unique to GoDaddy. That’s available with every hosting provider.

Free Domain

You can get a free domain with your hosting account. However, the domain will remain free only for the first year. Starting the second year, you have to pay for the domain. Again, this, too, is something that you will get with every other hosting company.

Free Office 365 Email

This, too, is free only for one year. After the first year, you have to pay for it. It will cost you $23.88 per year.

Free SSL

AVAILABLE ONLY FOR ULTIMATE AND MAXIMUM PLANS. Honestly, this is disappointing. Every other shared host provides free SSL with all their plans – even for their basic plans. Considering that GoDaddy’s basic plan starts at $5.99 a month for a three-year plan (pricing increases for a shorter term), it is outrageous. Free SSL is available from Let’s Encrypt if you select any other host.

Website Builder

They have a website builder too! You can use one of their several readymade templates to launch your website. It is very much like Wix. There is a problem with the website builder. If you select a template and launch your website, you cannot change the template later without losing data.

Terrible Things About GoDaddy

It is needless to say that GoDaddy has a lot of downsides that don’t make it an attractive host in the first place.

Here is what you will find terrible about GoDaddy:

Unlimited Isn’t Unlimited

GoDaddy has a big mouth shouting ‘UNLIMITED.’ Before you fall for it, take a look at this:

  • Storage: Unlimited storage in Linux hosting limits you to 250,000 files and folders. In Windows hosting, you are restricted to 500,000 files and folders.
  • Databases: One database cannot exceed the size of 1GB, or it cannot have more than 1000 tables.
  • You cannot exceed more than 1 MB/s of disk IO.
  • You cannot use more than 25% of one CPU core at any given point in time.
  • You cannot use more than 512 MB of RAM at any given point in time.

Failure to abide by these rules will lead to the imposition of restrictions on server resources you get. In the worst-case scenario, they will terminate your account with notification.

Too Costly

The most basic plan that GoDaddy offers goes by the name Economy. It will cost you $5.99 a month. But that price is available only if you buy the plan for 3 years. If you don’t want to commit for three years, you have to buy for at least 3 months, and the price will shoot up to $10.99 a month. That’s more than double for what you would pay for cloud hosting.

Even better, cloud hosting will not put limitations like no more than 250,000 files, no more than 25% of CPU usage, no more than 1000 tables in a database!

No Free Site Migration

Most popular shared hosting providers will provide a free website migration service even for their basic plans. Hostgator is one such example. Not only will GoDaddy charge you for migration, but they are also terribly slow. Sometimes, they can take up to 10 days to migrate your site.

Extreme Upsells

This is the worst part of any shared hosting provider. All of them tend to engage in aggressive upsells. However, GoDaddy beats the rest of the herd. Here is a quick example:

They will try to sell a lot of things to you that you will possibly never need. Of course, you will need an SSL certificate, but why buy it when you can get it for free from other hosting providers?

Increased Renewal Prices

Not only is GoDaddy already pricey, but they make it even pricier when you try to renew their services. That’s outrageous! Tell me why on earth will you pay so much? I think it is worth the time you spend learning how to use cloud hosting. It will be cheaper, trust me on this!

Awful Customer Service

Honestly, I didn’t have a chance to experience GoDaddy’s customer service. I didn’t face any problem. But I did go to different forums and support threads to find that people are cursing GoDaddy for their terrible customer service. Be careful!

Domain Registration

GoDaddy is one of the biggest domain registrars globally, and yet, I will never recommend you to go to them. Unfortunately, their after-sales service sucks! So, you should try others like Domain.com, NameCheap.com, Google Domains, etc. They are far better!

Refund Policy – The Most Dreadful Part

Just like most of the shared hosting providers, GoDaddy has a money-back guarantee as well. It looks and sounds great until you dig deeper. If you go for a plan tenure that is less than a year (12 months), you will have to ask for a refund in 48 hours.

So, you will have just 2 days to test their platform, which is never a good thing! For an annual plan, you have to ask for a refund within 30 days.

The bad part is that you cannot contact the customer service through email or chat for a refund. You have to give them a call. Trust me, they will grind you over the phone to talk you out of the cancellation.

This was still acceptable until you read their terms and conditions. This is what they say:

“If a Hosting Service has already been performed, then it is non-refundable (if not yet performed, eligible for a refund within 30 days of the date of the transaction).”

So, if you install WordPress or any web application to test their server, you perform a hosting service. By doing that, you will be violating their terms. So, they can deny a refund!

That’s definitely not acceptable, is it?

Pricing of GoDaddy Web Hosting

I will talk only about shared hosting. I will never recommend anyone to go for WordPress hosting, which I feel is nothing more than a gimmick! You can optimize your WordPress site to be super fast, even if you are not on WordPress hosting. You don’t need VPS hosting or even a dedicated hosting. Hold your horses! A full tutorial is on its way.

Coming to GoDaddy’s pricing structure, it is a nightmare. Here is a table that will tell you the entire story:

Plan NameCost for a 3-year PlanRenews At
Economy$ 5.99 a month. You pay $ 215.64 at once$ 8.99 a month, you pay $ 323.64 at once for the next three years.
Deluxe$ 7.99 a month. You pay $ 287.64 at once$ 11.99 a month, you pay $ 431.64 at once for the next three years
Ultimate$ 12.99 a month. You pay $ 467.64 at once$ 16.99 a month, you pay $ 611.64 at once for the next three years
Maximum$ 19.99 a month. You pay $ 719.64 at once$ 24.99 a month, you pay $ 899.64 at once for the next three years.

Who charges that kind of money for shared hosting? Guess what? GoDaddy says that if you are going for a shared hosting plan and want to run a WordPress site, the Ultimate plan is the best option.

They must be kidding me! I hosted my site on the Economy plan that I purchased for only three months to test their servers. Luckily, I no longer deal with them!

Want to know what they offer for each plan? Here is a screenshot that you should go through:

Conclusion

GoDaddy is a good hosting company only if you look at them from server performance and uptime angles. Nothing else is good about them. They are too pricey, their customer service has hit rock bottom (as per complaints posted by people), and they have a terrible refund policy.

All in all, if you can shell out a lot of money and you don’t bother about their customer service, GoDaddy is a good host. Their server hardware is up to date, and their servers respond fast. Google loves fast websites.

But when it comes to recommending GoDaddy, don’t do that whole-heartedly. I will suggest that you settle for a cloud hosting platform like Digital Ocean or Vultr, or even Google Cloud Platform will do! I prefer Digital Ocean because it is one of the very few hosts that offer one-click deployment of the OpenLiteSpeed WordPress server.

In case you don’t know, OpenLiteSpeed is faster than Apache and Nginx servers, and they have their proprietary LiteSpeed Cache plugin that can do wonders for website speed.