GoDaddy has been around for a long time by internet standards. Starting off as a domain registrar service in 1997, they have since branched out into web hosting, along with a slew of other businesses. They are the biggest web host provider, offering services to over 20 million users. Capturing a whopping 46% of the US hosting market and nearly a quarter of the world’s hosting services, GoDaddy is a serious force to be reckoned with. Most of their popularity likely sprang from the fact that in the early days of the internet if you wanted to buy a domain name, GoDaddy would have been your first port of call.
Plans and Pricing
GoDaddy offer 3 tiers of hosting:
- VPS Hosting
Within each subset there are a few different caveats. Shared can be under a “WordPress” type hosting plan, and VPS can be under a “Business” type plan, meaning that essentially the VPS is managed for you.
The promotional offer deals are in the bold print, but if you notice below them, renewal fees are much higher. Ranging from $5.99-$19.99/month for the promotional offer and $8.99-$24.99/month when it’s time to renew your plan. They do offer a “free” domain for one year, but it won’t be a high level one. Surprisingly, the two lower-tier plans don’t include any SSL certificate options, and their “Ultimate” plan only includes one. If you’re hosting several sites and require more than 1 SSL certificate you’ll either have to pay for it yourself or dish-out the cash for the “Maximum” plan at $20/month.
Overall the packages are OK. GoDaddy tries to leverage the fact that they have a huge repository of domains by offering you one upon sign-up. The “Ultimate” plan for $12.99/month and $16.99 ranks about average against the competition. If the domain freebie is enough to entice you over, then you should go with GoDaddy, otherwise you have plenty of other options to choose from. (Check our notes about domain renewals in the conclusion as the free domain may wind up costing you a lot in the future.)
GoDaddy ‘WordPress’ Hosting
What exactly is the difference between Shared Hosting and WordPress hosting? Well, not much really. Essentially, WordPress hosting is optimized to run WordPress; offering better load times, better security, automatic WP core updates, and a few other goodies. If you were to go with the WordPress hosting package you’ll get some extras like:
- 99.99% uptime promise and money back garuntee
- Automatic WordPress core updates
- CDN (although cloudflare offers a free option, so anyone can get this)
- Migration tool
- Daily Malware scans
- SEO optimizer (on the higher tier plans)
Overall the pricing is about the same as the shared hosting plan, but with seemingly less to offer. Sure you get WordPress Core updates, but any WordPress user knows you can just click a button and it’ll update. The daily malware scan and unlimited malware removal and hack repair is an awesome feature, which in our opinion adds a lot of value. Nevertheless, e-mail for only 1 year, and only 1 website? We see these as deal breakers for GoDaddy WP hosting.
GoDaddy Business, VPS, and Dedicated Hosting
If your hosting needs are beyond that of a shared hosting plan, you can opt for a VPS option, Business Hosting, or a dedicated server. Business Hosting is basically a VPS option with an easy to manage cPanel; meaning it will look like most common hosting panels, with 1-click installs, but with the added ability to handle higher traffic loads, and allowed root access. GoDaddy offers both unmanaged(self-managed) and fully-managed VPS options. If you need even more power and control you can opt for dedicated hosting; which is basically having a whole server machine to yourself.
Business and VPS Hosting
As mentioned above, Business Hosting is essentially the power of a VPS type plan with an easy to use and manage control panel. Sounds pretty good actually if you’re after something with more power than a shared hosting plan. With prices starting at $19.99/month($30/month come renewal time), the plan offers pretty good value for money. Nevertheless, we don’t like that after a year you’ll have to start paying for Office 365 e-mail when there are plenty of free ways to manage your e-mail.
If you have the know-how and want the power and flexibility of VPS hosting, GoDaddy offers exceedingly cheap plans for being able to manage your own server, with plans starting at just $5/month, with no renewal fees! They also offer higher RAM packages, which on the basic plan offers 2GB of RAM for $10/month and 8GB of RAM on the 2 vCPU plan for $30/month. These plans might be ideal for systems administrators or developers who are well versed with servers and know how to run and maintain them.
If you don’t have the know how, but still want the power and flexibility of a VPS server, you can opt for the fully-managed VPS option. This plan offers 24/7 support, as well as an easy-to-manage cPanel for users who aren’t as tech-savy. Although asking GoDaddy to manage and maintain your server will come at a higher price-tag, starting at around $100/month with no renewal fees.
GoDaddy seems to favor higher-level hosting, offering a bit more value for customers who opt in for VPS, or Business Hosting packages. Perhaps one appeal of GoDaddy is that they have such a wide range of hosting packages to choose from. Nevertheless, we don’t really like their shared or WordPress hosting packages; but we can thoroughly recommend the business hosting and VPS hosting options, as they deliver good value for money.
If you’re in need of the most robust hosting possible, GoDaddy has an option for you. Mainly aimed at big businesses, agencies, and professional developers. Dedicated hosting is like renting your own personal hosting computer in one of GoDaddy’s data centers.
This is the SSD hard-drive plan. For $10 less on the basic plan you can opt for the HHD drives, but…why would anyone do that? There are no renewal fees and you get top of the line hardware.
WebSite Transfer Fees
Most web hosting providers will transfer at least one of your websites in for free, many providers will transfer all of them! This is not the case with GoDaddy. If you do decide to go with GoDaddy be aware that if you want them to transfer your websites for you, it’ll cost you. This is possible to do by yourself, for free. Keep in mind if you don’t feel comfortable you can always hire someone who knows how to do this and it might save you some money compared with GoDaddy’s transfer fees.
This is PER website
- 1 HTML site NO database – $99.99
- 1 database and no file content – $99.99
- 1 WordPress site(content and 1 data base)- $99.99
- 1 WordPress site and a back up database(content and 2 databases) $199.98
- 1 HTML site and 1 WordPress site (2 sites and 1 database)- $199.98
- 2 databases and no file content- $199.98
So if you have two WordPress sites with back ups, that’ll cost you $399.96!
Wrap-Up on GoDaddy
GoDaddy gained a strong foothold decades ago as being the go-to place for buying domains, and still retains that title in many ways. GoDaddy offers mid-market price shared hosting packages, with decent value for money. They will even throw in a free domain (for one year), so if that’s a selling point for you, GoDaddy might be a good choice. Somethings that bother us about GoDaddy is that WhoIS protection is not included, and renewal fees on DOMAIN registration may be much higher. GoDaddy requires to pay you for WhoIS protection, where-as with namecheap it’s included for free. Furthermore, there are stories floating around that GoDaddy may try and charge you ridiculous amounts of money when it comes time to renew your DOMAIN registration. They can’t do this with .com, .net, or .org, but if you’re using a different extension like .io, or .co it may be a big surprise come time to renew.
Nevertheless, we feel that the higher tier packages such as: Business Hosting, and VPS hosting are good value for money. For that reason, business that require more robust hosting options may find that GoDaddy offers some pretty good deals for your needs. People looking to host just one website, or websites with lower traffic should find better value for money with hosts like NameCheap or DreamHost.