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Godaddy hosting review

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GoDaddy's hosting is stable (99.97% uptime) and fast (554 ms on average).
Their base plan gives you up to 100GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth. And it integrates with more than 125 services that you can install with a single click.

However, they'll charge you big bucks for everything from migrations ($99/site) to backups ($2.99/month), SSL certificates ($63.99/year) and just about everything else you'll need.

Their customer service is slow and frustrating. What's more, their money-back guarantee is confusing (so you might not get a single dollar back).

Here's an in-depth look at the pros and cons that we've discovered over the past 24 months of field testing.

General information and accommodation overview

OUR VERDICT:Most Popular Web Host
SPEED:554ms (February 2018 to January 2020 average)
UPTIME:99.97% (February 2018 to January 2020 average)
SUPPORT:24/7 Live Chat
APPS:WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and more
FEATURES:Unmetered bandwidth, 100GB storage, free email, and free domain 1st year
HOSTING PLANS:Shared, WordPress, Cloud, Reseller, VPS and Dedicated Servers
PRICING:Starting at $4.33/mo (renews at $8.99/mo)

Benefits of GoDaddy Hosting

GoDaddy has provided solid uptime and page speed over the past 24 months. It integrates with over 125 popular web applications, so there's something for everyone. And their "Economy" plan, the cheapest, is now also great value.

Here are the main points we liked about GoDaddy's hosting:

1. The good running time of 99.97%.

GoDaddy may be known for its domain names, but it has also found a way to offer exceptional uptime on its shared hosting plans.

October 2019 was a questionable month, with 99.84% uptime. But then they continued with 99.99% - 100%, bringing the 24-month average to 99.97%.

After testing other hosts, this places GoDaddy well above average. And that means the average monthly downtime is only about 13 minutes, which is not enough to derail your business during a major sale or launch.

The average uptime over the last 12 months :

  • Average uptime in January 2020: 99.99%.
  • Average uptime in December 2019: 99.96%.
  • Average uptime in November 2019: 100%.
  • Average operating time in October 2019: 99.84%.
  • Average operating time in September 2019: 100%
  • August 2019, average operating time: 99.99%.
  • July 2019, average operating time: 99.95%.
  • June 2019, average operating time: 100%.
  • May 2019, average operating time: 100%.
  • April 2019, average operating time: 99.99%.
  • March 2019, average operating time: 99.97%.
  • February 2019, average operating time: 99.99%.

2. High page loading speed

We admit it: we didn't see it coming.

Years ago, cheaper web hosting providers like GoDaddy were not associated with good performance. Yet that's exactly what they did. Our GoDaddy test site showed an average page load time of only 554 ms over the last 24 months.

Fast load times are not just a vanity measure. Studies have shown that they can force visitors to leave your site faster, hurt your search engine rankings (especially on mobiles), and even hurt your conversion rates.

The speed of your hosting provider is also important, as you can't really do anything to control it.

Here's what we mean:

If you have a site with a lot of images, you can compress them or use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to offload your servers and make your site faster. In other words, you can control things to speed up your site directly.
But what if your web host is constantly slow, for starters? Your hands are tied. You'll be fighting a losing battle.
Fortunately, with GoDaddy hosting, you don't have to worry about load speeds based on our tests.

Over the past 24 months, they've maintained a constant average of 554 ms.

The average loading time of GoDaddy :

3. More than 125 applications to install in one click

GoDaddy has its own website builder if you're looking for a simple, drag-and-drop experience.
However, if you want something a little more powerful, GoDaddy also offers one-click installations with over 125 of the most popular applications on the Internet. This includes content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

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But it also includes developer-friendly tools such as cPanel, MySQL, CloudLinux, Python and several versions of PHP.

So they offer a good variety of options that suit everyone from novice bloggers to experienced webmasters.

4. The cheap basic plan is good value on paper

When we looked at GoDaddy, its cheapest shared hosting plan was too expensive and the features were too limited.

But it seems they've made a 180-degree turn since then.
Today, the price of the economic plan is only $2.99/month. No coupon code is required.
However, you still get great value for your money. You get everything you need for a single website, including up to 100 GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth.
They even offer a free domain name and professional email for the first year.
Some of the other hosts we've looked at, such as SiteGround, have performed well in our tests. But when it comes to hosting a site with them, they only give you 10 GB of storage space on the cheapest plan.

GoDaddy gives you literally ten times as much for a similar price. So the overall value you get is excellent from the first visit. It's only when you dig a little deeper below the surface that you realize that it may not be such good value after all. Here's why...

5. Good customer service

GoDaddy offers 24/7 customer support. They have a knowledge base, phone support, and live chat.

The live chat support robot allows you to choose from a selection of services for your problem. Then you are connected to the support agent, which takes about a minute.

We asked them some basic questions about their plans and services. The answers were simple and easy to understand and took them an average of 2 minutes to answer.

GoDaddy has made great strides in the past year with its live chat support. This service was very unreliable and it often felt like they were always trying to sell you something instead of helping you find a solution. We are very happy to see that they have listened to user feedback and have completely overhauled their live chat.

Disadvantages of GoDaddy hosting

GoDaddy's performance was pretty solid all the way through. The value of the initial price is also quite good.

But that's also part of the problem. There's a lot of up-selling throughout the payment process. And the renewal prices are going to come back to haunt you as well.

We also didn't like the vague and confusing money-back guarantee.

Here are the biggest drawbacks we've seen:

1. A lot of up-selling

GoDaddy has become relatively infamous for the number of upsellers used to increase the price you will ultimately pay.

The first one you'll come across is the cost of the hosting plan based on the time you pay in advance. You will have to sign up for three years if you want to get that $4.33/month price. A shorter plan of three months will cost you much more: $10.99/month.

This is only the first of many.

GoDaddy will also try to sell you many additional services at the checkout. For example, it will automatically offer you website backups that will cost you $2.99 per month for three years.

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This one uptick alone will already double your price.

They don't stop there either. You'll also see up-sales for Office 365 access, SSL certificates and "essential website security", which refers to malware scans and updates.

GoDaddy's payment process can be like a minefield, where you have to carefully monitor each step before you accidentally pay two or three times the initial price.

2. Basic plans lack essential features (no SSL certificate, backups, security or site migration)

The best hosts we have reviewed will add features such as an SSL certificate on every plan. These features have become commonplace and are now essential for running a site.

Unfortunately, GoDaddy does not offer any of these features in their base plans, resulting in many price increases along the way.

Take their SSL certificates, for example. Unless you are already paying for their premium plan, this feature will cost you dearly:
  • - 63.99/year for a single site ($79.99/year renewal)
  • - 159.99/year for multiple sites ($199.99/year for renewal)
  • - 295.99/year all sub-domains ($369.99/year renewal)
These prices are outrageous, to be honest as most hosting providers today will give you a free Let's Encrypt SSL Certificate for every site.

Other hosting providers will also give you backups and site security. But these two services will cost you $2.99/month and $5.59/month extra respectively.

Let's also look at migration fees.

Again, many hosting providers migrate at least one existing site to their servers for free. Many of them can even do it within hours of the request, so you don't have to wait.

But not GoDaddy. They don't offer free site migrations. And if you want them to do it for you, the cost is $99.99/site, and it takes 7-10 days. So it's not only expensive, but it's also slow.

If you add all these extra costs over a few years, GoDaddy hosting doesn't look so cheap anymore.

3. Renewal rates are also higher

The GoDaddy's Economy plan starts at $4.33/month for three years.

However, all plans follow the industry-standard pricing model of doubling or tripling the price at renewal.

The same economy plan, for example, will increase to $8.99/month at renewal.

You don't get additional features or better performance. But you will have to pay more.

4. The money-back guarantee

Most of the web hosting companies we've reviewed will give you a full refund without question if you cancel within 30 days.

At first glance, GoDaddy's money-back guarantee seems similar. Annual plans can be refunded within one month of purchase.

However, that's when all the problems start to come up.

If you pay for a "monthly plan" (anything less than an annual plan - three, six or nine months), you must request a refund within 48 hours. That only gives you two days to try them out.

To get any of these refunds, you have to make a call to their customer service department (so they can try to dissuade you).

And almost every package GoDaddy offers has some strange conditions that could jeopardize your chances of actually getting that refund.

For example, here's what their terms and conditions say about web hosting refunds:
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)
It's not very clear, is it?

Basically, we think it means that if you try to use the hosting plan and set up a WordPress site, for example, you may be violating this term. And so they could, in theory, deny your claim.

We don't like that at all.

GoDaddy pricing, hosting plans and quick facts

Here is a brief overview of GoDaddy's hosting plans:

Savings plan: A website for $4.33/month (renewed at $8.99/month). You get 100 GB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, free professional email and a free domain name the first year.

Deluxe Plan: Unlimited websites for $7.99/month (renew at $11.99/month). It includes all the features of the Economy plan, plus unlimited storage space and subdomains.

Ultimate Plan: All deluxe features and more for $12.99/month (renew at $16.99/month). Includes twice the processing power and memory, a free SSL certificate for the first year, premium DNS and unlimited databases.

Maximum Plan: All Ultimate features and more for $19.99/month (renew at $24.99/month). You get twice the power and memory, twice the "maximum site traffic" and a free SSL certificate for the duration of your purchase.

Learn more about GoDaddy :

  • A free domain? The first year is free, but it will cost you afterward.
  • Ease of registration: The registration process is quite simple.
  • Payment methods: All major credit cards and PayPal are accepted.
  • Hidden fees and clauses: Confusing refund policy and terms such as "If a hosting service has already been performed, then it is non-refundable (if it has not yet been performed, it can be refunded within 30 days of the transaction date)".
  • Upsell: Tons of Upsell. The initial term, site migrations, backups, SSL certificates, security, and more.
  • Account Activation: Quick account activation.
  • Control panel and dashboard experience: cPanel.
  • Application and CMS installation (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Many one-click installation options with the most popular open-source applications.

Do we recommend GoDaddy?

Yes, we do.

GoDaddy has a good uptime and a very fast page loading speed. It works well with the most popular web applications you want. And the initial price of the basic features is a good value at first glance.

But you can also consider other options.

There are many offers for the basic features that you will assume to be included for free (SSL). One of them could double the cost of your plan. But together they could easily cost you much more than the best web hosting providers.

So while their overall performance has been good, they do have some drawbacks that we recommend that you also look at with the others at the top of our list.