Everything You Need to Know About GoDaddy Hosting: Our Review
All blogs need a strong online presence, and a high quality hosting company is at the center of it. With the right hosting, your blog will be quick to load, rarely unavailable, and secure.
If you want to start a blog or move your existing blog, you might want to consider GoDaddy as your new web hosting company. It’s a world-famous, influential player in the hosting industry — but is it the right choice for you?
In this article we review GoDaddy’s services and support to help you choose the right web host for your blog.
- What Is Web Hosting?
- Who Is GoDaddy?
- GoDaddy Domains and Hosting Plans
- Top Features
- Service and Experience
- Pros and Cons
If you’re new to blogging, you might wonder what web hosting is and why you need to work with a web hosting company to get your blog online.
Think of web hosting as the land that your house sits on. Your blog needs to “live” somewhere — your hosting is where your blog’s templates, themes, and content are stored. You then direct people to your content with a domain name, which acts like a street address that tells people where to go.
For a thorough introduction to web hosting and domain names, see this article by WPBeginner.
With over 18 million customers, GoDaddy is one of the biggest names in the website world, and it’s not hard to see why. The company is renowned for their high-profile advertising campaigns and using celebrity spokespeople and Super Bowl commercials to capture attention.
In addition their popularity as a well-known web host, GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar with over 77 million domain names registered with them.
But where did GoDaddy start, and how did they come up with that name?
The company was founded in 1997 as Jomax Technologies by Bob Parsons, who came out of retirement to launch the business. Two years later there was a discussion about the name, which they felt people would struggle to remember.
One of the suggestions was “Big Daddy,” which was popular but already registered. Bob Parsons then suggested “Go Daddy” — it was available, so they bought the domain and the company became Go Daddy Software, Inc. Since then, the company has changed their styling to “GoDaddy” and that’s what it’s known as today.
The company is still focused on its core offering of website services for small, independent businesses, which is why it’s a popular hosting company for bloggers.
One of the reasons that GoDaddy is so popular is because it offers something for every level of the market — new bloggers, small business owners, and growing businesses are all well catered for.
If you need to buy a domain name for your blog you’re in luck, as GoDaddy is the world’s top domain name registrar. GoDaddy offers domain names at a competitive price, with .com domains currently at $11.99 per year. Bloggers who buy web hosting with GoDaddy on an annual plan will receive a free domain.
There are a huge number of domain extensions available, so it should be easy to find the perfect solution for your blog.
GoDaddy’s web hosting plans are a popular choice for bloggers, as they’re affordable and offer lots of storage for photos and video content.
The company offers different types of web hosting including shared hosting, dedicated hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, and managed WordPress hosting. They also offer a reseller service, so you could start your own business providing their web hosting solutions to others.
Here’s a quick run through of the current prices for GoDaddy’s various hosting plans:
- Shared hosting — from “Economy” at $2.49 per month to “Business Hosting” at $20.99 per month
- Managed WordPress site hosting — from “Basic” at $3.99 per month to “Developer” at $13.99 per month
- VPS hosting — from “Launch” at $18.99 per month to “Expand” at $44.99 per month
- Dedicated server hosting — from “Economy” at $69.99 per month to “Ultimate” at $129.99 per month
One thing to note is that to get the lower prices you’ll need to commit to a 36-month plan, or pay a slightly higher equivalent monthly cost on shorter plans. You can choose to pay on a monthly basis if you want to test the service before you sign a long contract.
If you want to move your blog to GoDaddy, they offer a free migration service for WordPress blogs.
Like many popular web hosting companies, GoDaddy offers a range of features and services designed with small business owners and bloggers in mind.
In this section we take a look at some of the top features for bloggers.
User Friendly WordPress Installation
Start your blog sooner thanks to the easy “one click” installation service for content management systems (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla.
Within your GoDaddy control panel (cPanel) there’s a “Popular Apps” section which is home to well-known services and products, including WordPress. The installation is smooth thanks to their online guide and takes only minutes — which means you can start your blog quickly.
While we recommend WordPress for content management due to its flexibility and customizability, some website owners prefer to use a website builder.
If that’s you, you’ll be happy to hear that GoDaddy have an integrated website builder called “GoCentral.” This drag-and-drop builder is similar to popular systems like Wix or Weebly, and is available as an added monthly cost starting at $5.99 per month.
GoCentral features hundreds of templates, a blog system, built-in search engine optimization (SEO), and eCommerce ability if you opt for the highest-tier plan.
All of GoDaddy’s shared hosting plans come with a free year of business email with Office 365. This popular, highly rated service from Microsoft Office means you have professional email with calendar integration and contacts at your fingertips.
Your free service includes one mailbox with up to 5GB of storage, so you may want to opt for one of their monthly plans to allow you the level of flexibility and storage that a blogger requires. Plus, you’ll gain access to online versions of the Office suite to help you run your blog as a business.
If Office 365 isn’t for you, don’t worry — you can also configure your email accounts to work with other services like GSuite.
You can also work with GoDaddy on your online marketing.
You can enable add-ons which help with your SEO and search visibility, as well as a service that lists your business with local directory sites. This can be helpful if your blog has a business element to it, like an online store or in-person workshops.
GoDaddy has also introduced an email marketing service from $6.99 per month, which can be an excellent way to create a newsletter for your blog.
Check out our guide to Constant Contact vs. Mailchimp if you want to get a feel for other email marketing services out there.
GoDaddy offers the services and products you need to create, launch, and run a successful blog — but what’s the experience as a customer like?
In this section we cover the reliability of their service, customer support, and security.
Every blogger wants a web host that’s reliable, and that’s what you get with GoDaddy.
The company has a goal to achieve 99.99% uptime, which realistically would mean your blog is unavailable for no more than one day per year. In reality this can be impacted by technical issues, so the current uptime is closer to 99.94% — which is still an impressive figure.
A key to a successful web host is how well they can protect your blog and its content from potential digital and physical disturbances.
GoDaddy offers a range of security options for all, with their spam detection included as standard on shared hosting plans. They run malware scans, security monitoring, and protection from DDoS attacks. Daily backups are made so you can be confident your content is safe if you need to roll back to a previous version.
GoDaddy has its primary data center based out of Phoenix, Ariz., with other facilities across the world. These facilities are secure, with technical staff available 24/7, and equipped with an uninterrupted power supply. This means you won’t suddenly lose your data and it’s guarded from any attacks.
You can also invest in further security add-ons if you wish, like SSL and SiteLock.
GoDaddy’s customer service is generally well regarded. As with most good hosting companies, you can access support 24/7/365 through a number of channels including forums, live chat, email, phone, and social media. You can choose the method that works best for you, and you can usually expect a response quickly through your hosting account.
If for any reason you’re unhappy with your service, GoDaddy offers a money-back guarantee.
With so many hosting companies available it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. So, based on our findings above, would we recommend GoDaddy?
Here are our top pros and cons for GoDaddy hosting:
One of the most attractive things about GoDaddy is that they offer a solution for everything you need to create, launch, and promote your blog online. We like that you only have to go to one place to buy your domain name, web hosting, email marketing, digital advertising, email, and more.
This can be a bonus if you want a simple solution and want to launch your blog or website quickly. You can still source these services and products elsewhere, but having it all in one place saves a lot of trouble if you want to focus on your blog content.
As you’d expect from such a big, established company, GoDaddy has great reliability scores. Their website uptime score is reported to be close to 99.97%, which is good news for you and your readers.
You can also find comfort in the size of their operation. A worldwide business with over 8,000 staff and 18 million customers offers you reliability of service, especially compared to a newer hosting company.
With so much competition in the web hosting market, GoDaddy’s prices are great news for buyers.
Companies want to attract and retain customers, so you’ll often find attractive introductory offers. GoDaddy is no different. Their lowest tier “Economy plan” is available from $2.49 per month (lowest cost based on a 36 month contract) and offers enough space and functionality for a new blog, which makes it an affordable choice for bloggers.
The introductory offers apply across all tiers, so you can expect a discount of up to 68 percent in your first term of service. The downside of this is that it’s more expensive when you renew — more on that in the Cons section below.
Free Email With Office 365 Integration
Something that really stands out about GoDaddy is their easy-to-use email offering. While most web hosts will include email support in their hosting plans, GoDaddy’s Office 365 partnership goes one step further.
We like that Office 365 is a business-standard email service with calendar and contact integration, and a system that most of us are familiar with. You won’t need to go through a complicated setup process or view your emails through a webmail system.
There is some fine print to be mindful of here — there’s a cost to renew after one year and only one mailbox is included, but for many bloggers that’s all you’ll need to run a successful business.
Another reason to choose GoDaddy is that their plans offer an unlimited amount of disk space (storage).
On all plans (except the entry-level “Economy” plan), you have unlimited storage available to you so you can create and upload as much content as you need. This can be especially useful for bloggers in photo-heavy niches like fashion, beauty, lifestyle, or travel.
On the “Deluxe,” “Ultimate,” and “Business Hosting” plans you can also create unlimited subdomains and websites — which means it’s very affordable to run more than one blog for the same low monthly cost.
While GoDaddy has its strengths, like any web hosting company it also has some weaknesses
SSL Is Not Included
Site Secure Layer, commonly known as SSL, is now a major influencer of reader confidence in a successful blog or website.
Bloggers and website owners can can apply an SSL Certificate which secures the data transferred from your reader to your site, and offers peace of mind to readers. As web browsers such as Chrome begin to flag websites without SSL certificates as “Not secure,” it’s never been more important to ensure your blog has one.
Unfortunately, GoDaddy does not offer a free SSL certificate service. You can purchase this service on a yearly basis, currently $59.99 per year, and a free year is included with all plans from “Deluxe” up.
This may not be a dealbreaker if you’re happy to pay, but it does feel like a barrier when you consider that many web hosting companies offer a free SSL certificate to their customers.
High Renewal Costs
Like many companies, GoDaddy offers attractive introductory pricing to encourage you to take out a plan with them. This means your renewal prices can be much higher than your initial ones — sometimes up to 68 percent higher.
For example, if you got a 12-month plan of the popular “Economy” package, your first year would cost you $59.88.
When you renew, not only does your hosting price increase to $95.88 but you’ll need to pay to keep access to your emails too. Depending on your needs this can quickly become expensive compared to your initial budget.
This is clearly signposted, with the first year shown as a “sale” price and clarified within the details for your plan. Still, it can be a shock if you don’t budget for the change in advance.
When you first purchase a plan with GoDaddy, you’re immediately presented with the opportunity to opt in to a longer contract term to make bigger savings.
The upsell doesn’t stop there, as you’re prompted to add other services to your basket including website backups, security services, and an SSL certificate.
On checkout you’re also prompted to add “Search Engine Visibility” which claims to improve your search engine ranking and increase visitors and sales, but provides little detail as to the service itself.
For new bloggers or business owners who are unsure of what they need, it can be easy to assume you need everything and opt in to these add-ons.
The initial $2.49 per month offer can quickly build up to a bigger amount than you’d expected, and the experience doesn’t feel overwhelmingly positive.
With a number of positives including Office 365 email integration and unlimited storage, GoDaddy is a great option for bloggers who want to create and grow a successful blog.