Founded back in 1997, GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar, with over 13 million customers.
The company provides hosting plans to small businesses, web design professionals, and individuals and has offices in some of the world’s hottest tech corridors, including Silicon Valley, Cambridge, Seattle, Hyderabad, Belfast, and Phoenix.
Even if you are unfamiliar with the hosting/domain registration industry, you’ve likely heard of GoDaddy via one of their Super Bowl or NASCAR commercials.
Interestingly, GoDaddy is also committed in supporting a range of philanthropic causes – In Phoenix, where GoDaddy has a 270,000-square-foot facility, the company has made substantial donations to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Arizona Humane Society, and the Phoenix Zoo.
GoDaddy’s IPO raised $460 million in April 2015.
In June 2014, GoDaddy Inc. filed for its IPO in June 2014 with a placeholder value of $100 million on the deal. The company eventually raised $460 million from its IPO on April 1st, 2015.
More on GoDaddy business
If you look at GoDaddy’s 2014 nine-months ended unaudited financial results, you can see that the company focuses on three businesses:
- Domains – 55.5% of total revenue
- Hosting and Presence – 36.5% of total revenue
- Business Applications – 8.0% of total revenue
The company made $1.01 billion in revenue (as per the financial results) but it is still losing money (the company made a net loss of almost $200 million in the 2013 financial year).
The biggest part of GoDaddy’s revenue consists of domain name registration and domain name renewals.
During the first nine months of 2014, the domains category of services brought in a revenue of $564 million.
The revenue GoDaddy gets from a registration can vary significantly. The company charges different prices for different types of domains. For example, at the time of writing, a new .com registration costs $8.99/year for a 2-year term. Interestingly, .net and .org domains cost the same, while .today costs $24.99/year.
Hosting And Presence
The second biggest part of GoDaddy’s revenue is what they get from offering hosting and presence type products.
The Hosting and Presence section of GoDaddy brought in nearly $370 million during the first nine months of 2014.
Revenue drove from “Hosting and Presence” section includes website building products, SEO, SSL certificates, SiteLock website security, private IPs and much more. When it comes to hosting, GoDaddy offers shared, VPS and dedicated servers at rates starting at just a few dollars a month per domain. In addition, the hosting includes site building tools so that even beginners can figure out how to get a site up and running quickly.
The Business Applications portion of GoDaddy brought in a revenue of about $81.6 million during the first nine months of 2014.
GoDaddy’s “Business Applications” includes items such as email accounts, online bookkeeping, online data storage, email marketing and an online payment system.
Some of the specific products that integrate into Business Applications include:
- Microsoft Office 365, which starts at the price of $4.99/month per user
- Email marketing service, which starts at the price of $9.99/month for up to 1,000 subscribers. It has similar capabilities to MailChimp and GetResponse.
GoDaddy Hosting Plans
Okay, enough company background and financial numbers. In this review we will focus on GoDaddy’s hosting services. The company offers three different hosting plans to both individuals and businesses:
- Economy: $4.99 per month for 1 website, 100 GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, and up to 100 email addresses.
- Deluxe: $5.99 per month for unlimited websites, unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and up to 500 email addresses.
- Ultimate: $7.99 per month for unlimited websites, unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and up to 1,000 email addresses.
All plans include a free domain with an annual plan, 24/7 security monitoring and DDoS protection, and a user-friendly control panel.
Keep in mind that while all plans technically boast unlimited bandwidth, and both Deluxe and Ultimate hosting plans advertise unlimited storage, it isn’t technically unlimited. GoDaddy reserves the right to notify users if their bandwidth use of storage use compromises the stability of GoDaddy servers or affects uptime. In this case, users would be required to upgrade to a Virtual Private Server or a Dedicated Private Server.
GoDaddy vs Other Similar Hosting Services
Quick comparison on GoDaddy with other similar web hosting services.
|Plan in Review||Economy||Essential||Starter||MegaMax||Swift||Spark|
|Storage||100 GB||Unlimited||100 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Trial Period||45 days||Anytime||Anytime||30 days||30 days||90 days|
|Signup Price(24-mo subscription)||$3.99/mo||$2.25/mo||$3.95/mo||$2.45/mo||$4.90/mo||$3.74/mo|
GoDaddy Hosting User Review
So is GoDaddy Hosting any good?
To answer the money question – “Is GoDaddy Hosting recommended?” we asked GoDaddy hosting users, Saurabh Tripathi of Getting Geek, to share his experience. Saurabh has been a GoDaddy customer since November 2014. The following sections (on pros and cons, and bottom line; unedited, my notes in italic) were written by Saurabh.
Here goes Saurabh.
First, a little background story
I signed up for cheapest plan on GoDaddy. It costs around $3 – in that money you get 512 MB RAM and unlimited bandwidth, it is same as other hostings. There is one major difference: Unlike other hosting services, who offer unlimited storage, you will get 30GB of storage. Also you are promised 99.9% uptime.
- Affordable: Under almost $2.3/mo you get unlimited bandwidth, 30 GB storage (most other hosting services are offering unlimited storage nowadays though) and 512 MB RAM on their shared hosting plan. Along with this you get 100 free mail forwards.
- Site Uptime: GoDaddy promises 99.9% uptime, and it seems to be true. Most of the time website was not down more than 10 minutes in a week. However I have faced 39 minute downtime at worst case and that hurt.
- Simplified cPanel: GoDaddy offers cPanel to monitor and control Websites. The cPanel is tweaked and it is a little bit different than other hosting services but changes are usually positive. You can drag and drop modules as per your wish. There is a short introductory video offered after you sign up for cPanel.
- Wide variety of products: GoDaddy is world’s largest domain name registrar. Also GoDaddy offers almost all kind of hosting options. Managed, unmanaged VPS and Dedicated Servers are also available. Upgrades can be purchased easily. You can buy SSL certificate and other many add-ons too. The thing I liked there most was tight integration of all products.
- Big issues with WordPress: No caching allowed, random errors
- Random Errors: I have seen “Error establishing database connection“ 3 times in last two months, although repairing it is easy but still it is really annoying.
- GoDaddy sells everything attitude: Every time you try to renew your hosting or domain name, GoDaddy tries really hard to sell you additional upgrades. When you click on “Renew Hosting”, you will see additional clutter, it tries to sell you additional domain name and e-mail hosting etc.
More about GoDaddy uptime & server error nightmare
Everything seems fine at first [when I first signed up on GoDaddy]. memory usage of WordPress in the hosting slightly more than 150 MB, Speed is not so fast but you can’t call it slow either. I use Jetpack Email updates to monitor uptime of website. It checks website regularly and sends you alert e-mail when site is down or up. Two or three times a week I receive alert that website is down, and usually it is up within 10 minutes. Longest downtime I have seen is 39 Minutes. That hurt.
In past 3 months I have seen “Error Establishing Database Connection” 4 times. These errors are random in nature and I am sure that there is nothing wrong with WordPress. However these issues are easy to fix. The company doesn’t let users use a caching plugin and I found that the hard way. After installing WPSuper Cache the site broke and it took me lots of effort in fixing this. Sometimes I have faced Error 520 too, and these errors are just random.
GoDaddy Uptime Review
Bottomline: Should you go with GoDaddy?
That depends on two things. The first one is: are you going to use WordPress? The other thing is your budget.
GoDaddy budget hosting is good for people who want small website and just want to show-off their online presence (like a small static website that showcases your offline business). If you want that you are good to go. However, if you are planning to use CMS like WordPress, GoDaddy has a lot of restrictions for you. You may have to spend a lot of time fixing things in their cPanel. So if you want to host WordPress website either go with their Managed WordPress hosting plans or look for any other web host.
My GoDaddy rating – 3 out of 5.
Important: Editor’s note on Saurabh’s GoDaddy Review
Note from Jerry: Saurabh mentioned that site uptime as one of GoDaddy’s advantages but I disagreed. Site going down once every week is not good. In comparison, iPage, which is ~50% cheaper, scored 100% in March and April 2015 (see details). And, GoDaddy’s hosting price is actually not that cheap when stack up with others (price increased since Saurabh signed up, GoDaddy’s Economy plan now costs $4.99/mo). I am not saying that GoDaddy is a no go. But apparently there are other better options. In case you were looking for a budget hosting, please also check out my cheap hosting guide published here.