With more than a thousand website hosting services out there, it’s pretty difficult to find the host that’s perfect for your needs.
At first glance, GoDaddy is great, having low prices and some great features.
But if you look at customer reviews and feedback, you’ll see some polarized opinions, too.
So what is the case exactly with GoDaddy? Should you sign up with them, or not?
Well, here at HostingFacts, we want to help make the decision easier for you. So, we have signed up with GoDaddy to test their performance. We took a deep look at all their features and terms and wrote this definitive review to make it easier for you to know if GoDaddy meets your needs.
Let’s take a closer look.
General Info & Hosting Overview
|SPEED:||508 ms (Last 12 months, updated October 2020)|
|UPTIME:||99.96% (Last 12 months, updated October 2020)|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat, Phone, WhatsApp|
|APPS:||WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and 150+ Other Apps with a One-Click Install|
|FEATURES:||Unmetered Bandwidth, 100 GB Storage, Free 1st Year for Office 365 Email and Domain Name|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, WordPress, Cloud, Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated Servers|
|SITE TRANSFER:||Not free ($99.99 per site)|
|PRICING:||Starting at $1.00/mo (renews at $8.99/mo)|
Pros of Using GoDaddy Hosting
GoDaddy might be best known for domain names, but they have also figured out how to provide a decent hosting service.
Namely, they have delivered solid uptime and page speed over the last few years. In addition, they offer more than 150+ free integrations for your website, as well as helpful customer support.
All in all, you can say that GoDaddy is reliable. In addition to that, they’re also flexible: all pricing plans give you easy third-party app integration with over 150 popular web applications.
And all things considered, their cheapest Economy plan has good value for money, too.
But let’s go on and discuss everything in more detail.
Here are the top things we liked about GoDaddy’s hosting.
1. Decent Uptime at 99.96%
GoDaddy delivers satisfactory uptime on their shared hosting plans. As mentioned, their 12-month average uptime is 99.96%.
Is that any good?
Well, yes. An uptime rate of 99.96% means about 3.5 hours of total downtime per year, which is not too bad.
But it’s definitely not the best either.
In fact, some website hosting services can offer average uptimes as high as 99.995%. That translates to only about half an hour of downtime per year. Of course, 99.995% is the absolute best in the industry.
Still, after testing 40+ website hosting services, we can say that GoDaddy is well above average. Their average monthly downtime is only around 18 minutes, which is definitely not enough to derail your business during a big sale or launch.
So, even with a few big shifts in May and September, you can rely on GoDaddy to keep your site live and running.
Last 12-month average uptime:
- October 2020: 99.96%
- September 2020: 99.84%
- August 2020: 99.99%
- July 2020: 99.99%
- June 2020: 99.99%
- May 2020: 99.89%
- April 2020: 100%
- March 2020: 99.96%
- February 2020: 99.99%
- January 2020: 99.99%
- December 2019: 99.96%
- November 2019: 100%
2. Great Page Load Time at 508 ms
This might come as a bit of a surprise:
Our GoDaddy test site has shown a great average page loading time as low as 508 ms over the past 12 months. In fact, their page load time has been improving, showing a slightly decreasing trend as seen in the graph below:
This is somewhat surprising because years ago you wouldn’t associate cheaper web hosts like GoDaddy with performance as great as this.
And fast loading times aren’t just for vanity.
As a matter of fact, studies have shown that slow loading times can cause your visitors to leave the site faster. In turn, this hurts your search engine rankings (especially on mobile) and, of course, negatively impacts your conversion rates.
Unfortunately, as you won’t be able to change your web host’s server speed, it’s vital to consider it before signing up with a hosting provider. If your web host is slow on the server level then, sadly, your hands are tied.
Luckily, though, based on our tests, you won’t have to worry about page speed with GoDaddy hosting.
3. Over 150+ One-Click Install Applications
GoDaddy will let you install some powerful third-party integrations to your website. In fact, you can add over 150 of the most popular applications on the Internet – with just one click. That includes content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
GoDaddy also includes developer-friendly tools like cPanel, MySQL, CloudLinux, Python, and multiple versions of PHP.
So, they have a good variety of options that suit everyone from beginning bloggers to more experienced web developers. What’s useful for some beginners, is that they even have a drag-and-drop website builder, which comes with a separate pricing plan (starting from $9.99/mo), though.
4. Good Customer Support
One feature that we’re always happy to see is 24/7/365 customer support. GoDaddy offers exactly that. They have a speedy live chat, a great network of international phone support in a number of languages, and a decent knowledge base.
In their live chat, GoDaddy has retired the old chatbot, which was used to start the conversation by letting you choose a problem category. Now, after typing in your inquiry, you are instead connected straight with the support agent (within about a minute).
So, to test out their live chat support, we asked them a few basic questions about site migration. The responses were very friendly and on average it took them a minute to respond. Although we first received general information on hosting plans instead of an exact migration fee, we did finally get the answer we needed.
GoDaddy has really made big improvements to their live chat support within the past years. It used to be unreliable and often felt like they were trying to sell you something, instead of helping you figure out a solution. But we’re glad that they seem to have listened to user reviews and completely reworked their live chat.
5. Basic Cheap Plan is Good Value (for a Single Basic Website)
When we originally reviewed GoDaddy (in 2017), their cheapest shared hosting plan was too expensive, and the features were really limited. At least compared to the competition.
Now, though, it seems they’ve done a 180-degree turn. Currently, the Economy plan pricing is only $1.00/month with a 12-month contract. That’s as cheap as it gets.
But for such a low price, do you actually get any value?
Well, yes. You get one website, up to 100 GB of storage, and unmetered bandwidth. Also, you’ll get a free domain with any annual plan, and free Office 365 Email for the first year. All these features are really useful and not every host offers them as part of their cheapest plan.
For example, some of the other hosts we’ve reviewed, like SiteGround, also performed well in our tests. But with them, you only get 10 GB of storage with the cheapest plan – GoDaddy gives you ten times more.
So, the overall value you’re getting from GoDaddy’s Economy Plan for a single basic website is good, considering that it’s insanely cheap.
However, despite some remarkable features and a great price, you will have to make a few compromises with GoDaddy, too. It’s only when you dig a little deeper that you realize it’s not as good as it might seem. We’ll discuss this more in detail in the next section.
Cons of Using GoDaddy Hosting
Although the value for GoDaddy’s cheapest plan seems good at first, you’ll find some problems once you look closer.
In fact, their low prices somewhat contribute to the problems. Namely, the cheapest plan lacks a few important features and there are a lot of upsells throughout the checkout process. Also, the renewal pricing will be much higher than the first-term discount.
In addition to that, we didn’t exactly enjoy GoDaddy’s slightly confusing and vague money-back guarantee, either.
So, here are the biggest cons we found, discussed in more detail.
1. Base Plan Lacks Critical Features (No SSL Certificate, Backups, Security, or Site Migrations)
The top hosts we’ve reviewed will throw in features like an SSL certificate or backups on every plan. In fact, these have become commonplace and are pretty much required to run a site today.
Unfortunately, GoDaddy doesn’t offer any of the mentioned features in their base plans.
Let’s take a look at SSL certificates for example. Unless you’re already paying for GoDaddy’s most expensive plan, this feature will cost you:
- $63.99/year for a single domain ($79.99/year renewal).
- $159.99/year for up to five domains ($199.99/year renewal).
- $295.99/year for one domain and all its subdomains ($369.99/year renewal).
To be honest:
These prices are a bit too much. Especially as most hosts today will give you a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for each and every one of your sites.
Some hosts will also give you backups and website security for free.
But with GoDaddy, backups will cost you $2.99/month and website security $5.59/month (renews at $6.99/month).
In addition to all that, there’s another common feature that GoDaddy doesn’t offer for free:
Again, many hosts will move at least one existing site over to their servers for free. Many of them can even do this within a few hours of asking so you don’t have to wait around.
Not GoDaddy, though. They don’t offer any free managed migrations. This feature will cost $99.99 per site and per database, and it takes 7–10 business days. So it’s not just expensive but also slow.
If you add all of these extra costs up over the course of a few years then GoDaddy hosting doesn’t look very cheap anymore.
And all these paid extra features bring us to our second con.
2. Recent Downward Shifts in Uptime
Our measured data for the HostingFacts test site with GoDaddy shows that in May and September 2020, GoDaddy’s uptime took a downturn. We measured uptimes of only 99.89% and 99.84%, respectively.
If we draw a graph, then the data shows a slight negative trend in uptime:
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that GoDaddy can’t be trusted anymore. Keep in mind that throughout several years, their uptime has been consistently decent. However, the downward spikes within the last few months might be reoccurring, if the causes are not taken care of soon.
To help you keep track of any changes, we’ll continue to monitor GoDaddy and we’ll let you know as soon as we have news on their performance.
3. Lots of Upsells
All the lacking features that we discussed above, lead to a lot of upsells during the signup process. In fact, GoDaddy has become somewhat infamous for upselling. The reason for offering so many upsells is to increase the final price that you’re going to pay, as the initial plan prices are absurdly low.
The first upsell that you’ll run into has got to do with the monthly cost for the hosting plan. Based on the duration of your chosen plan, the amount that you will prepay can vary greatly.
A short, three-month plan has a significant monthly cost: $10.99/month. So, for the best value, you might have to sign up for 24 or 36 months instead, getting a monthly price of $3.50 or $4.33, respectively.
With such offers, you might be tempted to get a longer plan right away. But this means you’ll have to invest a larger sum of money upfront, making a much longer commitment.
And this is just the first of many upsells.
GoDaddy will also try to sell you a lot of extra services at checkout, too. For example, they will automatically opt you in for website backups that will cost another $2.99/month for the duration of your plan.
Just that one upsell alone will already double your price.
And it doesn’t stop there, either. As discussed above, you’ll see upsells for SSL certificates, backups, and “essential website security” which refers to malware scans and updates.
GoDaddy’s checkout process can feel like a minefield, where you need to carefully watch each step before accidentally paying two or three times the initial price.
And as if that wasn’t enough.
4. Renewal Rates are Much Higher
All of GoDaddy’s plans follow the industry-standard pricing trick where they double or triple the price when it’s time to renew.
The Economy plan, for example, will jump to $8.99/month when you renew, compared to the initial $1.00/month. That’s nine times more than the original price. And you won’t get any extra features or better performance. You will just have to pay more.
When choosing a pricing plan and its duration with GoDaddy, you should carefully calculate all costs to see what the best option for your needs is. With the lower-tier plans, you’ll pay a smaller monthly fee but your SSL certificate will renew for a higher price. The most expensive plan, however, already includes free SSL for all your sites for the duration of your subscription.
So, if you have several sites, it might make sense to get the most expensive plan for the longest duration. This way, you can avoid at least the SSL renewal costs.
But you might also want to look at other cheap web hosts before making your choice.
Finally, we have one more downside to discuss.
5. Confusing Money-Back Guarantee
On top of the lacking features, many upsells, and very high renewal rates, GoDaddy isn’t exactly the benchmark when it comes to money-back guarantees.
Most web hosts that we’ve reviewed will give you a no-questions-asked refund if you cancel within 30 days. And on the surface, GoDaddy’s money-back guarantee looks similar: annual plans can get a refund within a month of buying.
However, here’s where issues start popping up:
If you pay for a monthly plan (anything less than an annual plan – three, six, or nine months), you have to request a refund within 48 hours. This only gives you two days to try GoDaddy.
On top of that, some of the terms of service are slightly confusing.
For example, here’s what GoDaddy’s Refund Policy says 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).“
That’s not very clear, is it? When is a Hosting Service considered “performed”?
We contacted GoDaddy to find out. It turns out that the service won’t be considered “performed” as long as you submit the refund request within the set time period. At least according to one of their customer support agents.
Still, any money-related confusion is not good for business and should be avoided. And even the slightest chance of not getting your money back can be quite worrying. So, if you want to try GoDaddy out, you should definitely read the fine print and make sure you understand and follow all the rules.
GoDaddy Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
Here’s a quick overview of GoDaddy’s hosting plans:
|Economy Plan||Deluxe Plan||Ultimate Plan|
Renews at $8.99/mo
Renews at $11.99/mo
Renews at $16.99/mo
|Other Features||• Free Email (renews $23.88/yr)||• Free Email (renews $23.88/yr)
• Unlimited Subdomains
|• Free Email (renews $23.88/yr)
• 2x Processing Power and Memory
• Free SSL Certificate
• Premium DNS
- Money-Back: A slightly confusing 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Website Migration: No free transfers. Cost for managed migration $99.99 per site. The migration will take 7-10 business days.
- Free domain: Free for the duration of the initial annual plan (12, 24, 36 months, etc.).
- Ease of Signup: Very easy signup.
- Payment Methods: All major credit cards and PayPal are accepted.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: Somewhat confusing refund policy & terms such as “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).”
- Upsells: A lot of upsells. Price variation for the initial term length, site migrations, backups, SSL certificates, security, and more.
- Account Activation: Fast account activation.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Lots of 1-click installation options with the most popular open-source apps.
Do We Recommend GoDaddy?
Yes, we do.
GoDaddy has strong uptime and fast page loading speeds. They work well with the most popular web apps you would want. And the initial pricing for the cheapest plans is still good value despite lacking several important features.
Even so, you might want to look at other options, too.
GoDaddy offers many upsells for basic features that you’d assume were just included for free (SSL, backups, etc.). Adding any one of these might double the cost of your plan. But together, they could easily end up costing you significantly more than the best web hosting providers.
So while GoDaddy’s overall performance is good, they do have some drawbacks. Because of that, we recommend also reviewing other web hosts at the top of our list.
Do you have any personal experience with GoDaddy – positive or negative? If so, please leave us an honest, transparent review below!