If you plan to start a business, you need a web presence. That means you need to choose a web hosting service to provide a foundation for your website. GoDaddy can get the job done. It’s excellent for personal and commercial hosting purposes, thanks to its dependable uptime, Linux- and Windows-based servers, excellent customer service, and other features. GoDaddy’s well-rounded packages fall just shy of those offered by Editors’ Choice award-winning DreamHost, HostGator, and Hostwinds, but it is more than capable of satisfying your web hosting needs.
Shared Web Hosting
GoDaddy charges a monthly fee for its Linux- or Windows-based shared web servers, but it reduces the price if you commit to a multi-month or annual package. Unfortunately, GoDaddy requires you to sign up for its pricier Deluxe or Ultimate plans (starting at $10.99 and $16.99, respectively) for the option to pay for hosting on a month-to-month basis (the basic Economy plan requires you to sign up for a minimum of three months). This may not have much impact on businesses, but a cash-strapped blogger may not appreciate GoDaddy’s lack of a single-month option in its Economy package.
GoDaddy’s Economy basic shared hosting package ($7.99 per month) includes a free domain name, 100GB of storage, the ability to host one website, unlimited monthly data transfers, and free Microsoft 365 Business email. The Deluxe plan (starting at $10.99 per month, or $5.99 per month with an annual commitment) builds on the Economy package by adding unlimited storage, and unlimited domains. The Ultimate package (starting at $16.99 per month, or $7.99 per month with an annual commitment) adds a premium DNS management tool, double the processing power (Linux-based servers only), and a one-year secure socket layer (SSL) Certificate.
GoDaddy has packed shared hosting plans, but HostGator still reigns as the PCMag Editors’ Choice for shared web hosting services. Like GoDaddy, HostGator boasts unlimited domains and monthly data transfers across the board, and a choice of Linux- or Windows-based servers, but it tops its rival by offering a VoIP number for your business and unlimited storage with all plans.
Dedicated Web Hosting
GoDaddy’s dedicated servers come in many Linux and Windows configurations. The plans start at $129 per month, and you can outfit the servers with up to 32GB of RAM, 2TB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers.
The 32GB RAM total is 96GB less than what’s offered by Hostwinds, the PCMag Editors’ Choice for dedicated servers. GoDaddy also loses points because the plan doesn’t include email. That’s a separate purchase.
VPS Web Hosting
Hostwinds may be the PCMag Editors’ Choice for VPS hosting, but that doesn’t mean that GoDaddy doesn’t have quality virtual private server packages. GoDaddy’s VPS plans (starting at $29.99 per month) offer Linux- or Windows-based servers, and unlimited domains, monthly data transfers, and email. The specs top out at 8GB of RAM, 240GB of storage, and a free SSL for one year. That’s good stuff.
So why does GoDaddy fall short of winning the VPS hosting Editors’ Choice award? Hostwinds has truly stacked VPS servers. For example, Tier 1 Premium VPS starts at just $13.50 per month (for 1GB of RAM, 50GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email), while Tier 10 scales up to $105 per month (for 15GB of RAM, 200GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email). The SSD Linux plan starts at $13.50 per month (for 1GB of RAM, 25GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email) and maxes out at $129 per month (18.5GB of RAM, 130GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email).
Still, GoDaddy’s VPS services are a capable option for people who want a web hosting solution that’s more powerful than shared web hosting, but don’t want to pay dedicated web hosting’s relatively expensive cost.
WordPress Web Hosting
GoDaddy gives its version of WordPress hosting the white-glove treatment with four tiers of Linux-based managed WordPress hosting. Signing up has its advantages. GoDaddy has thousands of WordPress themes and plug-ins, and it offers nightly backups and automatic WordPress software updates. Like other managed WordPress hosts, GoDaddy doesn’t require you to install the CMS, as it comes preinstalled. Once you’re logged into WordPress, you can create posts, pages, and galleries as you would with any other self-hosted WordPress site.
The Basic $7.99-per-month plan comes with one domain, 10GB of SSD storage, and 25,000 monthly visitors. Deluxe ($9.99 per month) ups the storage and monthly visitors to 15GB and 100,000, respectively. It also adds site staging and an SEO plug-in. The $14.99 per month Ultimate plan builds on Deluxe by offering 30GB of storage, 400,000 monthly visitors, malware scanning and removal, and the ability to host two sites. Developer ($24.99 per month) serves up 50GB of storage, 800,000 monthly visitors, and the ability to host five sites.
Still, 1&1 remains the Editors’ Choice for WordPress hosting. The top dog gives you the option of Linux- or Windows-based WordPress hosting, starting at $6.99 per month. Additionally, 1&1 offers tons of flexibility. All of its managed WordPress plans have unlimited email, unlimited visitors, automatic malware detection and removal, automatic WordPress updates, and a curated list of recommended WordPress plug-ins and themes. Plus, 1&1’s managed WordPress plans offer far more storage than GoDaddy’s. In fact, the fittingly named Unlimited plan boasts bottomless SSD-based disk space.
Reseller Web Hosting
If you’re looking to get into the web hosting business, but you don’t want to deal with infrastructure matters, check out GoDaddy’s reseller hosting packages. The two plans, the $8.99 per month Basic and the $14.99 per month Pro, offer sales and commision reports and credit card processing. The servers have the same RAM and storage amounts as those that Hostwinds supplies directly, which is not always the case.
Unfortunately, GoDaddy’s reseller packages don’t come with email; you’d need to sign up for seperate email plans for electronic mail. On the upside, GoDaddy lets you apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it also supplies 24/7 tech support.
Still, Hostwinds goes the extra mile with more generous specs in a variety of server categories. As a result, Hostwinds is the Editors’ Choice for reseller hosting.
Setting Up a GoDaddy-Hosted Site
GoDaddy’s new free Website Builder is called GoCentral. It’s a completely responsive-design tool, which means you get a good-looking and functional mobile website alongside the desktop website you build. For $29.99 per month, you can add a capable web store. But, in general, the new GoCentral service so far lacks much of what you find in the site-building competition, such as a gallery of third-party widgets, a blogging tool, and any kind of image editing.
GoDaddy tosses in email accounts with each shared hosting plan, but not with its dedicated hosting plans. If you want to purchase email, here’s the breakdown: Email Essentials (starting at $4.99 per month, or $3.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) gives you 5GB of email storage. Online Essentials (starting at $9.99 per month, or $7.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) ups the email capacity to 50GB, and adds 1TB of cloud storage. Business Premium (starting at $14.99 per month, or $9.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) raises the email storage capacity to 50GB, and adds unlimited web conferencing and access to online Word and Excel. Premium Security (starting at $24.97 per month, or $14.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) tosses in encryption and Microsoft Office mobile apps.
I found it a simple endeavor to set up my GoDaddy email, as the web host prompts you to create one during the web hosting sign-up process. I simply selected the domain to which the email address would be associated and entered an email handle and a password.
GoDaddy has ditched its old Quick Shopping Cart e-commerce software in favor of a new $29.99 per month GoDaddy Online Store. The new offering boasts many features, including secure checkout, SEO tools, store themes, and unlimited product listings.
Setting up shop with the new tool is straightforward and easy. You select a theme, add products, pricing, and images, and pick your preferred payment and shipping methods. If you plan on using your website to sell products, GoDaddy Online Store is an excellent choice.
GoDaddy offers Sucuri (starting at $6.99 per month), a service that provides a site-verification certificate, app scanning, and spam and malware monitoring. Depending on the package that you select, Sucuri scans your website’s sub-pages to find network vulnerabilities and remove malware.
You can also purchase Secure Sockets Layer certificates (starting at $69.99 per year), the software that’s represented by a green padlock in your web browser when you visit, say, a financial institution’s website. If you plan to sell products via your website, consider an SSL certificate an essential purchase, as it safeguards the data exchange between a customer and your servers.
Website uptime is one of the most important aspects of a hosting service. If your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services. You do not want that. Fortunately, GoDaddy is quite dependable.
I use a website monitoring tool to track my test sites’ uptime over a two-week period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings my websites and sends me an email if it is unable to contact any of my sites for at least one minute. The data revealed that GoDaddy is remarkably stable.
Excellent Customer Service
GoDaddy has 24/7 telephone support and live web chat support. I placed a call on a weekday morning and spoke to a customer service rep less than a minute later. I asked about the differences between shared and managed WordPress hosting and experienced the best customer support of any of the web hosting services I’ve tested so far. The rep was friendly and knowledgeable.
A few hours later, I fired up GoDaddy’s customer service web chat and asked an important question: How do I import my existing WordPress.com blog? A few seconds later, a GoDaddy rep appeared in the chat and pasted a link that answered my question. GoDaddy’s prompt and helpful customer service is very impressive.
GoDaddy offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. That’s lengthier than the standard 30-day refund window, but doesn’t compete with DreamHost‘s impressive 97-day money-back guarantee.
Who’s Your (Go) Daddy?
GoDaddy has many business- and consumer-friendly options, and it also offers incredible 24/7 customer service. On the other hand, GoDaddy offers a skimpy amount of email and doesn’t have month-to-month plans across the board. Still, if you’re looking to quickly set up a website, GoDaddy has the tools you’ll need for a successful launch.