Reputation, Service, Price
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Year in Business: 10
While most people think 'domains' when they hear the name, GoDaddy is also one of the largest and most well known hosting companies in the industry. They offer good prices, competitive features, and some of the best U.S.-based customer support in the business. The domain services and pricing are also vastly superior to other hosting companies.
But what about hosting features? Well, the allowances for items like e-mail accounts, disk space and bandwidth are lower than some other top hosting companies, but still substantial. For instance, the Deluxe plan provides 1,000 e-mail accounts, 150 gigabytes (GB) of disk space, and 1,500 GB of monthly bandwidth. This is far more than the average website owner will use, but less than HostMonster (for example). GoDaddy does distinguish itself by offering very affordable plans for both Linux and Windows servers along with language support for Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails and ASP.NET – you won't find that at most discount hosts.
GoDaddy also has some of the best customer service. In fact, it's one of the only hosts that actually posts expected wait times for phone service so you know what to expect; and wait times are usually less than five minutes. We've dealt with GoDaddy on numerous occasions via phone and e-mail, and the responses have been friendly, timely, and effective.
If, like us, you have an avid interest in domains, the sheer magnitude of domain services offered by GoDaddy makes it affordable and convenient to purchase hosting as well. Domains only cost $1.99 with a hosting plan, making it a one-stop shopping solution that's difficult to beat. While the monthly contract is very convenient, you can save up to 15% more when choosing a longer-term plan.
Price & Plans
GoDaddy offers three types of shared hosting plans: Economy, Deluxe and Premium. The Economy and Deluxe plans are the best options for most website owners. The pricing is as follows:
2 month - $4.29/month
12 month - $4.08/month
24 month - $3.86/month
36 month - $3.65/month
Monthly - $6.99/month
12 month - $6.64/month
24 month - $6.29/month
36 month - $5.94/month
Different from most hosts, the monthly plan can be purchased with no set-up fees, giving you maximum flexibility. However, you can save 5% with a 1 year plan, 10% with a 2 year plan, and 15% with a 3 year plan – the best deal from a cost perspective.
FeaturesSee table (left) for a list of key features and benefits for the Deluxe plan. For a complete list of features for all plans, visit GoDaddy's comparison chart.
Phone and e-mail support are available 24/7 and expected wait times are provided for each, so you can plan accordingly and save time. There is also an exclusive 'Hosting Connection' community that features reviews and feedback from other customers about adding free applications (like a blog) to increase the functionality of your site. It's a great place to learn more about the art of managing and developing a website.
10 gigabytes on the Economy plan and 150 on the Deluxe; most sites are 20 megabytes or less (1 gigabyte = 1,024 megabytes) so there is more than enough space to host a robust website.
300 GB/month on the Economy plan and 1,500 gigabytes for the Deluxe; most sites need 10 gigabytes or less. If your site has very high traffic (several million page views per month or higher) or is very image intensive, consider the Premium plan or a virtual dedicated server from GoDaddy.
GoDaddy operates its own 30,000 square-foot data center with the latest security technology and on-site security staff. At the server and network level, safeguards such as firewalls and SPAM and virus protection for e-mail are in place to keep the bad guys out. Also, for the very reasonable price of $19.99/year, you can add an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate that provides extra security for an online store.
GoDaddy has invested in the latest equipment such as fully redundant power systems, high-speed routers and firewalls, daily and weekly backups, and even off-site data storage. All these steps are taken to ensure that your website is online 99.9% of the time.
Ease of Use
After mixed reviews from customers, GoDaddy recently upgraded its control panel to put it on par with more well known brands such as cPanel and Plesk. In addition, the Hosting Connection community software makes it very easy to click and install applications such as WordPress (blog software) and Joomla (helps manage content).
Every new web hosting account receives a free domain and free set-up, regardless of plan length. The Deluxe plan also includes search engine marketing credits for Google and MSN, bringing the total value of the giveaways to more than $50.
GoDaddy doesn’t offer guarantees on its hosting packages, but will refund the prorated amount of any prepaid service if the customer cancels. This is a fair policy given the flexibility of its hosting contracts.
Buy a 1-3 year hosting plan and save up to 15%. More good deals for hosting customers include $1.99 domains and cheap SSL certificates.