GoDaddy is a shared web host that seems to like to play by their own rules. Is their feature set and price good enough to warrant playing their game? This GoDaddy review is here to find out.
The Features and the Prices: Worth It or Not?
Well, to start off with, the most important part of a plan for lots of people is the price. And GoDaddy brings on the options when it comes to price. The single cheapest plan is the “economy plan”, which can be as low as $4.24 per month (for a 36 month contract) or as high as $4.99 per month (for a 3 month contract). The most expensive plan is the “Unlimited Plan”, and is the only one that includes the unlimited features that many other web hosts provide. It costs between $9.47 per month for the 36 month option and $14.99 per month for the 1 month option.
For the cheapest plan, a number of scripting languages (Perl, Ruby, and the like) are not supported. You’ll be forced to upgrade to a more expensive plan if you need to use them. This is unfortunate because, much like the unlimited storage and bandwidth, many other web hosts provide those at no additional charge.
Another point to mention is that GoDaddy does not use cPanel. The option to use it is available if you are paying for a more expensive dedicated server plan (virtual or otherwise), but only with an extra fee. If cPanel is important to you, you won’t be able to get it here without spending a pretty penny. The control panel they do use, however, is user-friendly enough, and does pretty much everything that cPanel does.
It is important to note that these restrictions are not particularly bad for the average user. However, if you need the stuff that costs extra, you will be able to get the same stuff somewhere else for less.
Are the Terms of Service Fair?
For the most part, yes. There are a couple of things to point out, though. For one, the money you can get back according to the 99.9% Uptime Guarantee does not come back to you in the form of cash, a rebate, or even a reduced bill. It comes to you in the form of store credit that you can use on anything other than your actual hosting plan.
Furthermore, there are lots of stipulations surrounding what constitutes a qualified outage of service. For example, if your website is still visible, but you temporarily can’t access FTP or email, and you can’t update anything on the site, the site is not considered down for the purposes of this guarantee. On top of that, GoDaddy can still, at it’s discretion, determine if something is considered “down” or not. As a result, if you find your site to be down, you might still have a hard time getting the money from the Uptime Guarantee, which is a little frustrating.
On the other hand, they are fairly loose when it comes to the cancellation policy. You can cancel at practically any time, and you can get a pro-rated refund for the time you paid for but didn’t use. This might be enough to counter-act the above poor guarantee policy, but you’ll have to decide that part for yourself.
Customer Support: Are 2 Options Enough?
GoDaddy only provides phone support and email support when a customer needs some technical support. That sounds awful when compared to other hosts that have as many as 5 or more ways to get help, but it’s actually not. GoDaddy does a good job of quickly and accurately responding to questions through email or over the phone. Perhaps by having fewer support options to maintain, they can perform the ones that they do maintain just that much better.
With a phone call taking only minutes and email support taking only a few hours, it should be enough for the vast majority of users out there. If having other options (live chat or a help desk, for example) is a must-have for you, then GoDaddy is not the place for you.
They have, however, proven to be good at what they do. Uptime doesn’t seem to be a problem, despite their somewhat fishy guarantee, and they perform what they claim to perform. You might be able to get a better deal somewhere else, but there are definitely far worse than GoDaddy out there.
GoDaddy gets a Thumgs Up from Web Host Review Blog.