GoDaddy (or SlowDaddy) is bottom of the barrel WordPress hosting.
Not just because the same old reasons most people talk about: overcrowded servers, awful support, malware, upsells, and the list goes on. It’s also because GoDaddy is getting outdated.
While other hosts are innovating with things like LiteSpeed, cache plugins, and Cloudflare Enterprise, GoDaddy has barely done anything to improve their service in the last few years.
It’s like paying full price for a mediocre apartment with zero amenities. Even their cheapest shared hosting plan starts at $8.99/month when you can get a small VPS or LiteSpeed Hosting with the LiteSpeed Cache plugin which is both faster and cheaper. It makes zero sense to use GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting when there are clearly better options. Unfortunately, I feel like the people still using them are hell-bent on not making a change. Don’t be one of those people.
- Everything went downhill after their IPO
- Not enough CPU, RAM, inodes
- Overcrowded Apache servers
- Slow DNS
- Outdated PHP versions
- Blacklisted WordPress plugins
- History of malware + security breaches
- Limited to 1 website
- Constant outages
- Useless upsells
- Useless control panel
- Support isn’t good anymore
- 3 year price trap + higher renewals
- What people say about GoDaddy in Facebook Groups
- GoDaddy alternatives
Affiliate Disclaimer – I’m not an affiliate for GoDaddy since I don’t recommend them, but I am for NameHero (LiteSpeed hosting) and Cloudways Vultr High Frequency (cloud hosting) who are both miles ahead of GoDaddy in terms of speed, security, and support.
1. Everything Went Downhill After Their IPO
GoDaddy’s 2015 IPO is when they really took a turn for the worse.
I remember calling GoDaddy’s support several times and they were always the most helpful people based out of Arizona. But after their IPO, they went from customer-first to profit-first.
Within a couple years, they increased prices, cut back on support, servers seemed to get more crowded, and they started charging $63.99/year for SSL which is free pretty much everywhere else through Let’s Encrypt.
When you see a company increasing prices while also lowering the quality of their hosting by cutting costs, it’s time to run. This is the exact same reason I stopped using SiteGround.
2. Not Enough CPU, RAM, Inodes
Here’s a challenge for you.
Pull up GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting. This is mainly to look at prices (and show you why their number of estimated “monthly visitors” is unrealistic).
Now pull up GoDaddy’s resource limits page to see how many resources you’re getting with each plan. For $8.99-19.99, you’re getting 1-2 CPU cores, 512MB – 2GB RAM, and 250,000 inodes.
|Linux Hosting Plan||Free Trial & Starter||Economy||Deluxe||Ultimate||Maximum|
|CPU (Accessible cores)||1||1||1||2||2|
(Number of available processing units)
|Disk space||30 GB||100 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Maximum email accounts||10||100||500||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Now let’s compare it to another host. I used NameHero in this example but most hosts have a “specs page” listing each plan’s resources. NameHero’s Turbo Cloud plan is similarly priced to GoDaddy’s Economy plan, yet it gives you 3 CPU cores, 3GB RAM, and 500,000 inodes. That’s about CPU 3x cores, nearly 6x RAM, and 2x inodes more than GoDaddy Economy. It also uses LiteSpeed + NVMe which is faster than Apache + SATA SSDs. My conclusion: GoDaddy is a ripoff.
It should also be noted on their hosting agreement page, they talk about resource throttling. Not only does GoDaddy lack server resources in their plans, but you’re not even allowed to use 25% of the 1 CPU core you have access to. This is why 503 errors are very common on GoDaddy.
All Linux hosting plans are subject to the following limitations: no more than a) 25% of one CPU core; b) 512MB of RAM; c) 100 website connections; d) 100 active processes; e) 1 MB/s disk IO. In the event these limitations are exceeded, your site may slow down or not be served until more resources are added… for additional fees.
Inode limits are usually exceeded if you use your hosting for email too. Because GoDaddy’s inode limits are so low, you will want to keep web/email hosting separate. This is a good practice either way especially since moving emails can be a pain (I suggest Google Workspace).
I wrote a tutorial on fixing a slow GoDaddy website, but leaving them is a good start.
3. Overcrowded Apache Servers
iThemes already called them out for overcrowding their servers. They also explain how GoDaddy uses a non-traditional setup… instead of using a single server to host your website: they use one server to process code and serve static files, then another server for the database. GoDaddy’s database servers can be slow from being overcrowded or their network has latency.
But, you might get lucky and get put on a good server.
This is why most hosting speed tests aren’t reliable. If you’re currently using GoDaddy, you can monitor your TTFB in KeyCDN or even PageSpeed Insights which Google will flag if it’s 600ms+.
What’s the deal with Apache servers? Well, LiteSpeed is just faster (plus you can use the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin with QUIC.cloud which is one of the fastest/cheapest setups right now).
4. Slow DNS
GoDaddy’s DNS is below average on dnsperf.com and causes latency.
5. Outdated PHP Versions
Higher PHP versions are usually faster and more secure, but it can take GoDaddy over a year to support a new PHP version, and you might even have to pay for it like customers did in the past.
Back when GoDaddy released PHP 7.2, it wasn’t available for old customers on their Linux hosting, so they had to pay for a new plan to update. Thankfully, GoDaddy supports PHP 8.1.
6. Blacklisted WordPress Plugins
GoDaddy blacklists quite a few WordPress plugins.
This can be a problem since cache plugins do way more than just caching to speed up your website (the good ones also address core web vitals). Other blacklisted plugins like Broken Link Checker and statistic plugins consume too many resources and will stress out GoDaddy’s server.
Some hosts like Kinsta also blacklist plugins, but only because you really don’t need them. No other host I know blacklists Broken Link Checker which is useful for finding/fixing broken links.
7. History Of Malware + Security Breaches
It’s fair to say you can expect a security issue with GoDaddy every year:
- In 2018, GoDaddy was one of the top malware hosting networks.
- In 2018, 31,000 GoDaddy servers were exposed by Amazon AWS.
- In 2019, 28,000 accounts were compromised, but it wasn’t found until 2019.
- In 2021, SFTP and database credentials of 1.2M customers were compromised.
- In 2022, there was a malware increase on GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting.
They also have an alarming amount of malware reports on TrustPilot.
GoDaddy is happy to run malware scans and say your website has issues and needs to be fixed (a paid service they offer usually exceeding $500). But they do very little to actually protect you.
I’ve also had my GoDaddy account hacked. Someone from Turkey was able to login to my account, use my saved credit card to purchase services, and forward my website to a different domain. When I contacted GoDaddy’s support, the most frustrating part was they initially didn’t believe me. I had to plea with them to look for themselves, and once they saw GoDaddy services were purchased with Turkish lira, they did eventually refund me. Make sure to setup two-factor!
8. Limited To 1 Website
All GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting plans can only host 1 website. If you want to host up to 5 sites, you need to pay for their Pro WordPress hosting which is significantly more expensive.
9. Constant Outages
Look at Downdetector to see GoDaddy’s outage history.
There are outages almost every month on GoDaddy, usually multiple incidents each month. This may be fine if you run a hobby site, but any serious business owner won’t deal with this.
10. Useless Upsells
GoDaddy is so bad with upsells they have a product catalog.
Microsoft 365 Email Essentials is automatically added to your cart when you sign up. Then you’re hit with email offers (even though email hosting is usually free), and other offers inside your dashboard. Upsells also extend to GoDaddy’s support who loves telling you to upgrade.
I had a client who was paying upwards of $1,000/year to GoDaddy and most of it was upsells. She didn’t know if she needed them or not (she also had some money) so she was paying for many things she didn’t need. Some upsells are fine, but GoDaddy preys on vulnerable people.
11. Useless Control Panel
GoDaddy’s control panel is limited and buggy.
Besides very basic things like upgrading PHP versions, taking backups, and accessing the file browser, it barely lets you do anything. GoDaddy’s control panel was truly designed for noobies.
12. Support Isn’t Good Anymore
Do yourself a favor and look at GoDaddy’s TrustPilot reviews about their support.
Like most hosting companies, most good reviews are solicited by their own support team. It’s a shame because GoDaddy’s support used to be awesome, but that was before their IPO. Now you can expect long wait times, upsells, and unresolved issues. They’re not interested in helping fix problems unless it involves giving them money. For support, you really get what you pay for.
13. 3 Year Price Trap + Higher Renewals
You have to pay GoDaddy 3 years upfront to get their advertised prices.
You get the cheaper intro price for 1-3 years then it renews at a higher price. This is standard with most shared WordPress hosts, but I wanted to make sure you’re aware of it. Some hosts like SiteGround charge almost 3x for their renewal periods, so GoDaddy’s isn’t actually that bad.
14. What People Say About GoDaddy In Facebook Groups
How many times do you have to hear it? Stay away from GoDaddy!
Join the WP Speed Matters Facebook Group and see what people are saying (on a side note, several major Facebook Groups are moderated by SiteGround and their team of “brand ambassadors” who censor posts, promote their service, and don’t disclose they work for SiteGround). That’s why I like WP Speed Matters which is run by Gijo Varghese from FlyingPress.
16. GoDaddy Alternatives
NameHero is solid if you’re in the US/EU since that’s where their data centers are. All plans use LiteSpeed servers which are faster and more efficient than Apache (what GoDaddy uses). They include more CPU/RAM for cheaper if you compare their specs page, and the Turbo Cloud plan uses NVMe. You can also use the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin which is one of the best cache plugins right now. Once you configure LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud CDN, your setup is not only faster than pretty much every host in this price range, but you’re less likely to get CPU spikes since LiteSpeed can handle more requests than Apache. Support + uptimes are consistent, but that’s something you can see yourself. It wouldn’t be fair to leave out Scala Hosting who also uses LiteSpeed and has a 5/5 star TrustPIlot rating. These are ‘cheap hosts’ I recommend over GoDaddy.
Vultr High Frequency
Now we’re getting into cloud hosting. I was previously using Cloudways Vultr HF or you can buy it from the Vultr website and connect it to a control panel like RunCloud. Vultr HF has high CPU clock speeds with NVMe if you look at benchmarks. Cloudways has Cloudflare Enterprise + Redis Object Cache Pro and other caching layers to make your site faster. The main con is no email hosting (I use Google Workspace) and it gets expensive as you scale. They’re popular in Facebook groups and many people already posted their migration results. Cloudways has free 3-day trials, monthly pricing, a free migration, and promo code for 30% off 3 months. Some people are scared they’re too techie but launching a server can be done in a few clicks. This is who I’m hosting with.
- Rocket.net – look at their specs and have a conversation with Ben Gabler (that’s all it took for me). They average a <100ms global TTFB which you can measure in KeyCDN. Their free Cloudflare Enterprise is superior than Cloudways/Kinsta with full page caching, smart purging, and built their data centers in the same ones as Cloudflare (Ben was StackPath’s Chief Product Officer so that makes sense). Just to give you an idea, their plans start at $25/mo with 32 CPU cores + 128GB RAM + NVMe SSDs + Redis. No PHP worker limits because only about 10% of traffic actually hits your origin. Everything is free (no paid add-ons) and their powerful stack makes scaling affordable with plenty of resources. I asked Ben to create a coupon OMM1 to make your first month $1. Compared to Kinsta, they use about 16x more RAM, 32x more cores on staging sites, and up to 25x more monthly visits. Top performer on wphostingbenchmarks.com with a 4.9/5 TrustPilot rating too? Take 5 minutes to compare specs and see for yourself or see my Rocket.net review.