GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Review: do I really need to write this?

GoDaddy is the slowest, most insecure, worst WordPress hosting you can possibly choose.

Begin rant:

They had a 2017ms server response time in tests and were in the top 2 malware hosting networks worldwide. SSL costs $63.99/year unless you use GoDaddy’s Ultimate plan. Their advertised prices only apply if you pay 3 years upfront and their dashboard allows you to do very little. They have a list of blacklisted WordPress plugins you can’t use on GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting. They have been called out my numerous sources like Forbes, Wikipedia, and iThemes. It’s widely know in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group GoDaddy is no good.

Overall, GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting is a poor choice considering their lack of speed, security, support, and WordPress features which are overpriced (the summary of this review).

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Review

An Honest GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Review

  1. Overcrowded servers lead to slow server response times
  2. Top malware hosting network worldwide
  3. Support is one of the worst
  4. Selling things you don’t need
  5. SSL costs $63.99/year
  6. Called out by numerous companies
  7. Slow to release new PHP versions
  8. Blacklists WordPress plugins
  9. DNS is also slow
  10. Constant outages
  11. GoDaddy’s dashboard is useless
  12. They steal domains from you
  13. GoDaddy’s pricing is too high for the value
  14. What people say about GoDaddy in Facebook Groups

Affiliate Disclaimer – I’m not an affiliate for GoDaddy because I don’t recommend them, but I am an affiliate for A2 Hosting, Cloudways, and WPX which are miles better/faster than GoDaddy. I also donate a good chunk of this blog’s income to GoFundMe campaigns ($6k so far) and appreciate your support if you use those links.

 

1. Overcrowded servers lead to slow server response times

It’s well known GoDaddy overcrowds their servers.

I even setup an Astra Starter Site on GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting with SSL to measure server response times in WP Hosting Performance Check which was 2 seconds. I also connected Google Search Console to measure “time spent downloading a page” which averaged 999ms.

Why is GoDaddy slow?

Because they don’t use a fast hosting infrastructure, latest PHP versions, and they put too many people on the same server (limiting your server resources). That’s why you’ll often see 503 errors (server overloaded) and a sluggish website because they enforce strict CPU limits as shown on their hosting agreement page which is only 512MB RAM and 25% of one CPU core.

GoDaddy Server Response Time

GoDaddy Time Spent Downloading Page

 

2. Top malware hosting network worldwide

GoDaddy was listed in the top 2 malware hosting networks worldwide.

Here’s the thing: they will run malware scans and tell you your site needs to be fixed (a paid service they offer usually exceeding $500). But they do very little to actually protect you in terms of DDoS protection and application firewalls. The bottom line is that there is a much higher probability you will get malware on GoDaddy than almost any other hosting company.

In 2019, over 28,000 GoDaddy hosting accounts were compromised. Even my GoDaddy account (which I only use for domain names) got hacked and my entire website was redirected to a Turkish hosting company after they bought domains + other products using my credit card.

Malware Hosting Networks

 

3. Support is one of the worst

GoDaddy support used to be alright back, not so much anymore.

You can expect hour long wait times, upsells, and unresolved issues. This is best reflected in Facebook Groups where customers constantly complain about GoDaddy’s lack of support.

GoDaddy Support Review

 

4. Selling things you don’t need

Upsells when you sign up, in your dashboard, and when talking with support.

GoDaddy knows it’s user based is inexperienced with WordPress hosting (otherwise they would be somewhere else) which makes them more vulnerable to upsells. You don’t need these!

 

12. SSL will cost you $63.99/year

SSL is $63.99/year unless you sign up for their Ultimate Plan for $12.99/month. What a trap!

Nearly every other hosting companies provides free SSL no matter which plan you choose. Backups are also limited and there is no staging if you want to test new plugins, designs, or update software safely. These lacking features alone are enough to avoid GoDaddy’s hosting.

GoDaddy SSL

 

6. Called out by numerous companies

GoDaddy’s poor WordPress hosting and ethics have been called out by:

  • Wikipedia – moved away domain for supporting SOPA.
  • iThemes – called them out for overcrowding their servers.
  • Forbes – everything bad about GoDaddy and why you should leave.
  • Wired – called them out for running sexist ads (eg. Superbowl).

 

7. Slow to release new PHP versions

It can take GoDaddy over a year to release new PHP versions, and you might pay for it.

When GoDaddy released PHP 7.2, old customers on their Linux hosting had to pay for an entirely new hosting plan if you wanted to update to PHP 7.2. Talk about an upsell! Even in 2020, PHP 7.4 has been out for some time but GoDaddy only supports the older PHP 7.3.

Upgrade PHP Version GoDaddy

 

8. Blacklists WordPress plugins

GoDaddy blacklists tons of WordPress plugins.

Why?

Because these plugins are known for consuming lots of server resources which GoDaddy knows their hosting doesn’t have the bandwidth to support. And since GoDaddy uses their own built-in caching system, you can’t install many cache plugins which will hurt your scores + load times (e.g. in GTmetrix) since cache plugins include many optimization outside of just caching.

 

9. DNS is also slow

GoDaddy’s DNS is slow which affects the speed of your site.

You’re best off using Cloudflare or a premium DNS provider like Kinsta or DNS Made Easy from Cloudways. A premium DNS provides a low-latency environment for better performance, a failover DNS strategy, and protects you from DDoS attacks. GoDaddy doesn’t provide these.

 

10. Constant outages

Look at Downdetector to see GoDaddy’s outage history.

There are outages almost every month on GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting, sometimes multiple. This may be fine if you’re running a hobby site, but any serious owner won’t deal with outages.

GoDaddy Outages
 

11. GoDaddy’s dashboard is useless

GoDaddy’s dashboard is very limited.

The only thing it lets you do is update PHP versions, take backups, create a staging site, access the file browser, and make purchases. GoDaddy’s dashboard was truly designed for beginners.

GoDaddy Tools

GoDaddy WordPress Settings

 

12. They steal domains from you

If you find a good domain from GoDaddy, you better buy it quick.

Because if you exit the window and search again, they will snag it from you. This happened to me when I tried to buy mediapr.com but GoDaddy snagged it just minutes after I searched it and exited out the window. I’m not sure if other domain registrars do this, but GoDaddy does.

GoDaddy steals domains

 

13. GoDaddy’s pricing is too high for the value

GoDaddy’s price increases has not reflected the value of their hosting.

Plans range from $6.99/month to $15.99/month and nearly double when you renew (same price structure as SiteGround). For the price, you’re far better off on Cloudways or A2 hosting.

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Plans

You have to pay GoDaddy for 3 years upfront to get their advertised prices.

GoDaddy Pricing

 

14. What people say about GoDaddy in Facebook Groups

It’s a big no.

Join the WordPress Hosting + WP Speed Matters Facebook Groups to get unbiased opinions.

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Feedback

Conclusion: GoDaddy sucks. Use A2 Hosting, Cloudways, or WPX depending on your budget.

Cheers,
Tom

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