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GoDaddy Hosting Review 2024: A Developer’s Honest Take

Suzanne Stewart Suzanne Stewart Web Hosting Expert

After testing GoDaddy, I can say one thing: avoid the basic shared hosting. It’s simply not worth the price tag (Hostinger offers better performance and lower costs on long-term plans). That said, GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting is a good option, but I’ll warn you now – to get all the best features, it will cost you!

We hosted the same WordPress website on the most popular web hosting platforms and measured their performance
Click here to see our results >>

Overview

Hosting from the World’s Most Famous Domain Company

GoDaddy's homepage
GoDaddy’s homepage is a busy place, offering domains, hosting, and more.

If you’ve been around the internet for a while, you’ve probably heard of GoDaddy. It’s the most well-recognized brand in domain name registration, even if that branding has changed some. Gone are the days of race car driver Danica Patrick on the home page. Now, GoDaddy wants to be your provider of all things website-related.

What’s on offer from the hosting division? Regular shared hosting, reseller hosting, WordPress-specific plans, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers.

You’d think that with over 20 years of experience offering web services, GoDaddy would know exactly what it’s doing. Well, branding isn’t everything, so I ran a test website on GoDaddy for several months to find out how well it could perform. I did this as part of Website Planet’s huge web hosting comparison project, where we tested all the big names in the industry.

If you don’t want to pay for WordPress hosting from GoDaddy and are looking for a really cheap hosting solution that’s reliable, check out Hostinger’s latest deals – this is the host that achieved the best performance scores in our testing, and its prices are pretty unbeatable.

3.5

Features

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Features
GoDaddy’s WordPress features are more generous than its basic plans

GoDaddy Talks a Good Game but Could be Better

Let’s face it, GoDaddy’s main focus is selling domains. It isn’t the least expensive in the business – Hostinger offers slightly cheaper registrations overall. Still, it’s a major focus for GoDaddy, and services such as web hosting sometimes seem like more of an afterthought.

In my experience, the WordPress hosting plans include a lot more features than the shared hosting plans, so I tested both to see how they compare. GoDaddy runs all its shared hosting on old Apache servers, so speed isn’t much of an option. You do get SSD storage with the WordPress plans, which is a plus.

When it comes to features, most of what GoDaddy offers is pretty standard fare for hosting providers. Nevertheless, I’ve detailed several of them here for you to get an idea of just how little GoDaddy actually offers in the way of “features.”

Free SSL Certificates Are Included

Let’s be clear: SSL isn’t an extra or something nice to have. It’s a thing you need. Specifically, it’s the technology that encrypts all data that goes between your site and your users, protecting both. Search engines also prefer secure sites, incidentally.

GoDaddy used to not offer free SSL certificates on its standard shared hosting plans. Fortunately, this is no longer the case, as you now get a free SSL for 1 year on the cheapest shared hosting plan (all other plans offer unlimited SSLs).

GoDaddy also offers free SSL certificates on its WordPress plans. All of them. For the lifetime of the hosting plan, not just for the first year like some hosts. I was very relieved to see that GoDaddy now offers free SSL certificates on all of its hosting types. It’s a step in the right direction.

Backups Are Included on Shared Hosting and WordPress Plans

Another welcome change to GoDaddy’s feature set is that its shared hosting plans now include automatic daily backups (it used to only be available with certain WordPress plans). You can schedule them, make them on demand, and download and/or restore your website from a backup with a couple of clicks. The one downside is that the Managed WordPress Basic plan restricts you to weekly backups.

There’s Automatic Malware Scanning

Even the lowest-priced GoDaddy WordPress hosting plan includes free automatic malware scanning. If you choose the Ultimate plan and above (more expensive, of course), then you get unlimited malware removal and hack repair as well as simple malware scanning. This is just another thing that you have to pay extra for with GoDaddy’s standard shared hosting (and WordPress hosting isn’t really that much more expensive with GoDaddy, either).

Other Free Tools

Firstly, there’s the SEO tools and staging tools. Okay, so you do have to choose the Deluxe plan and above to get the SEO tools and the one-click staging area (for testing out changes to your website without affecting your live site), but the price difference isn’t huge.

Secondly, if you opt for the E-commerce plan, which pre-installs WooCommerce as part of your WordPress installation, you get access to premium WooCommerce extensions. These can help make your online store more profitable (as well as saving you money on the cost of the extensions themselves).

GoDaddy also incorporates its own bespoke WooCommerce payment platform (GoDaddy Payments) that’s automatically activated when you install WordPress. It’s only available for stores in the US and Canada, however – but it’s included with all hosting plans, even the most basic shared hosting plan. The Poynt plugin enables you to accept major credit and debit cards – and receive the funds the next business day!

GoDaddy Payments for WooCommerce download page
GoDaddy Payments is a useful plugin for e-commerce sites
Free domain name?
Free SSL?
Money-back guarantee 30 days on annual plans, 48 hours on monthly plans
Uptime guarantee 99.9%
Data centers 4 in the US, 1 in Singapore, 1 in the Netherlands
4.0

Ease of use

Shared Hosting is NOT Easy to Use – But WordPress Hosting is Simple. Kind of.

GoDaddy’s homepage can be deceiving. It’s nicely designed, the logo is modern, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a modern, well thought out service. It isn’t.

Creating a New Account with GoDaddy

The main thing to note about GoDaddy’s plans is that there’s not a lot of details. I like hosts that have those big comparison tables so I can easily see what each plan includes, right down to server software and PHP versions. GoDaddy doesn’t have those. It gives you the basic details, tells you what one plan has that the other doesn’t, but I couldn’t find any technical details anywhere.

If you’re not bothered about the technical stuff, then GoDaddy’s lack of it won’t be a problem, but it kinda annoyed me. I spent way too much time trying to find information out (because, well, asking the live chat agent was a bit of a joke!)

Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress

Anyway, like I said before, the first time I signed up and tested GoDaddy, I went with the basic web hosting plan, and signup was generally easy. I was immediately given the A records (not nameservers) for connecting my domain. I took a screenshot at the time, but figured it wouldn’t matter because I’d just get that info again later.

For context, “nameservers” are the easy way to connect a domain name.

As it turned out, connecting the domain without my screenshot proved to be a ridiculously difficult task, as I couldn’t find those A records anywhere. The main account area has almost no information in general, and most of the tabs are filled with services that are available for purchase – ones that aren’t actually included with your plan.

sneaky signup addons
Sneaky stuff during signup, too. That’ll cost you in 12 months.

Back to domain connecting. There was no info to be found, and support couldn’t help. They gave me the wrong nameservers and the domain didn’t connect. I ended up using my screenshot, and managed to connect my domain myself, but that was an unnecessary hassle. If you’re not experienced with web hosting, you definitely don’t want to be dealing with this kind of thing.

Of course, if you opt for buying a domain name with your hosting (or choose a plan that offers one free), then your domain name will be already set up and you simply have to link it to your hosting space from your account dashboard. That, at least, is pretty simple. Even if you buy your domain name from GoDaddy later, connecting it is easy. That makes me think it’s trying to get you to buy your new domain name directly from it. Anyway, that’s what I did the second time round and it was easy.

GoDaddy Might Take Your Money, Then Decide You’re a Fraud

Three weeks after I signed up for the first time, GoDaddy suddenly decided I was suspicious, and required that I verify my info. The system had flagged me as a fraudulent user.

Other hosts do this too, but it happens immediately after signup. Your account doesn’t get activated until you provide your ID. GoDaddy suddenly remembered to do this three weeks after I had signed up, when I was no longer actively checking my control panel – so I missed the notice.

And then they CANCELLED MY ACCOUNT.

I lost everything I already had going and had to sign up again, starting completely from scratch.

As far as I’m concerned, this is ridiculously bad service. I lost time, I lost my work, and if I hadn’t thought to take my own screenshot, I would never have been able to connect my domain name to my hosting account.

It Got Better on the WordPress Hosting Plan

At least installing WordPress was easy – and on the WordPress hosting plan it was ridiculously easy. So easy, it almost seemed too good to be true! There’s an installation wizard that takes you through the whole process, including choosing a theme, so it’s 100% beginner-friendly. It takes about five minutes from start to finish – and if you haven’t got a domain yet, WordPress will be installed on a temporary domain so you can get started right away.

GoDaddy WordPress installation
The installation wizard for WordPress is fool-proof!
4.0

Performance

A Tale of Two Very Different Hosting Plans

For every host I test, I set up a test website with all the usual WordPress bells and whistles. I want it to be as close an approximation as possible of an average working website. I also always ask tech support if they can recommend (or perform) any website optimizations that might help speed things up, to give the host every chance to make a good first impression. I did this twice – once for the standard shared hosting plan, and again for the WordPress hosting plan. Looking at the results, you’d think that I’d tested two completely different hosts!

Performance on the Standard Shared Hosting Did Not Impress!

GoDaddy’s support agent recommended installing the WP Smush plugin, which compresses images in WordPress without sacrificing much in the way of quality. It was a decent suggestion, but it was also the only suggestion.

The average complete page load time for my first GoDaddy-hosted website was a ghastly 2.94 seconds, and the average global (not complete) page load was 4.160s. Ideally, you want loading times to be under 2 seconds. At least the uptime reached a solid 99.974%.

Ugh. Horrible speeds. Truly.

GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting is Faster… But Less Reliable!

I had high hopes for GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting’s performance. I mean, it uses SSD, for starters, and it’s supposed to be optimized for WordPress. I ran lots of tests, though, and the results were kind of inconsistent.

The average complete page load time for the website hosted on GoDaddy’s WordPress Ultimate plan was an okay (but not brilliant) 1.78 seconds. The fastest was 1.1 seconds and the slowest was 3.2 seconds. Like I said… inconsistent. The uptime, however, was not such a great story. An average of 99.159% is simply awful.

Okay, I’m going into the rest of the grisly details now, but if you’d rather spare yourself the hosting-geek agony, skip ahead to the Support section now. Let me just warn you – that’s a whole different kind of agony.

There are three data centers to choose from, but GoDaddy is so secretive about their locations that you won’t even have any idea where it’s supposed to perform well. You’re just given a choice between “North America,” “Europe,” and “Asia.” Most other hosts go to great lengths to explain the exact geographic locations of their data centers, complete with pictures and details.

As for the tests, GTmetrix is my preferred tool for measuring complete page load times. Then, Sucuri gives me the average global loading times from around the world, and UptimeRobot checks to make sure my site is staying up.

Good robot.

GTmetrix

Standard Shared Hosting

The fastest complete page load time of 2.2 seconds is well over the recommended maximum of 2s. Never mind the 2.94s average, or the whopping 5s slowest loading time.

GoDaddy’s fastest speed is most hosts’ slowest speed, and the slowest speed is so bad that any visitor that encounters it will immediately jump ship. The average, actually, is also pretty horrible, as two-thirds of your visitors will most likely immediately bounce back to Google.

The most amazing thing is that a GoDaddy agent told me that 2.2s is really the fastest speed the service is capable of. I found that to be an unintentionally hilarious confession.

GoDaddy GTmetrix test results

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting

The fastest complete page loading speed of 1.1 seconds is decent – but, unfortunately, it didn’t last. The wild range of page loading speeds for my test website really bothered me. Sure the average stayed under the magical 2 seconds – but 3.2 seconds is going to send visitors bouncing right back to Google – just like with the standard shared hosting. I did expect better!

GoDaddy page loading speeds WordPress hosting
I wish GoDaddy would be more consistent with its speed!

Sucuri

Standard Shared Hosting

When the fastest average global loading time (3.833 seconds) is nearly as slow as the slowest loading time (4.504s), it’s just bad performance no matter where you are in the world. I mean, the average-average of 4.160s is a bit more than double the recommended page load time.

These results are just nasty, and they’re some of the better results:

GoDaddy Sucuri test results
Moses, meet the Red Sea of Slowness.

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting

Because I chose the Europe server for my test website, it’s no surprise that the page loading speed for Europe is pretty impressive here. Even the global page loading speed average is little more than 1 second. This did give me a little hope… although why it took over 4 seconds to load in Los Angeles, USA, I have no idea!

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Sucuri Test
This is better, but there is still too much red!

UptimeRobot

Standard Shared Hosting

Uptime reached 99.974% over four months. That’s not bad, but there were constant drops in availability, around 3-4 minutes each time, every week or two. This is a bad sign, as most other hosts we tested had maybe 3-4 periods of unavailability during the entire testing time.

GoDaddy had almost two dozen.

GoDaddy UptimeRobot test results
Well, that could have gone worse.

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting

If you thought that the multiple lots of downtime for standard shared hosting from GoDaddy was bad, well you ain’t seen nothing yet! After such a good start in the performance stakes, what I saw when I logged onto UptimeRobot to check on the uptime of my test website on the WordPress plan was really shocking. I mean, even on the standard shared hosting, GoDaddy got to 99,95%.

Admittedly, my test website for the WordPress hosting website was shorter, but over an almost two-week period, there were forty periods of downtime, most lasting 1-2 minutes – but one lasting a whopping 43 minutes. That’s your monthly ‘allowance’ of downtime with a 99.9% uptime guarantee gone in one period of downtime!

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting UptimeRobot
This amount of downtime in less than two weeks is shocking!

There is a 99.9% uptime guarantee, supposedly, but it’s not a very good one – all you get as compensation is a 5% credit of your monthly fee, which you can only use to purchase additional services from GoDaddy. Also, this guarantee does not apply to a long list of circumstances, from “scheduled maintenance” to “causes beyond our control.” In other words, don’t count on it. 

3.5

Support

I had a mixed experience with GoDaddy’s support. It is not the only hosting service to outsource their support to a faraway location (even good web hosting companies, like InterSever and A2 Hosting, are guilty of that), but GoDaddy’s support is a catastrophe of epic proportions.

Supposedly, it’s a live chat service (“manned by experts”), available 24/7. In reality, it’s rarely available within a reasonable time, and sometimes it isn’t available at all. Just about every time it was available to me, the agent was less-than-helpful.

There’s also phone support, but I can’t rate it much higher.

Wondering what was so bad? For starters, the agents barely know English, and they don’t seem to understand how their company works. They don’t know what services are available, or what the differences between them are. They don’t understand how web hosting works. They don’t even understand how ridiculous it is to admit that GoDaddy’s horrible performance is the best it can get.

The agents I spoke to ran me in circles, and often disconnected or just stopped answering me. When they disconnect, you’re back to the queue again, and nothing is saved from your previous interactions. You have to explain it all again – usually, only to be disconnected again.

There’s no way to track ongoing issues or to deal with major problems – it’s mostly you versus a loading screen.

My presale chat interaction involved the agent lying to me to about how great the service is, mostly by copy-pasting paragraph after paragraph from her prepared answer sheet. She didn’t even always copy-paste correctly.

I was trying to understand the difference between the plans, but she didn’t know. At first, she said some plans include SSL certificates, but then said only the highest-tier plans do. She didn’t know which plans supported WordPress or why I should choose one plan over another. I had to waste almost an hour on this completely useless support interaction.

an unhelpful chat conversation
And it didn’t get better from there.

When I wanted help with installing WordPress, I asked tech support for exactly that.

The agent replied, “How can I help you?”

I repeated myself. “Can you help me install WordPress?”

The agent asked what issue I was having.

I said, once again, that I wanted to install WordPress.

This playful back and forth continued for some time, until I was told to go use Installatron.

I then asked for help with connecting my domain, and the agent assured me multiple times that it was already connected. It really wasn’t, as domains don’t magically connect, and mine wasn’t even registered with GoDaddy.

This is exactly where a good support agent runs a DNS propagation test to understand where the domain is pointed at. GoDaddy’s support agent, however, just lied to me. Throughout this entire conversation, I spent long periods of time just staring at my screen, not getting any kind of answer.

If I’m being kind, the agent was probably juggling 40 other conversations. Or eating peanuts. You never know.

I managed to get him to give me the nameserver details so I could connect my domain, and we parted ways. They ended up being the wrong nameservers, and didn’t work at all. I had to resort to doing things myself.

When I wanted to ask for help with installing my theme and configuring WP, the live chat was unavailable for at least a few hours, so I just gave up.

When I sent a message later to request help with optimizing my site, the funniest thing happened. I got to speak with multiple agents, a message or two at a time, before they were all mysteriously disconnected. The agent I did talk with at the end recommended that I install WP Smush. Not bad advice, actually.

Still, my page loading time was a sluggish 2.2s.

I sarcastically asked if that was the best GoDaddy could do, but the agent told me happily: “Yes correct that the mx speed it can achieve!”

Well, when an agent tells you that terrible speeds are the best a host can do, who are you to question that?

The maximum GoDaddy speed, apparently
I’ve left many chat screenshots out of this article, for all our sakes.

When I contacted support about an issue with my website on the WordPress hosting plan, the agent wasn’t quite as bad. But the experience was… disconcerting. Why? Because I asked a simple question but was given a bizarrely complicated answer. Let me explain.

When you use the installation wizard to set up WordPress, you don’t set a password yourself. There’s a handy link in your account dashboard that takes you straight to your WordPress admin area. Perfect. Except then I did something (can’t remember what) and suddenly that link wasn’t working anymore and I couldn’t log in to WordPress. I got through to support (by some kind of miracle) really quickly, but then the agent gave me the most bizarre answer to the question “how do I reset my password?”

GoDaddy support live chat
I mean, that would work – but there are simpler methods!

If you’ve experienced WordPress before, you’re familiar with the ‘forgot password’ link on the login page. This link enables you to reset your password effortlessly. Yet, with GoDaddy, I was required to navigate the database, a step that felt excessive to merely eliminate some unwanted elements – almost like resorting to setting your own house on fire! However, in the midst of uncontrollable laughter, as I paused for a moment, the support representative cordially stepped in to address the issue on my behalf, furnishing me with a new password. The encounter was a blend of excellence and oddity; nonetheless, it showcased his commendable assistance!

3.5

Pricing

Decent Value, but You Can Find Better Pricing Elsewhere

GoDaddy offers four shared hosting plans and three WordPress hosting plans: Basic, Deluxe, and Ultimate. With the exception of the Economy tier, the shared hosting plans allow you to have up to 50 websites (depending on the plan). In contrast, not one of the WordPress hosting plans allow for more than 1 website.

The Basic plan includes weekly backups while the two higher-level plans give you daily backups. The two upper-level plans also include the free Cloudflare CDN. All offer unlimited bandwidth, free SSL, a free domain for a year (that renews at an extremely high rate,) and pre-installed WordPress. Only the top-tier plan can support WooCommerce.

GoDaddy advertises “managed” WordPress, but in my experience, it’s closer to “semi” managed. There are some tasks you end up doing on your own that other managed hosting providers do for you.

GoDaddy’s money-back guarantee is a bit complex. You have 30 days to ask for a refund if you buy an annual plan. If you choose a monthly plan, you only have 48 hours. You also have to be careful about some of the “free for the first year” features, such as Microsoft 365 email. They automatically renew at the end of that year, with only a single email to alert you. Miss it, and you’re on the hook for the full price of the product.

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By comparison, Hostinger offers you a much better deal, all the way around. Its plans are cheaper, its features better, and its service is superior.

A free domain name is included with some hosting plans from GoDaddy Hosting

Comparison

How does GoDaddy Hosting match up to the competition?

KamateraCompareOur Score4.8Compare
Liquid WebCompareOur Score4.8Compare
GoDaddy HostingCompareOur Score4.0Compare
Tailor Made ServersCompareOur Score2.9Compare

GoDaddy Hosting REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

I’ll say it again: Don’t use GoDaddy’s basic shared hosting plans. The domain registration service is decent, the brand is popular, and even non-techies are familiar with it. But… the basic hosting services are a huge waste of money. 

While the WordPress plans are better, they’re too expensive for what you get. Hostinger’s WordPress plans offer much faster loading speed, near-perfect uptime, and lower prices, not to mention a free domain name, email addresses, a backup solution, and more. 

If you have the budget to spare, I recommend you check out Liquid Web – one of the best premium hosts available today. 

FAQ

Is GoDaddy any good for hosting?

Our testing found GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting returned a dismal 99.1% uptime reliability. On top of that, our load speeds were between 1.1 and 3.2 seconds. The average acceptable loading speed of our top two “budget” hosts is 0.8 seconds, with an uptime of 100%. You can do much better than GoDaddy and for much less money, too.

How beginner-friendly is GoDaddy?

WordPress itself is fairly beginner-friendly. However, GoDaddy is not a beginner-friendly platform to work with. If you can get through setting up your account and connecting your domain to where you actually get to use WordPress, you should be fine.

Is GoDaddy good for e-commerce?

There are better options. The high cost of the Ultimate plan to build your store on will have you out a lot of money before you can make a first sale. The poor reliability could cost you customers and sales, as well.

What hosting provider is better than GoDaddy?

Although GoDaddy’s WordPress plans are decent, I don’t think they’re worth your time and money, especially with how many superior services are available. I recommend you check out our list of the 10 best web hosts in 2024. Any of them would be a better choice than GoDaddy.
Suzanne Stewart Suzanne Stewart
Suzanne has been a freelance writer and editor for 31 years, and has been writing online content since 2008. She holds professional certifications in editing and SEO strategy. She’s often been in the same desk chair as our Website Planet readers, needing to know what’s best and what’s best avoided. When she’s not testing and reviewing vendors, Suz is a professional artist as well as a volunteer therapy musician, playing the Celtic lap harp. She is a nature-lover who is often found walking the hiking trails near her home. She also enjoys time with her family, her grandchildren, and two cats.
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Migrated my account. Restored old data. Site destroyed.

Godaddy migrated my shared hosting from a legacy service to a new cpanel service. I called in and reviewed site. Told them it was old. They looked at my current site and said I was not going to be migrated. Week later they uploaded the old data..

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PlayJudo, USA
January 20, 2022
1
GoDaddy Hosting Review

All my blogs are with godaddy windows hosting, recently i purchased a new hosting plan. Got a free domain with big discount on economy hosting. my suggestion is need to add more features, like others hosting companies are offering.

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charan, USA
December 22, 2016
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