I’ve consulted countless clients, and developed many websites and online platforms on many third party hosting interfaces. Through my years of experience the hosting company GoDaddy has proven to consistently be the worst I’ve ever seen.
Because so many people buy into their admittedly superior marketing campaigns (let’s face it Danika Patrick is hot), I felt compelled to create a site that laid it out for users before they buy. This site is not intended to be a hate site against GoDaddy, nor should be interpreted that way. For example, GoDaddy DOES have excellent domain name management services, cheap prices on domains, and quick DNS change times. Their hosting on the other hand has been and is lacking.
Below I’ll lay out specifically what their current issues are.
Non-intuitive hosting interface - GoDaddy has one of the most convoluted ‘spaghetti’ interfaces on the market. Compared to the popular and proven open source Cpanel interface, GoDaddy has a proprietary interface that was clearly built as they went. It is riddled with buttons and areas and your specific interface can change depending on what products/services you have with them. It also changes quite a bit when they ‘update/upgrade’ it. Additionally, after a few clicks you’ll usually find you have multiple windows open, again making for a very non-user friendly way to navigate, as now you are flipping back and forth between windows, versus navigating on one page.
Database and FTP account creation goes into a ‘setup’ mode - Unlike Cpanel and other common hosting companies that offer it, when you create a database or FTP account with GoDaddy it DOES NOT get created, it goes into a “Pending” status. With Cpanel this process may literally take 1-3 seconds after you click ‘create’. With GoDaddy I’ve had this process take up to half a day. Sad part is, the reason GoDaddy is plagued with this is because of how their entire hosting platform is setup. They basically painted themselves in a corner early on and to change this would equate to a major expensive overhaul of their entire system.
They have to ensure that the database’s name and username are unique across their entire system. If not, then after waiting half a day they come back and tell you to do it over. If this happens it can literally take you over 12 hours to accomplish something that should take less than 3 seconds. When time is money, this is totally unacceptable. Just think of the nightmare if you have multiple databases to setup :o
Database username and database name are the same - Furthermore, when you create a database you do not get the option to make the username and database name different. By design they will be and must be the same on GoDaddy - no so anywhere else. This is not as secure as it could be, as if someone gets one of these values, they also get the other.
They require ridiculous usernames and passwords - While done in the name of security, and while it is very important to have unique passwords and usernames, their requirements of capital letters, number of characters and symbols etc... makes the password creation process a multiple step trial and error effort. I feel the user should have free reign over what this value is, but even so, this could all be fixed by GoDaddy with a simple password generator tool, standard everywhere else.
Support’s number one phrase “refer to programmer” - GoDaddy’s support is indeed very nice and friendly, however they do not appear to be very well trained service reps. If you have an issue their first task is to confirm that all their systems are working as expected. If this is the case they typically do not help you. If your issue is the result of a developer doing work or something you did, they wash their hands of the issue, again claiming everything on their end they have control over is fine and they can not account or vouch for the work of third parties.
While this logic indeed makes sense, compared to other support departments in the industry there is simply no excuse.
True Story: I developed a Drupal platform for a customer on my development server. The client had a GoDaddy hosting account that the site would be transferred to. When transferred the site on all pages but the first page kept coming back with “500 Internal Server Error”. In case it isn’t clear enough the error tells you where the issue is - internally in the server - i.e. on GoDaddy’s end. I spoke and argued with GoDaddy support for 4 hours that the issue was on their end, and this platform I built works fine on other servers. They insisted that the issue was on my end and I was responsible to fix it. Either way they offered no solutions.
I had configured my client’s website to have friendly URL’s, meaning no special characters in the url. This is a very common practice to make one’s site more visible to search engines. Turns out that GoDaddy’s servers weren’t (and still aren’t as of 7-14-11) configured correctly to handle this feature. This was baffling to me as they are the only company I’ve found that can’t handle this. So at the end of the day they wasted 4 hours of my time and the clients money, lied to both of us as to where the problem existed and because of this my client had to accept a degraded website in terms of Search Engine Optimization because I had to turn OFF friendly URL’s in order for the site to function on GoDaddy’s system.
Lies + waste of time and money + degraded website = GoDaddy
Granted, I’m not saying that any support staff was maliciously trying to lie to us, however we did go through many levels of support and every time the story was the same. This illustrates that the incompetence of their support department sadly extends well into upper management. They were all equally ignorant and at the end of the day said nothing that was true.
Session times out quickly - This is a minor one, but still annoying. If logged into your hosting account you’d better be like a shark and always be moving. Don’t make edits to your file while in the backend. If and when the short session timeout limit hits you loose all your work and are required to log back in.
The reason I convey all of this is because solid hosting is like the foundation of a home. Any weakness or issues directly transcend and cascade into other limitations and future problems. Hosting in today’s world is far too cheap and abundant to settle for this.
I truly hope one day I can take this site down, but until things change with GoDaddy I feel compelled to warn others :o
By the way, you want to know who is on the opposite end of the spectrum and is the BEST hosting company out there? Click here
to find out ;)