The history of GoDaddy dates back to 1997 when it was launched by Bob Parsons. Today, the group is the proud registrar of more than 46 million domain names, the reviewed web host being the flagship company of the group. The other groups included in the company are Wild West domains Inc., Domains by Proxy, Starfield Technologies, and Blue Razor Domains.
GoDaddy is the biggest domain name registrar in the world. It is ICANN-accredited and offers its products at 70% less compared with its competitors. On top of this it also has a world-class customer service that is ready to support the customers 24 x 7. The company has been able to outperform its competitors because of its innovative approach to online business, i.e. instead of outsourcing their support operations, they develop their technology in-house. This enables them to offer cutting-edge technology products that are not only cost-effective but are also backed up by superior customer support.
Despite the fact that the company is mainly a domain name registrar, there is quite a range of products offered by the company. These include web hosting, web development tools, secure SSL certificates, personalized e-mail solutions with spam protection and anti-phishing filtering, e-commerce solutions and a whole lot more.
GoDaddy has received plenty of accolades and awards. They were ranked #8 on the 2004 Inc. 500 list of the United States fastest-growing privately held companies. On the 2005 Deloitte technology fast 500 growing companies, they were ranked #20. They were also bestowed with the CNET editor's choice award in 2001. For the period 2002 to 2005, they remained the consistent recipient of the Name Intelligence Largest Net Gain Award. In 2003, they were awarded the #1 Best Overall Registrar Award as well as the Arizona Corporate Excellence Award for fastest-growing privately-held company. Whereas in the year 2004 and 2005, they received the Most Innovative Large-Company award and the Name Intelligence Users' Choice Award respectively.
Disclaimer: The editorial review of GoDaddy may not be reflective of its current ranking on WHL. The quality of the host may have improved or deteriorated since it was reviewed. To find out the latest user ratings and reviews, please read GoDaddy user ratings and reviews.
Why Choose Godaddy?
(1) Guaranteed Renewal Price
This is one of the best things about the company that distinguishes it from the other major web hosting companies. When you register a new domain name with them, you pay a price prevalent at that time. They promise that some years down the line, when you renew the domain name with them, the registration price will remain the same as when you initially registered the domain with them. The only exceptions are if the price of the registry increases for them, or if the domain was purchased at a limited time promotional price. In case the registration price increases, you're guaranteed that yours would also increase by the same percentage as theirs.
(2) Guaranteed Money-Back in Case of Transfer Failure
In order to ensure that your domain transfer to GoDaddy does not fail, they have two mechanisms in place. Firstly, their Rapid Transfer System saves time and eliminates errors by automatically extracting the critical information. Secondly, their Transfer Concierge team has been trained to the highest standards and they are dedicated and available to assist the customers 24 x 7. Even so, the company is fully aware that your domain transfer to them may occasionally fail for any reason, no matter how hard they try to avoid it. For example, your former registrar may refuse to release the domain in order to continue to make money on it, although it is illegal to refuse your transfer request. They realize that you paid your money expecting that the transfer will take place. And in case this does not happen, independent of whose fault it is, they will contact you and refund your money, no questions asked.
(3) More Free Services with Your Domain Name Purchase
GoDaddy wants its customers to get the most out of their domain name ownership. That is why, they provide them with a number of services free with every domain name plan. These include a Photo Album, Site Builder, a Personalized E-Mail Account, "For Sale" Page, Parked Page, Domain Forwarding and Masking, 100-Pack Email Forwarding, Getting Started Guide, Total DNS Control, Change of Registration, Status Alerts, and Domain Locking.
(4) Unbeatable Prices
The company's lowest prices are not applicable to domain names only, instead they extend to every single thing that they develop in-house. This includes web hosting plans, spam-protected e-mail accounts, domain services, utility software and a whole lot more. Plus, they're constantly in the process of developing more and more ways to improve the experience of their customers whether it's domain ownership, Internet experience or PC experience in general.
(5) The Best Customer Support
The company takes pride in the quality of its customer support service. They know that their customers deserve the best, and they won't settle for anything that compromises that. They are available to address the needs of their customers by a variety of communication media including phone, web board, live chat, or e-mail 24 x 7.
(6) Fast Bulk Domain Transfer and Registration Tools
GoDaddy's Rapid Transfer System and Concierge support backed by their extremely low prices and intuitive tools make bulk domain transfers and registrations a breeze.
(7) Affordable Web Hosting Plans
The company hosts the websites of its customers in its privately owned secure servers as opposed to lots of major competitor companies who outsource their hosting in order to save on their bills. The result is that when a customer calls them, they know exactly what they need to do in order to resolve the issue instead of calling someone else to help with the customer's query.
(8) Fast Domain Name Search and Management
GoDaddy wants to make the job of managing domain names extremely easy for its customers, which is reflected by their offer of domain name search and portfolio management tools included with every domain name purchase. After the domain names have been registered with or transferred to them, all the customer needs to do is log into "My Domains" and select a single domain name or multiple domain names in bulk to modify. When additional services are added to the selections or some other changes are needed, they are applied instantly with no loss time.
(9) Staunch Protection of Customer Privacy
The company does what it takes to protect the privacy of its customers and ensure that their data is not mined in any way. This is not true of some of their competitors who are happy to sell the client's information to anyone for a price. They pledge that this information will not be sold to third parties unless they are legally required to do so. The customers must also keep in mind that the information present in the whois database can be accessed by the general public unless it is protected by means of privacy tools provided by the company.
(10) Valuable Software and Innovative Services
In order to ensure that their customers make the most of their domain ownership, the company offers Private "unlisted" Registrations, Web Site Builders, Search Engine Visibility (search engine registration), Quick Shopping Cart®, Quick Blogcast™, Hosting and Servers, Email, and much more.
Website Administration - Control Panel
Majority of the web hosting companies that cost more or less equal to GoDaddy offer the CPanel control panel which is the most widely used for Linux-based hosting. The reviewed web host breaks this norm by offering a custom control panel with functionality very similar to CPanel. The control panel is referred to as the "Hosting Control Center". By doing so, they are able to pass on the savings to the clients. The dedicated servers and virtual dedicated servers offered by them do not include CPanel by default, on the contrary the control panel included with these hosting platforms is Plesk. However CPanel can always be purchased for an additional price with a dedicated or virtual dedicated server.
The Hosting Control Center is very user-friendly and offers the administrator complete and flexible control over all aspects of web hosting. It contains four main sections namely "Your Files", "Your Application", "Your Domains", and "Your Email". Furthermore, there are six other menus namely "Account Summary", "Content", "Databases", "Statistics", and "Help". These menus can be used to set up databases and e-mail accounts, as well as to manage FrontPage extensions, FTP users, SSL, and a whole lot more. The editor tried installing a WordPress application by clicking on the "Your Applications" button. The entire process was step-by-step and very easy to follow and the configuration and installation took only a few minutes. However, the database creation part took a couple of minutes to complete. Overall, the control panel offered by them is a nice alternative to CPanel.
Features vs. Cost Analysis
The company offers a variety of hosting solutions such as shared hosting, virtual dedicated hosting, dedicated hosting etc. However, this review will discuss only the shared hosting plans in detail. The most popular Linux-based shared hosting plan offered by them is referred to as Deluxe 4GH and is priced at $6.99 per month with a one-year contract. The plan offers 150 GB space, unlimited websites and bandwidth, 500 e-mail accounts, 25 MySQL databases each of 1 GB size, as well as 50 FTP accounts. This plan can satisfy the needs of small as well as large websites and can be purchased for as low as $4.99 per month on a 3-year contract. The good thing about GoDaddy is that there is no difference between the price of Linux-based hosting and Windows-based hosting. Consequently, the customers can have the peace of mind that choosing the Windows operating system as the hosting platform will not negatively affect their costs.
Like other web hosting companies, GoDaddy also includes add-on applications in its hosting plan which can be installed with a single click. For example, blogging software such as WordPress and Drupal can be installed in an automated manner which makes it really hasslefree. Although a variety of scripting languages are also supported by them, these may not be present in all the plans that they offer. For example, Python, Ruby, Ruby on rails, Perl, and Java are not supported on the Linux Economy 4GH plan. ColdFusion can be purchased for an additional price of 2 dollars per month with at least a three month purchase. Overall, the set of features offered by the company and the prices that they charge are very competitive with the other hosting providers out there.
Customer Support Channels
The editor contacted the customer support department at GoDaddy at around 11 PM on Friday via telephone. After some straightforward selection prompts, he was connected to a representative within a few seconds. The editor was asked for his call-in pin which he made available to the support representative. The purpose of contacting them was twofold: a query regarding their terms of service and to find out whether the databases created from the editor's hosting account were hosted on the same server. The answers were prompt and came up to the expectations of the editor. The editor was really impressed with the speed of response and the knowledge level of the customer support representative. With the other hosting companies, it is possible to wait for many minutes on the telephone line before someone even becomes available. By contrast, their telephone support was not only responsive but also very much relevant to the questions asked by the customer.
GoDaddy does also have other support options available, including a form on their website which can be used to send e-mail to the support staff. I live chat option is also available and can be useful for users who are more comfortable with typing rather than speaking. In the editor's opinion, the telephone support was quick and it would be better to use this channel instead of sending an e-mail ticket or using live chat. However, it is really the choice of the customer to choose a particular support channel.
Speed & Reliability
GoDaddy owns multiple world-class data centers located in the US and Europe. All data centers are connected to multiple diverse upstream providers. The US-based data center also has a DWDM Ethernet Backbone which operates at 20 Gbps. The company maintains a full BGP peering with all providers. The data centers cover an area of 65,000 ft² with possibility to expand further. They are equipped with fully redundant (2N) UPS power systems as well as (N+1) air conditioning systems. Furthermore, advanced fire protection, suppression and detection systems have also been deployed in all the data centers. Their facility has two diverse paths to multiple power paths and network connectivity.
The data centers are also equipped with a fully integrated monitoring system for all critical building, server and network systems. They also use state-of-the-art security technology along with 24x7 security staff on-site as well as for their network operations center. On top of this, the best-of-breed equipment used by them for routers, firewalls and servers give you the peace of mind that your site will remain online on a continual basis. Their network is 100% redundant and there are 24x7 dedicated prevention systems to ensure network perimeter remains secure. They also provide automatic scanning for virus detection in e-mails which gives customers complete protection against such threats.
The backup, restore and disaster recovery systems deployed at GoDaddy are also enterprise class thereby ensuring comprehensive protection for your data. You can perform full as well as incremental backups of your data, but there is also an off-site retention facility for storing the backup data. However, this comes included only as part of the web hosting plans and does not include dedicated or VPS plans for which a separate purchase is required. As regards OS and Application Management, the company utilizes hardened operating system builds as well as host-based security for its hosting plans. Apart from this, a vigorous patch management strategy is also followed for all hosting plans in which the relevant critical patches are downloaded and installed on a regular basis. Furthermore, an in-depth 24x7 monitoring helps ensure that their systems continue to remain secure.
GoDaddy is an excellent choice for novices as well as professionals who are looking for a solid company with a strong reputation of providing quality hosting services for a long time. They have been in business for the last 15 years which alone is a testimony that they are not a fly-by-night business and will continue to serve the online community for many many more years to come. Although their primary reputation is as a domain name registration company, the web hosting plans that they have started offering for the last couple of years are also not only competitive in terms of price but also jampacked with features. Sign up today!
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