GoDaddy Review: Web Hosting
|Sign up for GoDaddy|
|Easy for beginners but very limited; a lack of blog and shopping cart are disappointing|
GoDaddy has made itself popular with its too-hot-for-TV Superbowl ads and sports personality spokespeople, making it the rock star of web hosts. It's an excess that spills over into the site's dizzying array of options, so many options that it was difficult to find one that would match the same criteria as other web hosts we reviewed. The most basic web host plan lacks a site-builder, which we see as a standard feature. On the other hand, the most basic plan with a sitebuilder, the Website Builder plan that we review here, doesn't allow you to upload (or FTP) a site that you've created offline.
The Website Builder plan costs $3.99 per month for one year, but domain privacy (which we recommend on any domain registration) is an additional $9.95 per year. Website Builder includes the first year's domain registration for free, but after that you'll pay $9.99 per year.
GoDaddy offers a pro-rated refund policy. As usual, domain names are not refunded.
Website Builder gave us a ten-page site, which we built with a very nice WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. It really is one of the nicest you'll find and has some great bonus features such as the ability to add animated intros with sound. However, a ten-page site is rather limiting, particularly when a blog is not included as a standard feature. You get 1GB of storage and 150GB of bandwidth. These are fairly low in general, but probably adequate for the ten-page site.
If you're willing to forego the site builder and create your page on your own, you can get the comparably priced Economy Hosting Plan. It offers more of the traditional web host offerings such as osCommerce and Zen Cart commerce solutions, and Wordpress for blogging. The Economy Hosting plan includes 10GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth, as well as a few more advanced features.
One downside of GoDaddy's Website Builder is that, as a service geared only for beginners, it completely lacks advanced features. Website Builder does not provide users with access to MySQL databases, and the service does not support scripting in any language. Users are restricted to one email address and one domain name with the basic package, and do not get shell access (SSH).
Website Builder is fairly easy to use, and we really like their templates. As long as you're only looking for a smooth, easy way to build a small site, you should find the product very user-friendly. However, if you need additional features, Website Builder may be very frustrating and limited.
Because GoDaddy's offering is a bit different our download speed and server response tests aren't truly applicable. We were able to look at its uptime. See the chart below for details. For uptime, higher percentages are better. For all others, lower numbers indicate better performance.
GoDaddy Web Hosting test data:
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