GoDaddy Review: Is This Popular Web Host Worth Your While?

GoDaddy Review: Is This Popular Web Host Worth Your While?


  • Ability to choose data centers in a variety of locations to improve your site speed for your target audience
  • Excellent server performance
  • Wide variety of plans to choose from so you can upgrade as your site grows
  • Top-notch phone support, including text support


  • Introductory prices are higher than many competitors’ costs
  • The basic shared plan doesn’t include SSL certification
  • Firewall protection isn’t included with shared or WordPress hosting plans
  • Customer support can be aggressive with upsells

If you’re looking for web hosting, you’ve probably heard of GoDaddy. It’s the biggest web hosting company in the world, powering 15.6% of all websites.

However, popularity doesn’t necessarily equal quality. So I tested and reviewed GoDaddy in several key areas: plans and pricing; ease of use; security; performance; and customer service. I used our system for testing web hosting reviews to complete these assessments and rank the quality of GoDaddy’s web hosting services.

Overall, I found working with GoDaddy relatively simple, and the server performance and customer support exceeded my expectations, proving GoDaddy to be a decent host for hobby blogs and simple websites. However, GoDaddy charges relatively high prices and relies on add-ons for crucial security features. I also found many complaints about GoDaddy regarding more complex support needs, so it may not be ideal for complicated websites.

GoDaddy plans and pricing

GoDaddy offers a variety of web hosting types:

  • Shared hosting
  • WordPress hosting
  • Website builder hosting
  • VPS hosting

Shared hosting is typically the best option for first-time website creators, so I’ll provide a comprehensive overview of GoDaddy’s shared hosting plans and a brief analysis of the other options.

I’ve also compiled the most important information about GoDaddy’s hosting plans below:

Hosting type Best for Pricing
Shared hosting For-fun hobby sites, blogs and small business websites not using WordPress Starts at $6-$18 a month, renews at $10-$25 a month
WordPress hosting For-fun hobby sites, blogs and small business websites using WordPress Starts at $11-$18 a month, renews at $13-$23 a month
Website builder hosting Simple websites for hobbies, blogs and small businesses Starts at $11-$21 a month, renews at $13-$27 a month
VPS hosting Medium-to-large business websites and other websites with advanced data and/or some server customization needs Starts at $9-$230 a month for unmanaged and $99-$320 a month for managed; unmanaged renews at $15-$340 a month and managed renews at $102-$430 a month

Shared hosting

Shared hosting divides a server’s resources, such as bandwidth and processing power, so they’re shared between hundreds of websites. This limits the amount of data, like images and text, your site can store and the number of visitors it can accommodate, while keeping costs low for individual sites. This makes it ideal for blogs and small business websites.

GoDaddy’s shared hosting plans can be found under “Web Hosting” and are billed as Standard Performance plans. High Performance plans listed on this page are closer to virtual private server — VPS — hosting, with virtual central processing units or vCPUs and dedicated resources.

All Standard Performance shared hosting plans include:

  • Non-volatile Memory Express — NVMe — storage for enhanced speed
  • Free domain for first year
  • One free email address/inbox via cPanel
  • Free WordPress migration
  • Automated daily backups

There are also some notable differences between the plans:

Plan Storage Security features Suitable for Cost
Web Hosting Economy 25GB storage SSL certification for one year 1 website $6 a month to start, $10 a month on renewal
Web Hosting Deluxe 50GB storage Unlimited SSL for all websites 10 websites $8 a month to start, $14 a month on renewal
Web Hosting Ultimate 75GB storage Unlimited SSL for all websites 25 websites $13 a month to start, $18 a month on renewal
Web Hosting Maximum 100GB storage Unlimited SSL for all websites 50 websites $18 a month to start, $25 a month on renewal

All the prices listed here are based on purchasing a three-year plan.

WordPress hosting

WordPress hosting from GoDaddy is shared hosting optimized for WordPress, a popular content management system — CMS — for creating, maintaining and organizing content like blog posts and landing pages. These plans come with WordPress preinstalled and the highest-tier plan also features advanced WordPress tools like a plugin manager.

GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting plans also include key security features you won’t get with regular shared hosting: a firewall and malware scanning/removal. This makes WordPress hosting seem like the natural choice for anyone who isn’t dead set on another CMS — but there’s a catch. According to customer service, these are “one-time only.” GoDaddy will catch or fix only the first malware issue your site encounters. After that, you’ll have to buy a security subscription.

The lowest-tier WordPress plan from GoDaddy starts at $11 a month and rises to $13 a month on renewal, while the highest-tier plan starts at $18 a month and rises to $23 a month on renewal. These prices are based on purchasing a one-year plan.

Website builder hosting

GoDaddy offers a website builder that lets you see your changes in real time while editing your site. You can use the website builder itself for free, but if you want to create a website with your own domain, you’ll need to buy a website builder plan.

GoDaddy’s most affordable website builder plan starts at $11 a month and rises to $13 a month on renewal. The most expensive website builder plan starts at $13 a month and rises to $27 a month on renewal.

VPS hosting

VPS hosting involves several virtual private servers being created on a single physical server. Each VPS has a vCPU — virtual central processing unit — and dedicated RAM, plus significant amounts of dedicated storage. This allows VPS sites to store thousands of large files, like high-resolution images, and accommodate several hundred thousand monthly visitors.

GoDaddy offers both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting. The unmanaged plans are reasonably priced, with the lowest-tier option starting at $9 a month and the highest-tier option starting at $230 a month. Managed plans are far more expensive, with the lowest-tier plan starting at $99 a month and the highest-tier plan starting at $320 a month.

Ease of use: Mostly simple, with a few caveats

After taking a close look at GoDaddy’s plans, the next step in my GoDaddy review was testing the following processes: purchase/checkout, account management and website and server management.

Purchase process

GoDaddy’s purchase process is pretty involved. A Cart box appears on the right side of the screen when you select a plan, complete with our first red flag: You’re automatically signed up for a free trial of Microsoft 365 Email Essentials, complete with an auto-renew.

GoDaddy has a pretty complicated purchase process for websites and domains.

Screenshot by CNET

Secure socket layer — SSL — certification is also separate. It’s free up front, but renewing it costs $99.99 a year. SSL certification is essential for protecting your data, including any personal data customers send you. It’s so essential that some browsers and VPNs mark sites without it as unsafe, and most web hosts include it as a permanently free feature on all plans. The only other host I know of that charges for SSL certification after the first year is Bluehost, which charges $89.99 per year on the Basic shared hosting plan.

I also dislike how the renewal pricing is displayed here. You can see the standard price, but it’s crossed out with an “On Sale” notice. There’s no indication that you’ll be paying that price when your plan renews. This doesn’t technically make it harder to sign up, but the lack of transparency could cause sticker shock when renewal time comes around.

There are more red flags on the actual shopping cart page in the form of recommended add-ons:

GoDaddy web hosting has lots of add-ons that it recommends.

Screenshot by CNET

Security tools and SSL setup sound great. In fact, they’re essential — which is why they’ll probably be bundled into your hosting plan if you buy it elsewhere. Malware scanning might not be included, but other popular hosts, like HostGator and A2 Hosting, include built-in firewalls and automatically set up your (free) SSL certificate for you, even on their lowest-cost plans.

Once you approve the items you’re purchasing — and add these features if you want them — you’ll be asked to create an account, then enter your billing details.

Overall, the GoDaddy purchase process is highly involved, with unnecessary steps and aggressive upsells for features other hosts offer for free. The whole experience is terrible when compared with the one-page checkout offered by HostGator and A2 Hosting — the latter of which doesn’t even try to sell you any add-ons.

Account management

Logging in to GoDaddy doesn’t automatically take you to your account management area. Instead, you need to click on your name at the top of the page to access account management. Many sites, including web hosts like HostGator, hold account information in this area, but the other web hosts I’ve tested so far, such as A2 Hosting, also direct you to your account dashboard as soon as you log in.

The My Products page is clearly laid out, allowing you to access and manage your domain, website and other products from one area.

GoDaddy lets you manage your domains and websites from the account management area.

Screenshot by CNET

The account and billing areas are also easy to navigate, allowing you to update the relevant information at any time.

Overall, account management is quite simple with GoDaddy.

Website and server management

The initial setup for my GoDaddy test site was remarkably intuitive. I clicked Setup and told GoDaddy a little bit about how I wanted to create my site, then had it build a WordPress site for me. The best part was getting to choose the data center where my site would be stored. Selecting the data center closest to your target audience can improve the site loading times they experience.

GoDaddy set up my site and sent me to a management area where it displayed several important facts about my site. The most notable fact was that the site had been attached to a random domain:

GoDaddy temporary random domain.

Screenshot by CNET

Thankfully, this was an easy fix. I clicked the Change link beside the Primary domain, selected my domain name, waited a few minutes and refreshed the page. From there, I could access my WordPress dashboard by clicking Edit Site.

GoDaddy’s WordPress is the basic CMS and one plugin: Limit Login Attempts. This plugin helps protect your site from brute-force attacks and is one I’ve installed on all my own sites, so I was happy to see it.

GoDaddy WordPress CMS.

Screenshot by CNET

From here, managing your site’s content is as simple as managing WordPress — but you still need to set up your SSL certificate. When I tried to do this, the domain page said my domain was already secured — but my site showed as insecure. I had to contact customer service to connect SSL certification to my account, then connect it to my domain from a separate SSL management area.

This might not seem like a big deal, but SSL certification is essential — Google uses it as a ranking factor, and many VPNs won’t let you load a site without SSL certification. Moreover, it protects your data, and your users’ data, which is particularly important if you’re accepting payments on your site.

So, while most of the GoDaddy site management experience is pretty smooth, it’s not perfect.

What about server management?

GoDaddy uses cPanel, the most common tool for things like database management. You can access the main admin area and several critical cPanel management tools via the menu on the right side of the GoDaddy site management page.

GoDaddy settings menu.

Screenshot by CNET

The cPanel loads more slowly than I’m used to, but otherwise everything looks how I expected. Once you’ve spent a few minutes exploring the navigation and learning about the various options listed, it’ll be easy to navigate — and there’s a good chance you won’t need to enter this area at all.

GoDaddy cPanel.

Screenshot by CNET

Overall ease of use

The purchase process for GoDaddy is unnecessarily complicated and involves aggressive upsells. Things are simpler once you’ve created an account, but you’ll have to jump through some annoying hoops to set up your SSL certificate.

Overall, I’m giving GoDaddy a 7.5/10 for ease of use.

GoDaddy performance: Top-notch servers

Next, I looked at three areas of site performance: performance tools, uptime and site speed.

Performance tools

The only performance tool you’ll get on GoDaddy’s basic shared hosting plans is the ability to choose the data center where your site is stored. This can improve site loading times for your target audience by allowing their browsers to pull data from a nearby location.

Some of GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting plans offer a content delivery network — CDN — to distribute your data across multiple data centers and improve loading speeds for international visitors. However, the most affordable of these plans starts at $16 a month and the Cloudflare CDN is free, so buying an advanced WordPress plan isn’t worthwhile unless you need its other features.


Uptime is how much time your site spends online. GoDaddy offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, meaning that server issues shouldn’t cause your website to go down for more than 10 minutes per week. This is important because any time your site is down, visitors may lose trust in your site and possibly go somewhere else, which can result in lost traffic and sales.

I used BetterStack to monitor uptime on my GoDaddy test site for one week to see if the servers live up to this guarantee. At the end of this week, I’m pleased to report that my GoDaddy site hasn’t gone down at all — not even for one minute. In other words, GoDaddy doesn’t just live up to its guarantee — it works better than promised.

Based on this data, GoDaddy gets a 10/10 ranking for uptime.

Site speed

Site speed, or how fast your site loads for viewers, is one of the most important factors in your site’s success. Think about your own usage — how many times have you left a site because it took more than a few seconds to load? Probably a lot — and your visitors will do the same. In fact, bounce rates increase by 32% if a site’s load time goes from one to three seconds.

I created a test site with two images and two text blocks to simulate a basic home page, then performed speed tests using WebPageTest across several days, all at different times of day. I also used devices in several locations around the world. This allowed me to get a broad idea of how people with different locations, time zones and schedules would experience my site.

I then used this data to create average site loading times — measured in seconds — for various locations, which I’ve displayed in the following table (lower is better; remember, the ideal time is under two seconds):

Location California London UK Germany India Dubai Australia
Mobile 2.16 2.51 2.6 3.28 3.12 2.81
Desktop 1.13 1.68 1.63 2.33 2.42 1.85

Based on this data, I came up with the following average loading speeds:

  • Mobile loading speed of 2.74 seconds
  • Desktop loading speed of 1.84 seconds
  • Overall average of 2.29 seconds

This data isn’t perfect — loading speeds vary based on devices and internet plans — but it gives a good idea of what users will experience in various locations if you’re using a US-based server. Average load times may change if you choose a data center in another location. Still, I’m confident that this gives a good representation of loading speed for most GoDaddy sites — and it earns GoDaddy a speed ranking of 8/10.

This is the best loading speed offered by any of the hosts I’ve tested so far, though the averages are all under three seconds. HostGator’s average loading time was 2.41 seconds, just a little bit slower. A2 Hosting was even slower, with an average of 2.55 seconds.

Overall performance ranking

GoDaddy provides impressive server performance, surpassing its 99.9% uptime guarantee and offering decent loading speeds in most regions. Overall, GoDaddy earned a 9/10 performance ranking during my tests.

How does this compare to other popular hosts? Well, it’s a lot better than HostGator, which experienced seven minutes of downtime during my week of testing and had poor loading speeds outside the US, earning it a mere 6/10 for performance. A2 Hosting’s uptime was on par with GoDaddy’s, but the loading speeds were somewhat slower, earning it an 8.5/10 in performance.

GoDaddy security: Where GoDaddy falls down

GoDaddy’s built-in security is terrible for shared hosting plans. You don’t get a firewall, DDoS protection or any other standard security measures other than SSL encryption — and even that’s limited to one year on the lowest-tier plan, after which you have to pay $99.99 for the service.

The WordPress hosting page says these plans come with a firewall, but there’s a catch: The firewall is only for one-time use. After the first time it detects and removes malware, you’ll be required to pay for an enhanced safety plan.

VPS hosting plans are the only GoDaddy plans with a built-in firewall suitable for ongoing use — and you have to configure it yourself.

This frankly feels extortionate, especially when compared with other hosting providers. For example:

  • HostGator includes SSL certification and firewall protection, including DDoS protection, with all shared hosting plans. Plans start at $3.75 a month — cheaper than the lowest-cost GoDaddy plan.
  • A2 Hosting includes SSL certification, firewall protection, DDoS protection, brute-force protection, virus scanning and server hardening with all shared hosting plans. These packages start at $2.99 a month.

Even DreamHost — a hosting company that gave me a lot of trouble — offers free SSL certification and a basic firewall with all shared hosting plans.

GoDaddy customer support: An overall positive experience

No review is complete without taking a look at customer service. I looked at three aspects of customer support: the knowledge base, direct communication and reputation.

Knowledge base

The GoDaddy knowledge base is easy to navigate, with a prominent search function and clear icons for commonly searched categories of content.

GoDaddy knowledge base help center.

Screenshot by CNET

Most tutorials use numbered lists and images to walk you through processes step-by-step. Some more-complex tasks also have video tutorials for people who prefer to learn that way — but there are also tutorials that only have video, which can be an accessibility issue for some folks.

In terms of the language used, GoDaddy’s knowledge base is mostly beginner-friendly, explaining more-advanced terms when they’re used. This is similar to what I’ve seen with other popular web hosts, like A2 Hosting and HostGator.

All in all, GoDaddy’s knowledge base gets a 9/10 ranking.

Direct communication

The first method of direct communication with GoDaddy I tried was live chat. I had to go through several automated prompts and wait an additional five minutes to speak to a person.

When I discussed my problem — a lack of SSL certification — they explained that it wasn’t available on the month-to-month plan originally being used for this review. They went on to pitch the Deluxe plan despite one year of free SSL certification being offered on the Web Hosting Economy plan.

When I said I needed to think about the upgrade, the customer service agent put the Deluxe plan in my cart for me to purchase later — without me asking them to do this. I felt like I was being bullied into buying more than I needed, but I did get prompt responses and had my issues “addressed” in a few minutes.

GoDaddy has text communication — something I haven’t seen with any other web host — so I tried that next. I received an AI response in a couple of minutes. The AI couldn’t address my question, so I was passed on to a human. I connected to a human and had my concerns addressed in about half an hour. And the best part? No attempted upsells.

I had a similar experience calling GoDaddy. An AI asked me to verify my account, then asked me to describe my problem. The machine sent me directly to a customer service agent who was professional and helpful, and he resolved my issue within five minutes. Again, this conversation was completed without any upsells.

Based on these experiences, I give GoDaddy’s support channels the following rankings:

  • Live chat — 6/10
  • Text — 9/10
  • Phone — 9/10

This earns GoDaddy an overall customer support ranking of 8/10.


I’ll be honest: I was surprised by how well GoDaddy performed in my customer support tests. I’ve seen a lot of horror stories in places like this Reddit thread. GoDaddy’s BBB profile also shows over 1,300 complaints in the past three years, with fewer than 500 of those complaints closed.

GoDaddy has a 4.7 out of 5 star ranking on Trustpilot, and only 8% of the more than 101,000 reviews give it one star, so there are many people having a good experience with GoDaddy’s hosting services — but the number of complaints makes me wary.

GoDaddy value

Now that we’ve developed a proper understanding of GoDaddy’s plans, features and customer support, there’s only one question left to ask: How does it compare to other hosts in terms of value?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the plans offered by three other popular web hosts:

Host Starting plan name Starting plan features Starting plan costs Additional notes
HostGator Web Hosting Economy 10GB storage, preinstalled WordPress and HostGator site assistant, unmetered bandwidth, SSL certificate, free domain for first year, email hosting for one account, firewall with DDoS protection Starts at $3.75 a month, renews at $10 a month Customer service is poor for advanced queries and issues, performance is mediocre
DreamHost Starter 50GB storage, free domain for first year, free SSL certificate, WordPress installer and website builder, automated WordPress updates, daily backups, ModSecurity Firewall Starts at $2.59 a month, renews at $6 a month (based on three-year term) Automated system frequently denies signups, live chat isn’t always available
A2 Hosting Startup 100GB storage, free SSL certificate, unlimited email accounts, free site migration, WordPress auto-install, WordPress auto-updates, security tools suite Starts at $3 a month, renews at $13 a month (based on one-year term) Phone customer service can be slow

Let’s break this down a bit:

  • HostGator, Dreamhost and A2 Hosting all offer better security features for shared hosting plans, including perma-free SSL certification.
  • Dreamhost and A2 hosting offer more storage than GoDaddy on their basic shared hosting plans.
  • All three of the hosts considered for this comparison offer introductory prices at $2-$3 less than the most affordable GoDaddy plan.
  • Renewal pricing at GoDaddy sits in the midrange. HostGator’s base plan has the same renewal cost as GoDaddy’s most affordable plan, Dreamhost’s most basic plan is significantly more affordable, and A2 Hosting’s most affordable plan comes with a slightly higher renewal cost.
  • Customer service is the one place where GoDaddy is notably more reliable than the other hosts. However, this is only my experience — many other people have experienced shoddy customer support with GoDaddy.

Overall, GoDaddy’s value isn’t great. All the other hosts I’ve looked at include more security features and two of them offer more storage — all for lower introductory rates than GoDaddy. A2 Hosting’s renewal rate is more expensive, but with the 100GB of storage and additional security features, its value is still superior to GoDaddy’s lowest-cost shared hosting plan.

Based on this analysis, GoDaddy earns a value ranking of 5/10.

GoDaddy: Is it right for you?

So, is GoDaddy right for you? Well, let’s take a look at how it ranks:

  • Ease of use – 7.5/10
  • Performance – 9/10
  • Customer support – 8/10
  • Value – 5/10

This gives GoDaddy an overall ranking of 7.5/10. Though this isn’t the best ranking possible, it’s comparable to what you’ll get from other popular web hosts — HostGator received a 7/10 — and shows that GoDaddy is reliable for most websites, especially simple websites with low support needs.

My one big issue with GoDaddy is the reliance on add-ons for basic security measures on shared and WordPress hosting plans. I would strongly consider avoiding GoDaddy to avoid paying extra for things like a firewall, but the $3 a month for additional security measures won’t break the bank for most users — and VPS hosting users won’t have to worry about this problem.

GoDaddy website hosting is good in terms of server performance, ease of use and basic customer support. However, GoDaddy’s prices are relatively high compared with those of its rivals, and users of shared or WordPress hosting will have to pay for add-ons to access basic security features.

GoDaddy will host your website unless your site runs the risk of causing legal problems for GoDaddy.

GoDaddy offers a variety of pricing points for websites of all shapes and sizes. The most affordable GoDaddy hosting plan costs $6 a month for the first term and rises to $10 a month on renewal. The most expensive plan costs $320 a month for the first term and rises to $430 a month on renewal.

Related Posts