GoDaddy Web Hosting full review
GoDaddy must spend an awful lot on its marketing campaigns with, more recently, Harry Redknapp extolling the virtues of this American company. The key message here, though, the ease of use with which you can get up and running.
Head along to the GoDaddy website and it’s certainly a welcoming place. GoDaddy is perhaps better known for supplying domain names, but it also has a great Website Builder option for anyone who wants an online presence but doesn’t want headaches to go with it. And that has been updated to add a few nifty features.
It’s also easy to transfer an existing website to GoDaddy's hosting platform for those with an existing site who simply want to move to a new hosting provider.
Price & availability
It’s possible to start for free with GoDaddy, but the vast majority of people will want to opt for one of the paid-for plans. Hosting starts at £3.99 / $5.99 per month, which gives you 100GB of storage, a free domain name and free business email (using Microsoft Office 365) for the first year.
The Ultimate package is billed as the best-value and costs £7.99 / $12.99 per month and lets you have unlimited sites, unlimited storage and runs on servers with twice the processing power and RAM. That’s only a good deal if you have a more complex site which receives a lot of traffic, though, and bear in mind these prices are special offers: like broadband deals, they are basically half price and you’ll pay double per month from the second year onwards.
If you’re specifically after WordPress hosting, GoDaddy has that covered. At the time of writing, the Basic package was £2.99 / $2.49 per month and offers 10GB of storage and is suitable for sites with up to 25,000 monthly visitors. It also comes with a free domain name if you sign up for a year.
For sites with more visitors, or if you have more than one website, you can opt for the more-expensive Deluxe, Ultimate or Pro 5+ packages which cost progressively more up to £19.99 per month. All of GoDaddy’s prices exclude VAT.
With all packages you get free daily backups, Office 365 email and 99.9% uptime with a money-back guarantee.
A great feature is the ability to upgrade your package at will, which is convenient if you decide you need more features or your site starts attracting a lot more traffic.
For alternatives, check out our roundup of the best web hosting services.
The home page suggests you can create a website in under an hour. Better still, you can click the "Start for free" button to do exactly that. While it’s natural to be a little wary about the ease with which your site can be built, we found that getting started really was a doddle. There’s an intuitive interface that does most of the work for you based on the criteria you type into text boxes.
We chose a music website and the GoDaddy system started putting together ideas and suggestions for us. It’s all customisable of course, but if you’re not creative or stuck for ideas then this is top notch. The Website Builder interface could be described as rather simplistic but that’s exactly what makes it so impressive.
And, don’t think that the GoDaddy route is short on power tools and essential features either because under the Settings menu you can tweak and fine-tune any aspect of your website design, including more intimidating component parts like search engine optimization and analytics.
What’s even more useful is the fact that you can dip into the website building environment and have a play around, even creating quite a lot of content if you wish, without committing to anything for a month. That’s a valuable option that makes the GoDaddy route a very appealing one.
Of course, you might build your site and still feel that the magic isn’t quite happening, but the benefit of a system like this is you can dip in and out of it at any given time and prod things until they meet your approval. We also like the way it seems pretty difficult to break any aspect of the Website Builder.
Meanwhile, the Preview and Publish buttons make it super easy to finish things up and ‘go live’ as and when you’re ready. We think the whole free trial aspect of the GoDaddy site makes it hugely appealing, simply because anyone can have a go at designing a website without becoming bogged down in contracts, pricing and all of the other intimidating web hosting stuff that can remind you why you’ve put off designing a site for so long in the first place.
As you’d expect from GoDaddy, there’s an easy way to purchase domain names for your new project and that, presumably, is where the company still does a lot of its business. At the same time, the website building interface is largely a thing of beauty and it’s got added appeal by the fact that your page creation work is also tested to work on both desktop and mobile devices.
If time is tight it’s quite cool to be able to work on your ideas and make changes, even if you’re not actually sat in front of a conventional desktop or laptop computer.
A new feature called InSight helps you make sure your site is the best it can be, and will offer suggestions for how to increase traffic. These range from on-site improvements such as adding keywords for SEO to connecting to social media services. It tracks this stuff and you can see how you're doing thanks to an overall score on the dashboard:
The dashboard also lets you see basic analytics at a glance.
Should you run into problems with your page building activities then we found that the support on offer wasn’t quite as impressive as others we’ve looked at during the course of these trials.
While there is a knowledge base on hand it doesn’t always answer all of your questions. However, because the general website building process is fairly basic you can invariably find your way out of a hole – it just might take you a little longer than anticipated. We also found that GoDaddy wasn’t the easiest to get hold of when we were arranging this review. It could be down to the fact that it’s such a big company, but we hope that doesn’t extend to customers when, or perhaps if, they get stuck while building their first website.
GoDaddy is a good choice for small businesses. It's one of the best-known web hosting providers and has millions upon millions of domain names on its register. It offers various packages depending upon whether you need pure hosting, to create a website or to host a WordPress site. There's a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 support and unlimited bandwidth and storage - unless you opt for the Economy plan.
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