PROS / The cPanel is extremely easy to manage.
CONS / The number of allowed email accounts and MySQL databases is lower than its competitors.
VERDICT / GoDaddy is a competent service, but it is missing a few features that would make it a great value.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Web Hosting services.
When it comes to the industry of domain ownership and hosting, GoDaddy is the elephant in the room. It certainly has the brand recognition down. The question is, does its services make it one of the best web hosting options? This web host has the benefit of being one of the first sites you visit when you are considering URL names. From there, it can grab you with an introductory price for the Economy Plan shared hosting package.
On online forums, GoDaddy has a bad reputation for its service. We tested its sales and support staff through two channels: live chat and phone. While nothing truly stood out in terms of stellar service, we found its support staff to be average. Every feature, including having no charge for priority support, video tutorials and 24/7 phone support is available with this service.
We accessed live chat several times during our membership at different times of the day, and GoDaddy responded after over 22 minutes. While that is not the longest wait time among the competition, it is still an incredibly long time to wait if your site goes down unexpectedly.
Control Panel Tools
Go Daddy uses cPanel version 11.40.1, and it is very easy to use. The file manager, domain manager and database manager are all fantastic. Online file managers are rarely so flexible. It does not do everything, but it is appealing to the eye and equipped with more than the standard array of features. Note that some things require setup time. If you wish to create a new database, for example, there is a delay that can take up to 24 hours.
The absence of a few advanced features under the Economy Plan are really what keep GoDaddy from ranking as one of the best shared hosting experiences. While you do have the free domain for a year, it does cost you to migrate a current domain to GoDaddy. Creating custom error pages specific to your site may seem like a minor issue, but it gives a possible reader comfort in knowing that the 404 page is branded by your site. GoDaddy does not allow you to create these error pages. Also missing is the database backup and restore feature.
Help & Support
The introductory plans with any web host always lack features that advanced plans have. The Economy package follows suit yet still utilizes secure shell and uses spam detection in your email accounts and control panel. GoDaddy's basic package doesn’t let you use intensive security like a secure socket layer (SSL), which allows you to make your site a secure URL and transmit private information. Without it, eCommerce transactions shouldn't be trusted.
GoDaddy has the name and reputation that make it hard to ignore. It is not the best web hosting service but is a worthy competitor. The setup process is straightforward, and you have enough bandwidth and disk space to run a small business site efficiently. This may be the first experience many people have with a web host. It won't be a bad experience, but certainly won't be the best.