The other day I was minding my own business, watching Comedy Central via their app, when I caught sight of it. It was a hip, catchy, quick-cut ad for “easy to use” websites hosted on GoDaddy. While the ad may have been pretty, cut together nicely, showcase some OK looking sites on it, and have a cool audio track, GoDaddy’s hosting is anything but nice. We are often tasked with inheriting sites from clients that were either self-created or set up by someone else, and a lot of the times they are hosted on GoDaddy. Why is GoDaddy such a bad company, and why is their hosting not our first or even last pick?

GoDaddy Touts Cheap Services – But In Reality Are Not

NoDaddy GoDaddy by Sycosure

NoDaddy GoDaddy by Sycosure

GoDaddy ropes people in by showing them how cheap it can be to have a website. They are a top domain registrar and can offer to register a .com address for as low as $.99. The reality of this bait-and-switch maneuver is that if you get a domain for $.99 or some cheap amount, you may only be able to have it for $.99 for that first year. Any subsequent years after will charge at the regular rate, which is usually $11.99 or such. Other registrars offer cheap first-domain prices (some even offer one free domain with a hosting plan, such as our preferred host) which can help reduce next year’s sticker shock by only increasing by a couple of dollars instead of twelve-fold.

GoDaddy also touts a bunch of services as being “necessary items” for you to pay for in order to have a website or a functional professional presence. They will sell “SEO” packages including “search engine visibility” that can cost $70 a year or possibly even more, but doesn’t actually do anything notable. It’s hard to even find details about what you are supposed to get if you enroll in a program like this, but it has never proven any noticeable increase in traffic — or decrease once it has been removed. GoDaddy will not alter your page for you, or even offer suggestions to increase your search engine optimization, so thinking there is a simple “buy it” button plan that will do SEO for you is not accurate, nor effective.

Couple this with other things they charge for – email services, for one, despite the fact that 99% of other hosting plans offer free email (freemail) for free with their hosting plans. And of course, SSL certificates, which we will get into later down the line.

The short version is GoDaddy will try to upsell you at every bend — usually for services that don’t actually do anything.

GoDaddy’s Servers Are Slow

It’s no surprise that if a company is trying to sell web hosting space, they will want to make the most of their server space. Standard hosting is known as a “shared server” environment, where you share a server with a bunch of other people. This can be an issue sometimes if someone is hogging all of the server’s resources, uploading too many or too big of files, or otherwise causing activities that bring the server to a grinding halt. All hosting companies with shared servers run the risk of this problem, though the longer you are on a server, the less likely you will be to experience problems. Still, hosts like GoDaddy make a point to cram as many people as possible onto a shared server environment, causing sites to load slowly, partially, or not at all.

GoDaddy’s “Selective DNS Blocking” Makes GoDaddy in Control of Your Website Traffic

Back in 2011, GoDaddy rolled out “selective DNS blocking” which means that GoDaddy can and will block any traffic that they deem they want to. That traffic could be traffic from anywhere… While GoDaddy likes to frame it as a way to block spam traffic and bots and to reduce server load, it’s actually a way that GoDaddy can keep a stranglehold on your website — and who sees it. GoDaddy can block traffic from search engines, analytics tools, and more, simply on a whim.

GoDaddy’s DNS Is Quite Sticky

I have constant issues with GoDaddy’s DNS simply refusing to serve new records, or somehow serving old records, way past the 24 hour mark for propagation. I’ve had domains that were set to forward, then had the name servers completely changed, but despite that still forwarded. Sure, perhaps domain forwarding should and does take precedence over name server DNS records, however GoDaddy does nothing to be clear about what gets served over others. For example, most hosts when you make a domain a “forwarding only” domain, they will remove your ability to make any DNS changes, making it clear that you must clear out the forwarding only option before making any DNS changes. GoDaddy does not even attempt to suggest to you that there could be interference with what you are trying to do. Which leads me to my next point…

GoDaddy’s Back End/User Interface Is Clunky and Confusing

Need to know where to change your DNS records? Good luck getting there. After you land on your “dashboard” which lists some of your domains (but not all of them!) you have to jump through hoops and click through multiple pages to get to the page you intend to land on. All of GoDaddy’s pages in the back end are like this. Nothing is clear as to where or what anything is, and your best bet before you go digging or waiting for hours on chat support is to just Google it and hope someone can point you in the right direction first.

Also hope you have a good ad blocker in place, because swimming through the sea of advertisements all over GoDaddy’s service pages is just painful.

GoDaddy Doesn’t Care About Web Security

Unlike other hosts who do actually care if malware is spread around on their servers, GoDaddy does not seem to mind much. Every single site I have ever cleaned of malware or a hack has been on GoDaddy. Unlike other hosts, GoDaddy thinks it’s a-okay for a user (or a bot, in most cases) can just pound away at your login screen over and over again guessing your password. Most hosts will temporarily block users who use POST too frequently, usually 15 minutes or so, and I have definitely been blocked by our preferred web host for posting too fast or making too many incorrect login guesses. Such is not the case with GoDaddy.

In fact, recently I had a site with malware on it on GoDaddy that didn’t even have public facing files. The files hosted on GoDaddy were modified while on GoDaddy’s server, despite not ever being publicly accessible, which leads me to believe… Is it coming from inside the house? Or does GoDaddy not really care if malware spreads elsewhere, possibly even server wide?

GoDaddy also does not provide SSL certification for free. Instead you have to pay some asinine amount like $75 a year or such for one site just to provide a vague level of encryption and the padlock for your visitors. Almost every other host on the internet provides self-signed and Let’s Encrypt certificates for free, because they understand that HTTPS is the way of the future and providing even basic level security helps them out in the end too.

GoDaddy’s Email Is Garbage

Looking to take advantage of GoDaddy’s email services? Hope you aren’t planning to use any contact forms on GoDaddy, because GoDaddy notoriously blocks all kinds of emails from coming through — sometimes even very important emails — while letting heaps of spam simply slip right through. Couple this with a 500 email a day limit, and you may start wondering why you would ever even consider using GoDaddy for email to begin with.

GoDaddy Likes to Hold Domains for Ransom

If you ever have a domain with GoDaddy, forget to pay, or simply let it expire, say bye-bye to that domain… It’s now owned by GoDaddy, who might let you have it back if you want to pay some exorbitant amount of money for it. The domain doesn’t simply just expire, like with many other hosts, and go back into the pool of unused domain names. Instead GoDaddy scoops it up, offers it to you with an “expiration fee” (of $80). They can and will hold the domain, put it up for auction, and hope someone else will grab it.

GoDaddy’s Dodgy History With Other Things

Technical reasons aside, GoDaddy also has a history of poor decisions which may make you think twice about giving them your hard earned money:

Need any more reasons? Tell us about your experience (good or bad) with GoDaddy below!

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28 responses to “GoDaddy: Possibly the Worst Web Hosting Company Available?”

  1. Lee says:

    I use Hostgator too, but am currently planning to move to a new server as they put a lot of restrictions, and make the hosted sites unavailable without any prior notice.

  2. I’ve been with Hodaddy for 12 years. The first 4 years were excellent. It’s now a shell of what it once was. It’s all the bad things described here and much worse. DO NOT EVER do business with this company.

  3. Linda says:

    Same here, I’ve been with bad-daddy for 8 years. All years were excellent. Except last 6 months , things got much , much worse than any company I hosted with. Not sure what is changed, except I found out they have new CEO, and not sure how that impacted the hosting, the traffic very slow, email got much worse, my out no longer gets email on first open, I have to try it many times to get emails. Customers complaining on download expires, small program 30 MB sometimes takes almost 10-15 minutes, before took less than a minute. Now I’m trying find better hosting to host my website.

  4. Concerned says:

    Although I’m sure godaddy sites are not great, he 2 “reviews” that have the lowest rating are other website builders. I appreciate the info but could never do business with a company who has to bash there competition. If you are good enough, you wouldn’t need to bash them. and if they’re bad enough, nobody will use them. I never realized until I started shopping for a website how shady and dirty the business is. Not just this company. Dozens if not Hundreds of others. The best kept secret in the industry. Do yourself a favor and get a recommendation from somebody that you know personally who has a great working website. Ask them who designed/built it.

    • Hi there! Thanks for leaving a comment. I would love some additional clarification on what 2 reviews you are talking about. I would also like to mention that GoDaddy is not our competition — we can no way compete with a global hosting and domain registrar as a small, 4 person locally owned marketing team.

      We carefully craft all of our blog posts to try to deliver sound and good information for our clients and others on the web based on our experiences with companies. As outlined in our blog post, we do not recommend GoDaddy to anyone for all of those reasons, and rather than repeating them ad nauseaum to our customers and others, it’s easier to lay out, in detail, with appropriate links out, in a blog post why we have such disdain for a company we have been forced to work with and use multiple times. We are happy to recommend alternatives to anyone, not just our clients, and we often do not stand to gain anything from our recommendation. We stand by our mission statement to make the web the best that it can be, and even if we’ve managed to steer one person away from using GoDaddy to host their site, we’ve done our job.

      You are absolutely right in saying that the web is a dirty, shady place. We know this first hand, given how many websites we’ve inherited that were simply not even worth the hosting they were on, and people have charged business owners hundreds or even thousands of dollars for slipshod, broken websites. It’s important to do your own due diligence in researching anything before you buy — and it’s important that our negative opinion of GoDaddy’s hosting is amongst that bit of research for people to read and understand. Ultimately the choice is up to the person/business owner to decide what route they want to take.

  5. Ryan Mike says:

    Save the headaches and avoid this company on all cost. It only add more problems. It so hard to find anything on their website. It’s often not working, support only works on phone, and you can accidentally delete your domain and you lose money and your domain.

    • Boy that’s some tough luck Ryan, they really put you through the ringer, but we totally agree with you. I think my favorite, which I did not include in the blog post, was when they put one of our domains on auction when we didn’t want to sell it and it wasn’t up for renewal!

  6. Ahmed says:

    I had been using their services for 13 years now. The is the first time I had to contact them because I’m facing issues with my website, because they decided to use Plesk instead of cPanel. I tried to call and chat with them for 3 days and with 6 different customer service representatives. All I received are links to follow and they want me to pay to fix the problem or go to other forums to get the solution. They have created the issue but they don’t want to resolve it. They are willing to waste your time by giving you stupid solutions and links that are not helpful and will take you on loops until you give up. This is the worst customer service ever and one the most expensive ones. I’m definitely switching my hosting and domain to another company.

    • Hi Ahmed. We agree — the difference between Plesk and cPanel is vast, and given that most hosters use cPanel (and even most GoDaddy sites even use cPanel!), preparing your users on how to use a different system is important. Providing them with resources where they can find the answer they need is important, and GoDaddy usually just points you to their “knowledgebase” (forum where people ask questions) and hope someone else will answer it… It’s sad they’d rather crowdsource answers than actually offer assistance.

      We do have experience with Plesk, however, so perhaps you could tell me what you’re wondering or what your question was?

  7. Noretaliation says:

    Recently I was editing my website, and my rapid edits must have been misperceived by GoDaddy as an attack because as I was nearing the end of my work I got IP blocked. My sudden inability to visit my own website was clearly caused by an IP block because everyone else can still see my site, and, I cannot visit any of my websites that are on the same server. But just try getting this resolved with GoDaddy… you cannot. Like others who get blocked while editing (or even quickly looking through) their own websites, the only recourse is to use a VPN equipped browser like Opera, or to get your ISP to give you a new IP address. The live chat folks and the tech people who somehow manage to check their system and report back while still on the chat never find any problem. If I hadn’t prepaid for a few years of hosting this latest problem would have me moving to another host immediately. I’d previously experienced their scam where when one of their shared servers gets infected they ask every customer on that server to pay a hundred bucks for a cleaning. I’ve experienced their scam in which when your server reaches its end-of-life they do not simply move everyone to a new server but instead ask people to move themselves – which in theory can be done but in practice means they ask for a hundred dollars per database to move you. I’ve experienced their scam by which they prevent free SSL certificates from being automatically renewed, and their related scam by which manual renewals of free SSL certificates must be done every 2 months instead of every 3 months, just to again make it that much more likely you will give them a hundred dollars.

    • WOW. We’ve seen some really underhanded tactics from GoDaddy, but all of this really takes the cake. I’m sorry to hear this has happened to you.

      A hosting company we use also IP blocks if you access or do things too fast, but they only IP block for that for about 15 minutes.

  8. Noretailiation says:

    My sites became reachable again today, so, the block was about 7 days I guess.

  9. Unknown says:

    You are looking into things that are not there. I know a person who works at GoDaddy, and they have talked about security for the users. They have many different stations for different things.

    They work on security. They always try to ensure the best possible time when using the website.

    Next time, try not to say nasty things about your competitors that are not true so you can beat them.

    • Hi anonymous GoDaddy supporter,

      We’re not “looking into things that are not there” — these are personal, first-hand experiences we have had, and we are warning others about the difficulties with using GoDaddy hosting.

      Again, GoDaddy is not our competitor. We do not offer hosting services and even if we did we could not hope to compete with them.

      Try again, please.

  10. Osd Dubai says:

    On a scale of Zero to 10, Godaddy’s support deserves a Double Zero. They make it almost impossible and very costly for you to reach their so-called support and will frustrate any chat you may want to have with them about canceling a service or asking for a refund.

    Don’t be fooled by their jolly faces and positive promotional tone.

    Avoid them at any cost. There are dozens of decent hosting companies out there to chose from.

  11. Anthony M Gamarra says:

    Go-Daddy is the scum of the earth. Everything said about them is true. It doesn’t surprise me that Parsons hunts elephants. He is probably one of the lowest unconscienable scum on the planet. Hopefully, someone will hunt him and hang his worthless head in a bus station toilet!

  12. theresa says:

    I agree with all of these negative comments about GoDaddy. I have had so many problems. My sites are broken and each time I’ve called (over 35 hrs. of call-time plus hrs. of hold) I get a snarky person on the phone with a different reasons like: Just re-build your sites from scratch. You are cheap and have not paid for SSL (yes I did). It’s not our problem, it’s Google. We need to re-install your SSL. We need to move you to new hosting. It’s like you have an old car…When I say there have been at least 40 reasons, I am not exaggerating. Still broken. They make appointments to call back and don’t. They used to be good, but now, absolutely the worst. NO Daddy!

  13. Pankaj Malhotra says:

    Search a domain on godaddy and its gone next day. They buy it and offer at higher price. Its sick. I tried various domain names for my new website and next day I decided to buy one, to my surprise all were gone! Either some employee within go daddy is making money or is it company policy? Now i am looking for other names and of course will register from other company.

    • Perhaps it’s a money making tactic… Buy up the domains people are checking and then resell them to those people at more when they decide the finally purchase. I seriously would not put it past them to do something that shifty.

  14. Peter Zhielen says:

    This happened to me too. Searched for a domain and came back in 2 days to pay for it only to see it was registered by GoDaddy. Very stupid, foolish, shady, and vile company with a nasty tactic and a blood lust for money no matter how illegal.

  15. Tim says:

    I’ve used GoDaddy for years and honestly never had any issues at all.
    I think I had to reach out to their customer services twice or thrice and got everything resolved immediately and to my satisfaction.
    I agree on their e-mail products, SSL certificates and SEO optimization, but I’d mark that down to buyer beware.
    The only reasons why I moved to a different host earlier this year are my need for a self managed e-mail server (which I think they really are not a good choice for) and the fact that I found a hosting provider with equally good service for much lower prices.

    • Hi Tim,

      Thanks for weighing in! It’s possible to have them for years and not have any problems. I think the majority of issues may arise for new customers (where the jamming is occuring), rather than old ones who are comfortably seated on old shared servers. It all depends on what you’re doing, too. You’re right that customers need to beware and read what they’re getting before paying for it. Still, SSL certificates are free for the majority of web hosters, so it’s kind of silly to give your customers no choice in the matter there.

  16. sam says:

    GoDaddy is complete garbage. I have 3 customers hosted on GoDaddy and I’m desperately trying to move them to another hosting company.

    I can’t login and access client accounts with Chrome, only Firefox, otherwise I just get a blank white page. Delegate Access is useless, even if the client gives me purchase access on the account I can’t purchase hosting or an SSL cert. on their behalf. The server response time is horrible. Support is almost always a 30+ minute wait. The account dashboard is clunky, not intuitive, sends you in endless loops and frequently needs to be refreshed for pages to load properly.

    Their commercials prey on users with no idea what they are getting into and it feels like every part of the customer experience is broken.

  17. Guy Babusek says:

    I used to LOVE GoDaddy. I have referred so many people to its service. But over the past few years, not only have the problems increased, but also the RUDENESS of its customer support staff has increased to alarming levels.
    They not only are unwilling to address real problems that have been caused by GoDaddy, but they are utterly contemptuous of their customers.
    I know when you reach a certain level of success you think you’re too big to fail, but history has repeatedly shown that this is not true.
    I am deeply saddened by the state of GoDaddy, and am so sorry I have to leave after two decades plus of very loyal custom.
    The problems are never going to be solved because the root problem obviously is with its new company culture, and that all starts from the top.
    Good luck with all that, GoDaddy!

  18. Rihcard says:

    I was 20 year customer. 2 websites. They failed to send me my bill. They have my phone and 2 active emails. They deleted my websites without calling or emailing. They said ….We sent you an email. It was was my 20 year old dead yahoo email. They just stuck all customers with Outlook and are charging $6 er month for the worst email platform. PLUCK YOU no daddy.

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