WhiteSites Blog

Hosting with Godaddy the good the bad and the ugly

Posted on Jun 27, 2009 by Paul White

First of all we all know Godaddy.  They use mass media to market their products more than any other hosting company or domain registrar.  In this blog I will do a complete analysis of their company, their products and their services.

Godaddy LogoThe Godaddy marketing ideology

If you ever see a GoDaddy commerical it has nothing to do with hosting or domains.  They use imagery of large breasted sexy girls to tap into that demographic of 18-35 males who have too much time on their hands.  These guys come to Godaddy's website buy a domain, and setup a hosting account.  Of course they never do anything with this domain.  So it sits on their servers for years.  Essentially this domain becomes like an autopart sitting in your garage that you want to do something with but never find the time.  Of course you don't want to loose this part.  So you keep paying the $5/ month to keep the hosting account and domain alive.  So Godaddy continues to make money of guys who don't want to take the time to learn to code a good website, but yet like the idea of having a website.

Godaddy's Service and Support 5 years ago

About 5 years ago I tried hosting a client with Godaddy.  If I had issues getting something setup, it would take the goDaddy Support team several days to get it resolved if they ever did.  This lack of customer support drove me away.  I moved this client to HostMySite.com. where the support team is awesome. most issues at HostMySite are solved in realtime, with shared and VPS hosting prices that were more other hosting companies but you got the industry leading support, and it was worth it.

HostMySite 2004

HostMySite back then was a great company.  They had the best service and support, and hosting prices were competitive.  Its a great place to host virtual deciated servers, and be able to learn as you go.  In the beginning my sites were never down.  The only times I called in were when I had a technical question.  Life was good.

HostMySite Sold to Wachovia Capital Partners

June 2008

Not sure why the founders of HostMySite decided to sell the company.  It continued to grow, and do well.  Something I have learned about getting bought out is that it rarely helps a company.  This is was the start of the fall of HostMySite.  Even though I have no proof, I do know my experiences dealing with the support techs. It used to be I would call in and they would help me resolve issues right over the phone.  Now I call in to get nothing more than a person that wants to submit a ticket, and have someone else look into it.  I had one site that was on a load balanced setup go down for over 6 hours, because HMS was too busy to reboot the box.

How Wachovia Capital Partners is ruining HostMySite

Once again I have no proof but this is my theory.  The capital management group looks at HostMySite's books and realizes that the dedicated hosting is the most profitable, due to the stability of dedicated boxes. They see that the majority of time on the phone is helping shared hosting account customers.  So to help cover costs they increase the shared hosting prices by 50%.  They are now one of the most expensive places to get a shared hosting account in the industry.  Of course Wachovia is not made up of developers or designers.  They are a bunch of guys that look numbers.  So essentially Wachovia would rather the shared hosting customers to just go away.  Here is the problem with that.  Wachovia wants to make the business evolve into a dedicated hosting company only.  But dedicated hosting is very competitive.  There is a lower demand for dedicated servers, when compared to shared hosting which makes up the majority of hosting on the web.  Many companies to cut costs will just buy a server and colocate it.  The other problem is where are you going to get these dedicated customers?  Normally they come from your current customers who have out grown your shared hosting accounts.  It was a simple evolution.  Company starts out on Shared Hosting account,  They out grow it and move to a VPS.  They out grow the VPS and move to a Dedicated Server.  All the while staying with the same company. Now if HostMySite kills their shared hosting business, they are killing the foundation of future dedicated customers as well.  When I call in for support, I am not greeted with a friendly ready to help you support tech, but rather an over worked tech that is staring at hundreds of tickets that need to get resolved.  Wachovia has converted the support staff into support slaves. You can tell by the tone of their voice that they are not happy.  Some of them even seem hostile, and I don't blame them.

HostMySite June 2009

After 5 years of hosting sites with HostMySite.  They raised their prices. HostMySite now charges $21 / month for a .NET Shared hosting account.  What once cost my clients $13 / month now costs about $21 / month.  This is too much.  Especially when the servers are slow, and crash every few days. Sure I can call in to get it resolved but there is no reason hardware should need to be rebooted this often.  So intead of setting up my new client with HostMySite I decided to go back to GoDaddy and see if things have changed.

Godaddy Shared Windows hosting June 2009

Even though it took some time to figure things out.  Now that the site is up and running everything seems to be running well.  It runs faster than even the $150 / month VPS websites I have on HostMySite, and it hasn't crashed or gone down once.  I have my websites setup to email me when a server error occurs and I haven't received a single email from the website yet.  Thus far I am happy I made the switch

Godaddy Shared windows Hosting the Good

$5 / month for shared windows hosting is dirt cheap, especially considering the amount of storage and bandwidth you get.  My Website runs extremely fast.  Page load times are quick, and when I FTP my files to the server it was very fast.  Remote MySQL 5 Database access available for those on IIS7

Godaddy Shared Windows Hosting the Bad

Customer Support

Calling in for tech support will usually start with minmum 5 minutes on hold.
When you call in for tech support, you will get level 1 techs who don't have any power to do anything.  They are trained more in helping people setup emails and just how to use the Godaddy system to run your website.  They do not have root access to the box.  In my opinion 90% of the level 1 techs couldn't build a website if they wanted to.  Level 1 techs are just middlemen to the Level 2 techs that are actually in the data center.  The Level 2 techs know what they are doing, but there is no direct line to them.  The only way to speak to one of them is for the Level 1 techs to transfer you do them, and they rarely do this.  I was on the phone with a level 1 tech for 30 minutes before he finally just transferred me to a Level 2 tech.  I understand that you don't want customers with small problems to bother level 2 techs, but for complex issues it would be nice to have a direct line to level 2 techs.

MySQL Remote Access

Also if you want remote DB access so you can use MySQL administrator or Query browser to setup and run your database, you must have a windows site on IIS7.  Then when you setup the Database you will get the option to enable remote access.  The DB servers seem to be very fast, and reliable,  But you are limited to 50 concurrent connections ( not a big deal ).  The real evil of the whole thing is Godaddy has implimented memory caps on queries. The result is complex queries can take 10+ seconds to run.  So if you use complex queries with multiple Sub queries, you may have to break this up into several smaller queries to get the job done.  To some developers this will be a deal breaker but I have found its not too hard to update my code to be optimized on the Godaddy MySQL servers.  The benefits are since you can't run complex queries, neither can anyone else and this keeps the box running extremely fast.

Godaddy Shared Windows Hosting the Ugly

One of Godaddy's business models is to nickle and dime you on little stuff. Sure you get a .NET hosting account for $5 / month. but if you want stats, they charge you extra for that.  Want more emails?  Its gonna cost you.  They do provide access to your server log files, but they are not live access.  Rather at the end of the day an zip file in your stats directory is updated.  This sucks because you can't even use a programe like Smarterstats to remotely FTP in and get your stats.  SmarterStats can't open a zip file.  So godaddy provides you with a way to access your logs, but not in anyway that makes it useful.

They will give you 25 x 200 Meg MySQL databases.  But if you need more than 200 Megs, too bad.  I called tech support and asked about this and they said they don't offer MySQL databases larger than 200 Megs.  So if you need the extra space you will have to get creative by programming your queries accross multiple databases.

Limit of 250 outgoing emails / day

Godaddy has implimented a cap of 250 on outgoing emails per email address per day.
This is to stop spammers from abusing their networks.  They said this cap can be raised on request, but they have to verify you are not spamming.

Godaddy Fully Dedicated Windows Servers

I built a dedicated server on godaddy, and was surprized how cheap it was.  For $150 / month I had a pretty beefed up server that could run all my websites.  But if you want the support plan, to have a dedicated tech assist you, that is an extra $150 - $200 / month.  Not too bad considering that it costs the same to colocate a box at HostMySite.  However from reviews I read the support on dedicated is terrible.  So I am taking a risk by considering them for a dedicated box.

Final word on moving from HostMysite to Godaddy.

So far I feel the server is faster, and more stable on godaddy.  If I have to call tech support it sucks, but if the hardware never goes down I will never have to deal with tech support.  At this point I am happy, but I will keep everyone updated if this changes

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