Godaddy is not evil. They won’t eat your baby like a Dingo would. But there are literally thousands of other, better choices out there and this article is here to hopefully convince you choose someone – almost anyone – other than Godaddy. Whether it’s for registering a domain, hosting a website, or as an email provider, there are better and cheaper alternatives around every corner.
Some might think I’m crazy writing an article like this about a company worth about $9 Billion dollars at this time. Perhaps I am crazy but it is my belief, and that of many others that Godaddy uses their market share to sell inferior services at ridiculously high prices.
Godaddy Employee Reviews
Taking a look through Glassdoor Reviews, there seems to be a common theme among many of their employees. Regardless of the position the employee is in, the company pushes their people to sell, sell, sell. Even in technical support, they are pressured to sell and upsell. “Oh your site is slow Mr. Jones? Why don’t we just upgrade you to our higher hosting plan since you are getting ten visitors a month”. Ok, that was a bit of a stretch but you get the idea.
Here are a few snippets I took from Glassdoor showing what I mean. Before you say anything, of course these reviews are cherry picked to prove my point but I think they are written in a way that shows the intent of Godaddy to put sales before servicing their clients. Click on images to expand and read.
Company trains to sell, not teaching how to troubleshoot the products you support
All customer care positions are sales driving, even though I was in a technical support position, you are expected to offer products in every single call
Everything became a service you had to sell, and became more making sales rather than helping customers
And Godaddy’s response to this employee’s review:
we make sure we give customers the opportunity to buy versus selling them
Godaddy’s response to the last employee review here is telling of their corporate culture. “We give customers the opportunity to buy versus selling them” What?? That is just about the same thing. I know they are trying to say they don’t push sales but given that this employee work(ed) in Hosting Support, it should not be his job to sell. It should be his job to support the customer. Clearly, Godaddy doesn’t see it that way and even uses technical support to try to upsell.
To be fair, the employee reviews of Godaddy have another common theme in that a large chunk of the people that work there are happy with things within the company such as benefits, decent pay and many say the culture is good. So that is a big plus for the people that work there. It does seem that according to reading these reviews that the company culture and benefits have declined since the company went public in 2015 so only time will tell how that will turn out.
A history of Missteps
I’m not here to dwell on things of the past, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t even mention them. Godaddy has had some rather embarrassing and public screw ups in the past.
One of the first scandals was when it was revealed that founder and former CEO Bob Parsons was an unforgiving elephant hunter. No stranger to controversy, Parsons simply didn’t care when the video of him hunting elephants in Zimbabwe went viral and found it’s way on to most major news outlets. Since he’s no longer running the company this isn’t really relevant but he still owns almost 30% of the shares so a chunk of every dollar you spend at Godaddy is still going into Bob’s pocket.
Being a living, breathing heterosexual man I have to admit that I love a beautiful woman as much as the next guy. But there are ways to admire the female form and not be a sexist pig at the same time. But yet again, Bob Parsons came out swinging and vehemently defended his choice of ads. Happily, since Bob’s exit from the company these ads are a thing of the past but they are still something that many people won’t forgive and forget.
SOPA – Stop Online Piracy Act was a proposed bill in 2012 that was very controversial due to it’s nature. The bill was opposed by many major players such as Google, Microsoft and Wikipedia but was on the other hand supported by a number of major players such as the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) as well as Godaddy and many others. Given Godaddy’s market, their support of a bill like this generated a massive backlash against the company with many people and companies rallying behind a boycott of them. After the backlash, Godaddy quickly reversed course and withdrew their support of SOPA. For many it was too little, too late.
High Domain Prices
Let’s start with Godaddy’s domain pricing. Registering domains is what Godaddy started out doing and is still the best known for. I’m far too lazy to read through their annual reports to see what part of their business makes them the most money but let’s just say that they make a buttload off hosing people on their domains.
How are they ripping people off on domain registrations?
I’m glad you asked. Godaddy is the master of bait and switch. They will sucker a new domain buyer in with a great price of $1.99 to $2.99 for the first year. And then it jumps to $14.99! Which is 50% higher than most other domain registrars, even at regular price. You can find domain coupons on our site and get similar first year prices and then only pay $9 – $10/year after that. And most of the domain registrars we feature have coupons that work even on renewal. Forget that at Godaddy. If you get a discount, it is only one time and then you pay through the nose.
Private Whois is a common feature for most people to purchase along with registering their domain. Hiding your personal information doesn’t mean that you have something to hide, it just saves you from getting spammed to death by people trying to sell you crap you don’t want or need. So for that reason, private whois is a must buy for most people. Most domain registrars charge anywhere from free to $3.99 for whois privacy. Not Godaddy. Expect to pay $7.99/year and up for the privilege. Between the domain registration and whois privacy, you are going to pay upwards of double to have your domain at Godaddy. Why???
Luckily I don’t have a lot of experience with Godaddy hosting. I have never personally hosted any sites with them and only had a couple of clients that hosted with them that I quickly moved away to other and better web hosting.
Some things have gotten better:
- They have moved away from their proprietary control panel and gone to cPanel which is an industry standard and understood by most anyone that has ever hosted a website in a shared hosting environment.
- Increased the number of Mysql databases that can be used on most (not all) hosting packages. One database for $8/month is just crazy nowadays.
Now for some of the bad points of hosting with Godaddy:
- Too expensive: For what they give you, Godaddy hosting packages are just too much money. They aren’t the most expensive but they are far from the cheapest. And for the quality of their service, there are much, much better deals to be had.
- Email: Many people have reported that their emails sent from Godaddy servers doesn’t make it to the recipient. This isn’t entirely uncommon on shared hosting since so many other people can be causing the ip address to be marked as a spam source in place like Spamhaus but the problem definitely appears to be way more severe with Godaddy than I’ve ever seen on other shared hosts. Their solution? What a surprise – spend more money! They’ll either tell you to get a dedicated ip for an additional monthly fee or to upgrade to their Office365 email – for more money! Funny how their solutions always cost money….
- Marketing: Once you signup with Godaddy hosting, you will start getting all their wonderful marketing emails and phone calls, trying to sell you more and more and more. Maybe you should just sign the back of your paycheck and hand it over to them.
- Tech Support: Support is reported to be bad at best and non-existent at worst. As I showed above, employees are not adequately trained on supporting their products and are only well trained on selling and upselling.
If you don’t know how to run a website, choosing a host with bad tech support isn’t a good idea. If you know how to run a website, you likely wouldn’t be hosting with them anyways.
Some of you are going to question the statements above and good for you to be skeptical. Take a look at a completely unbiased site like Webhostinggeeks and take a couple of minutes to read through the reviews. Then take another look at that website you were just looking at that says everything is great with Godaddy hosting. Look at the links. Hmmmm. Affiliate links sending you off to Godaddy like a lamb to slaughter. They don’t give a crap about you or your web hosting experience, they only want to make a commission off you signing up. Godaddy pays good commissions to websites to get new people to signup. Because they can afford to. So the next review you see of Godaddy hosting that is very positive, be a little more skeptical and look at the page a little more closely. Chances are they are just trying to make a sale.
Screening Domain Names
When writing this article, I was looking around on Godaddy’s site just to check pricing and stuff. While messing about, I realized that you cannot buy any domain at Godaddy that has the word ‘godaddy’ in it. Take a look and try it for yourself if you don’t believe me.
If you’re wondering, I didn’t buy the domain. I have enough domains that I don’t do anything with, I don’t need another.
Screening their name out of domain purchases isn’t a big deal and certainly shouldn’t be a reason to not use Godaddy – there are plenty of other reasons for that. It just seems like an odd thing to do and typical of how they operate. P.S. – Godaddysucks.com redirects to Godaddy.com. And just for a laugh, Trumpsucks.com redirects to Hillaryclinton.com
Let’s face it – Godaddy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. They continue to grow according to Domainstate.com but hopefully if they eventually feel pressure from people jumping ship to more customer friendly companies they might change their ways a bit and treat their customers with some respect. Until then – you’ve been warned.