GoDaddy is probably one of the most well-known web hosts around. GoDaddy has run some very high-profile ads, including ones that aired during the Super Bowl, and its success is undisputable — currently, GoDaddy serves over 17 million customers.
However, just because GoDaddy is one of the most popular options doesn't mean that it is the right option for you. Now that you're ready to flex your HTML chops, read on to see if GoDaddy is the web host that's best for you.
GoDaddy is known for its web hosting, but it offers a wide variety of apps and tools designed to help you get your site online. Here's an overview of the apps, tools, and services that you can purchase from GoDaddy.
Domain Name Registration
GoDaddy offers domain name registration services, so you are welcome to purchase a domain name without also purchasing a web hosting package. This is ideal if you have an idea of what you want your URL to be, but you're not quite ready to purchase web hosting.
Web hosting is GoDaddy's bread-and-butter offering, and there are many different options from which you can choose. Here are the highlights of GoDaddy's offerings.
If you're looking to get started with a simple plan, GoDaddy's shared plans are a good option. You'll get everything you need to support one website, as well as 24/7 support in the event that you have any questions, comments, or concerns.
The most basic plan supports PHP, comes with email, and includes a free domain for subscription contracts lasting at least a year.
You can, however, upgrade to either of the more expensive options if you're creating multiple websites, need additional storage or processing power, or want a free SSL certificate. You can get any of the plans on a Linux or Windows-based server.
GoDaddy also offers more premium shared hosting plans aimed at small businesses, though you might consider these if you just want a more robust hosting package without springing for a VPS plan or dedicated server. These plans are also managed plans, so you don't have to worry about server system administration.
WordPress is the most popular content management systems (CMS) in use. As such, GoDaddy offers a number of plans catering to those who are powering their sites with WordPress.
If purchasing a WordPress hosting option, you can choose from the four plans on offer. Plans vary primarily on the number of websites you're hosting, the amount of storage you get, and the maximum number of visitors to your site on a monthly basis.
More expensive options also come with extras such as search engine optimization tools, staging areas so you can test changes before they go live, security tools, SSL certificates, and site management tools.
What makes the WordPress plans different from any of the other hosting options (which you could use to host WordPress sites too) is the inclusion of WordPress-specific themes and plugins, as well as regular and automatic updates of the WordPress core so that you don't have to take care of this.
If you host and manage multiple WordPress sites on your GoDaddy account, you have the option of purchasing a custom management dashboard that allows you to handle everything from a centralized location.
If you're building a large website that will see higher levels of traffic (or you anticipate having a website that meets these criteria in the near future), you might be interested in a VPS hosting plan.
GoDaddy offers both Windows and Linux-based VPS hosting plans.
Regardless of which operating system you choose, there are four different plans from which you can choose. All plans come with a cPanel for the GUI-based administration of your server, free SSL certificate, file and database backups, and management services to lessen the amount of work you have to do to manage your server. Therefore, when making your decision, you're primarily deciding on how much memory, storage, bandwidth, and IP addresses you need.
Dedicated servers are those where the entire (physical) machine is dedicated to hosting your site. While every other hosting option places some limitation on what you install on your instance, dedicated servers are fully customizable.
Dedicated servers are best for resource-intensive websites, so they're probably not a good option for you when you start out (even if you expect to grow rapidly).
However, we are mentioning GoDaddy's dedicated servers in this article so that you'll be familiar with the ins-and-outs of such hosting options when it comes time for you to consider one for your website.
GoDaddy's dedicated servers come pre-installed with your choice of operating system (Windows or Linux). You can choose to manage your server via its command line interface, or you can upgrade to a cPanel (which tends to be easier to use).
You can choose from four different types of dedicated servers, and each differs from one another based on the number of CPU cores available and memory and storage allocation. However, do note that all options allow for unmetered bandwidth and come with three dedicated IP addresses and a free SSL certificate for your first year of service.
If you're completely comfortable with managing your own dedicated server, you can save some money and opt for the unmanaged option. However, if you'd like a bit more assistance, you can opt for a managed solution instead.
Those who have a VPS plan with GoDaddy and choose to upgrade to a dedicated server will get free data migration services.
E-Commerce and Website Builders
Those with WordPress-specific hosting plans get themes and plugins to help build their sites, but those who aren't using this particular CMS aren't completely out of luck. GoDaddy offers a line of website and e-commerce builders its dubbed GoCentral.
When getting started with GoCentral, you can choose to get started by selecting a theme that best fits your needs. Then, you upload your images and change your text-based contact. That's all you need to do to create a website.
Alternatively, if you want more control over your website's appearance, you can use the modular site builder to build your website or store block by block. To make things as simple as possible, you can use what GoCentral calls “sections,” which are blocks that implement a full feature set, such as contact form, photo gallery, or events calendar.
If you still find the design of your site to be overwhelming, you can purchase website, e-commerce, or logo design services from the GoDaddy team.
Every site on the internet can become a target, and in some cases, those for smaller entities are more enticing targets since they typically don't have the robust security budget corporations do. As such, GoDaddy offers the following security add-ons you can purchase to protect your website.
- SSL Certificates: SSL certificates use advanced encryption to prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access to and reading data that should otherwise be kept private. GoDaddy sells a variety of certificates, and the one you choose depends on why you're building your site. In addition to standard certificates, GoDaddy offers those that suite information-only websites, as well as premium options for those spinning up online stores.
- Premium Website Security: this product is designed to protect your website from malware, hacking, blacklisting, and more
- Malware Removal: if your site has been compromised, GoDaddy can help you remove the malware, as well as set up ongoing protection so that your threats don't return
Pricing and Billing
GoDaddy's pricing varies based on the type of hosting you choose (shared options are the cheapest, while dedicated servers are at the other end in terms of cost). Generally speaking, you can pay for whichever option you choose on a monthly basis, but if you opt to pay upfront for an extended contract lasting 12, 24, or even 36 months, you can save on your purchase of web hosting. Those with the longest contracts will pay the least on a month-to-month basis for their services.
GoDaddy is a popular and well-known provider of web hosting services. In addition to plans ranging from basic shared options to high-end dedicated servers, GoDaddy also sells a variety of apps, tools, and services designed to make it as easy as possible for you to launch your website.
If you're not completely confident that GoDaddy's the host provider for you, take advantage of the 30-day money back guarantee to receive a refund of all fees you've paid.
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