I joined Godaddy back in 1999. Aside from some other free very early websites back in the early 90s, like Geocities, Godaddy was the only web host provider I ever had. And I was perfectly happy with them. Any time I had an issue, which honestly, in and of itself was pretty rare, the support team was quick to fix it. I didn’t like the overly sexualized sensationalized advertising, but as a marketing professional myself, I understand that sometimes sex sells. I didn’t care – and honestly didn’t know – about the questionable ethics of both the company and of its founder. All I knew is my websites worked and it was cheap and that was good enough.
So why after being a happy customer for over 20 years would I choose to leave? Because of a few recent interactions over what should have been a very simple issue. It opened my eyes to how poor the support team really is, and how money hungry the company is, and most importantly, how they treated their most loyal of customers who have been with them since almost the founding of the company. How little they did to try to save my business and how little I mattered to them. I will not be treated like that. And money talks, so I put my money where my mouth was and I chose a new web host who is almost triple in price what I paid to Godaddy, but I don’t mind. Honestly, since moving my site about a month ago now, I notice it’s so much faster and performs so much better. And the few interactions I’ve had with the support team, were all handled professionally and quickly.
So what was my issue? A recent update of wordpress required an update to PHP versions. This should be simple enough. I am a technical person. I went to the settings in Godaddy… and… I was already on the most “current” version… php 5.6 – a version that was over 5 years old and for which support had stopped almost a year ago…. With no way to access a higher version, I contacted Godaddy.
They informed me that my “Deluxe Linux Hosting Package” could not be updated to a higher version of PHP…. Not so “Deluxe” is it? But they told me I could switch packages to one that was cheaper, had the same unlimited bandwidth and unlimited storage, and actually costs less. Great! Let’s do it, I told them.
But the catch, I would have to back up and move all of my websites myself – I had about 12 of them, or they could do professional migration for $99 per site. And to put a cherry on top of it all, despite having just one CPanel, and one hosting package. Godaddy insisted that I had to pay $99 per domain name. I am just a hobby blogger – where on earth am I going to get over $1000 to migrate all of my sites?!! I make maybe one check from google ads a year, an affiliate commission here or there, and a few sponsored posts a year.
I know backing the sites up and moving them is not a hard job, anyone can get on FTP backup the files and reupload… But I live in a very rural area where there are amish people and more cows than cars, and internet connections are slow, and unstable. And I did try to FTP my sites myself but it kept timing out – 20 years worth of files, even just for 1 site takes hours if not days, on my connection, and the time outs had me worried about corrupt files or losing my data. I asked Godaddy if they could please waive the migration fees and was told that “We can’t work for free” by a manager. – I asked several reps and eventually spoke to a manager and the answer was the same. Nothing they could do unless I paid.
Well guess what? There are hundreds of webhosts who WILL migrate me for free!! So you have just lost a customer. A happy customer who has been with you for 20 years and probably would have been with you another 70 years – or the rest of my life… But you didn’t care… you didn’t care I paid money monthly for the hosting, or annually for the domains, you couldn’t see that you would have EASILY recouped that 99 dollar fee in less than a year.
If you’re curious what host I chose. I chose Siteground. I considered a lot of other options, but I feel good about my decision. I almost chose Fastcomet. Their prices are hard to beat, but I read they have some issues with site uptime. Most reviews don’t tell you about this, but I found 2 or 3 more honest reviews out there.
When shopping for a new webhost, you have to be careful, because a lot of reviews are sponsored or affiliate reviews and will be more glowing and you get pulled in and then “stuck”. Luckily, a lot of web hosts want your business and will migrate you away from whoever your “bad” host is. So you’re never really stuck.
Don’t settle for a web host provider who doesn’t value you as a customer. Let your money speak, just like I let mine speak to tell Godaddy I had enough. I know I’m just one small customer in part of a multimillion dollar company, but I work hard for my money, and if they don’t want my business, there’s plenty of other hosts who do.
It is unacceptable that 1.) I was on an old plan and never had any notice about PHP being depreciated. They stopped support completely last year meaning I didn’t even receive security updates or etc. And my version was so old probably a lot of plugins/themes/and in fact the newest version of wordpress itself isn’t compatible – It shouldn’t be my problem or expectation on the customer to fix this issue. I know how to update PHP but if there’s no option to update it – that should fall on Godaddy to move me to a plan that has at least a current supported version. 2.) And equally unacceptable that no one did anything to help lower the costs, etc. I can go migrate to hundreds of other hosts for free, but Godaddy can’t move me to a different plan or server with the correct PHP for “free”? It’s not “free” because I’m a paying customer. No one is asking you to do anything for “free” I’m just asking for my websites to work, which were broken by their lack of proper PHP.
I will never recommend Godaddy to anyone again. Previously I always recommended them, we even use them at my work because of me and have probably about 80 domains and multiple sites. I won’t tell my work to leave Godaddy either — but I will warn you blog readers – Godaddy doesn’t deserve my business, and they don’t deserve yours either.
Siteground is running a promotion right now, if you pay for a year of Go Geek hosting up front, you get it for slightly more than what it’d normally cost for 3 months. It works out to under $12 a month. Siteground has a free wordpress migration plugin that lets you flee your bad hosting company for free. They’ll also move one site for free for you with their professional migration… Or if you need them to move your site, it’s only $30, not $99 like Godaddy…. I actually had to have them move one of my sites for me because it was having an error when I tried… but fine, I spent an extra $30, instead of $99 (or 1,000+ for all the sites that Godaddy ridiculously wanted).
Siteground has an affiliate program too; remember what I told you about affiliate programs, you have to be wary of what you read, do your research and make your own decisions. I applied but as of time of this post am not yet in their affiliate program.
I can however refer them and earn a free month of hosting, so if you’re interested in a new host, and want to check them out, especially with their awesome special pricing right now, here’s a link to do so. https://www.siteground.com/recommended?referrer_id=8158484.
Update: 10/12/19: I’m now an affiliate of Siteground – full transparency and disclosure here, if you use this next link I will make a commission: https://www.siteground.com/index.htm?afcode=1a41a164ae9c30dc54ffe5a58032f16c
Or if you don’t want to use my affiliate link, you can always just visit siteground.com
Hopefully this review will spare someone the heartache, anger, frustration, and time that I spent with Godaddy. All I can say, is stay as far away as possible from these crooks.
There may come a day some day where I am dissatisfied with Siteground too, but honestly, I’ve been happy so far, although it’s only been a month or two since I migrated. Do your own research, talk to a lot of people, and take into consideration the factors that are important to you. I would strongly discourage you from joining GoDaddy, but I can’t tell you what’s best for your web hosting needs, I can only tell you about my own experiences with them.