There are serious savings to be made with GoDaddy if you’re willing to commit for the long term
- Keenly priced
- Comprehensive, easy-to-use dashboard
- Logical tiers make picking a package simple
- The biggest savings require a lengthy commitment
With more than 20 million customers, GoDaddy is one of the biggest web hosts going. Indeed, it claims to be “the world’s number one web host” and offers a full range of domain registration, hosting and email services, with bolt-on options such as online stores, marketing tools and backup.
We’re testing its Linux-based Deluxe Hosting product, but there are equivalent options for Windows-based hosting and WordPress hosting, and dedicated servers for customers with the most demanding requirements.
GoDaddy review: What do you get for the money?
Deluxe Hosting lets you publish ten websites and up to 50 subdomains occupying a combined 50GB of storage. You have 25 databases to share between them, each of which can host a maximum of 1GB of data, and bandwidth is unlimited unless your usage “presents a tangible risk to the stability, performance, or uptime of our servers”. If it does, you’ll be notified by email and may either be required to upgrade or have your website’s resources restricted.
Every GoDaddy website has a free, auto-renewing SSL certificate, and if you sign up for a year or more you also get one free domain from a range of popular TLDs (Top Level Domains), plus three free Microsoft Office 365 mailboxes for 12 months with 10GB of storage. These mailboxes aren’t automatically enabled, even though they’re attached to your account, but if you choose to use them and don’t subsequently cancel them, they’ll renew at the going rate (currently £86 inc VAT for all three) from year two. If you prefer not to use them, don’t worry: you can create up to 500 email addresses through the control panel and access them via webmail or an external client.
This is all good value for £7.19/mth inc VAT, subject to you signing up for three years up front, after which the plan renews at £11.99/mth. If you can’t commit to that long, there are 24-month and 12-month options at £8.39/mth and £9.59/mth apiece, again renewing at £11.99 at the end of the term. Still too long? You can also go quarterly at £10.79 for the first three months, and £14.39/mth thereafter, although you then won’t qualify for the free domain and matching email.
Deluxe is one of four Linux hosting plans, which run from Economy (£4.79/mth for three years) for a single website, through to Maximum (£17.99/mth for three years) for up to 50 sites. Pricing is refreshingly simple, with each plan offering the same set of features, with just the quantities changing according to price. So, you have 512MB of memory on Economy, 1GB on the Deluxe plan we’re testing, 1.5GB on Ultimate, and 2GB if you sign up to Maximum.
Storage starts out at 25GB on the Economy plan, and increments by 25GB at each price point, to reach 100GB on the Maximum tier. All of this makes it very easy to work out whether it’s worth upgrading – and what you’ll get – as your online activities get more ambitious.
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GoDaddy review: Hosting fundamentals
Behind the scenes, the most common administrative tasks have been pulled out of the wider cPanel interface for quick and easy access. As a result, phpMyAdmin, a file manager, FTP manager and backup control are each a single click away.
Basic tasks such as pointing an external domain at GoDaddy (half of which will of course require DNS changes at your existing host), installing applications and updating PHP appear on the dashboard’s front page, so you don’t need to dip into the full interface if you only need to make a quick tweak. Security notifications appear here, too, which makes them hard to miss.
By default, our account was set up to use PHP 7.4, which reached end of life in 2022, so we’re glad to see that updating to 8.1 – which receives active support until late this year and security support until November 2024 – is a simple click-to-patch job. You can similarly downgrade to 7.3 or 5.6 if you have a particular need.
GoDaddy review: Is it easy to build a website?
Two “special” FTP accounts are set up by default. These can’t be modified or deleted as they’re used to manage administrative tasks such as accessing files outside of the public-facing directory, or to access logs. Aside from these, you can set up 25 additional FTP users, so it’s not necessary to hand over unrestricted access to your account to anyone else who might need to upload and manage files.
The integrated application browser contains one of the most comprehensive app libraries you’re likely to come across. The usual suspects, including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and phpBB, sit alongside 125 others, including wikis, calendars, forums and business essentials such as Magneto, Nextcloud and Roundcube. At the time of writing this review, WordPress is version 6.1.1, Drupal is version 10.0.0 and Joomla is 4.2.6, each of which is the latest build.
The installers are easy to navigate. Setting up WordPress, for example, is a single page operation, on which you could – if you wanted – stick with the defaults. In reality, we’d change the username, password, email, title and tagline, but at least four of these could be done in the WordPress dashboard by any new user who prefers not to fiddle with the installer.
GoDaddy review: Are there any additional features?
All tiers include webmail access, virus and spam protection, Python and Perl, ImageMagick, 256-bit email encryption and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. That guarantee isn’t quite as generous as it might sound, as compensation only runs to 5% of the affected month’s fees, and can only be offset against future payments – it’s not cashback. Nonetheless, the overall bundle is a flexible, generous and expansive offering, and we’re hard-pressed to find anything lacking.
GoDaddy can also handle domain registration, and its first-year prices are good. A .co.uk or .com domain, for example, will cost you 1p a year for the first three years.
If you prefer Windows hosting, that’s also an option, starting at £4.79 a month on a three-year contract. So is VPS hosting with root access, dedicated servers starting at £11.99 a month, and dedicated WordPress hosting at £7.19 a month for your first three years.
We were impressed by the level of online help available, with extensive, clearly written documentation for most features, and plenty of background information that obliquely relates to various functions of your hosting account. For example, a comprehensive index of requirements for the registration and management of various TLDs, videos on working with a WooCommerce store or using social media to grow your business and a vibrant online community transform what might otherwise be a simple hosting provider into a publishing destination you’ll want to stick with over the longer term.
GoDaddy review: Should you sign up?
If you’re happy to sign up for the full three years, GoDaddy’s Deluxe hosting package is a bargain – particularly if you use it to host the full ten sites it permits. Even if you let it renew at the full £11.99 once your initial contract is up, you’ll only be paying £1.20 a month for each site, which we think is great value. On that basis, yes, it’s well worth adding to your short list.
If you can’t commit to the full three years from the get-go you’ll naturally pay more, but even at £9.59 a month for the first year, the one-year price remains competitive.
Unmetered bandwidth, daily backups, 25 databases and 50GB of storage is a tempting bundle, and should suit the needs of most home and small business users. While it’s true that the biggest savings are reserved for those willing to sign up for the long term, one-year and two-year options are far from expensive.