Thinking of hosting with GoDaddy?

Update: Since writing this article GoDaddy have improved their software to allow upgrades from IIS6 -> IIS7, but all databases need to be deleted prior to the upgrade.

GoDaddy is a reputable, reliable web host. Or so they would like you to believe.

I just want to warn you, be very careful to fully plan what you want upfront before signing with goDaddy. Making mistakes during the setup with GoDaddy is a costly experience time wise. I sincerly get the impression that the staff at GoDaddy are really dedicated to giving you a solid professional service, but the software that runs GoDaddy is in my experience a bit outdated, and limited.

Here are a few things to consider before you configure anything with the GoDaddy software.

Make sure you research everything, if you need help ASK!

You can’t go wrong if you get a support consultant on the phone  with you, while you’re configuring your site. They’ll be glad to assist, and you’ll save yourself loads of time. Sorry to say, but the software is not intuitive enough. If you have a strict deadline, its essential that you do this. You’ll soon discover that its not easy to undo mistakes made by “clicking here and there” or selecting default values because you thought they would be ok. Read the FAQ’s and make sure that you know exactly what you’re in for before applying any setting.

Here are some additional mistakes I’ve personally made.

If you’re planning on getting a windows package BE VERY CAREFUL,. Only your main domain can support PHP, no subdomains support PHP.

Thinking of hosting a few wordpress installations? Think again! Only your main domain is capable of supporting PHP, this is a GoDaddy limitation, and I really wish GoDaddy would advertise this fact upfront.

IIS management is rubbish

I don’t mean to sound harsh and I am just being truthful. GoDaddy don’t really provide any real IIS management. You can change the .net version and setup a few virtual directories (that’s it)

No detailed .net errors

GoDaddy hide all your .net errors, instead they send out one 500 (there was an error with your request), there is no way you can turn on decent error handling, making it difficult sometimes to detect what exactly is wrong with your application.

GoDaddy won’t install WordPress on IIS 6.

I started by signing up for a Deluxe Windows Hosting Package, so that I could test out some MVC stuff, and play around with new .net stuff. At the same time I was told that it was “no problem” to install a wordpress blog in the Windows package. It was a matter of a few clicks. Unfortunately the GoDaddy software requires you to select IIS 7 during the account setup, if you intend to run PHP. There were no warnings or prompts about this. Technically PHP is capable of running on either IIS 6 or 7. So this is a GoDaddy specific issue. I installed IIS 6, hoping to install an older version for maximum compatibility. The only way to resolve this is to completely delete the account and restart. This implies getting refunded on money spent and repurchasing the package. If you don’t believe this – here is offical GoDaddy communication to confirm this.

Upon review of the currently hosting plan you have with us, it is not compatible with WordPress.  WordPress requires PHP language support.   Your hosting account is an IIS6 Windows hosting account, which does not support PHP scripting.  If this website is using only non-Windows based programming, then it is advisable to migrate the account to a Linux hosting account.  If you must use Windows for any ASP.NET, Microsoft databases or other specific Windows scripting, then this account will need to be canceled, repurchased and then setup as an IIS7 configuration for Windows which does support PHP 5 scripting (not PHP 4).  We do not offer an upgrade from IIS6 to IIS7.  Please use the steps below for the different options suggested to resolve this connectivity issue.

No matter how you look at this, its totally unacceptable. But could have been avoided if I had a support technican on the line with me during setup. I would also like to again remind you that You absolutely cannot blame the support engineers for this type of answer,  instead the real reason behind this, the outdated software that drives GoDaddy.com. I decided it was easier (cheaper too) to migrate to Linux.

Every change is polled, nothing happens in real time.
Make a small change, wait….
Make a medium sized change, wait….. 2-3 hours.
Make a large change, wait… 24 hours.
Its not uncommon to be met by screens that contain the following.
WARNING: Domain Modification In Progress: There is a domain modification currently in progress. Please allow two to twenty-four hours for this change to take effect. While this domain modification is in progress, your Web site will be accessible through both the old and new domain names. Once the process is complete, your Web site will only be accessible through the new domain name. If the new domain name is under a different customer number or with a different company than your hosting account, you will need to manually update the DNS for the new domain name. Update the ‘A Record’ so it points to the IP address of your hosting account. If the hosting account has subdomains, you will need to manually create an ‘A Record’ or ‘CNAME’ for each subdomain.

Now I am not talking about propogation times here, this is just for the change to be applied to the local server.
It took me over 1 week to configure my sites, thank fully now everything is sorted out.
I would not recommend GoDaddy unless you have a very basic LINUX based requirement just make sure you don’t underestimate the setup process.
If you are looking for .net hosting – then STAY AWAY FROM GODADDY

33 thoughts on “Thinking of hosting with GoDaddy?

  1. Sorry to hear you’ve had trouble. We’d like to assist you with getting your sites up and running again. Please email us with some details including your domain name, and we will be in touch.

    Sincerely,

    Alicia R.
    Go Daddy Hosting

  2. I have my domain through godaddy, but I had the same headaches as you…and I even had the linux package. I found a great free hosting site with comparable features, its called nxserve.net I have had my account with them for about 3 months now and without any issues what so ever. Check ’em out!

  3. I just purchased GoDaddy hosting a few weeks ago. After waiting through the process of transferring my domain I tried to install wordpress and came across the same problem. I have been searching google for answers and your article saved me some time and left me was some hair on my head. I am new to this and thoroughly frustrated. If it cannot be resolved I think I will cancel my account and try another hosting service. This all seems to be harder than it should be. Thanks for the info, it was very helpful!

  4. I strongly recommend that you turn the No Follow off in your comment section. I’ll watch Google Webmaster Tools, and if the links don’t show up after a couple of weeks — I won’t go back to that blog again. Another suggestion: you should have a Top Commentator widget installed. Do Follow and Top Commentator will ensure that you have a successful blog with lots of readers!

  5. I have a deluxe account as well and am just finding all of this out. I have used Godaddy since 06 and have always been happy with them. After hours of trying to fix this problem this experience has taken the wind out of my sails. Now I have to go through a refund and repurchasing? Ugh.

  6. I’m suffering through some of these issues as well – except from the other perspective. I’m trying to get the open-source (read: unix friendly) CMS Joomla installed on a IIS account at GoDaddy.

    Permissions are super messed up – and no one at support can help me resolve them.

    I have a bit of IIS experience and if I had access to the terminal I could resolve these issues myself.

    I can agree with you that GoDaddy’s basic Unix hosting works. Nothing fancy – it just gets the job done. Which has me thinking I should ask the client if it would be okay to change the hosting to Unix.

  7. I would just add that switching to Linux hosting there is not necessarily a panacea either. Slowness can be enjoyed there, too. The admin interface is dreadful (and doesn’t work in Firefox in some parts), lots of fun scrollbars so you can’t find stuff, cluttered busy screens, pop-up ads trying to upsell you. Just wretched inside and out.

    With all the hosts out there, I can’t believe people will still buy their junk. I guess they think Danica Patrick is hot. Or the simple answer: it’s the only one they’ve heard of, due to heavy advertising.

    I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole, except that I’ve had several clients that use it and won’t change.

  8. I am so happy I found your blog. The information on your blog needs to be discovered so I have added you to my Google News Reader. I really look forward to reading more posts from you. Keep up the good work!

  9. I am not am hosting my site on godaddy hosting now, but on bluehost. I want to switch my host to godaddy but IDK how I can contact them and start a transfer. Looks like I should have been hosting with godaddy in the first place!!

  10. Great article. There’s a lot of good data here, though I did want to let you know something – I am running Mac OS X with the circulating beta of Firefox, and the layout of your blog is kind of funky for me. I can read the articles, but the navigation doesn’t work so good.

  11. “Thinking of hosting a few wordpress installations? Think again! Only your main domain is capable of supporting PHP, this is a GoDaddy limitation, and I really wish GoDaddy would advertise this fact upfront.”

    Thanks for that info…Glad I googled “godaddy hosting” before I purchased =)

  12. Too late for me !
    i just found out i wasted 100 dollar on godaddy hosting!
    i’ve asked for a refund….

    it’s like going to a restaurant and everytime you pick up the fork you have to pay again!

    i guess i should have read all these first:

    *, ‡, ‡‡, ‡‡‡, 1, +, °, °°, †, ††, ††† Click here for product disclaimers and legal policies.

  13. I had problems with their 302 redirect. I contacted the help and support and they tried hard to ignore me for a whole week. I am thinking about hosting somewhere else but I do not know who is better? Do you recommend Bluehost?

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