Yesterday, big news on the GoDaddy front. And anybody who had their site or their email hosted with GoDaddy noticed it pretty quickly.
Essentially, GoDaddy disappeared from the Internet yesterday. The exact cause has yet to be officially determined, but a hacker named Anonymousown3r, a self-proclaimed member of Anonymous, is claiming responsibility. He is saying that this wasn’t an official effort of the group and that he was acting on his own.
Whether that is true or not, it is indisputable that GoDaddy went down. And went down hard. The company even had to move their DNS service over to a competitor just to get back on the Internet.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not a big fan of GoDaddy. Up until recently, I was still using them for some of my domains, but I’ve since moved all of them away.
I’ve had clients ask me about what I think of GoDaddy. I usually tell them that they might be OK when it comes to domains, but that I don’t recommend you use their hosting.
I know that any company as large as GoDaddy is going to have complaints against it. I know that large companies like that will be targeted by hackers from time to time. We can all enjoy the benefits of 20×20 hindsight and sit here and rake GoDaddy over the coals and how this whole thing should have been preventable.
I don’t want to be unfair, but in the end, for me, it comes down to this…
In my own circle, I have people I know or have worked with who use (or used) GoDaddy. And, while I have some who think the service has been just fine, I have what seems to be a fairly high proportion of them who have either left the company or who have complaints. We have occasional security breaches and the story is that GoDaddy blames WordPress for the problem when WP was fully up to date, for example. We have complaints about GoDaddy support and how they seem more interested in upsells than really knowing their job.
In the end, I see it like this…
GoDaddy is a domain company, first and foremost. I know they’re in the hosting business, but I’ve not seen or experienced anything with GoDaddy hosting which makes me think it is truly solid service. A lot of people end up hosting with GoDaddy because of the name recognition. Because they see the TV ads with the scantily clad women. Because they bought a domain and got upsold constantly until they bought hosting, too.
Site Hosting Recommendation
Pair Networks is a great company who takes hosting seriously. They’re not doing snazzy ad campaigns. They’re not even particularly cheap. They’re just quietly providing quality hosting.
Then, there’s HostGator. They’re more popular and you see a lot of people promote them because of their affiliate program. But, under all that, HostGator is a solid hosting company. Very solid. And they’ve got great support. Here’s a video I recorded awhile back on why I recommend Hostgator:
So, if you’re fed up with GoDaddy, definitely consider Hostgator.
Now, what about email hosting and things like that? One of my buddies was complaining yesterday because he hosted his business email accounts with GoDaddy and – yes – all of it disappeared. My friend runs a big real estate company here in the Tampa Bay area and, from the sound of it, his business was basically ground to a halt because of GoDaddy’s breach.
If you don’t need web hosting and only need email, I’d recommend you check out Google Apps.
With Google Apps, you get private editions of Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sites, and more. Yes, all this is stuff you can get for free with a standard Google account, however Apps allows you to manage internal company communications using these platforms. It is all tied to your own domain (rather than gmail.com). You can manage all your staff accounts via one interface. You can even label the apps with your own business branding and remove the usual Google logos.
And get this… if your business has 10 or less staff, you can use Google Apps for free. So, no GoDaddy bills. Buy a domain at NameCheap and use Google Apps for your communications platform.
A last word…
There are people who are currently with GoDaddy, who want to leave, but who don’t because they are afraid it will be a lot of work or they don’t understand how to do it.
But, trust me… it is NOT difficult to transfer your web host. Hostgator even has a service where they will migrate your site for you after you sign up. It isn’t a big deal.
Hosting is something you want to get right. All this talk we do here at the Academy about building your business… its pretty hard to do if your business is taken offline because of some hosting issue outside of you control.