In this new article, we have a cautionary tale to tell that explains why I left GoDaddy and chose to move my sites to new hosting.
Let’s get started!
Why I Left GoDaddy
I was with Godaddy hosting for a number of years, probably 10+ and for the first 7 years, they were ok to work with.
Unfortunately over the last 3 or 4 years, that changed.
The problems really started when Google made a big push to make site owners move from HTTP to HTTPS by starting to notifying visitors if a site didn’t have an SSL certificate.
I never really saw having an SSL as important for my sites.
I didn’t sell products via my sites.
There were never any financial transactions and my sites were not member sites.
I wasn’t really collecting any information that required encryption.
Regardless I decided to purchase an SSL for Infobunny just because it would look more professional.
It also had the benefit that would give a very small SEO boost to my rankings.
I spoke with GoDaddy support who was very keen to sell me an SSL at $70 for a year and very helpful in setting it up for me.
But then we hit a problem
All my sites were created under another site that no longer existed and the SSL could not be applied to the individual site I wanted to add it to because the name did not reflect the name of the folder.
The solution was that I needed a multi-site SSL at 3x the price. There was no way I was going to upgrade to a multi-site SSL so GoDaddy refunded me for the single site SSL that couldn’t be applied to my site.
I then made some Google searches to look for solutions and found that there were free SSL options.
I tried to add a free SSL but hit the same site name problem and could not incorporate the free option.
The only solution for me to add an SSL was to spend a small fortune on multi-site SSL that I just didn’t need.
So I decided just to remain an SSL Certificate-free zone.
The Support upsells began
I am not overly technical and in the early years when I called GoDaddy for tech support, they were always very helpful in resolving issues.
But this all changed.
I found that when I was calling GoDaddy they were only interested in troubleshooting their own setup and not actually interested in helping me once they had proved that the issue was not one of their servers or alike.
Now when they considered that the issue was not on their side the only help they could give was to refer me to tutorial posts or upsell me a support package where someone would look at the problem and fix it for $100.
Support had changed, they were now upselling tech help and charging members a flat fee regardless of how simple or difficult the problem was.
On another occasion
Did you know that you cannot hold a backup on your site on GoDaddy hosting?
Well, at least not on the hosting plan I was on.
My plan gave me unlimited sites, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited storage, yes UNLIMITED STORAGE.
I was using a plugin called UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore to backup Infobunny.
Backups were scheduled once a week.
Unbeknown to me backups were being stored on my hosting.
A couple of emails were sent to me warning me of this issue but they had found their way into the spam folder, but by the time I found them, it was really too late.
I called support and asked why my site was down and they told me I was storing big files on my hosting and they explained that I was daring to backup my site and storing the backup on GoDaddy which was against the terms of service.
I asked how can it not be allowed for a site to hold a backup on my hosting especially when my hosting plan had unlimited storage.
And they just maintained that I was breaking the terms and told me the file had to be removed.
I told them to just delete the file then but they refused.
They said I had to remove the file myself or they could refer this to their tech team at the cost of $100 and then the file would be removed in 2 or 3 days depending on their workload.
They wanted me to be offline for 2-3 days!
The file had to be removed. I would then need to call in and notify support that it had been removed for them to verify it was gone.
Once they could verify the file had been deleted they could remove the block.
I called in a favor with a friend who helped me find the file and removed it.
It didn’t take long, 10 mins or so and it was gone. It certainly wasn’t a $100 tech team job.
I called GoDaddy support and my site was reinstated.
In total site was offline for a day and a half.
At that point, I should have just made the decision to leave GoDaddy but I didn’t.
Let’s bring this up to date
I started to get messages within my sites that my PHP version needed updating and that my sites were not secure.
I contacted support who told me, “yes it does need updating but the hosting package you are on is outdated and could can’t be updated, the only way to fix the issue is to upgrade to a newer package”.
So said “fine I will upgrade”.
I then asked if they would move my sites over to the new hosting plan?
It didn’t seem a big ask for them to migrate from one GoDaddy server to another.
The response was “yes we can do that, it’s $100 per site”.
I refused to pay for this.
The only free support they would give me was to send me more tutorials.
And I still didn’t leave GoDaddy.
You Got Mail!
A year ago I got this email:
Your Web Hosting Linux service is near the end of the road.
Here’s what’s happening:
We’re transferring the (very old) hosting you’re currently on to Linux Hosting with cPanel.
We know change is hard – but not this one.
This change is going to be seamless, you don’t have to do anything.
This change will affect the following hosting plans:
Deluxe Web Hosting Linux
Here’s why you don’t need to worry about it at all:
- We’re not moving anything for a while
- There won’t be any interruptions of service when we do
- You don’t have to do anything at all when the time comes
- We’ll definitely be sending you another email when you’re near migration
If you do want to learn more, we’ve got a whole page just to walk you through what’s changing, what’s not and how this new hosting plan is going to simplify your life.
I was going to be upgraded and moved and all my problems would be solved, and it was free.
That email was sent to me 14 months or so ago. in the meanwhile, one of my site themes had updated and was now in conflict with the old PHP version. I now needed to update urgently.
So I again called in and told support the problem, I explained about the email and how they were going to upgrade me for free, and said, it had been 14 months when is this happening?
They replied saying they didn’t know when the update would happen and that they were working through a long list.
They then suggested that I upgraded now
If I took the year option there would be no additional costs.
I agreed and said, “so you will move my sites over?”
The support agent replied “there is normally a $70 charge per site but let me talk to my manager we should be able to do the site migration for free because you’re going to get free anyway”
Finally, we were getting somewhere.
The agent went away and came back. He went away and came back. Then I was informed that if I wanted to upgrade it would still cost me $240 to have my sites migrated to the new hosting package.
I again reiterated that they were going to do this for me for free and the agent replied “you can upgrade now but you will be charged $100per site to be moved to the new server, we can’t do this for free, THIS IS A BUSINESS!“
So I had to upgrade my hosting, which would eventually be more expensive, and pay the $240 for moving the sites
I had to pay in excess of $340 just to stay where I was. And this still didn’t include the elusive SSL certificate.
The alternative was to read more tutorials and attempt to do it myself or just wait until they finally got round to moving me.
I refused all the options I was given. I had had enough of the poor service and the upselling and I decided to just leave GoDaddy.
Enough was enough.Have you ever had trouble with GoDaddy Hosting? Here is my cautionary tale of how GoDaddy falls way short on giving a good service and value for money.Click To Tweet
Searching for hosting
The next day I did some searching to find out if anyone else had suffered similar treatment at the hands of GoDaddy and I was not surprised to find lots of very similar stories being told.
I also discovered reports that GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons had shot an elephant in Zimbabwe.
He tried to explain this away by saying that he was helping the farmers whose fields were being trampled.
Basically, he was helping the farmers out with some pest control. There are then pictures of him standing over his prize with his rifle grinning?
One of the why I left Godaddy articles I read suggested the hosting company DreamHost.
I did some research and found only positive information about them so I went to DreamHost and signed up.
DreamHost has a plugin that you can install on your site. This plugin lets you migrate your site for free with the push of one button.
Four hours later my sites were all hosted with DreamHost.
Free SSL certificates were installed automatically by DreamHost.
And I was now running on the latest PHP version making my sites more secure and twice as fast.
And all for the introductory price of just $35.40 for the year with the price increasing to $155 on renewal.
Why I left GoDaddy – Takeaways
So that is why I left GoDaddy.
Moving hosts was a decision I should have made 6 years ago.
But like I said I wasn’t very technical. The whole site structure within the Godaddy platform was complicated. It just made it daunting to make the decision to leave GoDaddy.
I was worried it would be just something I would mess up and I would then need to hire someone to fix the mess I made.
But It got to the stage where enough was enough and I had to make the decision to leave GoDaddy.
I wish I had made the decision much sooner because DreamHost just made it so easy to move
So the moral of this story is don’t fear the technical side of WordPress Blogging.
If you know that you should leave your hosting company because you are getting a raw deal from them then do some quick research, read some reviews and then contact those hosting companies.
Explain your situation, that you will need help.
See just what they can offer you and take it from there.
And if you are looking to start a blog and GoDaddy is on your potential list of hosting companies then walk away right now and check out what DreamHost has to offer instead.
That’s all for now.
So who hosts your website?
Have you ever used GoDaddy, what experience did you have with them?
Let us know in the comments section below.