With over 20 million customers, GoDaddy is one of the largest web hosts today. In fact, it claims to be “the world’s number one web host” and offers a full range of email, hosting, and domain registration services, with add-on options like online stores, marketing tools, and backup.
We are testing their Linux-based Deluxe Hosting product, but there are equivalent options for Windows-based hosting, WordPress hosting, and dedicated servers for customers with the most demanding requirements.
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Deluxe hosting allows you to publish ten websites and up to 50 subdomains that take up a combined storage of 50 GB. It has 25 databases to share between them, each of which can hold a maximum of 1 GB of data, and the bandwidth is unlimited unless its use “presents a tangible risk to stability, performance, or uptime of our servers”. If so, you will be notified by email and you may need to update or restrict your website resources.
Every GoDaddy website comes with a free SSL certificate that automatically renews, and if you sign up for a year or more, you also get a free domain from a variety of popular TLDs (Top Level Domains), plus three Microsoft Office 365 mailboxes. free for 12 months with 10 GB of storage. These mailboxes are not automatically enabled, although they are attached to your account, but if you choose to use them and do not subsequently cancel, they will renew at the current rate (currently £85.97 including 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 through webmail or an external client.
This is all good value for money at £7.19/month including VAT, subject to you signing up for three years in advance, after which the plan renews at £11.99/month. If you can’t commit for that long, there are 24 and 12 month options at £8.39/month and £9.59/month each, renewing again at £11.99 at the end of the term. Is it still too long? You can also pay quarterly at £10.79 for the first three months and £14.39/month thereafter, though you won’t qualify for the free domain and matching email afterwards.
Deluxe is one of four Linux hosting plans, ranging from Cheap (£4.79/month for three years) for a single website, to Maximum (£17.99/month 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 based on 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 subscribe to Maximum.
Storage starts at 25 GB on the Value plan and increases by 25 GB at each price point, to reach 100 GB on the Maximum tier. All of this makes it very easy to determine if it’s worth upgrading, and what you’ll get, as your online activities become more ambitious.
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Behind the scenes, the most common administrative tasks have been removed from the broader cPanel interface for quick and easy access. As a result, phpMyAdmin, a file manager, FTP manager, and backup control are just one click away.
Basic tasks like pointing an external domain to GoDaddy (half of which, of course, will require DNS changes at your existing host), installing apps, and updating PHP, all appear on the front page of the dashboard, so you don’t need to dive into the complete interface if you just need to do a quick adjustment. Security notifications also appear here, making them hard to miss.
By default, our account was configured to use PHP 7.4, which reached EOL in 2022, so we’re pleased to see the upgrade to 8.1, which receives active support until the end of this year and security support until November 2024, it’s a simple click-to-patch job. Similarly, you can downgrade to 7.3 or 5.6 if you have a particular need.
Two ‘special’ FTP accounts are configured by default. These cannot be modified or deleted, as they are used to manage administrative tasks, such as accessing files outside of the public directory or accessing logs. On top of these, you can set up an additional 25 FTP users, so there’s no need to give unrestricted access to your account to anyone else who might need to upload and manage files.
The built-in app browser contains one of the most comprehensive app libraries you’re likely to find. The usual suspects like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and phpBB sit alongside 125 others, including wikis, calendars, forums, and business essentials like 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 version.
The installers are easy to navigate. WordPress setup, for example, is a one-page operation, where you could stick with the defaults if you wanted to. We’d actually change the username, password, email, title, and tagline, but any new user who’d rather not mess around with the installer could do at least four of them in the WordPress dashboard.
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All tiers include webmail access, antivirus and antispam protection, Python and Perl, ImageMagick, 256-bit email encryption, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. That guarantee is not as generous as it might seem, as the compensation is only up to 5% of the affected month’s fees and can only be offset against future payments, not a refund. However, the overall package is a flexible, generous and expansive offering, and we have a hard time finding anything missing.
GoDaddy can handle domain registration, too, and their prices for the first year 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 an option too, starting at £4.79 per 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 the first three years.
We were impressed by the level of online help available, with extensive and clearly written documentation for most features, and plenty of background information that relates obliquely to various features of your hosting account. For example, a comprehensive index of requirements for registration and management of various TLDs, videos on working with a WooCommerce store, or using social media to grow your business and a dynamic online community, transform what otherwise Mode could be a simple hosting provider in a publishing destination that you’ll want to stay with for the long term.
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If you’re happy to sign up for the full three years, GoDaddy’s Deluxe hosting package is a steal, especially if you use it to host the full ten sites it allows. Even if you let it renew for a full £11.99 once your initial contract is up, you’ll only pay £1.20 per month for each site, which we think is excellent value for money. On that basis, yes, it’s worth adding to your short list.
If you can’t commit to the full three years from the start, you’ll naturally pay more, but even at £9.59 per month for the first year, the price for a year is still competitive.
Unmetered bandwidth, daily backups, 25 databases, and 50 GB of storage is a tempting package and should meet 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 haul, the one-year and two-year options are far from expensive.
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