Hosting WordPress

The Truth About GoDaddy WordPress Hosting: It’s Not What You Think


Written by

Dave Warfel

Reading Time

12 minutes

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GoDaddy is one of the biggest names in hosting. They used to be associated with slow servers, bad support and controversial Super Bowl ads, but they’ve come a long way in the past few years. This article is going to set the record straight about GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting; more specifically, their new Pro managed WordPress hosting product.

SPOILER ALERT: Both the company, and their WordPress hosting platform, have improved tremendously, and are worth considering for your next WordPress project.

I’m discussing GoDaddy’s leadership & history with WordPress because I think it’s important to understand the extent of their involvement in and commitment to the community, but feel free to jump straight to the hosting review sections below.

Table of Contents

GoDaddy focuses on small business websites with minimal traffic. If you’re looking for the fastest, most secure & scalable WordPress hosting on the planet, check out our #1 rated host, Kinsta, with plans starting at $30/mo. (full Kinsta review)

GoDaddy’s History

GoDaddy was formed in 1997 and officially took on the GoDaddy name in 1999. By 2005, they reached 10 million customers and $100 million in annual revenue. This was also the year they ran their first Super Bowl commercial, which is what some people still think of today when they think GoDaddy.

A lot has changed since then. In 2018, GoDaddy:

  • has over 17 million customers
  • managed over 75 million domain names
  • employee over 7,000 people worldwide
  • operates out of 14 offices in all parts of the globe
  • made $2.2 billion in annual revenue (in 2017)

More importantly, the sexist ads are a thing of the past, and their customer support & hosting platform have matured.

Many of GoDaddy’s positive changes started when co-founder & CEO, Bob Parsons, stepped down in 2011, and Blake Irving took over in 2013.

New Management & Changing Course

Blake Irving had a lofty goal to completely overhaul GoDaddy’s infrastructure & reputation, turning it into a woman-friendly, cloud-based international company helping small businesses turn their ideas into reality. While some people are still skeptical of GoDaddy’s new identity, they have largely delivered on Blake’s mission.

GoDaddy's gender diversity stats, 2017
GoDaddy’s gender diversity stats, 2017. GoDaddy, Inc.

To better illustrate GoDaddy’s position in the WordPress space, let’s talk about their involvement in the WordPress community, acquisitions they’ve made, and the serious work they’ve put into building their WordPress hosting product.

GoDaddy & the WordPress Community

From hiring WordPress experts to expanding infrastructure to sponsoring WordPress community events, GoDaddy has made a concerted effort to go all-in with WordPress.

They’ve been extremely active in the WordPress community over the past few years. Sure, this helps their bottom line by cashing in on a large market, but you can’t fault a business for making money. They’ve proven their dedication to the WordPress ecosystem in ways that go beyond simply making a profit.

Hired “Head of WordPress,” Gabriel Mays

The acceleration of GoDaddy’s involvement in the WordPress community likely began with the hiring of Gabriel Mays as GoDaddy’s Head of WordPress in 2015. It seems like Gabe is not only involved in driving product design, but also highly active in the community. I’ve seen him on videos, in forums, responding to comments on popular WordPress blogs, etc.

Gabe is a WordPress user of over 10 years, and having someone like him dedicated to all aspects of GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting is a huge step in rebuilding their reputation.

Sponsoring Community Events

loopconf logo

GoDaddy also became a global community sponsor, which means they’re supporting every local WordCamp happening all across the globe. They are one of only 4 companies (not including Automattic-owned companies) to commit to such a high level of community support.

They also sponsor other WordPress events put on by the community, including the popular developer’s conference, loopconf.

While technically not an event, GoDaddy also sponsored a 40-video WordPress beginner series on YouTube by OSTraining, allowing them to give away some really valuable content for free.

Support for a Full-Time WordPress Core Contributor

A WordPress core contributor is someone who contributes code to the open source WordPress project. These people are incredibly vital to ensuring WordPress remains a free, secure platform that continues to grow.

In September 2016, Aaron Campbell was hired by GoDaddy to work on WordPress full-time. He summed it up in his own words like this:

Basically, I’m going to be working to make WordPress better and GoDaddy is going to pay for it! … I think that this kind of dedicated support from companies whose businesses are heavily invested in WordPress is extremely healthy for the project as a whole, and I’m ecstatic to get the chance to do this.

Hot 100 Themes & Plugins

In 2015, GoDaddy started aggregating their data on the most popular WordPress themes & plugins installed on their platform. They compiled each list into a Top 100, and made it available publicly.

It continues to be updated today, and is now maintained in Google Data Studio.

Open in Data Studio to view the interactive chart.

GoDaddy WordPress Acquisitions

If you watched the video above by Gabe Mays, you heard him reference several acquisitions GoDaddy has made as of late. One of their top priorities in acquiring these companies was to bring on talented WordPress people who are ingrained in the WordPress ecosystem.

  • ManageWP (2016): Manage multiple WordPress sites in one interface
  • WP Curve (2016): WordPress maintenance & support services
  • Sucuri (2017): Security & malware removal
  • CoBlocks & ThemeBeans (2019): Better themes & blocks for Gutenberg

GoDaddy has integrated most of these platforms & services into their existing offerings. You’ll see below how they have become part of the GoDaddy Pro program, as well as fully integrated into their managed WordPress hosting platform.

GoDaddy Pro for freelancers & agencies

GoDaddy sells its Pro program as “free tools for developers and designers to help manage your sites and clients.” This is a very simple yet accurate description of what it provides.

GoDaddy Pro

The program is comprised of 3 different areas, which I’ll explain below.

NOTE: For a single, small business considering GoDaddy WordPress hosting, you can skip this and go right to Pro managed WordPress. This section is mainly for designers, developers and agencies.

GoDaddy Pro Sites

GoDaddy Pro Sites was born out of their acquisition of ManageWP. Pro Sites allows you to manage all your WordPress websites from a single dashboard.

GoDaddy Pro Sites dashboard
The GoDaddy Pro Sites dashboard
  • Apply theme & plugin updates to all your sites, simultaneously
  • Create branded, client reports with site analytics, security, performance & WooCommerce metrics
  • Automated backups, stored in the cloud
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Performance monitoring
  • Automated security checks

GoDaddy Pro is available for free to all WordPress users, not just those who use GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting. However, additional features are included for free for those who host with GoDaddy.

GoDaddy Pro Clients

GoDaddy Pro Clients provides a single dashboard to manage all of your clients.

GoDaddy Pro Clients dashboard
The GoDaddy Pro Clients dashboard
  • Login to a client account with one-click. No need to remember passwords.
  • Manage DNS, set up email, configure hosting, all from one place
  • Shop & purchase services for your clients

GoDaddy Pro Rewards

GoDaddy Pro Rewards offers incentives for purchasing GoDaddy products & services, and discounts on all new purchases you make for your clients.

GoDaddy Pro rewards

  • 30% discount on all new GoDaddy purchases
  • 5% in-store credit, which can be used to purchase future products

If you spend $500 or more per year through the rewards program, you also get:

  • 10% in-store credit (instead of 5%)
  • premium support from GoDaddy’s best people
  • listed in GoDaddy Pro Connect, a directory of designers & developers promoted to GoDaddy customers

Even if you don’t end up purchasing GoDaddy WordPress hosting, you might still want to sign up for GoDaddy Pro. If you work with clients in the future who are already using GoDaddy, the Pro program could make things easier & more affordable for you.

GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting, $1/mo.

GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting first launched in January 2014 as GoDaddy entered the WordPress hosting space. While it’s performance was decent (especially for the cost), and it included a shiny new dashboard & a few nice WordPress features, it did very little to stand out from the 40+ WordPress hosting companies who had a head start.

This somewhat generic version of GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting showed their commitment to WordPress, but I couldn’t recommend it because it lacked crucial features that other WordPress hosts were including for free. Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons:


  • Inexpensive: starting at $1/mo.
  • Good support: knowledgeable & localized to your country
  • Backups: automated, stored for 30 days
  • Staging: but only on larger plans
  • Onboarding: a nice setup wizard
  • Stock Photos: 1000s of free stock photos pre-uploaded to your Media Library

This video illustrates GoDaddy’s WordPress setup wizard & onboarding process, which I still believe to be better than most.


  • No SSL: https is not included
  • Performance: No PHP 7
  • Shared Environment: other sites could impact your performance
  • Upgrades Needed: staging & malware scanning only on larger plans

The list of Pros might appear longer, but SSL & PHP 7 should be considered standard for any WordPress host, and this is where GoDaddy’s basic WordPress hosting falls short.

SEE ALSO: Switching to PHP 7


It’s important to reiterate that I recommend GoDaddy’s Pro Managed WordPress Hosting (reviewed below), but I will include prices for their basic WordPress hosting here.

  • Basic, $1/mo: 1 website, 25k monthly visitors, 10 GB storage
  • Deluxe, $2/mo: 1 website, 100k monthly visitors, 15 GB storage, SSH, staging
  • Ultimate, $8/mo: 2 websites, 400k monthly visitors, 30 GB storage, SSH, staging, malware scan/removal, free SSL for 1 year

Check out GoDaddy’s basic WordPress hosting for $1/mo., but if you go this route, definitely pair it with an SSL certificate for $3/yr.

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting plans & pricing
GoDaddy WordPress hosting pricing, as of April 2018

While I still recommend the Pro WordPress hosting, GoDaddy recently lowered their prices for SSL certificates. You can now get an SSL for as low as $3/mo. So if you’re stuck on a Basic, Deluxe or Ultimate WordPress hosting plan, and have yet to implement https for your website, grab a $3 SSL right away and upgrade your site to https.

GoDaddy Pro Managed WordPress Hosting Recommended

After receiving feedback from the WordPress community, GoDaddy launched their Pro managed WordPress hosting in October 2017. They’ve made significant improvements in both the performance of the platform, as well as the bundled services that come with it. If you’re evaluating GoDaddy WordPress hosting, this is what you should be considering.

GoDaddy Pro Managed WordPress hosting

Tech Specs

For you web developers out there, here’s a look at the tech specs of GoDaddy’s Pro managed WordPress hosting:

  • Latest version of PHP 7
  • HTTP/2
  • Dynamic load balancing
  • 4 layers of caching
  • Containerized Kubernetes clusters
  • CEPH Block Storage
  • CDN static image caching

Features for all plans

And for everyone else shopping around for WordPress hosting, here’s what else you get with all plans of GoDaddy Pro WordPress hosting:

  • Free SSL certificates for every site (automatically installed)
  • 90 days worth of automated backups, plus on-demand backups at any time
  • Selective restore of backups
  • sFTP & SSH access for Git and WP-CLI
  • Staging environment for every site
  • 24/7 monitoring & DDoS protection
  • All the site & client management tools listed above in GoDaddy Pro
  • 1000s of royalty-free stock images
  • Beaver Builder page builder, pre-installed
  • WP101 video tutorials right in your WordPress admin area
  • Gravity Forms license
  • Dedicated WordPress support from your home country

Purchase hosting using one of the links on this page & you’ll automatically receive 30% OFF (excluding renewals).

Get GoDaddy Pro WordPress Hosting starting at $6.99/mo. »


While GoDaddy Pro WordPress Hosting is geared towards designers & developers, their smallest package is still very affordable for small business owners managing just one site. I highly recommend the Pro plans over any of the basic plans mentioned above (basic, deluxe, ultimate).

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Pro 5 & 10 are great for smaller businesses & freelancers who want a powerful platform, but don’t have much time to manage it themselves.

Pro 25 & 50 are great for bigger agencies who manage many small to medium-sized WordPress sites.

Get GoDaddy WordPress Hosting

GoDaddy Pro Managed WordPress hosting pricing
Pricing as of July 2019

GoDaddy WordPress Plugin Partnerships

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve already heard about most of these partnerships. GoDaddy has partnered with several well-known WordPress plugins to seamlessly integrate them into their WordPress hosting products.

  • Beaver Builder page builder comes pre-installed
  • WP101 training videos, right in your admin area
  • Free stock photos available in your Media Library
  • Gravity Forms license (on Pro Managed WordPress Hosting)

GoDaddy’s WordPress Themes

Another way GoDaddy has contributed to the WordPress community is by releasing a handful of free themes. Not only are these themes available to GoDaddy customers, but they made them all available for free on Github.

GoDaddy WordPress themes
A sampling of the WordPress themes designed by GoDaddy

Premium WordPress Support & Services

With GoDaddy’s acquisition of WP Curve, they now offer WordPress support & maintenance. I have not tried this service personally, but based on what I have heard about WP Curve, I have no doubt that you’ll receive top-notch support.

WordPress Premium Support

However, be wary of the pricing model. For smaller sites who need help infrequently, it might not work out in your favor. Each task costs 1 credit. You pay for credits in advance, and they don’t roll over.

  • 1 task, $50/mo.
  • 3 tasks, $80/mo. ($27/task)
  • 5 tasks, $100/mo. ($20/task)
  • 10 tasks, $150/mo. ($15/task)

GoDaddy’s WordPress premium support covers:

  • theme maintenance
  • WordPress development
  • database management
  • SEO evaluation
  • image optimization
  • and a ton of other administrative tasks

GoDaddy’s Future

All signs point to GoDaddy continuing it’s reputation transformation, and even further investing in WordPress for years to come.

GoDaddy CEO, Scott Wagner

New CEO for 2018

Scott Wagner has taken over as CEO in 2018. Scott first invested in GoDaddy in 2011, and has been a member of the GoDaddy team since 2013. He’s assumed such roles as interim CEO, CFO, COO and President, and worked alongside Blake Irving during his entire tenure. I expect Scott will continue right where Blake left off.

Partnership with Amazon Web Services

On March 28, 2018, GoDaddy announced it’s going all-in on AWS, migrating the vast majority of its infrastructure as part of a multi-year transition.

GoDaddy will leverage the breadth and depth of AWS services—including machine learning, analytics, databases, and containers—to innovate faster than ever before and to meet the needs of its customer growth around the world. AWS will enable GoDaddy to accelerate the delivery of its products and services, and easily deploy them globally in minutes, to its customers worldwide.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Over the past few years (2013-present), GoDaddy has really turned things around. I hope this article provides some clarity on the current state of GoDaddy WordPress hosting, and possibly even convinces you to give it a try.

Being as large of a company as they are, you can’t deny their incredible resources, which allow them to offer a high-quality WordPress hosting product at the lowest prices you will find.

If you have any questions about their services, which hosting plan to choose, etc., please reach out in the comments. I’d be happy to help.

Get GoDaddy Pro WordPress Hosting

Additional GoDaddy Resources

We’ve published several articles about GoDaddy in the past. You might be interested in…

Dave Warfel

LinkedIn  •  X (Twitter)Dave has been working with WordPress since 2011. He's built 100s of client sites and almost a dozen of his own. He's tested almost every plugin you can think of, hosted with at least 10 different companies, and gone down every SEO rabbit hole you can imagine. When's he's not tinkering with new software, you'll find him in the mountains of Colorado, trail running, summiting peaks, and rippin' downhills on his mountain bike. 🏔️🏃🚴🤸

9 responses to “The Truth About GoDaddy WordPress Hosting: It’s Not What You Think”

  1. Randy Avatar

    I would happily recommend GoDaddy hosting to my worst enemy.

    1. Dave Warfel Avatar

      I’d love to hear more about your past experiences, Randy. Just making a comment like that provides no context and doesn’t add much value to the conversation.

      Did you used to host with GoDaddy? How long ago? Which type of hosting? How many sites? What was your experience like?

  2. Cat Travers Avatar
    Cat Travers

    I’m with Randy. I provide support to WordPress users, and I always hesitate to take on new clients on GoDaddy, but then I always do, because I know they are probably paying for all kinds of services they don’t need, and/or which would be included in a basic hosting package on other hosts.

    Their practices around transferring domains to another registrar are downright deceitful, and as for sexist ads, I guess you haven’t turned on a TV lately. Not to mention the ads that say you can build a website in an hour, and the constantly changing proprietary interface which even their own documentation can’t keep up with.

    GoDaddy has spent a lot of money promoting its stripped down “managed” WordPress plans by sponsoring WordPress events, and offering free WordPress theme in the WordPress repository.

    But under the gloss, they still are an overpriced, underpowered host that views every support ticket as an upsell opportunity, and WordPress as a rich vein of users whose inexperience they can exploit.

    And as for your “review,”why are you reviewing services that you have not tried personally? Never mind – the affiliate links speak for themselves.

    1. Dave Warfel Avatar

      Hi Cat — Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      As I mention at the top of this article, Kinsta is our #1 rated host, and I recommend them over GoDaddy for anyone who can afford $30/mo. It’s simply the best WordPress hosting available. However, I realize not everyone can, or even should, pay $30/mo. if they’re just starting out and get 50 visits/mo.

      I haven’t turned on a TV lately because I don’t own one. But all the internet ads for GoDaddy I’ve seen in the past several years have been done in good taste, and focus on the topic of small business.

      Almost every service in every industry exaggerates their product’s ease of use when promoting it. And you can build a website in one hour… just not a good one.

      GoDaddy’s servers are not as fast & powerful as some of the other hosts out there, but I completely disagree that they are overpriced. 50 sites for $62/mo.? Where else can you manage that many sites for such little cost?

      They are very aggressive in their marketing tactics. I agree with you there. I really don’t like how they approach cross-selling & up-selling.

      And I have used their WordPress hosting, and dealt with their support team, so I’m not recommending something I haven’t used. The only thing I mentioned I haven’t used is their premium support service (formerly WPCurve).

      I still think GoDaddy has one of the best onboarding processes of any WordPress host. Free images easily accessible from your Media Library, license to Gravity Forms, Beaver Builder pre-installed, helpful WP101 videos right in the admin area…

      They aren’t the best host out there, but they have come a long way and are doing many things right (in my opinion).

  3. Ian Brownsmith Avatar
    Ian Brownsmith

    Your rates are wrong. Pro 5 starts at $29.99 per month and it goes up from there. Basic managed wordpress is $6.99 per month

    1. Dave Warfel Avatar

      Thanks Ian. I updated the prices. GoDaddy actually lists two different prices for Pro 5 ($24.99 and $29.99). I decided to go with the higher of the two.

  4. dZuben Avatar

    Also examine your invoices and receipts, they continuously sneak add-on services that seem to just appear, particularly if you have any type of auto-renewals enabled. Auto-Renewals default to the maximum time duration available, and can not be altered or modified to different durations i.e. 3 yr vs 1 yr domain renewals. If you have a lot of domains and services enabled, i strongly encourage everyone to routinely check in and see what your being billed for.

  5. Cody Avatar

    You obviously don’t work with their products or customer service. The entire platform is unreliable, buggy and over-priced. We spend thousands of dollars a year with GoDaddy and get treated like we give them $19.99/ mo. They over-charge and nickel and dime you to death. Recently they changed my servers IP address with no notification then blamed us when the ssl failed. Horrible horrible service and even worse customer service. Your article is unfortunately nothing more than a sales pitch for a terrible company.

    1. Dave Warfel Avatar

      Hi Cody – I have worked with GoDaddy’s products and customer service. My first interaction with them was probably 14 or 15 years ago, and my most recent interaction was about 1-2 years ago. I still help a few clients who use their products.

      I will admit, the title of the article is a bit clickbaity. My apologies for that. However, at the time I wrote it, GoDaddy was undergoing some huge changes. I saw many of these changes for the better, and I noticed better products and better customer service during that time.

      I agree that their products are not up to par with the rest of the WordPress industry. I don’t recommend them anymore for WordPress hosting of any kind. But my last customer service interactions with them were solid. They do get overly salesy at times, and try to push other products. I’m not a fan of that approach, but their support was good.

      If/When I get around to updating some of the content on this site, I will strongly consider this article for an update. It probably does give off the wrong impression.

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