On Monday, GoDaddy officially launched the Hub by GoDaddy Pro, a dashboard that brings together all of its products, pro-specific tools, and solutions. The experience is geared toward website developers and designers, creating a central location to manage their client work.
GoDaddy Pro is not a new service by GoDaddy. The hosting company launched its initial beta in 2015. However, GoDaddy Pro is now offering a fresh experience powered by the Hub. According to Adam Warner, the Global Field Marketing Sr. Manager at GoDaddy, the Hub is being built in collaboration with real-world web designers and developers from their Customer Advisory Board.
The Hub is at hub.godaddy.com. Existing GoDaddy Pro users can opt-in to the new Hub experience. However, they may continue using the legacy experience at pro.godaddy.com. They can also jump between both as needed. Eventually, the Hub will completely replace the legacy experience.
“You can manage all your client projects, sites, and GoDaddy products from within the Hub,” said Warner. “Your clients’ WordPress sites don’t have to be hosted at GoDaddy. The Hub works with all web hosts. You can run one-click WordPress updates, security checks, backups, and other bulk site maintenance work within the Hub. We’ve seen users save an average of three hours per month, per site.”
The Hub allows web developers to access their clients’ GoDaddy products without needing to pass around credentials. Developers can also send a pre-loaded shopping cart or purchase products on their clients’ behalf.
“This makes it easier, and faster, to get a new project up and running,” said Warner. “You don’t have to worry about your client buying the wrong hosting plan or domain. Project management is integrated into the Hub, so you can keep track of client communications and ensure you’re delivering projects on time.”
Part of this journey began when GoDaddy acquired ManageWP and brought its team over in 2016. The acquisition was anything but popular at the time.
“We built the first version of our GoDaddy Pro site management tools on top of ManageWP Orion,” said Warner. “We added new GoDaddy-specific features, like allowing clients to grant delegated access to manage their GoDaddy products. We also included some premium addons for free on GoDaddy-hosted websites. Just like with ManageWP, sites managed in the Hub can be hosted anywhere, not just at GoDaddy.”
The Hub has an interface that feels more Average Joe than tech savant. I half expected to see call-to-action buttons littering the screen, funneling users to every conceivable GoDaddy product, but none were found. Expectations from the GoDaddy of 10 years ago still linger and die hard. However, the company continues to move beyond its old reputation with its free tools and more recent willingness to give back to the open-source community, including its contribution to Five for the Future.
“My goal in joining GoDaddy in 2018 was, and still is, to continue my participation in the WordPress and wider web designer and developer (WD&D) communities in order to listen and return feedback internally on how we can best support freelancers in starting, growing, and streamlining their businesses,” said Warner. “GoDaddy Pro (the legacy tool) already existed when I joined GoDaddy, and my mission was to spread the word and offer suggested enhancements based on real-world conversations with freelancers and their specific needs.”
Creating clients, projects, and sites from within the interface is simple. Performance and security checks went well for the one site I have connected. The tests seemed to be spot on in comparison to other tools I have used.
GoDaddy Pro membership is free. However, the Hub will have premium site maintenance tools in the future. Automated security checks, performance checks, backups, and uptime monitoring are currently free. There is no timetable on when they will be behind a paywall. Some of the premium features will have a downgraded free option when the switch is flipped.
“While some adjacent programs (e.g. GoDaddy Reseller program, Pro subscription) may have associated costs or fees, GoDaddy Pro’s integrated project management, site management, and client management tools are free,” said Warner.
The commitment to offering the management tools for free is undoubtedly a good thing. Thus far, I like what I am seeing with the new Hub experience.