WPWeekly Episode 177 – Hanging Out With GoDaddy

Over the years, GoDaddy has become a company people love to hate. Whether it’s poor server performance or the actions of former CEO, Bob Parsons, the company has garnered a negative reputation. Within the last two years however, GoDaddy has implemented several changes to turn the company around.

In this episode, Marcus Couch and I are joined by three GoDaddy employees:

We discuss changes made after Bob Parsons stepped down as CEO and how they’ve helped create a new culture within the company. Kurland describes what it’s like to be the first WordPress evangelist and explains his role in helping to establish relationships with people in the WordPress ecosystem. Payne provides details on GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting platform and what makes it different from competitors.

Later in the show, we talk about the decision to remove ticketing and email support in favor of phone and live chat support. We find out the lessons the company learned when it auto activated SIDEKICK on customer’s sites without notifying them. Near the end of the interview, King shares details on a new product called GoDaddy Pro, which will make it a lot easier to manage clients on the GoDaddy platform.

The biggest takeaway from the interview is that, GoDaddy has made and continues to make radical changes. It’s not the same company of a few years ago. If you’ve written them off in the past, I encourage you to give them a second look.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.2 Will Automatically Enable Pretty Permalinks for New Sites on Installation
BuddyPress 2.2 Beta 1 Now Available for Testing
Preview the New Design for the WordPress Themes Directory

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

WP Email Logs Plugin stores any email sent by the wp_mail() function in a log file within the database. Details logged include: from and to user ids, from and to email address, mail subject, mail content, component, type, send date, and more.

Internal Notes adds a simple textarea to the post and page editors where you can add notes regarding a particular post or page.

FaceBook Feed allows you to easily display a customizable feed of your Facebook Page on the frontend of WordPress.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, January 28th 9:30 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #177:

45 Comments


  1. “The biggest takeaway from the interview is that, GoDaddy has made and continues to make radical changes. It’s not the same company of a few years ago. If you’ve written them off in the past, I encourage you to give them a second look.”

    Do you host with them, Jeff?

    A friend of mine does. She’s had terrible advice, been sold a ridiculously expensive plan for what she needs, and every time she asks Customer “Support” for help with WordPress, she’s told: “We don’t know much about WordPress” and that she should do it on GoDaddy’s proprietary builder “platform” instead.

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    1. No, I don’t host any sites with them but I do host a domain with them. All I’m saying is that the company has made a lot of radical changes and from the outside looking in, they’re for the better. That’s why folks who have scoffed at GoDaddy within the past few years should give them another look, maybe they’ll be pleased at what they find.

      Sounds like your friend has had a terrible experience with GoDaddy. I know the three folks I interviewed are monitoring the comments here, the only thing I can do is get them to respond to you or perhaps they can be forwarded to your friend to directly help her out, unless she’s moved to another host already.

      There’s no such thing as a perfect webhost and you’re liable to get an experience like your friend at just about every one of them. It’s just that it doesn’t happen as frequently at some other other companies.

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      1. That’s a fair response, Jeff.

        Unfortunately, my friend is tied into a long-term deal that means she has to suck it up for now (and get her advice anywhere but GoDaddy “support”.)

        If any of your interviewees wish to comment here, I’ll happily forward what they say to her.

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      2. @KTS915, thanks for listening to the show, and your honest and direct feedback. We’ve heard about experiences like your friend’s, and that’s why we launched the GoDaddy Pro program. Simply put, if you’re a diner or boutique, the type of support you need is different than if you’re wrangling websites every day as a developer, designer or freelancer. There is now an additional GoDaddy Pro Support which you can tap into if you’re a part of the GoDaddy Pro program (http://godaddy.com/pro for an invite)… and these men and women know WordPress.

        Please pass my apologies onto your friend for the sub-par experience she encountered. I’ll get to the bottom of what happened if you’d be so kind as to have her send me an email (mendel@godaddy.com). In the meantime, keep the feedback coming.

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  2. I am really enjoying this episode! In the few times over the past decade or two that I have done business with GoDaddy, I have always been treated extremely well. I was always impressed. And they really did have 24 hour support. I tested it :) Sure, I did not like upsells or the Nascar themed hosting :)

    But at the end of the day, I have never had anything bad to say abut them.

    Their new endeavor, which gives my favorite thing its full due (WordPress) is stunning. I am considering moving over to them entirely. Possible game changer!

    Thanks Jeff and GoDaddy!

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  3. I hate them for two reasons:

    1- Why they do not have web based “Live Support”? I know they had ticketing system but when I report few issues they said they can not resolve it and I have to contact support via phone. So annoying for customer like me who is situated in different part of world.

    2- Whenever you make changes to DNS or emails etc. You have to wait for hours (I know everyone say it takes time around 24 hours to propagate changes) while when we are working with other hosting solutions changes took place almost instantly.

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    1. Hey Imran, appreciate the feedback. We now provide web-based chat support, and if something doesn’t get resolved properly, please email me and I’ll look into it. As for DNS changes, while we officially say 24-48 hrs, my experience has been much shorter. I’m happy to research why your provisioning is taking longer if you’re able to send the details to mendel@godaddy.com. :)

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      1. Right now I am working on a site of my client and I am using wordpress plugin called contact form 7, which uses wp_mail() function. But its not working. I tried a solution using an SMTP plugin but emails sent using it coming very late or never and sometimes very quick.

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      2. This probably isn’t the best place to get tech support. I recommend going through the proper support channels instead.

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      3. What is the best way to use wp_mail() specially when our hosting is simple linux hosting with cpanel instead of new hosting packages specially designed for wordpress.

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  4. My experience with godady is very bad. They stollen one domain name to sell it in the after market.
    Crocks its the best word to describe godady

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  5. I was hoping for more information regarding their purchase of MediaTemple and what the future holds regarding their respective WordPress managed services. My hope is GoDaddy either entirely leaves their great service alone (which is my current understanding) or they simply adopt the approach and go home.

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  6. What I would like to know is whether GoDaddy is looking to change their policy of poaching domains from prospective customers. This is why I have no desire to work with them.

    I had a domain I was needing for a site I’m creating. I’m on a tight budget, so the discount code offer that Marcus shared was tempting. I went into GoDaddy, and looked up the domain I wanted, and almost bought it. The companie’s reputation for being a huge hassle for moving domains away from them later stopped me though.
    When I had the money to buy the domain with my usual provider, I found that the domain I wanted was already purchased. I cursed myself for not going ahead and taking the leap when I had the chance. But when I looked up who owned it, the domain is now registered to GoDaddy.
    I though that maybe it was just sitting in a shopping cart under my name. So I went back and looked, and GoDaddy is saying that I need to now pay an extra $70 dollars to “negotiate on my behalf with the owners”, when it’s the company itself.
    The company saw that I wanted the domain, so they bought it to soak me on it later. I suspect this is an automated system in the domain management section of the company, and it needs to be undone.

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  7. Well, good luck to GoDaddy. Once a customer is done with you due to bad customer experience, it is hard to get them back. Besides, once a web site is built, it is no easy task to switch to another hosting company, unless you can offer better deals. But last time I checked, GoDaddy does not have better deals comparing to other companies:

    1. Unlimited disk space is not available to cheaper plans. Nowadays, hard drive is so cheap, why do you still put a disk space limit. Although I understand there is no such thing as “unlimited” and space you provide is more than enough, still people don’t like to have limitations on their space.

    2. Why there is no free shared SSL on Linux hosting plan? Other competitors, such as HostGator, Arvixe, all have free shared SSL as long as you are with them. Only GoDaddy’s Ultimate plan provides free SSL for the first year only.

    3. Why there is a database size limit on MySql and MS SQL? The limit is 100MB to 1GB depending on the plan. Again, hard drives are cheap, buy some more and remove the size limitation, especially for the expensive plans. This size limit has been there since I left GoDaddy five years ago, and I can’t believe it is still there.

    4. Last time I heard GoDaddy does not support Full Trust on Windows hosting plan, while many ASP.NET web applications require Full Trust. It is the main reason I left HostGator and joined Arvixe. I believe when a hosting company disables Full Trust on Windows hosting plan, the main reason is not due to the security, but it is because they don’t have knowledgeable Windows server admins to set up servers correctly.

    So again, good luck. But I am happy now with my current provider, however, it may change in the future, especially when Arvixe is under a new owner now. If anything changes, I might consider GoDaddy again.

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  8. That was an encouraging interview. Regardless of your opinions of GoDaddy, they are a behemoth in the hosting/domain space. If you work with client websites there’s a very good chance, at some point, you’ll be working with GoDaddy. It sounds like they are bending over backwards trying to improve their reputation and products for freelancers/agencies, and that’s great news for me!

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  9. I love GoDaddy’s new Managed WordPress service. I am currently on the Enterprise plan, and have 16 sites on there. This service is a complete turnaround from my experience with them in the past.

    Why I love it:
    • it’s much faster than their typical shared hosting was
    • extremely easy to manage multiple sites via the dashboard
    • automatic nightly backups
    • automatic WP core updates
    • nice temp domains for just getting going fast
    • nice UI for adding/changing domains that point to the site
    • LOVE the new staging feature– every site now has a staging site attached to it, and you can push back and forth between production and staging– makes testing new features so easy
    • inexpensive ($1/month for the basic plan- one site)

    I’m no shill for them– just a user who appreciates good value.
    Bill

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    1. I am seriously thinking of testing and moving to them. I cannot find an “enterprise” plan. There is a pro that allows up to 25 sites. Is this what you have? Thanks, Dave

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      1. Thanks! I spent half last night looking at their various offerings as I was listening to the podcast. I do believe that GoDaddy has done their homework about what it takes to be in the WordPress community and the WordPress hosting business.

        We all know this is one heck of a constantly changing game. I mean Google is now in the domain business! Yikes! Did not see that one coming at all!

        Anyways, one of my biggest hesitations is that it does not look like that plan has solid state drives. Not with “unlimited” space :) That is one word I wish would go away forever. I love solid state drives! I could care less about space.

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    1. That is excellent news! FYI it does not mention that anywhere on the link you provided. I may sign up and start testing this evening. I have about 25 sites and do not like to move hosts unnecessarily. But when a better deal and faster sites and GoDaddy’s famous 24 hour support (I am a night owl) as well as technology that is simply not available to me with Apache/cPanel hosting combine to from a possible game changer, I find I must pay serious attention!

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  10. Hi Dave. I run Product for Hosting @ GoDaddy and wanted to take a sec and answer your question plus give a little more color. I also work with the awesome Chris Carfi who already replied.

    The Managed WordPress platform isn’t a single server… it’s a multi-tier platform with several layers of caching, many web servers and load balancers, and SSD-backed databases. It is shared hosting in that it isn’t a dedicated box, but it isn’t shared hosting like you might be thinking. This is a huge infrastructure with each piece optimized for the part it plays.

    All that to say… all the plans have SSD-backed databases and many other things going on that you’ll never get in a generic, shared environment.

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    1. GoDaddy reps– does each Pro account have individual IPs? I am thinking about doing my own email newsletters from my sites, instead of 3rd party (mailchimp, et al). But of course one thing to be concerned with is getting blacklisted if others are using the same IP recklessly. Just curious.
      Thanks!

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      1. Ah yes, I also would like the option of dedicated IP’s. For what it is worth, to this poster, I wold say you want to think LONG AND HARD before leaving MailChimp. One seemingly minor “issue” with your sending and it can take days to fix, get unblacklisted, etc.

        I host, my email gets sent by MailChimp. That way my clients get best of breed for each.

        Just my 2 cents.

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      2. To your question: “does each Pro account have individual IPs”

        All the sites are served off a shared IP unless you’re serving off SSL, then you get a dedicated IP.

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    2. Thank you much for the further information. I suspected that there was big tech behind it. Even though most of my little sites would be fine on the most basic cPanel hosting, I simply hate the idea of that style of shared hosting. Too many possible issues.

      I completely understand that what you offer is about as far from that as one can get.

      I even like the idea of moving all my domains there as that would give me sort of a “one panel” access to me and my clients domain needs/hosting control panel.

      I do not take this lightly as I take my client sites very seriously, even though they are smaller low traffic (for now) sites.

      But first I must test some of my own sites, which is my next step. I really get that these days a company can change and do things differently if they have the desire and the resources. You seem to have both and to be cranking on all 16 cylinders. Congrats.

      The WordPress hosting arena is in a state of constant change and seems very challenging.

      Welcome to the WordPress community. We are a fierce bunch, in a good way :)

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      1. Thanks for the thoughtful welcome and questions, Dave! Looking forward to continuing to participate and contribute, and please let any of us know whenever you have suggestions, questions or feedback.

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      2. Will do. I got an account and am testing at this very moment. Always a bit of a learning curve especially with DNS etc in the beginning.

        So far,I like the setup/migration/control panel.

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    3. Have GoDaddy-Pro SSD for databases only or also for the other files (plugins, core files, upload,…)?

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      1. @Pedro – thanks for the follow-up and I should clarify. There are SSD’s for all that content. You can think of it as, “Everything customer facing is SSD-backed” so the caching layers, filers, … all of it. The only non-SSD’s in the environment are the boxes where we have log files and such where the perf isn’t seen by customers.

        Hope that helps!

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  11. I’m a small business hosting an e-commerce site and a static site for my consulting business with GoDaddy. I’ve been with them for about 4 years. I’m on a shared-hosting plan and have nothing bad to say about the company. I’ve found most of the customer service people very helpful and unlike one of the examples above was told how to combine several accounts and save money with them. I’m more of a business person than tech person and would recommend GoDaddy to anyone who asked. We have a lot more problems with our developers than our hosting company.

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  12. It’s going to take some effort to get WP professionals like me to change their previous opinion of GoDaddy. More useful stuff like the P3 plugin could help in that regard IMHO.

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  13. Jeff, thank you for taking the time to talk with Go Daddy.

    I started hosting with them years ago due to a client’s preference and had several WP sites there myself over the past few years with few of the problems they are so often slammed for in the WP community. I tried other hosting companies but often returned to GD for cheap hosting for low-traffic sites.

    All was more or less ok until last summer when all of the sudden several GD hosted sites started having issues. I spent days (literally) on the phone with GD tech support only to have them declare that it must be something I did. It wasn’t. These sites weren’t related in any way except for being hosted with Go Daddy and sites I hadn’t even logged into in a long time were affected.

    I eventually discovered that odd code was showing up in the htaccess files of the affected sites – I’d remove the code, the site would work well, and then the code would mysteriously reappear.

    Go Daddy’s unwillingness to help me solve the problem finally terminated our relationship and I moved everything to Site5, even though I was pre-paid with GD for another year. I’ve been thrilled with Site5 and the mysterious code has never resurfaced in my sites there.

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  14. I’ve been hosting with GoDaddy for about 7 years now. I’ve also set up many clients with them for their hosting and email needs.

    Over my many years with GoDaddy, there have been ups and downs, times when I was very happy with them and times when I considered moving. No, they’re not perfect but they do care about customers and they do have real people that answer the phones when you need the help. And they DO help you with technical issues in a timely manner. The prices are fair and the selection of services is as good as any other hosting company out there.

    Having dealt with many different hosting providers over the years (for both personal and client projects), I can tell you one thing for sure, not one of them is perfect and everyone of them will let you down at one time or another. It’s just the nature of the beast.

    GoDaddy is on the right track with the recent changes they are making and the technical support is actually getting better (In my humble opinion). In fact, even the site speeds are getting better as they continue to upgrade their servers and infrastructure.

    Sure, we can all complain about hosting providers, and we all have that one story of the hosting company from hell, but the bottom line is this, there are a lot of choices out there, some good, some not so good and some that are great. In my firsthand experience with GoDaddy (compared to others), it’s been great. No, not perfect but great and getting better…

    By the way, getting Bob to step down was the best thing GoDaddy could have done to usher in the changes that are going on, seeing him all over your marketing was getting to be really annoying! ;0)

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  15. I’m very impressed with GoDaddy’s company facelift and how detail they are getting with their comment responses. Usually, you get your standard customer service response to questions but these guys know their stuff. Impressive.

    Rarely do I post on the comments section but I feel this is a special occasion. I’ve been a past GoDaddy customer and actively work with clients who use GoDaddy services. It’s no secret GoDaddy was known for their awful non-user friendly website and customer service being a hit and miss. Now, their website experience have changed dramatically and as a Front-end Web Developer, it’s pretty slick. Besides their ugly name (you know it’s true, the name sounds… perv… you know where I’m getting) I am liking the new changes.

    Kudos to GoDaddy employees making it happen and as usual, great podcast.

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    1. Thanks :) Truly appreciate your kind words. We’re working hard to show the community what’s on the inside, and continually bring a stream of feedback into the organization that helps inform our decisions.

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  16. Well, the recent controversial super bowl ads from GoDaddy does not help getting previous customers back, might have driven more people away from it.

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    1. Jeffrey, definitely not the excitement we were looking for on a Tuesday morning, but decisive action by the CEO to change course based on community feedback is exciting IMO. Instant feedback loop is rare with companies of our scale.

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      1. So true! I think decisive action and be willing to change that quickly with a company of that size is FANTASTIC! Proof that business to customer communication really is changing. Very nicely done GoDaddy.

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