Finding the right WordPress host is exhausting; the sheer variety of hosting platforms out there can reduce anyone to delirium! I have gathered tons of research on some of the biggest hosting companies out there and I will attempt to make your life a little bit easier by comparing them and seeing who really stands out from the crowd.
In this article, I will break down some of the key elements that contrast GoDaddy and WPX Hosting – what makes them similar as hosting platforms and what makes them unique as service providers. I will try to determine the values of each and assess what makes each company worth your time, investment, and money.
So, who are they?
WPX Hosting, established originally as Traffic Planet Hosting by Terry Kyle, has evolved rapidly since its inception and aims to offer web entrepreneurs the most stable, reliable, and fastest WordPress sites online. Co-hosted in the Lakeside Datacenter in Chicago and headed from Sofia, Bulgaria, WPX Hosting has maintained a high-quality record in both high speed WordPress hosting and steadfast uptime. WPX Hosting provides managed WordPress hosting for entrepreneurs and eCommerce businesses and is one of the most up-to-date hosting platforms around. They work together with the local Dana Foundation to provide better living conditions for stray animals in Bulgaria. Eventually, they hope to establish a safe haven for strays to live permanently and to keep them off the streets.
GoDaddy was established back in 1997 by Robert “Bob” Parsons, after changing its name from Jomax Technologies, when web hosting was not as sought after as it is today. With a lot of experience under its belt, GoDaddy has had a long history of domain hosting over the past 20 years before moving into WordPress hosting. GoDaddy has expanded enormously; today it has over 63 million domains registered and is among the most well-known platforms around. They advertise annually at the Super Bowl and are famous for their extensive and varied domestic marketing.
Comparing the price plans of GoDaddy and WPX Hosting will show a great difference, but it should be noted that these two platforms are seeking relatively different audiences. Anyone can choose to host a website with either company, and price will be an issue for them; though the prices at GoDaddy are far lower, so too are their benefits.
GoDaddy aims itself primarily at customers who are new to web hosting and are looking for a reasonably sized personal or business website. Their prices reflect this and are more accessible to private owners, rather than strictly business owners. WPX however, is aimed at eCommerce business people and entrepreneurs, while also being accessible to non-technical, non-business people as well.
Based on the size of their user base, web hosting prices at GoDaddy are generally positioned in the middle of the market related to comparable services. Each company opts for a different pricing framework, though it must be noted that WPX Hosting presents more frank and transparent pricing figures. GoDaddy on the other hand, prioritises special offer prices and quietly references a higher rate underneath.
Comparing the first Hosting Plan listed for each will show a big difference: GoDaddy’s Basic plan (without the sale figure) comes to £4.99 per month, while WPX Hosting’s Business plan comes to $24.99 per month. The services that GoDaddy offers for this is only 1 website, included domain, SFTP, 10GB storage, and a visitor limit of 25,000 unique IPs. The service that WPX offers for this is 5 websites, 10GB storage, 50GB bandwidth, email included, SSD servers, Firewalls, dedicated RAM, and DDoS protection.
While GoDaddy’s prices are certainly lower, their renewal rates (both for hosting and for SSL certificates) are quite different from the displayed starting rates, which can confuse or mislead new customers.
Purchasing an SSL certificate, which will become a necessity in 2017, is only offered with GoDaddy’s second-to-highest and highest plans. The price for these certificates is £48.99 annually.
Conversely, WPX offers unlimited free (Google Sponsored) SSL certificates that can be applied to any owned site.
Both WPX Hosting and GoDaddy provide regular malware scans, though it seems GoDaddy will only perform these scans if you have purchased their security bundle.
GoDaddy has only just started supporting PHP5.6, whereas PHP7 was recently introduced and is already supported by WPX. GoDaddy’s current MySQL version is 5.5.52, which may cause some compatibility issues with other scripts.
GoDaddy will automatically update the WordPress core files and installed plug-ins for security updates, but site owners cannot run multi-site installations. Instead, GoDaddy offers instructions on their website to activate Multisite through editing the ‘wp-config.php’ file and then enabling the installation through your WordPress site. WPX Hosting has an option within the Hosting Panel on their site, under ‘Domains’, to select and enable Multisite installations directly.
GoDaddy is also relatively behind when it comes to version upgrades, particularly on their shared platform. Their database size limitations are not like those seen with other web hosting platforms. Compared to what a Content Management System can normally support, their monthly user traffic limits are far too low. This in itself can often lead to compatibility issues for developers.
WPX Hosting does not have an extensive Blacklist of WordPress plug-ins or themes that cannot be used. There are some key plug-ins that are not recommended for security reasons but WPX are cooperative when it comes to installing preferred software plug-ins and themes. Cracked, pirated, or ‘Nulled’ plug-ins are forbidden with both providers however, as they will grant access to hackers.
GoDaddy does feature such a blacklist which can be found on their website. Some of these plug-ins are cache-based and are not allowed as their hosting service provides caching already, the same applies to backup functions. Others are disallowed due to performance-lagging or mimicking existing functions.
The restriction on backup plug-ins may disappoint some customers however, as web development experts recommend backing up your WordPress site manually, even if that service is provided by your host. The loss of sites has been an issue for GoDaddy customers and not being able to perform manual backups with plug-ins may exacerbate this issue.
WPX does not use cPanel, instead they use a custom scheme that has been designed to streamline navigation and simplify tasks for customers. While this is a good feature that removes unnecessary distractions for newcomers, some more experienced clients will wish for more navigation and control options, like in cPanel. To make WordPress hosting more manageable for more people and to lower the skill floor, WPX Hosting have decided to stick with their custom control panel for the foreseeable future.
GoDaddy’s user interface may be in some need of streamlining but has not been of huge concern to many people. Although GoDaddy’s website is easy enough to navigate, the wide array of services and sections on their site means that there are many tangential paths even when searching for straightforward services or advice.
The compartmentalising of their services means that staff also have more products, and opportunities, to flog to existing clients. Many customers have reported that GoDaddy’s Support Staff even attempt to upsell other products to them while they are trying to resolve an issue.
Another reported problem from consumers is that GoDaddy has taken important customer information and sold it to third-party companies. This means that customers receive a lot of spam emails and even phone calls from external companies. Very often, website domains that were not renewed promptly have been deactivated and auctioned off to other agents, even after a payment delay of only 1 day. At which point, a reactivation fee of £80 is charged, even to long-term customers.
Although both WPX and GoDaddy operate with shared hosting, GoDaddy has suffered the most downtime and website instability. This is likely a result of overpopulated servers containing too many websites; this might explain why GoDaddy does not offer multiple websites in their price plans until the 2nd highest plan – they already host too many sites.
Having servers in Chicago’s Lakeside Datacenter, WPX Hosting offers 5 domains on their lowest plan and, despite being shared, has taken measures to handle multiple sites and large traffic volume.
The size of a company can become a hindrance to itself after enough expansion. GoDaddy seems to have too many customers to assist considerately and too many sites sharing the same space on their servers. Since GoDaddy reportedly spends most of its earnings on advertising (like the extremely expensive Super Bowl advertisements), there is less care and investment given to larger server space and quality customer support.
WPX is not as large as GoDaddy and can maintain a more personal rapport with its customer base, while leaning more so on its affiliate program and natural traffic, as well as SEO, to attract customers.
GoDaddy’s primary focus appears to be on acquiring new customers, this is illustrated by their very low onboarding costs and emphasising their ‘unlimited’ features. In reality, the renewal costs for their hosting are quite expensive in the long run and less effort is put into treating their faithful customers with the same revelry as the new ones. Long-time customers will likely not receive the same effort as that given to support newer customers.
Frequently, little notice is given to clients whose renewal dates are approaching; if visitor limits are reached on a website, then it will be taken offline until the next month when these limits are reset. Apparently, GoDaddy has some of the highest customer drop-off rates within the hosting industry. WPX on the other hand, prefers to contact customers directly when any bandwidth or disk space allowances are approaching their limit. WPX will assess any unexpected traffic spikes, issues, or possibly offer discounted upgrades.
Uptime rates for GoDaddy vary wildly. As a shared hosting platform with such a wide customer base, GoDaddy tend to fill servers with websites to the point of overcrowding. This very often results in slow loading speeds, security issues, and worst of all, downtime. Websites can remain offline for extended periods due to GoDaddy ‘overselling’ and stuffing their servers to breaking point.
There are countless reports of extended downtime periods and customers who have been bounced around without solutions. WPX has servers in Chicago which are dedicated to keeping a 99.98% uptime record and no serious issues have been found in my research to indicate any downtime problems. A lower customer crowd also frees up space for other sites. While GoDaddy also has a 99% uptime record on their site, the sheer volume of complaints regarding website downtime and crashes suggests otherwise.
While both companies advertise a 99.9% uptime record, neither company’s website features any further reports or visual reference for their uptime.
Unfortunately, as of the time of this review, GoDaddy has discontinued their Support Team’s Live Chat for customers and primarily operates over telephone, which can be expensive and time consuming. GoDaddy’s claims to have award winning Technical Support, but many customers complain that their issues are not dealt with promptly or considerately. Being such a big company, their audience is very large which results in such varied feedback.
GoDaddy’s customer support is not local and is instead outsourced to other countries which unfortunately diminishes the quality and competence of their support. Very often, customers have found themselves being peddled other items and packages while dealing with issues on Tech Support.
All review images taken from: https://webhostinggeeks.com/user-reviews/godaddy/
It was not difficult to find huge quantities of customer complaints and, indeed, Customer Support does seem to be one of the key problems that users have with GoDaddy.
WPX Hosting does not offer telephone support, which may be an issue for people who prefer to speak directly with a support agent however, the speed of response from WPX’s Live Chat seems to make up for this according to feedback.
While WPX does include many services that, for other hosting providers, are considered ‘extra’ (such as email, multiple domains, and SSL), the price of entry may still be too high for some. Particularly small website owners or those who do not need a managed hosting service may find the asking price too steep for their more modest needs.
Having recently rebranded from Traffic Planet Hosting to WPX Hosting (as of October 2016), many online reviews will refer to WPX by its previous name. Negative reviews were very difficult to find; some sites that listed reviews starting with the most negative turned up like this:
Although GoDaddy has made efforts to improve its interface and custom cPanel control, there are still too many tangents and paths when browsing their site for help. Information (as well as products) are very compartmentalised and GoDaddy could afford to make more of an effort to collect this dispersed information and optimise their site for efficiency.
As a potential customer, there are also several things that may be worth knowing before making any commitments with GoDaddy. Namely, GoDaddy is no stranger to controversy and their charges are numerous.
Being renowned for their extensive marketing, the persistence of sexism in their “GoDaddy Girls” campaigns has gathered substantial criticism. They also did not have much fortune with a recent Super Bowl advert depicting a young puppy being dropped from the back of a moving van, who was then sold by its owners using their new GoDaddy-hosted retail site.
GoDaddy’s animal-related controversy really began back in 2011 however, when CEO Bob Parsons posted an image of himself on his own blog having killed an elephant. This caused an uproar from animal rights activists and PETA promptly discontinued its hosting contract with GoDaddy.
GoDaddy also drew some flak for their support of SOPA, which was the Stop Online Piracy Act that allowed more governmental control to block sites accused of infringing copyright law. This was an unpopular bill amongst web-users for its authoritarian attempts to censor information online. GoDaddy’s support of SOPA encouraged many other companies (such as Wikipedia and Cheezburger) to boycott the GoDaddy and their customer rates plummeted soon after.
GoDaddy has also gained a reputation for dishonest marketing and promotion in their pricing. Many customers are surprised and shocked come their renewal dates as GoDaddy charges users automatically. These charges have often continued even after the date of cancellation, much to the annoyance of many customers and their banks.
The confusion over account specifics can also lead to cancellation and refund difficulties; overall, GoDaddy makes it difficult for existing customers to leave while simultaneously enticing new customers with less-than-honest prices.
As mentioned previously, GoDaddy’s sub-par customer support creates many issues among its user base. The support experience is largely impersonal and delayed, with most of the useful information stored away in pockets across GoDaddy’s knowledgebase and support forum.
Review image taken from: https://webhostinggeeks.com/user-reviews/godaddy/
To conclude, WPX offers far more both in terms of quality and quantity of service. Their asking prices are higher though and this can make it difficult to recommend to those looking for a simple, small site. That said, there are better places to go for such a website other than GoDaddy whom, apart from their lower rates, are very hard to recommend. Their persistent customer complaints and myriad other issues makes it difficult to honestly recommend.
If you are looking for a more reliable service, then WPX Hosting must be the way to go – the sheer quantity of benefits and the persistence of their support can’t be ignored here. As a relatively lesser known hosting company, it is a shame that WPX Hosting does not receive anywhere near the amount of attention as GoDaddy, whose name is so widespread despite such a troubled reputation.
I hope this comparison was helpful. I’ve done the research for you and brought up everything good, bad, or ugly, that I thought would be useful to any and all potential site owners out there. Existing site owners would do well to examine their own host’s benefits and see where they stand.