When I registered my first domain, it was with… GoDaddy. Not surprising, since GoDaddy has been the largest domain registrar for many, many years; and I think the majority of people who have that “I wonder if…” moment automatically think of GoDaddy first.
I suppose having half naked girls in SuperBowl commercials hawking GoDaddy’s services just might have an impact as well 🙂
So, when I got the domain, at first I had it pointed to hosting at Blogger.com because that seemed easiest at the time. I knew nothing about “real” hosting, and Blogger was an easy blogging platform to use – especially because it integrated with Adsense.
(And now you know why I purchased my first domain – I was going to get rich with Adsense! Ooops)
I stayed on Blogger for awhile. That is, until I discovered all of the things I couldn’t do. At the same time, I learned how PHP was gaining in popularity, and I figured it would be a good skill set for me to develop.
I wanted to do Wordpress – I needed to get some web hosting.
So, to make a long story short, I got a hosting account at GoDaddy. At first, it was fine. I liked working with Wordpress in a “real” environment. I bought a few more domains and added them to the account.
Then, over time, things started getting bad, and it seemed like I had made a rookie mistake. I started experiencing lots of downtime, sloooow response, weird issues with their non-standard interface. For a short period of time things work work OK, and then for another period things would go to hell. I was flip-flopping between fair and really crappy service.
I started checking online. All (and I mean ALL) of the forum posts I read talked about how crappy GoDaddy hosting was. I thought I had made a BIG mistake by going with GoDaddy.
So, a little over a year ago I decided to check into other hosting accounts, and I finally settled on WestHost at the recommendation of a blogger I admire. He seemed to think they were by far the best he had ever seen, and that was enough for me. Although their price was double what I had been paying, I made the leap and got one of their business accounts.
The plan was to slowly transition site over from GoDaddy to WestHost, and then cancel the Godaddy account. I would keep Godady as the domain registrars, but point everything to WestHost’s servers.
The first site I moved over was a small site, but one that was slow as molasses on Godaddy’s servers. I literally screamed on WestHost’s servers. “Ah”, I thought, “now we’re cooking with gas”. With excitement, I started moving everything over in one fell swoop. That is, until I hit a certain point and got these really odd messages – “You Have Exceeded Your Resource Limits”.
Huh? I thought the sales page said unlimited sites, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage…? Well, it did say that, but it said nothing about actual CPU usage, which apparently I was using like it was nobody’s business. Wordpress can be greedy. Hmmm. So, maybe WestHost actually wasn’t the best choice for me – or, at least the shared hosting account wasn’t.
So, I decided to just put the most important domains on WestHost, and keep the minor sites on GoDaddy’s servers. Eventually, I could upgrade the WestHost to a reseller account – or better yet their top-o-the-line “Cloud” hosting account – and then move everything and abandon the “crappy” GoDaddy hosting.
But then something odd started happening. Over a period of time the sites I had on GoDaddy start performing better. Odd. That shouldn’t happen. A little bit at a time, they started “competing” with the quick performance of the WestHost sites, until eventually they started out-performing WestHost.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at performance logs. The WestHost sites were experiencing 5+ second response time, sometimes crawling up into the 15 second range. The GoDaddy sites all seemed to be in the 5 second range or lower. And, I was still getting those stupid “Resource Limits” messages from WestHost.
I thought I’d screwed something up royally. I reloaded Wordpress on the WestHost sites numerous times, but that affected nothing. I then started tracking errors in the PHP error logs. A few of the error messages I could fix by adjusting plugins and/or themes, but a large number seemed to be of the “MYSQL went away” variety, which I could not seem to affect.
I tried several caching plugins, but if anything, they seemed to slow things down even more – especially initial page loads.
I contacted WestHost’s support, but all they could tell me is that I was exceeding my CPU timeslice, and that was the major cause of all the errors. I asked, “Well, aren’t you supposed to have tuned your system for Wordpress? I thought that was one of your selling points”.
Their answer was “not really”. Apparently, they had the system set up at a sort-of “average” for all the CMS apps they supported. Wordpress likes things a certain way, but Joomla like some different setting, and so on. NOT the answer I wanted to hear. The future with WestHost didn’t look bright.
So, I set out (again) in search of a new hosting account. I visited tons of forums, and got many of the same stories. HostGator is great. HostGator is bad. BlueHost is good. BlueHost is bad. And so on. In my research I discovered that many (if not all) of the “standard” web hosts had either merged with, or been taken over by, a couple of big corporations who really didn’t give a crap about the “little guy”.
There were a few Wordpress specialty hosts I came across (they only did Wordpress), but their price range was way out of my league. You had to have some pretty profitable sites to buy their hosting. Some of their user swore by them, but again, you have to make pretty good money to fund what they were asking for their services.
So, I started looking at Godaddy again. I found out that while I’d been playing “doctor” with my WestHost sites, they had been quietly buying up more and more server rack space, and had been upgrading their equipment to Cloud standards. I also read a couple reviews on the WPMU.org blog that gave GoDaddy some pretty good marks compared to many of the more popular hosts.
To make a long story short (boy, I haven’t done that so far, have I?), I’m completely back on GoDaddy now. And I love it. My sites are ALL fast now, I’m not seeing the kind of errors in the logs I was seeing, caching is working again, and my monthly cost for hosting has dropped. What more could I ask for?
And that, my friends, is why GoDaddy Hosting rocks! (For now, anyway :))
- GoDaddy Coupon Codes Are on the Offer for Great Savings on Web Hoting & Renewal Costs(sbwire.com)
- Despite Slutty Past, GoDaddy Is Not Ashamed But Not Doing Sexy Super Bowl Ads Anymore(americanlivewire.com)
- MediaTemple Acquired By GoDaddy(seobandwagon.com)
- Go Daddy to acquire Afternic and Smartname from Namemedia(tldmagazine.com)