Managing a number of sites for client’s and ourselves, we recently faced a dilemma, a show down if you will. The Show down was Godaddy vs Bluehost.
We have always used Godaddy to host our Domain names. Their site is easy enough to use as long as you get by all the up-sells. This up-sell practic is not specific to Godaddy, all hosting providers all do it. You know, add an email, get an SSL, upgrade your SEO. You just have to navigate your way through the process a few times to get the road map down. That is simply, register my Domain and let me point it to another host.
We have self hosted our sites using Parallels Plesk control panel and been rather happy with that interface. An internal reorganization of our business systems required us to move these sites to a hosting provider to allow us to focus on the business aspect of our service and away from a IT side of being a hosting provider ourselves. While we still wanted to manage the hosting service, we decided moving the actual hardware part outside our facility would be the end goal.
We decided to go with Godaddy’s shared hosting offering. It seemed like a obvious choice. They offer the Plesk Control Panel which we were already familiar using internally, and it was running on a Windows server (also how our process was set-up). It all made sense and seemed good at the start. Migration was easy, the sites got up… but that crumbled away quickly.
When we started to notice the sites slowed down… a lot! It took forever to load the pages. I wasn’t sure if we had done something during migration, or if was something in the set-up. After some investigation and conversations with Godaddy, it became apparent that it was their business model that might have been root cause of the issue. As I understand it, they decided it was in their best interest to pack as many customers on as few servers as possible to increase revenues. While I understand the thought process, we were somewhat disappointed in the performance to say the least.
Then the camel’s straw:
Then, all the sudden the admin sites (we use WordPress for our sites as most of them are content driven) kept crashing. We couldn’t get back-ups to run, plugins wouldn’t run and many seemed to cause a 505 error. Basically management became a nightmare.
After some further research and the countless blogs (now this being one more of them) I believe the server resources were being scaled back so many of the backend processes wouldn’t work on the their platform. It was more than we could bare.
So with much angst, we decided to look elsewhere and find a new service.
We were introduced to Bluehost from many of the industry people speak highly of their service. We decided to test them out and were amazed by the difference. When we moved some of our highly trafficked sites, the performances shined. Our page loads went from literally 12-15 seconds to about 3. Pages popped right up and the hesitation that we had previously seemed to disappear. We were so impressed by the results we moved all the sites there.
Since there service runs on Linux and cPanel (instead of Plesk) there is a learning curve, but it is not insurmountable.They are also heavy in the cross-sell up-sell with all the service they push at you. Again, once you get past that and look at the end user experience (because it is always about the end user) that was the most important aspect of the decision.
To be clear, we are not a Godaddy basher, they provide a good service for Domains and I am sure their hosting works for many of there customers. It just didn’t work for us. If you are happy with them, and it works for you, cool.
What I can tell you is that our customers have noticed and been please with the results s far. Best of all for us is that we haven’t se the admin crashes we lived through previously, the back-ups run smoothly, so far so good.
The point in all this? We should have done our researched at the beginning and saved ourselves the headache and pain of moving here and there. There is much on the web discussing the speed and performance issue others have experienced at Godaddy. That on us. Lesson learned. We are just another statistic.
While for us this was a Godaddy vs Bluehost showdown, many companies we know use other providers and are very happy. I hope Godaddy see this and makes some changes, pr restructure their process to meet the needs of companies like us.
We were so pleased with the end results we even became an affiliate (yes, shame we know). But honestly, we are big believer in only promoting companies that we believe in and have used. Check them out and see for yourself if you are in the market for a new hosting provider here.