I am following up with my original post that I wrote up last night about GoDaddy. Essentially I had a few minutes of frustration and posted a few thoughts off the top of my head so I could revisit, and edit my blog post. Now as I have fifteen minutes till my next meeting I thought I would organize my thoughts to be a bit more coherent in nature.

Go Daddy came onto the scene originally as the place you went to purchase a domain name. I found domain names easy to search and purchase. It was just pretty straight forward, and if I had a question (which I often do) I loved that I could call someone and they would help me navigate what the steps were in the process. I found this particularly helpful when transferring domains, cancelling domains, adding a new DNS. When I had worked with other companies and I had an issue that needed to be turned around quickly I found support frustrating and time consuming, especially in a ticket system format. In addition that issue would be further complicated with technical instructions that weren’t user friendly. If there was phone support I also found I often was calling a foreign call center, and believe me if I can’t understand the person on the other line things can get seriously ugly. What I did love about GoDaddy is that I would submit my order and could call a live person that could walk me through it.

I guess if I had to recommend a company for a web domain, I could live with suggesting GoDaddy. I’m not overly enthusiastic although I like that all of my domains are found in one place and I can use one interface. Additionally the customer service number (not an 800 number) at this point has met my needs.

However, Go Daddy’s Hosting is my biggest complaint. Here is my experience last night as I was working for a client who needs everything done on a very short timeline. My estimated amount of time to do the backup, load word press in a new directory, reload the data and add a new theme was about an hour (generous hour) Instead it took from 6 PM till 9:30 PM and certain parts are still not working.
Below are a few examples of the GoDaddy system compared to the system I currently interface with.
1. I couldn’t find any logical place to navigate to, I was on the phone with in 15 minutes.
2. When I added WordPress into a new directory on the website it took 20 minutes to propagate through the system, in the system I currently use its instant.
3. I had a file that determines how much I can upload, and needed it edited when I called GoDaddy they told me, “we’ll show you where it is”, when I had the same issue in my current system I made a ticket at 11pm and it was completed by 11:10.
4. I went to bed with only WordPress installed and the database uploaded, I figured this morning before work I would purchase the template they want to utilize and upload to change the style Error … error … error , I tested it on my other server – slick as goose doo !

In a word AGRAVATING … and I’m still going to lose more time this evening troubleshooting solutions.

So why my rant … I mean I hate to just list a page of complaints, so here are my lessons learned to share with you to consider when you are setting up your site.

1. While the cost may seem cheap on the front end to the end user there are some costs that aren’t as measurable that are going to impact you when you need to hire an individual to help support your growing business needs.
2. Just because a service dumps a TON of money into advertising, doesn’t mean they have the best product, get a recommendation … an endorsement from someone that knows what they are talking about.
3. If you are purchasing web space and hiring a web designer to do all the work, ask them what they currently use and how much it costs, ask them why it costs that much (you might have special technical needs)
4. If you do end up using Go-Daddy to host your site and then have to hire someone for technical support, don’t be surprised if they SQUAK ! This might either come across as a request to change webhosts, or just in the form of added cost onto the bill just for the shear frustrating, administrative and high maintenance interface. (As a matter of fact I know one designer that adds a surcharge if the site is hosted with Go Daddy. )
5. If you are going to do everything yourself, explore all your options available, especially if you are new to setting up and maintaining a website.
6. Cheaper isn’t always better: If you are doing everything yourself and be completely self-reliant, a package that costs anywhere from $6 – $10 an hour should meet your needs. However if you are working with a web designer chances are they are already using one of these services or have their own secure server. A cost of 16 – 20 per month is reasonable, if they are charging you more it might depend on what your needs are … examples that would impact this would be website size, bandwidth, ecommerce just to name a few.
7. If the cost of hosting seems expensive ask whoever you are working with to negotiate cost. If you have done your research and know that you have a smaller site, but feel like $40 a month is too much negotiate the price most designers/developers want your business and most are willing to negotiate.
8. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what I do for my customers, I host websites for about $16 a month, I know it’s more than some services out there, but feel like it’s reasonable as I am the lead communicator between customer and technical support. I’m available whenever someone needs me, and I work on developing relationships with clients. In return customers get the benefit of good advice, because it does not benefit me in the long run if I give out bad advice.
9. Seek advice from many … use simple tools such as Google and try searching the host you are considering, what are people saying about their experiences… note you will always get good and bad advice … take it with a grain of salt.
10. If you’re not sure if you’re asking the right questions or concerned that you don’t have the knowledge hire someone for an hour of their time to help you as a consultant. Much better to have an expert at the table to help you make decisions that you are going to have to live with for a while. A good consultant will be able to give advice that fits you, your budget, your needs for now and five years from now as well as your skill level