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And GoDaddy Begins to Gobble Up the World

Anybody who follows me or has been a client of mine, knows that I have not been a supporter of GoDaddy hosting products for some time now.

I’ve written about this before, never with the intent of trying to destroy their reputation, but to protect my audience and customers from making a decision they would regret.

Truth is, I’ve actually been a GoDaddy customer for 11 years or so. I use to do everything with them, but ever since 2009ish I’ve only used them as a domain registrar, SSLs provider, Delegate Access, ManageWP (GoDaddy Pro), and other products I need to be able to do tutorials (i.e a cPanel hosting account).

I stopped hosting websites with them around that time and switched everything, mine and my clients, over to WP Engine. But hosting is another one of my soap boxes you can read about here, here, and here!

Let’s get to the point!

Fast forward 2011, Bob Parsons sells GoDaddy, but changes don’t seem to happen right away. Possibly because Bob stayed on the board until his official exit in 2014.

While the changes might have seem slow coming to the world, internally, a new executive time was quickly put into place and decisions were being made. Likely one of the most obvious changes in the beginning was the marketing strategy shift.

  • Bye bye GoDaddy Girls
  • Bye bye inappropriate Super Bowl commercials
  • Bye bye NASCAR
  • Hello strange GoDaddy head…dude…!?

Change equals Improvements?

While these changes didn’t seem to bring any great improvements to their customers, something else started to happen.

In 2013 GoDaddy(GD) made a couple of interesting purchases (company acquisitions).

  • First, Locu – now sold as a GoDaddy product called Get Found
  • Second, Media Temple – turns out they pretty much provided the architecture for the Manage WordPress hosting solutions GoDaddy sells today

If we continue the timeline for a couple more years you’ll see a trend:

  • 2014: Mad Mimi – what is now GoDaddy Email Marketing
  • 2016: FreedomVoice – what is soon to be available at GoDaddy, SmartLine
  • 2016: ManageWP – for a WordPress geek, this was supper important, and available in GoDaddy Pro membership
  • 2016: WP Curve – a premier WordPress support company, now GoDaddy WP Premium Support
  • 2017: Sucuri – a top of the line online security company, soon to be integrated with GoDaddy

It looks like GoDaddy is Gobbling up the World! Who’s next?

The real value for you and me

While some people, including myself, were getting frustrated by GoDaddy buying up some of our favorite WordPress Website service providers, it’s actually a good thing, and not just for them.

With the acquisition comes money. Which means these small startups now have the ability to scale and grow. Making them better! Not to mention still in business ;-).

In the case of WP Curve and Sucuri, GD continues to ride the WordPress Wave and offer better solutions to their customers and the community.

Additionally, for Sucuri, it means they now have the ability to go from ~60k users to potentially millions in months verses years. Which means more data and more input that will help them make the web a safer place sooner.

Might even mean we (customers) can save a few dollars!

What if they mess it up?

When the announcement of the Media Temple acquisition hit the news, people bailed like the ship was on fire.

I didn’t understand, and guessing most didn’t, GoDaddy wasn’t interested in changing Media Temple, but rather the opposite. They needed Media Temple expertise to make them better.

While WP Curve no longer operates as it’s own entity like Media Temple, ManageWP, and Sucuri, GoDaddy knew they needed to offer more support for the WordPress platform, now they can.

Yes, GoDaddy is spending these many millions of dollars to make them more money, but more important to make themselves a better company. They’re not looking to change the industry experts, but rather leverage them.

In the beginning they had to innovate and build from scratch, today, they get to use their muscle ($$$) to make these niche companies better.

An insiders perspective

Having had an inside view for the past few months, I’ve come to realize a couple things about GoDaddy.

  1. They still have some broken systems and processes that need to be improved, which are at the heart of their customers biggest complaints.
  2. The reason many of these things are still broken is because they grew too fast, or faster than expected. They have spent years focusing on putting out fires instead of preventing them.
  3. Some of their policies really suck for the customer, but that’s just the way it is with big business. And that is exactly what they are, big business.
  4. They need better and more documentation written for their average customer, not by some tech geek that wants to geek out. Not helpful!
  5. As a small business or a starting business on a tight budget, GoDaddy is your best bet!
  6. And No, GoDaddy support techs can not fix your Internet!

Who’s Next? What’s Next?

Seriously, GD was already a huge company servicing some 14 million customers, now that they’re gobbling up these other tech companies they’re becoming a massive powerhouse.

Whether you chose to abandon ship or leverage them for the stuff that makes the most sense for you, doesn’t really matter.

I’m still not switching my hosting to GoDaddy. I’ll never use Website Builder (GoCentral). I’ll never pay for SiteLock. I’d never use their website development services. And the list could go on.

The point is, although there are things I may never buy or use, there are things I will always turn to GoDaddy for. Domains, SSLs, ManageWP, Smartline, etc…

What will you do?

What I think really matters!

GoDaddy is not buying these companies to change them or take them apart.

They’re buying them to make themselves a better company with better solutions. Which we should be grateful for!

They’re becoming an all-in-one solution provider.

For example, I think you’d agree, Sucuri is a much better solution then SiteLock, seriously!

Do they have problems? Yes. But what big company doesn’t?

Some of us have been with them so long we had different expectations of support and other policies. When they changed policy or enforced policy and support scope, we get mad because, “they use to help with that!”.

While we may not want our faivorit WordPress service providers to be a part of the GoDaddy monster that is gobbling up the world, let’s be honest, does it really matter?

  • The Sucuri team will stay on the payroll (unless they quite) and still do what they do.
  • The ManageWP team is still the same group of devs building an awesome SaaS company.
  • Media Temple is still the same hosting company, GoDaddy just learned from them.

I think you’ve got the picture … I hope!

I think we should be grateful they stopped trying to create their own products and started leveraging some really great solutions already on the market!

Let’s hear your thoughts! This is a touchy topic, so let’s hear what you’ve been thinking.

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