In this article I will discuss this WooCommerce hosted solution built by GoDaddy. I’ll review the product, discuss how it compares to the alternatives, introduce you to other solutions, and address the biggest question, ‘should you even consider using GoDaddy’s product?’.
Before we get into the specific product, or any similar products, I want to address the key features any hosted commerce solution should have or at the very least offer.
- Great Speed & Performance
- Integrated SSL Certificate
- Integrated or Addon CDN
- Site Level Firewall
- High Security (integrated or addon)
- Backups (preferably hourly)
- Room to Grow
- Advanced Features
I’ll cover some of these in more detail below.
Why Should You listen to me?
Really you shouldn’t! 😉
I’m biased and opinionated.
HOWEVER, I did work for GoDaddy as a Hosting tech for 3 years. And I’ve been in this industry for 15 years.
I’m also very informed because I actually use or try the products I write about. Which you will see as I provide screenshots and demo videos throughout this article.
My Initial Thoughts
Honestly, the very first thing I thought when I heard the news about GoDaddy and WooCommerce partnering was, “WHY GODADDY!”.
It’s no secret that I am not a big fan of GoDaddy hosting, and that feeling only grew after 3 years of lying to customers about why their sites were down and how it couldn’t possibly be their GoDaddy hosting product.
In my opinion, there are far better hosting platforms that would be better partners. So why did Automattic pick GoDaddy?
Most obvious reasons:
- User adoption
GoDaddy has a large user base across the world. Which means they could easily onboard users and dramatically increasing the number of Woo installs. Making them the most used, most popular, ecommerce solution for WordPress.
While I have no inside knowledge or facts to back this up, because GoDaddy has included over $1000 per year in Woo extensions, the most popular and necessary, I am sure there was/is an exchange of money. And GoDaddy has a lot of it.
Although GoDaddy doesn’t support 3rd party solutions, even when they’re built into their products (i.e. WordPress and WooCommerce) they have a huge team of support agents that will become the first line of defence and reduce the amount of support WooCommerce gets for issues related to hosting, etc..
But let’s get into the details…
GoDaddy rolled this solution out at the end of 2019, but I put off a product review because historically, GoDaddy doesn’t have very successful product launches, unless they’re just rolling out the integration of a 3rd party product they acquired like, Sucuri and ManagedWP.
Related Article: And GoDaddy Begins to Gobble Up the World
GoDaddy’s definition of “Unlimited” doesn’t mean the same thing to most people. Be sure to review their terms on this one.
Their backup solution is integrated, and is set for daily automatic updates, but allows you to run a manual backup at any time.
Their malware scan and removal features come from the Sucuri product which will need to be setup, but very effective.
SEO Optimizer is just the Yoast WP plugin.
Probably the best feature, integrated Woo extensions! More on this below.
Taking a look at price. The initial sales price is lower than the competition, however, the renewal price does increase above the competition.
Balance that out with the $1000+ per year in available extensions, GoDaddy’s offer is still the better deal.
I was not able to confirm if any of the competitor solutions like, Liquid Web ($19/mo), include official Woo extensions. However, Liquid Web has partnered with others, such as, IconicWP, developers of WooCommerce plugins and have included those into their WooCommerce hosted solution.
Hosting Speed & Performance
This is probably my biggest frustration with GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting, which they used for this WooCommerce product.
For WooCommerce websites, having a hosting provider that has great speed and performance is crucial. WooCommerce is a heavy plugin and the more extensions you add the heavier it gets, the more resources it demands.
When I was working for GoDaddy, we were instructed to tell people not use Managed WordPress for WooCommerce websites. We were told to upsell them to the Business Hosting plans because the WP hosting platform could not provide the resources necessary to support a WooCommerce website.
You can imagine my surprise when I purchased this product and discovered it was built on the Manage WordPress hosting platform!
While I have not built a full websites and tested the performance and speed, I have serious doubts that this hosting solution is up for the challenge.
Do NOT believe everything you read on the web. The image below was taken from GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting sales page. I’m not sure if they really did the test, or they just made up this pretty chart.
I have done my own research and testing, none of which resulted in GoDaddy beating any of the hosting providers listed in this chart. And from years of working at GoDaddy, this chart does not represent the majority of cases.
Below is data from my research.
Image on the left shows Fastest based on “Page Load Time”.
Image on the right shows Fastest host overall, based on average of server speed and page load times.
Why Hourly Backups?
When you run an active commerce website, one that has sells coming in every hour of the day, you don’t want to be dependent on the only backup you have from 24 hours ago.
That is potentially a lot of lost data, and orders you won’t be able to fulfill.
A BIGGER issue with the integrated backup solution in GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting platform, they are stored in the same location as your website files.
If you removed your manage WordPress hosting account, all your backups are deleted as well. No restoring without paying GoDaddy a ransom fee.
There are a couple ways to solve this problem (ordered by price, not recommendation).
Each of these solutions support incremental hourly or real time backups.
Incremental backups are really important. This means the only things that get backed up during these hourly updates are the changes that took place since the last backup.
The only one built exclusively for WooCommerce websites is Jetpack. This solution performs a backup with every sale.
It looks like this hosting solutions does come with GoDaddy’s security solution which is provided by Sucuri, so it may be enough.
This is important. You will be gathering lots customer data, you want to make sure that info is secure.
If you want an alternate solution, check out this article we just published, The Best WordPress Security Plugin.
Room to Gorw
WooCommerce doesn’t limit the number of products you can have, but the more products, the more data, the more resources, the slow your website if your hosting platform isn’t up for the challenge.
You want to make sure that whichever hosting solution you choose, they support growth. Meaning: as your store and traffic grows, you don’t want to deal with being told you have to move your site to a different platform to support your growth.
As I mentioned above. The feature overview of GoDaddy’s WooCommerce hosted platform says “Unlimited Storage” and “Unlimited Traffic”.
However, GoDaddy’s terms also say that they can limit your resources at any time, or suspend your site/traffic at any time that they decide. And usually they do that when your site starts to use too many resources and is now effecting others on the shared server.
In the past I was opposed to WooCommerce for a couple main reasons and always tried to avoid using it.
- Resource Hog
WooCommerce is a huge plugin and requires a lot of resources to run fast. And the more extensions you add, the more resources required to process all the request.
WooCommerce itself is free, but once you start adding the payment gateway extensions, shipping, subscriptions, tracking, cart add-ons, etc., it gets pricy.
I believe the best part of this GoDaddy partnership is this aspect. They have made available the most used, most popular extensions for WooCommerce. Which will save you thousands of dollars, and enable you to launch your site faster.
A Look Under The Hood
SetUp GoDaddy WooCommerce Hosting
The setup is simple, only took a few minutes. You have a few options to choose from when going through the guided setup, or you can select the manual setup option and install WordPress and WooCommerce then take over from there within your WP Admin.
I stopped this video before the server setup completes because it would have been another 5-10 minutes before the progress reached 100%.
This video will show you what the completed setup looks like once you’re logged into the WP Admin.
Also, notice how long the login process takes. This isn’t uncommon for GoDaddy hosting, especially for their Managed WordPress Hosting products.
Managing Your Hosting Plan
Once your account is setup you’ll have several tools available to you through the hosting control panel.
- Temporary Domain Name
I really like this feature, and most, if not all, Managed WordPress hosting providers offer this.
This allows you the ability to do the initial build of your website without worrying about people stumbling upon it or search engines picking it up.
The image below shows you what it looks like.
- Integrated CDN
This should be turned on by default, however, you will want to make sure you are using this integrated option or a 3rd party CDN like Cloudflare.
This feature will help with the performance of your website, by distributing your content to different servers around the world so that it is able to be delivered to the website visitor faster.
- Integrated Protection
Backups should be enabled by default. But you can change the date and time those backups run.
The SSL certificate will install once you assign a domain to your hosting account. But as long as you are using the temporary domain, you will not have the SSL.
That can be problematic once you switch to using the SSL. You will likely have mixed content issues. Which is another reason why I like WP Engine, they also provide the temp domain, but they install the SSL on the temp domain as well, which eliminates the potential issues with mixed content.
Website security does require an additional step to complete the setup. I recommend you wait on this until you’re done using the temporary domain and switch to your actual domain.
- Backup Management
I highlight the three most important tools available in the hosting control panel.
- Manual Backups – can be run at any time.
- Restore – when you screw something up, restores are easy.
- Backup Download – I recommend you do this at least once a week, keep a backup in a safe place.
- Hosting Tools
GoDaddy has a few tools to help you better manage your website on their WooCommerce hosted solution.
- Performance – if your site is running slow, this check will give you a few tips.
- File Browser – easily access your website files or add new plugins and themes.
- File Perms – this is sometimes necessary with WordPress websites.
- Safe Mode – allows you to easily troubleshoot your site to see which plugins or theme is causing issues.
Other Commerce Solutions
This is a short list of solutions I have used or supported and believe are worth considering.
Other Hosting Solutions
This a short list of hosting providers I recommend. One has a prebuilt WooCommerce solution, the others support WooCommerce, but you’d have to install and setup the plugin.
Should You Use GoDaddy’s WooCommerce Hosting?
This is up to you…GoDaddy has a 30 day refund policy, maybe you should purchase a plan and give it a try.
Based on my experience with GoDaddy products, I wouldn’t use it myself or recommend my clients use it.
If you do decide to give it a try and build your site on this platform, but then decide the platform isn’t a good fit, reach out to us, and we will migrate your site to WP Engine for FREE, when you signup with our link.
The Wrap Up
When it comes to building your business online and selling your products via your website, you want to make the right decision.
I understand the desire to get your site online fast, but you don’t want to spend hours starting over if you pick the wrong commerce solution.
If you have any questions or need additional insights, feel free to reach out in the comments or chat.