Pros Flexible website building tools. Excellent customer support. Email tightly integrated into Microsoft apps.

Cons Basic account lacks one-month Web hosting option. You must pay for the website builder. Has a higher cost of entry than competing Web hosting services. Bottom Line GoDaddy is an attractive Web hosting service that has incredible customer service, email that's integrated into Microsoft products, and a flexible web building tool, but a few niggles prevent it from being the king of the Web hosting hill.

By Jeffrey L. Wilson

If you have a business—or plan on starting a business—you'll need a Web presence so that potential customers can find your services online. To do that, you'll need to invest in a Web hosting company like GoDaddy (starting at $6.99 per month, or $3.49 per month with an annual commitment) that'll provide the foundation for your website. GoDaddy has flexible website creation tools, WordPress hosting/management, and surprisingly helpful customer service representatives, but its all-around package lacks the depth found in Arvixe, PCMag's Editors' Choice for Web hosting. Setting up my basic Linux-based GoDaddy site (Windows hosting is also available) complete with website-building software and e-commerce store cost $33.86, which is on the high side among services I've reviewed.

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Shared Web Hosting Packages
GoDaddy, like 1&1 and Arvixe, charges a monthly fee for its hosting services, but it reduces the price if you commit to a multi-month or annual package. Unfortunately, GoDaddy requires you to sign up for its pricier Deluxe or Ultimate plans (starting at $8.99 and $14.99, respectively) for the option to pay for Web hosting on a month-to-month basis (the basic Economy requires you to sign up for a minimum of three months). This may have not have much (if any) impact on businesses, but a cash-strapped blogger may not appreciate GoDaddy's lack of a single month option in its Economy package. In that regard, Arvixe (starting at $7 per month) is a better option.

The Economy shared hosting package (which places your website on servers with other websites) includes a free domain name (in the form of that you can keep as long as you use GoDaddy, 100GB of storage, the ability to host one website, unlimited bandwidth, 100 email addresses, and 200 apps. The Deluxe plan (starting at $8.99 per month, or $4.49 per month with an annual commitment) builds upon the Economy package by adding unlimited storage, unlimited website hosting, and 500 email addresses. The Ultimate package (starting at $14.99 per month, or $7.49 per month with an annual commitment) adds a premium DNS management tool, 1,000 email addresses, and a one-year SSL Certificate.


Dedicated Server Plans
GoDaddy's Economy (starting at $99.99 per month, or $79.99 per month with a two-year commitment), Deluxe (starting at $199 per month, or $159 per month with a two-year commitment), and Premium (starting at $299 per month, or $239 per month with a two-year commitment) plans offer more server power than shared hosting, and they are recommended for highly trafficked websites.

Those dedicated servers come in a variety of CPU, RAM, RAID, and storage configurations. GoDaddy's most-powerful dedicated server starts at a relatively low $299 (four-core Intel i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, two 2TB hard drives), but after you add RAID, Control Panel, and other features, the total cost quickly approaches those of 1&1 and Arvixe's dedicated servers. The highest-end 1&1 dedicated server starts at $599 per month (dual 2.1 GHz, six-core AMD Opteron 6272 CPUs, 64GB of RAM, 2,400GB HDD, RAID 6 alignment). Arvixe's high-end dedicated servers start at $719 (dual 2 GHz Intel Xeon CPUs, 32GB of RAM, four 240GB SSDs, Raid 10 alignment). GoDaddy has a 45-day money back guarantee for annual plans, but Arvixe one-ups it with an impressive 60-day money back guarantee. Read GoDaddy's terms of service for full details.

Setting Up a GoDaddy Hosted Site
GoDaddy's flexible Website Builder is an excellent site-building tool. I found it incredibly easy to add forms, social media links, Google Maps, slideshows, and other items to my site ( by dragging them around the template. GoDaddy's Website Builder produced a far more attractive site than the competition.

Unfortunately, GoDaddy's WebsiteBuilder isn't free; you must shell out an extra $1 per month to use the tool. Granted, that's not a lot of money, but it's extra cash out of your pocket. 1&1 and Arvixe include their site tools for free.

GoDaddy has dozens of apps in its Installatron library that can be used to improve your website, including Homefinder, PayPal, and Yelp. GoDaddy also offers WordPress-centric hosting starting at $1 per month. Signing up for it has its advantages; GoDaddy has thousands of themes and plug-ins, nightly backups, and automatic WordPress software updates.

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