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Why I Switched from GoDaddy to Dreamhost

Yes, we have (Go)Daddy Issues.

I started using GoDaddy for my website back in 2014. They were the perfect one-stop shop for my domain, DNS registration, hosting…everything I could ever hope to need to keep my website up and running. In fact, this is my first-ever GoDaddy bill for our site (in UAE dirhams, because I was living in Dubai at the time):

My total cost was $69.48 USD — this covered my domain name, hosting, and private registration for a year.

When I renewed the economy plan, it went up to $8.99 a month, or $107.88 a year.

Fast forward a few years later, to the end of 2019: my website was extremely slow to load, and although part of this was due to the theme we were using at the time, another part of it was due to GoDaddy. See below an email from a contractor I hired to help with the website:

I called GoDaddy and they updated the PHP version. However, the website was still slow to load. I called GoDaddy again and they told me that I should upgrade my hosting. So I did:

Unfortunately, that still didn’t help much. In response, they offered to have a tech support person “look into the issue” for around $180 an hour. This was the first time I seriously started to doubt GoDaddy and look around at other options.

My contractor and I re-designed the website with a simpler theme and the speed increased slightly. When it came time to renew my hosting plan 10 months later, I had already done some research on Dreamhost and Bluehost. Dreamhost was offering $2.59 a month on the basic plan. They also seemed to have pretty good reviews. Before I made the switch, I decided to call GoDaddy and see what they could do. The customer service/sales rep told me my options for renewal, and tried to upsell me on another plan with other features that I don’t need, like an EV SSL (which are “dead” now — see this article by Troy Hunt). I told the customer service rep that Dreamhost has much cheaper hosting: “around $3 a month.”

Her response? “I don’t know about what other services are offering.”

Hmm…okay.

As much as I agonize doing website stuff (my background is not in IT, and that’s quite apparent to those who meet me), the huge price difference made it worth it, and in the course of a week or so I migrated my site over to Dreamhost. It was actually incredibly simple, and I noticed that my website worked much faster after the switch. Oh, and they gave me an SSL for free! Take that, GoDaddy.

Strangely, I felt that GoDaddy loved not giving any information about how websites work…it’s like “buy this and that and it’ll all be fixed…otherwise you are doomed” — I guess if you are extremely anti-tech, GoDaddy is the one.

I also felt that their customer service agents would — instead of explaining concepts to you — try to get you to buy more products that *might* solve the problem, even when they aren’t sure of the problem themselves.

I was quite turned off toward GoDaddy after these experiences and felt silly for having used them so long for my website needs. I love Dreamhost so far — in fact, I recently contacted their online support team with a question. A rep named Sergio got back to me within minutes-on a holiday, no less(!).

So for anyone out there still using GoDaddy, know that there are better, cheaper hosts out there.

Here is a link for $50 off shared hosting with Dreamhost: Shared Hosting $50 Off

Takeaways for GoDaddy (Robinhood Snacks-Style):

The rules for being a good host are simple:

#1. Don’t try to sell the guest on things they don’t need, like “well it *might* solve the problem…”

#2. Do not take advantage of a guest’s ignorance.

Originally published at https://www.lahjaty.com on January 3, 2021.

Note: this article contains affiliate links.

Sister, Asker, Listener, Writer | حصة العتيبي

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