GoDaddy released Managed WordPress Hosting to some mixed reviews. But we’re here to give you an unbiased look at how their Managed WordPress Hosting plan operates and some of the features you’ll find if you do decide to give it a try.
What Managed WordPress Hosting Means For You
So you want to start your own blog, or maybe a website for your business, or a splash page for your band – whatever your reasons, you’ve made a great choice by choosing to run your site on WordPress. It’s one of the easiest and most popular website platforms available. You don’t have to be a designer or a developer to create your own website. But you do need hosting to run WordPress, and to make life easier on yourself Managed Hosting is the way to go.
We’ve written before about what you need to know about managed WordPress hosting and how to choose the right WordPress hosting for you, and the real benefit is that you can rest easy knowing that your host is taking care of your WordPress installation for you. They install core WordPress updates, check plugins for compatibility and manage your security.
This means no more stressing about remembering to update your WordPress installation, no more breaking your website thanks to a rogue plugin, and no more staying up at night wondering if your website is overtly vulnerable to a hack attack. All in all, managed WordPress hosting means less time and energy spent worrying about the maintenance of your installation, so you have more time to work on your content.
GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting
GoDaddy does everything we just mentioned and more. GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting plans start at just $6.29 per month and give you reliable and automatic WordPress updates, speed boosting caching, a helpful plugin blacklist and sFTP & phpMyAdmin access (if that’s something you know how to use, but for newbies this last feature probably isn’t one you’re going to use right now).
When you purchase an annual Managed WordPress Hosting plan from GoDaddy you also receive a free domain name. This helps make setup even easier. Since your domain name is also from your hosting provider there is no need to point it over to your server saving you a few time consuming steps when creating new sites. Another time saver is built-in caching. No need for added plugins or plans – GoDaddy’s built-in caching not only helps speed up your site and is yet another feature you don’t have to setup yourself.
Another great feature is in-dashboard support. Once you’ve setup your WordPress site you’ll see a handy blue tab on the right of your screen for “Feedback & Support.” Just click on the tab and a lightbox opens where you can search the GoDaddy knowledgebase, read through peoples ideas for updates, and submit your own support tickets and feedback. This tab is present on every page of you dashboard, so if you run into a problem or think of a creative solution you can send GoDaddy a quick message.
When you’re logged into your WordPress site you will see a user toolbar at the top of your page. This is where GoDaddy has added in a few helpful quick links to save you some time. First up, the Flush Cache link clears your cache so you can see any theme changes you’ve made live.
This tool bar also includes a link to your GoDaddy Settings. Click this link to be take to your own personal GoDaddy gateway where you can see snapshots of all your hosting account. This is a great tool if you plan on creating lots of websites on different plans (e.g. if you’re a web designer or if you manage multiple websites), and it makes it easy to locate your SFTP and database information should you need it.
GoDaddy also offers lots of other great features with their managed plans including nightly backups, Malware scans, 24/7 support and some useful free ad credits that you can use to promote you brand new website. Page visit limits and storage space vary with each plan level, so just make sure that when purchasing a plan you choose the one that meets your traffic and data level needs.
The only feature that GoDaddy is missing is multi-site. There were questions about adding multisite on their Google+ page, and on other announcement posts when the hosting was first released, but it doesn’t look like it’s a feature that’s been added as of yet. But other then that, they’ve got everything the other managed WordPress hosts have at a very reasonable price.
GoDaddy Support Test
As a service to you we decided to try out the GoDaddy support for ourselves. As a test we first re-saved our test site permalinks to make sure they were set to use the postname. Then we went to our GoDaddy Settings and clicked on the Settings button to retrieve our SFTP and connect to our server. Then we deleted the entire .htaccess file and replaced it with a smiley face essentially breaking the website on purpose to see if support could figure it out. So now when we refreshed our test site it looked like this:
When we submitted our ticket at there was a 0 min wait time to call for support and a 5 hour average wait time for an email response. We went the email route.
We ended up waiting for a response, but after 4 days gave in and decided to give their support team a call. After a quick 1 minute wait a super helpful tech instantly resolved the problem and had the demo site up and running! So if you do decide on GoDaddy as your host and you happen to run into a snag, make sure to call them. Their phone support is practically instant, super friendly and very efficient. So if you have an important question make sure to call, otherwise submit a support ticket.
GoDaddy makes the whole process as easy as possible. You don’t even need to install WordPress – because you’ve chosen a managed WordPress hosting plan, it’s already been installed for you. All you have to do is setup your website.
First, login to your GoDaddy account. You will see a Web Hosting toggle in your Products tab. Open it up and click the Launch button for your new hosting plan.
Next you’ll need to create your website, or migrate a site you’ve already created. For this walk-through we chose to setup a new site to show you all of the options GoDaddy has to offer.
When you choose to create a new WordPress site, GoDaddy gives you a quick form to fill out. You should have already purchased a domain name for your website, and if you purchased it from GoDaddy just select it from the dropdown. If you do not have a domain yet, use the temporary domain option (GoDaddy will assign a random staging domain name for you to use). Then add in your admin account information and click Finish.
As soon as you click that button GoDaddy gets to work creating your website, and in just a few minutes or less you’ll see your brand new dashboard.
From here you have two options: either click on the big green Get Started button for GoDaddy Quick Setup, or upload and install your own theme and plugins.
Quick Setup Option
GoDaddy makes it very easy for a newbie user to get their WordPress website setup. You literally just have to follow the directions and use the options given to you, and you’ll have your website up in no time at all. This first step is to click that big green button we mentioned before.
The next screen you’ll see is the first step to your new website. Select a category that best describes what type of website you’re building. Is it a personal website all about you and your interests? Is it a more professional website for your business? Is it a gallery for your photography? Or is it a standard blog? Just click on one of the options.
Depending on which option you chose, different themes will be displayed for you to choose from. GoDaddy includes these free WordPress themes to help you get your set up and running. If there isn’t one you love, you can always just choose one to get setup with now and switch over to a premium WordPress theme later.
After choosing a theme you can start adding some content. GoDaddy will give you basic content options based on the theme you chose and what options that theme has available (such as a contact page or gallery page). Fill in the Blog section with your very first blog post. Add information about you or your business in the About section that will be used on your about page. If you’d like a contact page, just click the Add button under contact and complete the form with your information. If you’d like to start a gallery, there’s also an option to add your first 3 images to help get you started. And lastly you can add additional custom pages for anything else you might want to include (like a staff page, a mission statement, or something else). When you’re done click the Publish Website button.
The next screen you see should be something like this:
And you’re done! You officially have a WordPress website powered by GoDaddy. Click the blue button to view your website.
You will probably want to change your permalink settings, change your widgets, and make other tweaks to your website before sharing it with others. Plus as you add in more posts, categories, tags and pages you’ll end up with a content rich website that your new readers will love.
If the Quick Setup isn’t for you, if you’ve purchased a premium WordPress theme that you’d like to use, of if you’d just like to see how to get started without a setup wizard keep reading!
Standard WordPress Setup Option
With GoDaddy Managed WordPress hosting you can always go the more traditional setup route. Once you’ve created your new WordPress site you don’t have to click that big green button, tempting as it is. Instead you can upload your own WordPress theme and plugins (being mindful that plugins found to be harmful have been added to the blacklist to keep your installation safe and in good working order and you cannot install these plugins).
First navigate to Appearance > Themes. One option is to use the Search tab to find a free theme from WordPress.org. Another option is to purchase a premium WordPress theme built with the features you need.
To upload a theme, click on the Upload tab then browse for the theme zip file.
Once it’s uploaded, activate the theme. Depending on the theme you’ve selected you may want to install the recommended plugins. Many theme authors will include a “Recommended Plugins” notice to make it easier for you. Just click to install and active the recommended plugins.
If you’d like to install any other plugins, simply navigate to your Plugins page, click add new, and then search for or upload new plugins (just like adding a theme).
Your next step involves setting your permalinks, creating pages, adding your menus, selecting widgets, creating posts, adding a logo, choosing custom colors and more. What options you have available all depends on the theme and plugins you have active. Some themes include lots of customization options like our Total Premium WordPress Theme, while other are very straight forward and simple such as the WordPress Twenty Twelve theme. Once you’ve made all your changes, you’re done. Go ahead and checkout your website – it should look brand new!
Whether using the quick setup option, or the traditional setup method, GoDaddy Managed WordPress hosting makes the whole process easier for you. This makes it especially great for newbies who are just starting out with WordPress, as well as veterans who might be creating sites to hand off to clients. You don’t have to install WordPress yourself, and if you’ve purchased a domain name from Go Daddy you don’t have to point it to your server. Plus, once you’ve setup your website GoDaddy manages all of your core updates and WordPress installation security for you (although you should have a look at our WordPress security tips to really make sure your WordPress site is secure).
The positives of GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting far outweigh the few limitations – we loved how easy it was to setup our test site, how fast the website was, the awesome phone support and the affordable price is great (plans start at just $6.29 per month for a single website). The only negatives we could find were slow email support and the fact that you cannot have a multisite installation. And these aren’t really all that important since most users don’t require multisite capabilities, and the phone support was so great they practically don’t even need to offer email support. So make sure you have a look at their hosting options – GoDaddy just might have the perfect Managed WordPress hosting plan for you.
If you’ve used GoDaddy’s managed WordPress Hosting let us know what you think in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!