Web-Hosting 1&1 vs GoDaddy
1&1 and Go Daddy are arguably the two most popular companies in the world for shared web hosting services. I personally have been using 1&1 linux based hosting for several years now, and have seen their service offerings grow over that time. They have always seemed to me, to give more for the money than most other linux and windows based hosting.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand, the process of setting up and hosting on GoDaddy, and was prompted to create this article comparing the two.
1&1, The Good:
1&1, as I said, is a better value for the money. The basic “starter” web hosting package includes a domain name, 250 2GB email boxes, 10 1GB MySQL5 databases, secure ftp access, 50GB of hosting space and unlimited transfer volume. 1&1 hosting also supports SSH and many application scripts such as PHP5, Pearl, Python, and Ruby.
The dashboard or hosting management interface is concise and allows you to manage all aspects of your package in one place. Setting up new databases or email accounts is a snap, and the hosting overall is very flexible.
Your shared hosting is also stored redundantly at two geographically separate data centers, so the failover is nice. My website has never really gone down for longer than a few minutes, or without prior notification from the web host.
For those who aren’t the most web savvy, there is a website builder interface that allows you to use a WYSIWYG “Website Builder” to set up and design your website. Using this feature does not bastardize the features of the package like with GoDaddy, which I am about to talk about shortly.
1&1, The Bad:
I consider 1&1 more of a “self-service” kind of company, because the customer service is not so good. It is rare that I actually need support, but whenever I do, it usually takes a day or two to accomplish what I need from the support staff. Those more patient than I, may have more success with emailing for support than trying to get them on the phone. They also use some German company for the domain registrations, which in itself probably isn’t that big a deal, but I’ve seen it become a hassle trying to transfer domains out of 1&1 once the accounts are already closed.
There have also been reports I’ve read online that indicate that 1&1 will cancel your hosting if your shared hosting takes more than a lion’s share of the system resources on the computer housing your hosting package. I don’t know if they still do this, because most of these reports are from a few years ago, but if your website becomes “facebook” or “twitter” popular, you should probably put it on a dedicated server anyway, if for nothing else, for performance/availability reasons.
I also tried using the “click and build” feature once and it plainly didn’t work. That being said, that is probably why I can’t even find it in my dashboard anymore. Maybe it will be back one day soon.
Go Daddy, the Good:
Pretty girls in the commercials, and the customer service may be slightly better than that of 1&1. Also, the “click and build” installation of commonly used platforms such as WordPress or Joomla, seems to be a little more efficient than building on 1&1. Not as many options as 1&1 alleges to offer, but for now, it works, and usually is up an running within a couple hours.
GoDaddy’s web based email interface seems to be very user friendly also.
The Domain manager is extremely powerful, with many options for creating subdomains, and managing CNAME or A records.
Go Daddy, The Bad:
Go Daddy’s account manager is confusing at best. All aspects of the hosting seem to be managed from separate pages and interfaces. The domain manager is separate from the hosting manager, which is separate from the email account manager, and so on. Furthermore, everything wants to open in a new window or tab. Getting around in your hosting package is fairly obnoxious.
I also found myself frustrated that you cannot point the destination of your domain name to any folder other than your hosting root without an “ugly hack.” I think linux hosting should allow for private folders outside of the site root for protecting files that certain applications may need access to.
Go Daddy “nickel and dimes” for everything. They give you a tiny number of email addresses, and are ready to sell you more. Everything about Go Daddy in fact, seems about giving you less for your money, but allowing you to upgrade to add more.
The package supports SSH, but the setup is obnoxious, and I didn’t find a way to connect to the space to upload files securely, only FTP.
So which is better? I certainly would be lying if I said I didn’t have a preference for 1&1 between the two. Go Daddy really does give less for the money, and the interface is terrible. 1&1 can be troublesome when dealing with the customer service, but way more flexible, and the site root problem on Go Daddy is a deal breaker for me. Hopefully you can take the information I have presented here and make our own call as far as which is best for your needs.