GoDaddy Managed WordPress Pro Beta Experience

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As a small business, we truly see and recognize why hosting with GoDaddy may appear to be an attractive option for smaller businesses. After all, they do have quite a boutique of products to get any business functioning on the web, along with several cost saving packages.

One of our clients recently purchased the new Managed Wordpress Pro hosting through GoDaddy, and asked us to migrate the site over to the new plan. We talked to our client about this, and pointed out that this was still in beta, and that several issues could be encountered. When our client contacted GoDaddy, they were told having a content delivery network solution with this package would make his website would be a lot faster, and more secure (which is definitely true!). We love using content delivery networks for websites for these reasons, but question beta versions of products. Essentially, the client is paying to test it out and become the guinea pig for this sort of product

Upon logging into the panel, we noticed there was a lack of features (goodbye cPanel!). This was designed to ensure performance for the hosting package. You are limited to using the following tools in the Managed Wordpress Pro hosting solution.

• SSH/SFTP

• PHP MyAdmin

Wait a minute…MySQL Workbench isn’t there? Unfortunately, it isn’t. We tried connecting with the workbench, and realized that they blocked this off. For us, this is a feature we love to use when working on Wordpress sites.

One of the selling features for the hosting plan is that it allows a “one-click migration” (which sounds nice), but it may not work as expected as we have discovered later on.

Later in the evening, we proceeded with the changes to migrate the website over. We setup the Managed Wordpress Pro hosting, and hesitantly used the one-click migration. The client website was already hosted on one of the business platforms, so we didn’t anticipate there to be any issues. The migration took about half an hour, but surprisingly it went off without a hitch! We reviewed the items with the temporary domain GoDaddy assigned to the site, and everything looked ok (from what we saw).

After changing the DNS records, and finished with the hosting, we started to work on the content delivery network firewall. The ease of use for this was great! No complex setups, and they handle the SSL certificates for the site (these are bonus features in my mind). Everything appeared to be too easy at this point, which had given a sign that we may want to thoroughly start checking the website and all the features to ensure everything was working properly. We found that certain features were no longer there. Pictures and content were missing as well.

Initially we just thought that there may have been a hiccup with the transfer, and some items just may not have transferred over properly. We deleted the site, and attempted to do it again through the hosting. When we tried to set the domain back on their original hosting, we received an error message saying that the domain was locked and in us.

We immediately contacted the support department, and they had to get us over to the pro team who handles these sorts of issues. Once I explained the current issue, they had said that it could take three days to actually resolve this issue. Wait a minute...three days without website hosting? In our opinion, this is unacceptable. They explained that this is a known backend issue when changing the domain names on the Wordpress Pro Managed hosting.

At this point we had two options available. Find new hosting, or wait it out. We brought this forth to the client, who said that he would wait the three days as it was the holidays. Once we received the permission, we gave GoDaddy the green light.

Three days passed, and we were advised that the domain had been unlocked (We aren’t sure why it actually took that long, but we are guessing that they are backlogged with requests). Nonetheless, we kicked off the migration again. During this time, we waited for quite some time looking at the progress screen which was stuck on performing the backups of the site. We gave this about a half an hour before contacting the provider again. They saw it was stuck on the back-end as well, and terminated it. We initiated the transfer with the same results.

After discussing this with GoDaddy, they suggested that we perform the manual transfer through SFTP and PHP MyAdmin. We proceeded to go down this route, and everything worked fine when up uploaded the WordPress files through SFTP. Once the files were uploaded, we proceeded to upload the MySQL database through PHP MyAdmin…and it froze.

Initially we thought this may have been a browser issue, so we tried different browsers and couldn’t access PHP MyAdmin anymore. Another phone call was made to GoDaddy, and they said that they have located the issue, and unlocked it for us. After experiencing the issue with PHP MyAdmin, we manually imported the MySQL databases through SSH (we had to get the new database information from the new wp-config.php file) and started experiencing issues with this method as well. It would halt, and give us errors. Luckily, we knew what the errors were, and managed to resolve the issues here.

Everything was back up on the site and running again. When we went to change the domain name, we received the same “the domain is lock and in use” error message. GoDaddy had created another ticket at this point, and mentioned it could be three days or longer before they get to it. Three days to resolve these issues? This is not feasible for something as important as this.

Some other issues we also encountered was that SFTP/SSH would disconnect on us, and would not allow us to connect to the hosting as well. We also experienced issues surrounding DNS, pages not loading, and pages appearing to be scrambled up.

At this point our client was a little irate with GoDaddy, and had asked us what we would recommend for a solution to replace this. We recommended that we move his site to a virtual private server hosting company, and have Cloudflare setup for the security and the CDN. After providing him the costs, he noticed that this solution pricing was similar to the package GoDaddy was charging for.

After investigating the options, we setup a new virtual private server with solid state drives through Vultr, which costs $10 a month (USD). Our client now has the performance and security they were expecting from GoDaddy, along with the flexibility they need for hosting!

While the Managed Wordpress Pro hosting may appear to be an attractive product with a lot of potential, we are recommending that clients stay away from this product for now until the development team resolves these issues and comes back with a final product, which can be used reliably. For webhosting, we highly recommend using a virtual private server as you are not sharing resources with other users, and the prices have come down quite a bit in the recent years.

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