My website has been running slow and timing out recently. A pattern has emerged that it is daily at the same times – fortunately in the middle of the night for me and my clients but unprofessional none the least!
After a few days of debugging and I’ve identified the problem – GoDaddy professional Hosting has been seriously overloaded as the Domain Tools reverse lookup shows:
Reverse IP Lookup Results—8,320 domains hosted on IP address 126.96.36.199
Talk about shared hosting – that’s very “shared”. When I was providing commercial hosting in New Zealand, we topped out at 700 hosts on one box. Over 8,000 on one IP is insanity and a real recipe for disaster if ever there was one.
Needless to say we will be needing to transfer my website off to another hosting provider. The web is replete with GoDaddy’s troubles and lack of integrity in support but writing GoDaddy’s Hosting sux doesn’t really explain the problems or solutions well.
This article seems to sum things up rather well for those interested: http://ithemes.com/2010/03/26/ithemes-doesnt-recommend-godaddy-hosting-heres-why/
Sad, GoDaddy, sad!
UPDATE (24 October 2012): All website are now migrated to Dreamhost successfully. It’s a pretty competitive market out there. My analysis of the various hosting options I found and played with over the last couple of weeks follow.
Dreamhost: Good bandwidth/capacity offerings for a reasonable price. No Live Chat support available but pretty reasonable online documentation available and an hour or two for email/ticket responses. This is reasonable support but not spectacular. I wouldn’t want to have to do something time-sensitive though. I reactivated an old account I had and I know that their service is reliable (I don’t want to have to shift 18+ websites again!) so am happy. Their management system is far more intuitive than most and while clunky in a few areas is good once you know where to go to get the job done. They have an awful DNS propagation system for newly hosted websites with a real “dicky” error message that means absolutely nothing until the DNS has updated! Major delays for nothing if they simply worked off an IP, or a login like everybody else does. Unbelievably, they are actually excited that they were so clever about this:
In fact, DreamHost made up the error id: “bad_httpd_conf” stuff ourselves just so we’d know what the problem was when reported to us!
Quoted from their Wiki
Insanity! What this means is that their error message actually encourages us to contact them with the problem (which will ALWAYS occur BTW before their DNS propagates) instead of pointing people to their Wiki pages which basically says just “Clear your cache or wait until the DNS propagates). I’ve suggested that they rewrite their error message to actually tell us this and point to their Wiki but have yet to hear back. I’m probably just a little bit too logical for a big USA company I guess!
Hostgator: Had the best support out of everyone I tried. Hostgator has Live Chat with response times usually 1-3 minutes to first contact and a few times up to 8 minutes before responding. Support generally sends a precanned response to every enquiry or question and is actually pretty very low-level but it’s satisfactory and certainly good PR. Hostgator limits Disk space and bandwidth quite a bit and has the horrible WPM/CPanel configuration but it works OK. Their personal service to migrate websites was professional and helpful. They required a scan of the credit card sent to them to confirm that I had the physical card, which I didn’t as it was in New Zealand so HG wouldn’t authorise the account. They didn’t warn me of this beforehand and this caused me to abandon all migration work. Too bad Hostgator! They did a truckload of work for nothing really and proved the saying that a chain is only as strong as the weakest link when the verification department killed a client after support had done heaps to get the client!
Site5: A smaller provider recommended by The Planet and with a bunch of happy customers. They had a good introductory offer but I had already migrated all websites, and tested them all on the new provider when their support email arrived many days after it had been sent to them! Sorry team – best to respond within hours not days, especially to new clients.
JustHost: I tried JustHost just in case and their system and support worked well, but the Dreamhost migration came up first.
Bluehost: Recommended to me but never tried.
Cloud Services: After I sold Go Kiwi Internet, I moved from the dedicated server arrangements that I had been using for a decade or so to the Cloud – Amazon to be precise. Costs were a little high for low volume, low quantity services but the technical service and reliability was the best by far, of course.
GoDaddy: Well . . . the Internet is replete with stories of dissatisfied GoDaddy customers. They have three areas of difficulty:
- their overselling ratios,
- their proprietary management system and
- their support.
Shared hosting can always have some troubles from time to time as server loads get up a bit but we tracked consistent overloading for two months daily, during USA hours, fortunately in our night times. For a large company, to over-sell to the levels that they do is simply stupidity and greed. It tells you a lot about the man at the top of their company.
Their management tool is cumbersome. Custom designed in-house, it has always been a problem to work your way around. I did, and have done for years, so once you are through the nightmare, you can get the job done – with a bit of excess bandwidth and time wasting though.
The real killer for me though was GoDaddy’s unprofessional and dishonest support. I started programming computers decades ago, even before hard disks were available (we saved our code onto a C60 cassette in those days) and I developed my first website in 1997. I started my own development and hosting company in 1999 and wrote my own CMS system from the ground up in 2000. I guess you could say that I probably know what I am talking about.
GoDaddy sent me around in circles and feed me rubbish and then misinformation, clearly designed to “get me off their back” when I showed them that they were dishing me up drivel.
The words from GoDaddy support when after days of pulling our hair out we confronted them with proof that they simply had a highly overloaded server:
Oh, we know that there is currently a problem. We do not have an estimated time to resolution at this stage . . .
Well GoDaddy, I’m sure you are too big to worry about just one customer, but it worked well for you. I won’t be bothering you again!