Best website hosting for authors (alternatives to GoDaddy)

I’ve had problems with GoDaddy for the last year, but I’ve sticked with it because it’s mostly functional and I don’t want to start over with a new host. I did recently move all my managed wordpress sites to SiteGround, because I was paying over $100 a month with GoDaddy’s options (which had somehow ballooned to become much more than I signed up for ).

But I was hoping to keep my main sites with GoDaddy.

The problem is, GoDaddy has a limitation of files – and even though I was barely using my allowed storage space or memory, for some reason my files were always full. I tried deleting hundreds of thousands of emails. I tried removing backups and old themes and plugins. I’d delete 50,000 files and they’d all come rushing back again.

Customer service tried unsuccessfully to help. They were nice, but had no idea what was going on. One suggested I upgrade and buy SiteLock, because it was probably a mail-injection malware and SiteLock would get rid of it (unfortunately, this wasn’t true: the SiteLock upgrade prevents malware but doesn’t remove malware – as another customer service rep told me days later).

So I’d have to pay even more for a one-time malware cleansing fee. Instead I’m looking for cheaper options on Fiverr.com, which is dangerous, and hating GoDaddy because none of this should be happening. I just want hosting that works, and I’m willing to pay for it. I’m upset, so sometimes I say things like “I’m fed up, I’m going to have to look for a new host.”

The thing is, GoDaddy doesn’t give a shit about my business.

Their business model works on volume, and for most people, it does a good job of providing the service people pay for. Most people aren’t going to have whatever strange problem I’ve been having. It isn’t a normal part of the hosting experience. GoDaddy needs to provide more people with the service of hosting their sites while cutting back on expenses like staff, training or support. In many cases, it would be easier to just let me leave and solve my problems elsewhere, rather than have someone spend hours on my site to actually fix it so I can stay with them.

I face this problem with some of my own products: often it’s easier to refund someone rather than spend hours trying to problem-solve or trouble-shoot with them. My stuff works for a lot of people, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

So now what?

I’ve basically given up hope that my problem is fixable, and I don’t have time to sit around trying to get customer support to help me fix it; and I don’t want to keep paying for “solutions” that may not work. In the meantime, I have businesses to run and things to do. I don’t think this public flounce will do much, though since a few hundred authors a month use my recommended resources, it might make a dent in GoDaddy’s revenue.

(I’ve been recommending GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting options, but from now on will be recommending SiteGround or, if you want a premium hosting service, WP-Engine.)

About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors build profitable publishing platforms. Find me
  • I hear you. Leading up to a vacation I had in September my site was down and GoDaddy tired to blame plug-ins I was using and my theme. This issue was happening several times a day for a few weeks. The real truth is obviously with their servers because my site was loosing contact with the database. To make matters worse, they have people answering the phones that have no idea about managed WordPress or the types of hosting they deliver. I often get the impression they don’t care. The only time, they start caring is when I start asking for the details about my database connection, so I can take my websites elsewhere. The company is all about making money and less about customer satisfaction. They never used to be this way. It’s a little sad. How’s SiteGround going? 🙂

  • Jim Meeks-Johnson

    Hi. I’m new here–I just read Guerrilla Publishing (great book!) and thought I would check out some of the sites mentioned. Thanks for the timely post. I have (had) a couple of web sites at GoDaddy. I moved a simple one to AWS recently. It is now much FASTER, which was one of the problems I was trying to address. But AWS (Amazon Web Services) looks hard to move my WordPress site to, so I will definitely check out your recommendation at SiteGround.

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