Uptime not terrible, but not so good. Global results vary. Overall, tolerable – but nothing to write home about.
My philosophy of WordPress hosting.
I run or share responsibility for several different WordPress based web sites. My philosophy of WordPress hosting is that I don’t want to spend much time tweaking the sites. I want to write, post, and publicize content with as tiny an amount of web mechanics getting in the way as possible.
I don’t want to self-host, although I’ve done that in the past. I don’t want to write my own theme, or even heavily customize a theme, although (again) I’ve done serious theme modification in the past. I don’t want to deal with underlying operating systems, build & maintain a mySQL database, and keep Apache up and running, although (yet again), I’ve done that in the past.
Rather, I need a WordPress site that runs…
- Quickly. Performance matters, especially when you make some or all of your living based on your content.
- Consistently. Uptime is a big deal. If my site is down, I’m losing page views, ad impressions, etc. All of that is key when writing is a big part of your living.
- Simply. I don’t want to fuss with anything other than WordPress itself. By that, I mean that I don’t want to see the operating system at all. I don’t want to administrate a database. I don’t want to secure the system. I just want to log in and take over the turnkey WordPress installation, install my theme & plugins, set up my widgets, and go.
Players in the WordPress hosting game.
There are many companies that compete in the “quickly, consistently, simply” market aimed at consumers like me. BlueHost is one. HostGator is another. There’s also MediaTemple. WordPress themselves (the good folks at Automattic) will host your WordPress site as well.
There are also hosting shops who tout their WordPress hosting expertise, like WPEngine. My current favorite is WebSynthesis.
GoDaddy recently entered the turnkey WordPress hosting fray, offering a one year trial for $1 a month. I had been toying with the idea of another blog, so I decided to give them a try. That site is my personal blog, which is entirely Unfit For Humans.
The experience of hosting Unfit at GoDaddy has been…sort of neutral. Some thoughts.
- The turnkey and setup experience was fine. Not much drama there. I did deactivate the annoying GoDaddy “helper” plugin.
- The performance seems adequate. Unfit isn’t getting much traffic, as I have not been promoting it heavily, and my content creation there has been bursty. But overall, the site seems to be performing okay, if not blazingly fast.
- I have noticed that backups of the site take a long time, which the UpDraftPlus folks suggest is an issue with how GoDaddy is probably allocating resources to Unfit. That could explain why backing up Unfit was taking hours, even though ethancbanks.com has far more content and backs up in minutes. Note that since advertising Unfit more heavily and gaining much more traffic, backup times have fallen from hours to minutes. This probably means GoDaddy is throwing a bit more CPU and/or network pipe at my WordPress instance.
- Uptime is sketchy. And by that, I mean that Unfit is up and available in excess of 99% of the time according to Site24x7. However, there are frequent brief outages, although usually only from certain parts of the world. For example, I’ve been getting notifications that Unfit is returning 522 errors to the Site24x7 test node in London, while other parts of the world seem okay. That’s been a chronic “off again / on again” GoDaddy problem ever since I brought Unfit online a few months ago. By way of comparison, WebSynthesis has been rock solid with almost no hiccups at all for quite a few months now for several sites in my world.
Will I keep hosting with GoDaddy?
Um…I’m not sure yet. I’ll think about it when the super cheap year-long trial is up for renewal, and make a decision then. Part of the decision will be how I opt to position Unfit in my content strategy going forward. If I’m not monetizing the site, then the uptime challenges are less of a concern.
If GoDaddy remains cheap enough, I might put up with the occasional 522s. But when the downtime starts to take food off of the table, then it will be time to move on, likely to the higher priced (but better in every way) WebSynthesis.