Web Development · Website design

What are the alternatives to GoDaddy?

Cheyenne Jones CEO/Founder

June 30th, 2015

Godaddy seems to have changed the products they offer. Just recently we discovered they no longer allow us to links items in one page to items/articles on another page. Any recommendations where we might go for this simple bit of webdesign?

Michelle Renee Web Designer / Entrepreneur - Owner of My1pagewebsite.com

June 30th, 2015

I never use Go daddy but then I am a professional web developer - I like Fat Cow - easy interface; no constant upselling; online chat support.

Anthony Miller

July 1st, 2015

Never host on Godaddy. We get our domains on Namecheap and have hosted sites on Pantheon, Liquid Web. CMS, Wordpress is a good start for a brochure site. We've built custom themes for WP, as well as Drupal. Good luck!!

Jared Hardy Founding Director at Data Roads Foundation

July 1st, 2015

I second Namecheap as a much better registrar than GoDaddy, with superior hosting options. GoDaddy was on the wrong side of SOPA/PIPA initially, which is enough reason to leave them, while Namecheap has always been on the right side with Net Neutrality.

I use DreamHost for most of my WordPress sites, except one static HTML site is hosted on Namecheap's lowest cost shared hosting tier. DreamHost is easier to scale from low-traffic shared hosting to more dedicated high-traffic services like DreamPress and DreamCloud.

http://www.namecheap.com/?aff=45790 -- Free WhoisGuard with every domain, and DAYOFFDOMS discount code.
http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?257865 -- $5 off per year of hosting.

Mary Baum Digital consultant and web developer to the tennis industry. Standard on WordPress and the Genesis Framework.

July 1st, 2015

I use WordPress for everything, including commerce - no reason to limit it to brochure sites or even just content-heavy news sites.

If you go it alone, I recommend two options: 

1. Genesis ($60) plus one of the child themes built for it ($25-75, depending, from studiopress.com, websavvymarketing.com or one of the recommended developers who also sell themes. In particular, the Utility Pro theme from carriedils.com is a good choice. Choose these carefully and prepare to use as-is unless you also go through Carrie's training videos on Lynda.com. 

Changes to Genesis themes require some level of comfort with html, css and php - not much, but certainly beyond naked fear and panic.

2. There are a number of very nice-looking FREE themes on the WordPress Theme Directory (wordpress.org/themes). That's the only place I feel safe recommending free themes, because there's a theme-review team that vets every line of code in those themes before they go live, and the standards are rigorous.

There are other theme shops out there. 

Some are very good; some are just okay. 

Whatever you do and wherever you go, beware of any theme vendor who sells themes for your vertical that include functionality of nearly any kind - a built-in shopping cart, for instance, or an event-planning module. 

That functionality should come only in plug-ins. Otherwise, whatever data you enter into them, from dessert recipes to sales figures to customer data, will get lost when you change your theme in a few years. (Imagine how the Feds will like that if you have any fiduciary responsibility to clients ... Just sayin.')

It's fine if a theme has design features to **support** particular plugins, so the plugins you need won't break the look of your site. But you should source and install the plugins separately, for the integrity of your site's data.

For hosting, DreamHost and BlueHost both have full-time staff whose time they donate to the WordPress project, so those folks can contribute to the core software, support users, vet plugins, go to conferences and more - the same stuff the rest of us do on our own time - but at a much higher level of commitment and skill.

Christopher Bernard Founder and Chief Digital Officer dock29 - marketing agency

July 1st, 2015

Echo Matthew and David...but I will also mention that squarespace and intuit website builders have severe limits for small business search engine marketing and page count flexibility as it relates to design.

Ross Expert) SEO, Web Development, Entrepreneur, Educator, Disruptor

June 30th, 2015

You have a ton of options.  I assume that you are building this yourself.  Just about any major hosting provider usually has a set of templates available.  Another option is to install a content management system like WordPress - there are tons of great templates and plugins available.  And if you need custom work you'll be able to find freelancers.  You can also use services like SquareSpace, Wix, or Weebly.

David Schwartz Multi-Platform (Desktop+Mobile) Rapid Prototyping + Dev, Tool Dev

July 1st, 2015

NameSilo.com is my first choice for registering domains. Unlike NameCheap.com (my second choice), NameSilo offers free privacy forever. NameCheap is free for the first year, and $2/yr after that. GoDaddy, OTOH, charges more for name privacy than for domains ($12+).

I generally don't recommend shopping for hosting with your domain registrar, but if you're going to do that, then I recommend NameCheap.

Everybody and their brother seems to have different (and often strong) opinions about hosting. To me, hosting is a commodity these days. Anybody can rent a dedicated server for $200/mo and sell shared hosting via WHM. It only takes 20 customers at $10/mo to break-even. It can be a very lucrative business if you do it right.

The only thing I'd suggest is to stick with a hosting account using a standardized control panel, like cPanel (Linux servers) or Plesk (Windows servers). Until recently, GoDaddy had a proprietary control panel, but they have since started offering cPanel (and maybe even Plesk). Most of the hosts people are fanatical about have proprietary control panels. 

If you plan to use any third-party scripts, it's highly likely that they're either being built on servers with cPanel or a bare-bones Linux box. Every control panel has subtle differences in their security settings, and they'll drive you absolutely batty when you run into them, which is why it's best to stick with cPanel overall, IMHO.

These simple website builders that outfits offer are very seductive, and usually quite limited. I think your time is much better spent learning Wordpress and figuring out how to build your site in a self-hosted Wordpress site. (That is, don't use Wordpress.com, because you cannot install any plugins on those sites!)

Matthew K Stark

June 30th, 2015

use wordpress. it is universally supported.

Russ Gilbert Founder & Managing Director at Blue Sun Media

July 1st, 2015

I hate to say this since most of my business is based on Wordpress, but for a small biz "brochure" type site I'd take a look at Squarespace or Wix.

They have the most advanced and effective tools for non-techies who just need a nice looking site with little effort or expense.

For email, I swear by Office365 - they'll let you register your domain as well if you don't have one.


Stan Podolski CEO at Nimble Aircraft.

July 1st, 2015

I think you are mixing registrar and hoster. Godaddy is not that bad as registrar, but for the hoster you can find much cheaper and more interesting offers

As to 'where', that depends on what you are doing. Somebody happy with one page, somebody wants wordpress and somebody would like to have fully blown MVP