Archive for category: recommendations

Here’s a fun discovery I made last week!! Â In the past if I needed to test a website on the production server I just made a dev.domainname.com site, or I got an IP address to use for a month until it was ready to go live.

While working with a colleague on a website going live, he opted to use GoDaddy’s free preview service, previewdns.  The website we were testing was a PHP/Mysql/Apache on Linux server running off  Drupal 6.0.  A bunch of things in the admin went wonky.  All the collapsible menu features stopped working, so did the WYSIWYG.  We had countless issues with anything involving Javascript.  Imagine our consternation trying to figure out how so much could be different on a practically identical server!  Turns out, it’s previewdns’s fault.  Once moved over to the live domain name, all these issues were fixed.  Maybe next time I’ll just spend a buck on an IP address and be sure of what I’m seeing 🙂

I’m trying to find some articles that explain how and why previewdns is breaking everything – but only positive reviews exist so far! Â Spread the word! Let me know if you have had any issues or find any articles on how to deal with these problems.

I’ve been having one bad experience after the other with them lately. Today I got so pissed off I was encouraged to blog about it. I want to make sure people know this before they make the same mistake.

I love GoDaddy as a hosting company. I use their shared hosting for almost all my sites. And I recommend them to all of my clients. In fact, I’ve probably done more business for GoDaddy than their latest superbowl advertisement. They’re fast, reliable, cheap, and friendly. I would say they have the best deal on the market today for web hosting- if you had asked me 2 weeks ago.

See, 2 weeks ago I signed up for a Virtual Dedicated and a Dedicated hosting account. This was my first time venturing into this world with Godaddy. As a web developer, I have had several times where I was constrained from doing something too terribly awesome because of the limitations of shared hosting. It was time to move into something more freeing.

I’ve worked with several other hosting companies and in-office servers with literally all-access server administration. So signing up to pay GoDaddy ~$400/month for their best plan available, I was a little more than disappointed to see all the limitations I still faced. You still have to jump through all of GoDaddy’s covering-their-butt hoops, and unless you sign up for their $100+/month support plan, good luck getting them to answer ANY of your questions, no matter how basic.

Their control panel is clunky and confusing. Unless you want to unix command line your way through your entire experience, good luck figuring out how to make any changes to your server. If you do go the commandline route, there is no such thing as root level access. You have to jump through more hoops to get that access: every time you connect. Setting up FTP and databases is very confusing, too. But the worst part of all? Customer support.

They have this great feature from your hosting account page that allows you to chat online with a representative. And the wait is never very long. But it only takes one chat session to figure out why: the people you get are, quite frankly, assholes. I have never had such a horrible customer service experience than this, outside of Comcast of course. Over the past two weeks, I have been on several phone calls, and several online chat sessions with rude, selfish, over-protective, impatient dicks who have all treated me like a peice of shit stuck on their heel. They don’t answer any questions directly. Infact, I’ve never had any of my questions answered. When I said “My root password isn’t working”, they said “It worked for me.” Great, thanks, Sherlock. They are not proactive or helpful in the least as any decent customer support rep should be. It’s almost like they’re mocking your stupidity for not being able to understand their horribly unituitive structure. They either tell you no or throw canned reponses your way, hoping you’ll get out of their hair. I have become so enraged by these people, I think I will be switching services soon.

So, maybe things would be better if you got the support option. But from what I have heard, that gives GoDaddy full control. So it’s like having a server you can do anything on, except you can’t actually do it yourself. Everything has to be done by a GoDaddy technician so as to rule out you coming to them to complain that something is broken. To summarize, there is no such thing as “technical” support for GoDaddy, even if you purchase it, they’re never EVER going to tell you “HOW” to do something. This is just a waste of time and resources. If you need to know a how you can try searching through their extremely basic and inefficient resources. If GoDaddy wanted a piece of advice from me I’d tell them to expand their FAQ section to answer questions more directly and in greater detail, as I can’t imagine how they’re helpful to anyone, no matter how intelligent.

For my clients who want a very simple site that doesn’t do anything spectacular, I will continue to recommend GoDaddy. But if you’re like me, and need a blue sky, I would strongly dissuade you from signing up for GoDaddys clauserphobic and nazi hosting plans.