GoDaddy's Wall-to-Wall Awfulness

Categories: Tech
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Every time GoDaddy makes the news, as it has over the past week by supporting the widely reviled Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), the question naturally arises: Waitaminute, this is a domain registrar, right?

Right. GoDaddy is in perhaps the dullest business this side of term life insurance, and yet it has managed to call attention to itself many times over the years, usually by doing something "controversial." It's an obnoxious, annoying, shallow, sleazy company founded by a man, Bob Parsons, who shares all of those attributes.

What might be worse than GoDaddy's attention-whoring is the cowardice it often displays when the heat is on. In the present case, it was all for SOPA until the online uprising came, with calls for boycotts. At which point, the company decided to withdraw its support for the bill. Don't for a minute think that executives listened to arguments from the bill's opponents and allowed themselves to be convinced. That would mean the company had principles. No, the turnabout is merely a particularly clumsy attempt at damage control. One that might actually backfire, so obvious is the disingenuousness on display.

None of which is surprising when you consider the company's history, which includes:

  • Inane and sophomoric, if often effective, marketing, meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Parsons has repeatedly referred to how "edgy" his company and its commercials are, which sounds like something from Lindsey Naegle. If you have to call yourself edgy, you ain't edgy.

  • Arbitrarily yanking sites from the Internet. This fits in with GoDaddy's (supposedly former) support of SOPA. Shutting down websites can be a huge, costly deal, disrupting not only communications, but business. Doing it with little or no notice is downright awful.

  • A CEO who loves killing elephants. Really, if you enjoy shooting elephants, as former CEO (now executive chairman) Parsons (who reliably comes off as a complete jerk) did earlier this year, there's something wrong with you.

  • The phantom IPO. GoDaddy filed to go public in 2006, only to yank its registration soon after. Parsons explained in a particularly puerile blog post festooned with exclamation points that one reason he withdrew the IPO was because journalists kept reporting that the company wasn't profitable.
The latest entry for GoDaddy's Wall of Shame could turn out to be the charge, lodged on Monday, that the company has intentionally made it technically difficult for people to transfer their domains to a different registrar, as tens of thousands of people reportedly have. It's not clear yet how true this is, but it wouldn't be surprising.

Dan Mitchell has written for Fortune, the New York Times, Slate, Wired, National Public Radio, the Chicago Tribune, and many others.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

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22 comments
JP
JP

Looks like Bob Parsons is reading from the Reed Hastings playbook.

Mikoe Wozz
Mikoe Wozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arella cheese,where it'sdishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the "freshpasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to be frozen.--Agedate. ℃⊙M--anice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and youngermen,to interact with each other.

David Tanguay
David Tanguay

Don't forget the fact they used to take part in Domain Tasting. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D....  They would register domains based purely on a Whois search and would then try selling them to customers for $100+. 

Godaddy has also made a mockery of the hosting industry. They were the first to drastically oversell their services which lowered hosting costs and customer service reliability for the entire industry.

The fact that they are over 1 billion in debt and their IPO failed should be major red flags that the typical hosting customer does not notice.

For a reputable host with over 14 years in the industry checkout http://interactiveonline.com instead.

Gortson
Gortson

What about Namecheap? Also - aren't there quite a few hosting solutions companies that are owned by GoDaddy under a different name? I have a few domains registered through GoDaddy and I am looking to switch to someone less repellent.

FU GoDaddy
FU GoDaddy

Go Daddy moved beyond being a bad Registrar, they also Host! Taking the deceitful advertising and help instructions they inherited from Network Solutions.

Most small time folks want to use Hosts for the security and richness of environment, because they can't do it all by themselves. But GoDaddy is extremely misleading and difficult to use. I moved before the trial period was over because it's really that bad.

Today, anyone can get cloud, F GD.

Joshua Nelson
Joshua Nelson

GoDaddy sucks, I steer clients away from them and never use them myself. I didn't know he was a elephant killer, I do know their interface sucks and they have no support to speak of. Now I will make sure to spread the word and actively encourage clients to leave them.

Al Mac
Al Mac

I think their service and prices are ok, but it sucks to do business (however small) with a guy who enjoys shooting elephants.

Extensor Jones
Extensor Jones

I am in the process of transferring my domains from GoDaddy to NameCheap.com and my hosting company is Gatorhost. One of the worst things I hate about GoDaddy is the horrible site design.

Fishhead
Fishhead

I did not know many of the things about Godaddy I read in this article. And I am pretty disappointed.

From a business perspective though, I am really a fan of Godaddy. I worked with Networksolutions before and tey are just godawful and will cheat you where they can. Godaddys support so far was always courteous and professional.

Never cared for all the marketing stunts of their CEO though...

Michellestein
Michellestein

Sweetie--really??? They have all this horrible "GO-DADDY" crazy images, that are all ALL over your new webpage. When you complain they tell you to PAY to make it disappear. So, good for you, Fishhead, that you have dodged this bullet, but this BULLET hit me square in the head!!! I stand by my question to the "world/net": Who is the BEST??? Thanks Richard Hesse for responding to my question.

Shawn
Shawn

Dreamhost. Been with them since the late 90's. They offer full shell access, a web based control panel, webmail on your own domain, CGI, PHP, one click installers for things like WordPress etc etc. and it's relatively affordable and the support is great. I don't work for them, I'm just really happy with their service.

mstrnsrvnt
mstrnsrvnt

+1

I have been using Dreamhost since 2001 and they have been great! 

Michellestein
Michellestein

GoDaddy is disgusting...and if you get your domain name through them you pay dearly to not have their awfulness all over your homepage. So, what is the best place to lock down your website? I'd love to know what everybody out there thinks. I'd love to know who is the best and WHY you think so. Thanks.

Dan Mitchell
Dan Mitchell

Seeing this late, but I've been registering sites with gandi for years. It's a French company, very customer-centric and cheap. I can't recommend them highly enough.

Richard Hesse
Richard Hesse

As an alternative to Weebly (just to show I'm no company shill), you can use sonic.net for hosting and registration if you use them as your ISP. Again, it's a local company! sonic = Sonoma Napa InterConnect.

Richard Hesse
Richard Hesse

Check out Weebly. Great customer service, free hosting with a premium option, and sane customer practices. They're a local San Francisco company, too (North Beach/Chinatown).  Disclosure: I work for Weebly, so naturally I think that they're pretty awesome.

RazorSheldon
RazorSheldon

I 2nd this... Weebly is a great site with very responsive customer service.  And no, I don't have any disclosure to offer other than the good experiences I've had with them.

Michellestein
Michellestein

Will do, thanks. Please people...keep the tips coming! I really would so like to know which is the best....Meanwhile, Thank you Richard Hesse for your tip about Weebly. I LOVE the sane customer practices. SO good for you rooting for the home team. Meanwhile----all of you others out there---do you have another spin on this??? Thank you, in advance.

Pat Kittle
Pat Kittle

I'm a newbie, just now in the process of setting up a website.

I almost signed with GoDaddy. Glad I didn't! I'm sending friends who are with GoDaddy this article, in case they are unaware of this crap. I think it will convince them to change hosts.

(I chose iPage -- too soon to say anything definitive, but so far no regrets.)

Tox
Tox

Joker.com.  Relatively inexpensive, and it comes with free strong German privacy laws.

nunya
nunya

Who needs SOPA when you have GoDaddy's shutdown policy?

David Rusenky, co-founder of website hosting service Weebly.com, describes how GoDaddy wiped his domain name records, only restoring them after a phone call. All it took was a single complaint against a single user.

"They had received a complaint about the content of a site, and that they were removing the DNS entries for weebly.com because of it. I asked him if they had contacted us previously -- he responded that they hadn't. The site in question featured a bad review of a local business, and that business had complained."Rusenky immediately transferred the domain away from GoDaddy to prevent it from happening again. Just think: if a complaint is all it takes to get GoDaddy to shutter domains now, imagine how tempting it will be to complain should its policies become the law of the land.

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