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Leave Daddy

I am mystified why so many of my clients come to me having already bought web site hosting and domain name registration services from Go Daddy.

Go Daddy Girl

source: Go Daddy

You know Go Daddy.  They’re the company who advertises web services on the Super Bowl using large-breasted, pretty young women.  The commercials are cheesy bordering on the sleazy, and they seem to target hormone-crazed geeky teenage men of whatever age.  They are wildly successful.

The photo at right shows Go Daddy’s everyday sex-selling technique.  The image is from Go Daddy’s home page as configured this morning.  The picture shows that the company has even registered the term “Go Daddy Girl”.  Classy, eh?

Yet most of the clients who arrive on my doorstep having already purchased Go Daddy accounts are professional, liberated women — often attorneys. Others are female accountants and businesswomen who command respect.

I’m stumped. Do these women warriors secretly want a Daddy to take care of them? (They don’t seem to need big, strong male caretakers when I meet them, but who knows.)  Do the women think that using Go Daddy will make them look like the women in the ads? Maybe the commercials are so  effective that the women don’t know that there are better alternatives out there?  Or, are the rates for services so appealing that the wise women shoppers cannot resist.

Resistance is NOT Futile

There are two reasons to not select Go Daddy for any Internet services: professional and moral.

Why Go Daddy is Bad for Your Business

I have disliked Go Daddy for years for an amoral reason:  working on sites hosted at Go Daddy is a pain.  And, my pain means cost to my clients.

Go Daddy’s log on and control panel for services are simply confusing.  I suspect deliberately so.  Instead of a clear path to accomplish any task, you’re confronted with non-intuitive menu choices and endless options to buy add-on services.  I always feel like I’m just one errant click away from adding $100 a month to my client’s bill.

Even without mis-clicks, Go Daddy’s electronic maze of confusion is expensive to my clients.  I charge by the hour, and if I cannot get something done quickly, my clients pay for more of my time.

Just this week a client needed a different version of PHP installed on her site. There was no helpful PHP icon on the control panel, nor did a search of the help files reveal how to make the needed settings changes.  Twenty or more minutes later,  I gave up. I submitted a trouble ticket asking for help, emailed my client about the status, and waited for a response to the support request. Next morning, there was no response to the ticket, but my client had replied suggesting that I call Go Daddy’s telephone support because they were good.  They were. I waited only about 5 minutes on hold, spent only 2 minutes or so verifying my right to change things on the account, and then the knowledgeable rep showed me where the apparently undocumented  PHP settings lived in the control panel. I made the change I wanted, and then was told it would take 24 hours for my update to be effective. Because my client was on deadline, I checked periodically while working on other sites to see if the change had been applied. Finally, the right version of PHP appeared, and I was able to get on with site enhancements.

So, let’s say I spent 45 minutes for what should have been five minutes of work.  The cheap $5/month hosting plan isn’t such a bargain after adding in my hourly rate.  And, checking my notes, Go Daddy also cost the same client another hunk of my consulting time in the past 12 months when a Go Daddy bug got in the way of accomplishing what my client wanted.

Why Go Daddy is Bad for Your Karma
Go Daddy's CEO on an Elephant Kill

Go Daddy's CEO on an Elephant Kill. Source: Wired.com

Go Daddy and its CEO Bob Parsons uses sensitive topics to their commerical advantage. They play with moral issues to make money.

  • The over-the-top use of sexy women to sell Go Daddy’s services, at best, pokes fun at women’s equality issues.Is it good-spirited fun? Can you make fun of something while furthering the wrong?I don’t know, since I am not a female attorney, accountant, or designer.

    But there is something uncomfortable to me about financially rewarding sexism.

  • Making graphic videos of killing animals for publicity purposes makes me uncomfortable.Just yesterday Go Daddy’s CEO appeared on news shows talking about his kill.  He’s talking it up, justifying and glorifying it.

    I suspect the graphic video and even the shooting are beside the point.

    The point — just like the reason for producing juvenile sex-merrcials,  is publicity for Go Daddy.

Trading on other people’s struggle for equality is wrong.  Killing anything for your own aggrandizement is wrong.  I prefer to not trade with people who do wrong.

My Recommendation: Leave Your Abusive Daddy

If you haven’t yet signed up for web hosting or domain registrations services, pick one other than Go Daddy.

If you are a Go Daddy customer, find out when your services expire.  Move your domain registration to another registrar now — the new one normally extends the registration so the move will cost you nothing.  Sign up for a hosting service and move your web site a few weeks before it is supposed to renew.

Simple.

Ozdachs regularly uses five different web hosting and domain name registration services.
The service we use most frequently has live, US-based tech support. It’s Webmasters.com.

By |2011-04-02T11:59:10-07:00April 2nd, 2011|Product Recommendations|2 Comments

Are All Hosting Services the Same?

My policy of using whatever web hosting service a client has previously signed up for has been challenged this month as clients have found hosting services with small annual fees that have turned out to be cheap rather than inexpensive.

Here are some basics about hosting and why you might want to let your web developer choose the service for your site.

At its simplest, a hosting service merely needs to be reliable so that 99.some% of the time anyone trying to get to your web site will see your information.  Because of the limited requirements for hosting, it’s very tempting to sign up for a hosting plan that costs $5 a month instead of paying $200 a year in advance.

However, each hosting company offers different services and conveniences.  The hosting businesses vary on how you can upload information to your web and the features included in their hosting packages.

Most businesses need only very simple hosting. But, there are some fundamental qualifications for a professional hosting service.

What You Need in a Hosting Service

  • Uptime. You want your site to be available 99+% of the time. Ask a potential hosting service for their uptime stats!
  • An online way for you to make certain changes to your account. The hosting company should provide you with a “control panel” which lets you add new email accounts, change passwords, and do other administrative chores.
  • File Transport Protocol (FTP) access to updating your web site. You want to be able to use common web authorizing programs like Dreamweaver which employ FTP to publish web pages. You don’t want to be limited to using the hosting services custom file updater.
  • Unrestricted, 24×7 updating to your site. Yes, you want only authorized users to be able to update your site, but authorized users need to be able to authenticate themselves and do updates from anywhere at any time. Typically, hosting services control access through a user name and password (which you can change). However, some hosting services demand more, and their additional security requirements — such as IP authorizing — can make updating your site difficult.
  • Mail accounts. You want to use professional looking email accounts that include your domain name (e.g., [email protected]). You should be able to set up, modify, and delete at least 10 of these accounts for your hosting dollars.
  • Scripting language support. Even a straight-forward web site may include a contact form that you want validated. Or, the site may grow to use a login for certain pages. Or, other bright and shiny functionality may become a need. In any event, you want the host to support PHP and perhaps other scripting languages so that you don’t have to change hosting companies suddenly when you want to add a particular feature to a page.

Like many web designers, I charge clients by the hour. But, up to now I haven’t started the clock when learning the ins and outs of a new hosting company that a client picked. I figured that I was learning more about the hosting marketplace.

But, enough! After spending hours on work-arounds to comply with the quirks of some inexpensive hosting services, I have learned already!

Spending a reasonable amount of money for a full-service hosting company is truly the least expensive way to keep your site on the Internet. We recommend Webmasters.com who charges $120 year. From now on, I’m going to ask that clients use that choice… or make sure that the client’s existing service has the convenience and features we need.

By |2009-10-27T13:26:31-07:00October 27th, 2009|Professional Services, Web Design|2 Comments