WordPress allows users to rate themes and plugins. The rating system is based on users leaving one to five stars, one being awful and five being great. Users can also explain why they love or hate a theme or a plugin. Other WordPress users can then see the overall review and read these reviews. They can use this information to make informed decisions on the themes and plugins they choose for their site.
This system is great, but it doesn’t go far enough. WordPress should also allow users to rate hosting providers.
If I could rate WordPress hosting providers like I can with themes and plugins, I would give GoDaddy a one-star review.
Yesterday, I got a response from one of GoDaddy’s Twitter accounts to something I tweeted about eight days prior.
— GoDaddy Help (@GoDaddyHelp) January 22, 2017
WordPress pushed a security patch for version 4.7 on January 11 and encouraged users to update sites immediately. GoDaddy did not immediately install this update. It took them over a week to do it. Contrary to what GoDaddy is claiming on social media, security is not paramount.
I contacted GoDaddy support as soon as I realized they weren’t installing the update. Instead of trying to talk GoDaddy into doing what they said they would do, manage the WordPress installation, I asked that they change my hosting account to a regular cPanel account. That way, I could manage everything myself. I wouldn’t need to wait for GoDaddy to install a critical security patch. The support agent told me they couldn’t change my account. The support agent told me I would need to buy another hosting account and then move my blog to the new hosting account.
GoDaddy was using a problem they created as an opportunity to sell me something else. The more GoDaddy changes, the more they stay the same.
If I were going to buy another hosting account, why on earth would I choose GoDaddy? The reason for needing a new hosting account is because of GoDaddy. They were refusing to install an important security update.
WordPress has a list of recommended hosting providers. Thousands of hosting providers sell WordPress hosting accounts. WordPress only recommends four.
WordPress founder and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg decides which hosting providers make this list. It’s not clear why a hosting provider makes or doesn’t make the list. There’s a written survey submitted by the hosting provider. Matt Mullenweg reportedly uses these surveys along with other pieces of information when determining who makes the list and who doesn’t.
Recommending a WordPress hosting provider should be something customers do, not the creator of WordPress. Even if Matt Mullenweg is going out and buying WordPress hosting like a regular person, I doubt a hosting provider would treat him like they would treat everyone else. For example, would it take a hosting provider eight days to respond to a complaint tweeted by Matt Mullenweg?
I doubt it.
Hosting has always been WordPress’ Achilles heel. It doesn’t matter how great the WordPress software is if your website is hosted with a bad hosting provider. This is a problem Squarespace customers never have to deal with. With Squarespace, hosting takes place entirely on the Squarespace cloud. Squarespace is in full control of the hosting. WordPress has no control over the quality of the hosting.
With the number of WordPress hosting providers numbering in the thousands, it stands to reason at least some of them are quite terrible. I know from personal experience that some WordPress hosting providers are so bad, they’re toxic.
It’s a shame WordPress doesn’t provide a way for users to rate hosting providers. It would be a tremendous benefit to everyone if they did.