Another reason to stay away from Site5

I received an email this morning from Site5, my former hosting provider and domain registrar. The email stated that was about to expire and I should renew it now. One small problem: I changed’s registration to GoDaddy last year.

Here’s the email:

Site5 is a terrible company. They used to be great until they were acquired by EIG. Since then, Site5 has become a terrible hosting provider, just like HostGator, Bluehost, and the other hosting providers taken over be EIG.

EIG is like the Borg from Star Trek. They zip around the known galaxy and take over once respected hosting providers.

One of the changes put in place by Site5’s new overlords is that to sign into your account, you have to agree to their Terms of Service (ToS).  I’ll cut off a thumb before I agree to EIG’s ToS. I don’t know what it even says, but if it was put in place by EIG, it’s got to be bad for the consumer.

This fraudulent email is just another ploy to get me as a former consumer to agree to their ToS.

Take my advice and stay away from Site5 or any other hosting provider acquired by EIG.

Never buy a full year of WordPress hosting

GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting is a terrible product. One of its most annoying aspects is how slow the backend is. Use GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting and need to make a change, install a plugin or add a widget, you’re going to wait.

I decided to see how long it was talking to perform simple tasks. I installed Page Load Time, an extension to Chrome that measures page load time and displays it in the toolbar.

The results were what I expected them to be:

  • Edit post: 24.1 seconds
  • Update edited post: 46.6 seconds
  • Dashboard: 23.1 seconds
  • Genesis > Theme Settings: 21.1
  • Genesis > Theme Settings > Update: 46.7
  • Plugins > Add New: 64.3
  • Plugins > Add New > Activate: 84.6 seconds

To wait over a minute to go to the screen that allows you to install a plugin is beyond ridiculous. It creates a lousy user experience. GoDaddy should have spent the money they dumped into last night’s Super Bowl commercial on fixing their products. It’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to get a new customer.

The only thing worse than GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting product is their support. Twice I’ve reached out to their support using the chat tool and both times it was a waste of time.

The first was when I contacted GoDaddy about not updating WordPress from version 4.6.1 to version 4.7. A week had gone by since version 4.7 came out and GoDaddy had not installed the update. The GoDaddy support agent told me their WordPress experts had not yet determined if the new version of WordPress was “safe and stable.” Once they did, they would roll out the update in 24 hours.

It took them two weeks.

The next time I contact GoDaddy support was when WordPress released version 4.71. It was a security update. WordPress encouraged users to update their sites immediately. GoDaddy ignored this advice. The agent first tried to sell me their Managed WordPress hosting product. He explained that then GoDaddy would automatically perform the update. I explained that I already had the Managed WordPress hosting product. I explained I was contacting them because they weren’t updating WordPress like they said they would.

I requested they change my account from Managed WordPress hosting to cPanel hosting. That way I could perform updates myself. He said that he couldn’t do that. He said I would need to buy a whole new hosting account and then transfer my site from the Managed WordPress hosting account to the cPanel account.

I had already paid for a year of Managed WordPress hosting. When I asked if I needed to buy a whole new hosting account, why would I not leave GoDaddy and go somewhere else? He didn’t have an answer for that.

Seeing how long it was taking to perform basic backend tasks was the final straw. I got a new hosting account with another host and I moved this website over to it. It irritated me that I threw money away by paying for a full year of hosting at GoDaddy. I then realized that using GoDaddy was even more irritating.

It turned out to be a valuable lesson: never pay for a full year of web hosting. You may save a few bucks each month by paying in one-year blocks, but what do you then do if your hosting provider fails to do what they’re supposed to do? What if EIG acquires your web hosting provider? By going month to month, I have the power move my blog if I need to without feeling that I’m leaving money on the table.

A year is a long time when it comes to WordPress hosting providers. A lot can happen in a year. When you buy WordPress hosting by the year, you lose what little consumer rights you have.

WordPress should allow users to rate hosting providers

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.

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 should allow users to rate hosting providers - Bent Corner
WordPress founder and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg.

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.

Stay away from GoDaddy managed WordPress hosting

When I realized I needed to move my website from Site5, I decided to give GoDaddy a try. I wanted to try GoDaddy managed WordPress hosting.

The idea of managed hosting appealed to me. GoDaddy would automatically take care of all WordPress updates and they promised to back up the site on a daily basis.

As it turns out, their managed WordPress hosting product is terrible. They’re awful at managing WordPress. What’s even worse is they won’t allow me to manage WordPress either.

When WordPress rolled out version 4.7, my blog was running WordPress version 4.61 for two weeks. With a GoDaddy managed WordPress account, GoDaddy removes the ability to run updates to WordPress. You have to wait for their WordPress experts to decide if the update is “safe and stable” before they allow the update to go through.

Yesterday WordPress released a security update, version 4.71. It addresses eight (8) security issues. WordPress strongly encourages users to update their sites immediately.

Stay away from GoDaddy managed WordPress hosting - Bent Corner
GoDaddy, If you will not update WordPress, at least remove the annoying error message.

GoDaddy will not update my blog’s version of WordPress. What this means is that my blog is susceptible to these eight security issues until GoDaddy gets around to running the update.

Realizing that if my blog was hosted using GoDaddy’s cPanel hosting, I could immediately update WordPress to version 4.71. I contacted GoDaddy support via chat requesting they switch my account from managed WordPress to cPanel hosting. I was told they couldn’t do that. If I wanted to switch from managed WordPress hosting to cPanel hosting, I would need to purchase a new hosting plan.

This is insane. GoDaddy is failing to properly manage my blog’s WordPress installation. If I want to take over and maintain my blog’s WordPress installation, it’s going to cost me extra.

GoDaddy is web hosting Hell. Hosting providers like GoDaddy are why Squarespace is becoming so popular. With WordPress, you have to deal with a hosting provider that may or may not be up to snuff. GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting is not up to snuff. With Squarespace, all hosting is performed by Squarespace. Users aren’t required to sift through a neverending list of hosting providers and decide which one will suck less than the others.

GoDaddy isn’t sure WordPress 4.7 is ‘safe and stable’ yet

When I realized I needed to move my blog’s hosting provider from Site5, I decided I would move it to GoDaddy. I wanted to try the Godaddy Managed WordPress product. I heard an interview on WP Tavern’s WordPress Weekly podcast with Gabriel Mays, head of WordPress products at GoDaddy. I had a bad opinion of GoDaddy, but Gabriel Mays sounded like a decent enough guy and if he was in charge of WordPress at GoDaddy, maybe things were better there.

It turned out that I was wrong. Not about Gabriel Mays, but with GoDaddy. It’s just as awful as I thought it was. In fact, it’s even worse.

Up until moving to GoDaddy, I’ve managed all aspects of the WordPress installation. Their GoDaddy Managed WordPress product is different in that they take care of all the management tasks. They take care of all updates to WordPress and they even do a daily backup. The backup feature was very attractive to me in that backing up a WordPress site with a lot of posts can be troublesome.

WordPress released version 4.7 last week. When I paid GoDaddy for a year of Managed WordPress hosting, I was under the assumption they would take care of updating WordPress automatically. I thought this because this is what it said on the GoDaddy website.

GoDaddy isn't sure WordPress 4.7 is 'safe and stable' yet - Bent Corner

As of writing this post, my blog is still running WordPress version 4.6.1.

Yesterday I decided to reach out to GoDaddy support via their chat tool. After a long wait, I was the 20th customer in queue, I was connected to a person named Jeffery.

I explained the issue multiple times. Jeffery first tried to talk me into adding Managed WordPress hosting my account so the updates would happen automatically. I explained I already had Managed WordPress, that is why I was contacting him. Once it sounded as though he understood why I was contacting GoDaddy support, he asked me to wait while he researched the problem. This is what he came back with:

Thanks for waiting Rick. I verified further and the changes made on your account are automatically done by our wordpress experts.

These new versions of wordpress are tested first on our hosting settings to make sure that they are safe and stable. Once the tests are completed – the changes will take effect automatically without your need to do anything

In most cases these changes are made in 24 hours once the tests on the hosting settings are completed.

So the reason my blog hasn’t been updated to the latest version of WordPress is that the GoDaddy WordPress experts haven’t decided yet if WordPress 4.7 is safe and stable.

This is so ridiculous. If my account wasn’t using the Managed WordPress product, I could take two minutes and do the update myself. Because I’m paying for the Managed WordPress product, I can’t upgrade my blog to the latest version of WordPress. I have to wait for their WordPress experts to do it.

I’m never paying for WordPress hosting by the year ever again. Hosting has always been the greatest weakness with WordPress. You never know when your hosting provider is going to cut corners and just not do what they’re supposed to do. Before Site5 was sold to EIG, I didn’t have any problems with them. Once EIG took over, they fired the Site5 support staff. I didn’t know this. I found out about it after I submitted a support ticket for another website I managed and it took them over a month to even look at it.

Even if I move my blog to another hosting provider and cancel my GoDaddy account, I’m out the money I paid for a full year of hosting.

I hate getting ripped off. I feel that’s what GoDaddy is doing.