Cranking up our web hosting performance

Fast. Reliable. Transparent.

Before I made the decision to join GoDaddy, one of the things I did was search for what people thought about GoDaddy’s Web hosting services. While there were many satisfied users, I also found instances where customers had voiced their concerns about issues with reliability, speed and usability within GoDaddy’s hosting products.

As I talked it through with GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving during my interview process, two things became clear: we shared a passion for creating the best technology products for small businesses; and he was willing to do whatever was needed to get our hosting products to exceed our customers’ expectations. I was sold, and as soon as I joined the team, we went to work tackling our hosting product.

Where did we start?

Like many successful companies, GoDaddy as a Web hosting company had grown faster than it could scale at the speed it needed — resulting in an inconsistent customer experience; page load times were not as optimal as they should be. Our back-end infrastructure needed some refreshing.

So we set to work to obtain a better sense of what was happening in the environment, on every tier and every server.

We had some basic monitoring and alerts, but knew that to be truly world-class, we needed kick up our monitoring and alerts so that we knew exactly was happening through intelligent monitoring everywhere. We appointed GoDaddy’s hosting performance guru and ‎Principal Engineer, Dave Koopman, to create and lead the Hosting Performance team that worked to align the Web, network, storage and database tiers.

Monitoring results

We set up performance metric bean counters to monitor each of the tiers and every machine that makes up a shared hosting environment. With a deeper understanding of our hosting environment, we were able to dive into what was happening on the performance side. For example, our team discovered that storage usage was at times imbalanced and needed some additional capacity.

Just those few tweaks resulted in an immediate improvement in our hosting platform.

Similarly, over time, the team built a design that would give us the greatest speed and performance while keeping costs down. Combined with cPanel® and Parallels® Plesk, we were on the way to a killer product.

Throughout the next several months, we continued to improve our hosting services and compared our performance to that of our competitors. The results were encouraging — we consistently saw our rank climb higher and higher. Once these internal testing rounds started regularly positioning us as one of the top performing companies, we knew it was time start telling people about it.

Third-party accountability

In addition to our own testing, which we run continually, we commissioned Cloud Spectator, a cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) performance analyst agency.

We tasked Cloud Spectator with benchmarking the Web hosting space in order to see how GoDaddy fared against other providers that offer Web hosting, Windows Web hosting and Managed WordPress. Our main goal was to obtain an independent and unbiased third-party perspective about our product.

Cloud Spectator examined GoDaddy’s hosting services with a blind agreement, meaning they purchased Web hosting accounts and set them up just like any customer. Our team was confident that no matter what server we were tested on, it would yield the best results.

With that said, today we are thrilled to share Cloud Spectator’s first report of GoDaddy’s hosting products. You can check the site monthly for fresh reports to see where we rank within the industry.

We’re proud of how far we’ve come, but we know that a truly great product is one that is constantly monitored. Additionally, we’re always making sure we have the latest technology employed and that we are monitoring any new developments in the hosting space to help better serve our customers. We’re committed to continuing to make your Web hosting experience even better, and to keep an open conversation with you about the latest Web hosting updates. Please feel free to share any feedback you have with our team.

Jeff King
As Senior Vice President of Hosting at GoDaddy, Jeff oversees the development and operations of the largest platform for small business in the world. Jeff joined GoDaddy after 10 years with eBay, where he served as Head of Platform Strategy for commerce and held senior product management roles in Search, Trust and Safety. As a father of two, Jeff enjoys adventure-travel with his family, watersports and mountain biking. He also mentors startups in commerce/cloud technology.