Taking a deep dive into GoDaddy’s August hosting performance

Off to the web hosting races

In “Cranking up our Web hosting performance,” GoDaddy Senior VP of Hosting Jeff King talked about why we commissioned Cloud Spectator to perform an unbiased uptime and response time study of Web Hosting providers. As leader of GoDaddy’s Hosting Performance team for the last 15 months, I want to dig into the what, and take a look at the results of the first month of this ongoing, industry-wide study.

While there’s always room for improvement, GoDaddy did great in August. We scored in the top three spots in Linux® web hosting, Windows® web hosting and Managed WordPress hosting response time. In particular, our Managed WordPress ranked first for uptime with 100 percent (a perfect score) and our Linux web hosting scored a very respectable 99.98-percent uptime.

Even though GoDaddy didn’t sweep the top spot in all categories, this study shows we’re serious about our uptime and performance and are committed to improving every single day.

It’s important to note that this study, and others like it, represents an entire hosting company product based on a single test account. As such, the sample size isn’t intended to be an all-encompassing representation of performance. That said, it’s much better than purely subjective reviews or reviews based on the hosting company’s sales home page.

Why doesn’t everyone have 100-percent uptime?

While we strive for 100 percent, sometimes things happen outside of our control. Most hosting providers offer a 99.9-percent uptime guarantee, and as such, it’s the generally accepted industry threshold for uptime. In other words, anything at or above 99.9 percent is good.

It’s not about completely eliminating downtime, it’s about how fast downtime can be corrected once it is detected.

If you think about the underpinning contracts and all of the different companies and all the different routers and switches and uplinks and transit required to carry bits around the world at nearly the speed of light, 100-percent uptime is improbable for anybody to attain. That’s why 99.9-percent uptime is a reasonable target for an economy web hosting account. It’s not about completely eliminating downtime, it’s about how fast downtime can be corrected once it is detected.

Top Linux Hosting Providers

In Linux, GoDaddy ranked second at 621ms response time and handily exceeded that 99.9-percent target for uptime with 99.98-percent uptime. And if you use the Cloud Spectator web hosting dashboard and filter to just “North America West,” you’ll see GoDaddy in the top spot at 384ms.

Top Windows Hosting Providers

GoDaddy ranked first in response time on Windows with 467ms, which is very good. The new GoDaddy hosting built with the Parallels® Plesk control panel is running with all of the latest technology and software.

Top Managed WordPress Providers

GoDaddy Managed WordPress tied for first place in uptime with 100 percent — a perfect first month. This product came in at 328ms, even faster than its brother and sister products on Linux and Windows.

About GoDaddy’s dedication to excellence in web hosting

I can personally testify that GoDaddy has its sights set on being a world-class and best-of-breed web hosting provider. How do I know? The Hosting Performance Team I’ve led for the past 15 months has worked tirelessly to measure, analyze and correct performance across our farm of thousands of servers hosting millions of websites. We’ve deployed a variety of tactics for all three areas, and worked closely with our internal partners for web, storage, network and database infrastructure.

As you can see from this first batch of Cloud Spectator data, the result is a much-improved consistency in performance and reliability of our web hosting products. Cloud Spectator will be updating these stats monthly. If you want to slice-and-dice the data, you can check out all of this month’s information here.

As always, we’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.

Image by: Bengt Nyman via Compfight cc

Dave Koopman
Dave’s been helping GoDaddy since 2002 in development, architecture and management roles. His current job is in Hosting R&D, where he experiments with technology and techniques for improving customer experience. He’s studied in the art of web application performance and shares some wisdom at hostingperformance.guru and the How to Make Your Website Faster video series. When not making customers' websites go faster, he enjoys offroading, camping and ski trips with his wife and two children.