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Why I switched from Godaddy ( to

Why I switched from Godaddy ( to
by guest blogger Brad of
For those who are unaware of it, I recently moved my tech blog canadiantechblogger to free hosting.

The first question is why would I do such a thing?

Continual frustrations, annoyances and poor value for my money

I switched from my old hosting provider (Godaddy), to because Godaddy was giving me issues every other week, or had caching issues, and did not support gzip (fully) etc. Plus the $5/month I was paying was not worth it.

With my web hosting renewal date a month away I did an assessment of where I was at, where the blog was at, and what my stats indicated about my readership.

On a web hosted WordPress.ORG install my blog was  like a stand alone island. By moving my blog content  free hosting at and having them domain map to it my blog and I could be  part of a community and that provides opportunities to promote my blog more effectively.

On a web hosted WordPress.ORG install I not only had web hosting problems to cope with but I also had to do my own WordPress and plugin updates and solve any technical problems that arose on my own. Although these were not a  challenge for me,  the fact that Staff do all the updates and solve all  technical problems on free hosted blogs that cannot be solved by the volunteers who answer questions on the support forums was very attractive. is better for my blog

I am glad I moved to (with timethief’s advice!). I could have moved my blog to blogger, but I like better. has a much better community. People can find your blog via tags and categories on the global tag pagesrelated posts, or even the homepage! Blogger doesn’t offer any of that.

The switchover and clean up

‘Yes’ the switch was easy (for the most part). It was a simple export of my blog contents  via the tools menu in my install and an import into my blog.  However,  I quickly realized that I had over 200 posts with videos to convert as does not supporting HTML embeds and uses a shortcode instead.  It took me over 6 hours to do it, but its all done.  :) With all the post converts I was able to remove 17 dead end posts, and about 80 dead links.

I also noticed that Google Analytics, Woopra, Wibya, Widgets, etc. would not work due to code restrictions. But that’s fine as the in-house WordPress stats program is perfect on its own (hence why it was made).

I am also not allowed to have any advertising on which is fine as, unless you make to the front of Digg/Reddit/etc.  you won’t make anything much when it comes to income. I am perfectly fine with adding its own advertising when it needs to.


I no longer have to pay $5/month for hosting, don’t have to worry about backups or downtime, bandwidth limits, loading time/issues, and I don’t have to worry about hackers.

All I need to pay is $25 a year to pay for domain mapping ($10 @, and domain renewal costs ($15 @ godaddy).

So I am saving $35+ a year, and at the same time supporting the best blogging community.  :)

I had a few blogging casualties though. CTB games, GWasurans, forums, wiki, etc where removed but that’s fine since they where ghost-towns.

I host my gaming review blog, and software review blog here on since I created them, so I am really getting my moneys worth.  :).

Overall it was worth it. Great community, and care free hosting are well worth a few hours of converting, and paying a few dollars per year.

Related posts found in this blog:

Bloggers Get Your Own Domain

Self-hosting: What’s Your Hurry?

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47 thoughts on “Why I switched from Godaddy ( to

  1. Different strokes for different folks. Some people are so comfortable writing in a self hosted blog because of much flexibility in using plugins and freedom to express what you want, without having to worry about TOS.

    On the other hand, some bloggers are okay with or Blogger to house their ideas. I guess that boils down to what you really want to get out of blogging. If you are blogging more for passion then a free hosted blog is more appropriate, otherwise, a self hosted site/blog will do if you are after making money out of it.


    • In fact many bloggers who choose to self host have stars in their eyes or shall I say dollar signs. If a blog has suitable content and a strong traffic flow then the blogger can apply to have their blog accepted into the AdControl Program and spilt advertsising income with What I witness is bloggers with very low traffic flow blogs zooming off to get a install and assuming they will make a bundle of bucks easily. In fact most will be fortunate if they make enough to cover their web hosting costs.

      • I’ m curious the response to pethelpers question on February 6th. It seems like the question may have been skippped and never answered. Being a nubie, and looking to expand my visibility, this is my primary concern. I do hope in the future to convert to an account where I can ultimately make a few dollarts, but for now my main focus is increasing traffic.

        I am hosted on Go Daddy with Website Tonight and want to add a blog. I have 5 pages left and hope to dedicate one of them to a blog. Hopefully this is possible and will also result in increased traffic an visibility. ?????Am I thinking correctly?

        • I have answered that comment now so you can read my reply. Free blogs from and being free hosted by wordpress.COM are all on the same multi-user blogging platform. They are NOT free standing blogs; they share a common architecture. They cannot be embedded into a website. For that you must use a free standing wordpress.ORG isnstall for self-hosting from

          Please read this entry so you are crystal clear on the differences bewteen free hosted wordpress.COM blogs and free software installs fro self hosting from wordpress.ORG >

  2. Hi timethief,
    Very interesting topic. I would be interested in your opinion on mapping an existing blog as a subdomain to an existing self-hosted non-wp-website. Will the increased traffic from the blog improve the page rank of the whole website, even though they are not hosted on the same server?
    I hope my question makes sense,
    thank you very much for your help.

    • Domain mapping and moving conetnt to a install, will not necessarily improve traffic. In fact I have a blog that got 1000 – 1500 page views daily and when I moved it off of the traffic fell dramatically. Two years later it still had not recovered the traffic flow it had when it was free hosted by blogs are part of a community and we get traffic from the global tags. When your export the blog content out of a free hosted blog all the links in the global tags pages are “gone”. Your new install is a stand alone island. It’s not longer part of the community and derives no traffic from the global tag pages at all.

      The SEO on the site is excellent and the number of blog is huge. All free hosted blogs benefit from that site SEO and pagerank. When you move your blog loses that. There’s no way your stand alone install is going to have an easy time retaining the same pagerank it had when free hosted by wordpress.COM. I know this for a fact as do many others who have done comparsions studies on this.

  3. Many of my friends have used GoDaddy and most of em’ had issues. But there are much better hosting providers like HostGator or SmallOrange etc…

  4. Hosting you blog on your own server is the best. I have many blog that i currently edit and they all are hosted with godaddy…


    • I disagree with your choice of web host. I have chosen A Small Orange and their service and support is excellent. I have friends who chose godaddy and regretted the choice they made so they moved to A Small Orange where they are now happy.

  5. Hi, I think I REALLY need your help!!!

    So, I have a blog through, but my hosting is through Am I able to use Google Adsense on my webpage or advertise in General? I am having a hard time figuring it out. Can you please help me?

    Thank you Very Much,

  6. Question: Has anyone, or can anyone quantify the effects that the built-in community brings to blogs, though?

    Not that I’m aware of and whatever metrics were devised would be blog specific.

    I’d like to be certain I’m going to see positive (as opposed to null) results.

    Certainty is not possible and I think you must already know that. Best wishes with your blog move. :)

  7. I’m a big fan of and, and I use both for different sorts of blogs.

    Right now, I’m actually thinking of making the best of both worlds by taking one self-hosted site and exporting it to and then mapping it back to the URL. This will give me my “URL autonomy” but keep me hooked into the global tag community.

    Has anyone, or can anyone quantify the effects that the built-in community brings to blogs, though? Before I make the switch mentioned above, I’d like to be certain I’m going to see positive (as opposed to null) results. Rarely do I ever see anyone linking into my blogs from the global tags pages. I know my SEO will improve, but I’m wondering mostly about incoming links from tags, categories, and related posts right now. That’s the sticking point on whether or not i move forward.

    michael steeleworthy

    • @Eric
      Says who? And, on what grounds do your base your belief? If you cannot provide grounds for such a belief and present a cogent argument based on facts then why did you comment at all, let alone, twice?

      Could it be because you simply were reciting the same old mantra and attempting to promote the commercial hosting site linked to your username?

      Well, I do think that is the case so that’s why I removed both links. For more clarity read 5. in my commenting policy found here >

  8. I knew it , I always prefered using my own Hosting instead of using wordpress ase my hosting plattform, you never know what cane happen in the future and that way i am on the save side

    • @Eric
      You have much to learn when it comes to commenting. One comments when one has something meaningful to add to the discussion that has not been previously introduced. IMHO what you have contributed is ill founded paranoia. The likehood that your web hosting service is any more robust or sustainable than is IMHO laughable.

      I’d like to offer you some help. If you intend to blog in the English language you will need to improve your language, grammar and spelling skills. There are resource links in this post that will help you with that. ESL and Blogging >

  9. I think there must have been something wrong with the old blog’s server (one of the reasons I’m switching off of it). I tried reexporting and reimporting yesterday and it worked fine. Woohoo!

  10. Question for you, timethief:

    I tried to export my blog to a they way you did, but every time I tried to import the .xml file to the .com site, I got a “please upload a vaild wxr” file error. Why is that?

    • @madmfg
      Hello there. I cannot help you with an export that went wrong. You will need to go here to get help

      When I exported my personal blog I was going the opposite direction ie. from to a install, not that it should matter. And on many occasions since I have used the exporter to create back-up files for my blogs without ever experiencing a problem. I simply deleted all spam first and then clicked the button.

      Staff will help you sort this. Best wishes for a happy ending.

  11. This is an impassioned discussion! It seems clear that we all have different needs and inclinations and thus different approaches work for different people.

    I am a small fish in a big pond and am technically challenged so being a part of the community works extremely well for me. I’ve noticed a much better flow of traffic on that when I was on blogger. I’m grateful for all the support I receive and for the excellent software. There are some limitations but I can exist within them just fine. The ability to changes fonts and colors globally would of course be a super-plus. :-)

    • @Sandra Lee
      There are millions of non-money motivated bloggers who are happy with their blogs and the support service they get both from Volunteers on the peer support forum and from Staff by way of support ticket here at

      There are also many bloggers who do have free software installs on stand alone island domains who are happy being self directed and making an income from adverstsining and affiliate schemes. I have also observed that most are really in the dark when it comes to knowing what the free features free hosted bloggers have access to.

      Not surprisingly, what I have observed is that those independent bloggers on their stand alone islands who do blog for money tend to primarily befriend and follow other bloggers who are much like themselves. Naturally their blogs contain a lot of content aimed at money making that’s not of interest to me and other bloggers like me at all.

      On many occasions I have met make money bloggers online who find it unbelievable that there are bloggers who are happy being free hosted, and have no interest in making an income from advertising. They seem to be unaware that in the beginning the blogosphere was not populated by those who were trying to make an income online.

      The differences between bloggers, why they blog and whether or not they are money motivated make for interesting conversations. Thanks so much for commenting and sharing where you are at. :)

  12. I like to be in control. When you’re using a free host, you are stuck with obligations, rules etc. Also technically you do not OWN the blog. Even if you are getting some decent traffic from the community, you cannot take advantage of it and monetize it, since affiliate links and advertising is not allowed.

    If you are having problems with your hosting company, just switch it. There are millions of alternatives out there. I suggest hostgator. They are pricey a bit but they have excellent service and their control panel is awesome!

    Have a great night!

    • Hi Grumpy,
      Thanks for sharing your POV and advice. Brad is not available at this time so I am respnding to your comment.

      In your third sentence you have said: “Also technically you do not OWN the blog.”

      This may be true at Blogger but it’s not true at Here the TOS and support documentation make it clear that we DO own the content in our blogs, and we can export it out and move it to another site whenever we want to.

      Re: advertising and affiliate schemes
      There are millions of bloggers who apparently do not consider their inability to place advertising and affiliate links on their blogs to be a hardship. I am among them and in fact I use an AdBlocker when I visit commercialized blogs and have never once clicked an advertising or affiliate link. Additionally, I categorically refuse to link in my posts or BlogRoll to any “affiliate” blog such as those who are kept by bloggers who are paid to write like ReviewMe, Text Link Ads, Smorty, and PayPerPost.

      FYI these are the types of blogs allowed and not allowed at
      Scroll down to read this section:

      Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. Here is a thread in the support forums that talks more about which affiliate links are OK or not OK.

      In nutshell free hosted blogs are not equipped for ecommerce and financial transactions cannot be conducted on them. No retailing, reselling is allowed. They cannot be used to drive traffic to third party sites. That’s why the site is not attractive to spammers, sploggers and plagiarists like those we find operating on free hosted Blogger (blogspot).

      However, if one has a “real” blog and is an artist, artisan or author, then they can advertise what they create themselves on their fee hosted blogs. These are the advertising restrictions > You will note the exception for VIP hosting accounts.

      This entry describes the differences we have been discussing >

      Thanks for commenting and best wishes with your blogging.

  13. Obviously by “self-hosted” I did not mean that the alternative to a blog is that you set up your own web server and T1 line running from your home.

    What is confusing is that some of the commenters still refer to “” as if something is happening there (eg. “I think it was a great move to switch to”). It’s a support site for WordPress software, which you download and place on a web server. It has nothing to do with per se. Last time I checked, there was no hosting available on

    My guess is that Godaddy outsources their web hosting “service” and doesn’t actually do any real hosting. I wouldn’t use them either; the low domain registration pricing which they love to advertise doesn’t include any privacy protection, so you end up paying more than the advertised price if you don’t want your name and address published.

    It does work for some, but I maintain that the benefits of “self-hosted” can outweigh whatever you receive as being part of the community.

    Perhaps someone can clarify for me the domain mapping thing with a blog? To the untrained eye, it looks like you’ve managed to figure out a way to pay for a free service.

    • @JP
      Re: your second paragraph
      Yes, commenters here, there and everywhere refer to “moving to” erroneously because does not provide web hosting services at all. As you say it’s a support site.

      Having answered over 7 thousand questions on the support forums over these past 4 years, I am clear on the differences between the two and attempt to clarify them every day to those who post to that forum. Some days over 30% of the questions I answer there are posed by those who have web hosted installs and who are posting to the wrong forum because they fail to read or comprehend the contents of the sticky post at the head of the forum Or because they fail to read and comprehend the contents of the support forum entry linked to on the front page of support documentation

      Re: It does work for some, but I maintain that the benefits of “self-hosted” can outweigh whatever you receive as being part of the community.

      That may be your position. My reality is that a considerable and by no means insignificant portion of my traffic is fellow bloggers.

      1. Some come to my blog by way of the global tag pages

      2. Some come to my blog by way of the Showcase forum where only bloggers can promote their posts

      3. Some come to my blog by way of the support forums because I answer questions there and bloggers simply click my username which is linked to my blog

      4. I also get traffic from those members who have subscribed to my blog through the Blog Surfer.

      5. And the Tag Surfer also brings my blog traffic.

      Most bloggers who are not a part of the community do not even know those 5 traffic generators do exist within the community.

      Re: domain mapping
      What must be understood up front is that will not provide 301 redirects, and there is no such thing as free domain mapping available at only provides 302 temporary re-directs which are referred to as domain mapping by them and which cost $15. per year annually renewable.

      Domain mapping references in support forum documentation:

  14. I have never heard one good word about GoDaddy, so to link GoDaddy together with a fabulous software package like self-hosted WordPress is really quite unfair to WP. I have tried blogging over at a few times for minority projects, but lose my nerve with all the limits it poses on me in about 15 minutes and end up installing yet another one on my own server. (Luckily I can map unlimited domains to my account at, which is a fabulous web host, absolutely top notch!) I do agree that there is no conclusion here. You just had a crappy host. Your conclusion was that GoDaddy is not very good, and anything is better than a crappy host. Even would be.

    • @Sebastyne
      You are far too geeky and self sustaining to be happy at It’s interesting to hear what hostgator has available so thanks for sharing that. :)

  15. I ran into problems last year when I tried GoDaddy hosting for several months. Didn’t even get off the ground since I am a total tech novice. I decided on easy to use and versatile. My continuing concern for my other blogs (they are on is content ownership since my blogs are totally original. I’m a little nervous about the vulnerability of my content. I’m looking around for in-expensive but user friendly hosting companies. Anybody have opinions about Fat Cow.

    • Hello Lydia,
      I hear your concern about your blog content on Blogger’s servers. If you want to you can create a blog and set it to “private” to keep out the search engine spiders. Then you could export the content out of your Blogger blog on a periodic basis and import it into the blog. What you would achieve is that you would have a backup of all your blog contents without any hosting costs for keeping it.

      As far as inexpensive and user friendly web hosts go I use A Small Orange for my web hosted blog and they are excellent. I don’t know anything about Fat Cow – sorry. If I do hear anything about them I will contact you.

      Thanks for commenting. :)

      • Thank you Timethief. Sorry for the delay in getting back to this response. I’ve saved your valuable suggestion for my future hosting plans.

  16. I think the biggest attraction of (besides its simplicity) is the ready-made community, as this author, Brad, says.

    I guess it depends on what a person wants.

    I started out with Google Blogger and I changed to because the themes (or templates or skins or whatever name is given to them) seemed better.

    Still I felt restricted by the available themes available on (and the fact that I couldn’t run Adsense) and that prompted me to move to

    I was also prompted to move by the thought that might just close down one day, or change its regulations. Then what?

    I guess that was an unfounded worry and yes, I know that a commercial web host could shut down or lose all the data before I backed it up – but still I feel it is my data and not just my input into a theme that is running on a server over which I have no control.

    Most of all though, I think it was a great move to switch to for the things I learned.

    I learned how to set up a database, FTP files to a server, modify permissions, change DNS addresses, understand the differences between shared hosting and VPS, learn what different web hosts did or did not offer (root access, CPanel etc).

    And yes, I experienced poor web hosts and I went through the hassle of changing hosts. However, I learned a lot technically from that experience.

    Of course, there are many more free themes with and trying those out gave me the impetus to learn a bit of HTML and CSS.

    It has been several years now since I switched to, and meanwhile there are more themes available now on

    Even so, the choice is limited compared to what is available on

    That said, did you see that has just announced the formation of a Theme Team who will roll out more themes and with a “more consistent user experience” as they put it? So things should get better.

    And not to forget that Blogger stated just this March that Google would be rolling out more themes. (I still keep a Blogger blog and I switched to one of the new BloggerinDraft themes – much better).

    • @David
      Thanks for taking the time to share the factors that went into your decision making process and for sharing your experiences as well.

      Yes I’m aware of the Theme Team. They have already released 3 new themes to go along with the 85 we had to choose from. The most recent additions have some nice customizable features. In fact this is one of those themes that have just been released. What do you think of it?

      • I like the Inuit Types theme a lot. After seeing it here on your site, I decided to try it out and I am using it at Photographworks but in its blue flavor.

        I just tried the newest new theme – Under The Influence – and I think it is a nice theme, but it didn’t play very well with the posts that are on the blog.

        One of the things I wish that we could do on is to change font size. I know it can be done on a post by post basis, but it would be nice to have the option to make global changes to typeface and font size. I am sure it could be built into an ‘options’ page for each theme.

  17. It seems like your basic problem was a bad host(GoDaddy is (in)famous for their hosting!). In my opinion, advantages of a self hosted blog easily outweigh hosting.
    First, as other commentators said, you can not add own ads. Affiliate links are also not legal there. Second, you can not add own themes and plugins. While I agree that plugin and theme maintenance is a time consuming task, the time can be reduced easily with some really useful plugins. For example, there’s Plugin Central plugin available that can upgrade all your plugins with a single click.
    It’s highly unlikely that anything will break by itself if you have a good host.
    However, you clearly brought a valid point i.e. traffic from community. I was not aware about this! Good job!

    • @Ishan
      Re: your second paragraph
      This is just to let you know that Brad was well versed in the limitations and restrictions that come with the territory of being free hosted by prior to making that decision. He is also well versed in managing install and uploading plugins and upgrading them and had no difficulties at all with that.

      Yes “godaddy” was not a good selection for him. But the primary point he is making is that his traffic metrics were so low that he did not feel the expense of remaining web hosted was worth renewing.

      It seems that all the bloggers I speak to who have never been part of the free hosted community are not aware of the traffic generating opportunities we have within the community. (I have listed 5 of them in my reply to JP below).

      Thanks for commenting. :)

  18. I still think, that if you had waited a little longer, you would have earned you’re penny’s worth. Other than that i think hostgator is a better hosting provides and it supports gzip and I am also using this hosting.

    • Building a community > Paying $60 for less then 40,000 visits per year.

      As currently I have no need at all to pay for hosting, I simply do not have a community of users to support such a move.

  19. Granted, the maintenance aspect can be frustrating and time consuming, but you are now blogging under a platform that is not a self hosted blog. You do not own it, and you’re just another URL and or subdomain.

    • Thats fine, if I ever mean anything there is nothing stopping me from going to VIP or self hosting.

    • @Frank
      JP and I were discussing above what a misleading term “self-hosting” is. If it applied strictly to those who are self hosting on their own servers it would make sense. But when I hear bloggers say they are self hosting in almost every case they mean that they pay a web hosting service to host their blog.

      Actually both Brad and I do own our own domains and we can move them wherever we want to whenever we want to ie. to a web host or to our own servers. Without paying for web hosting we still have plenty of free features from, not the least of which, is the community.

  20. I think the wording of your post is going to confuse some people. There is no hosting at I think what you mean is a self-hosted site using WordPress software, which you can download at and install onto your webhost server. is the WordPress equivalent of Blogger — they host the site and manage the software.

    The real problem is using “jack of all trades, master of none” sites like Godaddy to do hosting. They do hosting, domain name registration, website setup, etc. i.e. too many things to be good at something as complex as hosting. You should use a provider that only does hosting. They’ll be better equipped to handle the needs of a standalone website.

    I disagree with your conclusion. There is no comparison — in many ways, a self-hosted site is much better than a site. You have much more control over the site, can use plugins and display ads. You’re out of the ‘sandbox’.

    • @Jp
      It’s good to hear from you. Yes, you are right on the mark, as usual. I have always found this “self hosting” label to be confusing. To me it means hosting on your own server but that’s not what the majority are referring to when they use it. As you point out in the vast and overwhelming majority of cases bloggers hire a web hosting service. Some web hosts do provide installs, and in other cases the blogger must download an install from and then upload it into their site.

      I also agree that it’s a better choice to hire a web host that is onlyb a web host and not a “jack-of-all-trades” business. I know several bloggers who have very negative stories to share about their “Godaddy” experience and/or experiences with similar businesses. In fact, I would never even consider hiring Godaddy.

      My personal blog is hosted by A Small Orange. They are an excellent web host with 24/7 support that’s outstanding. The turnaround times I have experienced for getting Staff attention and a solution to the few problems I experienced was 20 minutes to get Staff attention and 1 hour to have a solution.

      I’ll let the guest blogger respond to your remark about his conclusion. In his case, what I read is that he feels he is better served by the traffic inflow he gets from the global tagging pages than by sitting in a stand alone island situation.

      In my own case, when I purchased a domain and domain mapping and moved my personal blog content into a install my blog lost a significant amount of traffic it had been receiving from the community. It has never recovered from that loss even though I worked very hard during the first year to promote my blog throughout social networks. In fact I’m so discouraged by the loss of readers that I may choose to move my domain back to being free hosted by Then I will stand to attract more traffic and I will save myself $50. every year that I have been spending on web hosting.

    • “I disagree with your conclusion. There is no comparison — in many ways, a self-hosted site is much better than a site. You have much more control over the site, can use plugins and display ads. You’re out of the ’sandbox’.”

      Yes you have more control but unless your blog is hugely popular you don’t need those extra tools. More tools also means more holes for hackers to get into.

      Advertising again is based on IF you have a large site, mine obviously wasn’t so I don’t have to need to show ads. is very much a sandbox for new bloggers, but WordPress VIP hosts tons of high end blogs that trust this platform.

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