Let’s Welcome GoDaddy Into Our Open Source Communities

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This week, we published the first post about Drupal on GoDaddy.com: “What you need to know about Drupal 8“.

GoDaddy is a really fascinating company, but most of you probably didn’t expect them to be interested in Drupal.

You probably know some of the GoDaddy story.

You’ve seen the commercials with half-naked women. You may know about Bob Parsons, their ex-CEO, who was a public relations genius … until he wasn’t. Parsons built an empire on using SuperBowl commercials, NASCAR sponsorship and risqué advertising to sell hosting and domain names. But, in later years, Parsons made several major PR gaffes. And, it didn’t help that GoDaddy also had a reputation for poor-quality hosting. If you’ve been to a tech conference, you’ve probably heard speakers making jokes at GoDaddy’s expense.

Turning the GoDaddy ship around

Over the last few years, things have changed at GoDaddy. Parsons has stepped down and was replaced by a new CEO and management team. The new leadership is trying to turn the GoDaddy ship around. Today you’re more likely to read press clippings like these:

  • “How GoDaddy Changed Its Image and Nearly Tripled the Amount of Women Engineers It Hires” (link)
  • “Debugging the gender gap: GoDaddy screens female coding documentary” (link)
  • “GoDaddy distances itself from the sexy, unsavory Super Bowl days” (link)

In addition to changing their company culture, they’re trying to improve the company’s offerings too. They purchased Media Temple, which appeals to a more tech-savvy consumer. They also have a new managed WordPress hosting service and appear regularly at WordCamps. If you’ve been to a WordPress event lately, there’s a good chance you’ve bumped into GoDaddy evangelists such as Mendel Kurland or Christopher Carfi.

None of this is easy. People have long memories and corporate culture runs deeps, especially in a company that’s nearly 20 years old. But, it’s fascinating to watch the new GoDaddy team try to turn the ship around. Chris Lema has a great write-up from the WordPress perspective.

We need GoDaddy to be good

GoDaddy has started attending and sponsoring Drupal and Joomla events, as well as WordPress.

At one of those events, we got talking with some of the GoDaddy team, and they asked us if we wanted to write for their blog called “The Garage“. They already have a lot of WordPress content and some Joomla posts, but next to nothing on Drupal. So, we decided to get the ball rolling.

I wish the GoDaddy team well in reaching out to our communities. GoDaddy is so big and enjoys such enormous marketshare, that it can only be good for us to welcome them.

Over 50% of all domains are registered with GoDaddy, and they have over 60 million domain names. Not working with GoDaddy is like not working with Amazon if you sell books, or not working with Apple if you build apps.

Are GoDaddy the best hosts around? Not yet, but they’re trying to get better and we should encourage them. It’s easy to use GoDaddy as a punch line for jokes, but many peoples’ first experience of open source software will be through GoDaddy. Open source needs GoDaddy, Bluehost, 1&1 and the other massive hosting companies to provide a great experience.

Your thoughts

Over to you. Have you used GoDaddy lately? What do you think of their offerings over the last few years?

Instructor

  • Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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chrisleonard

This makes me so happy! :o) I manage the database development team at GoDaddy, and am glad you’re noticing the good changes. One comment, though … we manage over *60* million active domain names. Just thought you’d want to know.
Also … welcome to the Garage!

steve

Thanks Chris. I’ve updated that, I suspect found a number that a was a couple of years old.

mefree

They may be supporting Drupal now, but they are not advertising that fact! The Chat rep wanted to get me signed up for the service before he would even give me a link that detailed what the Drupal service was!

steve

MeFree – Yes, I think they’re still scoping out how much support to give to Drupal at the moment. It would require hiring or training more staff.

myoung456

I have been a godaddy patron almost since its inception. I didn’t like the sexy marketing ads, but ignored them for the great services they provided.

However, I’ve been moving all my domains and hosting to Arvixe because I can’t stand the ads on godaddy when I’m trying to order a product like domain or hosting. It is very easy to add something you don’t want by accident, I’ve done it! They refunded me but what a pain.
Plus I didn’t get the level of service I’ve become accustomed to when I called in for help on something.
Also, godaddy started charging at least 14.95 for domain renewals. As a person with multiple domains, I of course prefer the less than $10 that Arvixe charges.

Shane

I’ve had GoDaddy hosting for years and, while I do not require a lot out of them, I have also had no complaints. Not sure what the complaints tend to be. But if they are ALSO actively supporting open source, so much the better.

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