Monday, February 5, 2007

GoDaddy Support(?)

I recently registered 2 new websites - TVTorrentsOnline and

Diggnation (a great tech and beer podcast) recommend GoDaddy, so I went with them.

The initial sign-up was pretty painless, although their website is covered with ads and quite hard to navigate. The first warning sign (which I ignored) is there is no monthly fee option - you have to pay for at least 1 year of hosting in advance. And worse, I found later this is non-refundable!

After fumbling through the confusing Control Panel, I managed to get the domain names pointing at test pages. 'All good!', I thought. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the highlight of my GoDaddy experience so far.

Both my new websites use ASP.NET 2.0, and both make use of outgoing connections. TVTorrentsOnline scrapes torrent data from Mininova, and G-CalMobile uses Google Calendar's API to provide calendar access to mobile devices.
Neither worked when uploaded to GoDaddy. I searched through the help pages and found a reference to a proxy server to use for outgoing connections. Great, tried it, but the security setup at GoDaddy doesn't allow my code to manually set the proxy.

At this point I sent my first support request to GoDaddy support, asking how to use outgoing connections with ASP.NET and specifying what I had already tried. The reply was to the effect of 'Yes, there is a proxy server, but it is automatically configured for ASP.NET, and you don't need to manually set it in code'. And ignoring the fact I had tried that initially and it didnt work.

I sent a second support request, saying it still wasnt working. This time I got a reply from a different person who said 'Yes, there is a proxy, and yes you do need to set it manually'. He said he could not help with user code (fine) and basically as far as GoDaddy was concerned I was on my own (not fine, it was a server configuration issue)

By this point I was getting a bit pissed off, and looked around the web for other GoDaddy support stories. There are loads! One post I found said to explicitly ask for the request to be "escalated", which would hopefully send it to 2nd line support (who may actually have some idea what they are doing!)

So, a third email later, using the magic words and repeating everything I had told the first two, I finally got a reply from Advanced Support, who simply said 'The proxy configuration problem has been resolved'. No explanation or apologies of course! And lo and behold, outgoing connections suddenly started working, a week after my first complaint!

It was a real eye-opener to me, if you aren't sure of your technology, or not as stubborn as a horse, the GoDaddy support people will just brush your problems away as code errors. I almost ended up with a bill for a years useless hosting!

In the end, I still haven't got G-CalMobile running at GoDaddy. The security is just too locked down for the Google APIs to work.

If anyone is looking for really good quality hosting and great customer service, OpenHost are a great company and that is where is hosted. I go over my monthly bandwidth allowance every month and they never charge me extra (until now maybe...!)

So.. moral of the story, GoDaddy might be the #1 domain registrar, but stay away from them if you want quality hosting and service.