GoDaddy is a web hosting and domain registrar company that is publicly traded. In January 2016, it was reported that the company managed over 61 million domain names. This means it is the largest registrar in the world that is also ICANN accredited. Currently, it has over 13 million individual customers, managed by GoDaddy’s 4,000+ employees. The company is famous for its aggressive advertisement campaign, including Super Bowl ads and celebrity spokespeople. They are also known for their focus on small businesses. They often sponsor events as well, including the postseason college football bowl game, as well as NASCAR. The company has also been caught up in a few controversies, relating specifically to privacy and security.
Bob Parsons is the founder of GoDaddy. Before this, he owned Parsons Technology, Inc., a financial software services company. When he sold this to Intuit in the middle of the 1990s for several million dollars, he decided to retire. However, in 1997, he came out of retirement and officially launched Jomax Technology, which was renamed GoDaddy Group Inc. later. Technology Crossover Ventures, Silver Lake, and KKR are just some of the top venture capital funders that have strategically invested in GoDaddy over time.
Jomax Technologies employees were brainstorming in 1999 and felt that the time was right to change the name of the company. Big Daddy was an initial suggestion, but this domain already existed. Parsons himself then suggested changing it to Go Daddy, which was an available name. Persons immediately purchased it and stuck with it because it is easy to remember and makes people smile. In February 2006, the changed the name from Go Daddy to GoDaddy.
Up to 2001, the only place to register domain names was Network Solutions. At that point, GoDaddy shared an equal market place with eNom and Dotster. However, in April of 2005, they became the largest on the internet as a whole and were ICANN accredited as well. At that point, they also became bigger than Network Solutions in terms of the number of registered domain names.
One growth tactic that GoDaddy has employed is implementing an aggressive acquisition strategy. As such, the acquired:
- Outright in July 2012, for an undisclosed amount
- Locu in August 2013, for $70 million
- Afternice, a domain market place, in September 2013. Afternice was previously owned by NameMedia. GoDaddy also intends to acquire NameFind, the business name generator, and SmartName, the domain parking service.
- Media Temple on October 15, 2013. However, despite now being owned by GoDaddy, the company continues to operate autonomously and independently.
- Canary in July 2014, which is a calendar service based in Cambridge.
- Mad Mimi on August 20, 2014, which is an email marketing service based in Brooklyn.
- Elto in April 2015, which is a startup company from San Francisco that creates a unique marketplace in which nontechnical people and business owners could be connected to web developers, thereby helping them establish and improve their online presence.
- Marchex in April 2015, which held a significant domain portfolio
- Worldwide Media in November 2015, which also held a substantial domain portfolio
- FreedomeVoice on May 17, 2016, for a cash price of $42 million. FreedomVoice provides United States VoIP telephone systems and is fully cloud based.
GoDaddy has its own data center, measuring some 65,000 square feet, in this country. It uses DWDM Ethernet optical fiber backbone, which runs at 20 Gb per second. GoDaddy managed some 55 million domain names by 2013, and they were listed as the largest ICANN accredited registrar on the planet. In fact, they were then around four times bigger than their nearest competitor. They now have another facility in Phoenix, AZ, measuring 270,000 square feet.
While steeped in controversy, GoDaddy has received numerous awards, including BBB of Great Arizona Business Ethics, Bulby Awards, Best Security Team ratings by SC Magazine, International MarCom Competition, Inc 500/5000 for eight years in a row, Best Places to Work in the Valley according to the Phoenix Business Journal, Alfred P. Sloan award, Best Companies to Work For by Fortune 100, Gold Stevie Award, Best Registrar according to Domain Wire, and Small Business Influence Awards in Corporation, to name but a few.
GoDaddy is mainly a domain registration and domain hosting company. However, they also offer a wealth of other services, including ecommerce software, website building, web security, and online marketing technology.
Features of GoDaddy
The features offered by GoDaddy depend mainly on the plan that someone chooses. As such:
- The Personal plan is the ideal solution for a personal website. It comes with a one month free trial and costs $5.99 per month thereafter. The subscription can be cancelled at any time. It gives people 50 personal themes, 1GB of disc space, unlimited pages, and 150 GB of bandwidth.
- The Business plan, which is the ideal solution for small businesses. It comes with a one month free trial and costs $9.99 per month after. The subscription can be cancelled at any time. It gives people access to 300 personal and business themes, 10GB of disc space, unlimited pages, 500GB of bandwidth, SEO (search engine optimization) services, and mobile optimization.
- The Business Plus plan, which is perfect for businesses going through a period of growth. It comes with a one month free trial and cost $14.99 per month thereafter. The subscription can be cancelled at any time. It gives people unlimited pages, 300 personal and business themes, 50GB of disc space and 1,000GB of bandwidth, SEO tools, mobile optimization, and a one click social media manager.
Because GoDaddy is such a large company that offers so many different features, it can be impossible to list them all. Overall, however, they have set the bar for many other companies of their kind in terms of both web hosting and web design. Essentially, if one company offers certain things, you are almost guaranteed that GoDaddy will offer it as well, only more useful, bigger, and better. It is for good reason that they have build their popularity so much and have even been able to overcome the various controversies that they have had to face.