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Thoughts on GoDaddy buying MediaTemple

Published by Chris Coyier

Today it was announced that GoDaddy purchased MediaTemple. I've been a long time user of both of them. I thought I'd share my thoughts. Full disclosure: this site is on a free server they give me. I pay for other MediaTemple services. I also use their affiliate program but there are no affiliate links in this article.

People generally love MediaTemple. People generally hate GoDaddy. People hate GoDaddy for a variety of reasons:

  1. Their (ex)CEO killed an elephant.
  2. Previous ad campaigns objectified women.
  3. Their UI is kinda crappy.
  4. They try and up-sell you so much it's ridiculous.
  5. Their hosting kinda sucks.
  6. They initially supported SOPA.

I haven't been able to muster up as much hate toward GoDaddy as most folks, because:

  1. While I don't do it or love it, hunting is a legitimate hobby. He didn't break any laws and what little information there is about it suggests he might have actually helped out.
  2. This section updated. Thanks to some commenters and emails for helping me understand this better. I originally understated the situation by just referencing that they use attractive women in advertising. It's definitely worse than that with objectifying ads like this that aired up until early this year. Those went on far too long, despite all the negative community feedback. They are changing that though.
  3. The UI is a bit crappy, but it works. I actually kind of like using it, because when you do something like change nameservers, it happens quickly because GoDaddy is so huge. Bad UI, good UX.
  4. The upselling does feel ridiculous, but from what I understand, domains are essentially a loss-leader and that any profit at all comes from other sold services. A bummer, but that's the market.
  5. True. Don't use it.
  6. They didn't ultimately support it, but that does kind of suck. I wish we had more internal insight into this. I feel like what they really want is better ways to fight evil crap on the internet - and misguidedly thought SOPA was going to help that. I, for one, thought the whole thing was a bit confusing.

A more personal story: when this site's domain was stolen, the people that worked the absolute hardest for me and ultimately won the battle was GoDaddy. CSS-Tricks may not be here at all if it wasn't for them. The people that I talked to there totally understood the negative public perceptions but wanted to let me know that they are just some normal happy hardworking people that care about customers, and I believe them.

Even after the ordeal was over, they helped me further by helping me make it a protected domain, which is an awesome service they offer. It's kind of a legal agreement that even makes it difficult for me to move the domain and outright impossible for anyone else to do it.

On the MediaTemple side, I'm a big fan. Their support is fantastic. Their servers are fantastic. The UI and UX of using their service is fantastic. I think it's a strong business with clever ideas (like their SiteMover, Premium Support, and proactive security monitoring.) It's very surprising that they needed to sell to grow. As they put it:

Demian Sellfors and John Carey, have been working toward something like this for some time. The reason for this is simple – it helps us accelerate our growth so we can serve more Web designers and developers in the U.S. and around the world.

Eh. I dunno. I bet those fellas wanted to make some cash and relax some of their company-running responsibilities. I bet they genuinely feel that GoDaddy is going to do a good job and not screw it up.

If anyone thinks MediaTemple is just going to be exactly the same or better forever, I'll bet you a nickel you're wrong. I bet they are losing employees as we speak who aren't happy about this. Things will change. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt though. I'm going to keep on liking both services until there is a real reason to not.

I'm going to leave comments on, but I'm kinda nervous about it. I'm going to be moderating heavily for civility.


  1. I agree with you on all counts, Chris. Hell, I even use their hosting, and for the volume of traffic I have, it works. The customer support is pretty damn good for how little I pay in hosting.

  2. Mark Gavalda
    Permalink to comment#

    The new UI of GoDaddy doesn’t suck IMO! It had (still has?) a lot of bugs though, but definitely an improvement over the very-old-one!

  3. Jay
    Permalink to comment#

    There are many other ways to raise money (especially for a profitable, successful company) than selling to your competition. Particularly when your users chose you in contrast to that competitor.

    • I totally agree with you.

    • Brook
      Permalink to comment#


    • True enough, but who are we to tell them how to use their assets? They’ve busted their butts to get to the point where (mt) is worth something. Good on them. I love seeing someone reap positive benefits from hard work. It’s really inspiring.

    • Jay
      Permalink to comment#

      Galen, we are their customers. The ones who pay them to provide us with the services we want. and this includes a lot more than just the hosting. It includes the companies behavior and policies etc’.

      So I will not tell them what to do, but I also don’t have to participate so I will vote with my wallet and take my business elsewhere.

    • Jay: Far be it from to to say you should do anything to the contrary.

  4. Many folks feel strongly enough that they’ll leave Media Temple after this. I wonder where they’ll go.

  5. Alex Goretoy
    Permalink to comment#

    I completely agree with you on both sides, GoDaddy and MediaTemple could be a lot better. But they dumb things down too much and it gets in the way for me. Why I prefer Amazon over any other hosting at the moment.

  6. Chris
    Permalink to comment#

    I sincerely hope that GoDaddy and Media Temple remain separate entities, as they pointed out in both their blog post and email I received this morning. However, despite the fact that they say this, it still gives me pause that the two founders are both leaving in some capacity (one outright leaving, the other shifting his focus to other projects). I hope the influx of new cash bolsters their already great service, but as with all things, I suppose only time will tell.

  7. I’m on the fence about the whole thing. I’m not a fan of GoDaddy – mostly because of public perception, I suppose. Despite your comments, Chris, I think the UX is just as bad as the UI. Finding things (like the nameservers, for example) is a task of futility because of the messy UI. Especially when you have to run to the aide of people who have been sucked into the GoDaddy vortex.

    Maybe things will get better, but semi-agreeing with Chris, I think GoDaddy’s side will get better, while MT will get pulled closer to GoDaddy’s level.

  8. Permalink to comment#

    I think one thing you didn’t mention was GoDaddy’s initial support of SOPA/PIPA. They did change their minds (Go Daddy No Longer Supports SOPA) but I think that really stuck for lots of people.

    At the end of the day, I never thought they provided a good hosting service and have been recommending clients and friends move away from them for years.

  9. The thing I’ve always loved about MT is the small company vibe they give off. Reminds me of DreamHost back in the day.

    They make me feel like there are a bunch of people ready when I need them if something goes terribly wrong the day before launch. (This happened once. There was a legal issue because I was stupid and signed up for hosting with a client’s name and had to provide a bunch of paperwork to prove that I worked for them. Made me confident in hosting there because I know they are being vigilant for sneaky shit.)

    My main worry about the merger is that Godaddy’s size and “efficiency” will negatively impact my ability to access individuals on their support team. It’s amazing to work with one person to solve a problem. I’m afraid that might go away.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Hey Daniel. Your ability to reach a real person in support will definitely not change. We’re all still hunkered down in Culver City, ready to chat with you any time 24/7.
      (mt)’s culture is too precious to give up, and GoDaddy not only understands that but wants to preserve it. Thanks for sharing your concerns here!

  10. Permalink to comment#

    Oh no! I switched from GoDaddy to MediaTemple precisely because of the horrible UI and poor help/support. MediaTemple is the anti GoDaddy. Say it ain’t so!

    • Permalink to comment#

      Our UI, support and everything will remain. (mt) won’t be turned into GoDaddy. They already have their audience covered, and the way to reach the web professionals is through us. We do it best, so why would they change how we operate? :)

  11. Gerry
    Permalink to comment#

    6 – They backed SOPA.

    • Mike
      Permalink to comment#

      If you support or use any of these organizations you need to think twice about that stance. And you can remove Godaddy from that list.

  12. Fair enough…I can respect your reasons. However, I’m personally disgusted by Godaddy’s ads. And what about their support for SOPA?

    • SOPA stuff added to article. That does kind of suck, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt for lack of internal insight.

    • Devin Dombrowski
      Permalink to comment#

      GoDaddy’s is “no longer” a supporter of the anti-privacy bills SOPA or PIPA because they have been scarped for the new one CISPA which GoDaddy supports. I am very disappointed that MT is aligning with this mentality.

  13. Ryan Lombardo
    Permalink to comment#

    Not happy. But avoiding a knee jerk reaction. My existing services are up for renewal in the early Spring so I’ll probably wait until then to decide.

  14. Permalink to comment#

    We are literally days away from completing a move Bluehost to Media Temple due to degraded service, etc. I have so far been very pleased with Media Temple, but since we are not live now, we will seriously consider moving. It may not happen now, but we will definitely be making sure that the site is as portable as possible if we decide to transfer in the future.

  15. The irony. I just started moving all my sites to Media Temple because I was unhappy with how slow Host Gator has been since they were acquired by their new parent company. I’ve used GoDaddy for domains since the start. They’re cheap, and their customer service has never been bad to me. Their new UI is better, the upselling is a pain, but you can just ignore it, really. I don’t see the point of paying twice as much for domains to just avoid the upselling. Plus, there are worse domain companies that are almost as large. GoDaddy’s hosting has been awful and slow as molasses in January. Perhaps that’s the reason they wanted to partner up with (mt)? I know Media Temple has been trying to branch into domains, not sure how successful that has been.

    It’s really hard to be in this industry and completely avoid any companies with dubious scruples. (Facebook? Google? Even the beloved Apple is guilty). If that’s what the outrage is over, you’re never going to be able to avoid it entirely.

    (mt) has been the best hosting at a reasonable price. There are lots of other high-touch hosting solutions now, none of which would make sense for me economically right now. I’m going to continue moving my sites over to (mt) and hope they never give me a reason to doubt the service aspect of their company.

  16. Landon Baine
    Permalink to comment#

    Chris, you always have a level-headed opinion, I appreciate that.

    My experience has only been with GoDaddy’s cheapest shared servers and they can be slow as hell sometimes but at $5 a month, I guess that is to be expected. They do have good Customer Service though, the few times that I’ve dealt with them.

  17. Cary Hartline
    Permalink to comment#

    Let us all take a moment to mourn for the death of MediaTemple.

  18. If things begin to look GoDaddy-sh I’ll think in move out, I’m facing an annual renovation of one of my sites and possibly I’ll try WPEngine this time.

  19. Philip!
    Permalink to comment#

    For the people who’ve had a good experience with MediaTemple support, what service are you buying from them? In their grid-server shared hosting, I’ve had a really hard time getting straight answers out of their support. I had a multi-day outage on a domain because of database connectivity issues that they insisted was because of a WordPress plugin. I had to move everything out of my html directory and replace with a single file that showed if I could connect with my database. They finally relented and went digging after I was able to show them that. That’s the worst example, but I’ve had bad experiences with multiple accounts, but all on the shared hosting.

    • Permalink to comment#

      I’m on mt’s grid service too, and have had a few really awful experiences with them blaming me for issues that were in no way my fault. Specifically one time for about 4-5 days my sites would literally take 5 minutes to load. I showed them it was happening to ALL sites on all domains I had hosted with them (even those that were just static HTML with no db connections, no scripts, nothing but good old HTML and CSS), and they still managed to say it was my fault (and also the sites were all loading fine for them). Eventually, I started adding images from speed testing sites showing the extreme load time to my ticket, and I even went as far as completely cloning my main site on dreamhost (where it worked fast!) and gave them the url. They still claimed it was my fault somehow in the followup. Then, magically an hour after I added the images & cloned version – all my sites were running as they should have been. :|

    • Joe
      Permalink to comment#

      I’ve had similar experiences and moved away from them.

    • Ryan S. Perry
      Permalink to comment#

      Spot on, I’ve had similar negative experiences on mt’s grid service and with their support. I was experiencing really slow site load speeds intermittently. It was very troubling to me that they were so quick to indicate the issues were my fault (they were not), and the amount of digging around I had to do myself to “prove” to them there was a problem on their end. I’ve since migrated to another hosting service that gives me way faster load times. No problems so far!

    • Permalink to comment#

      Hey Philip! Sorry to hear about the issues.. feel free to email me directly with more details. Would be happy to look more into it. sc at mediatemple dot net.

  20. Well said, Chris! Here at Virb, we couldn’t be more excited for Media Temple and GoDaddy, especially after our many conversations with them about their future as we worked out our plans. They really do have a strong team and a renewed focus that we can all get behind. It’s gonna be great! Even though we won’t be a part of it, we can’t wait to see what happens.

    • Tiffany,

      Happy to hear Virb will stick around. I always recommend Virb to friends with small projects and a tight budget. I’ve never had a problem with GoDaddy’s hosting services outside of the Globo Gym vibe.

    • Well, just to be clear, @Wesley, Virb has been sold back to its original founder and investors because our two website builders just had very different visions. We had a lot of conversations to get to that point, though, and really learned a lot about how GoDaddy has changed from its perceived image. We’re super excited for Media Temple and think it’s an awesome match! Here’s our news story, FYI.

      And hey, thanks for recommending Virb to friends! That rocks.

    • Permalink to comment#

      The Virb team has seen the inside of discussions between GoDaddy and (mt) and they’ve made the call to retreat… um yeah… Nothing is going to change at Media Temple… nothing.

  21. keoshi
    Permalink to comment#

    They supported SOPA, you forgot that?

  22. Permalink to comment#

    I was one of the haters of Godaddy. Then I started thinking differently – it’s a good service and I have to do nothing with their CEO or adverts policies. I’m happy with their services, however, never tried MediaTemple.

  23. Enrique Domínguez
    Permalink to comment#

    I have contact with GoDaddy because of several clients buying their low price hosting service (and then the other $ervice$, lol). In my case, I can say I conquer their nasty, ugly and confusing UI….horrible things happened there, but I made it work.

    I really hope that they throw directly to the hell their UI and adopt all the good things of Media Temple.

    R.I.P. MT

    • Permalink to comment#

      All this “RIP MT” going around.. the company is very much alive, maintaining our branding and autonomy, still headquarter in Culver City with all 200+ employees.
      GoDaddy states that they want to learn from us, the best, so that’s what we’re counting on. :) Thanks for you input.

  24. Permalink to comment#


    I’ve been using GoDaddy for a long long time now. I have half of my domains there and it’s been good so far. I tend to buy several years and use a coupon which saves a bit of time.

    I don’t plan on using them for anything other than that.

    I also tried MT a few years back, but the cost didn’t work out for me and I reverted to a VPS which was a bit more expensive but also a fixed cost.

  25. I think more than anything I feel betrayed. I know that may sound trite, but MT has continually been “authentic” in being one of us and a true part of the design community. As others have said, there are better ways to raise capital that would have kept control with the people we know at MT. Now, it’s just some subsidiary of Sheinhardt Wig Company.

  26. JoshWhite
    Permalink to comment#

    At this point, I’m not optimistic. I think this move is the beginning of the end of what media temple has been known to offer. GoDaddy simply can’t keep MT’s model clean the way it was before when they were small and have the same big money outlook that makes Godaddy hosting suck (and I totally get people who say they have no issues… unfortunately, it’s a huge gamble on whether or not you’ll have issues).

    They are, for now, separate entities. So likely for the foreseeable future, MT will continue to be a high quality choice. But Chris is 100% right in that things WILL change. And I can’t see them changing for the better. So my plan is to begin looking for another host right now. Not urgently, but begin hunting so that I can transition away eventually and also what to recommend.

  27. Permalink to comment#

    Been using MT for some time and I switched from Host Gator to MT because of their easy to use admin panel. Before Host Gator, I was with GoDaddy for 3 months before I got so fed up with not being able to find what I wanted or needed to access. MT Support has been that ‘jonny on the spot’ kind of support that when needed, they’re there to figure it out quickly. I’m with you Chris, I don’t really despise them… just don’t like using them.

  28. Sarah Drasner
    Permalink to comment#

    I guess the biggest reason I had a problem with GoDaddy was their initial support of SOPA. That said, I left the domains and hosting I had previously purchased with them, but slowly started choosing MT for any hosting past that point. Which is a while now. The thing that makes me nervous about them is that domain/hosting company could have that public opinion on SOPA for any length of time, and what that might mean behind the scenes if not publicly.

  29. Permalink to comment#

    I’m just hoping that Go Daddy take more ideas from MT than the other way around.

  30. Brook
    Permalink to comment#

    I moved all of my clients over to Media Temple because they have been such a great company in regards to support and ease of use. I have never (underline and bold that) been able to use GoDaddy for anything other than domain registrations.

    GoDaddy to me is analogous to a used car salesman. I don’t need a race car team, sexy spokes people, poor website tools, mailboxes for thousands of people that only hold a few kb of data, countless emails and calls for cross sell products I do not need.

    I need a reliable and supportive web hosting firm with solid systems, great support that make my websites work (exceptionally). I need Media Temple.

  31. Arpi
    Permalink to comment#

    Bought a DV package not long ago from MT, I was in progress moving my site to the new servers. Well it’s time to cancel it.

    Why? Because I simply do not believe that a company like GoDaddy will change. Yes, maybe on the short term they appear that they do, on the long term they won’t.
    Left GoDaddy about 6 years ago, I was very unhappy with their policies and services. Will not go back, even if this means canceling my MT account entirely.

    MT is one of the best hosts I ever had (great support, fast servers, etc). I was thinking long term hosting, and not a degrading service over the years. That’s why I choose MT.

  32. Not a fan of GoDaddy at all, but is the fact that the CEO killed an Elephant really a reason not to do business with him..? That seems a bit childish if you ask me.

    • Dash R
      Permalink to comment#

      It doesn’t seem childish at all to me. Asking business leaders — especially highly visible business leaders, who foster their own public persona in order to increase their personal capital — to be aware of political and environmental concerns is absolutely reasonable. Elephants in Kenya and throughout Africa are being decimated right now.

      Africas Elephants Are Being Slaughtered, NYTimes
      Kenya Seizes Ivory As Elephant Slaughter Surges

      Locals very much in need of resources create excuses for Parson’s brand of “sportsmanship,” much in the same way that rainforest destruction is justified in other areas of the world. What’s childish is A) refusing to believe in the problem because it’s inconvenient or it seems too far away to matter, and B) justifying it because, of all things, registering a URL with another company will cost $5 more, or whatever. If the destruction of natural resources, including flora and fauna, seems like a childish issue to you, then sincerely hope your lack of interest in the subject isn’t contagious.

  33. Ian
    Permalink to comment#

    They run a script to snatch up good domain names so they can charge more for them.

    • If you can link up some proof of that, I’ll be happy to help share that information. For now, I’m burying this because it sounds (no offense), like paranoia.

    • Brook
      Permalink to comment#

      This isn’t really helpful in regards to hosting websites, but brings up and interesting #conspiracy theory that I think warrants it’s own thread outside of this one…

    • Ian
      Permalink to comment#

      Wish I had proof other than telling you what happened.

      A friend of mine asked me to set up a site for him. He gave me the domain name he had just checked on Enom. All tld’s were available at this time.

      The following day I was going to purchase the domain for him so I went to Enom and it was still available. Then I decided to check if I could save any money for him by checking godaddy. All of a sudden the domain is not available.

      Scratching my head, I go back to Enom. DNS apparently hadn’t updated yet so Enom still says the domain is available. But when I try to purchase it on Enom I find it is not available any more (apparently the DNS updated).

      All the while the domain is owned and up for sale on goddady. Not actually in use anywhere by anyone but for sale with that link to make an offer they have when someone has a domain up for sale.

      My friend had experienced this before too. When I called to tell him, he already knew I must have used godaddy and said that is why the domain is no longer available and I should have stayed away from them.

      Call it paranoia, I understand since I can’t provide proof. Just saying it happened to me and also had happened to my friend before and that’s enough proof for me.

    • Brook
      Permalink to comment#

      I have heard of this happening when people check on Network Solutions (no proof at all), but not on GoDaddy..

    • Chris
      Permalink to comment#

      This kind of thing has happened enough to me that I don’t ever check on availability of a domain without being ready to make the purchase right there. It’s not just Go Daddy either.

    • Use to check domains, it’s a great tool.

  34. Dan
    Permalink to comment#

    No a surprise for me. I left MediaTemple since a few years now because I thought they were overpriced and overhyped in the web design & development blogs/portfolios community. There are a LOT of good small hosting company who are way cheaper and as good as the MediaTemple support can be.

  35. Permalink to comment#

    Quick, someone purchase!

    I am using Blue Host and Host Gator for the most part, but I am curious to see what develops out of this.

  36. Permalink to comment#

    I’m extremely disappointed and very disturbed by this. This one came out of nowhere and stunned me moments ago when I got the notice in my email. Godaddy…really! Seriously? Godaddy has great service for domain registrations, but their hosting services absolutely bites! I went with Media Temple because of who they represented before with brand name companies using them, plus suppport for me has been excellent; overall great….until this news. This is a very sad day when a company like MT sells out. Now I have to rethink my hosting.

  37. I was very skeptical about the acquisition at first, but Godaddy has been making changes in the right direction, even sponsored a few WordCamps, and I hope they continue this effort. As for Media Temple, it is not going to be integrated with Godaddy and I believe them. I am a very happy Media Temple employee and the vibe on the floor is excitement in the unknown but we are open to the possibilities of something really awesome happening. The culture here is of upmost importance and this was considered very carefully. “NewDaddy” loves us and wants us to do everything we are doing, which is such a relief, as I really enjoy the work I do here as a WordPress Evangelist and I love speaking at WordCamps and teaching others about WordPress.

  38. ShirtlessKirk
    Permalink to comment#

    The fact that they made it a domain protected from transfer only after cajoling doesn’t full me with confidence considering other registrars, such as GANDI offer it out of the box. A check box, in fact, that you have to actively uncheck when registering a domain if you don’t want this protection.

    Also, your domain isn’t yours, it remains GoDaddy’s property. You get to rent it as they register the domain on your behalf. Should you stop paying for it, it remains in their pool far longer than the usual sunset period for renewal.

    • ShirtlessKirk
      Permalink to comment#

      Follow up: did you know you have clientRenewalProhibited and clientUpdateProhibited set on your domain record? Just as well it doesn’t expire until 2020…

  39. Julie K
    Permalink to comment#

    I hate GoDaddy for reasons 3-5 mainly. It always takes me an inordinately long time to find out what I need to do for a client. I’m not using mt just yet, but it’s been my plan if my websites ever get to the point of needing something more robust.

    That being said, if and when the time comes, I’ll have to take a more closer look at how things are going at GoDaddy/mt.

  40. Tim
    Permalink to comment#

    Given that I migrated from godaddy because of their poor support, it seems to me that selling out to godaddy is the antithesis of their original support promise.

  41. Regardless of what is true or not about GoDaddy, it seems pretty clear that from a public relations and brand perspective that (GoDaddy + MediaTemple != good fit). It’s like a hipster finding out that their local coffee shop is now owned and operated by Starbucks.

    • Brook
      Permalink to comment#

      slightly different perspective…. Apple is now owned and managed by Microsoft…

      var good = “debatable”;

    • Joe
      Permalink to comment#

      I think that’s a pretty good analogy! At least those who are enamored by MT (not me).

  42. Alon
    Permalink to comment#

    Chris, I think I may have been one of the people you spoke with around the time of the domain issue you had. Glad to know you’re still happy with how that turned out (given the circumstances).

    Just wanted to make a few points to clarify some things brought up here. Our CEO changed a while back. Blake Irving is our new CEO, and he’s done a lot to lead the many changes we’ve seen this year. Like our advertising – we’ve got a totally new strategy, and we’ve had very positive response after our two most recent commercials (the ones with Jean-Claude Van Damme). We’ve also changed our website dramatically to improve usability, eased up on the upselling, and we’re making major improvements to our hosting service. Believe it or not, our measurements put us at the head of the pack in terms of shared hosting performance.

    We know it’ll take some time to prove to people that we’re an operation they can trust, but we’ve started down that path, and we’re willing to put the time in.

    Thanks for your sharing your thoughts.

    • Brook
      Permalink to comment#

      Making a call now to MT as a customer (which I am) to see what the response is… curious if the corporate line is being promoted or not…

    • Chris Wiley
      Permalink to comment#

      It does take time for well known companies to change the way they are perceived. Consistent values will change minds over time. Integrity is hard to earn back when it has been lost.

    • Brook
      Permalink to comment#

      Many posts today, experiences, opinions etc.. to the animal rights activists, more power to you, and thank you had no idea of the transgressions made by management at GD and you have my support 100%

      To those who have given guidance to other providers, thank you! Most welcome.

      I am using EE and moving to Craft for sites and applications. Seriously considering going to 100% Rails now.

      Clients do not care about the behind the scenes strife, they all want is their websites to be available 100% of the time and fast If my sites were all 100% straight HTML GoDaddy would be great… but they are not.

      You make your own choice, but I am actively seeking new homes for my valued clients and friends…

      Chris, thank you no matter what the outcome is.

  43. Alon
    Permalink to comment#

    Just in case it wasn’t clear, I work for GoDaddy. Should have put that in my username.

  44. Angela
    Permalink to comment#

    You really can’t tell the difference between using an attractive woman in a campaign and sexism!? I’m dumbfounded.

  45. I sincerely hope that GoDaddy and Media Temple remain separate entities [2]. I always used GoDaddy to buy my domains, in that field they are very good.

    When I first started hosting my websites, GoDaddy was very bad I had many problems with them, and was very annoyed and angry when I was on Digg’s front page and they took my server down, and took two days to put it back (wtf…).

    I have zero complains towards MediaTemple, and I really hope they maintain their awesome services and culture.

    Still I’m less sad that I’ve started migrating all my websites to DigitalOcean VPS, which will save me a lot of $ on the long run!!!

  46. Josue Ochoa
    Permalink to comment#

    RIP (mt).

  47. This kind of explains a lot of the [very unusual for (mt)] downtime, slowness and database errors I’ve been experiencing in the last few days. I mean, I’ve had years of excellent service, and just recently started experiencing issues and service interruptions.

    I can’t say with confidence that the two are connected, but my-oh-my does it worry me about (mt)’s future.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Hey Enon,
      Nothing about the acquisition is related to any service performance. Nothing on the technical, operational or branding side is changing for (mt). That being said, have you gotten in touch with support regarding the issues? We’re available 24/7 by chat, phone, Twitter, and Skype- also not changing. ;)

  48. gug
    Permalink to comment#

    Ignoring the endlessly debatable morality of the elephant killing and unapologetically sexist advertising, I’m shocked to think that for someone as internet-savvy as you would even baseline consider GoDaddy as anything other than a cancerous blight on the internet, considering their SOPA support (backing off only when it threatened their bottom line) and their intentional use of Dark Patterns to grift and fleece people who don’t know better.

    Also, +1 to Ian’s claim’s of Network Solutions-esque domain autoreg squatting, as well as echoing
    ShirtlessKirk’s sentiments of domain renting.

  49. Darrien
    Permalink to comment#

    I stopped using Godaddy a year ago, because they charged a small fee for most of the features that are default on Media Temple, such as privatizing domain information. Media Temple is fast so that means WordPress installs quicker, on top off that the UX is pleasant to eye’s. My final thoughts, I don’t quite feel comfortable being affiliated with a company I switched from for all the bad reasons.

  50. Erik
    Permalink to comment#

    I have a friend who worked in customer support for GoDaddy who was desperate to leave because of the moral degradations he faced on a daily basis. He was fortunate enough to find other work and leave.

    I too am one who left GoDaddy hosting for the greener pastures of Media Temple and was proud to do it. My own reservations aside, I’ve suggested clients with tighter budgets go with the cheaper GoDaddy plans, and have had them refuse, based on their offensive marketing alone. If this business is a loss-leader, then how long can Media Temple remain unaffected by GoDaddy’s way of doing business? Not long, I’d wager.

  51. Permalink to comment#

    Well Chris, I almost agree with you … and my initial thought when I read the email I got about that is Godaddy to going to screw Media Temple which is my ultimate hosting company I like so much. Media Temple as a domain hosting is perfectly good as well and I think that it would me better to find other investor to push thing more.

    I have my doubt about the whole thing, but on the other hand I hope it works for the best.

  52. Darrien
    Permalink to comment#

    Media Temple, embraced small businesses & start ups, I liked the fact that they weren’t affiliated with XXX related websites, unlike Godaddy!

  53. Zokipoki
    Permalink to comment#

    I prefer GD over MT, and I have used both. MT lately has been slowish on shared hosting. Also, I used GD support by email and phone on several occasions, and it would be unfair to say I am not satisfied. I used MT support via chat, and it was difficult for me to get done a simple thing. I am not related to any of these services, just a webdev that hosts client sites.

  54. Permalink to comment#

    Chris, thank you for being so consistently level-headed. As general disliker of GoDaddy, and a semi-recent mover-to-Media-Temple, I’m pretty bummed, and I think it’s inevitable that things will change, and it’s hard to see that they will change for the better at this time, but I really appreciate how level-headed, and transparent you are with your feelings and affiliation with the both of them. Thanks as always for being something of a voice of reason in this industry (you’re definitely not the only one, but certainly a prominent one).

  55. Brook
    Permalink to comment#

    I am dedicated to my clients (who provide me more information that those I pay) to find alternative hosting equal or superior to MT. I welcome suggestions. (primarily EE sites)

  56. Rodney
    Permalink to comment#

    This is the Evil Empire blowing up the Rebel out post only the Rebel Out Post only Mon Monthma gave them the coordinates and took a shit load of Credits to do it.

  57. Jake Rayson
    Permalink to comment#

    They use attractive women in their advertisements.

    Come on Chris, it’s blatant sexism, of the kind our industry should be rid of.

    Shame on you.

  58. Andrew
    Permalink to comment#

    I’m sorry, but when you see “pervasive objectification of women in all their advertising” as “using attractive women in their advertising”, it’s really, really difficult for me to take anything else you say seriously.

    I have no problem with using attractive women (or men, if that works) in advertising. Maybelline* does it. Calvin Klein* does it. ProActive* does it. Old Spice* does it. But objectifying the actors over and over again in every. single. ad. is a sleazy practice that loses my business, and I raise an eyebrow at anyone who downplays that behavior as NBD.

    * I don’t actually use these products, they just came to mind as examples. I apologize if I’m wrong and any of them actually do objectify their models/actors.

  59. Thanks for covering this, Chris. I have a couple of clients using GoDaddy hosting, and felt pretty ambivalent about them until then, when the the level of needless upsell pissed me off, and the horrible UI wasted my time, so that’d be your points 3 and 4. I have hosting I’m happy with from other services, and a protected domain from someone else I’m happy with, so I’m glad we have that choice, and hope the services I use will stay away from GoDaddy unless they change their upselling and UI to be as good as the services I use.

  60. Spot on insights. Dealing with some of their screw ups on behalf of my clients has given me more gray hairs than I needed. However, I would like to echo your comments about their staff. The staff on the phones are great. They are genuinely helpful and interested in doing a good job. Had more of the company execs showed that dedication to service, they would not have acquired the reputation that they have.

  61. @Andrew -YES!! Nice to read/hear that from a male voice!

    I don’t care for the ads you mentioned, either. But I need to say to the author of this article that there’s a huge difference between having “attractive women in their ads” and sexually objectifying women. If there weren’t, GoDaddy wouldn’t have to post the full, unedited versions of their SuperBowl ads online with age and NSFW warnings. It is sleazy and damaging to girls and young women. Not seeing it as anything other than “using attractive women in their ads” is sexist and it is just evidence of male privilege. In other words, you don’t walk around the universe constantly bombarded with this crap, so it doesn’t bother you and you don’t see why it should bother anyone else, either.

    I was happy to pay more for MediaTemple’s service than give my money and, therefore, support to GoDaddy and their sleazy, misogynistic portrayal of women. Now it looks like I’ll be host hunting, which is a shame.

    Again, I agree with Andrew. Credibility just plummeted through the floor on this one.

  62. Nick
    Permalink to comment#

    Bad news. Anyone have suggestions on good alternatives for VPS hosting?

    • Linode, LiquidWeb, and DigitalOcean are top notch. If I had choose one it’d be Linode for sure. They were always better for me than MT.

    • Nick
      Permalink to comment#

      I was just comparing DigitalOcean and A Small Orange. Linode’s site loads incredibly fast. That’s encouraging. I actually liked that MediaTemple comes with Plesk. Doesn’t look like these other providers give you that.

    • Nick
      Permalink to comment#

      I was just comparing DigitalOcean and A Small Orange. Linode’s site loads incredibly fast. That’s encouraging. I actually liked that MediaTemple comes with Plesk. Doesn’t look like these other providers give you that.

    • Nick, LiquidWeb does provide Plesk. I believe it comes standard on all their VPS machines.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Nick, I and many of my clients have been using site5 for a couple years now (after using both GoDaddy and (mt) in years past) and have been very happy.

  63. Jacek
    Permalink to comment#

    I am a Europe based webdeveloper working mostly with US based clients. I have never experienced such a crappy webhosting like godaddy. The admin panel is horrible, and the ftp connection is so slow that I had to ask my clients to download the files for me. Download speed is around 50 KB/s. I’m aware that I am in Europe and the servers are located in the US, but sth like this never happened on other hosts.

  64. So far MT and their supporters (not Chris though) have used, “GoDaddy is trying to turn a new page, give them a chance.” I can understand that. I believe in second chances. However, GoDaddy burned up their second chance… and third, and fourth, etc…

    As a former GoDaddy customer my experience was riddled with mystery charges on my credit card and a relentless bombardment of upselling. When adding those negatives with the obvious missteps, such as SOPA, they lost me forever.

    It’s great they got your domain back, Chris. I’m sure that incident alone instills loyalty to their brand. But excellent customer service isn’t uncommon in the aggressive registrar industry. That type of service isn’t unique to GoDaddy.

    Now on to the shooting of the Elephant. The premise that he was helping poor starving villagers from the terror of this “problem elephant” is simply disingenuous on GoDaddy’s part. What he did was a sport kill of a two y/o female elephant who was simply traveling along the same migratory path her ancestors used thousands of years ago. The African elephant is far from thriving and this action was misguided and inexcusable. A billionaire CEO can help hungry natives by donating money to Oxfam or another worthy charity instead of funding legislation to limit free speech.

    I truly wish MT customers the best in this acquisition. Hopefully they don’t suffer any hardship due to this shakeup. Given GoDaddy’s track record I’d recommend keeping MT on a real short leash.

  65. Chris Wiley
    Permalink to comment#

    I don’t use Godaddy or MediaTemple there are quite a few places you can go if you don’t like either of them. I use Hover for my domain names and Webfaction for hosting. They both have everything I need.

    If your morality won’t allow you to do business with Godaddy then simply find an alternative. If you don’t care about the ad issue. I would base the decision on service. As with any acquisition changes are bound to happen. Not all change is bad. Sometimes it is just different. Maybe Godaddy’s UI will get improved with the new talent base coming in. As with all of these type of transactions it is a wait and see.

    I hope this turn out well with the deal.

    Chris, I understand giving loyalty to a company that has helped you. My wireless carrier is Sprint. Most people don’t seem to like them but they helped me out during a tragedy and has earned my business. They will have to do something very very wrong for me to switch away from them.

  66. Permalink to comment#

    I’ve been with Media Temple for a long time now and have come to trust them implicitly.

    Web hosting is a commodity, if (mt) slips at all there are plenty of other places to go.

  67. Permalink to comment#

    I will say that I was immediately disappointed to hear this news. I have a DV plan and recently started a company (a year ago) and launched a SaaS application for school districts which I was hoping to host long term with MT. I don’t plan to switch hosts immediately but that was my first thought when I heard about the acquisition.

    @Chris it would be great if you could use your reach to start a discussion about where to go from here. Maybe a poll eegarding alternative DV level hosts?

  68. NetHawk
    Permalink to comment#

    Sounds a bit off-topic, but I really need to say this: I can’t accept hunting as a “hobby”. How can it be a hobby to kill animals? That’s just sick. I know, you guys in the US have a different view regarding guns, and there are also many hobby hunters in the country I live. But I’ll always be against them. If someone likes guns and firing them, there are shooting ranges all over the world. Use these instead.

  69. benjamin
    Permalink to comment#

    Remember when Adobe took over TypeKit? That worked out alright. TypeKit is still getting better.

    I hope it works out well for MT as well. If this results in a GIT like WPEngine hosting solution for MT, I—will—be—psyched—!


  70. James Park
    Permalink to comment#

    In all honestly they make stuff way to hard to do. I was trying to setup a contact form for a friend. I used this PHP script on many sites. Even bad Free hosting worked fine. But for some reason it wouldn’t work for him. So I said to him to contact godaddy support. Well guess what you had to use there script. When he is the one PAYING for the host. I also changing the name servers takes a long time or even url forwarding when it simple with other host. They just need to speed it up and maybe try a 2013 UI.

    Mediatemple on the other hand is great. No downtime at all.

  71. Rick H
    Permalink to comment#

    I agree with a lot of what you said in this article, although I’m probably in the minority in that I was REALLY pissed when their old CEO shot that elephant! I get the whole hunting thing, but shooting a species that may be extinct in our lifetime mainly due to poaching, for no reason, is bullcrap!

    /End rant

    I agree with the hosting issues, though. I have a client that has me do a password-protected page each month and it’s really irritating! The .htaccess file gets created, but it doesn’t include the ‘Require User” line, so you have to edit that by hand. Why can’t they just switch over to CPanel??? And recently I tried for half a day to install WordPress on a clients site and it just didn’t work! It would install properly, but the WP-Admin password never worked after half a dozen installs.

    Lately I have really been trying to get my clients to switch hosting to Bluehost or HostGator.

  72. Naomi
    Permalink to comment#

    I hope they keep separete management for each company, because I use both, and I liked to have Media Temple as it is, different from GoDaddy.

    If they had asked my opinion, I would say not to get together, but who am I? ha ha, just a customer…

    I started using MT from an advertisement and comments discussion in your blog. I have many client websites and decided to host some of them at MediaTemple just to diversify, I kind of liked it very much.

    I am based in Brazil, and yes I had noticed that MT wasn’t as prepared as Godaddy to handle foreign opportunities, but it was never a problem for me.

    Well… good luck for us… and for them…

  73. Permalink to comment#

    MT didn’t sell their company. We (their customers) are the company, so they sold us to Big Daddy Go. I will be finding a company more in line with my personal values to take my 6 virtual servers on. Any suggestions gratefully welcome.

  74. Permalink to comment#


    Will Media Temple be merging with GoDaddy?
    No, we keep operating independently.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Color me sceptical. This type of thing always gets said, but fades away over time as cultures are assimilated. Best to find an alternative now, than when GoDaddy turns on their “impossible to leave” system.

    • Brook
      Permalink to comment#

      When you are ‘owned’, sometimes your wishes and desires fall to those of the owner… I do not think you can guarantee what will happen going forward. For many of us we need to protect our clients and have had poor experiences with your new owner. So you should expect and respect out choice to move elsewhere. Hopefully we will be proven wrong, but history for many of us indicates we are right.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Godaddy also recently bought Outright, the online accounting site I used. They never gave a heads up about it. I found out when I got an email from Godaddy Book keeping. ( The new name). It took me like 20 minutes and a support call to Outright to confirm that Godaddy bought them and pasted their name over the old brand.

      So much for caring about the customers with a 30 day notice or something.

      What I see in Godaddy is a company with business integrity that is out of alignment with my own. I never liked using them personally because when I would do client work, their interface was hard to learn and their propagation was very slow on almost anything you changed. Hostgator propagation is much faster and why I use them.

  75. Permalink to comment#

    There’s a difference between using attractive women in your ads and having sexist ads. Saying they are same is like saying every ad with a person of color is a racist.

  76. Permalink to comment#

    There’s a big difference between simply using attractive women in advertising, and calling them the “Go Daddy girls.” It’s the difference between blatant, intentional objectification, and the kind of ambient objectification that occurs all over. It’s the difference between going with the flow, and actively working to make objectification worse.

  77. John S.
    Permalink to comment#

    I’ve been a GoDaddy customer for about 6+ years… and have always been one of the “oddballs” who’s never had a bad word to say about them. I use their shared hosting for my customer’s sites… never had any significant downtime… can’t beat the pricing… and ALWAYS get a live, native-English-speaking support person within minutes of calling (on the few rare occasions its been needed).

    Their UI DOES suck, although I agree with Chris that the UX of it all ends up being just fine. Changes are almost instantaneous. And they’ve been making serious changes (improvements?) to the UI as of late. Their new CEO must really be pushing things forward.

    Ironically, I just opened an account with (mt) for a new project I’m working on (Virtual Private server). I’ve been thrilled with the speed of their hosting… love the access to install the software I’ve needed… and the support they’ve provided. So I’m a happy camper with them so far.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with this acquisition. I hope (mt) remains totally independent, since I don’t want to lose any of what attracted them to me in the first place. But I also hope that GoDaddy can (1) improve their offerings with what they learn from (mt) and (2) pump some extra cash into (mt) to make them even better!

    Thanks for the post Chris!

  78. Camaron Ornelas
    Permalink to comment#

    Godaddy is the one titanic hosting company that I would enjoy watching from safety sink to the bottom of the atlantic. They under serve websites, with crappy UI that baffles me why any corporation or small business would ever use them. Even though they have a overwhelming achievement in ads that use male chauvinist campaign strategy in the way they market, I would love to see the end of Godaddy.

  79. Permalink to comment#

    I’m using media temple, and while I hate GoDaddy with the fire of a thousand suns, unless I see my product offering start to suck I’ll probably just stick with them.

  80. Dario
    Permalink to comment#

    I can’t believe what I’m reading here… Justifying hunting and killing as a legitimate hobby, relativising sexist exploitation? It’s a more than just a matter of bad taste. That sucks, man.

    Please read a review with a much more sense.

    • Dario
      Permalink to comment#

      “As for why [Media Temple] decided to finally exit after all this time, co-founder Demian Sellfors said that this was always the plan.

      “We’ve had our eye on an exit since we started 15 years ago,” he told me. “We regard ourselves as entrepreneurs first and we designed it for exit from the start, even if on the way we accidentally built a phenomenal culture and a business that resounded with the marketplace.”
      Translation: “I’m outta here.”
    • Permalink to comment#

      I knew my instincts were right about Media Temple. All about the business, sponsoring the community of developers was good for the bottom line. They never appealed to me. They even gave me a year free hosting and I never used it. Its all about the energy baby.

  81. Rob C
    Permalink to comment#

    My problem is that Im up for a renewal and in 3 months when the superbowl ads come out, am i going to see a newer more evolved GoDaddy? Better UI? better options? Better support? Basically an mt clone, BUT AT $4 a month! While I’m stuck for another 9 months at 20 a month. Now that this happened I am looking around for other services, who may not have amazing support like mt, but cheaper services. In the old days it was a huge difference between hosts. But now with GD buying mt, I don’t see why GD wont offer the same service or near it, for 1/4 of the price.

    I Have contacted mt and they really couldn’t do much as far as discounts that are comparable to other services out there.. so Looks like I’m moving, if im going to deal with crappy service might as well be cheap… And if GD is ‘evolving’ like mt say they are then I will just wait for GD to offer cheap hosting with better service, and i’ll just deal with the ads, the hunting… even the up-selling.

  82. Permalink to comment#

    I’m still a little undecided with what to do. I’ve been a long time user so I’m hesitant to jump ship so quickly. I think I may switch my payment scheme from annually to monthly (if possible?) and see how the next few months pan out.

  83. Permalink to comment#

    Millions of comments so no one will read this but, I feel compelled…

    It was only within the last year or so that GoDaddy got DNS changes right. While every other registrar would take a couple f hours to get the ball rolling, with GoDaddy it was always the full 24 hours, if not 72. Since then, they’ve gotten better. But for the big boys they are and were, that’s a LONG time to get it right.

    And MT’s support is still really bad. Glad you’ve had a good experience Chris, but I can assure you it’s not typical. 16-28 hour response times is what kills it. The responses themselves are great, but compared to cheaper, crappier hosts, they’re way to latent in responding to support requests. Plus, Grid Service will nearly always, even with the handy instant on mod_pagespeed and FastCGI they make available, result in Google’s page speed insights giving you a “slow server response time” error. Finally, if I develop on a GS meant just for that purpose, and then transfer a client to their own Grid Server…I’ll often get errors that didn’t happen on my original. Pretty frustrating to tell a client, “yeah, that service or recommended isnt going to work now…”

    I do still use MT for all of my own hosting though.

    • Brad
      Permalink to comment#

      GoDaddy’s DNS has always propagated quickly for me. I don’t know you would be experiencing problems. 5-10 minutes is pretty typical, occasionally longer for far flung reaches of the world.

  84. Irfan
    Permalink to comment#

    I have been using Godaddy’s domain and hosting services for more than 3 years. Their hosting caused most trouble for me. My sites usually run smoothly but after every few months there are minor annoyances such as random 302 redirects and once my site was down for 5 hours (server time-out). Their support suck because they always tried to blame my code for 302 redirects. The only second host I tried was Bluehost but I hated cPanel. I like Godaddy’s user interface a lot for its simplicity.

  85. Kimberly Jacobs
    Permalink to comment#

    It sounds like you “kinda” believe in a lot of stuff. This is perhaps the most wishy-washy stance I have read. Try taking a stand and see how good it feels. Just because lots of companies do something doesn’t make it acceptable. I’m too bored to continue commenting.

  86. Steve
    Permalink to comment#

    On your points…

    1) I agree

    2) Using sex to sell is nothing new, but I personally feel GoDaddy is a little too over the top and distasteful. It almost feels like porn sometimes.

    3) Terrible UI

    4) Upselling is so annoying

    5) Hosting sucks

    6) Too little. Too late.

    I host with HostGator so MT isn’t an issue, but I wouldn’t host with them now due to GoDaddy owning them. I left GoDaddy a few years ago because of these issues and happily use 1and1 and NameCheap now.

  87. kylepfeeley
    Permalink to comment#

    The Ex CEO of GoDaddy who shot the elephant (Bob Parsons) is still the head of the board of directors for GoDaddy. He still sucks; he just made a calculated move to remove himself as CEO because of his bad publicity, he still makes a ton of money from GoDaddy and now MediaTemple.

  88. Arshad
    Permalink to comment#

    What a wonderful news for some other hosting companies :)

  89. Tom
    Permalink to comment#

    GoDaddy’s support for SOPA was the nail in the coffin for me. I immediately moved all my domains to NameCheap and never looked back

  90. Brad
    Permalink to comment#

    I don’t understand the people the moan about GoDaddy’s UI for domain management. I think it looks and works great. I have no problems whatsoever finding what I am looking for, like DNS settings, managing name records, managing transfers, renewals, etc. You can edit singly or edit in bulk. Click on a domain and everything is right there in front of you. It really couldn’t be much clearer. It it perfect? Probably not, but I do not think the competition’s interfaces are any better and I have used many.

    Whois protection aside, GoDaddy’s pricing is the most competitive in the market and their customer support is top notch. I know I can call up and get someone in Scottsdale, not India, 24/7. The same cannot be said for much of the competition. I currently have 460 domains registered with them and have no plans to move them.

    I use Liquid Web for my hosting but I wouldn’t hesitate to host with MT as well.

  91. Jason
    Permalink to comment#

    You’re way too positive about godaddy.

    The smell of money is everywhere, but it’s understandable. Although we hate the choice, we make money of mt as well, by working for clients. So, in the end it’s all just a big shift. There will come a new mt and we all go there.

  92. Permalink to comment#

    I for one will cautiously prepare Plan B but stay at mt as long as I don’t notice any significant worsening in my experience with them. They’re the greatest hosting company I’ve dealt with so far. I keep getting the same recommendations over and over (RackSpace, Digital Ocean, Linode, less common HostGator and Site5), so I’ll compare those in case something happens that makes me wanna switch.

    • Permalink to comment#

      I’ve heard many good things about 34sp as a VPS option. UK based which for me is good. I’ve been using fatcow and webfaction over the last few years and while I have never had any major problems with them there are probably better shared hosting providers out there.

  93. Permalink to comment#

    So many of the comments relate to whether or not MT is able to continue to provide good service and I just feel that is completely irrelevant. It is like talking about how good the food is at an organic restaurant that is bought by Monsanto. The point is, your money is now going to mysoginistic, elephant-killing SOPA supporters.

  94. Permalink to comment#

    As a follow on thought to my post above, I can’t help but wondering why, if “exiting” was an important objective, we loyal MT supporters were not given an opportunity to buy MT and benefit from the upside as well as continued service. Just saying.

  95. The conversation is turning for the worse here so I’m shutting it down (I’d had to delete some nasty things, as I said I would). Overall the conversation was great though, so thanks!

    A final thought from me: if you go out of your way to fight for me and mine, I’m in your corner. Both of these companies have done that for me. Think that makes me bias? Hell yeah it does.

    Think I’m way wrong here? Please blog about it. Help educate me and others.

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