Thoughts on GoDaddy buying MediaTemple

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Chris Coyier on (Updated on )

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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.