Taking Website Backup on GoDaddy is Headache

When it comes to WordPress webhosting, we have many options. We often stick to the one we’ve heard the most about, or those we have seen used by our favorite blogs.

GoDaddy, one of the most popular domain registrars and also a hosting company, has become very popular as a result of its branding and advertising. No doubt GoDaddy always poses a good offer when it comes to buying a domain, but for webhosting I have often found it to offer a quality level that is below average.

I mostly deal with WordPress websites, and I evaluate a hosting service from that perspective. If the specific webhosting is not great for hosting WordPress sites, I never recommend or even mention it.

In a couple of my articles in the past, I have mentioned issues with GoDaddy in conjunction with WordPress blogs. Most of the people and clients with whom I have interacted who are using GoDaddy hosting for WordPress blogs have faced issues like:

  • Website downtime
  • Internal server errors
  • Website very slow
  • Compatibility issues

Recently one of my Indian clients whose site was hosted on Godaddy’s hosting service, contacted me to recommend a reliable WordPress host. Ultimately he purchased Bluehost’s hosting service. Since Bluehost does not offer free website migration, (they charge $99), I decided to help my client by moving his WordPress blog from GoDaddy to Bluehost.

My client was facing issues of a show WordPress site, and his traffic was not more than 3K Pv daily. A reliable WordPress hosting company like Bluehost or Hostgator can easily accommodate up to 20K Pv/daily with a well-optimized WordPress blog, based on my personal experience.

Nightmare with making a backup from GoDaddy:

First of all, I have always found GoDaddy’s cPanel and dashboard to be excessively complicated. I’m so used to using standard cPanel (offered by most of the hosting companies), that GoDaddy’s panel always seems complicated.

Even when buying a domain, there are tons of additional options, which is more irritating than helpful. Of course, this is only my personal opinion, but I have seen custom panel examples using DreamHost, and they have done it elegantly and in such a way that customers are not confused by the process.

But today we want to discuss making a website backup on GoDaddy’s hosting, so let’s move forward with that conversation:

We have established that GoDaddy’s hosting servers are not that great for WordPress blogs.  In addition, most of the time people who are on GoDaddy’s servers end up paying more for VPS or other high-end options on GoDaddy, without knowing that they can get better results for less money on a server that is optimized for WordPress blogs.

See: In-budget Cheap WordPress Hosting.

For the purposes of today’s blog post, I was trying to migrate my client’s WordPress blog from GoDaddy to Bluehost following my previously published tutorial.  Part of the process is making a backup of the WordPress wp-content folder.

Suggested reading:

This is typically a simple process in which you connect to your hosting account via FTP, zip the wp-content folder, and download it quickly. It sounds so simple, but GoDaddy has unfortunate limitations for such tasks. It seems as though they try to force users to stick to GoDaddy’s hosting by putting unreasonable limitations on them like these:

  • You can’t create a Zip or Tar archive of files or folders larger than 20 mb with GoDaddy’s file manager tool or using any 3rd party FTP software.
  • If you try to download wp-content folders directly, timeout and connection errors are common issues.

It took me 4 retries and 5 hours to download a 70mb wp-content folder from GoDaddy, and that was after I took a complete different route. The download speed of the file never exceeded 35-40Kbps. I’m using a 4 mbps broadband connection, and 40 kbps downloading speed is minimal for that kind of broadband connection.

How I finally made a backup of Wp-content folder from GoDaddy:

I tried a few plugins that could help in taking a WordPress folder backup, but none of them seemed to worked due to various restrictions on the hosting side. I also tried a few plugins which could put the wp-content folder as a backup directly to my Dropbox account, but no such luck.

After trying numerous WordPress plugins to make backups of my client’s WordPress blog, I ended up trying WP time-machine, which also showed me errors (see screenshot above) while trying to make a backup to my dropbox account.

Just as I was about to ask Bluehost to do the paid migration, I noticed WP time-machine plugin made a backup of the Wp-content folder at the root of my GoDaddy server. The only problem was, it could not export the backup directly to my Dropbox account. Fortunately, a single .zip file helped me to download the wp-content folder without much issue, (other than the slow speed and waste of precious time).

During this process I found one useful resource which will help others who are not using WordPress, but are using any other platform to host their site on GoDaddy:

  • Using SSH: I’m not a big fan of using shell command, but if you are comfortable using them, you can use this resource to run the command and transfer files from GoDaddy to your new hosting using SSH. You need to refer to this guide to enable SSH on your GoDaddy hosting service.

You can also try finding some backup scripts that might be helpful in taking website backups from GoDaddy. If you are using an FTP client like FileZilla, you can consider increasing the retry and timeout number, and that should also be helpful.

If you are a new blogger or webmaster and are thinking of buying hosting for your new WordPress blog from GoDaddy, I would recommend you to STAY AWAY! Buy something which is tried and tested, and works seamlessly with WordPress. You can choose any of these hosting services for your WordPress blog.

If you are an existing customer of GoDaddy and you are hosting WordPress sites with them, I would love to hear your feedback and opinion based on your experience.

Also, let me know which hosting company you are using to host your WordPress blog.  Feel free to use our comments section below.

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