Feb 192011

Recently I desired to have support for ASP.NET 4.0 in my web hosting. Since I currently had an unlimited shared Windows hosting plan with GoDaddy I had hoped that the transition would be easy. So, I looked into what they were offered in the way of hosting that supported .NET 4.0. From my search the only offering they had was a Windows Grid hosting plan which was identical to my current plan except it was hosted across multiple servers instead of one shared server. I thought that this would be great, clustered hosting and support for .NET 4.0, unfortunately I was wrong.

From the start I felt compelled to use GoDaddy as my website host. All my domains were bought through them and I currently had hosting that I was more than satisfied with. Unfortunately, I had the desire to host some .NET 4.0 applications and found out that my current plan did not support .NET 4.0.

So I did some research found out that they had a plan that supported .NET 4.0 and switched, no big deal right? I figured upgrading my plan would be much easier than trying to switch 10+ websites that I had hosted on GoDaddy over to another host. Well, I was right, it was much easier to upgrade my plan to Grid hosting. However, as what I read indicated, it was a one way street. So once I upgraded there was no going back. No big deal, clustered hosting should be nothing but a performance gain and the support for ASP.NET 4.0 was what I was after.

Problem is I had quite a few WordPress sites hosted at that time through my hosting plan, and little did I realize that the performance losses through GoDaddy’s grid hosting was going to be so large. It first started when I had a friend of mine message me saying he was receiving errors on my personal site. Timeout errors to be specific, and when I went to my site I was getting them to. So I started to dig in and try and figure out what was going on.

After some searching I found out that ever since I switched hosting my download speeds for individual pages had increased by 10 times as much as they had been previously. How do I know this? Well thankfully Google’s Web crawler keeps these statistics which are accessible through Google’s Webmaster tools. Since their crawler visits my site every day I was able to go look at their report and see on a graph exactly where I suddenly went from average 200 ms per page for download to 2000 ms per page as you can see below:

The time frame when this went up is the exact time my hosting had been switched. That was when I got mad and decided to get answers for why something that is hosted across multiple servers had worse performance than something that was hosted on just one shared server. I went about this by emailing their support, At first they told me I needed to optimize MySQL, so I did and it showed little improvement. Then they told me to disable all my Plug-ins and re-enable them one by one to determine if one of them was causing the slowdown. So I did, I will admit the site ran faster without plug-ins activated, but still not as fast as it used to with all plug-ins enabled.

Finally I had enough of trying to deal with them through email so I called their support line. They were of very little help, they tried to restart the worker process to see if it helped. It of course had little impact on performance, but they told me again and again that there was nothing wrong with the performance of the site. Really? Apparently, 2,000+ ms download times are what they consider to be normal.

The additional latency was hurting my Google ranking. I had not changed anything else over the time frame that this happened it. I had barely used my blog in the 3 months that this spanned over, from before I made the switch to to over a month and a half after. There were no other changes that had I made besides switching hosts. So if you have GoDaddy’s windows shared hosting with WordPress sites and want support for the .NET 4.0 Framework, consider looking for a different host.

  2 Responses to “WordPress Performance Loss on GoDaddy’s Windows Grid Hosting”

  1. Thanks for your posing. I recently moved from Windows shared to Grid hosting in order to take advantage of .Net 4.0; to my great disappointment, my site’s performance has gone down dramatically. Godaddy has misled its customer and falsely advertised the Grid. This is outrageous.

    • I agree fully. That is why I made this post. I’ve since found other reasons, although it was some of the restrictions they put in place that actually lead me to switching, not the huge loss in performance.

      Now I used Arvixe and I have so far been more than satisfied with them. Their unlimited hosting plan is actually cheaper than GoDaddy’s and supports full admin rights inside of IIS. I plan on making another blog post in the near future about why I switched, just to much to put in a comment.

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