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Deep in the Code

Performance and Availability Issues when Using Linux Hosting for WordPress on GoDaddy

I have used GoDaddy for hosting this blog for several years now, and I can say that I have not always been happy about it. I have used a free service called Monitor.Us to let me know when the website was down, and until recently, it was down quite a lot more than I thought it should be. Also, it seemed slower than I thought it should be much of the time.

I began looking at other possibilities for hosting, partially because GoDaddy doesn’t have the greatest reputation for WordPress website performance, despite their generally positive reviews regarding domain registration. I looked at BlueHost and HostGator, both of whom get better reviews than GoDaddy for WordPress hosting.

I wondered about the difficulty of moving my site when I realized I had another option: using cPanel at GoDaddy. This is the standard for Linux Web Hosting there now – I think the “classic” hosting I had been using is not even available any longer for new websites.

I had heard good things about cPanel; in fact, one of my friends here in Houston works there and had told me about their implementation at GoDaddy. I called GoDaddy support, and the person I talked to set up a new cPanel site for me. Given a few simple instructions, I was able to import my old WordPress site into the cPanel site.

If you’re using the base domain as I am (like example.com), you will set up a subdomain like new.example.com, and import your old WP site into the new site using the import screen shown below. Use your old domain name, choose the FTP option, and your FTP username and password on the next screen to import from your old account. Note: You may want to first log into the admin section of your old WP site to make sure you are on the newest version of WP.

import existing WP install

Select WordPress from the cPanel Hosting screen to get here.

If you need allow_url_fopen in your site, this will need to be added to your php.ini file. It worked automatically in the old hosting environment.

allow_url_fopen = on

After you’re sure that your new site works properly, you will delete the old site through the GoDaddy hosting interface.

Once that’s complete, you can change your new subdomain back to the base domain in the Preferences section of the cPanel Hosting page.

Change Domain on cPanel Hosting page

Change Domain in Preferences section on cPanel Hosting page

Any URL references to your site may need to be manually corrected in the Widgets section of your WP site to point at the correct domain.

If media in your existing posts aren’t showing up, a SQL script similar to the one below should be run against the MySQL database that your site uses.
For further details, look at the source where I found this gem. (If you’ve changed the “wp_” prefix on your tables, adjust accordingly.)

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = replace(option_value, 'http://www.oldurl', 'http://www.newurl') WHERE option_name = 'home' OR option_name = 'siteurl';
UPDATE wp_posts SET guid = replace(guid, 'http://www.oldurl','http://www.newurl');
UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = replace(post_content, 'http://www.oldurl', 'http://www.newurl');
UPDATE wp_postmeta SET meta_value = replace(meta_value,'http://www.oldurl','http://www.newurl');

Inside the WordPress admin Dashboard, you can correct any broken links using the Broken Link Checker plugin.

And that’s it. I’ve found that for the same price I was paying before, I get better performance, more uptime (no downtime since the migration yet!), and a better hosting interface.

TL;DR: If you’re already using GoDaddy for Linux Web hosting, instead of going elsewhere, first consider switching to cPanel at GoDaddy for better performance and availability!