Who Owns GoDaddy?

Who Owns GoDaddy?

Currently, GoDaddy has over 18 million clients with 77 million registered domain names, who use a wide variety of website hosting plans and services.

But who owns GoDaddy? How did it grow to become such a successful company? What about all the GoDaddy controversies over the years?

Continue reading to find out the exciting and rich history of the company we all know today as GoDaddy.

Who Founded GoDaddy

The GoDaddy domain name was registered in 1997 by Robert Ralph Parsons also known as Bob Parsons.

GoDaddy Original Logo

At the time, GoDaddy was operating under the name Jomax Technologies. In 2006, GoDaddy replaced Jomax Technologies and became its own company, GoDaddy Group Inc.

GoDaddy originally started as a domain registrar, a marketplace for buying domain names. Over time, more services were added to the company.

Today, GoDaddy offers a wide variety of website services, such as web hosting plans, website security, dedicated servers, virtual private servers, and much more.

Godaddy Homepage

GoDaddy has everything you need to host any kind of website; from online stores, corporate websites, and small-time WordPress blogs.

How Did GoDaddy Get Its Name?

GoDaddy got its name from Big Daddy but the domain for Big Daddy was not available at the time so the company settled for GoDaddy.

The name does not contain any meaning and was chosen because it was fun and unique. GoDaddy is trying to shorten its name further to simply The Go.

Who Is Bob Parsons?

Bob Parsons is best known as the founder of GoDaddy but he has been involved with many other ventures.

Bob Parsons

In 1984 Bob Parsons started his career selling a personal home account program called MoneyCounts.

He registered the business under the name of Parsons Technology and continued to expand until it had 1,000 employees.

Later on, in 1994, Parsons sold Parsons Technology was sold to Intuit, Inc for $64 million.

From there he began working on another company, Jomax Technologies, which would eventually become the GoDaddy we know today.

In 2012, Parson founded YAM Worldwide Inc which parent company for multiple subsidiaries across a wide variety of industries, such as real estate, marketing, golf, motorcycles, food, furniture, and much more.

YAM Worldwide

Every new venture related to Parsons is listed under Yam Worldwide Inc.

He also runs a charity foundation called Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation which is dedicated to providing critical funding to communities that are in need. The charity is known for giving grants to nonprofit partners.

For example, in 2022, the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation gave a $1.5 million grant to Hawaii Island Human Society.

In 2020, Parsons was listed in the Forbes list of Richest People in America as number 378.

Why Did Bob Parsons Leave GoDaddy?

Bob Parsons left GoDaddy to focus his efforts on building YAM Worldwide Inc and its subsidiaries. In 2018 he officially resigned from the GoDaddy board of directors, he is no longer the owner or CEO of GoDaddy.

The companies I created outside of GoDaddy now demand my full-time attention, so it’s time for me now to resign my seat on the GoDaddy Board and focus solely on Yam Worldwide

 

– Bob Parsons.

In 2011, he sold 70% of his GoDaddy shares but remained the company’s CEO until his retirement in 2018.

How Did GoDaddy Become Successful?

The Beginnings Of The Internet

Many different factors contribute to the success of GoDaddy.

GoDaddy Original Site

It was created at a time when the internet was new, there wasn’t much competition, and the internet was about to experience explosive growth.

Easy Done For You Website Services

Originally GoDaddy started as a domain registrar, but website building services were added and heavily marketed.

GoDaddy was also one of the only companies at that time that offered a done-for-you website building package, a service they continue to provide.

These services were offered to regular people and businesses, offering them a chance to start a website without coding or technical knowledge. The problem was getting the word out.

Established Budget

At first, GoDaddy didn’t see much success.

Parsons was close to shutting down the company and moving on.

Low Performance

He started the company with $36 million in the bank, with the plan to only spend $4 million on GoDaddy.

Most startups do not have much capital to start with, so GoDaddy was already a little ahead of the rest with a decent budget to work with.

While the budget requirements increased, the company was still not turning a profit.

Eventually, Parsons decided that he will go down with the company, spending every last dollar he owns on it until it saw some success.

The entire $36 million (and more) was spent to get the word out, most of which was spent on commercials.

Super Bowl Commercials

The company heavily relied on commercials, the most notable being a suggestive Super Bowl ad that aired in 2005, which many considered to be sexist.

GoDaddy Superbowl Ad

However, the commercial was a success, immediately going viral, moving GoDaddy’s market share up from 16% to 25% in a week.

Most of the commercials targeted small businesses, promising an easy way to get a website up and start marketing online.

GoDaddy has aired several similar “sexy” commercials at the Super Bowl over the years.

One of the commercials was banned from NBC for being too suggestive.

Most of the commercials were a marketing success, although some were rather controversial, which I’ll mention later in the list of GoDaddy controversies.

Heavy marketing is one of the main factors that contributed to GoDaddy’s success.

Even today, commercials for GoDaddy are hard to miss.

You have probably seen their commercials on cable TV, streaming services, YouTube, and other channels.

The most popular actress for GoDaddy commercials is Danica Patrick, a professional driver, who appeared in 14 of GoDaddy’s Super Bowl ads.

It wasn’t until 2001 that things started to kick off. GoDaddy managed to break even for the first time. Since then, it earned a profit every month and continues to do so.

GoDaddy Fortune Ranking

Today, the company has over 9,000 employees and is worth about $13 billion. Currently, it’s ranked #712 on Fortune’s 500 lists.

Affordable Web Hosting Plans

One of GoDaddy’s most popular hosting packages is a $1 a month shared hosting service which includes a free domain name.

The plan gives you pretty much everything you need to get a simple website online.

When companies were spending thousands of dollars to have a website coded from scratch, GoDaddy’s website building and hosting services stood out.

Today, the $1 a month plan is still offered but it renews at $8.99 after the first month.

Cost

Nevertheless, the affordable services were one of the reasons the company saw explosive growth, even at a time when people were unsure about the future of the internet.

Note: Other hosting companies offer better deals with faster performance.

Affiliate Program

Another key component of GoDaddy’s success is the company’s affiliate program, also called a reseller program.

It lets people earn commissions by promoting GoDaddy’s services.

GoDaddy Affiliate

Many YouTubers are partnered with GoDaddy due to their affiliate program, it’s one of the most popular affiliate programs to date.

The company makes it very easy for new marketers to start promoting their services by providing over 100 different banners and links to use.

Anyone can join GoDaddy’s affiliate program for a chance to earn some income.

Customer Service

Today it’s normal for web hosting companies to offer live chat or phone support, but GoDaddy was one of the first to offer fast and efficient customer service.

Having reliable tech support is very important for website owners.

Bluehost-and-Godaddy-Customers-Support

Those are some of the main reasons why GoDaddy became so successful.

In my opinion, high-budget marketing with Super Bowl commercials was the main factor in the success of the company.

Where Are The GoDaddy Headquarters?

GoDaddy’s headquarters are in Tempe, Arizona, The United States. However, it has many offices in several countries.

Other office locations:

  • Kirkland, Washington
  • Beeston, UK
  • Belgrade, Serbia
  • Tempe, Arizona
  • Cologne, Germany

GoDaddy Current Owner

It’s tricky to answer who owns GoDaddy. GoDaddy does not have a single owner but rather a board of directors that makes decisions.

The current owner of GoDaddy is three private equity firms; KKR & Co, Silver Lake Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures.

GoDaddy 3 Private Equity companies

Bob Parsons stepped down from the board of directors and sold the company to the above firms in 2011. He is no longer the owner of GoDaddy.

Who Is The Current CEO Of GoDaddy?

The current CEO of GoDaddy is Aman Bhutani who took over the role in 2019.

Is GoDaddy Privately Owned?

No. GoDaddy is a publicly traded company and its IPO was in 2015.

GoDaddy Stock Exchange

The GoDaddy stock has been relatively stable over the years.

Around 2017, the stock saw explosive growth and the price doubled.

Today, the Wall Street Journal lists the stock price at around $80 – 70 per share.

What Is GoDaddy Used For?

GoDaddy started as a domain registrar but quickly added more services and now offers complete website packages; hosting, domain, website builders, tools, and more. Let’s take a look at some of their key services.

Domain Registrar

A domain registrar is a platform where people can buy and register a domain name. A domain name is the text link to your website, for example, diggitymarketing.com. It’s also called a DNS.

Registrar vs Registry

GoDaddy is one of the world’s largest domain registrars and anyone can buy a domain from them, as long as it’s available.

There are a few domain-related features that they offer too, such as domain auctions (buy and sell domains), WHOIS privacy, domain search, and transfer domains.

One interesting feature about GoDaddy’s domains is the first year is sold for $0.01 but only when you buy two years. After the first year, you will be charged $19.99. Looking for the cheapest place to buy domain names?

Web Hosting Plans

GoDaddy has hosting services for all kinds of purposes, from small blogs to large corporate websites.

Hosting Price for Godaddy

The most popular hosting plans are shared hosting because they’re cheaper and offer enough resources for medium-sized websites.

Shared hosting is good for most websites, but you share resources with other users, which can affect your website performance.

The most budget-friendly plan is called Starter. If you register for 3 years, it costs $3.99 a month and it allows you to host one domain name.

For unlimited websites, you need to buy either the Deluxe or Ultimate web hosting plans which start at $7.99 and $12.99 respectively.

You get the best savings for ordering long-term plans, but you can choose short-term too, for instance, 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months. Generally, it’s better to buy at least a year of web hosting at a time.

Shared hosting is good enough for most WordPress websites. On that note, are you looking for the best WordPress hosting options?

Wordpress Godaddy Integration

Besides shared hosting, GoDaddy also offers virtual private servers (VPS) and dedicated servers. These options are generally faster and offer consistent speed because they are not affected by other websites on the same server.

A VPS assigns a specific amount of resources to your website which is not shared with anyone else, for example, CPU cores, RAM, storage, etc.

Website Builder

Another product GoDaddy offers is a free website builder.

If you don’t want to use WordPress, you can use the website builder to throw up a basic website in minutes.

godaddy-website-builder-free

With the builder, you can choose a template, and then all you have to do is fill it in with your website’s content and information.

The builder includes some unique tools such as an appointment tracker, accepting online payments, security, and others.

The paid version offers even more features.

You can play around with the website builder for free.

Generally, WordPress should be your go-to website builder because it’s fast, free, and highly customizable.

Wordpress.org Homepage

Most website builders offer good-looking templates but the website performance is not good.

Today, having a website that loads within a couple of seconds is very important.

Many people access the internet with phones on cellular data and don’t have time to wait for websites to load.

GoDaddy Awards

Over the years, GoDaddy has won many awards from various award platforms such as Forbes, Comparably, Indigo, Stevie Awards, Purpose Awards, and others.

Premium

In 2022, Comparably awarded them with Best Company for Career Growth, Best CEO Diversity, Best CEOs for Women, Best Teams Marketing, Best Team Engineering, and Best Company Phoenix.

The company also scores 100% on LGBTQ Equality on the corporate equality index. Even Microsoft gave them the best MSUS Partner of the year in 2021.

For a full list of their awards, take a look at the awards and honors page. In 2022 GoDaddy released a press release that they earned a perfect score on Humans Right Campaign’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index.

GoDaddy Controversies

GoDaddy has landed in hot water several times since its launch, mostly related to its commercials, although some business practices were under scrutiny too.

Puppy Commercial

In one commercial, a puppy falls out of a truck, eventually finding its way home, only to have its owner say that she sold the puppy on a website she built with GoDaddy.

GoDaddy Dog Ad

Animal rights activists claimed the commercial promoted puppy mills.

Many people voiced their complaints, and a petition on Change.

org to have the commercial removed was started and it received 42,000 signatures within 24 hours.

Eventually, the commercial was pulled and the CEO wrote an apology.

Hunting Elephants In Zimbabwe

In 2011, Bob Parson uploaded a video of him shooting an elephant and posing with its body.

Bob Parsons Elephant Kill

Understandably, the video created a wave of outrage, with organizations like PETA criticizing the hunt.

PETA encouraged everyone to cut ties with the company due to the elephant hunt.

Parsons explained that in Zimbabwe elephants are considered pests and he was doing the locals a favor by hunting the elephant and also providing them with the meat.

Nevertheless, hunting elephants for sport is not a good look for anyone.

Fake Employee Bonus

During the peak of the pandemic, GoDaddy employees received an official email claiming they are celebrating record growth by awarding $650 to each employee.

GoDaddy Phishing Email

Unfortunately, when the employees clicked the link, it was a phishing test, and the employees were then required to take further training courses.

No bonus was given, although the company did later apologize to the employees.

The stunt was seen as unnecessary and cruel especially when people were struggling financially due to the pandemic.

Is GoDaddy Worth It?

GoDaddy is an interesting company that has grown from humble beginnings to one of the largest web hosting companies in the world.

In my opinion, GoDaddy’s services are good but there are other companies that offer better services for around similar prices.

While their services are not bad by any means, the performance is just slightly below the services some other companies have to offer.

For example, if you are looking for a reliable place to buy domain names you can check out Namecheap.

If you are looking for a good web hosting company you can read our article The Best SEO Web Hosting Service: Top Companies in 2022.

Matt-Author-Img

Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.

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