Issues with GoDaddy Hosting Connection

I’ve been a customer of GoDaddy for several years at this point, and for the most part I’m a happy customer. Their prices are always among the best, their servers almost never go down, and their customer service representatives really seem to want to help me when I call.

However, I have also been a critic of their technical support staff. As a professional web developer I have a solid understanding of server configurations and language-specific coding practices. When I have run into development issues with my GoDaddy hosting accounts, my experience has been that the tech support staff has far less experience than I do. . . meaning that they rarely understand what my problem is, let alone how to solve it. (To their credit, they are a friendly bunch.)

This brings me to the GoDaddy Hosting Connection. If you’re not familiar with this service, GoDaddy basically offers to install a number of applications on your behalf (I’m assuming via some automated scripts). This sounds like a really nice feature, and GoDaddy will argue that it helps to make them the best choice to host your website.

Over the past day or so, I’ve been attempting to play with DotNetNuke which is one of many CMS tools offered in the GoDaddy Hosting Connection portal. Sadly, I’ve run into so many issues with their automated installation that I think I’m seeing more gray hairs. The installation of the application to my hosting account seems to succeed when you look in the GoDaddy Hosting Connection, but attempting to walk through the application’s setup is a very frustrating experience.

For starters, the installation script fails to notice that particular assemblies linked in the web.config file are already installed which results in a nice 500 error. Because the “customErrors” value is set to “RemoteOnly”, novice .NET users have no idea what the hell happened. Changing this value to “Off” allows you to see the errors, and you are forced to remove the fault lines in web.config to proceed with the installation. The errors I saw were different on my IIS6 and IIS7 accounts, and I have no explanation as to why.

Getting past the annoying 500 errors, my IIS6 setup seemed to move forward without too many problems. IIS7 on the other hand fails when DNN upgrades its database – its hangs on version 4.8.1, and no error is output to the screen. I waited and waited and waited for it to complete, but I eventually gave up. I never got DNN running on my IIS7 account.

Once I got DNN up on my IIS6 account, I noticed that all of my links had a hard-coded path to the subdirectory in which DNN was installed, despite the fact that I had the subdirectory aliased as a domain root. While this doesn’t prevent the application from working, it’s a problem for SEO and simple user interaction. After searching the Web for possible solutions, I dug into my SQL database looking for that value. I couldn’t find it. With a bit more digging, I find in the admin portal that DNN automatically assigns a “relative path” to my application because I didn’t install in my hosting root. As far as I can tell, there’s no way around that on GoDaddy.

I spent about another 10 minutes fidgeting with DNN host settings and somehow managed to break DNN completely (I sent it into an infinite loop). I have no idea what I did. *SIGH* I’ve uninstalled DNN for like the 10th time and am giving up. I’m going to try Joomla (also offered by GoDaddy Hosting Connection) but my faith in GoDaddy is growing thin.


With nearly 20 years of software engineering and operations experience, Arthur Kay offers an extraordinary set of leadership skills and technical expertise to develop meaningful products and high-performing teams. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, VC-funded startups and companies across a wide variety of industries to build cutting-edge software solutions.

Arthur is a successful entrepreneur, technology professional, and mentor. He is a full-time family man, part-time consultant and spare-time musician. He graduated from Loyola University Chicago and currently lives in greater Chicago-land.

5 comments for “Issues with GoDaddy Hosting Connection

  1. charger70
    August 13, 2009 at 10:35 am

    arthur – for 2 weeks now, hosting connection has refused to update joomla or wordpress installations from mac browsers. i’ve been through literally 10 rounds of GoDaddy tech support, to no avail.

    godaddy does hire very personable young people in phoenix to handle their calls – and they do want to help. but escalation only results in speaking to someone who’s been there for 9 months instead of 3. you can’t ever speak to any of their “developers” nor even get anything through.

    it’s really frustrating, with dozens of sites to update and no ability to do so. i’m going to have to go in, manually, and update them. i might as well be on siteground for another $30 a year, and have fantastico take care of it automatically.

    speaking of which, godaddy really should migrate to something like fantastico instead of their proprietary Hosting Connection system.

  2. August 13, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I’ve also had issues with upgrading my version of WordPress. The response I got from their support team was that it was my fault:

    GoDaddy: “It appears you may have made some custom changes to your WordPress blog. Because of those changes our automated system will not allow you to update. If you would like to complete and update you will need to go to the WordPress website and get information for a manual update.”

    Me: “Do you have any idea what changes I “may have made” to my WordPress blog? I shouldn’t have changed anything other than my theme and settings within the Admin portal (in other words, I don’t think I’ve touched the files themselves).”

    GoDaddy: “Please note that we are unable to support third party application issues and we do not support the inner functionality of this program. If you are having difficulty using a third party product, we can help troubleshoot that process to the point that we find that the issue lies entirely within the configuration of that product. If you believe the issue is caused by something outside your control and within our system please reply and we will further review the issue. Otherwise, we suggest visiting the WordPress website for further support with this issue.”

    They could hire monkeys and I wouldn’t know the difference!

  3. September 13, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Hi Arthur, I am having the same issue.. I installed DNN on a subdomain and assigned it as the root for the domain however, Godaddy has added the subdomain testing as the relative path.. now all urls are having the .com/testing/.. on it. How do I remove it? Did you find a fix to the problem? Please let me know.

  4. September 13, 2010 at 6:18 am

    I never did find a solution to this specific issue. In fact, I gave up on DNN completely. It *is* possible to have sub/domains nested beneath your hosting root – but I never got it working with DNN on my GoDaddy server.

  5. October 28, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I have bumped into so many problems (like Error 500) while trying to install DotNetNuke on Godaddy and finally made it. Wrote a step by step guide to install DotNetNuke, check out the link below:

    Hope it helps! Thanks.

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