Microsoft Office 365 vs GoDaddy Office 365 [Breakdown]

Microsoft Office 365 vs GoDaddy Office 365 [Breakdown]

GoDaddy and Microsoft formed a partnership in 2014, which led to the former creating its own offering of Microsoft 365 suite (they changed the name from Office 365 to reflect Microsoft’s recent change).

Unfortunately, this offer, though significantly cheaper during the promotion period, has led to some problems for some of its users.

In this article, you will learn the difference between GoDaddy Office 365 and that of Microsoft Office 365. We will also discuss why plenty of people think of GoDaddy’s offer as a “trap”.

Let’s get started.

What is the GoDaddy Office 365 all about?

Although GoDaddy has a Microsoft 365 offer, they’re not really an office productivity company. They’re actually an internet domain registrar and web hosting company with more than 20 million customers.

But since their partnership with Microsoft began in 2014, they started offering their own Microsoft 365 suite.

GoDaddy Microsoft Office 365 Plans

At first glance, their offers are quite similar to what Microsoft offers at its site, but at a lower price.

Currently, they offer three plans:

  1. Online Essentials ($7.99 per user per month) – This includes the web versions of Office apps, a professional email connected to your domain, and a terabyte of online storage.
  2. Business Premium ($8.99 per user per month) – This includes everything in the earlier plan, installable office apps, a suite of Microsoft business and productivity apps, and the ability to set up HIPAA compliant email.
  3. Premium Security ($16.99 per user per month) – This includes everything in the earlier plan, an advanced email security feature with end-to-end encryption, and a secure, searchable archive.

The advanced email security and email archiving features can be bought separately with the lower plans with each amounting to $4.99 per month. In addition, the promo usually only lasts for a year.

After that, the renewal price will be more or less comparable to when you buy a plan straight from Microsoft.

Disclaimer From GoDaddy on Office 365 Products

As for the specific desktop applications that come with the Business Premium plan, GoDaddy clarified that it includes the latest version of Word, PowerPoint, Access, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Teams.

Take note, however, that Mac users can’t download Publisher.

You can check out their whole product page here.

How does it compare to Microsoft Office 365?

Because of the initial price, the offer from GoDaddy seems really interesting. Unfortunately, you may run into some problems later on as your company grows. In fact, you may have to shell out even more cash to sort out these problems.

Let me explain…

First off, GoDaddy is geared towards small businesses with more or less ten people. What they offer is perfect for an organization with that number of users, assuming they do not have more technical requirements.

The problem lies when that organization expands and will need to use more technology and application.

On the part of Microsoft, their offers can get complicated really quickly especially for those that need only the basic office applications.

Microsoft 365 Plans for Business

As of now, Microsoft has four business plans:

  1. Microsoft 365 Business Basic ($5.00 per user per month) – This plan includes the web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as secured cloud services like Teams, Exchange, OneDrive, and SharePoint.
  2. Microsoft 365 Business Standard ($12.50 per user per month) – This plan includes everything in the earlier plan plus the desktop versions of Office apps for PC and Mac.
  3. Microsoft 365 Business Premium ($20.00 per user per month) – This plan includes everything in the earlier plan with advanced threat protection and PC and mobile device management.
  4. Microsoft 365 Apps ($8.25 per user per month) – This plan is for businesses that need Office apps across devices and cloud file storage without a business email and access to Microsoft Teams.

As you can see, the offer from Microsoft is significantly more expensive than what GoDaddy offers. GoDaddy’s Business Premium, which has more or less the same offering as Microsoft 365 Business Standard, costs more than half of GoDaddy’s equivalent.

But is GoDaddy’s offers really worth the buck?

The Problem With GoDaddy’s Office 365

You can say that GoDaddy’s low-priced offer comes at a larger price, which becomes more apparent when your organization grows into more than ten people and you need to use more technology and application.

GoDaddy, as a way to appeal to small businesses, make the user interface definitely simple. Small organizations, especially ones with any technical staff, will like this as they will be able to easily navigate through their Office 365 needs.

GoDaddy Dashboard

But that simplicity becomes a problem as it severely limits the organization’s capability to expand and use more applications other than the ones that come with GoDaddy’s offers.

In comparison, the source’s offer will enable you to use more applications as you grow. For example, if you need to use a business analytics tool, Microsoft has Power BI. Need a CRM? The answer is Microsoft Dynamics 365.

As your business needs grow, there is a big chance that Microsoft has the right tool. All you need to do is buy access to that tool and integrate it with your Microsoft account.

Unfortunately, even if GoDaddy’s offer is still Microsoft 365, any one of their plans doesn’t offer the same flexibility. If you try to purchase an add-on from Microsoft or for Power BI, you get redirected to a page shown below and blocked from downloading additional add-ons.

GoDaddy Workspace Signin Page

This makes it impossible for you to upgrade your workspace and use more Microsoft applications than GoDaddy’s plans include. This is why others refer to GoDaddy Office 365 as a “trap”.

To make matters worse, there is no way for you to fix this other than buying a Microsoft Office 365 from the source and migrating your data from GoDaddy. You can do it yourself, but you may need a tech professional in case some problem arises.

Other Reasons to Directly Buy From Microsoft

Let’s take it further and talk more about the technical limitations and problems that will make buying Microsoft 365 directly from the source seem more reasonable even if all their plans are more expensive than GoDaddy.

Back to the fact that you can’t upgrade your workspace or buy more add-ons from Microsoft if you’re on a GoDaddy plan…

The reason why you are blocked from downloading additional add-ons is that you do not have any administrator rights when you buy a plan from GoDaddy, even if you choose the most expensive one.

This is a serious issue for expanding organizations since they can’t add more applications from Microsoft and have to migrate to what they call the “real” Office 365.

In addition, it’s also quite clear that buyers from GoDaddy only get to experience the surface level of Microsoft Office 365. Without its full ecosystem and flexibility, Office 365 will be extremely limited.

This is the reason why users have issues in regards to downloading and using OneDrive/SharePoint sync software.

As for security, GoDaddy also lacks the two-step or multi-factor authentication feature. Although some users choose to disable the MFA prompt for guests, the feature is still a good defense feature against hackers.

There is also an issue with viewing the admin control panel. It’s quite an issue for some users especially those that use Office 365 for tech support. Although the admin control panel is accessible, GoDaddy is not making it easy.

The worse case is probably the fact that contacting GoDaddy’s customer support will avail you mostly nothing. In fact, they will have you call Microsoft directly instead and ask them to cover the troubleshooting issues.

Advice: Avoid the Trap From Godaddy

If you need to use Microsoft 365, it’s better that you buy a plan directly from the source. GoDaddy may seem cheaper at first, especially during the first year, but it will cost you more in the future as your organization grows.

Even resetting your password can potentially become a problem. When you submit a password reset request to GoDaddy, they will take you out of your usual Office 365 and get you to the GoDaddy portal instead.

The problem here is that there is a chance that you will be resetting the wrong password instead.

In the future, when you need to use more applications, you will have to either waste time doing the migration yourself and solving problems that will arise or spend money asking someone to do it for you.

Doing it yourself will require you to:

  • Purchase a new Microsoft 365 plan from Microsoft
  • Perform an IMAP migration for the mailbox data
  • Remove your custom domain from your Microsoft 365 in GoDaddy
  • Add and verify your domain in the real Microsoft 365
  • Change the user mailboxes and verify that you have all your data

As of now, there is no way around this other than migrating your whole Microsoft 365 experience. In fact, that may never come seeing that the ecosystem from GoDaddy’s Office 365 is not connected with the real Microsoft Office 365.

If you need any help or if you have any questions related to GoDaddy Microsoft 365 (from comparison to migration), feel free to leave a comment below or send me a direct message via the contact page.

About Ryan Clark

As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage the Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments.

20 thoughts on “Microsoft Office 365 vs GoDaddy Office 365 [Breakdown]”

  1. Hi Ryan… So in order to interface with GoDaddy with my custom domain and email address, I need some form of Microsoft 365 whether it’s from them or directly from Microsoft… is that a valid statement?… If I cancel my Microsoft 365 with GoDaddy my account would not function properly without 365 because it is necessitated one way or the other

    1. Hi Darryl,

      You can have your domain hosted at GoDaddy and use Exchange Online via Microsoft 365 directly but you’d need to migrate from GoDaddy’s Office 365 to Microsoft 365. If you canceled your GoDaddy Microsoft 365 then you would lose email and other things that are associated with your license like, SharePoint, OneDrive, etc.

    2. Hi Darryl. What Ryan needs to explain is if you own a domain with godaddy and your email is attached to this domain. You must create .pst files of all the emails from outlook within godaddy before you can use that domain with Microsoft. The reason why godaddy does this is so it makes it easier for the business. Once you have created .pst files for all of your email accounts you can have godaddy remove the email feature from the domain. You will have downtime between 24/72 hrs of no email coming in. Then once it is free from go daddy you can go ahead and add that domain to MIcrosoft. Microsoft will validate the domain to make sure there are no emails attached to it. After this is complete you can add new users into Microsoft using your old email address. Then all your employees or just you must import the pst file you created earlier.

      Also I followed this up with the call to Godaddy referring to this article. They told me that was the old platform they use to have. They have a new platform now which gives unlimited email for more than 10, 50, 100, etc employees.

      Be careful of what you read on the web.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Hi Ryan, do you have a guide for those that have GoDaddy as their registrar but want to setup Microsoft 365 outside of GoDaddy? I just acquired a domain and I want to setup the Exchange server for growth and am looking for best practices. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jason,

      I have not written a guide on that yet (great idea on a new blog post, btw), but it is very simple to do. All you need to do is verify the domain in Microsoft 365 which requires some DNS updates which you will make on the GoDaddy DNS side. Send me a message via my contact form if you need some more details in the meantime.

      1. Hey Ryan, thanks for this article. Did you ever write the blog post on this guide? I am in the scenario Jason describes. I am tired of my regular imap godaddy email not playing nice with outlook and want to transition to an exchange server in hopes it will be more dependable.

  3. I am trying to help someone who has a nearly full office 365 e3 enterprise 100gb mailbox. I am trying to simply make an archive tona local file but that seems to not be allowed?

  4. I landed here searching for a list of what features are missing from the Go Daddy version. I was trying to find the security and compliance center and turn on 2 factor and logging. The $5.00/month version from MS has it, but not the $7.00/month.

    I used to use Go Daddy a lot and recommend it to customers, but I won’t make that mistake again.

  5. Hey Ryan
    I was going to migrate from Microsoft Office 365 to Godaddy’s Office 365 (per a recommendation from Godaddy), but will not do that now thanks to this article!
    Thank you so much for saving me a lot of time and money!

  6. Hey Ryan,

    Great article. I’ve used Microsoft’s Tenancy for a few of my clients whom have external websites. I acquired a new client who just happened to have GoDaddy as their domain and hosting provider. They made the mistake of purchasing Microsoft 365 Starter Email from them as well. Glad I came across your article as I was debating on moving them from GoDaddy to Microsoft. Thankfully it’s a brand new setup and therefore no emails in use as yet. Hopefully they can cancel. They had to create one email address for the purchase. I tried to purchase from Microsoft and it recognized the email address for said company. Do you suggest cancelling and starting from scratch with Microsoft? What would happen if I move forward with registration using the email address already created with GoDaddy?

    Looking forward to your answer.

    1. Hey Derrick,

      I would cancel the existing subscription and start from the beginning. Otherwise, that specific email address will not be free. Also, you’ll need to make sure that the domain is not registered in the existing M365 tenant either. That’s actually a much bigger roadblock. If you don’t want to cancel the service, then you could remove the existing domain and change the email address associated with the subscription. At that point, you’d be able to register it as you need in the new tenant.

  7. Hi,

    GoDaddy is telling me I need a Microsoft 365 Email Essentials Basic plan for each of my two email accounts as they have stopped Workspace.

    I already have a Microsoft 365 Family account direct with Microsoft.

    What can I do to avoid these extra costs?

    1. Hi Glenn,

      Microsoft 365 family does not come with Exchange Online so you would need to purchase an email subscription for the accounts you want to send and receive mail from. Why not consider going to Microsoft directly instead?

  8. Well established magazine regarding technology.

    Read it all. This is from Oct of this year not like this from April of this year. I’ve been doing IT for 20+ years. A lot of this stuff is opinionated and people do what they feel is best for them or for there company. If you have had a bad experience then of course you are gonna be bitter and the same holds true if you had a great experience.

    You just have to do research. I do a lot of research using PC Magazine.

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