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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
As of now, Microsoft has four business plans:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.