Additional users have no SFTP on Godaddy shared hosting

I was trying to setup an additional FTP account on a GoDaddy shared hosting today. The aim was to have a user which is limited to a given folder, so won’t cause any harm to any of the existing files on the server. I have added the user through cPanel under Files -> FTP Accounts.

Getting into trouble

Then I tried to connect using an SFTP client, but failed to connect. I have changed the password, thinking I have made a typo, but it still did not work. Tried with my main user using the same SFTP client and that worked fine. I was scratching my head and tried again and again until I have had a different error message. Apparently I have tried too many times. Now my IP got blocked at GoDaddy and I had only one option: to call their support.

Getting out of it

The last time, back in the summer when I was having some issues with SSH setup, it happened was a 40 minutes long phone call with their support. The majority of that time was spent on them trying to convince me that there is no block on their side at all. Until it turned out there is. They removed it and it was working fine again.

So I have called the support expecting a long call, but this time it was a breeze. I said I have managed to block my IP as I made too many failed login attempts and they have managed to get it unblocked in just 11 minutes. I asked both times (now and back in the summer) if there is a self-service option for this, but the answer was no. So sadly if you land yourself in this position you need to call them or change IP.

A learning

During the call I explained what I was trying to do and to my surprise I was told that SFTP only works on the main account. Further to that this seems to be the case for quite some years according to the customer service agent. If I would need additional ones I would need to move from shared hosting to VPS hosting. There is no alternative solutions to this 😲

So if you are trying to setup additional FTP accounts thinking you can use SFTP, then it is something that is not possible on GoDaddy’s shared hosting. It is not you, it is them.

I published this, so that I can hopefully remember and avoid wasting time on this the next time I need to do something similar for someone else.