GoDaddy vs. Bluehost: Which Is the Best Hosting Provider?

GoDaddy and Bluehost have more than 10 million personal and business websites hosted on their servers, and for good reason. To become industry-leading web hosts, both GoDaddy and Bluehost have had to develop their services and offerings to meet the needs of a wide variety of users. But, choosing between these two companies might seem difficult at first. 

Through this in-depth review, pitting GoDaddy vs. Bluehost, we’ll show you which hosting platform reigns supreme. By time you reach the end of the article, you’ll know which hosting provider is right for you and your business.


Selected Winner: GoDaddy vs Bluehost

Bluehost is easier to use and if you are a first-time user or like simplicity it may be better. GoDaddy has far too many options and add-ons that can be quite confusing for some.

GoDaddy is faster but has a slightly bigger downtime than Bluehost, so if you want faster hosting, GoDaddy could be better for you. GoDaddy also has more hosting options to choose from, so there is more scalability and they do offer Windows hosting. It may be that this is important for your site.

With a slight difference, Bluehost is the overall winner here.

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Key Comparison: GoDaddy vs. Bluehost

Overall, our research found that Bluehost offers better tools and performance than GoDaddy.

Both companies have approximately the same years of experience — Bluehost started in 1996 while GoDaddy started in 1997. But, Bluehost focuses mainly on web hosting services while GoDaddy offers a range of services like secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates and domain registrations.

Bluehost also provides excellent managed hosting of WordPress sites — a service highly recommended by WordPress.

To help you more easily assess the suitability of each provider for your business, our research focused on the factors that matter most:

  • How do their hosting plans compare in terms of features and pricing?
  • How does their uptime and speed compare?
  • How do they compare for WordPress site hosting?
  • How seriously do they take security?
  • Do they have efficient customer support?

How Do Their Hosting Plans Compare in Terms of Features and Pricing?

Like all other web hosting services, GoDaddy and Bluehost offer very low introductory prices. Before you sign up with any web hosting provider, find out what price you must pay at the time of renewal and try to lock in your introductory rate for as long as possible. Remember, most services have a money-back guarantee for the first month or so.

GoDaddy

Pricing and Plans

GoDaddy’s Economy plan for web hosting starts at $5.99 per month, but this jumps to $8.99 per month at renewal. GoDaddy also offers WordPress hosting, starting at $6.99 per month.

If your website requires more resources to optimize ecommerce, such as faster page-loading speeds and the ability to handle higher traffic, then GoDaddy’s Business hosting plans, which start at $19.99 per month, may provide a better fit.

GoDaddy also offers dedicated server hosting plans that start at $129.99 per month.

Important Hosting Features

With its cheapest web hosting plan, GoDaddy provides hosting for one website and 100 GB of storage. It also gives you a free domain name — something included with all GoDaddy plans — and a free business email account for one year.

On GoDaddy’s Deluxe web hosting plan, you get unlimited websites and storage. Both the Ultimate and Maximum plans include a free SSL certificate, but that’s only for one year on the Ultimate plan compared to the full duration of a Maximum plan.

Money-Back Guarantee and Site Migration

You may request a refund from GoDaddy within your plan’s stated refund period. That’s 30 days from the transaction date with annual plans, but only 48 hours with a monthly plan. If you cancel a plan, GoDaddy will deduct the cost of the free domain name from the refundable amount.

Migrating a website to GoDaddy is free, but that process involves a bit more work than with Bluehost because you must do it manually for any site not built using WordPress. If you migrate a WordPress site, you can do this in the “My Products” section of an existing account by choosing your desired hosting plan.

Website-Building Tools and Ease of Use

GoDaddy has an easy-to-navigate domain interface, but its hosting interface is a bit more difficult to use. It has a standard cPanel and an additional option that supports Windows hosting: the Parallels Plesk panel.

While you’ll need to conduct site backups manually, there’s no extra cost to do so.

Scalability

GoDaddy doesn’t have caps on storage and bandwidth. But, if your website needs to grow and you want other hosting options, you can upgrade to GoDaddy’s virtual private server (VPS) hosting, cloud hosting, or dedicated server hosting plans. GoDaddy also has web hosting plans for both Windows and Linux servers.

Bluehost

Pricing and Plans

Shared hosting plans from Bluehost start at $2.95 per month, but jump to $7.99 per month at renewal. Bluehost’s WordPress hosting plans also start at $2.95 per month while its VPS hosting plans start at $18.99 per month and its dedicated hosting plans start at $79.99 per month.

Important Hosting Features

Bluehost’s Basic shared hosting plan includes one website, a free domain name, 25 subdomains, and unmetered bandwidth. But, it only comes with 50 GB of storage.

All Bluehost plans do, however, include a free SSL certificate. You also gain unlimited websites, storage, and subdomains plus unmetered bandwidth when you move up to the Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro shared hosting plans.

Money-Back Guarantee and Site Migration

You can get a full refund if you cancel your Bluehost account within 30 days, but this doesn’t cover the domain name or any add-on products.

Bluehost allows you to conduct your site migration yourself or you can opt to use its professional switching service for $149.99. At this price, Bluehost will migrate up to five websites and 20 email accounts.

Website-Building Tools and Ease of Use

Bluehost offers a standard cPanel and an intuitive user interface, which enable you to install several applications with one click. In addition, you can easily manage multiple sites on Bluehost with its unlimited MySQL databases.

Bluehost makes it very easy to install WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account. It also has a knowledgeable customer support team and a knowledge base page dedicated to support resources where you find answers to common questions, read articles and guides, and access general instructions.

While the company provides automatic website backups, you also may conduct manual backups at no extra cost.

Scalability

Like GoDaddy, Bluehost doesn’t cap storage and bandwidth. But, if you anticipate heavy site traffic, Bluehost also offers VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and WordPress-optimized hosting.

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How Does Their Uptime and Speed Compare?

GoDaddy

Despite GoDaddy’s claims that it has the same uptime as Bluehost, plenty of customer reviews indicate its uptime hovers around 99.97 percent.

GoDaddy has loading speeds of about 2.85 seconds. Its managed WordPress plans use Varnish caching and solid-state drive (SSD) storage. GoDaddy supports the HTTP/2 network protocol, has an updated version of the PHP programming language, and nine server locations across three continents.

Bluehost

Bluehost has a 99.98 percent uptime guarantee — second only to HostGator’s 99.99 percent uptime guarantee. But, Bluehost’s loading speeds average 3.32 seconds. That’s a bit slower than the three seconds recommended by Google.

Like GoDaddy, Bluehost also uses SSD storage, supports the HTTP/2 network protocol, and has an updated version of the PHP programming language. Bluehost houses its servers in Utah at the company’s data center.

How Do They Compare for WordPress Site Hosting?

WordPress hosting plans usually offer a faster solution for WordPress sites because they’re optimized for the WordPress code. You can still use cheaper, shared hosting plans with a WordPress website, but larger projects require a WordPress-focused plan.

GoDaddy

GoDaddy isn’t as advanced with its WordPress hosting features as Bluehost. It has several plans, and its Basic plan starts at $6.99 per month for up to 25,000 monthly visitors and 30 GB of storage. Alternatively, its Ecommerce plan costs $15.99 per month and includes unlimited storage and visitors.

You also won’t have to pay WooCommerce fees with a WordPress hosting plan from GoDaddy, but you’ll have access to its free plug-ins.

Bluehost

WordPress recommends Bluehost, which outperforms GoDaddy in terms of its integration because users can install it with just one click. Bluehost’s Basic plan for WordPress shared hosting starts at $2.95 per month with 50 GB of storage. Its highest-tier plan, called Choice Plus, costs $5.45 per month and comes with unmetered storage, unlimited websites, and CodeGuard Basic backup.

But, Bluehost doesn’t offer a WordPress hosting plan focused on ecommerce.

How Seriously Do They Take Security?

GoDaddy

GoDaddy’s servers support the PHP 7 programming language and the secure shell (SSH) network protocol, but GoDaddy also sells extra security. GoDaddy’s Website Security plans cost between $5.59 and $25 per month, depending on the features you require.

GoDaddy uses its own weakness in security as an upselling opportunity for additional services whereas Bluehost considers better security a standard feature.

Bluehost

Bluehost offers an SSL certificate, the SFTP file transfer protocol, and the SSH network protocol with all hosting plans. It also supports the PHP 7 programming language by default. Bluehost also offers additional security services via several SiteLock plans, starting at $14.99 per month.

Do They Have Efficient Customer Support?

It’s often hard to compare different companies’ customer support just by reading customer reviews because reviews can reflect opinions that aren’t always justified. Yet, customer reviews can provide a fairly clear picture.

GoDaddy

While GoDaddy’s contact page features a live chat button, it’s not very prominent and easy to miss. But, GoDaddy does provide quite a few local numbers and its call center is available 24/7.
There are a few GoDaddy community forums, and customer reviews indicate that GoDaddy’s customer support team has a good knowledge base.

Bluehost

Bluehost has 24/7 phone support in the United States along with a help chat option and help tickets. The company also has a knowledge base, but it lacks how-to images and videos. In addition, Bluehost has a dedicated line for WordPress users with expert staff to deal with issues.

Overall Impressions

Both GoDaddy and Bluehost have pros and cons, but they offer very similar features and prices.

Bluehost is easier to use and may be the better choice for first-time users or anyone who prefers simplicity. GoDaddy has far too many options and add-ons that some users find confusing. GoDaddy also has hidden charges and upsells after the first year, which can significantly increase user costs.

GoDaddy is slower than Bluehost and suffers from more downtime, so Bluehost may work better for those seeking faster page-loading speeds. But, you may want to consider GoDaddy if scalability is important to your site because it has more hosting options from which to choose as well as Windows hosting.

With such small differences between GoDaddy and Bluehost, you must examine the fine details before deciding on a web hosting provider. Overall, Bluehost looks like the preferred option for multiple reasons.

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