Did you know that as of January 2021, an average of 1.8 billion websites worldwide are online at the same time daily? If you have your own website, you are well familiar with web hosting providers. Now, the only question is, how can you choose one, especially in such a competitive environment?
See, options for web hosting service providers are plenty. From Bluehost to GoDaddy, the choice seems nearly impossible. It is even more impossible for beginners. You need to pay attention to many big and small details, and for some, you might even need some prior knowledge.
Well, that is why I created the Vendor vs. Vendor series. In this edition of the series, I will compare Bluehost and GoDaddy. Thus, you will know which is the better solution to your needs by the end of the article. So, if you want to learn whether you should choose one or the other, this article can help you!
So, let's get down to business, shall we?
Introducing the Providers
Let's start with GoDaddy. GoDaddy was founded in 1997. It was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, but its headquarters is in Tempe, Arizona, United States. The provider has been around for over 24 years now. It serves over 20 million customers worldwide and has more than 6,000 workers.
The company is very well known in its sector, primarily for its advertising on TV and newspapers. GoDaddy is the largest ICANN-accredited registrar globally – being a whopping four times bigger than its closest competitor.
On the other hand, Bluehost is a provider that emerged on the market in 2003 in Provo, Utah, United States. It has its headquarters in Orem, Utah, United States. The number of websites that Bluehost powers increase every day, and right now, it is estimated at over 2 million websites worldwide.
Both providers have supported WordPress for many years.
GoDaddy has four separate WordPress hosting plans, beginning with the Basic plan. The Basic plan is a so-called "beginners" plan that provides all the essentials for WordPress. Then, we have the Deluxe plan that offers additional features like an SEO optimizer and a one-click testing site. The third plan further offers unlimited malware removal and hack repair. Lastly, the eCommerce plan offers unlimited products, appointment scheduling, real-time shipping rates, and free access to top premium WooCommerce extensions.
Now that we've covered the basics, let's get into more specific details.
Server Network and Performance
The server network shows the uptime and speed of your website. Thus, it is an essential factor when choosing a web hosting provider. It would be best to choose a web hosting provider that offers excellent uptime and speed. Otherwise, your website will be slow in loading content.
GoDaddy has a total of nine data center facilities and 37,000 servers. Its data center is in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The other eight serves are Scottsdale, Mesa, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ashburn, Virginia, Amsterdam, and Singapore. However, it is worth mentioning that this information isn't available directly from the provider but from other reliable sources.
The company also uses a lot of open source technology. Sadly, I could not find much information on the characteristics and features of GoDaddy's data centers. Thus, I concluded that this provider is not transparent about its data centers.
GoDaddy is that, even thou8gh it does not disclose the location of its data centers, it allows you to choose where your data will be stored. However, it only allows you to select the continent where you want to store the data. The exact location on the continent, i.e., the country or city, remains undisclosed.
Where speed is concerned, GoDaddy guarantees a 99.99% uptime. This means that if you use GoDaddy, it guarantees you that you may experience up to four minutes of downtime monthly. An exciting feature that GoDaddy has is that if your website experiences more than four minutes of downtime, you can contact the provider to request a credit of 5% of the monthly hosting fee for the month when you experienced the extra downtime. In practice, GoDaddy has an uptime of 99.97%, which is considered excellent.
The average response time for GoDaddy is 531ms, which is quite fast.
Where Bluehost is considered, it has a global service network that provides users with fast and dependable web hosting services. When it comes to Bluehost's location and quantity of servers, the corporation isn't forthcoming. Bluehost is said to have six data centers in Provo, Utah, Orem, Utah, Mumbai, India, London, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China, and Shanghai, China, according to credible sources.
Bluehost automatically chooses the optimal server to store your data based on your geographical location, although the locations of the data centers are not publicly revealed. Even if you don't know where your data is stored, this ensures that you will have the best possible experience and optimization.
Bluehost guarantees a 99.9% uptime, and in reality, the uptime of Bluehost is 99.98%. This is as close to perfect as possible, so Blueshost's uptime is beyond fantastic. Something worth mentioning here is that Bluehost does not offer any uptime guarantees like GoDaddy. However, it does promise to solve uptime problems in 15 minutes, except for complicated cases.
The average response time for Bluehost websites is 773ms, which is significantly lower than GoDaddy.
So, when it comes to uptime reliability and speed, GoDaddy has a slightly better performance. GoDaddy has better website response time, but Bluehost has better uptime, so a tie is the only answer here.
Security and data protection is essential factor to consider when choosing a web hosting provider. This factor is more important than speed for many, seeing as many websites, blogs, online stores, etc., work with crucial data that must be protected from cyberattacks and backed up often. So, before choosing a provider, you should definitely know how they are doing in the security and backup section.
Let's start with GoDaddy. GoDaddy offers services like SSL Certificate, Managed SSL Service, Website Security, and Website Backup. All of these services have a price tag. The SSL is valid for one year only, and GoDaddy has a 30-day money-back guarantee for it. GoDaddy also provides automatic WordPress updates, removal and malware checks, backups for your site, and one-click restore from backups are all available with GoDaddy.
Bluehost offers SiteLock, which scans your website for malware, spyware, and other threats daily. As a result, you get 24/7 network monitoring across all business servers. The provider also includes Anti-Spam Protection and Two-Factor Authentication. The control panel comprises SSH Access, IP Blocker, SSL/TLS, Manage API Tokens, Hotlink Protection, and SSL/TLS Status. Automatic WordPress updates with the newest security features, account confirmation by token for contacting customer support, daily backups for your site, and one-click restore from backups are all available through Bluehost.
Now, let's see what these two providers have to offer in the backup sector.
GoDaddy offers paid Website Backup. Automatic daily backups, scheduled or on-demand backups, and fast one-click restores are included in all Website Backup plans. Daily virus scanning, ongoing security monitoring, secure cloud storage are among the GoDaddy services. Also, file, folder, or whole database backups, downloads to local storage, and professional 24/7 customer support are included.
Bluehost provides free backups on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It also has the option to restore data from backups with one click. These backups, however, are not guaranteed. To ensure that their data is safely backed up, Bluehost recommends that their customers create manual backups.
So, suppose you look at the overall features that both providers offer for security and backup. In that case, Bluehost is the winner in this category, as its security features are more extensive than GoDaddy's.
Other Features – Comparing Shared, VPS, and Dedicated Servers
The basics have been covered. Now, it's time to move on to the more advanced features that Bluehost and GoDaddy supply. Here, I will look at and compare the providers' shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. For simplicity, I will compare the recommended plans for each service.
- Shared Hosting Plans
- VPS (Virtual Private Servers)
- Dedicated Servers
Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, both providers are at the top of this category. Being user-friendly and beginner-friendly is vital when it comes to web hosting providers, as not all users are tech-savvy or experts in this field. So, let's see whether one provider tops the other or if it's another tie.
When it comes to GoDaddy, it offers a very organized and straightforward cPanel. However, the critical difference between the two for this category is that GoDaddy has an in-house drag-and-drop website builder that can simplify the process for beginners. Also, the set-up is very straightforward, and everything you need is in one place.
The cPanel of Bluehost is very user-friendly. It's well-organized and straightforward to use. Everything is clearly labeled and has a corresponding icon; all you have to do is select the icon you wish to utilize. The remainder is taken care of by Bluehost. Between the two, if you are looking for a better WordPress site builder, Bluehost is the one.
So, when it comes to ease of use, I would have to give the win to GoDaddy. However, Bluehost is not far behind as the WordPress building process it offers is superior and very straightforward. Of course, when the overall service is concerned, GoDaddy is the champion for this category.
When it comes to customer support, both GoDaddy and Bluehost tick all the boxes. They both provide phone, forum, and email assistance, as well as video tutorials and knowledge base software. They offer an extensive knowledge base where you can learn more about various web hosting-related and other topics.
One key difference between the two providers is the way their knowledge base is organized. Bluehost's knowledge base is sectioned: FAQ, WordPress, email, domains, account, and control panel. GoDaddy's knowledge base has the following sections: domain-related, hosting and servers, online marketing, partner programs, productivity, and websites.
Bluehost's way of categorizing its knowledge base is considered superior to GoDaddy's by most users. Also, it is more intuitive, and it makes finding what you need easier. GoDaddy has a more modern design, making it more mobile-friendly.
The other key difference in this category is that Bluehost's knowledge base is more comprehensive and extensive than GoDaddy's. Additionally, Bluehost has a toll-free phone number for every country that users can call 24/7 for phone support.
Pricing, Refunds, Affiliates
Now that we've covered the fundamentals, performance, and technical factors, it's time to look at the financial aspects of the two providers.
Seeing as both providers offer four plans for web hosting, I compared their four plans to determine which one is more expensive. I only considered these plans so that the comparison is more straightforward. Both providers have prices for 36-month plans.
After evaluating both providers' plans, GoDaddy's plans are more expensive for the first year of use. However, the difference between the two can be seen in short-term pricing, where Bluehost offers more significant discounts than GoDaddy. Also, Bluehost offers a free SSL Certificate in all plans. However, GoDaddy offers more storage than Bluehost, but it limits the number of databases you can have.
GoDaddy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you purchase an annual plan and a 48-hour guarantee for monthly plans when it comes to refunds.
Bluehost offers a money-back guarantee of 30 days. So, even if you don't like Bluehost's web hosting, you have 30 days to get your money back.
So, this data has led me to conclude that Bluehost not only has lower prices for the first year and offers more significant discounts than GoDaddy, but it also has a better value for money.
Now, we move on to the affiliate programs of these providers.
Let's start with Bluehost. Bluehost pays a commission of $65 to their new affiliates for each eligible hosting sale that their affiliates facilitate. The signup process is simple and completely free. You can sign up for an affiliate program and start earning money in a matter of minutes. Bluehost typically accepts 95% of all applications. After you've been approved, Bluehost will send you a unique affiliate link, which you can use to promote Bluehost on social media and your site. The best part is that you can earn as much as you want in commissions. Bluehost will make the process even easier for you by providing personalized campaigns, promotional resources, and precise tracking. Payments are made via PayPal 45-60 days following the end of the month the sales were made.
With GoDaddy, the process is more or less the same. However, the difference is in the pricing. You might make up to 15% commission as a GoDaddy affiliate, depending on the type of products you sell. GoDaddy offers their affiliates over 100 GoDaddy affiliate links to pick from, including banners and text links. The products you can choose from are: domains, websites, SSL Security, Web Hosting, Professional Email, WordPress, Microsoft 365.
Both providers have superb affiliate programs, so there is no winner for that particular service. However, if we look at the overall category, which includes pricing, refunds, and affiliates, I have to declare Bluehost the winner for this one.
In The End - Bluehost Wins!
It's a very competitive race to the finish line between these two, and Bluehost has won in a matter of seconds! It is a tough call, but Bluehost surpasses GoDaddy in a couple of defining categories, although only marginally. So, for the overall analysis, Bluehost emerged as the winner.
However, GoDaddy is not far behind. If you decide to use GoDaddy, you will not regret it. It all depends on your personal preferences and what you're looking for in a web hosting provider.