Which provider should you choose: HostGator or GoDaddy?
In a world where technology is the leader of virtually all things, it is not surprising that there are so many choices for anything tech-related. Thus, it is not surprising that the market for web hosting providers is quite large and grows year in and year out, which explains why there are so many companies.
However, the real question is which provider to choose. All providers offer similar services, but of course, they all differ in areas like prices and extra features. And even though many people think that the cheapest option is always the best, that is not most often the case.
That's the reason why this Vendor vs. Vendor series was started. In this particular article, I will try my best to make it easier for you to choose between the two providers in the title, HostGator and GoDaddy. I will pick apart the two providers and what they offer, and I will base my decision on speed, features, price, and other essential factors.
So, without further ado, let's start this comparison by getting to know the providers a little more.
A Little About the Providers
Let's talk about history first. When it comes to GoDaddy, it is relatively older than HostGator, being around since 1997. The headquarters of GoDaddy is in Tempe, Arizona, United States. During the 24 years it has been around, GoDaddy has amassed over 20 million users worldwide.
It is one of the largest and most well-known web hosting companies in the world. The majority of people are familiar with GoDaddy because of its television and newspaper promotions. Also, in the 20 years it has existed, it has obtained extensive experience. So, it is safe to say that GoDaddy knows what it's doing.
As mentioned, HostGator is a little younger than GoDaddy. It was founded in 2002 in Boca Raton, Florida. However, it has since moved to Houston, Texas. Brent Oxley, the founder of HostGator, sold the company to Endurance International Group in 2012.
HostGator's own set of tools for building and maintaining WordPress websites, Optimized WP, was released in 2015. Local HostGator sites have also been launched in Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Mexico, India, and China. HostGator launched its cheapest web hosting services to date in 2020.
Now, let's briefly go over what these two providers have to offer. GoDaddy has a few different WordPress hosting plans available. It all starts with the Basic plan, which includes everything you need to get started with WordPress. The Deluxe plan adds an SEO optimizer and a one-click testing site to the mix. In addition to the other features listed, the Ultimate subscription includes unlimited malware eradication and hacks repair. Finally, the eCommerce plan has unlimited products, appointment scheduling, real-time shipping costs, and free access to the best premium WooCommerce extensions.
GoDaddy also offers a website builder, an online store builder, domains, website security, Email, and Microsoft 365, among other services. Now for HostGator. It offers WordPress Hosting, Managed WordPress, eCommerce, Domains, and Email services. HostGator provides Shared Hosting, Website Builder, WordPress Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, SSL Certificates, Email Services, Script, and Module Installation, and users can also resell HostGator to others.
After reading everything these two providers have to offer, I concluded that GoDaddy has more features available than HostGator. However, if we consider the WordPress integration, HostGator has the upper hand here as it provides a smoother process.
Now that we know some of the general info about the providers that will be compared in this article, let's dive deeper into the different categories and see who does better.
Server Network and Performance - Who's Faster?
The server network of a provider determines the uptime and speed of your website. As a result, uptime and performance are two of the most important aspects of any website. You should always check out a web hosting service's server network while choosing it, as your website's uptime and speed are dependent on it. Also, everyone prefers a quick-loading website, so make sure the web server you choose can deliver.
GoDaddy has 37,000 servers spread out across nine data centers. It has its own data center in Phoenix, Arizona, and the other eight are located in the United States, Europe, and Asia. However, when it comes to the data center facilities, GoDaddy does not disclose any information.
When it comes to uptime, GoDaddy offers a 99.99 percent guarantee. The 99.99 percent uptime guarantee ensures that you will only have four minutes of downtime each month. What's more, if your website is down for more than four minutes, GoDaddy will credit you 5 percent of your monthly purchase. All you have to do now is ask for credit from the provider. GoDaddy has a 99.97 percent uptime on average, which really isn't bad.
GoDaddy supports Cloudflare - a Content Delivery Network (CDN). It guarantees a high level of efficiency. In addition, the Cloudflare CDN reduces latency and boosts engagement.
The average load time of GoDaddy sites is usually 341ms which is considered quite good and really fast.
Now let's see what HostGator is like in this area. HostGator is a bit more transparent when it comes to the locations of its data centers. HostGator's two primary data centers are in Provo, Utah, where Ace Data Centers are used, and Houston, Texas, where CyrusOne is used. However, like the case with GoDaddy, HostGator doesn't allow you to choose where your data will be stored. Also, users do not have access to HostGator's data centers.
Also, like GoDaddy, HostGator has the option for its customers to use Cloudflare. Your data will be routed through an additional 23 data centers worldwide should you choose this option.
HostGator claims a 99.9 percent uptime, which is higher than the industry average when it comes to speed. When a HostGator website was tested, however, the uptime was 100 percent. As a result, HostGator provides more speed than stated. Theoretically, a 100 percent uptime means that your website should not experience any downtime from when you start utilizing the web hosting company until the end. In practice, however, a 100 percent uptime suggests that there will be no unplanned downtime, rather than simply no downtime at all.
Additionally, suppose your website does not experience the 99.99 percent of uptime that HostGator guarantees. In that case, you can apply for a credit to your next month's hosting as long as you also present a compelling reason because HostGator has the final say on whether or not to provide the credit.
So, I will declare a tie for this category because even though GoDaddy has a better load time, HostGator has better uptime. Therefore, the two are pretty close when it comes to performance.
Who Is More Secure?
It's not all about the speed. Another essential element to think about when choosing a web host is security and protection. This may be even more vital than speed because protecting your data and website against cyberattacks, hacking, and other similar threats is critical for any website.
GoDaddy has a lot of security features. SSL Certificates, Website Security, Website Backup, and Managed SSL Service are among the services it offers. However, any form of security comes with a price. On the plus side, GoDaddy's SSL protection comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. It also includes automated WordPress updates, website backups, malware removal and inspections, and one-click restore from backups.
However, purchasing the SSL will cost you, while HostGator includes SSL for free even with the cheaper plans.
Now, onto HostGator. SSH Access, IP Blocker, SSL/TLS, Manage API Tokens, Hotlink Prevention, and SSL/TLS Status are some of the security features offered by HostGator. All of these add-ons may be swiftly checked from your cPanel's Security tab. Furthermore, you can add SiteLock and receive a discount as a HostGator customer. Essentials, Prevent, and Prevent Plus are the three security programs available from SiteLock. Each plan provides a different level of security.
So, when it comes to security, both providers offer pretty basic features. However, seeing as HostGator provides SSL for free while GoDaddy does not, I can say that HostGator is a bit better than GoDaddy in the security sector.
Now we move on to backups. Neither of the two providers offers free automatic backups. Both providers allow users to create backups manually via the cPanel, but the backups entirely depend on you.
Let's see the details. First and foremost, you must pay extra if you want a backup for your website with GoDaddy (which you should do regardless of provider). Daily backups, on-demand (scheduled) backups, and quick one-click restores are all available with GoDaddy's backup solutions. In addition, its Website Backup plans include daily malware scanning, ongoing security monitoring, and safe cloud storage. You'll also get the file, folder, or complete database backups, downloads to local storage, and 24/7 customer assistance if you purchase Website Backup.
HostGator's backup policy depends on the hosting plan you get. In general, HostGator performs an automatic backup once a week on a random day. However, as each week passes and a new backup is created, the former backup is erased. As a result, HostGator recommends that you use a third-party backup provider rather than relying on them.
So, overall for this category, when I consider security and backup, the winner is HostGator. Even though these two are pretty much the same for backups, HostGator gains the advantage in security as it offers free SSL.
Ease of Use – Who's More Friendly?
Both providers are at the top of the list when it comes to ease of use. Because not all consumers are tech-savvy or specialists in this industry, web hosting services must be user-friendly and beginner-friendly. Let's see if one provider outperforms the other or if it's a draw.
GoDaddy offers a relatively simple control panel to its customers. It also provides a drag-and-drop website builder in-house. As a result, if you're a beginner, the builder will make the procedure easier for you. The setup process is straightforward, and everything you require is conveniently located.
When it comes to HostGator, it offers a similar mix of user interface and cPanel, and it is pretty easy to use for beginners. However, HostGator is simpler to navigate as its cPanel interface is customized, while GoDaddy's is not.
So, I will have to give the crown to HostGator for this category, as its user interface is easier to use and more customized.
Customer Support – HostGator Is Better!
Every provider has to have excellent customer support if it wants to be at the top of its field. And, seeing as these two providers are considered one of the best out there, it is no surprise that both have excellent customer support. Both providers offer an immense knowledge base that will answer any question you might have.
GoDaddy provides global phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, it has its own blog and forum. There is a chat feature. However, it is only available to consumers in the United States. It's also tricky to locate, as it's not included on GoDaddy's main contact page.
HostGator, however, checks all the boxes. It includes phone, forum, email help, and video tutorials, and knowledge base software. It features a toll-free number for phone help as well as a support ticket submission feature. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also has live chat support. Additionally, HostGator provides tech tickets, whereas GoDaddy does not.
So, the winner here is HostGator, as its customer support has more options and is easier to contact and navigate.
|24/7 Support||via Live Chat and phone||via Live Chat and phone|
Pricing, Refunds, Affiliates - Who's More Affordable?
Now that we've covered the fundamentals, performance, and technical factors, it's time to look at the financial aspects of the two providers. In the case of these two providers, they offer different amounts of plans and include different features.
GoDaddy offers four different shared hosting plans that are valid for three-year subscriptions. Also, if you want to renew your subscription, the prices go up significantly. When you look at each plan that GoDaddy offers, each one is quite expensive considering the features they offer. However, if you're set on GoDaddy, you should go with the Economy plan if you want to get the best price deal.
HostGator offers three different hosting plans, which are significantly cheaper than GoDaddy. The recommended HostGator plan is its Baby plan, which is the one that is the best value for money. However, as with GoDaddy, the renewal prices for HostGator are higher as well.
When I look at what each plan has to offer, it's clear that it is more expensive to get the same features with GoDaddy as you would with HostGator. For long-term plans, HostGator's pricing structure is superior. However, when it comes to short-term value, GoDaddy is significantly better.
It is safe to say that the more cost-effective choice between the two is HostGator, as HostGator offers more features than GoDaddy for a better price, as seen on HostGator's Hatchling and GoDaddy's Basic plans.
GoDaddy has a standard 30-day money-back guarantee for an annual plan that you have to request on your own by contacting customer support when it comes to refunds. However, if you buy a monthly plan, the money-back guarantee is 48 hours.
Now, let's see the affiliate programs of these two providers, starting with HostGator. The signup process is simple and completely free. In a matter of minutes, you can sign up for an affiliate program and begin making money. After you've been accepted, HostGator will send you a unique affiliate link, which you can use to promote HostGator on social media and your site. Now for the most important part, how it pays. The pricing process is as follows: the price per signup in a month varies depending on how many signups an individual affiliate generates in a month.
GoDaddy has a similar affiliate program to HostGator, except for the different pricing methods. Namely, with GoDaddy's affiliate program, you earn a commission per sale. You have a choice of 100 sites to advertise and sell as an affiliate. You can sell domains, websites, Web hosting, SSL security, WordPress, Microsoft 365, and Professional Email, among other things.
So, both the providers have solid affiliate programs, which can make you quite a bit of money.
However, when considering the overall category of prices, refunds, and affiliates, I have to declare HostGator the winner as its prices and refund policy are slightly better than GoDaddy.
Now, let’s directly compare the main features our competitors have to offer.
Overall Summary of Categories
|Ease of use||Well-integrated cPanel with different options for new and more advanced users||Modern native dashboard with the classic cPanel integration|
|Uptime||99.97 %||99.99 %|
|Security||SSL Certificates, Website Security, Website Backup, and Managed SSL Service||SSH Access, IP Blocker, SSL/TLS, Manage API Tokens, Hotlink Prevention, SSL/TLS Status, Free SSL|
|Support||24/7 live chat and phone||24/7 live chat and phone and support tickets|
The Winner Is - HostGator!
The race for first place between the two providers was intense and pretty close. Both providers offer many features, a number of them similar. Both are considered as one of the best in their field and are used by many customers.
However, the one that comes out on top for this Vendor vs. Vendor article is HostGator! Seeing as HostGator won many of the categories, it should not come as a surprise that it's the winner here. But, I would be remiss if I didn't say that GoDaddy is not far behind.