GoDaddy Hosting and HostGator are two of the biggest hosting platforms around. They’ve been going strong for an age in internet years and offer affordable, reliable services. Their reputations are stellar and well-earned.
It can be difficult to separate the top providers sometimes, but that’s where we come in. We’ve dug into the features of both to provide research-based recommendations (and warnings).
HostGator and GoDaddy Hosting ranked 1st and 3rd respectively in our rankings, so you’re in safe hands either way. They’re both excellent providers, just for different things. HostGator offers a stronger all-round service, but GoDaddy is better for an all-in-one experience.
- Cheap, scalable plans
- Email marketing
- 99.9% uptime
- No free domain on signup
GoDaddy Hosting Pros
- All-in-one convenience of hosting, website building, and domain registration
- 99.98% up time
GoDaddy Hosting Cons
- Steeper pricing than most of its competitors
If you’re looking for more detail, read on for a feature-by-feature comparison of the two. By the end you’ll know which will better suit your needs.
As big dogs (and crocs) in the hosting sphere, GoDaddy and HostGator tick all the boxes. They can’t afford not to. Convenient, low maintenance hosting is good hosting, and both offer this.
Both have superb uptime, GoDaddy boasting 99.97% and HostGator one-upping it with 99.99%. Perfect uptime is impossible, so these two get as close as is reasonably possible. Both use cPanel, but once you set your site up with a content management system you’re not going to use it that much.
GoDaddy may actually have the edge for certain beginners. Domain management, web hosting, and website building all in one place is very convenient option to have if you’re not keen on juggling them separately.
GoDaddy’s website builder is not the glossiest around, but it is nothing if not functional. Basic sites are in good hands. HostGator doesn’t have an in-house website builder; instead it’s integrated with SiteBuilder, which isn’t the best in the market.
A major draw of GoDaddy is its free email scheme. On a basic shared hosting plan, GoDaddy throws in a year-long subscription to Microsoft Office 365 business email, which usually costs $60.
Verdict: It really does depend. For hosting and ease of use HostGator wins the day, but GoDaddy has a host of non-hosting freebies that makes it worth considering.
There’s not much to separate the two where WordPress is concerned. Setup is super simple on GoDaddy, though it currently takes up to 24 hours to take effect.
HostGator on the other hand can have a WordPress site ready to go in minutes. This won’t make much difference to you unless you’re in the midst of a life-or-death race against time involving WordPress. We assume you’re not. Still, that difference speaks to the smoothness of integration, which is where HostGator has an edge.
The thing about WordPress is once you’ve set up your site there’s no real need to interact with your hosting at all. It’s enough that the foundations of a house are there; you don’t need to go check on them every day. You’ll know if something’s wrong.
Verdict: Rest assured that both tick all the WordPress.org boxes, but HostGator’s faster install time and simple control panel gives it the edge.
GoDaddy’s knowledge center is clearly presented and easy to navigate. The platform is so widely used that if you can’t find official documentation for a problem odds are it’s been discussed and resolved elsewhere.
Both offer all the standard avenues: 24/7 phone and chat support, and dedicated social media support accounts. HostGator offers tech tickets, which is a really useful option to have when your hosting needs hand-on support.
For a lot of people price is all that really matters. Hosting isn’t exactly the sexiest thing to focus on when putting a website together. If a service is reliable, great. How much?
As is the case with most hosting platforms, GoDaddy and HostGator offer a variety of plans scaling up in cost and capability depending on your need. Entry level plans for both amount to little more than a coffee a month.
|Shared Hosting||$2.49 – $19.99||$2.75 – $5.95|
|WordPress Hosting||$3.99 – $13.99||$5.95 – $9.95|
|VPS Hosting||$17.99 – $39.99||$19.95 – $39.95|
|Dedicated Hosting||$69.99 – $129.99||$119.99 – $149.99|
|Cloud Hosting||–||$4.95 – $9.95|
It’s worth noting that these numbers exclude any addons, some of which border on essential (backups and hacking protection, for example). The ‘real’ cost tends to be a couple of dollars more than what you see. That’s a hosting thing, though. It’s not exclusive to GoDaddy and HostGator.
When you’re just starting out it’s pointless going for a more expensive plan. Start with the basics and scale up your plans as your site grows. Both providers offer affordable basic rates, but as you can see above HostGator’s are generally a little cheaper.
HostGator tops our rankings for a reason. Their size has allowed to strengthen every aspect of their service, from user support to value for money. In pure hosting terms it’s comfortably ahead of GoDaddy and we wholeheartedly recommend it.
But — and it’s a real but — GoDaddy’s appeal is convenience. Whereas HostGator is purely a web hosting company, GoDaddy plies its trade in hosting, domain registration, and website building software. Bring those services into the equation and for some GoDaddy actually offers better value.
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