HostGator and GoDaddy Hosting are two of the biggest hosting platforms around, but HostGator is our overall winner, scoring an impressive 4.7 out of 5 in our research. HostGator has scalable plans and the best help and support services, whereas GoDaddy Hosting falls slightly behind with a score of 4 out of 5, targeting users with its all-in-one solution.
Both hosting providers have been going strong for a while in internet years and offer affordable, reliable services, and their reputations are stellar and well-earned. We know 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).
We rated HostGator as the second best hosting provider on the market (just behind Bluehost), whereas GoDaddy Hosting comes 6th in our rankings. They’re both excellent providers — just for different things. Let’s take a deeper look at the two.
HostGator is easier to use and has better features...
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. That being said, HostGator is our top choice for shared hosting, scoring 4.7 out of 5 in our testing, and the provider sits consistently high across our other hosting type research.
As you can see from the table, the two are incredibly similar when it comes to the basics. Both have superb uptime, GoDaddy boasting 99% and HostGator one-upping it with 99.9%. 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.
However, GoDaddy may actually have the edge for certain beginners. Domain management, web hosting, and website building all in one place is a very convenient option to have if you’re not keen on juggling them separately.
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.
HostGator's WordPress integration is simple and quick...
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.
HostGator has the best help and support...
HostGator is our top-rated hosting provider for help and support across every hosting type, even scoring 4.9 out of 5 in our VPS, dedicated, and photography hosting research. As you can see in the table below, HostGator offers impressive 24/7 live chat and phone support, as well as email support and a knowledge center.
On the other hand, 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. However, its highest help and support score from our research was only 4.4 out of 5 for dedicated hosting.
Both offer all the standard avenues: 24/7 phone and chat support, and dedicated social media support accounts. But HostGator also offers tech tickets, which is a really useful option to have when your hosting needs hands-on support.
HostGator is better value for money...
For many 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 that scale up in cost and capability depending on your need. Entry level plans for both amount to little more than a coffee a month.
In our value for money testing, HostGator beat out GoDaddy Hosting in every category apart from VPS, ecommerce hosting, and photography hosting. Let’s take a closer look at the 12-month subscription fees for the starting plans below:
|Hosting Type||HostGator||GoDaddy Hosting|
|WordPress Managed Hosting||$7.95/month||$8.99/month|
It’s worth noting that these numbers exclude any add-ons, some of which border on essential (like backups and hacking protection). 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 to go for a more expensive plan. Begin 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 comes second in our overall hosting provider research for a reason. With a score of 4.7 out of 5, HostGator’s size improves every aspect of its service, from user support to value for money. Its uptime is unrivaled, it’s the best choice for shared hosting, and tech tickets make its customer support system a standout. In pure hosting terms, HostGator is stronger than GoDaddy, and we wholeheartedly recommend it.
Meanwhile, 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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