A Battle of the Shared Hosting Giants – Bluehost vs GoDaddy
You’ve seen the Super Bowl ads, been inundated with internet promotions, and made a subconscious association between IndyCar legend Danica Patrick and GoDaddy’s web hosting speed. GoDaddy is a behemoth in the web world, with over 61 million domains under management. According to ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), GoDaddy is the largest domain name registrar in the world.
Bluehost is amongst the 20 largest web hosting companies in the world, but only holds around 1.4% of market share, as compared to GoDaddy’s 26%. Bluehost is a household name among internet marketers, bloggers, and small businesses, while GoDaddy is a household brand among non-technical layman. But who wins out when put to the test in this Bluehost vs GoDaddy head-to-head?
GoDaddy has a number of hosting options, including shared hosting, WordPress hosting, dedicated IP hosting, and premium DNS services. Their Pro packages feature Cloud Servers, as well as Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated Server options.
Bluehost offers a similar, albeit a little thinner lineup, including: Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting, WooCommerce Hosting, VPS, and Dedicated Hosting options.
For most people reading this post, they will be interested in less expensive shared hosting services as they get their website up and running. So for the remainder of this review I will focus on the least expensive shared hosting options from both Bluehost and Godaddy.
Pricing and Features
GoDaddy’s Economy shared hosting plan starts at $3.99/month, and renews at $7.99/month. This plan offers 1 website, 100 GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, up to 100 email addresses, and a free domain with an annual plan.
Bluehost’s Basic plan starts at $3.45/month, and renews at $7.99/month. It offers hosting for 1 website, 50 GB of storage, unmetered (unlimited) bandwidth, standard performance, 5 parked domains, up to 25 sub-domains, 5 email accounts, and a descent 100 MB of storage per email account.
Below is a chart comparing the feature sets of Bluehost and Godaddy.
Bluehost vs Godaddy – Feature Set Comparison
- Storage Space
- Email Addresses
- Email Storage
- Parked Domains
- Sub Domains
- 50 GB
- 100 MB per account
- 100 GB
- 100 MB per account
Ease of Use
If you have your domain registered with GoDaddy, then hosting setup is a breeze. It’s literally a few setup wizard prompted clicks and your shared server partition is deployed. A few moments later, and an intuitive guide navigates you through the installation of WordPress, or whichever platform you choose. GoDaddy’s management portal is very user friendly, so changes to the system are relatively easy after the initial launch.
Bluehost’s initial setup isn’t quite as easy as GoDaddy’s, but it’s still very simple, for even the most novice of users. Once your website is setup, the custom management portal is very straight forward, and while it may be personal preference, I like it better than GoDaddy’s system. It seems the UI design of GoDaddy was intended to accommodate large accounts with dozens of websites under their purview, while the Bluehost panel is geared toward single site owners.
GoDaddy offers 24/7 support, which is primarily directed to its phone staff, but offers live chat and a ticketing system as well. While the GoDaddy web hosting support staff is quite knowledgeable, they are very sales pitchy, and will often blame your lower-end package for the issues, and advice an upgrade. While this may in fact be true for many cases, I have also been on many support calls for various clients where the website size, bandwidth, and traffic stats are completely within normal range of the package plan they are on, and the issue instead lies with GoDaddy’s server response time (as validated by 3rd party monitoring systems).
Bluehost offers the same 24/7 support, with a focus on their live chat functionality instead. In my experience Bluehost’s live chat service is much faster than GoDaddy’s, while the phone response times are comparable. Bluehost, however, seems to be far less pitchy and focuses on customer retention and renewals much more than upgrade plans.
This is most likely in party to the hosting demographics of each, as GoDaddy’s hosting focuses on the higher-end, while Bluehost’s niche is the starter plans.
Bluehost vs Godaddy – Overview Comparison
- $2.95 /mo*
- $3.99 /mo*
*Only available with GoDaddy’s Deluxe, Premium, Unlimited, and Ultimate shared hosting accounts.
*Both Bluehost and GoDaddy renew at $7.99 /mo. At the time of this writing, Bluehost is running their annual fall pricing promotions. The regular price of Bluehost is usually $3.49 /mo for the first year, which is still cheaper than GoDaddy’s Economy plan.
Bluehost or GoDaddy – Who Wins My Pick?
While GoDaddy’s high-end hosting is much more robust than that of Bluehost, their shared hosting lacks the infrastructure and support of Bluehost. From my experience, basic shared hosting plans are where Bluehost excels.
Couple friendlier technical support, a very intuitive management dashboard with superior performance for the cheaper hosting plans, and Bluehost receives my recommendation over GoDaddy for this head-to-head comparison.
October 2016 Update: As of October 2016, the cost of GoDaddy shared web hosting plans have increased to $10.99/month for Deluxe, and $16.99/month for the Ultimate plan. At this time GoDaddy’s other web hosting plans have not changed. The Economy plan is still $3.99/mo, renewing at $7.99/mo.
If you are looking for the best WordPress hosting Professor Rackmount highly recommends WP Engine. Find out why they are his #1 recommended web host here.