HostGator vs GoDaddy: Which is the Better Hosting Option?

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The performance of your website, in terms of rendering speed, security, and user experience, is dependent on the hosting service you use. But selecting an efficient and reliable hosting service provider can be a daunting task.

In many cases, people simply pick the hosting provider that appears to deliver results for their friends. This rarely works because your website and business mission are different from that of your friends. To further complicate things, many hosting service companies look similar, yet they have major underlying differences.

HostGator and GoDaddy are two top hosting service providers that are well known for exemplary performance. Though their services look similar, they are quite different, and you need to dig deeper to establish the ideal option for your website.

I carried out a comprehensive HostGator vs GoDaddy hosting review to help you answer this main question: “Is HostGator better than GoDaddy?”

Want to start your own site? Check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog.

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A Brief History

HostGator is a US-based hosting service company that was created in 2002 by Brent Oxley when he was still studying at Florida Atlantic University. The company grew rapidly, and it was listed by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing firms in 2008.

In 2010, the hosting provider expanded its operations with a new office in Houston, Texas, before opening another in India in 2011. In 2012, HostGator was sold to Endurance International. Its growth continued under the umbrella of Endurance International Group, making its hosted domains hit nine million by 2013.

By early 2019, the number of websites hosted at HostGator was 1.3 million.

GoDaddy is another US-based hosting services provider with its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company was founded in 1977 by Bob Parsons when it used to operate as Jomax Technologies.

The company adopted the name GoDaddy in February 2006. By May 2017, GoDaddy had grown to reach a total of 17 million customers.  

Performance

  • Uptime

In order to comprehensively compare GoDaddy and HostGator and determine the better option, I wanted to first understand their performance. Both GoDaddy and HostGator promise their clients maximum  uptime of 100%. 

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During the review, I found that GoDaddy manages an impressive uptime of 99.97%. However, HostGator edges past GoDaddy with a small margin by hitting a high of 99.99%. These figures indicate that if you pick either of them to host your site, there will be minimal disruptions from downtime. 

  • Site Loading Speed

Another performance parameter that is very impressive is the server speed. Using two domain names with the same themes but hosted on either HostGator or GoDaddy, I tested the site loading speed, and the results were remarkable, especially for HostGator.

HostGator loaded in 1.52 seconds, which is very impressive because most search engines recommend speeds below 2.5 seconds. This implies that HostGator is a great option for your blog or website’s SEO optimization campaigns to drive user engagement, traffic, and conversions.

GoDaddy, on the other hand, lagged behind by managing a loading speed of only 3.1 seconds. This is relatively slow and might not work well, especially for clients with sites that target streaming their services such as videos and audio records in real time.

Plan and Prices

In this HostGator vs GoDaddy comparison, HostGator hosting services are available in three main plans: the Hatchling plan, the Baby plan, and Business plan. The Hatchling Plan (the basic option) costs $3.45/month and allows you to only host one domain. If you want to host more websites, you are required to join the advanced Baby or Business plans.

The Baby plan costs $4.95/month and allows users to enjoy unlimited domains, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited disk space. The Business plan is tagged $5.95/month and comes with all the features of the Baby plan plus a toll-free phone number.

Note that when you select your preferred plan on HostGator, you are entitled to a 45-day money back guarantee. This allows you to test most of the features and claim your money back if not impressed.

Like HostGator, GoDaddy also features three main plans: Economy ($4.99/month), Deluxe (5.99/month), and Ultimate ($7.99/month). All the hosting plans have unlimited bandwidth. The two advanced plans allow you to host unlimited domains, while the Economy plan can only host one.

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The pricing plans in both services have similar features but HostGator is cheaper compared to GoDaddy. Keep in mind that you will be required to pay an additional fee for keeping the website safe if you opt to host your website with GoDaddy.  

WordPress Hosting

When you get a GoDaddy hosting account, you are entitled to receive a free domain name and full control of your cPanel dashboard. Using the interface, you can go ahead and set up your WordPress environment. Note that the additional WordPress hosting services do not incur additional charges.

The GoDaddy WordPress plans provide managed services for its users. This implies that you do not have to worry about the tedious procedures of maintaining the server that hosts your blog or site. As you upload new themes, photos, content, and products, GoDaddy ensures that the pages load faster for a better user experience.

The video below demonstrates how to setup a WordPress website with GoDaddy:

HostGator, like GoDaddy, offers one-click install WordPress hosting through its intuitive cPanel dashboard. Like in many cases of WordPress hosting providers, HostGator provides unlimited disk storage, database, and emails.

One notable issue with Hostgator WordPress hosting is that the provider does not give you a free domain. Therefore, you will be required to get one at a cost of $10 to $15 on the market.  With this in mind, it is advisable to go for a managed WordPress platform that is optimized for operations with multiple caching layers and cloud resources. Managed WordPress hosts tend to depict 2.5X faster loading speeds for their websites.  

Security

Today, website owners are more worried about the safety of their websites than at any other time. Some of the common security threats to website owners include hacking, malware attacks, human errors, physical damage of servers, and accidental deletion.

HostGator provides its users with weekly malware scans and backups to help secure the content and have a restoration point in the event of damage. However, it would be more effective if HostGator were to backup user data on a daily basis to ensure that even more regular adjustments are captured.

If you opt for HostGator, it is advisable that you manually backup the website on a daily basis.

To prevent physical damage of the servers hosting your website, HostGator uses layers of protection and spreads the data centers across different locations. In addition, technical staff operates on a 24/7 basis so that any issue that is identified in the system can be rectified before it becomes a serious problem.

In their data centers, HostGator maintains uninterrupted power supply and cooling systems that help to prevent servers from overheating. They also use fire suppressants, smoke detectors, and other advanced tools that help to keep servers secure all the time.

GoDaddy, unlike HostGator, runs daily malware scans and backups on the cloud for all sites. It is important to note that the scans are extended beyond the servers to include all the websites hosted by the company. Although GoDaddy charges its clients for the additional website protection, I found it a worthy consideration instead of being exposed to a plethora of online threats waiting to strike any moment.

GoDaddy uses the latest SHA2 and 20148-bit encryption that works together with other tools to detect and prevent threats before they strike. For example, the hosting provider blocks more than 2.5 million brute force attacks every hour to keep its clients safe.

GoDaddy data centers and servers also have 24/7 technical staff that helps to identify issues and fix them immediately. These centers are also monitored day and night and have powerful cooling systems and smoke detectors to reduce the risk of damage.

Hosting Support

To know the commitment of a company to its customers, one crucial component to look for is customer support. HostGator has put a lot of effort into polishing its customer support by providing multiple channels that can be used to seek help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can reach the HostGator support via email, phone line, or live chat. I was especially impressed by the prompt response with email inquiries.  No matter the subject of the inquiry, HostGator’s support replied within 15 minutes.

HostGator also provides an additional knowledge base that includes over 700 articles and 500 videos that explain different concepts of web hosting at the firm. To gain access to all the knowledge base content, you will be required to sign up to the HostGator’s membership via its mailing list. This is a marketing strategy for building its community and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Like HostGator, GoDaddy has also diversified its channels of support to include email, ticketing, live chat, and direct phone call lines. The target of GoDaddy is ensuring that all clients can get professional support no matter the time of the day or night.

GoDaddy also runs a comprehensive knowledge base that seeks to equip users with useful skills to help them independently run most operations on the hosting service. For example, you can learn how to secure your website or accelerate its speed by using the knowledge base without having to contract a professional.

GoDaddy knowledge base resembles that of HostGator in many respects but differs slightly in that there is no restriction through membership. You can access the knowledge base by simply visiting the the GoDaddy’s support page.

Ease of Use

One common question that comes up when looking for a hosting service provider is, “How easy is the service to use?” A simplified and effective service makes it easy for you to learn and optimize all the features offered by a hosting provider.

To make its services easy to use, HostGator opted for the industry standard cPanel dashboard. The cPanel helps to provide easy access to what you need to access your accounts such as direct login and one-click installers. It is the main reason why more newbies prefer it to other more complicated or customized user interface designs.

GoDaddy opted for own customized user interface. Though the user interface has common features that you get in the cPanel, it is quite different. Even with its pleasing look and feel, new users may find it rather difficult to access some of the features. You will need some time practicing with the GoDaddy user interface to be able to seamlessly use it to check all hosting parameters and install important features.

And the Winner Is...

Following this comprehensive comparison to establish whether to pick HostGator or GoDaddy, it is clear that HostGator is the winner. Though GoDaddy was really impressive, especially by providing daily website scans to keep user websites secure, their overall customer satisfaction was low.

As a website owner, you are interested in getting a hosting provider that guarantees the best performance to drive better client satisfaction all the time. GoDaddy lost ground in this comparison when its rendering speed went beyond three seconds, because longer wait times means potential loss of clients.

HostGator, on the other hand, demonstrated commitment to maintaining top-notch services to its clients all the time. Here are additional reasons that made HostGator better than GoDaddy.

  • HostGator featured a better user interface by using the industry standard cPanel while GoDaddy went with a customized dashboard.
  • On customer support, I was impressed by the fast response of HostGator to clients' inquiries. They are professional and very caring for their clients.
  • Though HostGator services are of higher quality, the price is lower than that offered by GoDaddy. This makes it a better option to enjoy higher value for money.

Note that even as every pointer in this HostGator vs GoDaddy hosting review indicates the advantages of using HostGator over GoDaddy, it is prudent to ensure you clearly understand your personal hosting needs. This is critical, and as your website and business grows, it might be necessary to re-evaluate whether HostGator remains the best option.

To enjoy higher value for your money from the top hosting services, make sure to only go for the best fit for your needs and regularly review its commitment to customer value.

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Our #1 Web Hosting Pick:

Get Top Rated Hosting for only $6.95/Month $2.64/Month