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The battle of HostGator vs GoDaddy is important since I’m pitting two of the top hosting service providers against each other. They lead the rankings in many respects, whether its shared or dedicated hosting or if you’re looking for unmetered bandwidth and flexible price plans.
Although I mainly focus on hosting plans here, don’t forget the domain registration and website building services that these two industry giants provide. Although I’ve scored each section in this hosting comparison in isolation, consider combining the areas that are important to you. For example, you may lean to HostGator’s shared hosting plans but be sure to check out the uptime score, too.
So which is better, GoDaddy or HostGator hosting?
HostGator is better than GoDaddy when comparing the different hosting plans — shared and dedicated — as well as pricing, uptime and loading times. GoDaddy seems to be more tailored to VPS and dedicated hosting, whereas HostGator excels in its pricing plans for shared, cloud, reseller and WordPress hosting.
HostGator vs GoDaddy hosting comparison
Get comfortable, for I’m about to break down the different elements of both HostGator and GoDaddy. Soaking up all the information will allow you to apply the different areas of hosting and decide which areas are the most important to you.
Click on the table of contents on the right to jump to the area you’re most interested in, or, if you’re feeling brave, scroll through each section. These will give you a good idea of which is better, HostGator or GoDaddy.
HostGator has three shared hosting plans available for you, which is a standard setup. The pricing for these per month are as follows:
- Hatchling $2.75/mo
- Baby $3.95/mo
- Business $5.95/mo
Note that the above prices are if you choose a 3-year billing cycle; that is, these are monthly equivalents if you pay for 3 years upfront. Paying a month at a time will cost you the following for each package:
- Hatchling $10.95/mo
- Baby $11.95/mo
- Business $16.95/mo
No matter which plan you choose with HostGator, they come with a host of benefits for you to lap up. I particularly like that it includes a free SSL certificate, which provides that extra step in website security, encrypting all traffic between the server your site’s hosted on your visitors.
HostGator are also one of the few hosting companies that offer a free domain with its basic package — with some, you need to grab the intermediate or top level plan to qualify for this. There is a caveat here, though… you need to subscribe for at least 12 months at a time to qualify. If you have the capital, this is definitely worth looking at given the discount levels mentioned above.
Bandwidth when choosing your hosting can be a struggle, especially when you don’t know how big or popular your website is going to be. Even HostGator’s basic plan includes unmetered bandwidth — as well as unmetered storage. This doesn’t mean you can roam free with your bandwidth, though. The company’s T&Cs delve into this further and say that although you won’t be charged per amount of traffic, bandwidth or disk space you use, there is an expectation that these are in line with a small business or personal site. This is the case, no matter the price plan you choose, even the Business plan. HostGator does say that it rarely has to contact its customers about this problem, though.
If you’re looking to register multiple domains with HostGator then you’d need to go for at least the Baby plan, for the Hatchling only allows you to register one domain. This isn’t a surprise and is something most hosting services offer.
The main advantage of going for the Baby plan over the Hatchling is the mentioned increase in domain registrations. Both include one-click WordPress installations and free WordPress/cPanel transfers. The Business plan contains all of the benefits I’ve mentioned but also the following:
- Free upgrade to Positive SSL
- Free dedicated IP
- Free SEO Tools
The main benefit of going for the Positive SSL upgrade is a $10k warranty and a TrustLogo security seal. The value of the SEO tools is stated to be approximately $50 per year, which isn’t a huge amount considering how much it costs to pay for an SEO expert — I should know!
In the GoDaddy vs HostGator face-off, HostGator wins here.
GoDaddy trumps HostGator with its four shared hosting plans, but how do they compare in price?
- Economy $5.99/mo
- Deluxe $7.99/mo
- Ultimate $12.99/mo
- Maximum $19.99/mo
Oof! Those are some hefty prices and will need some amazing inclusions to beat HostGator in terms of value for money.
For the sake of transparency, though, the above prices are discounted and are quoted if you’re paying for 3 years at once, just like the HostGator prices are. Unfortunately, you don’t get the option to pay month by month with GoDaddy across all plans — the Economy plan is restricted to a 3-month minimum term. Pricing for the shortest available renewal terms are:
- Economy $10.99/mo
- Deluxe $12.99/mo
- Ultimate $19.99/mo
- Maximum $28.99/mo
Sure, GoDaddy is one of the forefathers of hosting, but for anything to happen to bring the huge gap in prices, it’s going to have to offer features way in excess of HostGator’s to claim the title for this comparison.
When it comes to offering an SSL certificate, you need to subscribe to the Ultimate package to get it for free. So that’s paying over $10 a month more for something that HostGator offers on its most basic plan for free! But wait, there’s more — it’s only free for the first year with GoDaddy. With HostGator, the basic SSL is free, forever!
There is some good news in that all plans with GoDaddy have unmetered bandwidth, and so matches HostGator’s prowess in this respect. However, the Economy package doesn’t match up in terms of storage since you’re restricted to 100GB. The more extensive price plans do contain unlimited storage, so there is some respite there.
One domain is on offer with the Economy plan over at GoDaddy and if you wanted to go for unlimited websites and unlimited subdomains, you need to at least sub to the Deluxe package. In comparison to HostGator, this is the same situation; however, you’re still paying more each month.
The hike in monthly pricing with the Ultimate package is probably due to the extra processing power and memory that you get. We’re talking 2 CPUs and 1GB of RAM, which is likely to improve page load speed and server response times. GoDaddy has to take a small victory here since HostGator doesn’t offer up this information on its site.
The Maximum package with GoDaddy has all the benefits of the previous packages, plus:
- 2x CPU and RAM on top of the Ultimate package
- 2x maximum site traffic
- Free SSL for the full term
Ah, okay, so you have to pay through the nose to get a free SSL to be on terms with HostGator, however, you do get considerably more processing power and RAM access. The mention of an increase in site traffic is somewhat erroneous since GoDaddy also states that bandwidth, which is linked to traffic, is unmetered anyway. There’s also lacking information on the site as to this benefit.
Cloud hosting plan comparison
Cloud hosting is just a short step up from shared hosting, and so expect to pay a little bit more at HostGator:
- Hatchling $4.95/mo
- Baby $6.57/mo
- Business $9.95/mo
Again, the above is for 3-year plans. The monthly payments are as follows:
- Hatchling $12.95/mo
- Baby $13.95/mo
- Business $19.95/mo
You get the same benefits as you would if you had a shared hosting service, in terms of free SSL, free domain and unmetered bandwidth. On top of that, the server specs we’re given for cloud sharing across the Hatchling, Baby and Business plans are:
- Memory: 2GB, 4GB and 6GB, respectively
- CPU Cores: 2, 4 and 6, respectively
Nothing to see here folks!
At the time of writing, unlike HostGator, GoDaddy doesn’t offer cloud hosting in its range of products. This is disappointing news, but makes HostGator as the clear winner here for HostGator vs GoDaddy hosting.
Reseller hosting plan comparison
Reseller hosting is a good way to start your own hosting business on the back of an expert, but be aware of higher than average pricing pricing plans:
- Aluminum $19.95/mo
- Copper $24.95/mo
- Silver $24.95/mo
The prices above are for a 3-year plan, and the same price between Copper and Silver doesn’t appear to be a typo, however, you will pay more on a monthly plan:
- Aluminum $29.95/mo
- Copper $41.95/mo
- Silver $59.95/mo
Free SSL certificates comes as standard for all plans, which is a common theme for all hosting services through HostGator.
Of importance when it comes to reseller hosting, though, is disk space, bandwidth and domains. You get unlimited domains no matter your chosen option, and the disk space available is:
- Aluminum 60 GB space
- Copper 90 GB space
- Silver 140 GB space
Bandwidth restrictions are:
- Aluminum 600 GB
- Copper 900 GB
- Silver 1,400 GB
You get free WHMCS client management and billing software as standard, as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is above the average, and important when looking at a reseller host plan.
If you like the sound of GoDaddy for reseller hosting, here are the current prices on offer:
- Enhance $39.99/mo
- Grow $49.99/mo
- Expand $64.99/mo
- Established $89.99/mo
Beginner resellers are likely to be most interested in the Enhance package as they start out, unless they have a larger amount of potential customers already that are looking at lots of traffic. Be aware of the current monthly costs on these plans, though:
- Enhance $54.99/mo
- Grow $74.99/mo
- Expand $99.99/mo
- Established $129.99/mo
Although these prices are higher than HostGator’s, it’s good to see that GoDaddy has included SSL certificates for free, as well as a free integrated WHMCS licence and cPanel.
Storage options available with GoDaddy reseller hosting are:
- Enhance 90GB
- Grow 120GB
- Expand 150GB
- Established 240GB
Where GoDaddy does get a small victory is that it has unmetered bandwidth across all of its pricing reseller service options, on top of greater storage capacity. This doesn’t make it a better choice than HostGator automatically, though. It’s great if you have clear plans to make your reseller hosting business massive, since you’re less restricted. However, if you’re going for something small-time, especially to start off with, you’re going to pay for something you don’t need.
GoDaddy’s policy on its money-back guarantee is unclear. However, if you pay for at least an annual subscription, you’re entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee.
WordPress hosting plan comparison
HostGator’s WordPress hosting plans come in at a higher price point than its shared hosting options if you purchase 3 years of hosting:
- Starter $5.95/mo
- Standard $7.95/mo
- Business $9.95/mo
Cost for paying monthly are:
- Starter $14.95/mo
- Standard $20.95/mo
- Business $27.95/mo
Note that there are further options available if you want to have more WordPress sites hosted, since you’re limited by these basic plans as follows:
- Starter 1 site
- Standard 2 sites
- Business 3 sites
You can pay for 5, 10 or 20 sites to be hosted, however, expect to pay more for this. No matter your choice, migration is completely free and storage space is unmetered. A free SSL is also included.
With WordPress hosting through HostGator, you’re capped at how many visitors your site can have per month:
- Starter 100k
- Standard 200k
- Business 300k
Another important feature is the backups, since your hosting service is a good place to integrate backups for your site content. WordPress restricts you to the following backup sizes:
- Starter 1 GB
- Standard 2 GB
- Business 3 GB
The great news is that these backups are daily and are restored with a single click. Free email hosting is also included as standard across all packages, with unlimited email addresses on offer.
With HostGator’s liberal combination of hosted WordPress sites and value pricing, it’s hard to look past it.
GoDaddy’s pricing for WordPress hosting is steeper than HostGator’s, but the gap isn’t as big as it is for shared hosting. You also have more flexibility in terms of more plans to choose from:
- Basic $6.99/mo
- Deluxe $9.99/mo
- Ultimate $12.99/mo
- Ecommerce $15.99/mo
Again, for pure transparency, the above prices are on a year 3-year subscription. Paying monthly will cost you:
- Basic $12.99/mo
- Deluxe $16.99/mo
- Ultimate $24.99/mo
- Ecommerce $29.99/mo
Do we spy a win here for GoDaddy if you choose to pay monthly? It seems strange that you’d pay more than HostGator on a 3-year deal but less if you paid monthly. However, GoDaddy falls short of the winning post again when I compared the amount of WordPress sites each plan can host — all of the plans limit you to a single site, which is pretty poor when compared to HostGator’s 1, 2 or 3.
If you did decide to go with GoDaddy anyway, there are options for more sites, but it becomes an expensive affair:
- 5 sites From $24.99/mo
- 10 sites From $49.99/mo
- 25 sites From $89.99/mo
- 50 sites From $169.99/mo
It gets worse when it comes to SSL certificates, in that the Basic and Deluxe options don’t come with one as standard — you can still get one, but expect to pay a large amount. Storage space is also restricted with these two low level plans. It only becomes unlimited from the Ultimate plan and upwards.
In terms of monthly visitors, GoDaddy offers suggestions for its caps as follows:
- Basic 25k
- Deluxe 100k
- Ultimate Unlimited
- Ecommerce Unlimited
Although the cheapest price plan doesn’t compare to GoDaddy’s, overall, there’s less of a restriction on the monthly site visitors. If your sole intention is a WordPress host with uncapped visitors, you have an option here from with the Ultimate plan and up, but don’t forget you’re paying a lot more for the privilege.
Backups are automated and daily, however I’m unsure of the size restriction — GoDaddy doesn’t offer this information, unfortunately.
VPS hosting plan comparison
VPS server hosting over at HostGator will cost you the following if you pay for 3 years at a time:
- Snappy 2000 $29.95/mo
- Snappy 4000 $39.95/mo
- Snappy 8000 $49.95/mo
If you prefer to pay monthly:
- Snappy 2000 $89.95/mo
- Snappy 4000 $129.95/mo
- Snappy 8000 $159.95/mo
What will these get you for your own slice of a virtual server?
- Snappy 2000 2 GB RAM
- Snappy 4000 4 GB RAM
- Snappy 8000 8 GB RAM
CPU cores are 2, 2 and 4 respectively, with disk space being:
- Snappy 2000 120 GB space
- Snappy 4000 165 GB space
- Snappy 8000 240 GB space
For those of you interested in bandwidth restrictions:
- Snappy 2000 1.5 TB
- Snappy 4000 2 TB
- Snappy 8000 3 TB
On top of the above core features, using HostGator as your VPS host will give you access to:
- Full root access
- Custom installation
- Dedicated resources without paying for a dedicated server
- Weekly off-site backups included
Signing up to GoDaddy’s VPS hosting plans will give you access to its ultra-fast SSD servers. Paying for 3 years at a time will cost you:
- Launch $24.99/mo
- Enhance $34.99/mo
- Grow $44.99/mo
- Expand $54.99/mo
Monthly equivalents for these are:
- Launch $29.99/mo
- Enhance $44.99/mo
- Grow $59.99/mo
- Expand $74.99/mo
Right now, GoDaddy is winning on the price front, by a clear margin. Does it stand up when it comes to hardware?
- Launch 2GB
- Enhance 4GB
- Grow 6GB
- Expand 8GB
It does! For less money each month, you get the same RAM, apart from the Expand package.
CPU cores are slightly less than HostGators at 1, 2, 3 and 4 going down the packages, however there’s a constriction on storage with GoDaddy — more so than with HostGator:
- Launch 40GB
- Enhance 60GB
- Grow 150GB
- Expand 200GB
If you’re leaning toward GoDaddy for the pricing, the unmetered bandwidth for all plans will probably sway your decision. Combining these positives with the below additional benefits, GoDaddy is a sound option for VPS hosting:
- Round-the-clock network monitoring
- Managed and self-managed options
- Weekly backups on a managed plan
Dedicated hosting plan comparison
Dedicated server hosting is the pinnacle of renting your own server space, so expect to dig deep into your wallet. 3-year plans with HostGator are:
- Value $118.99/mo
- Power $138.99/mo
- Enterprise $148.98/mo
Costs for paying monthly are:
- Value $189/mo
- Power $249/mo
- Enterprise $289/mo
Note that when choosing your plan in the shopping cart, you can choose either an SSD or HDD, neither of which change the cost. The same applies whether you prefer Plesk or cPanel.
The prices above are for a managed server; semi-managed servers are cheaper — approximately $10/mo cheaper.
No matter which price plan you choose, bandwidth is unmetered and you can take your pick from either Linux or Windows OS. When it comes to hardware, you get the following:
- Value 4 Cores
- Power 8 Cores
- Enterprise 8 Cores
- Value 8 GB RAM
- Power 16 GB RAM
- Enterprise 30 GB RAM
- Value 1 TB HDD
- Power 2 TB HDD/512 GB SSD
- Enterprise 1 TB SSD
Additional features, no matter which package you choose, are:
- 3 x IPs
- Full root access
- Unlimited databases
- RAID-1 configuration
- DDOS protection
- Fully redundant network
As with GoDaddy’s other hosting options, you get an extra choice when compared to HostGator. The 3-year pricing for these are:
- Economy $89.99/mo
- Value $104.99/mo
- Deluxe $129.99/mo
- Ultimate $179.99/mo
GoDaddy’s dedicated hosting is considerably cheaper. Before we see if the hardware offering is on a par, here are the monthly costs:
- Economy $159.99/mo
- Value $189.99/mo
- Deluxe $239.99/mo
- Ultimate $339.99/mo
Again, aside from the Ultimate package, the pricing is less than HostGator, so that’s a win for GoDaddy so far.
There’s no choice at checkout to prefer an SSD over a HDD, but you can choose between management options. Fully managed servers will cost you $10/mo, which is exactly the same as HostGator. Be careful when choosing between managed and self-managed options, though. Managed and fully managed servers will use CentOS 6, whereas self-managed servers allow you to choose between Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS 6 or CentOS 7.
Bandwidth is unmetered for all plans, and additional hardware specs are:
- Economy 4 Cores
- Value 4 Cores
- Deluxe 4 Cores
- Ultimate 4 Cores
- Economy 4GB
- Value 8GB
- Deluxe 16GB
- Ultimate 32GB
- Economy 1TB
- Value 1.5TB
- Deluxe 2TB
- Ultimate 2TB
The additional features below depend on the managed level you choose, whereas HostGator’s are all as standard:
- 3 x IPs
- Root access
- Control panel
Although GoDaddy’s plans are cheaper, this is largely due to the slightly less powerful server when it comes to CPU, RAM and storage, resulting in a tie for this category.
Compare HostGator vs GoDaddy domain registration
I’m doing a straight monetary comparison between the two, here. These are the prices that your domain extension will renew at, NOT the introductory offers (green denotes the cheaper option):
- .com $17.99/yr
- .website $15.00/yr
- .info $17.99/yr
- .club $15.00/yr
- .org $17.99.yr
- .host $45.00/yr
- .co $35.00/yr
- .net $17.99/yr
- .online $15.00/yr
- .space $15.00/yr
- .me $19.95/yr
- .site $15.00/yr
- .us $17.99/yr
- .biz $17.99/yr
- .tech $30.00/yr
HostGator offers better prices across the list of extensions.
GoDaddy is probably the go-to resource for domain registration since it was one of the first to offer the service. How do the prices stack up, though?
- .com $17.99/yr
- .website N/A
- .info $21.99/yr
- .club $17.99/yr
- .org $10.99/yr
- .host N/A
- .co $11.99/yr
- .net $14.99/yr
- .online $49.99/yr
- .space N/A
- .me $19.99/yr
- .site $39.99/yr
- .us $19.99/yr
- .biz $24.99/yr
- .tech $27.99/yr
GoDaddy has some more expensive options but has cheaper plans for some of the major extensions.
Website builder comparison
HostGator has a comprehensive site builder service, with 2-year costs for its plans as follows:
- Starter $3.84/mo
- Premium $5.99/mo
- eCommerce $9.22/mo
Costs if you wish to pay annually are:
- Starter $4.61/mo
- Premium $6.14/mo
- eCommerce $9.99/mo
Paying monthly will cost you:
- Starter $4.99/mo
- Premium $6.49/mo
- eCommerce $12.49/mo
For the Starter plan, you get:
- Unlimited pages
- Unmetered storage and bandwidth
- Free hosting
- Free domain name for 12 months
- Drag and drop builder
- Customizable templates
- Site analytics
- Free SSL certificate
- 24/7 support
The Premium plan will give you everything in the Starter plan with priority support on top. The eCommerce plan includes all of the above plus extra eCommerce functionality, which includes inventory management, a shipping and tax calculator, and coupons.
HostGator doesn’t have a huge amount of information on its website builder page, but it does provide an insight into the important details. It’s also competitive on pricing, meaning it gets a tick for the GoDaddy vs HostGator challenge.
GoDaddy’s website builder doesn’t offer a comparable plan to HostGator’s if you wish to for 2 years in advance.
The longest term you can pay for is annually:
- Basic $10/mo
- Standard $15/mo
- Premium $20/mo
- Ecommerce $25/mo
GoDaddy forces you into getting started with building your site for free for the first month. This is great since HostGator doesn’t offer it, but it also means I can’t see how much the costs would be if you wanted to pay monthly.
GoDaddy’s Starter plan includes:
- Free SSL certificate
- Mobile-friendly site
- On-the-go editing
- 24/7 support
- Free email address for 1 year
- Free phone number for 1 year
- PayPal button
- Site analytics
- 1 social media listing platform
- 5 social media posts and responses per month
- 100 email marketing sends/month
The benefits for going for the more expensive plans are greater social media and email marketing, extensive online appointment integration and eCommerce options.
While GoDaddy has more information on what each price plan offers, it doesn’t mention storage and bandwidth. The deal-breaker for me is a lack of information on the pricing as well as forcing you to try their product for free, while being more expensive.
HostGator vs GoDaddy speed, uptime and reliability
Ignoring the different hosting options and other frills that are offered, HostGator is well-known for its excellent reliability.
Along with its high-quality 24/7/365 customer support department, these critical factors stand out:
- Speed 0.96 seconds
- Uptime 99.9%
It’s no surprise that GoDaddy excels in its ability to offer high-quality hardware and services. Although the majority of this hosting company’s services are more expensive that HostGator’s, it makes up for offering faster page loading times and uptime, both being essential for your site:
- Speed 517ms
- Uptime 99.99%
Overall pricing comparison
Based on 3-year subscriptions (green denotes the cheaper option):
- Shared $2.75 – $5.95/mo
- Cloud $4.95 – $9.95/mo
- WordPress $5.95 – $9.95/mo
- Reseller $19.95 – $24.95/mo
- VPS $29.95 – $49.95/mo
- Dedicated $118.99 – $418.98/mo
HostGator offers the most affordable plans for the less-demanding site hosting. If you’re on the fence about going for either HostGator or GoDaddy, perhaps it’ll boil down to pure pricing.
Based on 3-year subscriptions:
- Shared $5.99 – $19.99/mo
- Cloud –
- WordPress $6.99 – $15.99/mo
- Reseller $39.99 – $89.99/mo
- VPS $24.99 – $54.99/mo
- Dedicated $89.99 – $179.99/mo
GoDaddy prices itself out of the market for the most part, unless you need non-shared hosting. It also doesn’t offer cloud hosting.
GoDaddy vs HostGator hosting conclusion
The winner is HostGator!
Although GoDaddy does offer some reliable and robust services, it doesn’t compare on price to HostGator, particularly for shared hosting. HostGator’s site is very easy to navigate and the customer support is excellent. This popular hosting service would need terrible reliability to be outdone by GoDaddy, but even the uptime and page speeds are excellent. On top of that…
We have a special deal so that HostGator is even cheaper!