go daddy logo and bluehost logo with vs text on the middle

Bluehost vs. GoDaddy: The Key Differences

When you search in Google for a hosting company, it will return several options, but the two main ones will be Bluehost and GoDaddy. Whether you’re looking for a hosting service or seeking to upgrade your plan, it’s essential to know what the two companies offer.

Consumers should analyze several key aspects of host providers to determine if the company they plan to use will provide adequate service.

Since web hosting is usually a long-term commitment and vital to website management, it’s crucial to choose a hosting service that provides what you want. We compared the key differences such as customer support, hosting ability, security, and Bluehost and GoDaddy pricing. Below is what we found.

Market Positioning

At one point or another, every company finds itself with competitors in an ever-growing market. GoDaddy and Bluehost have dominated the web hosting market for quite some time but in different ways.

GoDaddy

The one thing that GoDaddy does so well is show its brand everywhere. GoDaddy’s marketing reach has allowed it to attain a large market share, making it the most well-known and the largest web hosting company globally.

Although it has taken such a significant share of the market, GoDaddy seems only to be getting bigger. One of the reasons is that it offers more plans and services than most web providers. Since it can reach a large customer base due to its aggressive marketing campaign, it tends to pull the customers in before other host providers have a chance to show their offering.

Bluehost

Although GoDaddy spends more money on advertising, Bluehost has been around for longer. It started in 1996 and opted for providing quality service and shared hosting packages to attract customers. Bluehost is the sixth-largest hosting company worldwide and has almost 3% of the global market share.

Ease of use and integration with WordPress has made Bluehost an attractive destination for individuals and small businesses looking for reliable hosting.

Hosting

paper with web hosting written text

These days, there are many more hosting services to sift through when deciding which is best for your needs. GoDaddy and Bluehost come out on top time and again based on monthly rates and features.

GoDaddy

Thanks to its large marketing budget, GoDaddy has become the largest web hosting and domain registrar service provider in the United States. The company has obtained almost 17% of the global market and managed to earn $780 million in revenue in 2019.

Since GoDaddy has earned a significant amount of money, it has expanded its services to include hosting, email, website building, domain, SSL certification, and several other services. It’s different from Bluehost because it focuses on hosting websites and has ensured that it offers a range of hosting options and shared hosting packages.

Although both providers offer good hosting services, one of the aspects that sway consumers are prices. Consumers should keep in mind that initial offers are usually better than renewal costs. So, both of these hosting companies may offer a low introductory price but will not hesitate to increase it once they feel that you have committed to their service.

For GoDaddy, its lowest price share hosting is $3.99 per month if you sign up for 36 months. That rate is fair if you’re willing to commit to that period, but most people like to test out hosting service providers, so they only opt for a 12-month option initially.

Bluehost

Bluehost has managed to appeal to consumers by putting a lot of effort into ensuring that its shared hosting packages are attractive. The company did that because it knows that a large majority of its market opts for a slower speed and lower bandwidth demands for hosting. Shared packages are perfect for that.

It’s business model revolved around offering a basic, low-cost shared hosting plan marketed to small and medium-sized businesses with a small website who want good customer support. The company provides a small selection of dedicated hosting options, but most of its revenue comes from shared hosting plans for smaller customers.

So, how does Bluehost compare to GoDaddy’s rate? Its lowest pricing is $2.99 per month for a shared hosting plan when customers use a coupon.

Bluehost’s cheapest plan consists of one website, 50 GB of storage, one domain, unmetered bandwidth, and five email accounts. GoDaddy offers some similar features but provides 100 GB of storage and 100 email addresses. That’s a significant difference when you are running a small company.

It’s when you get to the higher packages that Bluehost offers some better features. The upgraded plan from Bluehost costs $4.95 per month, whereas GoDaddy charges $4.99. Both of the companies virtually offer everything unlimited, but there are a few key differences.

For example, GoDaddy caps the email addresses to 500, while Bluehost provides an unlimited number of email addresses.

Regarding the pricing, both of the companies are pretty much the same. The difference comes in when you have an organization with more than 500 employees. That’s when you’ll have to pay more than GoDaddy’s initial charges.

If you want to get the best deal, it’s better to wait for when either company has a sale, something that happens often. Alternatively, you could use coupons from affiliate bloggers to get the sale price. Both companies offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try it out without committing to longer terms.

Clients will receive 24/7 support from both companies, plus website builder tools with the hosting packages. Bluehost’s significant advantage is that it offers a free shared SSL certificate through Let’s Encrypt, available to assigned and parked domains and subdomains. GoDaddy charges for this certificate.

Features

Let’s compare the two companies’ hosting features and see how they pan out against each other:

  • While Bluehost focuses on providing one main shared hosting plan, GoDaddy offers at least three different options.
  • Bluehost provides free domain name registration with its hosting package; GoDaddy doesn’t offer it.
  • Bluehost allows users free backups, but GoDaddy doesn’t.
  • GoDaddy offers Linux and Windows hosting, but Bluehost does not provide a Windows-based VPS.
  • Bluehost customers use a cPanel interface for interaction with shared servers, which is intuitive and straightforward. GoDaddy’s custom interface has more features but is more challenging to use.
  • Bluehost’s basic shared package provides unlimited email addresses, whereas GoDaddy limits the number of addresses.
  • GoDaddy provides unlimited disk space, whereas Bluehost limits it to 100 GB.

Speed and Web Performance

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Price is a significant factor when determining which hosting service to use. However, it doesn’t help a small business that opts for a cheaper option and then receives slow performance from its site. A slower host provider is usually seen as inferior to one that provides good website performance.

A company’s clients tend to judge the business on the user-friendliness of their website, so they tend not to have the patience for pages that freeze, take too long to load, or don’t load all of the information. Determining whether Bluehost or GoDaddy was faster could only be determined by pitting them against each other.

The test consisted of comparing one page from a website hosted by Bluehost and another page hosted by GoDaddy. The test revealed that Bluehost’s fastest load time was 1.4 seconds. Its average time was 3.3 seconds, a mark at the user-bounce threshold.

GoDaddy’s fastest time to load one page was 3.4 seconds, and the longest it took was 16.8 seconds.

Reliability

Considering that both host providers have almost 100% uptime, you can be confident that you won’t make the wrong decision, whichever one you choose. That doesn’t mean the two sites were never exposed to dangerous attacks. Bluehost sites were down for a few hours in 2010 after a power failure in Provo, Utah, and GoDaddy had serious outages due to a DNS outage in 2017.

But reliability involves more than just the uptime—it has a lot to do with the security features a hosting provider has to prevent malicious attacks. To prevent that, both companies have at least three data centers.

GoDaddy has taken it a step further by adding data centers in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Virginia. It also has international data centers in Amsterdam and Singapore. These additional data centers have resulted in GoDaddy preventing 2.5 million brute force attacks on its servers every hour.

GoDaddy uses clustered hosting, resulting in sharing the hosting load across multiple servers to cope with traffic spikes and minimizing the severity of attacks on its servers.

Each hosting provider offers a Service Level Agreement (SLA), stipulating their uptime and downtime policies. GoDaddy has an SLA of 99%, and the company will reimburse customers only for the period that it was down and not the entire month. Bluehost customers have to request a refund in the event of downtime, and the company will handle each request on a case-by-case basis.

The upside with Bluehost is that it offers a no-fee refund for the unused portion of the hosting cost if you choose to cancel your account for hosting downtime.

Since uptime and downtime are critical, it was necessary to conduct a test to determine each company’s actual statistics. The test consisted of monitoring two professional websites self-hosted on WordPress for 12 months. GoDaddy hosted one, and Bluehost hosted the other.

After 12 months, test results revealed that Bluehost managed to get close to the industry standard of 99.99% by having an uptime of 99.81%. GoDaddy’s uptime after the same period was 98.5%.

Customer Service

man and woman calling to customers

When problems arise, customers have questions that they want to be answered. And with different time zones across the world, customers don’t like to be kept waiting. That’s why both companies have offered 24/7 customer support.

While Bluehost offers a toll-free customer support line and live chat, GoDaddy provides discussion forums and product support articles in addition to phone and email support. Both companies offer a support ticketing system.

At times, Bluehost’s telephone support lags. It can take a bit longer than average to get a consultant on the line. The good news is that GoDaddy’s telephone support is decent if you’re calling in the U.S.

Take note that their technical support lies significantly on the domain side, and they could increase the number of web hosting technicians. Their chat line can take a bit long, especially when a technician responds in between questions. We’ve found that Bluehost’s support leans more toward web hosting, and its staff is very knowledgeable.

WordPress Integration

Considering WordPress has become one of the most popular programming interfaces globally, gaining 62% of the market, a web hosting service must integrate well with WordPress. So, how do Bluehost and GoDaddy pair up with WordPress?

More than 400 million people visit WordPress powered websites each month, and Bluehost hosts a significant portion of those websites. Many WordPress users consider Bluehost to integrate better, and it’s not only the users who say that. WordPress recommended that its users combine with Bluehost because it works best.

Why? Installation is easy. If you want to install WordPress through Bluehost, it requires only one click. After you’ve confirmed your hosting plan with Bluehost, it’s possible to have a website using WordPress up within minutes.

Because of WordPress’s recommendation and its ease of use, many WordPress users are opting for Bluehost. Since Bluehost is aware that a large percentage of its client base are WordPress users, it offers them specials.

GoDaddy also provides good integration with WordPress. However, it seems that Bluehost’s integration is faster, easier, and more popular thanks to WordPress’s recommendation.

Switching Process

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What if you already have a hosting provider and are looking to switch to either Bluehost or GoDaddy? Which one is going to make it easier for you to do? An important aspect to consider is avoiding technical difficulties when engaging in that process.

The great news is that both providers will ensure your switch goes smoothly and you don’t encounter any unnecessary headaches. So, how do they differ?

Bluehost

If you want to switch to Bluehost, they will charge you a once-off fee of $149.99. That includes the migration of up to five websites and 20 email accounts. They do all the work for you, and the migration includes all the files and databases from the old hosting account.

There is a free option, but there’s a catch. Isn’t there always? You can get a free switching service from Bluehost if your WordPress website meets qualification criteria. Keep in mind that this service is available only after you’ve signed up for an account with Bluehost.

After you’ve signed up for an account, you can use the ‘free migration contact form’ to add the service. A Bluehost migration consultant will contact you to confirm eligibility factors such as WordPress version, PHP version, and database size to ensure that it meets the free migration criteria.

GoDaddy

If you don’t mind putting in a bit of work to switch from your current host provider to GoDaddy, it might be worth it financially. The best part about switching over to GoDaddy is the price—it’s free. The reason why is that it doesn’t offer a completely hands-off migration process.

Clients who don’t have a WordPress website need to do a manual migration to GoDaddy. That’ll require you to download your website’s files from the old hosting provider and upload them to GoDaddy. It’s not a lot of work, but it can be time-consuming.

If you have a WordPress website, you can migrate it to GoDaddy at the ‘My Products’ section of your GoDaddy account. That’s where you’ll have to choose a hosting plan and provide certain information about the site you want to transfer. It’s a little bit of work, but it can save you a lot of money.

Scalability

Thanks to the internet, many businesses have found that they are growing faster than ever. So, what if you already have an account with Bluehost or GoDaddy and you want to upgrade to keep up with your business growth?

There are several key features that you need to consider. Here are some ways the two companies differ.

With Bluehost, you get shared hosting. That means servers are shared with other sites, making it perfect for small businesses and individuals. You also get a virtual private server. This server is ideal if you need customized server configurations because other hosting users are isolated from the hosting account.

The more privacy you have, the better. You want limited access to essential features, and Bluehost provides precisely that.

Another feature with Bluehost is dedicated hosting, which means that the servers belong only to you. Then, there is also the WordPress optimized hosting.

With GoDaddy, you get all the features as with Bluehost and some extras. They offer Business hosting, which is a compromise between shared hosting and VPS. Another part of how GoDaddy is different is the Reseller plan. That is for companies or individuals who host sites for their clients.

Another key difference with GoDaddy is that customers can choose if they want Linux or Windows servers. You’re not going to find that often when looking for a web host.

UI/UX and Ease of Use

Both host providers have a pretty cool interface, but we’re inclined to think that GoDaddy has a slightly more attractive domain interface. One of the reasons for that is its ease of use. Sure, Bluehost also has a good interface, but GoDaddy has an advantage.

That’s not to say that GoDaddy’s interface doesn’t have some setbacks. Since they tend to focus more on the domain side of the business, their hosting interface could use an upgrade. Their cPanel integration is slightly odd and feels a bit clunky.

Bluehost primarily focuses on hosting, so their hosting interface is excellent. One of the reasons that many people opt for Bluehost is that its interface is beginner-friendly. It’s not uncommon for a person with relatively little experience with a web hosting panel to do well navigating a Bluehost backend.

It’s very user-friendly, and Bluehost has made the cPanel layout and features look neat so that even a beginner can understand what’s spotting. Bluehost makes it extremely simple for you to install WordPress on your hosting account. If you get stuck, Bluehost’s support provides a good explanation of how to navigate the backend.

Most people found that GoDaddy’s backend could’ve been simpler, whereas Bluehost provided a straightforward backend that was self-explanatory.

Bluehost vs. GoDaddy: Which Is Better?

man choosing between godaddy and bluehost path

Only you can answer that. It really depends on your needs and who you are. Bluehost and GoDaddy differ in their company size and business models, but there might not be a significant difference between them.

If we were forced to answer the question, we’d have to say that Bluehost tends to work better for individuals and small businesses that use WordPress. GoDaddy tends to appeal more to larger organizations because they don’t cap specific features that large companies need.

GoDaddy has proven to offer more dedicated options, and it’s a nice bonus that they allow customers to choose between Linux and Windows servers. It’s also nice that Bluehost integrates easily with WordPress and offers a free SSL certificate.

Regarding the price, both are more or less the same. The two companies are also the same when it comes to uptime. Sure, there is a small difference, but it’s insignificant. Those two factors are usually the most important when customers decide on a provider.

The third important factor is customer support. Both provide year-round support, with slight variations in the level of service. Ease-of-use is another factor that people consider when choosing a hosting provider. After examining both, we’d say that Bluehost offers a more straightforward interface, and there are no additional charges for domains. With GoDaddy, customers have a more comprehensive range of services and plans. All in all, both are very similar, and where one lacks, it makes up for it in another department.

Another feature that makes Bluehost attractive is that it allows customers to use multiple languages for programming, such as Java, Python, and PHP. Their customers can also choose between a MySQL and MongoDB database.

On several factors, both of the companies are tied. The winning company will depend on what you’re looking for since they have very slight variations. Choosing a winner if you’re a customer who doesn’t have specific needs will be very difficult. In that case, both companies will provide you with what you’re looking for in a web hosting provider.

You won’t go wrong with either because both offer a money-back guarantee for 30 days. If you’re not happy with one host, you can always switch over to the other. Switching over is another process that both companies have made relatively simple.

Rodney Warner

Rodney Warner

Rodney heads up business development here at Connective. Making sure existing clients stay happy while guiding us through to new and exciting potentials is what governs his days. Musician, outdoor enthusiast, and ice cream connoisseur.
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