BlueHost vs GoDaddy: At a Glance
Bluehost vs GoDaddy are two of the largest web hosting service providers in the market. The former is firmly in the top ten, while the latter sits right at the top taking on all comers. Yet despite (or perhaps because of) its size, GoDaddy can be a bit of a letdown on occasion.
Let’s take a look at these two top web hosts in greater depth.
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1. Company Background
Founded by Matt Heaton in 2003, Bluehost is today one of the largest web hosting service providers in the market. Heaton had already created two other web hosting providers prior to Bluehost, and went all out for his third attempt.
Over the years, Bluehost steadily introduced new technologies to their product line. For example in 2009, CPU throttling was deployed to avoid websites from hogging resources for extended periods of time.
The company was eventually sold to Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2010.
Read our Bluehost review to find out more
BlueHost Ratings & Performance
GoDaddy is the biggest honcho around in the web hosting business. It holds close to 17% market share in an industry that boasts the names of brands such as Google and Amazon. Founded over two decades ago, this is one company that has simply steamrolled ahead.
Today, GoDadddy is a public listed company that raked in revenue of almost $3 billion in 2019 alone. Its ground presence has gone global and it deploys over 7,000 employees in various locations.
Not all of its growth has been organic though. Over the years it has acquired various entities including Sucuri, Cognate, Host Europe Group and many others. It has at one time even been recognized as the largest domain name registrar in the world.
More details in our GoDaddy review.
GoDaddy Ratings & Performance
Truth be told, both Bluehost and GoDaddy offer web server response times that are acceptable by Google standards. With decent levels of performance and reliability, both of these hosts meet basic hosting requirements.
2a – Response speed
Over its most 30-days recorded performance figures, Bluehost achieved an average shared hosting server response of close to 130ms. Fastest response times were as expected from US-based test points.
One major point of note is that Bluehost only has US-based data centers. This might be an issue if you’re planning to target traffic from other regions. Depending on where your visitors come from, latency rises as high as over 200ms (recorded on 13th August).
GoDaddy’s average server response time isn’t overly different from Bluehost. At the speed close to 120ms, it inches slightly ahead but the increase isn’t significant at all. Of greater significance is it’s stunning US response times along with a much better spread of data centers.
In the US, there was hardly any latency at all for GoDaddy servers. For those targeting other traffic zones, you can opt to host on GoDaddy servers in the Netherlands or Singapore. These locations, plus the US, give GoDaddy customers very strategic launch points for their websites.
2b – Server Uptime
Both Bluehost and GoDaddy have relatively strong uptimes. HostScore tracks not just server response, but uptime as well. Over an extended period, both have managed to show decent reliability – 100% over 30-day periods at a time, in fact.
Still, that doesn’t mean they are perfect and if we look at reliability over longer periods, there are occasional glitches. For shared web hosting though, I would say that both of them can be considered above average.
Verdict: GoDaddy Wins
GoDaddy comes ahead for the wider potential for those seeking traffic from a wider spread of locations. Its good spread of data centers helps it out a lot here.
3. Customer Support
Customer support is usually something not many pay attention to until they need it. Then it’s time to panic. Because of this, some web hosting companies end up hedging their bets and providing only the minimum necessary – perhaps for quality certifications.
3a – Bluehost Support
Hello Derek. We can recommend the third party tool ‘https://t.co/1xRZFY1fmm‘. It will allow you to test the site to see what could be causing the site to run slow.— Bluehost Support (@bluehostsupport) August 23, 2020
We are happy we could help you out! 🙂 We would love it if you could leave a short review on your experience: https://t.co/5qyJkgnlUw— Bluehost Support (@bluehostsupport) August 23, 2020
While Bluehost does on the surface offer multi-channel customer support, we again (as always) come back to the concern of them now being an EIG company. EIG has been known to strip down support in the companies they acquire – leaving customers high and dry.
Still, that has not seemed to have happened with Bluehost yet, so perhaps there is hope. At the moment, help is available with them via a Knowledge Base, Live Chat, Phone, and Ticketing System.
3b – GoDaddy Support
I’d be happy to review this with you. Could you DM me more details? Include your customer number, the domain name, and the exact email that you received. ^G https://t.co/rYq25s2Pfj— GoDaddy Help (@GoDaddyHelp) August 21, 2020
Glad to hear you were able to find a solution. If you have any other questions or issues, please feel free to let us know. ^G— GoDaddy Help (@GoDaddyHelp) August 21, 2020
GoDaddy offers similar channels of support as Bluehost. Help is available via a comprehensive Knowledge Base, Live Chat, Phone, or Ticketing System. One difference is that GoDaddy has made more of an effort towards the localization of their services.
One part of it might be that they’re forced to because of the sheer diversity of having such a large customer base. However, the implications of this isn’t all that great and there I feel they do lag behind Bluehost a little in the quality of support.
Verdict: Bluehost Wins
Bluehost edges ahead in customer support.
4. Resources and Features
In terms of generic features, both Bluehost and GoDaddy offer comparatively similar products. However if you dig a bit deeper, there are some important distinctions that give Bluehost a competitive edge.
Key differentiators include;
- Recommended by WordPress.org
- Weebly Website Builder
- Free 1-click Website Restore
- Professional Dedicated Email
- Expert Services
Bluehost is one of only three web hosting services recommended by WordPress.org. This in itself is great appeal for the vast majority of new website owners that seek to work with this platform. If not, you get access to the Weebly site builder – another top name in the business.
Most importantly, GoDaddy makes life as difficult as possible for users to implement free SSL solutions, even though they offer it on their better plans. They sell everything including SSL – so they’ll try to make you buy theirs.
Verdict: Bluehost Wins
Bluehost comes ahead for important reasons.
5. Specialized Hosting Plans
Aide from the fact that Bluehost is recommended by WordPress.org, both of these providers don’t go overboard in plan specialization. Both offer WordPress plans but GoDaddy actually has many more services to offer customers.
For example, it has a very comprehensive add-on product listing which covers SSL, Malware Removal, Professional Email services, Microsoft Office, and more. There is also a professional services menu to choose from.
Verdict: Bluehost Wins
6. Pricing and Plans
6a – Shared Hosting
6b – VPS Hosting
Interestingly, GoDaddy goes the opposite way and starts their VPS plans off at rock bottom prices. It makes up for this by hiking shared hosting plans up significantly. Although the prices seem fair – remember that this is the cost of entry. Renewal prices will be much higher.
Bluehost runs a more traditional route and offers users very competitive prices for what they have. My thought is that GoDaddy seems to be targeting a more professional customer base overall.
Verdict: Bluehost Wins
Bluehost prices are better for a wider market.
Who are These Hosts Suitable For?
Technically speaking, although in specifications and performance they are similar, I have a preference for Bluehost. Their plans and features are much better for the average web-hosting seeker.
Where it comes to business and professional services though, GoDaddy has a few more advantages. Aside from the regular stuff, they offer ancillary services that might be very useful, especially for the small to medium business crowd.
With VPS cost of entry so cheap on GoDaddy, they also cater to developers who may need the characteristics of that platform – even if simply as a sandbox.
If I had to recommend audiences for these two hosts, it would be along the lines of;
Bluehost is recommended for…
WordPress users and those who are looking for reliable performance for more or less regular websites.
GoDaddy is Recommended for…
Smaller businesses looking for extra services on a single provider to avoid having to outsource certain services.
Conclusion: Which is Better?
For quality of service, both Bluehost and GoDaddy are on the surface neck and neck. Although I have some reservations about EIG companies, there do not seem to be any overly negative attachments where Bluehost is concerned so far.
GoDaddy is a bit harder for me to recommend though, since I really dislike what they try to do where SSL is concerned. This element is so necessary today that web hosts trying to make it difficult for SSL installation seriously need to re-think their business model.
As a caveat, I find GoDaddy VPS pricing extremely interesting and think it is a good place for beginners to explore this technology. It might not really offer much, but at the prices that GoDaddy has – simply taking a tour is good enough.