GoDaddy is one of the biggest names in web hosting but as with any other service there are always viable options. This industry behemoth has been around for more than two decades now and offers a product range simply staggering in breadth.
Yet being the biggest does not always mean it is the best at everything. For those who are not able to find what you need at GoDaddy or are simply not happy with its hosting performance, there are options. Many websites today are highly specialized and can benefit more from a host that offers some outstanding products rather than just having many of them.
The Problem with GoDaddy Hosting Service
GoDaddy is big and has a lot to offer, these are undeniable facts.
Yet when it comes to web hosting, simply finding a solution is only part of the journey. Where new users might want convenience, veterans to web hosting often seek to optimize their investment.
So, specifically, there are a number of reasons why not to go with GoDaddy. These include;
The performance of a website affects branding, reputation, and can even directly affect revenue. This means that users who have been running sites for some time are always on the lookout for host to make their sites perform faster – even if the difference is in milliseconds.
Less focused customer support
Another thing to consider when it comes to GoDaddy is that big companies like this seldom give you the level of personalized service that a smaller one can. Smaller companies are often more heavily invested in each of their users – and this shows in the level of support available.
Nightmare installing SSL
Because GoDaddy sells a huge range of products it has obviously built its structure around pushing the sale of those. In many areas this isn’t a massive problem but for some it causes users a nightmare. Take for example the case of SSLs.
All websites today need SSLs, to offer customers better security and for SEO ranking purposes. GoDaddy tries hard to sell its own SSLs and this has resulted in a system that tries to make it as hard as possible for users to install free certificates such as those from Let’s Encrypt.
We get it – web hosting is a big business that expected to reach $216.59 billion by the year 2025. Trying to sell customers more than they need is common for many companies. GoDaddy takes this to an entirely new level. I was deeply unimpressed that during the purchase process, they try to sell already included features as ‘add ons that can cost more than the basic plans themselves, such as ‘website backup’.
The Best Alternatives to GoDaddy Web Hosting
Note: In this article, I often refer to the scoring of a Host on Hostscore. It is important to know that HostScore is a holistic method of scoring that considers more factors than simply speed and reliability. For more information, read How HostScore Works.
Where the name GoDaddy is famed as a one-stop solution for anything website related, SiteGround excels in terms of sheer performance. Both the speed of their servers and rock-solid uptime speak volumes as the quality of this web hosting provider.
It also has a good spread of products which cover most of what people would be looking for. From basic web hosting to Cloud solutions, there certainly is scalability here. In fact, they support everything up to managed dedicated servers.
For those who seek easy to use solutions, SiteGround also has WordPress plans which support WooCommerce for online stores. Finally, all SiteGround plans come with not just any website builder, but Weebly, one of the top brands in the rapid site building game.
As an additional bonus point, SiteGround is also renowned for its famous customer service and that is one area anyone would do well to note. This contrasts sharply with GoDaddy which has perhaps, grown a little too large to support all its customers adequately.
At the end of the day, SiteGround is a fantastic GoDaddy alternative for those who are looking for the best in overall quality of service.
SiteGround Ratings & Performance
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Choice of five server locations
- Highly scalable plans
- Excellent customer support via live chat
- Automated backups with self-restore
- Free site migration for new customers
- HTTP/2 enabled in all plans
- Free SiteBuilder
- Shared plans offer limited storage
- Relatively high renewal prices
- Limited developer options on some plans
SiteGround Past 30 Days Response Speed
HostGator has been in the business for almost as long as GoDaddy has and offers just as broad a range of services. While it doesn’t offer the best speed performance of all, what it does have a relatively consistent performance across the range.
Thanks to the huge number of solutions available here it is almost certain that anyone will find something suitable for use. Recently, they upped their game with the inclusion of the self-developed Gator Website Builder. A self-owned solution means that it will be able to provide better support for newbies to website builders.
The low buy-in pricing for new customers combined with strong support in terms of web applications means that HostGator is just inviting and versatile enough to tempt many people. It also offers solid first-line support in the form of comprehensive documentation for self-help.
HostGator is very similar to GoDaddy and can be a strong alternative as a general solutions provider. If you are looking to move to a similar provider for any reason or simply need a competitive choice, HostGator is worth looking at.
HostGator Ratings & Performance
- Free site migration
- Comprehensive support documentation
- Website builder with all plans
- Many free mobile-responsive templates
- Good customer service
- No-contract 45-day money-back guarantee
- Supports multiple eCommerce-friendly features
- Shared plans support Perl, Python, and more
- Free $100 Bing and $100 Google ad credits
- Unlimited email accounts
- Free domain name with all plans
- Resources limited by server constraints
- Not much variety in VPS plans
- Only US-based servers
HostGator Past 30 Days Response Speed
With basic plans starting off at around the same price point as GoDaddy, Bluehost offers them a serious run for the money given its excellent reliability and fast servers. It also has the capability to stretch their hosting capabilities up all the way to dedicated hosting meaning there is decent depth to their product offerings.
One area in which BlueHost stands out is in their dedicated WordPress plans which are packaged with a free domain name. Bluehost is one of only three web hosting providers in the world which is recommended by WordPress.org – an impressive accomplishment.
For those seeking to build an online store you can either take the opportunity here to build on WordPress or one of the dedicated eCommerce plans that Bluehost offers. The latter comes pre-packaged with storefront themes, domain privacy and protection, Office 365 mailbox, and even a free dedicated call with one of their experts to set it all up.
Because of this, Bluehost is an ideal alternative for those who are looking to move their online stores away from GoDaddy towards one that has built dedicated plans around WooCommerce.
BlueHost Ratings & Performance
- Recommended by WordPress.org
- Powerful and easy-to-navigate knowledge base
- Daily backup and easy restore
- Powerful custom control center
- Good range of plans for scaling
- Cloudflare access is built into control panel
- Add VPS storage space on your own
- $100 Free ad credits with all plans
- Renewal fees can be significantly higher
- Many upsells on additional features
- Add-ons can get expensive
- No free site migration
Bluehost Past 30 Days Response Speed
4. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting excels in many areas and consistently ranks highly in HostScore results. On the basic front, performance in speed and reliability give them a strong base to work from. That combined with their excellent initiatives to improve hosting performance with specialized server and hosting tweaks brings them ahead.
Although they do not have quite as large a customer base as GoDaddy, A2 Hosting has grown its product portfolio significantly over the years and today offers a strong suite. From web hosting plans to supporting solutions such as agency support, analytics, and billing software, there is much to like here.
The one area that A2 Hosting is well ahead of the pack is in the area of developer support. It isn’t often that web hosting providers cater so well to developers by offering specialized environments even on their shared hosting plans. A2 Hosting that and their shared plans can support Ruby, Git, Python, and even Node.js.
These capabilities make them a good option for developers who are seeking somewhere to build or live test their scripts without having to maintain more expensive VPS hosting accounts.
A2 Hosting Ratings & Performance
A2 Hosting Pros
- Server locations in North America, Europe, and Asia
- Free website migration assistance
- Custom optimizations tools available
- High sign-up discounts and anytime money back guarantee
- Developer-oriented features even on shared hosting
- Encrypted backup solutions available
- Root access with all VPS plans
A2 Hosting Cons
- No free domain name
- Free site transfers mainly for cPanel installations
- HTTP/2 only on TURBO plans
A2 Hosting Past 30 Days Response Speed
GreenGeeks is more limited in their product portfolio and only offers shared web hosting with a few specialized WordPress plans thrown in. However, thanks to scalable resources they can maintain high standards of performance and rate highly on HostScore for this.
What makes them unique is that their entire business concept was designed around the premise of green hosting. For many hosts, this simply means that they return energy credits in some form to offset the carbon footprint generated by their servers.
GreekGeeks goes all the way and even their platform are designed from bottom up to even consume energy as efficiently as possible. This plus their power consumption through renewable energy makes them one of the top green web hosts around.
Green hosting may be required by some companies that are mandated to do so in their charter, but many users who are eco-friendly may decide to opt for this as a choice. For that, GreenGeeks is an excellent option.
GreenGeeks Ratings & Performance
- Returns power consumed with renewable energy credits
- Unmetered resources
- Free domain name for the first year
- Free Wildcard SSL
- Choice of five server locations
- Free white glove site migration
- Complete SSD solution and HTTP/2 enabled
- Free drag and drop website builder
- All plans support Perl, Python and Git
- Automated daily backups
- Account solation and Secure vFS
- Premium plans have one dedicated IP
- Root access, control panel and cPanel/WHM included
- Limited scalability
- Relatively low VPS uptime guarantee
- Slightly lacklustre customer service
GreenGeeks Past 30 Days Response Speed
Conclusion: Why Seek an Alternative to GoDaddy?
For many people, GoDaddy can be an incredibly impressive brand because of their longevity and the large number of products available. Simply speaking, if you’re seeking a one-stop-shop where you can find anything web hosting related, GoDaddy is likely at the top of that list.
Yet from the alternative web hosts I’ve suggested above, you might notice that having the most products doesn’t necessarily mean that a web host has paid full attention to all of them. Websites, like individual people, often have their own specific needs or characteristics.
Although GoDaddy might be an excellent choice of launch pad for a new website, if you already have a site running and are looking to boost performance even further, there are more options.
Performance in terms of speed and reliability is the cornerstone of web hosting but often, different brands place varying degrees of focus on various areas. Take for example GreenGeeks, which packages excellent performance in with a concept that might be needed by some specific users.
Other areas where alternatives might be better is if they focus on user needs like eCommerce, developer tools, or, as in the case of SiteGround, simply offers superior all-round capabilities.