Finding the right hosting company for your needs is not an easy thing to do. There are so many out there that have different setups and different offers. Bluehost and GoDaddy are both really well known and have their pros and cons, just like the rest.
If you are looking around trying to decide if you should host with GoDaddy or Bluehost it can be confusing. Both are really great choices but there are some big differences.
We are here to provide you with knowledgeable information regarding these two hosting companies. We are going to compare both companies objectively, using many different factors so you can decide which host company might be best for you.
We put together a check list to weigh the two hosts to see who came in first.
Rates, Features, and Plans
This is a really important factor when choosing a web host because this is very important to visitors who do not have the time or patience to wait for a site to load. A site should not take more than a couple seconds to load, more time than that, you will lose your visitors. There were a series of tests run on both GoDaddy and Bluehost on separate WordPress sites to check their loading time.
On average, Bluehost came in at 3.3 seconds and on another occasion, just under 2 seconds. When GoDaddy was tested, they were lucky if they came in at 3.4 seconds and their worst time was 16.8 seconds. By far, Bluehost is much faster and their average time matched GoDaddy’s best time.
GoDaddy just doesn’t seem to have the quick server response that Bluehost has but that’s not to say they are really bad. Businesses that have a great deal of experience with hosting sites, feel that due to GoDaddy’s response time, Bluehost is far superior.
Measuring uptime and downtime is very important when weighing the dependability of a hosting site. Let’s face it, if your host is down, visitors cannot have access to your site and that’s just not good. The industry standard is 99.9% or within that range and you should know if you will be reimbursed if the site is down for a significant amount of time.
GoDaddy’s uptime SLA number is around 99.9% but they will only reimburse you for the period of time the server was down, not the full month. At this time, Bluehost does not have a specific uptime percentage and when you request refunds it is considered on a one-on-one basis. This, in my opinion, is not a good policy. Bluehost, however, will provide a no-fee refund on the unused service of your hosting costs but only in the event, you opt to cancel with them due to their downtime. There are hosts, such as HostGator who will give their customers a free month of service if their uptime level drops below what is specified by their SLA.
Because GoDaddy will only reimburse for the period of time their site is down, their SLA policy is not very good, while Bluehost does not specify a refund policy for their downtime. However, we were reimbursed after getting in touch with Bluehost’s customer service.
In order to decide which host is in a better position of dependability, we ran a test for the best uptime of both Bluehost and GoDaddy. We monitored on two self-hosted WordPress sites and set the system to ping each time their uptime and downtime happened, in 3-hour increments.
After testing for a period of 12 months, Bluehost came in at 99.8% uptime for the entire year which is very close to the industry standard of 99.9%. That said, they still do not adhere to that or give a percentage in their SLA.
GoDaddy came in at 98.5% which is below what was specified in their SLA and is below the industry standard of 99.9%.
Again, due to GoDaddy’s “not good” refund policy that they will only reimburse for the actual time down, and Bluehost’s unclear policy, we believe Bluehost is slightly better on dependability. We realize, that even though Bluehost reimbursed us, it doesn’t mean they do so on a regular basis. If refunding is important to you, you would have to decide which host is the better.
Support is a subject that can vary from one individual’s experience and someone else’s. I might have a really good experience with a host where your experience was an absolute nightmare. Some customers can become really upset over something that is insignificant, while someone else has given a terrible review that is completely justified. Therefore, it really is difficult to determine from one customer to the next if someone is making a mountain out of a mole hill or whether the host truly was at fault. In some cases, a customer might have no issues with a host until the one time they do not get their way they go off.
We have a great deal of experience with various hosting sites and in this section, we will offer our opinion as well as provide the facts about the type of support offered by each company.
They do offer many different forms of support from chat, sending in a ticket, calling them, emailing them, and their support is available 24/7. We have noticed over the past 6 months, their support standard has gone down and wait time has increased. This could have been our personal experience where someone else had great results.
GoDaddy, on the other hand, has an excellent phone support. It’s very easy to get someone on the phone rather quickly. That said, their phone support is geared more toward the domain business not hosting. It’s very difficult to get someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about web hosting. This can leave someone looking for someone else, not GoDaddy. Their chat, in our opinion, is horrible! GoDaddy really needs to work on that. It’s extremely frustrating when it takes their live chat technician forever to respond to your questions and poor exchanges during the chat.
Bottom line, Bluehost is the winner in this category as well.
Even though GoDaddy has excellent support for domain issues, their hosting support is poor. It seems difficult to get a skilled technician on the phone or in chat who can actually help you out and fully understands the problem you are having. Even though this can be an issue with Bluehost regarding domain issues, they are better at hosting issues because that’s what they do. Bottom line, Bluehost has better support for hosting than GoDaddy.
User Interface (UI/UX) – Easy To Use Or Not:
So, who ranks best with their user interface, user experience, and how easy is it to use their hosting website layout. If you are discussing their domain interface, GoDaddy has a really great interface. Their domain interface is really easy to navigate through and is the best. Unfortunately, because they are not first and foremost a hosting company their hosting interface is pretty far behind. They have a really strange cPanel that is cumbersome to use.
Bluehost, on the other hand, has a great interface that is extremely easy for beginners to use. We have spoken with many people who have little to no experience using a web hosting panel and they actually do pretty well at navigating Bluehost’s backend. Almost all hosting companies have their own customized cPanel with their own layout and features. Bluehost, in our opinion, has one of the very best out there.
Bluehost has made it extremely easy to install WordPress on your account, get at all their databases, etc. They have a good support section where you can find answers to all your questions. The support team also has a great knowledge in the backend and are able to answer all your questions as well.
GoDaddy does not have a bad interface but it leaves a lot to be desired and you can easily tell that hosting is not their forte. Bluehost is more focused on this area and therefore easily rises above GoDaddy.
So once again, Bluehost wins hands down when it comes to their UI/UX and how easy everything is to use.
Rates, Offers & Plans:
It’s actually difficult to define web hosting costs because of the countless coupons and other deals that can change pricing. Just like cable companies, the initial prices are always lower than their renewal rates. Many host companies are well known for offering really low initial rates then jack up the price when it’s time to renew their hosting. So, before jumping on a hosting offer, you should understand their renewal charges as well.
Both GoDaddy and Bluehost are pretty much alike in their pricing. Bluehost’s lowest rate is approximately $3.45 a month but to get this rate, you must purchase several years of hosting. GoDaddy is about the same with their initial rates. You can get their lowest rate for $3.99 a month if you are willing to sign up for 36 months.
A lot of people do not want to sign up for years at a time but it’s a great tactic to generate sales. That said, it’s not always a good choice for people who want to test drive a hosting company before committing to a long-term agreement. Therefore, many hosting companies have discovered that a 12-month plan is becoming a great deal more practical.
Weighing the cheapest plans for both Bluehost and GoDaddy should be considered as well. Bluehost offers one website with 50GB of storage, undetermined bandwidth, one domain, and five email accounts. GoDaddy offers 50 GB more bandwidth and 95 more email accounts than Bluehost.
The Next Plan:
Bluehost has a $4.95 a month plan where almost everything is unlimited, including email accounts. GoDaddy has a $4.00 a month plan but does limit the email accounts to 500. As you probably are realizing, hosting from both are pretty equal. That said, if you are looking for a non-profit hosting, Bluehost is probably your best choice in the long run in terms of pricing, but pricing should not be the leading factor as both are pretty much the same. When considering a hosting company, the more important factors should be support and dependability.
Because their pricing is so close, you are better off choosing either hosting company based on their hosting knowledge.
In our determination, Bluehost is the better of the two. They offer a better speed rating, better uptime, and hosting is what they do best. We formed this opinion objectively, not on bias. We do believe these 3 aspects are important when choosing your web host.
Taking all factors, including customer support and easy to navigate into consideration, Bluehost is the winner. Bluehost really does excel beyond GoDaddy, with the exception of pricing. That is not to say that GoDaddy is a bad choice, it’s just that GoDaddy is a domain registrar first and foremost and a web host secondly. This is obvious with the quality of support and how they manage their servers.
Even though Bluehost does offer domain registration, I’d recommend GoDaddy as the winner in that category, hands down. It is strictly our opinion, if you are looking for hosting between Bluehost and GoDaddy, we think Bluehost is the better choice.
In Our Honest Opinion:
All said and done, these are our opinions and not necessarily the opinions of everyone. We used our experience with host companies and our knowledge in website building. Both are reputable companies but when you break it down to hosting vs domain registering, Bluehost is the better choice because that’s what they do best. When it comes to registering your domain, no one touches GoDaddy because that’s what they do best!