Web hosting is an objective topic and usually receives extensive debate, kind of like comparing HostGator vs GoDaddy.
To make things even more complicated, HostGator and GoDaddy are arguably two of the most popular web hosting providers. So how do you choose the better web host?
When comparing these hosting providers, it is important to understand their exceling points and flaws.
Quick HostGator vs GoDaddy Comparison
If, for some reason, you do not have time to read our entire comparison, here is a quick breakdown:
|Good For: Reliable web hosting||Good For: Cheap hosting and domains|
|Visit GoDaddy||Visit GoDaddy|
In order to make this HostGator vs GoDaddy a real comparison, we have to include the pricing structure.
This is where webmasters tend to make mistakes by going with the so-called “cheaper web host.” While it is not wrong to stay within your budget, it is a good idea to go with a web host that you can stay with for a long time. Migrating to a different web host can be a pain in the rear.
Here is how HostGator and GoDaddy compare in terms of hosting costs:
- Lowest Price: $2.75/month
- Renewal Price: $6.95/month
- Bandwidth: Unmetered
- Websites: Single to unlimited
- Free Domain
- Lowest Price: $1.00/month
- Renewal Price: $7.99/month
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Websites: Single to unlimited
Prior to writing this HostGator vs GoDaddy comparison, I received hundreds of emails asking me which interface is better.
The control panel interface is what sells the product for me. It is beneficial to choose an interface that you are familiar with as this is one area that you will visit the most.
A clunky, complicated interface is not worth the headaches.
Luckily, both HostGator and GoDaddy offer a clean control panel that is easy to learn and work with.
You will be able to use cPanel for Linux-based hosting or Plesk for Windows-based hosting. Normally Linux hosting is more popular unless you plan on working with ASP.
HostGator’s interface uses the original cPanel theme whereas GoDaddy uses a custom theme for their interface.
Winner: Tie – it comes down to personal preference.
If you plan on working with WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or any other platform, it is ideal to look for a web host that offers a simple, easy-to-use script installer.
Both hosting providers offer a one-click installer for multiple applications including WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. The process is almost identical.
Alternatively, a script can be uploaded to the root domain and installed manually. But, this is not something that everyone is willing to do.
Winner: Tie – however, HostGator does have more applications to choose from.
Who does not like free stuff? I know I do.
If you are going to pay for web hosting, why not take advantage of the free stuff being offered? You would be insane not too.
However, sometimes the free perks being offered are useless and have certain restrictions. So, make sure you are aware of that.
HostGator offers the following free perks with a purchase of a web hosting account:
- Weebly site builder
- 4,500 website templates
- Website and domain transfer
- $100 Google AdWords credit
- $100 Yahoo/Bing credit
GoDaddy is limited to the following free perks:
- Domain name with annual hosting plans
- Advertising credits (varies by location)
Winner: Tie – if you are building a website from scratch, HostGator will be a better option here. However, if you want a free domain name to accompany your hosting package, GoDaddy may be the better choice.
Webmasters, including myself, tend to skip right over uptime and money back guarantees. It is a good idea to familiarize you with both guarantees in the event that things go wrong.
HostGator offers an uptime guarantee of 99.9% and a 45-day money back guarantee. While 45 days is not enough time to test the reliability of the hosting servers, it is more than enough time to change your mind and ask for a refund.
GoDaddy offers an uptime guarantee of 99.9% and a 45-day money back guarantee on annual plans. However, things get tricky when requesting a refund for month-to-month plans. In this case, a refund must be requested within 48 hours of the initial purchase date, otherwise a partial refund will be given.
With the constant downtime and outages, I highly doubt that GoDaddy kept their uptime guarantee.
Winner: HostGator – offers clear and reliable hosting guarantees.
Nobody likes slow and buggy websites. The performance of your website will vary on several factors including the type of server that the website is hosted on.
It is also good to understand that shared hosting has limitations and that no matter which web host you use, you will not have a blazing-fast website.
Shared web hosting is ideal for small to medium sites. It is not a feasible option for sites that consume a lot of resources.
Normally, websites that are hosted with HostGator perform very well on shared servers. Outages and downtime is kept to a bare minimum. While several websites are hosted on the same server, we feel that it performed better than average.
Performance is where GoDaddy struggles. Their websites are slow. Constant downtime and random outages are almost a guarantee. They tend to place hundreds of websites on the same server.
Winner: HostGator – their websites load faster and their hosting servers have better reliability.
The importance of customer support does not come into play until you run into a problem and need assistance.
HostGator offers a 24/7 support structure via live chat, phone, and email ticketing. They have an active support forum and helpful video tutorials.
I contacted their technical support via live chat, asking a random question. My wait time was about a minute. A representative connected to the chat session in the stated time and assisted me in a professional and helpful matter. I felt completely satisfied.
With the exception of the live chat option (has limited hours of operation), GoDaddy offers customer support that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They offer a resource page that is filled with tutorials.
I contacted their live chat support and was advised that my estimated wait time was two minutes. However, I ended up waiting almost half an hour. The estimated wait time changed several times (see image below). Not a pleasant experience to say the least.
Winner: HostGator – offers a responsive customer support department.
- HostGator servers are faster and more reliable.
- HostGator provides you with a free website builder and templates.
- HostGator’s technical support department is responsive and knowledgeable.
- GoDaddy offers a free domain name with a purchase of a hosting account.
- GoDaddy has everything in one place (domains, ecommerce, email marketing, etc.).
- GoDaddy has constant coupons and promotions for web hosting.
Who is the Better Web Host, HostGator or GoDaddy?
If you are looking for a shared web hosting company, then either web host is going to work for you with a few minor exceptions. It all depends on the type of website that you plan on building.
While I prefer and recommend HostGator over GoDaddy, it is ideal to go with the host that you feel more comfortable with.
If you plan on building a WordPress website and expect large amounts traffic, I would recommend looking at WP Engine (a managed web hosting solution for WordPress sites).
Now over to you, which web host will you go with?