Bluehost vs Godaddy

Okay, if you’re going to pick between Bluehost and GoDaddy, I should tell you something right away: they’re not exactly everyone’s favourite providers.

In fact, both have a pretty poor reputation with web developers and more technical users. At some point, GoDaddy seemed to inject JavaScript code into the websites that you couldn’t remove.

Bluehost is owned by EIG, the biggest hosting conglomerate, which runs more than 70+ different services, and there have been issues with outages.

As you can see in our ranking table, we aren’t big fans either.

But, Bluehost and GoDaddy are still both incredibly popular, and somehow affordable too. Which is a good enough reason to compare them and see if they’d be a good fit for your hosting needs.

Bluehost Vs GoDaddy: An overview

Both Bluehost and GoDaddy offer four shared hosting plans, ranging from $3.99 – $25 a month. The first year is always reduced, sometimes by up to 50%. All plans have a free domain, unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth, except GoDaddy Economy ($8.99 / month, 100GB storage) and Bluehost Basic $8.99 / month, 50GB storage).

Find below a table with the winner for each round, it will give you a quick overall on what each provider offers.

Bluehost GoDaddy
Popularity Very popular Very popular
Ease of use Good Okay
Hosting features Good Good
Speed Okay Good
Uptime Good Good
Server locations 1 known location (USA) 9 locations around the world
Site migration Manual or paid service Manual or paid service
Scalability Good Excellent
Security Okay Okay
Support Okay Okay
Prices Affordable Affordable
Conclusion Slightly better for ease of use Better for the multiple product options and performance
More information Bluehost.com GoDaddy.com

Popularity and company

So I fell into a bit of a rabbit hole trying to find accurate stats here, as there was a lot of conflicting data on these two providers. Here’s the best I could do:

Note: Be aware that the previous numbers are rough estimations.

A few interesting things here. First, GoDaddy is considered a “mega technology” by the website BuiltWith. It shows their technology is used by 50+M websites worldwide. This is thanks to their service for buying domain names, and popular website builder, amongst dozens of other products. An article from 2012 also mentions those 50M domains, but has GoDaddy hosting 5M websites at the time.

More discrepancies: you’ll also find that Bluehost references hosting 2M websites worldwide. It’s on their website, and on the Bluehost WIkipedia page. Could be because the statistics websites don’t have access to all the numbers. Or because the marketing is using the biggest number they legally can.

Now an important point to note is that popularity can actually be a reason NOT to choose a hosting provider. It might mean their servers get overloaded, which could hurt your uptime and SEO – but more on that later.

Round 1: Ease of use

Okay, now let’s get started with practical details. Both Bluehost and GoDaddy use cPanel, which is the industry standard for controlling your website settings. The one for Bluehost is customized, and, I find, better looking. But both are equally easy to use, so I’d say it’s a tie at this stage.

However, what’s different with these two providers is how you get to your cPanel options.

For instance, have a look at this screenshot from the GoDaddy back end. There are 3 buttons here: Manage all, Setting up and Manage. Can you guess which one does what?

Bluehost Vs Godaddy user experience godaddy

No, me neither. With Bluehost, on the other hand, it’s pretty self-explanatory:

Bluehost Vs Godaddy user experience bluehost

The key takeaway is that it always takes me two or three extra clicks to work out how GoDaddy does things.

It’s not much, really, and it’s often a matter of trial and error. But because you don’t really need to manage your site that often, I never remember how to quickly get to the settings I want, which can be frustrating.

Speaking of frustrations, back when I compared Bluehost with SiteGround, I complained about Bluehost’s tendency to push too many upsells and use shady pricing techniques. It is still something I find annoying, and it can be overwhelming for beginners who are hosting a site for the first time.

The thing is, GoDaddy is just as bad in that respect. But at least, they don’t display their products all the way into your “Website Overview” tab.

Bluehost Vs Godaddy bluehost upsells

Bluehost backend ads

Winner: I find Bluehost offers a better user experience than GoDaddy, as long as you can ignore their constant attempts at selling you extra services.

Round 2 – Hosting features

Now diving into the nitty-gritty. Let’s see what you can get with both of these providers in terms of…

Storage

Generally speaking, both Bluehost and GoDaddy are generous with the storage options. Note that storage is per plan: if you have multiple websites, you’ll need to share the storage between all of them.

The data is stored on SSD drives with both providers, which are blazing fast, and most of the plans offer unlimited storage.

There are exceptions, though. The entry plan for Bluehost lets you store 50GB of data. With GoDaddy, it’s 100GB.

For WordPress hosting, GoDaddy also has different limits:

  • GoDaddy Basic WordPress hosting: 30 GB
  • GoDaddy Deluxe WordPress hosting: 75 GB
  • GoDaddy Deluxe WordPress hosting: unlimited

Finally, one quick word about file numbers. While both companies’ unlimited storage features don’t technically look at the amount of data, they do count how many files are on your servers. The limits are extremely generous, though, and they are considered “soft limits”, so you can even explain why you need so many files in the first place.

This is pretty technical, and honestly, the best way to understand it is to look directly on the Bluehost website or the GoDaddy website to see how they calculate what are called Inodes — unless you have hundreds of thousands of files on your site, I wouldn’t really worry about it.

Winner: I’m surprised GoDaddy has storage limits on their WordPress hosting plans, but all in all, I’d say it’s a tie here.

Bandwidth

Another slightly shady marketing technique here, as both GoDaddy and Bluehost claim to offer unlimited bandwidth. It’s true for most users, but not always.

For instance, here is the caveat for GoDaddy:

“We don’t limit the amount of storage and bandwidth your site can use as long as it complies with our Hosting Agreement. Should your website bandwidth or storage usage present a risk to the stability, performance or uptime of our servers, we will notify you via email and you may be required to upgrade.”

Similarly, Bluehost offers “unmetered” bandwidth, but they can still cancel your account if you exceed a maximum, undisclosed amount.

Winner: neither providers offer truly unlimited bandwidth. But to be fair, the limits are mostly to block file sharing websites, so once again, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Just keep an eye on the WordPress hosting plans if you purchase one. Otherwise, it’s a tie.

Backups

Bluehost has a pretty hands-off approach to backing up your site, which could be worrying to some power users. In short, they do it regularly, but at their discretion. They assume no responsibility for failed backups or lost data, which doesn’t sound reassuring.

My guess is that they’re pushing for you to buy the Site Backup Pro add-on, which costs $3 a month. It is included for free with the highest tiers, but still, not ideal.

GoDaddy is also trying to extort cash from you in order to secure your site, with their $2.99 a month Website Backup feature.

Bluehost Vs Godaddy backup tool godaddy

GoDaddy’s paid backup feature

Winner: everybody loses here, including you. Better have a strong website backup routine in place, or be ready to pay extra.

Domains, Subdomains & Parked Domains

Bluehost plans include a free domain with every plan for one year. Then there are limits to the amount of subdomains and subdomains you can add, 5 for the Basic plan, and 25 for the Plus plan. It’s unlimited with the top plan.

Bluehost - free domain name

GoDaddy, known mostly as the place to buy domains, also offers one free domain when you buy hosting for at least a year on all plans, and only for the first purchase term. You then have unlimited subdomains on the Deluxe, Ultimate and Maximum plans.

Bluehost Vs Godaddy domains and subdomains godaddy

Email accounts

You can create unlimited email accounts with unlimited space on Bluehost’s plans. All of them, except the Basic plan, where it’s 5 email accounts and 100MB of storage.

godaddy hosting email accounts

GoDaddy cPanel email accounts

With GoDaddy, all the plans include 1 Microsoft Office 365 email account for one year only. After that, you can choose to auto renew. Alternatively, you can also use the cPanel email system if you have a hosting plan with them.

Winner: Adding professional email addresses with both is easy enough. A point for both!

FTP, SFTP accounts and SSH

For secure file uploading, Bluehost lets you use SFTP, but only on your main FTP account. GoDaddy has SFTP available for the regular and WordPress hosting plans. SSH is supported with both.

Bluehost - ssh key generator

Winner: both good here.

SSL & HTTP/2

SSL certificates, which enable HTTPS (or secure browsing) is a must have these days. It’s better for SEO, and primordial for ecommerce. Bluehost gives you free SSL via Let’s Encrypt, and HTTP/2 with every plan.

godaddy ssl certificates

GoDaddy’s cPanel SSL certificates

GoDaddy is a bit more stingy, only offering a free SSL certificate with their Ultimate and Maximum plans. It’s for 1 year only with Ultimate, and $69.99 a year thereafter. With Maximum, you get it as long as you host your site with them.

Winner: Bluehost, because it’s included.

WordPress

As previously mentioned a few times in this review, both GoDaddy and Bluehost offer specific plans for hosting a WordPress site.

The idea is that they are:

  • Faster: due to specific optimizations for the WordPress code
  • Easy to install: one click install are available with both hosting providers
  • Easier to manage: you can log into your account and go straight to your WP dashboard
  • Performance optimized for WordPress sites

Sidenote: You can still use WordPress with the regular (and cheaper) shared hosting, WordPress-focused plans can be a good option for larger projects.

Having tried both, I’ll have to say they tick all the boxes there. I won’t go into too much detail about each plan, but this table should help you get an idea of what you get:

WordPress hosting GoDaddy Bluehost
Entry plan Around $7 a month. 1 website, 30GB storage. Free email and domain for 1 year. 75K visitors Around $8 a month.1 website, 50GB storage, free domain for 1 year.
Mid-tier $9 a month. Same as above + 75GB storage, 100K visitors. Around $10 a month. Same as above + unlimited websites, free SSL
High tier $15 a month. Same as above + unlimited storage and visitors Around $15 a month. Same as above + 500M visitors
eCommerce $23 a month. Same as above + no WooCommerce fees and free WooCommerce plugins. N/A

Now that all looks pretty good on paper, but there are a few features I couldn’t find, such as:

  • Flexible automatic system updates
  • Automatic plugin update

Winner: both okay, but another provider like SiteGround would be a better option thanks to their advanced WordPress features (all the ones mentioned above).

Also, if you need more info about the Bluehost pricing, including the dedicated WordPress pricing, do check out our dedicated post here.

Round 3 – Speed

Google recommends having a website that loads under 3 seconds. According to our in-depth tests, we found that GoDaddy did much better than Bluehost here:

  • GoDaddy: 2.85 seconds
  • Bluehost: 3.32 seconds

We already know they both store data on SSD drives, so what gives? It’s hard to tell, but here are a few notes:

  • There is no natively installed server side caching system on GoDaddy’s shared servers with the exception of their Managed WordPress plans, which use Varnish caching.
  • Both providers have been supporting HTTP2 since 2017 at least.
  • Both use updated versions of PHP.

Winner: In our series of speed tests, we found that GoDaddy sites load 16% faster than Bluehost’s.

Round 4 – Uptime

Another good benchmark to aim for here: a website that is up for at least 99.95% of the time. And the good news here is that both providers did really well in our independent tests (1-year uptime monitor), with the following results:

  • Bluehost: 99.98% uptime
  • GoDaddy: 99.97% uptime

Winner: a 0,01% difference is so negligible this is clearly a tie.

Round 5 – Server location

What about the servers? It turns out one company is pretty opaque about where they are located, and that’s Bluehost. The Utah-based company only lists their servers as based in Utah.

It doesn’t mean they only have one location, but it’s a puzzle many people have been trying to solve.

GoDaddy is much more transparent here, listing 9 locations worldwide, including the US, Asia and Europe. Some of their WordPress plans also run on AWS.

Winner: GoDaddy, only for being more transparent.

Round 6 – Site migration

Of course you can move content manually by downloading and uploading all your website files. But what if you want to move your site automatically to or from Bluehost? It’s going to cost you around $150, which includes up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts.

GoDaddy has a handy guide for moving your content to their shared hosting plans, but don’t worry, they’ll happily take your money if you want a migration expert to do it for you (undisclosed price).

Winner: neither offer a free, automated migration service, so it’s a tie.

Round 7 – Scalability

In this round, I’ll look at the amount of options you have if you need to change your hosting plan. Generally speaking, it’s about growing your site to accommodate more data, visitors, or bandwidth.

But since both providers don’t really cap storage and bandwidth, I’d look instead at the other hosting options.

With Bluehost, you have:

  • Shared hosting: the most likely candidate if you are on this page. The servers are shared with other sites, but great for small businesses and personal websites.
  • Virtual Private Server: Hosting accounts isolated from other hosting users, suited if you need customized server configurations.
  • Dedicated hosting: as the name suggests, these are your servers only
  • Cloud hosting plans: good for managing fluctuating numbers of visitors. They’re very cheap with Bluehost. Add more or less resources as you need them.
  • And WordPress optimized hosting, which I’ve already covered a few times above.

GoDaddy also offers all of the above, plus what they call Business hosting (a compromise between VPS and shared hosting), and Reseller plans, for companies or people who host sites for their clients.

You also have the option to choose between Windows or Linux servers, which is quite a rarity in the world of web hosting.

Winner: GoDaddy has many more options.

Round 8 – Security

Bluehost is once again pretty tight-lipped about their included security features, probably because they want you to buy SiteLock, an external security solution that starts at about $30 per year.

They also offer SSL, SFTP and SSH access on all plans, as well as PHP 7 by default.

GoDaddy’s new servers also support PHP7, and SSH. Of course, to nobody’s surprise, they do sell security features as another product to add to your cart. It’s called Website Security, and costs between around $16 – 25 a month, based on the features you need.

Bluehost Vs Godaddy godaddy security addon

GoDaddy security plans

These, by the way, are the kind of features you need to buy with GoDaddy.

Bluehost Vs Godaddy godaddy security addon features

It should give you pause. Does that mean you don’t get a 100% clean site if you don’t buy the security add-on? Hmm…

Winner: Neither seem particularly safe or unsafe, so I’d say it’s a tie.

Round 9 – Support

While I did run an in-depth support test for website builders, I’ve yet to do one with hosting providers. But I don’t remember either GoDaddy or Bluehost excelling in that respect. Here are your options, though:

  • Bluehost: US phone support 24/7, help tickets, and help chat, which sounds live but isn’t really. Their knowledge base is decent, but lacks images or video how-tos.
  • GoDaddy: loads of local phone numbers to call 24/7, a good knowledge base, and community forums. The live chat button is somewhat hidden on their contact page, but it’s available.

Bluehost support, I should say, seemed a bit slower to respond to my questions, and often with rushed answers, like their teams are overwhelmed.

Winner: once again, neither top the list of best providers in terms of support, but I’d say GoDaddy wins this round.

Round 10 – Prices & Plans

Okay, to wrap things up let’s go over the prices in detail. Note the two prices, including the 12 month introductory offer and renewal thereafter.

Bluehost GoDaddy

Basic

$2.95 / month first year

$8.99 / month renewal

1 website

25 subdomains

50GB SSD storage

Unlimited bandwidth

Free SSL

5 emails

Economy

$6.99 / month first year

$8.99 / month renewal

1 website

100GB storage

Free domain

Free business email for 1 year

Plus

$4.95 / month first year

$12.99 / month renewal

Unlimited websites, bandwidth

storage and subdomains

Free SSL

Unlimited emails

Deluxe

$9.99 / month first year

$11.99 / month renewal

Unlimited websites and storage

Free domain

Free business email for 1 year

Choice Plus

$5.45 / month first year

$16.99 / month renewal

Unlimited websites, bandwidth,

storage and subdomains

Site Backup included

Free SSL

Unlimited emails

Ultimate

$14.49 / month first year

$$16.99 month renewal

Free domain

Free business email for 1 year

2x processing power and memory

Free SSL certificate for 1 year

Pro

$13.95 / month first year

$25.99 / month renewal

Unlimited websites, bandwidth,

storage and subdomains

Site Backup included

Dedicated IP

Free SSL

Unlimited emails

Maximum

$22.99 / month first year

$24.99 / month renewal

Free domain

Free business email for 1 year

2x processing power and memory

2x Maximum site traffic

Free SSL certificate for full term

So the first thing I’d point out here is that you pretty much get the same thing with both providers. What should make you pick one over the other here is:

  • SSL certificates (Bluehost is more generous)
  • Storage for the entry plan (GoDaddy is more generous)

You should also keep an eye for special sales. I’ve seen prices for GoDaddy’s first year go as low as $1.99 for the Economy plan!

Winner: Bluehost tends to be more affordable, but not by much. It also has free SSL certificates with all its plans.

GoDaddy vs Bluehost – Concussion

So after all that, I have to say Bluehost and GoDaddy are very hard to separate. They all have their pros and cons, but they seem to be very similar in terms of features, prices, and quality.

Still, if I had to choose, I would say Bluehost is better for:

People who like simplicity. GoDaddy is more overwhelming with all their products, add-ons and options, and the user experience can be confusing.

Who is GoDaddy for?

Businesses who want faster hosting and scalability: there are simply way more options to choose from in terms of plans, and our speed tests showed GoDaddy clearly won there. And of course, if you need Windows hosting.

Now there was a time when Bluehost was the recommended hosting service for WordPress sites. These days, I would clearly go for another service like SiteGround, which has much better WP-oriented features.

And for smaller websites on tight budgets, DreamHost is a better alternative, with a much better value.

Hope that clears things up for you! And don’t forget to check out our other hosting provider comparisons here:

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