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The 8 Easiest and Best Managed WordPress Hosting Platforms [Ranked for 2020]

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

Managed WordPress hosting is not only the easiest way to get your website setup, but it's also one of the most affordable hosting options when you factor in all of the support you'll be getting and the fact that there are numerous plans available for any budget, and it's also the most popular way to create a website, which means there's no shortage of people out there willing to help you with anything you need.

There are countless, beautiful, very feature-packed WordPress themes out there that allow you to change the style and functions of your site in just a moment, and an endless array of different

WordPress is open-source software with many passionate people working to make it better all the time. WordPress is what is known as a CMS, or a content management system. It is a platform upon which you can create your website, and WordPress takes care of all the heavy lifting, so that all you've really got do it is add your text, customize things however you want, and you're pretty much good to go.

Your WordPress installation is stored on a server owned by a hosting company. Once you've decided to use WordPress (it's the correct choice for the vast majority of people, so good call), you'll need to choose which type of hosting you want, and then you'll need to choose a hosting company.

We're going to be talking about the different types of hosting that you'll want to consider, and we'll help you decide exactly which one is the best fit for your website plans.

Let's start things off by comparing unmanaged vs managed WordPress hosting and going over what differentiates them, and then we'll recommend some of the absolute best hosting companies for WordPress sites, from all of the different categories of hosting, so that no matter how big or small your site is going to be, you'll be with a hosting company that you can count on.

Managed WordPress Hosting vs. Unmanaged: Which is Better?

It's not really a matter of better or worse, because these are two different things, and some people prefer unmanaged, whereas other people appreciate the benefits of managed a lot more. So, let's just go over what you need to know about each type, and you can decide from there…

Unmanaged Hosting: In other words, “you're on your own.” You are responsible for administrative tasks on your server, if something goes wrong it's up to you to find the solution, if software needs to be installed or updated, that's on you, ensuring there aren't any security issues, knowing what to do if you get hacked, and optimizing your site's performance is just scratching the surface of what's involved with an unmanaged server, even if you're only using a relatively simple app like WordPress on it.

The hosting company provides you with the raw physical hardware, and it's up to you to go from there. This is good for people who are really into tech, and computer savvy, and want to have absolute 100% control over every single aspect of their server, and that have experience. If you're just starting out, there are much, much easier ways to go, which brings us to…

Managed Hosting: With this option, the hosting company will help you out with just about everything, and getting your site setup and keeping it running smoothly is a BREEZE. Hosting companies, at least the good ones, have made the process so simple over the years. It used to be trickier, but now it really couldn't be easier, especially with some of the top choices down below.

With managed hosting, they'll help you get WordPress installed (Some of them even offer 1-click or auto-installer wizards for WordPress). Managed hosting plans give you access to tech support, included for free, that you won't find with unmanaged hosts, who only offer support for hardware related things.

It's pretty obvious that unmanaged hosting can be great for people who really don't mind having it turn into a whole project, and who have a history and experience when it comes to managing servers. Managed hosting is for people who aren't super tech savvy, or are just more interested in working on their website itself rather than toiling away maintaining their server.

Different Types of Servers: Which One Should You Choose?

In the lower price range, we've got managed shared hosting and we've got unmanaged VPS hosting. An unmanaged VPS is where you've got to set everything up yourself and maintain it and you don't really get any support with anything software related, which is a huge pain if you don't know what you're doing.

Shared Hosting (Managed)

Who is it for?: For smaller websites, that aren't super popular yet. For small business websites, and new sites that are just getting started.

Shared hosting is the best option for the vast majority of websites.

Managed shared hosting means that one server is home to a handful of different websites, you're sharing the server with other people, and that brings down the price for everyone.

Since one server is plenty powerful enough to power quite a few websites, everyone gets a little slice of the resources, and as long as no sites are hogging too much power from the server, everyone's sites continue to chug along nicely. Basically, you're renting out a room in a hotel instead of renting out the entire hotel, since you can only sleep in one bed at a time.

Managed VPS

Who is it for?: For websites that get a fair amount of visitors on a regular basis, typically websites for businesses that are earning money through their website and can invest in the higher price, sites that don't quite need a fully dedicated server yet…

Now, imagine if that hotel took an entire floor and closed it off for you. You hear about rockstars or athletes renting out an entire floor of a hotel. In website terms, this would be a site that's getting more popular, it needs to be able to handle more people at once than a single room could, and what we're described here is called a VPS, or virtual private server.

A VPS is still a smaller piece of a larger server, but it's more private than shared hosting, as explained by our example of renting a floor in a hotel. We already briefly discussed an unmanged VPS, but there are also managed VPS plans available, and we'll be featuring some excellent brands.

This is kind of the best of both worlds, you get the lower price like shared hosting, but with the added performance of dedicated hosting, for sites that don't quite need a dedicated server yet.

Dedicated Servers

Who is it for?: Huge websites that get a LOT of traffic, big media companies, newspapers, magazines, large online stores…

Finally, there's dedicated servers which are for very popular websites that get a lot of visitors. That would be like renting the entire hotel, every single room on every single floor. A dedicated server means the entire server is dedicated to hosting your website, and you aren't sharing it with anyone else in any way, shape, or form.

The plus side is that you'll have access to the full resources of the server, but the downside is that there's nobody else in the hotel, so to speak, to split the cost with you – you're stuck footing the whole bill, and some dedicated servers start at hundreds of dollars per month.

Which Managed WordPress Hosting Type Should You Choose?

A lot of companies that offer shared hosting also have options for VPS or dedicated servers, so it can be a lot easier to start out with an affordable shared host, then as your site grows, you can upgrade accordingly. When you're staying with the same host, it's really easy to upgrade your hosting plan, or even downgrade it if you bit off more than you could chew initially.

The main advantage of unmanaged hosting is that it usually costs a bit less, since the company doesn't have to spend as much on support staff. However, most people end up needing some help from support at one time or another, and it's way less expensive to have managed hosting than it would cost you to actually hire a developer to help troubleshoot your server if you run into some errors.

Hiring a professional to manage your unmanaged server can be quite costly, it's usually a lot cheaper to just get a managed server, even if you only need to message support every once in a while.

Some of the companies we're going to be featuring have such good managed plans for WordPress that it's hard to imagine a beginner using anything else.

Managed hosting is definitely worth the price for people who haven't spent a lot of time studying and learning how to manage servers. It's not something you should just dive into and learn as you go, if you have an important website relying on a solid server, because it's so easy to make a mistake or to overlook some small detail and ends up making your site easy for hackers to take control over.

With managed hosting, you know all the i's are dotted and all the t's are crossed.

Here are the BEST Managed WordPress hosts in 2020:

There are new hosting companies popping up everyday, and older ones closing down all the time. The following companies are all very established, and won't be going anywhere anytime soon. With hosting, it's so easy to setup a reseller account with any of the following companies, and to make it look like someone is running their own host, when in reality they're just piggy-backing off a bigger host.

That's fine and everything, but you're better off just going right to the source and cutting out the middlemen. Here are our absolute favorite costs, in a few different categories, so that you can find an excellent solution no matter what your needs are, even if you still aren't even really sure exactly what you need from a webhost.

Bluehost

Out of every host featured on this list, Bluehost has the easiest sign-up and setup process that we've come across.

You just sign up for your account, and WordPress is waiting for you, already installed and ready for you to start customizing it and adding your content.

We can't even fathom how it could be any easier, no wonder tons of mom bloggers and business owners use Bluehost for their hosting. It used to take some experience and knowing what to do in order to set it up correctly, but thanks to Bluehost working so closely with WordPress itself and drastically optimizing their servers to run WordPress perfectly, it's just so simple.

So, if you're looking for managed shared hosting, and you want to use the WordPress platform to create your site, Bluehost is probabally going to be your best bet. The next two hosts that we're going to be looking at are similar, with similar offerings, and they're definitely worth considering as well, as an alternative to Bluehost.

In addition to shared hosting, Bluehost also offers VPS, dedicated servers, and more to choose from. If you're just starting out, shared is the way to go, because it costs a lot less than a VPS or a dedicated server, and you won't need all of  the extra resources yet.

Bluehost's shared hosting comes with the same level of awesome customer support, their team are literally experts at WordPress and will help you with anything you need, and they're on call 24/7 so you can get the help you need, around the clock, quickly!

Siteground

Siteground is an excellent hosting company – Their plans are in the same ballpark is Bluehost, they have similar offerings, and they excel in many of the same ways.

The big difference is that Siteground gives you a specific amount of resources in their shared plans and tells you exactly how many you can use, whereas Bluehost says “unlimited” with a little * that says your plan is unlimited, as long as you're not using an excessive amount of resources.

Server resources are used up when people visit your site. Things like bandwidth are finite, there isn't really a such thing as “unlimited”, especially since you'll eventually get cut-off if you use too much.

In Bluehost's defense, you have to really be abusing the server in order to run into any issues, and for the typical user, it may as well be unlimited, for all intents and purposes. None the less, it's good that Siteground tells you exactly what you've got, so for a fast-growing site, you can plan your server needs accordingly and upgrade before you run into any trouble.

At the end of the day, it's essentially the same, just two different ways of going about it.

Other than that, Siteground has amazing support too, reasonable prices, and some very tempting offers for first-time customers, too.

Hostgator

Hostgator is very similar to Bluehost, and they're owned by the same company, but there are some minor differences, too. Both are among the very top hosting brands in the world, have been around for a long time, and have great track records considering how many millions of websites are hosting between them.

One trait we recommend using to choose between Hostgator and Bluehost is simply to visit them both, and go with whichever one is currently offering the best discount. It's  common to see various discounts and promotions from both of these companies, so if one of them has a better promotion listed on their site when you visit them, that's probably going to be the right choice.

You can also lock in those discounts by signing up for a longer term, and that's also highly recommended, as long as you plan to have your website online for at least a couple of years.

Knownhost

Knownhost's managed VPS servers offer strong performance at a very reasonable price, starting at around $30 per month. It's a step up in terms of performance from shared hosting, and is also managed, meaning you get full access to Knownhost's excellent customer support who will help you with just about anything you could possibly run into.

How Much Does KnownHost Cost?

Knownhost has very fast response times and their staff really know their stuff. As far as super high quality managed VPS plans go, Knownhost is among the most reasonable priced.

They have a lot of different options to choose from, but all of their servers are great, so find  the one that fits your budget the best. It usually only takes a couple of minutes for them to reply to a support ticket, and they've always been very quick to solve any hiccups.

Their overall uptime is among the highest in the industry, and they offer free migrations so you can bring your WordPress site over if you already have one.

If you're currently with a different WordPress host and you're unhappy, Knownhost is a great company to migrate over to. In addition to their managed virtual private servers for WordPress, they also have shared WordPress hosting starting at around $6 per month.

WP Engine

WP Engine is an entire hosting company entirely focused on WordPress. While pretty much every host is going to support WordPress, this one takes it a step further. With other options like Bluehost, you can install any other software that you want, if there's something you would rather use instead of WordPress.

With WP Engine, on the other hand, it's all about WordPress and nothing else. They have completely optimized their entire platform around WordPress, creating a custom and unique experience. All their staff has to worry about is WordPress, so they're obsessed with it, and experts.

WP Engine is on the pricier side, they offer shared WordPress hosting starting at $29 per month. You're also limited in terms of how many visitors your site can have, and it's not a terribly high amount until you get into their pricier plans.

InMotion Hosting

InMotion is an excellent hosting company. They aren't as big as Bluehost or Hostgator, but they've grown over the years quite a bit due to word of mouth and holding onto happy customers. While  they aren't quite as well known as some companies on this list, they're still a gem.

They're fully capable of handling even the most demanding websites, and they offer very reasonable prices, comprehensive packages, and solid around-the-clock support to help with anything you need.

Their “business hosting” plan is comparable to the shared hosting plans we've been looking at, it's fully managed and comes with unlimited resources (Well, “unlimited” in the sense that we discussed earlier.)

Their Business plan is able to handle WordPress, but for a dollar more per month, you can get their WordPress Hosting package that is further optimized and completely built around WordPress. The difference between that, and the business plan, is that WordPress Hosting is only for WordPress, whereas the business option can run WordPress, or any other platform instead.

In between, you can see their VPS, dedicated, and reseller servers. A reseller hosting plan is good if you have clients that you manage, it allows you to keep track of everything in one place, without having them all on the exact same control panel account. It gives you that degree of separation between your client's sites, but it's essentially shared hosting just the same.

Liquidweb

Liquidweb is a high-end VPS company. Their prices start in the $60 ballpark and go up from there. They are a very well established hosting company that has a great reputation, especially for really important projects like eCommerce online stores, business websites, and busy sites that need that premium treatment.

They have recently introduced the first managed hosting platform designed around WooCommerce in particular, which is an add-on for WordPress that makes it very simply to turn your regular WordPress site into a eCommerce powerhouse.

Liquidweb is also priced on the higher end, but it depends on how powerful of a server you too. Generally speaking, when you're at the point where you need to spend $70 or $100 dollars per month on your site to keep it performing great, you're going to be earning a lot more than that anyways, so it's a very worthwhile investment.

Here's a table that Liquidweb released that helps point out the difference between managed and unmanaged, or as they refer to it as “DIY hosting”.

With 20 years in business, and over 600 employees working for them, Liquidweb is one of the bigger premium hosting brands. They take the phrase “fully managed” very seriously, from this site: “We take on your server administration, including hardware management, network management, operating system and pre-installed software support, proactive security patches and updates, and proactive service monitoring and restoration.”

Vultr

If you're familiar with Vultr, you might be thinking, “Wait, what are they doing here?” Good point, because Vultr is an unmanaged hosting company. They have servers starting at a few bucks per month for something really barebones and simple, and their servers are easy to scale up.

Using a service called ServerPilot.io, you can add a control panel to an unmanaged server that helps you manage it yourself, so that you don't have to go into Linux's command prompt to make changes the hard way.

Going this route means you can save some money, still get solid performance, and essentially outsource to a paid ServerPilot account to use their support.

This is more for people who already know  their way around hosting. It's not a complex as the full “diy” method, but it's not nearly as simple as some of the other options we've looked at either. It's for people who want the convenience of managed hosting, but want to be more hands-on with the setup and maintenance process, too.

If how websites work is an interesting hobby for you, this could be a good way to dip your toes in the water a little deeper than shared hosting offers, but if you want to focus on your site itself, and leave the behind-the-scenes stuff to the professionals, you should choose any of the other options on this list instead. None the less, it worth mentioning as an alternative.

Final Thoughts & Overall Top Picks

There you have it, a handful of different hosting companies to choose from, that are all fully managed (except Vultr.)

If you're setting up a WordPress site, you can't go wrong with any of the choices on this page. Our overall top pick for beginners is Bluehost because they just make the whole process of creating a site so easy.

Their platform works so well with WordPress, it comes already setup for you, and its a great way to introduce yourself to the world of hosting and creating websites.

For Managed, Shared, WordPress hosting we recommend:

BLUEHOST.

Now, if you need a little more gusto than shared hosting, maybe your site is already established, or you're going to be using your site for business (Beyond just a simple small business site, in which case shared would still be totally acceptable), then you'll want to consider stepping up to a VPS, which is a tier above shared hosting in terms of performance, and price.

For a managed VPS, we recommend:

SiteGround or Knowhost.

Siteground is one of the Top VPS Hosting companies out there and Knownhost has recently started offering shared hosting as well, but it's their VPS' that made them famous. They're not the cheapest, and they're not the most expensive, but they're putting out some of the very best value in this space. Their servers are great, and they occasionally offer free upgrades to existing customers as they upgrade their offerings for new clients.

WEB HOSTING 12 minutes

Top Vultr Alternatives For Fast, Affordable, and Reliable Hosting 2020

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

Vultr is a popular cloud VPS hosting platform that is most noted for their low entry price, making unmanaged VPS hosting a lot more accessible to people who may otherwise not be able to afford to host their websites.

That said, Vultr isn't perfect for everyone.

Some people have had mixed results with them, noting that other similar hosts sometimes offer a higher tier of performance, even if Vultr's specs are higher, on paper, it doesn't always work that way in practice.

It's great to have a budget option like Vultr, and it opens the doors for a lot of new webmasters, but sometimes you're looking for something different, something that packs a little more punch…

Also, another reason that people might seek out Vultr alternatives is that they find it difficult to set up their sites using Vultr. Unmanaged hosting isn't for everyone, and it's especially not the best choice for beginners.

Why Look for Vultr Alternatives

If you're just getting started in the wild world of web hosting, it's probably a good idea to start off with what is known as “shared hosting”, or managed shared hosting, because that means that the hosting company themselves are going to take care of setting up the server for you, and many shared hosts also have incredibly easy solutions for installing WordPress, or whatever other platforms you want to use to manage your site. We recommend WordPress because it's powerful, easy, and widely supported.

Take a look at these options below because we're going to feature a few different hosting brands that each offer something unique and different compared to Vultr, and ultimately you can go with the one that will be the best fit for your project and for your needs. We'll explain why each of these is a viable choice, and how they differ from Vultr in particular.

That's not to say that Vultr isn't good, they're certainly not a bad hosting company, but sometimes you just want something different, regardless of what the reason is, so here are our absolute top picks when you need an alternative to Vultr.

We'll start off with other unmanaged VPS providers, who offer a similar service to Vultr, and then we'll feature some shared hosting plans as well, which is definitely where you want to start off if you're looking for something easy to set up and where you don't need to learn how to actually manage the server yourself, because these companies take care of all the work for you. You may end up paying a little bit more for managed hosting vs unmanaged, but it can be well worth it in the long run since you'll save yourself a ton of headaches.

Before we dive into the other options, let's quickly give a rundown of what Vultr offers, so we have something to compare these other brands to.

Here's an overview of Vultr's hosting packages:

The first thing that jumps out here on Vultr's pricing table is that their prices start at just $2.50, which is among the lowest you'll find for a decent quality server.

Now, when you compare them to the options below, it's important to remember that “1 CPU” with one company isn't necessarily the equivalent to “1 CPU” from another brand. Some companies use newer, faster hardware and other companies use older, slower hardware in order to cut down on costs, and in order to be able to offer lower prices. 1 CPU from one brand could outperform another company's 2, 3 or 4 CPUs. The same goes for other specs, too.

Since most of these companies are quite competitive, a decent rule of thumb is to compare them based on price, rather than the specs that they list, since it can still vary a lot. Also, the location of the server, the type of website you're running, how well your theme/site is optimized, and many other factors can have a big impact on performance.

Top 3 Alternatives to Vultr:

  1. Digital Ocean
  2. Bluehost (shared hosting)
  3. Siteground

Here are some alternatives that are similar in the sense that they're also unmanaged VPS companies like Vultr is, however they aren't identical. These are the leaders in this space, and anyone of them would make an excellent choice.

Digital Ocean

Digital Ocean is the first brand that comes to mind for many when they think about unmanaged VPS providers. Digital Ocean has grown massively over the years, and while they weren't the first to offer this type of hosting, they definitely brought it into the mainstream. They've tried to bridge the gap between something that's easy to use like shared hosting, and something that offers more flexibility like a barebones dedicated server.

Digital Ocean certainly isn't easy to set up if you're inexperienced, in fact, it's about the same as Vultr, give or take. Both companies have done a great job of making the registration and server-setup process as easy as you can for this type of hosting, but it's still not as easy or straightforward as shared hosting. On the plus side, it's a good geeky weekend project if you're looking for something like that, however if you simply want to get your website up and running as quickly as possible, you'll want to go with shared hosting instead.

Here's an overview of Digital Ocean's plans:

For simplicity's sake, let us compare Digital Ocean's entry-level plan to that of Vultr. Digital Ocean charges 2x the price, for 512MB and 1 CPU, but they offer twice the data transfer compared to Vultr's most entry-level plan, which can make a big difference. Now, if you compare Digital Ocean's $5 plan to Vultr's $5 plan, you'll see that Vultr offers twice as much RAM. However, just to repeat an important point from earlier, what really makes the difference is the actual hardware they're using, not just the specs of it.

In either case, both should work out very well for most websites or web applications, however, if you aren't on a strict budget, you may be slightly better off with Digital Ocean.

Shared Hosting Instead of Unmanaged VPS

The other style of hosting that's worth considering instead of Vultr or any of the above brands is called ‘shared hosting' and the major appeal is that it's considerably easier to set up, especially if you're new to this whole thing. When you register a shared hosting account, you're basically ready to go right out of the gates, you don't have to learn the ins and outs of server setup and maintenance.

Shared hosting is “managed”, which means that the hosting company takes care of just about everything for you, from keeping things up to date, to ensure that security is up to par, and more. With unmanaged VPS like the ones we featured earlier in this article, you're on your own in many more ways. That doesn't mean Digital Ocean and Vultr don't have customer support, it's just the scope of their support is a lot more limited.

Since it's not uncommon to run into issues getting unmanaged servers setup, even though most of the companies come with great instructions, we wanted to highlight some much easier options.

If you're just looking to get a website set up and ready to go with a minimal amount of extra work or tinkering, the following options are going to be your best bet.

BlueHost

BlueHost is a wildly popular hosting company that has a variety of different products available, however, their shared hosting plans are their bread and butter and those are what we're going to be focusing on today.

Their shared hosting plans vary in price, starting near the entry-level of what we've looked at so far, and going up from there, depending on what you need.

Most new websites can get away with the cheapest option, at least to start with, but you'll want to think about upgrading at some point if your site starts to gain traction.

Let's go over what BlueHost has to offer, and what sets them apart…

 

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You'll notice the pricing is a bit different. Since you're sharing a server with other websites, the servers are much more powerful than the ones offered by the VPS companies we looked at first. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you'll get better performance from a shared host, because even though you're on a more powerful server, you're still sharing it with other sites, rather than having your own RAM, CPU,  and other specs that are allocated specifically to your website.

The absolute best reason to go with BlueHost, especially if you're newer to this, or even if you just like saving time, is the fact that they make it incredibly simple to get your website up and running, and especially if you're using WordPress. Once you sign up, you're pretty much all set, it only takes a few minutes to start working on your site with BlueHost, and the WordPress platform makes it easy to manage your site.

BlueHost works very closely with WordPress and have done an industry-leading job of incorporating their hosting plans with WP, making the two a dream team for hosting all sorts of websites, from blogs to business sites, to sites for sports teams, and anything else you can imagine.

You can get a free domain name with BlueHost, their famous 1-click WordPress installation, and 24/7 access to customer support who can help you with everything you need to get your website up and running, but chances are you don't need much help since it's all very straightforward. It's set up in a way that anyone can do it, you don't have to be a techie person or some kind of computer programmer, you just have to be someone who wants their very own website!

BlueHost has been around for ages and they're one of the leaders in the hosting industry, but they aren't the only company offering this type of service. Let's take a look at another option.

SiteGround

SiteGround offers similar options and packages to BlueHost, with some small differences. Here's a quick rundown of SiteGround's packages…

Siteground hosting specs

One key difference is that SiteGround tells you exactly how many resources you've got for your site, for example, the storage space for your website, and your bandwidth. Even though Bluehost offers “unlimited” plans, it's not actually unlimited, it should be read more like “within reason” because if your site is using an unreasonable amount of resources, you'll have to upgrade your plan. At least with SiteGround, they tell you what those numbers are.

It's not something you really have to worry about, most sites aren't going to come anywhere near using up all of their allotted resources, and by the time your site is, you'll probably want to upgrade to a higher-end and more expensive hosting plan anyways. That's why it is not a bad idea to start out with the cheaper ones like StartUp from SiteGround or Basic from BlueHost – you can always upgrade!

SiteGround, like BlueHost, is also very easy to setup. SiteGround also has excellent support staff who are available around the clock and can be contacted in a number of different ways. This is a company that has been around for a long time and proven itself as a mainstay in the world of hosting.

They know what it takes to run websites, from simple and small sites to massive sites that get used all around the world. SiteGround can definitely help you get your site online, and they're one of the easiest options out there.

Conclusion

We've talked about Vultr and what they have to offer, and highlighted four alternative hosting companies that you can check out, but which one is the best? It really depends on what you need and what you're looking for, and what your level of expertise is. We recommend each of the companies featured on this page, so whichever one catches your eye is probably going to be the best option for you. Beyond that, here are some more things to consider:

What's your budget?

All of the companies on this page offer affordable entry points, with the ability to upgrade to high-tier plans, so it's a draw in this category. Shared hosting and unmanaged VPS hosting are both among the most affordable options out there, and they both have the potential to scale up to serve very busy websites. So, whether you're just getting started, or you already have a popular site that you're thinking of moving to a new host, you're covered with any of these options.

Do you know what you're doing?

If you know your way around server administration, you'll probably want to go with Digital Ocean or Siteground. They offer a bit more flexibility and customization, but should only be used by more experienced people.

If this is all new you to, on the other hand, we'd recommend going with one of the much easier options like SiteGround or BlueHost, where everything's pretty much done for you already, so you don't have to roll up your sleeves when it comes to server stuff – you can skip all of that and start working on your site immediately, instead.

What's your site for?

If you're making a small hobby site for yourself, you can get away with the most entry-level plans on this page. If you're going to be making a site for a business, or anything that's a little more on the important side, or anything that you expect to be quite popular, it might not be a bad idea to skip ahead to one of the higher-tier plans offered by any of the brands we looked at today. You'll unlock better performance which is crucial for businesses and other important sites, not to say that your personal hobby site isn't important!

COMPARISON 14 minutes

Shopify vs. WordPress – Where to Start Your eCommerce Website in 2020

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

We've compared Shopify to other dedicated eCommerce and site builders in the past, but comparing them to WordPress is a different story. There are some similarities between the two platforms, and some very stark differences.

We're going to be taking an in-depth look at Shopify and what they have to offer, and how it differs from using WordPress to create your online store or your website/blog.

Either one of these could be the clear winner, it just depends on what you're aiming for, and what type of website you are looking to create.

Both options are easy to setup, easy to update and manage, and are superior to other options out there.

Before we get into it, it's worth pointing out that we're referring specifically to the self-hosted version of WordPress that you can setup with just about any hosting company out there. There's another closed-off version of WordPress that you can only use if you host it directly with WordPress themselves, but that's not an option that's worth exploring, especially if you're looking to run an online store or a business from your website.

Finally, we'll end this comparison by recommending a couple of hosting companies that can help you get setup and running on WordPress very easily, if that's the route you want to take. With Shopify, they host it themselves, so it's one less thing you need to worry about setting up.

The Differences Between WordPress and Shopify

WordPress is a CMS, which stands for content management system. It's the backbone of your website, and you can put any number of different themes or templates on top of it. WordPress is open-source software, which means that there is a huge community of people who work together to improve it, to fix issues with it, and to create add-ons and plugins to bring out additional functionality.

Out of the box, WordPress doesn't have any features built in for online stores. WordPress's core functionality is for managing a blog, a news site, a small business website, and so on. None the less, there are a number of popular plugins that allow you to open a shop right on your WordPress site. There are shopping carts, storefronts, themes that look beautiful for showcasing your items for sale, ways to track inventory, to accept orders and payments… Essentially, you can turn your WordPress website into a full-fledged online store.

Shopify, on the other hand, was built from the ground up for running an eCommerce shop. You don't need any additional plugins, and there's less to setup. On the other hand, Shopify isn't as good of a platform for running a blog or magazine. Shopify does have a blog feature, but it lacks compared to WordPress, which is the industry leader for big and small bloggers and website owners alike.

So on the one hand, you've got WP which is primarily a blogging platform that can also work great as a store, and you've got Shopify which is primarily for stores but is also serviceable as a blogging platform.

 One key difference is the price…

WordPress itself is free, you can install it on your webhosting and you're all set. All of those additional themes and plugins that we mentioned for WordPress will vary in price, but there are free options for nearly anything you could want to add to your site or store.

WooCommerce is a popular platform for turning WordPress into eCommerce, and it has a number of free and paid add-ons. There are small fees here and there depending on which extra plugins or features you want, but overall, setting up your own store through WordPress using a standard webhost is the more affordable option, and you have a greater level of control and ownership over your website. If you want to get it hosted by a different company, you can simply pack up your site and move it to a new host. That's not so easy with Shopify…

Shopify stores are build using their proprietary platform, and hosted directly by Shopify themselves. This differs from WordPress, where you're using an open-source platform, and hosting it with any company you'd like.

On the one hand, this is advantageous since Shopify is able to perfectly optimize their servers for their own platform, and it's also good because there are potentially less things to go wrong. You don't have to worry about keeping your software up to date, or about being in huge trouble because of plugins that don't work correctly as new versions of WordPress come out, and so on.

There are pros and cons of both methods, and you're going to pay a bit more for Shopify, but at the end of the day there are many cases where Shopify will pay for itself in the money it saves you on payment processing fees, and the convenience.

If you're looking to really roll up your sleeves and learn the ropes of creating and managing a website, WordPress is a good option since it'll really hold your hand when you pair it up with a strong host (Like the one we'll feature at the bottom of this page.)

Now, if you would rather go with the platform that's already built and ready to roll for you, Shopify is the way to go in that case. If you're definitely going to be running an online store, and you're more interested in putting  all of your energy towards getting sales and satisfying your customers, and you don't want to have to worry about actively managing and maintaining the behind-the-scenes stuff on your site, then once again, Shopify is a great choice and that highlights the advantages of their closed-off system.

Choosing a Host for WordPress

If you're leaning towards trying out WordPress, you'll need to choose a hosting company. WordPress itself is free, but hosting will cost a few dollars per month, or more as your site grows larger and more popular and has more people visiting it. At that stage, you'll want to upgrade to a higher-tier hosting plan, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, let's keep it basic for now.

We're going to assume that you aren't an experience web developer, but you're looking for something relatively easy that you can DIY in an afternoon or two. We recommend going with a webhost for WordPress that has their stuff together, and is fully optimized and integrated with WordPress.

Just about any host will support WordPress, but there are some that take it to another level by offering optimized servers and environments tailored directly to ensuring that WordPress performs as well as possible, and also making sure that it couldn't be easier for you to get setup.

There was a time when installing WordPress was a bit of a to-do, but these days, some hosting companies have made it so simple  that it's practically automatic.

There are some more obscure and up-and-coming hosting companies out there, but for now we think you should stick to one of the big and established brands. You don't want to have to deal with some smaller host shutting down in the middle of the night, or not having anyone on staff to help you when you need it most. There's a time and a place to use smaller, less-known hosts who are working their butts off to serve their customers, but for your first site? Or your online store? Stick with the big boys for now…

BlueHost offers a variety of plans that are specifically meant for WordPress sites, and come with WP pre-installed so all you've got to do is sign up and you're ready to start working on your website within a matter of moments.

What really puts BlueHost at the top of this list of hosts to use with WordPress though, is the fact that BlueHost is strongly invested in the success of WordPress, and works closely with them. In fact, BlueHost even has full time staff working on the open source WordPress project, just to help improve the internet for everyone.

Since they're so experience with WordPress, BlueHost's support staff can help you with a number of different issues. You're never in this alone, even if you come across a rare bug, let alone simple problems that BlueHost has fixed for their clients countless times. Basically, whatever you need help with, they'll have  your back, especially when it comes to WordPress.

We haven't seen a company that lets you get up and running with WordPress as quickly, easily, and affordably as BlueHost's shared hosting plans. It's super beginner friendly, but even experienced website owners like it because it just makes the job that much faster. You spend less time messing around filling in settings, and more time jumping right in and working on your new website. The sooner you get the doors open on your little slice of the internet, the sooner people can find you and start placing orders!

The Advantages of Shopify over WordPress

While WordPress is an excellent platform and has a lot going for it, there are some advantages to going with Shopify instead. Here are a few instances where Shopify is the better choice:

  • Your main focus is eCommerce (Selling things on your website): Since this is Shopify's main focus, and they're the world's leading platform designed for helping anybody to start selling online, they make an excellent choice. WordPress requires a bit more tinkering, whereas Shopify is ready to go right from the start.
  • You want to save money on payment processing fees: As we'll discuss in a moment, Shopify helps you get a better deal on processing payments and on shipping rates, especially with their more expensive plans. If  your store is big enough to warranty the more expensive Shopify plans, then they're more or less going to pay for themselves just in money that you save everytime somebody orders from you.
  • You want to get right down to business: Even thought WordPress on BlueHost is super simple to setup, Shopify is just one step ahead, since you don't need to add any extra plugins to get your store setup.
  • You have more than a shoestring budget: Sometimes when you're starting a new business, in fact quite often, money can be kind of tight. You're making sacrifices to work on your goals and dreams. If the pricetag of $30 per month for Shopify doesn't frighten you, it's overall an easier way to start selling things online. If you're on a really tighet budget, no worries, the free WordPress options are good too, and you can find hosting from BlueHost starting at just a few bucks per month. You'll just need to put in a little more work behind the scenes before you can start building your store, that's all.
  • If you also have a physical store: If you're also running a brick and mortar store, or doing pop-up shops, flee markets, or any other kind of in-person sales, then Shopify is the CLEAR winner. They have hardware you can use to accept payments from anywhere, and can integrate your online shop with your physical storefront seamlessly.

There are plenty of other reasons that Shopify is an excellent choice, and too many features to cover in this write-up or to list, so just know that Shopify is a complete package, it has everything you could need for the entire process of starting your shop, listing things for sale, getting setup correctly for taxes and all of that sort of stuff, finding customers, receiving orders, fulfilling the orders, labels, shipping, handling customer concerns, and anything in between. You can have sales, setup gift cards and coupons, and a lot more.

It's worth pointing out that you can do all of that with WordPress, too, it's just not going to be quite as easy to setup.

Choosing a Shopify Plan

Now that we've covered the differences and advantages of both platforms, we need to go over their plans. Both options have a number of plans to choose from, so let's cut through the noise.

Shopify has 3 main tiers of service, starting at $29 and going up to $299.

For $29, Shopify includes features like the ability to print shipping labels, discount codes, a website and a blog to go along with your store, fraud analysis to avoid being scammed, 24/7 customer support, unlimited products, accounts for up to 2 staff members, no transaction fees using Shopify Payments, and credit card processing rates below 3% + 30c per transaction. You get an SSL certificate for enhanced security, and more. You do, however, miss out on some features that you get in the more advanced plans.

For Shopify's standard $79 plan, you get everything from the previous option along with the ability to create professional reports to see helpful insights into your business, the ability to setup giftcards for your store, a better credit card processing rate so you keep more of your profit for yourself, and abandoned shopping cart recovery which reminds customers that they have items in their cart if they leave your store before placing their order. You also get upgraded to 5 staff accounts for larger companies.

Finally, for $299, you get all of the above, plus their lowest credit card processing fees, more advanced reports to further help you grow your business and reduce waste, and third-party calculated shipping rates  to ensure you're always getting the best rates for your customers.

The gamut runs from about $1 per day, to $10 per day. For a busy online store, that's nothing. It also saves you from having to buy additional hosting for a website/blog, since it's all integrated together into Shopify.

From inventory management, receiving payments, fulfilling orders… Shopify makes it all as easy as possible, and they have hundreds of thousands of stores running on their platform, so they're super experienced and they know how to create the best experience for their customers, along with the people ordering from their customer's stores.

Choosing a BlueHost Plan for WordPress

We recommend starting off with one of BlueHost's very affordable shared hosting plans. The one you choose will depend on what your plans are. If you plan on simply having one website, then you can get away with the cheapest most basic plan for now, althought you'll probabally want to upgrade once your store starts to get some traction.

If you want to have a blog or website that's separate from your store, you'll want to go with one of the other options from BlueHost that support more than one website per account.

The Prime account comes with some additional features that Basic and Plus don't, but the biggest thing is just that Plus and Prime support unlimited sites, whereas basic only allows you one. If you only need one, it's a great way to spend less on hosting.

These plans all come with very cheap introductory rates, and they renew at the normal price, so Prime ends up costing a bit more than Plus does, even thought the intro prices are the same. Because of this, it's worth signing up for a longer term, since you'll get the cheapest rate on your initial order, but once that time is up, you'll go back to the normal price. So, the longer you sign up for, the longer you can lock in these substantial savings.

Final Thoughts and Choosing Between WordPress and Shopify

Just to really put an exclamation point on things…

If you're running an online shop, and you can afford the $30/mo for Shopify, and you're more interested in working on promoting and growing  your business instead of tinkering with building a website, then Shopify is the perfect choice.

Running WordPress as the backbone of your online store is a totally viable option, and BlueHost is one of the best hosting companies to launch your first WordPress site with, but none the less – when it comes to strict ease of use, features, and overall performance for online stores – we've got to give the nod to Shopify.

Just planning on running a blog, or a small business website, and not selling anything through it? Then WordPress on BlueHost is going to give you better bang for your buck.

You can sign up for Shopify's free trial, and start working on your site right now to see how truly easy it is. Even if you've never done anything like this before, you'll be surprised how quickly you can get up and running, and ready to start taking your first orders!

COMPARISON 16 minutes

GoDaddy vs. Shopify

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

Today we'll be looking at GoDaddy vs. Shopify. If this doesn't look like the typical hosting comparison, that's because it isn't. Both platforms have only one thing in common, and that is the fact that they are both great platforms for e-commerce – at least that's what most reviews will tell you (our investigations revealed some pretty surprising deets).

We've extensively tested both platforms out, and we can tell you one thing for sure, one is better than the other. However, our lenses are not yours and you may come to a different decision. What is important, though, is that you'll find all the data you need to choose your platform here. Let's get right into it, then.

Overview

GoDaddy, founded way back in 1997 by Bob Parson's, is not particularly popular for being an e-commerce platform. When you think of GoDaddy, you're more likely to think of domains and/or hosting than e-commerce (just like us in our GoDaddy Review).

It's not the same with Shopify, though. Founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake, Shopify is probably the first name that comes to mind when you think about e-commerce. Although there are many other Shopify Alternatives such as BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more.

But we know, from sometimes painful experiences, that reputation usually matters little and all you know can be wrong. GoDaddy has a tool called GoCentral that does most of the e-commerce platform work, and that's the tool that Shopify will be directly going up against.

shopify vs godaddy gocentral
A template for an online store with GoCentral

Ease Of Use

For newbies and veterans alike, no one wants to spend valuable time fumbling over controls. That's why it's essential to know exactly how difficult each platform is to use.

Hosting Interface

GoDaddy makes use of the cPanel control interface while Shopify makes use of a proprietary interface.

Ease of Design

GoCentral is, without a doubt, the best for beginners. Technically, the GoCentral tool is called an ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), and it can design a whole e-commerce store in about 5-6 minutes. The tool has a lot embedded. While Shopify is certainly not difficult to use, it would be difficult for any e-commerce platform provider to hold a candle to GoCentral. You simply answer a few questions about your business, and a ready to publish website is made available to you.

Of course, this has an unintended disadvantage. GoCentral isn't quite as flexible, and users with more complex inventory needs will prefer to use Shopify. Why? The drag and drop design makes it easy for you to customize your store and decide how you want it to look. Additionally, Shopify allows you to edit individual code, leaving you the power to come up with whatsoever you can think of. If you want, you could even integrate a proprietary language by Shopify called Liquid HTML.

shopify liquid html
Shopify's Liquid HTML developer page

On the other hand, GoDaddy's GoCentral reduces your creative freedom by coming up with an automatic template. If you want to try other platforms with the capacity to build e-commerce stores we recommend to check out our Wix and WordPress (aka WooCommerce) comparisons.

This analysis wouldn't be complete if we didn't talk about price. If you want to create an e-commerce site on GoDaddy, you'll have to pay extra for GoCentral. However, it is free to use for the first month. With Shopify, the site builder comes free.

Design Language

Both platforms work heavily with templates, but GoDaddy depends more on presets that help to do most of the work. Shopify provides about 60 templates for you to choose from. What's more? These aren't just generic templates created by some tired fellow with a name tag in the basement of some office somewhere. These templates are designed by independent designers and they come at a steep price. Costing anywhere between $140 and $180, these templates are not made for everyone. However, you have ten free template options if you don't have a lot to spend.

GoDaddy, on the other hand, has over one thousand five hundred industry-specific websites, with about nineteen themes for each. Unfortunately, with GoDaddy, once your site is generated, you lose a lot of creative freedom. So, while you have a lot of great choices to choose from, your ability to choose isn't that amazing.

Mobile Responsiveness

GoDaddy and Shopify wouldn't be what they are if they do not provide mobile responsive themes. A lot of people are using their smartphones to grey online now, and it would be suicide to create an e-commerce site that isn't mobile responsive. Thankfully, with these platforms, you have no trouble.

Onboarding

Shopify offers new customers a fourteen days free trial, and ordinarily, that ought to entice most webmasters. That is till you learn that GoDaddy offers double and some more, with a full one-month trial for new customers. What's more? You do not even need to input your credit card details to get started. That certainly saves you some stress.

Free Domains

GoDaddy comes with a free domain name for all new users, something that isn't particularly surprising, seeing as GoDaddy is the biggest domain registrar on the internet. Shopify offers a free MyShopify.com subdomain, and that's pretty much it.

GoDaddy vs. Shopify: Performance

When you create an e-commerce store, your end goal is obviously to sell as much as you can. SEO options, e-commerce functionality and so many other features could determine the level of revenue you eventually turn in. Therefore, if you plan on turning in a healthy profit, you really should only go with the platform that you're confident will put your site out there as quickly and as much as possible.

Well, let's see how well either host helps you to achieve this goal.

E-commerce Functionality

Generally, GoDaddy isn't a great e-commerce functionality guy, while Shopify's suite of features is one of the reasons why 88% of users recommend Shopify. Special features such as fraud analysis, specialized staff accounts, point-of-sale hardware and apps and a whole lot more are things that Shopify brings to the table.

We've said that this probably isn't GoDaddy's greatest strength, but the host still manages to incorporate some really great tools. For example, the simple web builder interface that GoDaddy offers allows the integration of a PayPal button quite simple to get around to. The real magic happens with upper their plans that allow SEO for platforms such as Yelp and Google my business.

While Shopify allows you to sell directly to social media through what the company calls “Sales Channels” (for example, you can sell your products directly on Facebook without having your customers leave Facebook). Godaddy offers no such features. To avoid any doubt, let's be clear; you cannot sell directly across multiple social media platforms with GoDaddy. Will that impact your bottom line? It almost certainly will.

Management, Product and Analytics

With GoDaddy and Shopify, you have the support to sell an unlimited number of products. Importantly, perhaps, Shopify and GoDaddy both have abandoned cart recovery support on all plans. To understand just how big a deal this is, some of the biggest e-commerce platforms only have it on higher-tier plans that cost upwards of $75. GoDaddy's probably more impressive in this aspect, with a reminder that allows you to send emails to customers to remind them to checkout by just clicking a button.

shopify analytics dashboard
Shopify's Analytics Dashboard, credits to Shopify Help Center

One crucial thing to understand about Shopify is that the process of shopping is extremely streamlined, and there are solutions for almost any conceivable problem. For example, it has partnerships with many top shipping services like UPS, DHL express, Canada Post and UPS which makes the refunds and shipping process a breeze.

SEO Comparison

Everyone knows the importance of SEO, and search engine rankings can easily destroy or lift your business. GoDaddy's SEO features aren't the best, and you might even be forgiven if you referred to them as basic. Shopify, for instance, has more built-in features to help with SEO rankings. The platform supports the best SEO practices like customizable title, H1, and meta tags. You also get $100 and credit after spending your first $25 on ads.

For some reason, GoDaddy focuses only on outdated strategies for marketing like “keyword rankings”. While the host might not hurt your marketing strategy, there's a very high chance that you will get more coverage with Shopify than you would get with GoDaddy.

Security

No matter how small or how big your site is, it can always get hacked. To reduce the chances of this happening, it is important to go with a host that offers robust security infrastructure. The truth is that the bigger your site gets, and the longer you are online for, the higher the chances that your site becomes a target for mischievous characters.

Shopify comes with the basic free SSL certificate— which GoDaddy doesn't offer. However, you can buy an SSL certificate from GoDaddy for upwards of $49.99 at checkout. To make up for the lack of a free SSL certificate, GoDaddy comes with incorporated malware and blacklisting services. GoDaddy also has a security portfolio that stops brute attacks and DDoS attacks.

To Shopify's credit, they offer a lot of anti-fraud and customer protection services that are mostly free with all plans. To maintain PCI standards, Shopify has a vulnerability management program for its network, GoDaddy also offers access to Sucuri, an in-house vulnerability identification and reaction program. To be fair we want to recommend Siteground (click to read the full comparison). It also comes with a partnership with Sucuri and has way more free features than GoDaddy regarding security.

Payment Gateway Options

If you accept more payment options, you'll appeal to a larger audience and will be able to rake in more profit. In fact, this is one of the most important things to look at when choosing an e-commerce platform. Transaction fees, if any, are also important and must be considered before making your choice.

GoDaddy supports three basic payment options and they are PayPal, Square and Stripe. More importantly, though, the platform doesn't support digital wallet payments. So customers cannot pay using Paytm, Microsoft Wallet, Samsung Pay, Mobikwik, Alipay, American Express, and Apple pay. This cuts you out of a lot of business.

godaddy vs shopify payment options
Shopify's superior payment gateways to GoDaddy

It even looks worse when you consider that Shopify accepts the basic payment gateways that GoDaddy accepts, and even accepts digital wallet payments as well. The platform even accepts cryptocurrency payments.

Fortunately, GoDaddy has a redeeming quality, and that is the fact that there are no transaction fees imposed on any of the payment gateways that it supports. As you might have guessed, this is more than Shopify can say. With Shopify, you are expected to pay transaction fees on all payment gateways except the payment gateway of Shopify itself called Shopify payments. So with Shopify, you get more inclusion, but you also have to pay more.

Customer Support and Reliability

Creating and maintaining an e-commerce store, keeping an inventory, and selling your goods online is probably not the easiest task in the world, and you will sometimes need help. How great is the help you have access to and how quickly can you get it?

Shopify offers 24/7 support on the phone and live chat channels, and customers also have access to social media and email support. Customers also have access to a forum that helps you with issues that you may have. Shopify never quite leaves you to solve your problems alone, and that is an important guarantee to have.

GoDaddy also has 24/7 support on the phone and live-chat channels. It also has a dedicated twitter account that responds to queries quickly. Users also have access to a knowledge base where they can get needed information. However, we've tried out GoDaddy's customer service before, and it was quite disappointing. While we hope that it wouldn't be the same with their e-commerce hosting, it is really likely that you won't be satisfied with the quality of support offered – especially if you have very complex problems. Shopify, on the other hand, has great customer support, and that is something that most reviews seem to agree with. Vox populi Vox dei, it is.

To throw in a little diversification we'd like you to consider Squarespace as an alternative to GoDaddy and Shopify. We've made extensive comparison articles in which Squarespace turns out to be a great option too in terms of customer support and reliability as an e-commerce partner.

Shopify vs. GoDaddy: Pricing

We are down to the last metric. No matter how great the value offered by a service, it must be worth its price, except it isn't quite as attractive. Like we say, even the worst service can be excused if the price is just right.

GoDaddy has only one e-commerce plan which is called, wait for it, the E-commerce plan. Shopify has three basic pricing plans, which are the Basic, Shopify and Advance Shopify plans. There is also a tailored plan called ShopifyPlus, but it is only available by quote.

We feel like we should tell you that at the prices of these services you get many out of the box features that simply work with certain conditions/restrictions. However, if you want something custom made or you can develop an e-commerce website we suggest you buy a hosting service or a VPS. Our recommendation on this goes to Bluehost as the best hosting services provider.

Plans

Shopify's Basic plan costs $29 per month, while the Advance Shopify and Shopify plans cost $299 and $79 per month, respectively. With the Basic plan, you only pay 2.0% on transaction fees on other platforms, and you pay 1.0% and 0.5% transaction fees on the Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans. GoDaddy's plan, on the other hand, costs $29.99.

Shopify offers a lot of scalability, while GoDaddy's plan is on a “go big or go home” basis. Also, the E-commerce plan doesn't come with nearly enough sales-specific features.

Major Differences

Right before ending this article we wanted to quickly point a few major differences for you:

  • GoDaddy offers a month free trial period for new users, while Shopify only provides a 14 days free period
  • Shopify offers more control over the design process than GoDaddy
  • GoDaddy is way cheaper than Shopify
  • Shopify has more price tiers than GoDaddy, and that results in improved scalability
  • Shopify offers more app integration than GoDaddy

GoDaddy vs. Shopify: Our Pick

To sum this comparison starting a small shop with GoDaddy might be a good pick. But if you want to start small and scale effectively Shopify is no doubt the best option. GoDaddy offers a better starting package for most newbies but Shopify will make you feel like an expert in the field of online stores right from the beginning.

While GoDaddy isn't terrible, Shopify is miles ahead in customer support, pricing, performance and ease of use. Shopify beats GoDaddy in every category, and that's why they've won this comparison.

WEB HOSTING 33 minutes

Best OVH Alternatives in 2020

Last updated:
Author Jason Moth

If you’re looking for the best OVH alternatives in 2019 you definitely came to the right place. Although OVH is a solid hosting provider, its services are not for everybody so it’s worth going over some good alternatives. This article will come in handy if you’re thinking about switching from OVH or are looking for a provider that does things a bit differently. But before we jump into the alternatives let me first give you a quick rundown of OHV, just in case you’re not very familiar with the company.

OVH is a very popular French hosting provider that specializes in cloud computing services. The company offers a wide selection of products, including private cloud servers, dedicated servers, VPS, network solutions, and more. For the most part, OVH’s services are aimed at developers and enterprises. Although their VPS packages are reasonably priced, the rest of their services are quite expensive and not really geared towards the common user.

Luckily, there other are other providers out there that are a lot more affordable and easier to work with. We’ll get into some of the other reasons why people usually look into OVH alternatives a bit later on because we’re excited to present you with 12 companies that will likely make a better fit for you. You can find a quick summary for some of these providers down below along with some of the main reasons why you may want to choose them over OVH.

Top OVH Alternatives

We wanted to make a varied list so not all our entries will be direct competitors to OVH. While some of these companies are indeed very similar to OVH, others offer slightly different services in addition to cloud hosting. So here are our favorite OVH alternatives:

  • Kamatera – Hands down the best OVH alternative. Amazing performance, support, prices, and a free 30-day trial.
  • Hostwinds – A pretty close second with many services to choose from and great bang for your buck.
  • Vultr – A direct rival to OVH that schools the company in terms of user-friendliness.
  • Bluehost – Very well-rounded hosting provider. Always a safe alternative for inexperienced users.
  • InMotion – A bit expensive Alternative to OVH but justifies its prices by throwing in a lot of great features.
  • A2 Hosting – Very appealing option thanks to its ‘anytime money-back guarantee’ policy.
  • Cloudways – A great OVH alternative that works with a very unique business model.
  • SiteGround – Excellent performance and features but quite expensive.

We believe these companies to be the absolute best OVH alternatives in 2020 and we’re going to give you an in-depth breakdown of each of our picks in order to illustrate that point. With that being said, let’s jump straight into our first pick.

1. Kamatera

Kamatera is a respected and well-known competitor that has been providing quality services for over two decades now. Initially established way back in 1995, the company underwent multiple changes over the years in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition and keep up with customer demands. As a result, Kamatera eventually became one of the overall best providers of cloud hosting and a very good alternative to OVH.

Kamatera Homepage
Kamatera Homepage

Kamatera can go head to head with the best of them when it comes to performance thanks to its state-of-the-art computing infrastructure. The company uses the latest Intel CPUs and fast SSD drives to power all its servers and guarantees an uptime of 99.95%. Although a lot of companies promise 99.99% or even 100%, realistically speaking no one can maintain those kinds of figures for an extended period of time. 99.95% is actually an accurate estimation of the real uptime you get when using a top provider, so it’s nice to see that Kamatera is very honest and upfront about that.

Update September 2020: If you want to test out Kamatera’s services without spending a penny, now’s your chance. The company is currently offering a free 30-day trial with no strings attached to all users. Kamatera strongly believes in the quality of its services and wants to prove that a single month is all it takes to fall in love with the company and stick around for the long run (they convinced us to choose them not only as the number one alternative to OVH but also as the best DigitalOcean alternative in less than 30 days).

In terms of location coverage, OVH is doing a bit better but you won’t run into any problems with Kamatera either because the company has 13 data centers placed strategically around the world. Where Kamatera takes a big lead again OVH is in the price department. The entry point for a cloud server sits at just $4 per month and all of its other services – including cloud block storage, private cloud network, cloud load balancer, and cloud firewall – are just as cheap. Moreover, deploying a new server takes less than a minute and the services are overall very easy to use, with customers having the ability to add useful apps like cPanel, WordPress, Magento, and many more to their plans.

Incredible Customer Support

Kamatera outshines pretty much all competitors when it comes to customer support. Users can contact company representatives 24/7 via phone, email, ticket, or live chat. In addition, the provider also has a very well put together FAQ section and plenty of useful documentation on the official website that tells you everything you need to know about the company and its various services. Based on my personal experience, Kamatera’s support agents are always fast to reply and happy to help you resolve any issues you might be experiencing.

Kamatera Customer Support
Kamatera's Technical Support Page and Live Chat

Although experienced users may not need to rely on technical assistance too often, it still helps to have reliable support agents at your disposal 24/7, just in case. If you’re a beginner, chances are you will need to contact customer support sooner or later so make sure to choose a provider that offers live support in addition to a ticketing system. Live chat is extremely important for getting help with time-sensitive issues and it’s absolutely essential for users who don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone. Unfortunately, most cloud hosting providers don’t offer live chat but don’t worry because Kamatera has got your back.

Fantastic Server Customization and Flexibility

Kamatera is known as being one of the most flexible providers on the market and with good reason. The company allows you to pay per month or per hour depending on what works best for you. You can also take advantage of Kamatera’s fantastic scalability to start out small and upgrade gradually as you go. Alternatively, you can also go for lots of resources right off the bat and downgrade later if needed. Regardless of whether you upgrade or downgrade, the process is seamless and you only need to pay for what you use.

As far as the customization is concerned, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better system than the one offered by Kamatera. Here, you can customize everything from the server type and data center location to the operating system and resources. Not just that but you also have loads of options to choose from in every category and you can even include optional services like extended daily backups if you want to add more value to your package.

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2. Hostwinds

Hostwinds is a great alternative to OBH that often seems to fly under the radar for some reason. Granted, the provider hasn’t been around for as long as some of its peers so maybe that has something to do with it. Regardless, we think Hostwinds is a company that deserves more recognition because it has a lot to offer and it genuinely deserves the number two spot on our list.

Hostwinds Homepage
Hostwinds Homepage

So what makes this a good OVH alternative? Well, the first thing you may notice about this company is that it offers a wider range of services than OVH. In addition to cloud hosting, you can also get shared hosting, reseller hosting, dedicated servers along with managed or unmanaged VPS on both Windows and Linux. There are also a few handy optional services you can pair together with your hosting, including email hosting, SSL certificates, and a VPN.

Hostwinds offers a good level of customization, multiple server locations to choose from, instant scalability, enterprise-grade firewalls, and more. Another nice thing about the company is that it allows you to deploy a new cloud server almost instantly and you can pay for it by the hour. The cloud hosting prices are quite a bit lower compared to those of OVH while the shared hosting plans are equally affordable, with basic packages starting at just $3.29 per month.

Award-Winning, Risk-Free Hosting

A lot of hosting companies boast about their award-winning services but Hostwinds is one of the few I’ve seen that actually displays said awards on its website. Among other things, the company received the “Best of the Year” award in 2018 from PCMag and managed to snag second place in 2019. Meanwhile, FindMyHost gave it the Editor’s Choice award while FinancesOnline gave Hostwinds an award for “Great User Experience” back in 2018. Those awards speak volumes for the quality of the company’s services because they all come from reputable publications.

If you don’t pay much attention to things like that and would rather test them for yourself, you can do so without having to worry too much about the money because Hostwinds is among the cheapest cloud hosting providers and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee to boot. The company also gets full marks for its customer support as it offers 24/7 assistance via email, phone, ticket, and live chat. In addition, you can also find a very in-depth knowledge base on the official website that contains a lot of useful articles and guides.

Wide range of plans at a cheap price
If you need multiple hosting solutions at an affordable rate then this might be your best choice
Check Hostwinds

3. Vultr

Vultr is a very well-known player in the cloud computing world and is generally considered one of the most reliable companies in this particular niche. Despite focusing mainly on high-end cloud hosting, the company is more user-friendly and easier to work with compared to most of its rivals, including OVH. This makes Vultr a good option not just for developers but also for beginners, which generally tend to struggle when first dealing with cloud hosting companies.

Vultr Homepage
Vultr Homepage

The thing about Vultr that likely stands out the most for a lot of people is the low entry point, especially when compared to Vultr's cloud alternatives. The company offers high-performance SSD cloud instances starting at just $2.5 per month (US Data Centers only, as we discussed in our Vultr review). The machine you get in return doesn’t shine when it comes to the specs, however, it’s a very good starting point and more than capable of supporting a regular website or blog. Once you’re ready to take things to the next level, you can take advantage of Vultr’s outstanding scalability and upgrade to a different package. Alternatively, you can go directly for one of the high-frequency cloud hosting plans, which start at $6 per month but offer unparalleled performance.

As far as the coverage is concerned, you have 16 locations to choose from in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. OVH offers a few more locations but overall I would consider the coverage to be very good. I can vouch for the performance as well.

Vultr invests a lot into the architecture in order to maintain maximum uptime and uses SSD drives to ensure the best speeds possible. Something that I think a lot of users will appreciate is the fact that Vultr allows you to download generic files from each of its servers in order to test their speeds. The best part is that you don’t even need to be a registered user to conduct these speed tests.

Surprisingly User-Friendly

I mentioned this before but companies that deal exclusively in cloud hosting tend to be intimidating to new users, and with good reason. With the exception of Kamatera and maybe a couple of other companies, cloud computing providers are not very user-friendly. Vultr is a bit of an exception to that rule. While not as easy to navigate as a shared host, for example, Vultr has an intuitive user interface and offers some nice quality-of-life features that you don’t often get from similar companies.

Among other things, Vultr gives you the option of installing a number of very useful one-click apps, including cPanel, WordPress, Plesk, OpenVPN, and even Minecraft if you’re planning to host a game server. The company also has a very extensive selection of operating systems you can use and even allows customers to upload their own operating systems in ISO format. Some of these features are quite surprisingly coming from a cloud computing company, which is one of the main reasons Vultr ranks third on our list of OVH alternatives.

Extremely low entry point
One of the most competitive web hosting providers when it comes to price
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4. Bluehost

Bluehost may seem like an odd choice given our previous picks but there are a number of good reasons for why we chose to include it. While it’s not necessarily a direct competitor to OVH, the company offers excellent services, a good variety of products, and some of the cheapest prices on the market (read our Bluehost Review for more information about all their plans, including Shared Hosting, VPS and Dedicated Servers). Bluehost is a great option for beginners who are looking to sign up with their very first hosting provider.

Bluehost Homepage
Bluehost Homepage

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Bluehost is one of the cheapest providers on the market. You can get a basic shared hosting plan for only $2.95 per month or a very good VPS for just $18.99 per month. The company also offers dedicated servers, WordPress hosting, domain registration, an eCommerce platform, and more. Basically, this is a one-stop-shop for all your hosting needs where you can find all the tools and products required to build and launch your very first website. You may want to switch to a more specialized provider further down the line, but if you’re just starting out, Bluehost is a very safe option.

The company excels in the ease of use department, which is one of the main reasons why it is chosen year after year as WordPress’s number 1 hosting provider. If you’re looking to build a WordPress site, you’ll find everything you need here, ranging from a quick installer for the platform to one-click themes and plugins, easy to use cPanel, webmail client, WP admin access, and a site migration tool, among other things. When it comes to Ease of Use, there's no better alternative to Bluehost. The company even offers managed WordPress hosting starting at $19.95, which will allow you to build a professional website with very little effort.

And if you can’t handle things on your own, you can always rely on Bluehost’s award-winning customer support team. Support agents are available 24/7 and can be contacted via phone, ticket, and live chat. Thanks to Bluehost’s worldwide popularity, the company set up different numbers for US and international customers so don’t hesitate to give them a call if you need help regardless of which language you speak.

Professional Services for All Your Needs

Bluehost offers a number of very useful extra services, including the aforementioned site migration tool. The service allows customers to migrate up to 5 websites complete with mailboxes, and the great thing about it is that Bluehost’s team of professionals will help you throughout the whole process. For a certain fee, the company is also willing to help you build an entirely new website from scratch. Bluehost will take care of the design, marketing, optimization, content assistance, and anything else you might need in order to launch your new website.

If you can take care of the site building yourself, you might be interested in Bluehost’s SEO services instead. Good SEO practices are essential for any website nowadays but learning the ins and outs of these practices can take a long time. Bluehost can take care of everything for you and is even willing to provide custom content that will improve your search relevance. Finally, the company also helps its users with marketing campaigns and efficient ad placement.

Unbeatable offers for newcomers

If you're building your first website or online business, then Bluehost might be the right choice for you. Although not as performance-oriented as other solutions, their cheap plans and beginner packages are perfect for anyone who's just starting out.

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5. InMotion Hosting

InMotion is another OVH alternative that’s perfect for users of all types, not just developers and enterprises. The company deals in everything from shared hosting and VPS to dedicated servers and even offers some interesting custom server solutions for businesses. The prices here are a bit above average, however, you can expect excellent performance and quality services in return. The company also offers a 90-day money-back guarantee so you can easily get a refund if you become dissatisfied with your hosting.

InMotion Hosting Homepage
InMotion Hosting Homepage

WordPress hosting starts at $5.99 per month while shared business hosting will set you back $6.49 per month. Meanwhile, you can get a VPS for around $21/mo or pay a little extra if you want your server to be managed. In addition, InMotion also supports domain registrations and has its own website builder, though you could skip that and go with a WordPress site instead. When it comes to comparing Bluehost and InMotion, both are a jack-of-all-trades that offers a little something for everybody.

As far as the custom solutions are concerned, InMotion is happy to help you with pretty much anything. For example, you can have them design a professional website for you or work together with an advisor to put together a complex business server that’s optimized for high performance, load balancing, or PCI compliance. If you’re looking for a hands-off approach to hosting, InMotion is one of the best options because the company has more experience than most when it comes to managing servers. Of course, you will need to pay extra if you want the company to do all the leg work.

Great Features and Scalability

Another area where InMotion absolutely shines is in the features department. The company justifies its higher-than-average prices by including a lot of nice freebies with all hosting packages. For instance, if you’re going with a WordPress plan, you can expect a free domain, unlimited email accounts, and a free anti-malware solution. Meanwhile, VPS plans come with marketing tools, a full security suite, a site backup & restore tool, and free marketing credits. Those are just a few examples but you can expect many other great features regardless of which type of hosting plan you choose.

Another reason why many users choose InMotion is because of the scalability potential (we covered this subject in-depth in our InMotion Review). Although the entry price isn’t the cheapest, InMotion offers a lot more upgrade options than many of its competitors. With a lot of hosting companies, you start off dirt cheap and then have to pay through the nose to upgrade to the next tier. That’s not the case here. Every type of hosting has multiple tiers and there’s a relatively small price difference between them. This also applies when switching from one type of hosting to another, such as shared to VPS for example.

Is performance what you seek?
Blazing fast load times and reliable web hosting servers is what make InMotion an amazing pick
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6. A2 Hosting

A2 is better known for shared hosting than cloud hosting but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the company as a potential OVH alternative. Quite the contrary. The provider has a lot to offer for all types of users and has some pretty affordable web hosting solutions. Furthermore, you can expect top-notch performance, with a 99.99% uptime guarantee and Turbo Servers that provide extremely fast load speeds.

A2 Hosting Homepage
A2 Hosting Homepage

If you’re looking for a hosting plan that’s similar to what OVH offers, I recommend checking out the unmanaged VPS packages. Prices start at $5 per month and the servers can be configured to include as many resources and bandwidth as you need. You can also pick the server location and operating system or add a cPanel license, among other things. Alternatively, you could go for the managed version and get plenty of resources right off the bat along with other useful features like an SSL certificate, cPanel, and a free site transfer service. That said, managed VPS starts at $25 per month so it’s significantly more expensive.

If you’re a new user and want to start with shared hosting instead, prices at A2 range between $2.94 and $9.31 per month. The plans are pretty standard but unlike other providers, A2 doesn’t just give you additional features when you upgrade to a new tier, it also grants you extra resources. Managed WordPress solutions are also available starting at $9.78 per month. All plans come with the Turbo option, which is said to make sites up to 20 times faster, along with 1-click staging sites, automated backups, Plesk control panel, Jetpack plugin, and more.

The Best Refund Policy on the Market

If you like companies that have solid refund policies you’re absolutely going to love A2 Hosting. As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, most providers give you the option of asking for a refund within 30 days of making a purchase. Well, A2 lets you ask for your money back whenever you want. The company has an ‘anytime money-back guarantee’ policy that does exactly what it says, we reviewed this great feature in our A2 Hosting review, we recommend you checking it out before buying so you know what to expect from A2.

It’s worth noting that the policy only applies to hosting plans and can’t be used to get refunds for things like domain registrations or setup fees. Also, the company doesn’t offer refunds for partial months of service while accounts that break the company’s terms of service will not be eligible for any refunds at all. Although there are some stipulations you need to keep in mind, A2’s refund policy is still the best on the market right now.

7. Cloudways

Cloudways is an OVH alternative that works with a very unique business model. While OVH and many of its direct competitors have their own data centers, Cloudways simply uses the infrastructure created by other companies. Because of that, Cloudways is able to provide a wide variety of services and a great deal of flexibility. This system may sound a bit strange but it seems to work well enough that the company is giving a free trial to potential customers who want to check it out for themselves.

Cloudways Homepage
Cloudways Homepage

The ultimate goal of the company is to make cloud computing simple for everybody. To that end, Cloudways removes the complexity often associated with traditional providers like OVH while also adding a number of quality-of-life features. The downside is that the hosting plans are priced above average, though they’re not as expensive as you might think. You can get a basic cloud hosting plan for as little as $10 per month and you also have the option of paying by the hour for all the available packages.

Cloudways offers a truly impressive amount of features even with its cheapest packages. Among other things, you get free SSL certificates, a built-in CDN, free site migration, automated backups, staging environments, regular security updates, and dedicated firewalls. You can also add useful applications to your packages like WordPress, cPanel, or Magento. Even more importantly, though, you get access to all the features regardless of which plan you choose, though you will need to upgrade to the higher tiers if you want more resources.

Cloud Hosting Providers Assemble

So how are Cloudways able to offer these services without even using its own data centers? Well, the company actually works together with several reputable cloud computing companies, some of which you’re likely familiar with. These partners include DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud. Cloudways acts as a middleman of sorts because you’re actually using the servers provided by these partners but are working with the interface and features offered by Cloudways.

This ‘best of both worlds’ approach is very appealing not just for Cloudways but also for the user. Instead of trying to figure out the intricacies of managing a cloud server yourself, you can let Cloudways do all the work while using some of the best cloud infrastructure available. Another advantage is that you have access to incredible location coverage as Cloudways can take advantage of over 60 data centers around the world thanks to its partners.

8. SiteGround

If you’re after performance and ease of use, SiteGround might be the perfect OVH alternatives for you because the company excels in both departments. SiteGround is very reliable and the customer support is as good as it gets, with the customer being able to contact agents 24/7 via phone, ticket or live chat. As far as the prices are concerned, they’re somewhat higher compared to other companies, particularly the cloud hosting plans. Aside from that, though, this is a very solid choice.

SiteGround Homepage
SiteGround Homepage

If you’re looking to start off small, I recommend going for a basic shared hosting plan and working your way up from there. The entry point is $3.95 and you can upgrade a couple of times before having to switch to a different type of hosting. Once you are ready to switch, you can go for WordPress hosting, fully managed enterprise hosting, dedicated hosting and, of course, cloud hosting. The company also has some very good eCommerce-focused plans that also start off at $3.95 per month.

SiteGround throws in a nice set of features with every package so expect a free SSL certificate, free email accounts, site builder, Cloudflare CDN, and unlimited MySQL databases from the get-go. If you’re willing to spend a bit more for a higher tier of hosting you will also get on-demand backups, a free site transfer service, white-label site management, priority support, and more. Despite the fairly high prices, SiteGround is still a worthwhile OVH alternative thanks to its accessibility and the truckload of useful features on offer.

Premium Cloud Hosting

As mentioned previously in our SiteGround review, they also offer cloud hosting, but the packages are a lot more expensive than some users might expect. Namely, the entry point sits at $64 per month while the most expensive plan will set you back no less than $192 per month. Compared to a company like Kamatera, for example, SiteGround is pretty expensive. The good news is that you get a good amount of resources in return and you can expect SiteGround to manage everything for you.

Another big advantage worth noting is that you won’t have to share your hosting environment with anyone here. That may seem like a given but this is actually not the case with all cloud hosting companies. If you’re looking for a completely hands-off experience, you can take advantage of SiteGround’s auto-scaling feature, which automatically adds new resources whenever you need them, such as in the case of unexpected traffic spikes for instance.

9. KnownHost

KnownHost is yet another jack-of-all-trades that tries (and succeeds) to appeal to a very wide market. The company was established back in 2006 and has since expanded to include everything from shared hosting and managed VPS to dedicated servers and cloud services. The company only has a handful of data centers so it’s a bit hard to recommend to everybody. If you live in the US, however, this is definitely a very solid pick.

KnownHost Homepage
KnownHost Homepage

The company offers some very interesting shared hosting packages that immediately sparked my curiosity. Generally speaking, going with a shared hosting plan means that you’re going to need to share your server resources with other users, hence the name. In this case, though, you actually gain exclusive access to the resources that come with your package. Moreover, KnownHost includes cloud storage with all shared packages, which is also pretty unusual.

Basically, you’re getting all the features you would expect from shared hosting but with some of the benefits of a VPS. Not a bad deal, especially when you consider that KnownHost’s shared hosting plans start at only $3.47 per month. Of course, there is a bit of a catch here. You get a pretty small amount of storage by going with the first two tiers of shared hosting, though the third tier does come with unlimited cloud storage. Still, the first two tiers are worth looking into as well.

KVM and VPS Cloud Servers

What makes KnownHost a good OVH alternative is its dedicated cloud servers. The company offers two variants – unmanaged KVM cloud servers and managed VPS servers. KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine and is a type of server that’s suitable for pretty much any type of website. The servers are scalable and you can pair them up with applications like WordPress, Magento, or Joomla in order to get the most out of them. However, because this is managed web hosting, the prices might not be for everybody, with the cheapest package starting at $50.40 per month.

Meanwhile, the VPS (Virtual Private Network) cloud servers are more specialized and are aimed primarily at developers. The servers are advertised as being customizable but from what I can tell, you can actually only select the operating system and add a couple of optional tools like cPanel and KernelCare. VPS cloud servers start at $9.99 per month, so a lot cheaper compared to the other variant, but this is unmanaged hosting, which means you’ll need to take care of everything yourself.

10. Linode

Just like OVH, Linode is primarily looking to attract developers but also offers a free cPanel and other 1-click apps in an attempt to make things easier for users who aren’t very tech-savvy. Unfortunately, you’ll need to subscribe to the managed service in order to take advantage of the ease of use features and that will cost you $100 per month. Of course, if you are a developer you don’t have to worry about that and can instead go for an unmanaged plan, which would cost you a lot less.

Linode Homepage
Linode Homepage

The entry point at Linode is $5 per month, which is pretty standard for cloud computing companies. Since this is unmanaged hosting, you won’t get any interesting features but you can add various apps and products to your package in order to make it more suitable for your specific needs. For instance, you can add an instant backup tool, node balancers, and extra block or object storage. You can also pick your operating system but keep in mind that Linode doesn’t work with Windows so you would have to settle for Linux instead.

As far as the location coverage is concerned, Linode has 10 data centers around the world, 5 of which are located in North America. Somewhat similar to Vultr, Linode allows users to run speed tests on each of the data centers. In addition, there’s a section of its website that displays the real-time status of the servers. Here you can also find a history of all the server issues that occurred over the past three months. Aside from some minor connectivity issues in a few of the data centers, the servers have been pretty stable as of late, which isn’t all that surprising considering that Linode is known for having great uptime.

Specialized Cloud Hosting:

Another thing that enables Linode to stand out from the crowd as a good OVH alternative is its specialized packages. The standard plans mentioned earlier come with a balanced amount of resources and are meant to be an all-purpose solution for most types of workloads. However, they’re not necessarily the best for all situations. That’s why the company also offers machines that have more than the average amount of one particular type of resources like memory, GPU, or processing power.

These packages can get a bit pricey but they are extremely efficient for specialized tasks. For example, the $30/mo dedicated CPU plan is perfect for things like data analytics while the $60/mo high memory package is more suitable for tasks that require you to run queries on large volumes of data. Meanwhile, the exorbitantly expensive $1,000/mo GPU-intensive plans are meant for processing highly complex workloads like machine learning, scientific computing, AI or video processing.

11. AWS (LightSail)

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a very popular option for many big businesses and can easily serve as a competent OVH alternative. The AWS platform features a wide range of products and services, including cloud computing and storage. There are actually two different services that can be used as OVH alternatives in the form of EC2 and LightSail. EC2 is pretty complex and primarily aimed at enterprises so we’re going to focus on LIghtSail instead because this is a solution that can easily be used by anybody.

Amazon Web Services Lightsail
Amazon Web Services Lightsail

LightSail has an affordable price point of only $3.5 per month and offers both Linux and Windows servers. Unlike other companies, the entry price for a Windows-based server is pretty steep ($8 per month) so I would just stick to the Linux version instead. Needless to say, you don’t have to worry about the location coverage here because Amazon has servers everywhere in the world and the customer support is as solid as it gets.

If you want to add a few more add-ons to your package, there are a handful of nice options to choose from. For $15 per month, you can add a managed database but I recommend going for one of the higher tiers because the entry one doesn’t feature data encryption. Additionally, you can also find load balancers, block storage, and disk snapshots at reasonable prices.

One Service to Rule Them All 

The AWS platform is extremely appealing because it grants you access to dozens of different products and services with a single subscription. Among other things, here you can find developer tools, mobile applications, media services, storage solutions, analytics tools, and so much more. If you’re looking to boost your productivity, you can use many of these products and services in conjunction with LightSail.

Subscribing to AWS comes with many benefits, including quite a few freebies. For example, you can get a free month of LightSail and EC2 along with a variety of other trials, some of which are available for up to one year. There are some caveats to some of these freebies, but overall, AWS is definitely worth looking into even if you’re not particularly interested in LightSail.

12. DigitalOcean

Last but not least we have DigitalOcean, arguably one of the most popular providers of cloud-based services on the market and a direct competitor to OVH. Similar to Linode and a couple of other entries on this list, DigitalOcean mainly targets developers, though the company does try to make its services accessible to everyone. While not as easy to work with as Kamatera, DigitalOcean can still be a good option for some people.

DigitalOcean Homepage
DigitalOcean Homepage

Prices for DO virtual machines start at $5 per month if you don’t mind sharing resources with other users. If you’re looking for a dedicated machine, the cheapest one you can get is $40 per month. However, this is a CPU-optimized server. General-purpose machines will set you back at least $60 per month while the memory-optimized ones start at $90/mo. If you’re going for a memory-optimized server you can pay by the hour. For everything else, you’ll need to settle to monthly payments.

DigitalOcean includes some pretty good services with all packages. Team accounts, firewalls, monitoring tools, DNS management, open-source apps, and API access are just some of the things you can expect here. You can also add additional storage, databases, load balancers, and floating IPs to your plan, in exchange for a certain fee of course. Just like Linode, DigitalOcean has a system status page on its website where you can check the stability of the servers before you sign up.

DigitalOcean's Marketplace

One of the most interesting things about DigitalOcean, in my opinion, in the marketplace. The store contains over 100 pre-configured 1-click apps, many of which are available for free. Although a lot of companies offer optional apps like the ones found here, you rarely see a marketplace as well put together as this one. The store even has category filters and a search bar, which makes it very easy to find the app you need.

So what exactly can you find here? For starters, you’ve got the common ones like WordPress, cPanel, Plesk, and Ghost. Then, you’ve got popular developer tools like Selenoid, Dokku and Docker along with frameworks like NodeJS, LAMP, Ruby on Rails, and Django. There are a few other categories as well and if you’re not sure which apps you choose, you can check out DigitalOcean’s staff picks section for some inspiration.

A Few Reasons for Looking Into OVH Alternatives

Although OVH is a good company, it’s definitely not for everybody. Many customers have reported struggling with technical issues in the past and there are more than a few complaints regarding the company’s verification system. In addition, the user interface is far from intuitive and their website is pretty convoluted, to the point where it can become a real hassle to find what you’re looking for. All these factors make OVH a less than ideal option for inexperienced users.

As far as the prices are concerned, there is a huge discrepancy between the main products. While you can get a VPS for as low as $3.49 per month, a private cloud will cost you well over $600 per month. Naturally, certain products will always be more expensive than others, however, some of the packages offered by OVH cost quite a bit more when compared to other companies. Meanwhile, the cheap plans aren’t exactly anything to write home about due to a lack of interesting features.

Having said all that, the main reason why you may want to look into an alternative to OVH has to be customer support. The company’s support staff is notoriously bad at identifying and fixing problems while also taking forever to get the job done. Also worth noting is that there is no live chat option here. That’s pretty unusual for a company as large as this, particularly when you consider that live chat is generally the most popular method of contacting customer support.

OVH Alternatives: Our Pick

OVH is not the worst hosting provider we’ve ever seen but there are a few important areas where the company could definitely make some improvements. The customer support, in particular, seems very unreliable and not having a live chat option is always a major drawback. Naturally, your experience with OVH’s staff may differ from ours but after reading a lot of customer reviews about the company, it does seem like this is a widespread problem.

Whether you’re thinking about switching from OVH or simply looking for a good hosting company, you have plenty of options to choose from. Some of the direct competitors like Vultr or Linode are pretty obvious but I wouldn’t dismiss jack-of-all-trades type companies either, such as Hostwinds or InMotion. Ultimately, though, the choice is up to you so make sure to check out all of these companies for yourself before making a decision because it’s always smart to know what you’re getting yourself into.

There is very little doubt in our minds that Kamatera is the best OVH alternative currently available. Although all the other companies on our list are very solid in their own right, Kamatera really impressed us with their low prices, good performance, and excellent customer support. The service is also remarkably intuitive and easy to use, which is quite rare for cloud computing companies. Kamatera is currently offering a 30-day free trial for new users so make sure to go and check them out. You can thank us later.

COMPARISON 11 minutes

Shopify vs. Big Cartel: What’s the Best Online eCommerce Platform of 2020?

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

Shopify and Big Cartel were both founded over a decade ago, and the idea of setting up your own online shop has been around for even longer than that, but it still feels like it's only very recently that a more widespread and mainstream audience has started to recognize how easy, fun, and profitable it can be to run an online store.

image via shopify.com

Even to this day, many people still don't realize the incredible potential that exists on the internet for a limitless amount of businesses. One of the biggest opportunities exists for independent people who make or sell any number of different types of products.

The internet makes it so easy to reach a ton of people, regardless of what your business is. If you sell handmade earrings, or vintage clothing, or custom hand-stitched leather wallets, or movie memorabilia, or whatever you can imagine – there are people online, every single day, looking to buy stuff. Having a storefront on the internet makes it possible for them to find you, and it's not hard to setup anymore.

Back in the day, Before it was EASY to create an online store

There was a time when creating an online store was a huge hassle. You'd probably end up needing to hire your own developers, you'd spend a ton of time and a ton of money on getting everything integrated correctly, and another fortune down the road to keep everything up to date.

It was just a big headache if you wanted to run your own store. Of course, there were (and still are) options like eBay, but that's not really your own store, you were too dependant on the eBay ecosystem, and you don't have the same potential to grow your own brand. Also, as sites like eBay or Etsy go out of favour, you soon realize you've been building your empire on someone else's land.

Having your own store, that's branded entirely after your business, rather than just being another little stall in a bigger marketplace, has many advantages. We'll assume that you already want to create your own online store, and that's why you're here, so we won't go over all of the great reasons for setting up a shop online – we'll take it for granted that you know that already. We're going to be focusing, instead, on two of the most popular platforms for creating and launching a store online, which are Shopify and Big Cartel.

Let's get started with an introduction about each company, some of their main selling points and features, and where they differ from one another. By the end of this page, you'll have a clear understanding of what both platforms have to offer, and how to decide which one may be a better choice for you. We'll also go over a third option that many people are finding very viable, which has its own set of advantages over both Shopify and Big Cartel.

About Big Cartel

Founded in 2005 by Matt Wigham when looking for a way to sell band merchandise online, Big Cartel has grown into a major player in this space. First things first, they've passed the test of longevity, which is always important.

They're also very conscious of social issues, for example, they use industry standard wages to give all of their employees in the same role the same salary, so there's no pay disparity based on things like an employee's ability to negotiate, their gender, or anything other than the job they're performing.

In a world where startups are clamouring for that next round of VC money to keep their fancy offices afloat, there's something fiercely independent about Big Cartel, likely inspired by their closeness to artists and musicians, and makers, and the whole indie DIY world which they grew from.

Their description on Crunchbase reads: “Big Cartel is where artists set up shop. They provide clothing designers, bands, jewellery makers, crafters, and other artists with their own customizable store to sell their stuff online.”

Big Cartel's Plans

Now, let's look at the different plans that Big Cartel has to offer. After that, we'll quickly go over the basics of Shopify, we'll take a look at their plans, we'll compare the two, we'll go over the third option, and you'll be all set to start creating your online store today.

A nice feature with Big Cartel is the fact that they offer a Free plan. The downside is that you can't use your own URL/domain name with it, and it's only limited to 5 products, but it's still great for people who want to test out the platform just to see if it functions well for them, or for small bands or groups that have a shoestring budget and need to spend as little as possible.

It's cool of them to have that option. Shopify also offers a free trial, but it's based on time rather than limiting how many items you can post.

Big Cartel has plans that are more affordable than Shopify, but they're also more limited. You can only have up to 5 images per product (Which is plenty for things like t-shirts but could feel limiting for certain types of products), and the difference between all of their paid plans is simply the number of items you can list for sale.

Once again, these limits won't really matter for many types of shops, but if you're one of the ones that need more items listed for sale or more images, then it's a deal-breaker.

About Shopify

Shopify operates as a complete eCommerce solution for a ton of different types of businesses that want to sell online.

Shopify is super easy to use, quick to setup, and has a TON of different integrations. They work with a lot of other large startups to create useful integrations that make Shopify easier to use, and more powerful. Even without these additional integrations, there's a lot going on under the hood here. Shopify really handles the entire process for you or at least gives you the tools to do so.

It's a complete platform, jam-packed with everything you need to get your online store setup and running effectively as soon as possible.

Shopify's Plans

Now we'll look at the plans that Shopify offers.

The big thing that stands out is that Shopify doesn't differentiate their tiers based on things like how many images you can have, or how many products you can have. They offer unlimited storage for files, and all of their plans allow you to sell an unlimited amount of different items in your shop.

Big Cartel, on the other hand, bases their pricing tiers essentially on how many SKUs, or different items, each plan allows for.

Shopify's pricing is more based on your bottom line, for example, their higher tier plans can save you money on payment processing and on shipping, so it's really easy to choose the right Shopify plan simply based on whether or not it makes sense for you financially. Saving money on shipping adds up really quick, and so do lower processing fees, but there's a big difference between Shopify's $29 plan and their $299 plan. All you've got to do is run the numbers. Start with the basic plan while you're getting your shop up and running, then when you're doing enough business that that 0.5% savings in credit card fees or the better shipping rates are enough to cover the costs, it becomes a no-brainer to upgrade.

With Shopify's retail package, you can easily integrate your retail location with your online store to manage inventory, accept payments, and it really helps to merge things for companies that already exist with a physical storefront and who are looking to take a step forward and sell online as well.

The “Staff accounts” is one aspect that's different between Shopify's different plans (which doesn't revolve around saving you money on fees), and it represents how many unique accounts you can have for different staff members. Having individual staff accounts allows you to set up unique permissions for each one. Staff members could share accounts, too, so it's not a hard limit, but Shopify recommends giving people their own individual accounts none the less, so if you have a larger team, it's a good idea to make sure you have an account for each person that will be accessing the backend of your Shopify store.

You can setup restricted areas and permissions, so that not every single staff member is able to access all of your sensitive information, or which items sell the best, or your margins, or whatever else you'd prefer to keep private. This can be a very powerful collaborative tool, which allows you to bring on extra help to improve your store, without having to expose all of the trade secrets you've collected from your shop's analytics and sales info.

The Third Option Besides Big Cartel or Shopify

Now, before we choose our overall favourite, let's go over a third option, which is self-hosting your own store.

As we said earlier, this used to be a really complex process, but it's not nearly as tricky to setup as it used to be.

When platforms like Shopify and Big Cartel came out, it was much trickier to open a store. These days, setting up your own web hosting and installing the script to run a store is easier than it's ever been. You're still going to have an easier time, overall, with Shopify or Big Cartel, but this third option is great for people who want to save some money and have a little more control over their store, too.

Using a hosting account, and WordPress, you can get everything setup the very same day. We recommend Bluehost because they make it incredibly easy to get WordPress setup. Once that first step is done, you're ready to start customizing your new website. There's a big number of “shopping cart” and online store plug-ins for WordPress. Going this third route instead of Shopify or Big Cartel does involve some more elbow grease, but it will save you some money if you're on a very tight budget, at least initially.

You can get away with using a cheaper shared hosting plan from Bluehost to get started, but if your shop becomes very popular, you'll need to upgrade to a higher-tier server, and eventually even Shopify's most expensive plan will be cheaper than a high-end dedicated server, not to mention all the costs of maintaining, having developers on hand, keeping everything secure…

So, Which One is Best Overall?

In high-volume cases, it's probably a better idea to go with Shopify because they have everything setup and ready to go for you.

If you want absolute control over your store, however, then getting your own hosting account and installing your own software on it might be your best bet. With a WordPress-based site, you can move it to any hosting company you want.

With Shopify and Big Cartel, they manage the software side of things and the hardware side. Having that all in one place, and managed by the company that runs the platform, definitely has its advantages, even if it means you have a little less control. For a lot of people, it's worth the trade-off, because they want to focus on growing and building their online store, instead of fussing around behind the scenes with server administration stuff.

If you're on a tight budget, and if you don't have a lot of different products to sell, and if you don't need more than 5 pictures of each product, then Big Cartel will likely save you some dough instead of going with Shopify.

If you don't mind spending a little more in order to get cheaper shipping for your customers, lower payment processing fees, and unlimited items, and overall using a more cohesive and complete platform, Shopify comes out on top.

The best option for one person probably won't be the same answer for the next person, since everybody has different needs, experience levels, and ambitions for their online stores.

If you still aren't sure where to start, check out Big Cartel's free plan, check out Shopify's free trial, and see what works best. If you've setup websites in the past, you should have no problem getting your eCommerce store setup with Bluehost, running WordPress, and a plug-in like WooCommerce.

Sometimes, the best way to choose is just to try them all out, there's no harm and no risk when you can get free trials.

COMPARISON 33 minutes

GoDaddy vs. 1and1

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

You may be forgiven for treating GoDaddy vs. 1and1 like your typical intercontinental Derby or bowl, but the rivalry goes deeper than that. Both web hosts are well known in their respective regions. GoDaddy, an American hosting provider, is the most popular in America. 1and1 is a German company that provides all the hosting needs of Europe. Both are also popular web hosts planetary-wide.

Both web hosts offer shared hosting, as well as other enterprise hosting services: VPS and dedicated servers.

GoDaddy and 1and1 are also known as the only two 1$ per month hosts. Since they offer so many similar services, it may be hard for a potential user to figure out which to go for. That's where we come in. We take a closer look at both web hosts, highlight their strengths, and dig out their weaknesses. We can promise that when you are done reading this, you'll have enough knowledge to make a decision confidently.

1and1 vs. GoDaddy Overview

While the two companies come from different regions, they are both founded by visionaries. Their consistent delivery of top-notch services has won numerous awards for them.

1&1 IONOS, along with Mail.com was previously owned by United Internet. Still, it was recently acquired in 2018 by IONOS, which also merged with Profitbricks, an enterprise cloud solution, with a new focus on European markets. Hence the name 1&1 IONOS.

GoDaddy, although established by Bob Parsons who still controls a majority of the shares, is owned by a private investment company. GoDaddy has a few subsidiaries of its in Media Temple and Host Europe Group.

Popularity Comparison

We could go on and on about how GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS host millions of websites, have thousands of staff members and data centers, as well as several million domains under maintenance but the fact that you and 9 out of 10 people that will be reading this know all these, speaks a lot about their popularity. Although GoDaddy sits atop the American web hosting industry, 1&1 IONOS is the top dog (as top as they get) in Europe. But worldwide? GoDaddy is 1st, 1&1 IONOS is 4th. There's your response.

Now, let's leave this petty popularity contest and begin our benchmarking for you to pick the right web hosting solution.

Performance

There are two vital metrics that a web host must pass before it qualifies to even be in consideration for the Laurel of the best host, and they are uptime and speed.

Uptime

As the most important metric, we often take our time to run a meticulous uptime test during 2019. We set up demo websites for both web hosts and tested from the same location over 12 months. Nevertheless, the results were impressive.

MonthGoDaddy1&1 IONOS
January99.98%100%
February99.8%100%
March99.99%99.98%
April100%99.98%
May100%100%
June99.98%99.98%
July99.99%99.97%
August100%99.98%
September99.99%100%
October99.98%99.97%
November99.99%99.99%
December99.98%100%

We recorded an average uptime of 99.988% for GoDaddy, while 1&1 IONOS had an average uptime of 99.987%. If we are not too nitpicky about this, they are pretty much a match in uptime and you are safe with either of them. In line with GoDaddy's statement that their server has to reset when a new person joins, the uptime at the beginning (for the first few months) was not a perfect hundred, but it improved. 1&1 IONOS, as opposed to GoDaddy, started quite well and both web hosts maintained a consistent uptime throughout. None of them dropping below 99.98%.

Uptime guarantee policy

GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS share a 99.9% uptime guarantee. If your site fails as a result of the web hosts performing below 99.9%, you will receive a credit of a percentage of that month's hosting price (5% of the fee per 0.1% downtime). We don't think any customer will be asking either GoDaddy or 1&1 IONOS for a refund since our tests have shown that on average they have uptime above 99.9%.

Speed

Using our test websites we checked the speed of the web hosting services offered by both GoDaddy and 1&1. We decided to focus our efforts on three key areas in order for the results to be as decisive as possible, those areas are response time (TTFB), page load speed and load impact test.

Response Time (TTFB)

MonthGoDaddy1&1 IONOS
October501 ms284 ms
November513 ms258 ms
December509 ms295 ms

We tested both web hosts at different periods for three months, for redundancy, and we got the results above. GoDaddy has a response time slightly above 500ms while 1&1 IONOS consistently performed below 300ms. GoDaddy has an average response time, but series hosted on 1&1 IONOS respond superfast, and that is the kind of cruise we like.

A clear winner here is 1&1 IONOS and please note that this lower response time can lead to a faster first contentful paint (FCP) which can up your SEO game (if you are into that).

Page Load speed

We tested both web hosts from Los Angeles, and we got the following average page speed loads:

  • Godaddy – 586 ms
  • 1&1 IONOS – 497 ms

1&1 IONOS has a slight advantage over GoDaddy of around 90ms faster load for the full page load speed.

Both web hosts may not have a speed on a level of SiteGround or A2 Hosting, but they are far from slow web hosts like Squarespace and Wix.

Load Impact Test

When you want someone to crack, you exert pressure. We want to establish that web hosts are like that too, and the same way people detest those who snitch under pressure is the same way we dislike web hosts that crash at the slightest increase in traffic.

The third speed test consists of sending 10 virtual users at a time to both web hosts. We kept increasing the traffic until we got to 100. The result of both GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS's performance has been charted below:

[Insert a chart showing 1&1 IONOS having a consistent speed with only a single spike and GoDaddy spiking at 50, 70, and 80 users]

Both web hosts are decent under pressure but one holds up more than the other.

As you can see from the chart, 1&1 IONOS started well but the speed suddenly reduced at 60 users. It soon picked up and stabilized even at maximum traffic.

GoDaddy also started quite well, but we noticed a plummet at 50, and again at 70 and 80 users. This is not so bad for a web host, but if you have a small site on which you run social media campaigns and expect concurrent users on it, you should probably go for 1&1 IONOS.

Data centers and server locations

Both web hosts have data centers and servers built with industry-leading hardware all across the world. We did notice that both web hosts have a concentration of data centers in the US. 1&1 IONOS also has data centers outside the US though, seeing as its an european company. The locations of data centers that we could uncover are presented in the chart below.

[Insert a chart showing the locations of the datacenters of both web hosts here.]

Luckily, upon sign up, both web hosts allow you to choose from their numerous data centers. So, don't worry if your site users are not around you. You can also change your data centers later, another advantage for those that do not yet know the primary locations of their clients.

1&1 IONOS wins this chapter with both response time and site load speed, but GoDaddy is, by no means a slowpoke, 1&1 IONOS is just faster.

Security

We hate to see good things, built with sweat and blood, destroyed. The same way we hate to see your successful website struck with malware or fall into the hands of hackers. Yes, this will mostly be prevented through your actions, but a lot has to do with the web host you use.

GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS provide security for your hosting, of course, but so does hundreds of other web hosts. What makes them different is the extra steps they take to guide you, and whether or not most of their defensive features come for free.

Both web hosts give SSL certificates on their business packages (8$ package on 1&1 IONOS and 12$ on GoDaddy). You have to pay for the feature if you are on the lower-tier plan.

Each provider is offering anti-DDoS protection that prevents attacks on servers and stops malicious third-party users from attacking servers. The higher-tier 1&1 IONOS plans also get SiteLock, a tool that scans for malware and subsequently gets rid of them. Both web hosts also have steps in place to protect you against brute force attacks.

Backup and Restore

Both web hosts create automatic backups but only one allows you to restore for free. 1&1 IONOS creates your site backup every 6 days and you can restore it for free anytime. With GoDaddy, you have to pay for the restoration of your site backup. Backup on request costs extra with both web hosts. If you are the type that takes a risk and likes to backup before your best out of risk, then both web hosts are not particularly cost-effective. Although the 1&1 IONOS 6 days backup can still serve you well, we've seen web hosts that do better.

1&1 IONOS wins this round too: both web hosts have your run-of-the-mill security measures. 1&1 IONOS only takes the edge in backup and restore.

Ease of use

When it comes to ease of use, we like to talk about usability more than control, because of one important reason: it has to be convenient for everyone. And convenience does not only lie in a web host being easy to use for a beginner. You want to make life easy for beginners but you don't want to alienate developers, that's the essence of usability. It starts with the signing up process.

Set up

The sign-up process and the subsequent set up of your website represents a speedy process for both web hosts. They have also made payment easy with the plethora of options that they have.

Payment MethodGoDaddy1&1 IONOS
Credit / Debit/ Prepaid CardsYESYES
PayPalYESYES
AliPayYESNO
Wire TransferYESNO
SkrillYESNO
AstroPay CardYESNO
Check PaymentsYESNO
Money OrderYESNO

Control Panel and Dashboard

When it comes to the choice of a control panel, cPanel is still the industry standard.

GoDaddy plays a safe game by adopting cPanel back in 2014. They tried to have their in-house panel, but going with the crowd was just easier. If it isn't broken, don't fix it, right? Maybe, but 1&1 IONOS uses a proprietary control panel but it's kind of annoying to use.

[Insert GoDaddy's cPanel interface here]

That's the custom cPanel that GoDaddy uses, and as you noticed, it's graphically based. It makes use of icons just like cPanel, but with a few modifications. Newbies do not have to click directories to lead them to a new panel of hidden options and features. Everything is right there in front of you.

[Insert IONO's proprietary control panel interface here]

With the simplistic look of 1&1 IONOS's own control panel, things look simple at first and we were excited. But when you actually need to use it, it gets tricky. Sure, it isn't crowded and it's text-based instead of icons. But not everything is displayed on the screen. You need to block on options to take you to extra features. So there are hidden features and this could be a bit daunting for beginners or people who are used to cPanel.

Site Builder

1&1 IONOS also has at least 2 site builders. GoDaddy's website builder is a part of its 3in1 GoCentral platform.

1&1 IONOS has MySites website builder. The turnkey site builder allows you to design stunning sites. You do not require coding skills or Photoshop skills. Using drag and drop tools, you can add modules, add pictures, widgets, videos etc. It allows for changes with the text as well as color and font. It's all in the design. The website created with the MySites is also responsive. After creation, it automatically fits into any device, including mobile. Considering that the strength of MySites lies in its creation of e-commerce websites, the fact that it is mobile responsive is a delight. You can scan product barcodes, add stocks and remove all on your mobile.

The GoDaddy Website builder that comes with GoCentral is also a joy to use. No coding or editing skills required. Using a WYSIWYG, get your design exactly how you inserted it. GoCentral is nothing but beginners friendly. When we look at its dashboard and site builder, it makes total sense that GoDaddy is referred to as the entry-level web host for any beginners.

Both GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS, also support a lot of popular CMS like Drupal and Joomla, Magento, etc. They can be installed in one click, sweet.

1&1 IONOS, in their bid to support e-commerce users, has been proactive in assisting users that want to set up a virtual market by creating a perfectly tailored e-commerce site builder, boldly named E-commerce website builder. Yep, being subtlety is not their strong suit, and why should it be? If you've got an ace in this crowded web building industry, flaunt it.

The builder is very similar to the first website builder that we spoke about earlier, and the only difference is that it comes with features peculiar to E-commerce website building like adding of shopping carts, gift cards, and high-performance tracking tools. Most of which GoCentral brings to the table for GoDaddy too. You can also add social media and e-commerce or business widgets from the store.

Overall, for website building, GoDaddy is more comfortable due to its simple interface and website creation. Automatic WordPress installation with 1&1 IONOS is not available through a single click. We cannot be playing peekaboo with WordPress when GoDaddy has a single click installation feature for it.

You've seen their designs and templates, but which is more flexible? Which gives you more control? GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS are decent as regards ease of use overall. But only GoDaddy paid maximum attention to making the life of beginners a whole lot easier.

Customization and Design

Both web hosts build easily customizable websites. With 1&1 IONOS, users utilize their award-winning drag-and-drop interface to customize websites. You can also add social media and e-commerce widgets. The interface is not a free service though, and it comes at $4.99 per month.

GoDaddy, on the other hand, is known for its drag-and-drop interface, as well as its WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) platform. The GoCentral site builder creates secure URLs and renderable HTML.

With either of them, you can change font and color scheme, personalize texts and typefaces as well as insert pictures and videos. But overall, there is a restriction in customization (unlike website builders-only solutions like Wix and Squarespace) and both web hosts make use of pre-population of templates.

Your text and visual-based website editor, as well as the SEO optimization (questionnaire-based), are optimized for convenience. You do not need coding knowledge or prior experience with visual and graphical software like Picasa or Photoshop. Both web hosts have an easy-to-see toolbar.

App Integrations and support

1&1 IONOS supports apps that help you integrate photo galleries, online scheduling, customer reviews, social media widgets, and maps. Its E-commerce builder easily integrates Amazon, eBay, and Google as well as tons of payment schemes and shipping processes. So little plan, so many features!

Marketplace and one-click installations

The sheer 1&1 IONOS Marketplace feature gives users access to a marketplace where they can buy WordPress themes, professional services, and even purchase new add-ons if they so wish. With GoDaddy, you have access to the MOJO marketplace. Through the marketplace, you can get apps, themes, and plugins installed.

With 1and1's MySites, you can incorporate Webapps like Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps for route planning.

Marketing, Google Analytics, and SEO rankings

Whatever CMS you want to use SEO with, 1&1 IONOS has video tutorials to show you a step-by-step guide to setting up the SEO of your website. With GoDaddy, well, let's say your site doesn't suffer from a lack of marketing. They have an SEO wizard and questionnaire to solve your SEO problems. But your pocket suffers from upsells.

GoDaddy essentially creates SEO problems for you (something that other web hosts don't have to do) and then offer to sell you the remedy. Not to mention that GoDaddy's Personal plan is missing SEO features.

1&1 IONOS also has rankingCoach which helps you track your SEO ranking and consequently enables you to improve it. And what's better? 1&1 IONOS SEO supports many languages with multilingual tools and supports. That's right, if your customer searches for your product using the German language, you still show on Google.

Suffice it to say, if this comparison was determined by SEO alone, 1&1 IONOS would get some good points in before GoDaddy even realized it's in the ring. Unlike 1&1 IONOS (which has its mountain of upsells elsewhere, e.g. security), the fact that GoDaddy has to rely on upsells to grant you SEO optimization is, to say the least, somewhat unsavory.

Site Migration, Domains, and Privacy

GoDaddy charges you a whiplash $99 to migrate from another web host to theirs. The alternative is moving it yourself. Do you know what we like to see in a web host? Shock inducing migration costs. That's how you get people to sign up.

Both web hosts give you a free domain, GoDaddy offers it on an annual plan and provides free WHOIS privacy for it.

The domain included in the 1&1 IONOS package remains free for the life of the contract. There is no price increase upon renewal. The free domain only includes the .com, .biz, .org, .me, .online, .net, .us, .ca, and .info extensions. GoDaddy offers a .com domain with their standard package for $11.99 in the 1st year and $17.99 in the 2nd.

GoDaddy balances control and convenience:  To put it into perspective, setting up a website with GoDaddy's GoCentral website builder is like signing up for a Facebook or Twitter account. Simple, fast, but limited. We'll take that over IONO's frustrating interface.

Customer Support and Reliability

The web hosting industry is like the Wild West. Good and reliable support is hard to find. Let's see what GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS have to offer.

GoDaddy has the following options for support: Email, help desk, phone / toll-free, forum, live chat, and they are all available 24/7. 1&1 IONOS also has email, help desk Phone / Toll-Free, live chat, and forum, all available 24/7.

First Contact

GoDaddy has 8,000 employees working round-the-clock to satisfy millions of customers. As is the case with every huge web host, we know it will be hard for them to meet the needs of all users effectively, but GoDaddy tries nonetheless. GoDaddy's WordPress paid plans come with 24/7 support via email, live chat, and VideoPress, and a decent shared hosting support. Live chat is usually the fastest support option, so naturally, it's what most people would attempt to use. That's precisely why we tried it out.

It took a while and a few tries (about 4 trials, a total of 40 minutes hold time), but we were able to get through to GoDaddy's support. We like to know if the guy on the other end was a human and not a bot. So we proceeded to ask technical questions, solutions to problems we didn't have (but you could have) and the guy that attended to us was very knowledgeable.

We've also tried chat support from 1&1 IONOS and were impressed with the response time. We got a reply in under 2 minutes on average. Unfortunately, though, we were not ok with the expertise (or the lack of it thereof) of the 1&1 IONOS reps. We tried asking difficult questions and we were transferred to another agent once the query got too technical. It was like they had a higher up brain box named Albert that should only be disturbed when and only when it is absolutely necessary. The experience was more or less the same as the phone channel too. Although to be fair, though the email response took time (under 24 hours), all of our questions are usually addressed. We guess 1&1 IONOS hasn't quite breached the intercontinental barrier yet.

Knowledgebase

Both GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS have lots of articles and tutorials that answer the most basic questions. GoDaddy has a sleek advantage through their forums and the popular GoDaddy Garage platform.

1&1 IONOS, to round it up, has something different for small businesses, especially startups. They decided to build a startup guide that is essentially a library of articles on how to start a limited liability company and how to create a work schedule using excel. Asides from the initial difficulty of navigating the user interface, 1&1 IONOS actually provides a lot of help for new users.

The customer support of GoDaddy is pretty much the same of what 1&1 IONOS can deliver. There is still a reassuring comfort knowing that it's a big company that has not neglected the internet toddler. Be it because of the expansive library or the well-rounded army of support or the fact that it has the curiously named but capable GoDaddy garage. GoDaddy does not slack too much, and for a juggernaut web host, that makes all the difference.

Support is a tie: Do we believe GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS are decent? Yes. Do we think one is better than the other? No, not really.

Plans and Pricing

Both GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS, as powerhouses, offer plans for all the types of hosting we can think of; GoDaddy offers shared hosting, VPS, cloud, domains, website builder, web design and emails. 1&1 IONOS provides shared hosting, VPS, cloud, domains, website builder, and dedicated hosting.

Shared Hosting Plans

1&1 IONOS has 3 shared hosting plans, compared to GoDaddy's 4 plans. 1&1 IONOS has Business, Pro, and Expert. Meanwhile, GoDaddy has Economy, Deluxe, Ultimate, and Maximum plans.

Tier 1 plans

GoDaddy's Basic plan is the Economy and it comes with 24/7 support infrastructure, one website, 100GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited emails, and one free domain (with the annual plan). The introductory price is $5.99 which is a promotional offer and the renewal price is $8.99.

1&1 IONOS's Business Plan costs $1 per month for the first month (you pay original price $8/month upon renewal). It comes with unlimited websites hosted, databases, storage, 50 email accounts, and a free domain.

There isn't much difference in price, but 1&1 IONOS has the $1 advantage, practically dashing out its plans at the smallest cost. They both offer roughly the same specs, but GoDaddy offers unlimited emails compared to 1&1 IONOS's 50 emails. We do think it is just a marketing tactic though, how many emails does a single website user really need? Also, we have learned (the hard way) not to trust the unlimited buzzword.

Tier 2 plans

GoDaddy's medium-range plan is the Deluxe plan. It comes with all the features of the Economy plan and has the added advantage of unlimited websites, storage, and subdomains. It costs $7.99 (however, you have to pay $11.99 to renew).

For a single dollar (for the first 6 months) you get 1&1 IONOS's Pro Plan ($10/mo renewal). It is good for larger web projects (up to 5 websites) with a free domain and 250GB of storage and SiteLock protection.

Once again, we are skeptical of the term unlimited, a recurring trick word in this comparison. But if they are to be believed, then 1&1 IONOS's plan is limited compared to GoDaddy's tier 2 plan.

Tier 3 plans

GoDaddy's Ultimate plan which can be purchased at $5.99 (The renewal fee is $16.99). It has all the features of the deluxe plan, and in addition, has double the processing power, a free SSL certificate (for a single term) and unlimited databases. So, GoDaddy does offer a free SSL certificate but only on higher-tier plans.

1&1 IONOS's next plan is the expert plan, and, as the name implies, it is for experts that costs $1 per month for the first 6 months. (fee $14/mo on renewal). Allows 50 websites, has a full security package and 500GB of storage.  It comes with 500 databases and 500 emails.

For the first time, there is a substantial difference in renewal prices, as 1&1 IONOS's renewal prices take a dive on GoDaddy's $17.

Tier 4 plans

GoDaddy's highest Shared hosting plan is the Maximum Plan and it costs $12.99 for an initial purchase and $24.99 upon renewal. It comes with the Ultimate plan features and ×2 the processing power and memory, ×2 maximum site traffic and a free SSL certificate for the full term. 1&1 IONOS has no tier 4 plan.

1&1 IONOS beats GoDaddy at its own game: offering the lowest promotional prices. It provides all of its shared hosting plans at a discounted $1 per month. Although all its plans have caps, we are glad they are honest with it. Unlike GoDaddy (and most other web hosts) that slams “unlimited everything” on all their plans like a trademark, but in reality, it's what they consider reasonable usage.

Managed WordPress Hosting Plans

GoDaddy, like in the shared hosting aspect, also has four managed WordPress hosting plans. All GoDaddy managed WordPress hosting plans come with:

  • Access to thousands of free themes and plugins.
  • Automatic WordPress Core software and security updates.
  • Free domain with an annual plan.
  • Free daily backups & 1-click restore.
  • Free 24/7 Support.
  • Premium WordPress Hosting Platform.
  • 150+ interactive WordPress walkthroughs and training videos.
  • One-click migration tool.
  • WordPress search engine optimization (SEO) plugin.
  • Stage-before-you-show-environment built-in.
  • Malware removal.
  • Thousands of pre-screened plugins.
  • Free (1) Microsoft Office 365 Email 1st year free (optional).
  • 99.9% uptime promise and money-back guarantee.

Basic Managed WordPress Hosting Plans

GoDaddy's basic plan, which is appropriately named the Basic Plan, comes with one website, 10 GB SSD worth of space, and maximum traffic of 25,000 visitors per month. The cost of the initial price is $4.99 with a discount price (if 12 mo.) coupon $0.99 /mo. The price for Basic Plan renewal, though, is $9.99 per month. You also get SFTP access and Free domain with an annual plan.

Medium Range Managed WordPress Plan

GoDaddy's medium-range WordPress hosting plan is the Deluxe plan which comes at an initial cost of $7.99, and $4.49 /month discount/coupon code price. (renewal is $14.99). It allows one website, a maximum of 100k visitors per month, 15GB SSD space, support of free daily backups, malware scans, built-in sign-up forms, and a free domain. With Deluxe, you also get:

  • SSH / SFTP access.
  • Free Domain with an annual plan.
  • One-click staging site.
  • Search engine optimization plugin.

High Range Managed WordPress Hosting Plans

Like Shared Hosting Plans, GoDaddy has two high-level plans and they are the Ultimate and Pro 5+ Plans. The Ultimate plan can be purchased for $9.99 ($19.99) per month and offers 2 websites, 30GB of SSD storage, a free SSL certificate for the first year, a maximum of 400k visitors, and all the features of the extra Deluxe plan. But you also get:

  • SSH / SFTP access
  • Search engine optimized for 2 sites.
  • SSL certificate for one year.
  • Malware scan and removal.

GoDaddy's highest plan is the Pro 5+ or the Developer plan and it offers 5-50 websites, support of up to 800k monthly visitors, a free SSL certificate per site, 50-200GB of storage and all the other features of the Ultimate plan before it. It costs $27.99 (same as renewal). You also get the pro version of the Features in the ultimate plan.

Website Builder Plan

On a month to month basis, 1&1 IONOS charges $5/month, while GoDaddy charges $20/month, but at a reduced rate of $15/month, If you would sign up for 12 months at a time.

Unlike GoDaddy which only offers its free domain for the first year, 1&1 IONOS is giving an unconditionally free domain for life. Both web hosts give free SSL, but only 1&1 IONOS offers free Wildcard SSL. GoDaddy offers you 5 free email accounts for the first year but 1&1 IONOS offers it for life.

E-commerce Hosting

1&1 IONOS has two types of pricing plans: e-commerce and non-e-commerce.

The e-commerce or “Online plan” has been discussed above, but the three e-commerce plans range from $15-$45/month as seen below:

  • Online Store: $15/month. It allows you to stock up to 5,000 products.
  • Online Store Advanced: $25/month. It allows you to stock up to 10,000 products.
  • Online Store Expert: $45/month. It allows you to stock up to 1,000,000 products.

With each e-commerce plan, the limitation of your integration reduces. E.g with the Online Store plan, you are stuck with Facebook. The Online Store Advanced plan lets you integrate Instagram, and with the Online Store Expert plan, you get the main buffet: Amazon and eBay.

They all come with a free domain and email accounts, social media and business widgets, and a multilingual translator tool. Let's not mince words; 1&1 IONOS's e-commerce pricing is a delight.

Cloud Hosting

1&1 IONOS's plans are as follows:

Cloud Server SizeCPU CoresRAMSSD StoragePrice per hour
XS1512 MB30 GB$0.0069
S11 GB40 GB$0.0111
M22 GB60 GB$0.0222
L24 GB80 GB$0.0333
XL48 GB120 GB$0.0694
XXL816 GB160 GB$0.1389
3XL1224 GB240 GB$0.2222
4XL1632 GB360 GB$0.3333
5XL2448 GB480 GB$0.5

Please keep in mind that prices per hour can result in a maximum amount per month you can pay for each server and all the CPU's are Intel® Xeon® Processors.

VPS Hosting

GoDaddy has Virtual Private Servers plans which offer ultra-fast SSDs and flexibility with HTTP/2, Ubuntu, IPv6, Nginx, Node.js and more. Lightning-fast servers with root access, blazing-fast networking powered by open APIs through OpenStack. GoDaddy offers 4 Linux and Windows-based server plans: Launch, Enhance, Grow and Expand plans. The company also offers monthly data transfer and unlimited domains. For both web hosts, prices shoot upon renewal.

We will analyze GoDaddy's VPS plans below side-by-side with a picture of 1&1 IONOS's plans.

With GoDaddy's VPS, you can select between 2 different operating systems and, subsequently a preferred OS too. Your choices, should you choose to pick one, are: Linux, CentOS or Windows Server.

Tiers 1 plan

GoDaddy's equivalent, the Launch VPS plan (For $30.99 a month), comes with 1 CPU core (virtually allocated CPU), 2GB RAM, 40GB storage, unlimited bandwidth. Presently, the plan can be purchased at a discounted price of $13.26 per year, and for $40.99, you can upgrade your storage capacity to 60GB.

Tiers 2 plans

GoDaddy's Enhanced VPS plan is priced at $20.27 per month and comes with 2 virtually allocated CPU cores, 4GB ram, and 90GB storage unlimited bandwidth. Like the launch plan, the discounted price also applies during renewal.

Tiers 3 plans

GoDaddy's Grow VPS plan costs $35.87 without discounts, but $23.8 with discounts. The plan comes with 3 virtual CPU cores, 6GB of RAM, and 150GB storage. For $60.99 per month, you can expand your storage to 120GB worth of storage with unlimited bandwidth.

Tiers 4 plans

At a discounted price of $31.2, GoDaddy's Expand VPS plan offers four virtual CPU cores, 8GB of ram, and 200GB storage. To qualify to pay the discounted amount, you must be paying for an annual plan or multiple years in advance. For $140.99 per month, you can use 240GB worth of RAM with unlimited bandwidth.

Detailed specifications of GoDaddy's VPS hosting plans

Clauses: GoDaddy's Windows plans cost around $10 extra per month. The GoDaddy plans promise unlimited bandwidth and a range of 40GB to 250GB of storage, depending on your plan.

Comparing their basic VPS plans, this is what GoDaddy has to offer against 1&1 IONOS:

GoDaddy1&1 IONOS
Starting prices$24.99/mo$5/mo
Disk Space (SSD)40 GB80 GB
Data TransferUnmeteredUnmetered
Hosted DomainsUnlimitedUnlimited
Free DomainNoneNone
CPU2x Intel E5-2620V32vCores
Dedicated IPs11
Control PanelcPanel/WHMVMware
Server locationsUSUS/Germany/Spain

Dedicated Server Hosting

Just like their VPS plan, both 1&1 IONOS and GoDaddy offer Windows and Linux operating system options, and they have different tiers of plans to meet the requirements of customers.

GoDaddy offers five dedicated Windows plans which are about $30 more expensive than its features equivalent Linux plans. GoDaddy's dedicated hosting plans all have unlimited bandwidth, boasting of dedicated hosting plans which grant root access and provide fast web servers for users. Still, then again, it's a dedicated server, we expect nothing less.

Meanwhile, with 1&1 IONOS, no set up is charged, billing is per minute, and there seems to be no cap. You also get a bonus of $100 credit in your first month.

Level 1

GoDaddy's DS-32 plan runs on the Intel Xeon-D 2123IT processor:

This plan will set you back a whopping $78 per month. This is a discounted price of 23% off, and you can only qualify for the discount if you pay for an annual plan or pay for years in advance. The plan comes with  2 x 4 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1), 4C/8T, 3.0 GHz Turbo, 32 GB DDR4 RAM.

1&1 IONOS has 5 plans that can compete in this category. Both SSD and HDD.

L-16 HDD at $0.0972 /hour  = max. $70/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1230 v6; 4 cores x 3.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 16 GB DDR4 ECC, 1,000 GB (2 x 1,000 GB SATA), and Software RAID 1 with a free lifetime domain. You also get:

Dedicated IPs: 1

Control Panel: KVM

Server location options: United States, Germany, Spain.

L-16 SSD at $0.1111 /hour  = max. $80/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1230 v6; 4 cores x 3.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 16 GB DDR4 ECC, 480 GB (2 x 480 GB SSD), and Software RAID 1

L-32 HDD at $0.1111 /hour  = max. $80/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1230 v6; 4 cores x 3.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 32 GB DDR4 ECC, 1,000 GB (2 x 1,000 GB SATA), and Software RAID 1.

L-32 SSD at $0.1250 /hour  = max. $90/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1230 v6; 4 cores x 3.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 32 GB DDR4 ECC, 480 GB (2 x 480 GB SSD), and Software RAID 1

XL-32 HDD at $0.1389 /hour  = max. $100/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1270 v6; 4 cores x 3.8 GHz, 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 32 GB DDR4 ECC, 2,000 GB (2 x 2,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1.

Level 2

GoDaddy's DS-64 plan runs on the Intel Xeon-E 2136 processor:

With 22% off on plans purchased for more than a year, the plan is priced at $169.99 per month. It comes with 64 GB DDR4 RAM, 2 x 4 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1) and 6C/12T, 4.5 GHz Turbo.

1&1 IONOS has 2 SSD and 1 HDD plans in this category:

XL-32 SSD at $0.1667 /hour  = max. $120/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1270 v6; 4 cores x 3.8 GHz, 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 32 GB DDR4 ECC, 800 GB (2 x 800 GB SSD), and Hardware RAID 1

XL-64 HDD at $0.1806 /hour  = max. $130/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1270 v6; 4 cores x 3.8 GHz, 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 64 GB

DDR4 ECC, 2,000 GB (2 x 2,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1.

XL-64 SSD at $0.2083 /hour  = max. $150/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1270 v6; 4 cores x 3.8 GHz, 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 64 GB DDR4 ECC, 800 GB (2 x 800 GB SSD), and Hardware RAID 1.

Level 3

GoDaddy's DS-128 plan runs on AMD EPYC™ 7351P processor:

Users can save up to 16% when they purchase an annual or multi-year plan at $299.99. You are given 16C/32T cores and thread, 2.9 GHz Turbo speed, 128GB DDR4 RAM, and 2 x 8 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1).

1&1 IONOS has two plans that fall in this category:

XXL-96 HDD at $0.2500 /hour  = max. $180/month.

Intel® Xeon® Silver 4123; 8 cores x 3.0 GHz, 3.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 96 GB DDR4 ECC, 4,000 GB (2 x 4,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1.

3XL-192 HDD at $0.3333 /hour  = max. $240/month.

Intel® Xeon® Gold 6126; 12 cores x 2.6 GHz, 3.7 GHz Turbo Boost, 192 GB DDR4 ECC, 4,000 GB, (2 x 4,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1

Level 4

GoDaddy's DS-256 plan runs on AMD EPYC 7351P processor:

This is their highest plan (as high as it gets), and can it be purchased at $399.99. You get 16C/32T cores and threads, 2.9 GHz Turbo speed, 256 GB DDR4 RAM, and 2 x 8 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1).

1&1 IONOS has the 4XL-192 HDD at $0.3889 /hour  = max. $280/month.

Intel® Xeon® Gold 6210U; 20 cores x 2.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 192 GB, DDR4 ECC, 4,000 GB (2 x 4,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1.

Money-back Guarantee Policy

Both web hosts have the standard 30 days money-back guarantee.

Hidden Charges and Upsells

It's safe to say that both web hosts participate in the trick introductory prices. 1&1 IONOS upsells you in security while GoDaddy has all its plans punctuated by upsells ditches.

Let us put it this way: 1&1 IONOS definitely has more advanced features in the plans but they are usually capped (e.g. 250gb SSD instead of 1TB HDD). GoDaddy, on the other hand, doesn't have as many features, but the few they have are often robust and many are unlimited.

1&1 IONOS is cheaper: let it be known that GoDaddy has lost the pricing battle to 1&1 IONOS. While GoDaddy has more “unlimited” offers that could make it's slightly expensive offers worth it, 1&1 IONOS has enough features to equalize.

Extras of GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS

GoDaddy has the following icing on its cake:

  • has affiliate programs;
  • offers an integrated domain name and complete security;
  • has Unlimited storage and bandwidth with all its premium plans;
  • besides site building, GoDaddy also offers SEO, online marketing, and design services for additional fees;
  • has a wider range of options in web hosting; WordPress, VPS and dedicated server web hosting options;

GoDaddy has the benefit of convenience and fast site creation speed by anyone with no prior knowledge of site creation.

Let's see what extras 1&1 IONOS has to offer us:

  • provides several cloud services;
  • makes use of the HTTP/2 protocol;
  • offers the services of two website builders;
  • has a proprietary backend interface separate from cPanel or Plesk;
  • has an online accounting program for invoices;
  • assigns consultants to new users; these consultants are point men that users can turn to for questions, whenever the need arises;

GoDaddy vs. 1&1 IONOS Major Differences

Let's look at the main differences between both of these Web-hosts.

  • GoDaddy has cPanel, while 1&1 IONOS has a proprietary control panel;
  • 1&1 IONOS sites respond faster than GoDaddy's;
  • 1&1 IONOS offers free site transfer, GoDaddy doesn't;
  • GoDaddy edges out 1&1 IONOS in uptime;
  • GoDaddy has a beginner-friendly user interface than 1&1 IONOS;
  • GoDaddy has four shared hosting plans, 1&1 IONOS has only three;

Conclusion

In terms of speed and uptime, 1&1 IONOS is ahead but not by a margin substantial enough to be used as a victory yardstick. Both web hosts have their strengths and shortcomings. They are both guilty of upsells, and they perform sub-par in areas where juggernaut web hosts like them should not drop the ball. But overall, they are above average web hosts (at least better than WordPress.com).

Both web hosts tie in most of our metrics, with either managing to snag only a few categories. The comparison comes down to usability, and that's where GoDaddy shines. GoDaddy versus 1&1 IONOS? If only by a few steps, GoDaddy takes the crown.

WEB HOSTING 12 minutes

Top 6 SiteGound Alternatives You Should Not Overlook in 2020

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

It's no question that SiteGround is a top pick when it comes to website hosting, their WordPress platform has long since been regarded among the best options available. With prestigious recommendations from sites such as WordPress.org and WPBeginner.com, their growth in the industry has been enormous.

Since opening the doors in 2004, SiteGround has experienced continued success through development, placing heavy emphasis on building a unique yet effective platform. Offering feature-rich, high-quality services at affordable prices, their plans appeal to a large majority in the market for hosting.

Coupled with state of the art hosting infrastructure, cutting edge tools developed in-house, and fantastic 24/7 customer support, they check all of the boxes we look for in a quality website host.

While you may be waiting for the “but” to come, the truth of the matter is they are truly exceptional. Still, they are not without their flaws and that is our focus in this article. We will explain the problem with SiteGround, how it may affect you as a website owner and look at what alternatives you can consider instead.

So What is the Problem with SiteGround?

The short answer to this question is CPU Seconds.

To better explain this limitation, each of the SiteGround plans come with a Suitable for X Visits Monthly, where X ranges from 10K and 100K depending on the package. While this may seem like a suggestion since bandwidth is unlimited, it is in fact a hard cap on the total page visits. Each time a PHP page is loaded, this counts towards your maximum executions (CPU Seconds limit) and for high volume websites, they can certainly start to add up quick.

Although this is not necessarily a problem per say, it may be a concern for those expecting considerable traffic. As you begin to approach the specified cap, you will receive an automated e-mail informing you that your service may be suspended. One potential option is to upgrade the plan, however this may come as a shock to those unaware of the situation beforehand.

If the CPU Seconds may pose problems for you at SiteGround, we will look at the best alternatives for website hosting in 2018.

Here are the Best Alternatives to SiteGround:

  • Bluehost
  • Inmotion Hosting
  • A2 Hosting
  • WP Engine
  • Kinsta
  • Flywheel

1. Bluehost

We often shy away from companies owned by the infamous EIG (Endurance International Group), but Bluehost is one of the rare exceptions that manage to do things right. In contrast to the usage limitations we find at SiteGround, Bluehost offers a truly unlimited platform in which to build your website.

For those that prefer a set it and forget it approach, avoiding the hassle of unexpected overages can be the deciding factor when choosing the right company. Bluehost still has the basic fine print to ensure legitimate content is being served, but their Terms of Service are much less invasive to the average webmaster.

Aside from the basics caps on their entry level starter plan, your websites can utilize as much storage, bandwidth and other resources that they need to operate, making it the perfect solution for clients of all sizes.

Getting Started with Bluehost

When you are ready to take the plunge, the setup process just couldn't be any easier. Their plans, features and support are heavily centered around WordPress, yet their platform has countless options to choose from.

If you are looking to create a store through Shopify, or a PhpBB forum for discussions, they have automated 1-click installers available for every popular solution. Regardless of where your needs lie, the Bluehost control panel has the tools to create exactly what you want with ease.

From the moment you make the purchase, you are taken step by step from start to finish. Just choose the plan that fits your needs, pick out a free domain name for the website and the rest is cake.

Using the industry standard cPanel/WHM control panel, you can do anything from setup a customized e-mail address (such as becky@bestnewcandles.com) to loading WordPress with the click of a button. There is even a Site Builder tool to unleash your creativity, using building blocks to piece together that beautiful website design as per your specifications.

There is no limitation as to what you can accomplish and Bluehost provides the tools to make it possible. Their platform is simple to use, yet feature rich and powerful.

Customer Service and Self-Help Resources

Questions and issues will arise from time to time, it is just part of the overall hosting experience. When that time does come, you can rest easy knowing that Bluehost has you covered. Their team is comprised of more than 700 technical minds, committed to providing the best service in the industry. With a range of WordPress experts and developers on staff, they can assist with problems of any complexity, although their knowledge and support don't stop there. Familiar with the entire library of software solutions available at Bluehost, their agents can often answer questions or point you in the right direction regardless of the topic.

For less urgent matters or those inclined to learn on their own time, they also provide a massive self-help resources, packed with hundreds of articles on every possible aspect of website hosting.

Whether you are learning the ins and outs of WordPress, setting up an E-Mail address or configuring a MySQL database, they have well written documentation for all of it. If you hit a brick wall and just can't figure something out, their team is available 24/7 via Phone, Live Chat and the Support Desk to help you along the way.

Bluehost is our top pick because…

  • Setup Process: Their website hosting service is one of the easiest to use, taking less than 5 minutes to bring a new website online. With hundreds of software solutions available as a 1-click install, you can pick your favorite platform and have it running within seconds.
  • WordPress Hosting: The WordPress CMS (Content Management System) currently powers more than 25% of the websites all over the world. As the number one hosting recommendation by WordPress.org, Bluehost offers the most simple, yet powerful environment for customers looking to launch a WordPress website.
  • Free Domain Name: Every website needs a unique name on the internet and Bluehost recognizes this requirement. They include (1) free domain name registration with every website hosting package.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: With a team of more than 700 support personnel, many specializing in certain areas of the hosting industry, you can get assistance with any question or issue. Available 24/7 across multiple channels, you can reach one of their live agents instantly and find the answers that you need.
  • Unlimited Hosting: While certain providers embed limits to cap a website's monthly usage, Bluehost offers a truly unlimited platform. Aside from the entry level package, your website(s) can utilize as much storage and bandwidth as they require, meaning no maximum page visits.

2. Inmotion Hosting

Inmotion Hosting is an absolute dinosaur of the hosting industry. In business since 1997, they are still one of the largest providers more than 20 years later. Being one of the few remaining companies that are still independently owned, they do things a little different from the competition to set themselves apart.

We can appreciate their unique approach to the business though, not every provider should be cut from the same mold. With more than 70 awards, including CNET's recommendation as the #1 choice for website hosting, Inmotion Hosting has planted themselves firmly among the best.

While their prices are slightly higher than that of most competitors, they more than justify the costs considering what is included. Not only is their hosting platform completely unlimited (storage, bandwidth and e-mail), this even extends to their lowest cost starter plan as well.

Better yet, compared to the 1 website maximum we are quite familiar with, the entry plan supports 2 sites on the same account. The upgraded tiers obviously incorporate greater incentives, however these are performance boosts rather than resource caps on utilization.

We have looked at Inmotion Hosting before, providing a complete look into what you can expect when hosting with their business. If you are interested in reading more, you can find a full breakdown of their company and services at Inmotion Hosting Review for Fast, Reliable Websites. For those who may have some objection to Bluehost, this is an excellent alternative to check out.

3. A2 Hosting

Started back in 2003, around the same time that SiteGround and Bluehost opened for business, A2 Hosting has been a fairly substantial force in the hosting industry. They never quite established themselves at the top of the pack, yet they are still a driving force in the market.

Investing considerable time and effort over the past few years, they continue to push the quality of their services and are now one of the best options available.

Since our gripe with SiteGround is the usage limitations, A2 Hosting's uncapped platform is a perfect alternative. Storage space and bandwidth are unlimited across all plans, and outside of several restrictions on the entry level “Lite” package, your websites are free to utilize as many resources as needed.

The more expensive choices include certain performance incentives, most notably their Turbo feature that boosts page speeds by up to 20x. Regardless of the plan you choose though, you won't suddenly find your website suspended for too many visitors.

We won't delve into the specifics of A2 Hosting as we have reviewed them previously, however you can find our full length article at here. If you are still on the fence with our other recommendations, definitely check them out and see if they better fit your needs.

They are the closest alternative to SiteGround in terms of performance optimizations, where this may appeal to those looking to squeeze every ounce of speed out of a shared hosting plan.

High-End SiteGround Replacements

While our recommended alternatives offer excellent services, some projects do require more than these low cost hosting solutions can provide. For those looking to find premium tier website platforms, here are a few other options for your consideration.

4. WP Engine

image via wpbeginner.com

WP Engine is one of the Top Competitors & Replacements for Siteground. They have extensive knowledge and server hosting capabilities for not only High Volume sites, but for Small-business and ecommerce based sites.

We highly recommend you check them out before making a decision if you are in the market for a Performance Focused and highly dependable company. WP Engine has outstanding Up-time as well security measures and plugins built-in that come with every hosting package you can purchase.

They take Pride on being the Rolls Royce of WordPress Hosting Companies and we've used them in our own test sites and saw extremely high Performance from them.

5. Kinsta

kinsta

Kinsta is another Big Player in the High Performance WordPress Hosting arena – They offer Excellent Customer Service, Fast-Loading WordPress site hosting and many more features that compete with Siteground as an Alternative.

There plans range from $30/month up to $900/month for their Enterprise 2 plan that allows you up to 80 WP Installs and 120GB of Diskspace.

Some notable features of Kinsta are as follows:

  • Free SSL Certificate
  • FREE CDN with Any Package you BUY!.
  • Free Migrations on all Plans ! (other than Starter package)
  • Free Bacukps (retention Periods of 12, 20 & 30 Days depending on Plan!)
  • Staging Area
  • PHP 7 and HHVM Support
  • Site Cloning Features
  • Multisite Support for Hosting packages (except Starter)
  • SSH Access (except for Starter & Pro plan)
  • NGINX, LXD, PHP 7, MariaDB all Hosted on Google Cloud Platform!

Kinsta's Offerings is looking to shape up to be one of the Best WP Hosting Platforms we've ever reviewed! The fact that they are on the cutting edge of Speed and Innovation with their Stack really speaks volumes of their progressiveness in the Hosting field amongst companies who simply don't care to innovate!

6. Flywheel

Flywheel is another great option for WordPress hosting and alternative for Siteground. They Provide many features that shared hosting companies we listed above don't offer and have a well rounded offering that competes with WP and Kinsta.

Flywheel features include (but are not limited too):

  • Free Site Migrations
  • Free SSL Certificates for All Packages
  • FREE CDN For Professional Plan ($10/month for Tiny/Personal Plans)
  • Free Staging Site (only applies for Personal & Professional Plans)

Their Pricing Structure is built on 3 Plans:

  • Tiny: $14/month
  • Personal: $28/month
  • Professional: $69/month

SiteGround Alternatives – Our Pick

Launching a new website comes with countless decisions. Which hosting plan? What domain name? How much storage space? Choosing the right hosting provider though is the essential first step above all else.

The best companies will often make the rest of these questions simple, helping you along the way with comprehensive packages, free domain registration and unlimited resources.

We, of course, hold SiteGround in very high esteem, regarded as one of the best providers in the industry. Unfortunately the aforementioned CPU Seconds limit can be a deal breaker for some, especially websites with moderate to high visitor traffic.

In these cases, we instead look to their direct competitors, with the likes of Bluehost, Inmotion Hosting and A2 Hosting providing a truly unlimited hosting platform.

Bluehost is our first pick when it comes to website hosting of any kind, with low cost, high quality services, exceptional 24/7 customer support and a simple to use control panel experience. For those that feel they may be better suited elsewhere, Inmotion Hosting and A2 Hosting are both fantastic alternatives. They each have their own strengths that set them apart, and we expect you will find at least one of these can fulfill your individual list of needs and wants.

If you're looking for a HIGH-Performance Hosting Platform with No Expense Spared, we Highly Recommend these 3:

  • WP Engine
  • Kinsta
  • Flywheel

Kinsta & WP Engine are the Leaders in the High-Performance WordPress Hosting arena and are continually refining their Offerings, Features, and Security every month to keep up to the latest demands of technology, speed and security!

Do you know of another great alternative to SiteGround that you would like to recommend? Our reviewers would love to hear your feedback and check out other companies that may fit the bill. Let us know and your suggestion may be added to our first list of alternative providers!

COMPARISON 17 minutes

GoDaddy vs. Wix: Hosting and Website Builders Comparison

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

GoDaddy vs Wix becomes a fair play when you look at them as website building platforms in the market. But is that it? Aren't there more parameters we can judge these two powerhouses with? After all, we're all eager to learn about how these giant companies compare to one another and which one is the better option for us?

Before the days of Website Builders, creating a website often meant learning how to write HTML code. The whole ordeal was tedious, with many pieces of the puzzle being both complex and time-consuming. While the components of a website have not changed, the process of building one has certainly evolved over time. With the advent of Wix and GoDaddy along with other website building platforms, much of the work has now been entirely automated, giving us a beautiful website in minutes rather than days.

Website Builders offer an all-inclusive interface, providing a bundled collection of tools such as a template library, drag & drop editor and configuration options. These place emphasis on ease of use, consolidating the most important operations into a unified front end. This makes website creation more accessible to the average person, especially those without prior knowledge of coding and design.

Each solution is considerably different though, offering a varied amount of control versus convenience to the end-user. Developing the website from scratch would be an example of 100% control, where business listings on social media would be 100% convenience. The Website Builders found at GoDaddy and Wix fall somewhere in the middle, aiming for a 50/50 balance with an elegant GUI interface to manage and customize pages to your liking.

For the most part, Website Builders accelerate the entire process, automating a great deal of the work for you and launching a customized website in minutes. The emergence of website building platforms along with new-gen hosting and domain services have resulted in the simplification of the process. For instance, you can choose GoDaddy and Dreamhost as your ideal domain-hosting combination. Similarly, if you want easier drag-and-drop-facility, you can choose GoDaddy and Wix.

This can dramatically reduce those headaches that come with doing it yourself, but the trade-off is some level of versatility and control. As each platform is proprietary, your website is locked into their business from the start, meaning you can't just pack things up and move to a competitor at a later time.

We will take a look at both GoDaddy's Website Builder and Wix, two of the most notable choices on the market. We will first compare their plans and pricing to see what they have to offer, then check out the user interface, design features, technical features, customer service & support and then pick our favorite of the two!

Plans & Pricing

GoDaddy's Website Builder and Wix both offer free options to get your feet wet, but they approach this service from two different angles. GoDaddy provides a free 30 day trial for the Personal plan, an entry-level package which renews at $5.99/mo. Wix, on the other hand, offers their website hosting completely free of charge, selling feature upgrades instead. This includes 500MB of storage and bandwidth, plus a sub-domain in the format of https://username.wixsite.com/sitename.

Aside from the free trial based options, both GoDaddy and Wix have a variety of paid tiers available, catering to a wide range of needs. Once you've decided which one is a better fit, you can easily upgrade to a more feature rich package at any time.

Planning to open an e-commerce store? GoDaddy offers the Online Store plan at $19.99/mo while Wix offers a comparable eCommerce package at $17/mo. Rather start small with just a simple website or blog? GoDaddy has the Personal plan for $5.99/mo that includes the absolute basics, but Wix has an assortment of similar options such as Connect Domain at $5/mo and the Combo package for $10/mo, advertised specifically for personal use.

If you are looking for cheap, no-frills hosting with a website builder, GoDaddy is probably going to be your best bet based upon what covered in our GoDaddy review. Otherwise, the various tiers at Wix become competitive around the $10 mark, introducing a number of selling points that start to justify the price.

The free and low-cost options at Wix just aren't worth consideration for any real usage, where they have advertisements prominently displayed on the page.

It's important to understand however that the plans themselves are generally not all that different, evident from the very minor differences in each tier. With companies that offer Website Builders services, you are paying for the convenience of an all-inclusive, easy to use interface above all else. Both providers emphasize fairly minor selling points on each plan, which are quite negligible differences that probably don't justify the cost.

GoDaddy puts a lot of emphasis on things like social media integration, marketing tools and so forth which many of GoDaddy's alternatives don't. In reality, much of this is already available to you at no additional charge. For example, Google My Business feature they advertise just creates a business listing for you on Google, but this is already a free service you can register at Google My Business.

Wix isn't much different in this regard, the large majority of their features revolve around A) removing their ads or B) domain services. They throw in ad vouchers (free marketing credits) and several fluff apps on the more expensive packages, but the fine print actually mentions none of this is available on a monthly contract. Unless you need the Online Store, VIP support or just more resources, there really isn't much incentive to upgrade past the Combo plan, same as we also pointed out in our Bluehost vs Wix comparison.

Winner: Tie

As both GoDaddy and Wix have similar tiered pricing structures with a variety of selling points, there isn't necessarily one that is better suited in this case. As we mentioned above, GoDaddy is probably a better option for those on a budget since there are no forced advertisements. At the $10 price point and up, Wix starts to become a somewhat better value, where the plans become more or less the same with minimal differences from one to the next.

User Interface

An intuitive interface is the unsung hero of website builders. It is often the difference between an enjoyable site-building experience and pulling out your hair, drowning in a clutter of various unexplained features.

We’re not necessarily looking for a Fisher-Price dashboard, but a natural design with coherent text goes a long way with users. It’s important to find a good balance between simplistic and feature-rich, capable of doing what we need while not feeling overwhelmed by the whole ordeal. That brings us to the interfaces we will use at GoDaddy and Wix.

While the GoDaddy Website Builder does offer one of the more user-friendly interfaces, this actually stems from the restrictive nature of their services. Depending on your personal goals, this can either be a pro or a con, where the lackluster options favor those who desire the absolute least amount of effort necessary. For people who prefer less headache, GoDaddy becomes one of their preferred Wix alternatives straightaway.

To get started, they ask you to fill out two fields, the nature of business and the desired business name. When choosing the type of company you operate, they will automatically assign a related theme for you to work from. This can, of course, be changed to one of any templates at a later time, but rather serves as an introduction to the platform. Nonetheless, it couldn’t be easier to get started and it’s pleasant to see a fully functional website ready to build upon.

As you will notice, however, there isn't much to it past that point. You have a menu that grants access to edit the theme, pages or settings, but these are just the most basic options. You can tweak a few colors here and there, update text fields and change your site's metadata, but there isn't much, if any customization available otherwise.

The Wix interface may look complex next to the likes of GoDaddy, but it's quite easy to use considering the amount of control they provide. The ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) is a proprietary tool they have developed which generates a website based on user input. After selecting a few options such as your preferred style, features, etc. the system starts working to create a complete page within 30-60 seconds.

After the automated process is finished, you are taken to the Website Builder interface (pictured above). From here, the Basic Editor provides access to change existing elements, drag & drop new objects, and modify each section of the design. They also present an attractive design library that includes dozens of alternative looks. These can be applied with the click of a button, updating the overall aesthetic of your site without changing the content itself.

Winner: Wix

The Wix ADI is an impressive innovation in the Website Builder market, dynamically generating content on the fly based on a user's preferences. Using this platform, it is possible to create beautiful websites in just minutes, while still maintaining complete control of every single aspect of the page.

GoDaddy has a much more rudimentary take on the process, feeling rather basic and restrictive in comparison. They rely almost entirely on the large template library to match a customer's exact needs, not providing nearly enough customization choices to modify it further than that.

Design Features

Remember we mentioned how easy it has become to set up a new website? Design features are the entire reason we choose a Website Builder over traditional website hosting, they take care of the difficult part for us. Given access to a library of templates (aka designs) we can use a website builder to customize elements like text, colors, and images.

No two Website Builders are the same though. Each is a proprietary solution with its own unique set of options. GoDaddy and Wix comparison is quite similar to GoDaddy and Squarespace, each of these website builders having considerably different systems in place, most notably when it comes to the template wizard and customization tools.

GoDaddy's Website Builder includes access to a massive themes library, featuring 22 general categories that include every industry from real estate to education. Each top-level category has dozens of subgroups, with a variety of templates for different sectors of that market. The Home Service section, for example, has everything from interior design to pool cleaning.

The reason they offer so many templates though is because further customization options are quite limited. There are no basic HTML or CSS editors to adjust the styling elements, nor is there a drag & drop editor to create new objects on the page. While there is certainly no shortage of templates to choose from, when it comes to GoDaddy's Website Builder, what you see is what you get.

When it comes to control vs convenience, their platform comes in around a 30/70 split with emphasis on simplicity above all else. This may appeal to those looking for a brief one and done setup, but those expecting to customize will find themselves wishing for more options.

Wix, on the other hand, offers a similar, albeit more limited template library with a total of 16 categories to choose from. They are not broken down into specific fields the way GoDaddy does, but they are well made and have over 500 unique designs available. While the majority are offered free with any Wix plan, it is worth noting that several do require a certain package to use (such as eCommerce).

Compared to GoDaddy's significant lack of customization options though, Wix templates act as a foundation that can be modified without limits. Yet when it comes to eCommerce flexibility, even with a magnanimous amount of customization Wix can’t compete with Shopify. That's the nature of the competition.

When it comes to the control versus convenience balance, their Website Builder heavily favors the former in a 60/40 split. It's straightforward enough not to stress out the average user, but also comprehensive to the point you won't feel like something is missing. From the left side navigation, you can change the header menus, drag & drop dozens of pre-made objects or even install apps to create entirely new functionality. On the right, we have a toolbox with useful features to perform actions like rotating, aligning and arranging elements.

Winner: Wix

Despite the immense number of template choices at GoDaddy, the lack of customization tools are definitely a drawback to their service. Wix may not have the sheer selection available, but there is still more than 500 designs that can be used.

Their actual Website Builder is the selling point in this case though because we aren't just locked into that design, we have full control to change it as needed and achieve the perfect look for our website.

Technical Features

Technical Features are basically the best practices for use in website hosting, ensuring your site complies with the latest standards. This includes topics like metadata, clean URLs, schema markup and other SEO friendly measures to ensure your pages rank well.

Starting with the most essential point of discussion, both GoDaddy and Wix do provide responsive templates. This means the themes are compatible with mobile devices from phones to tablets, something that Google considers an absolute make or break factor in rankings.

They also generate the necessary sitemap.xml and robots.txt files for you, which automatically update as new content is added to the website. These are basically a roadmap for the search engines, helping them to understand what pages to crawl when browsing your domain.

Unfortunately, GoDaddy's technical features and SEO tools come to an abrupt halt at that point, including only the absolute must-haves and nothing else. With services such as GoDaddy and WordPress.com, you can only set a few things like the website title, meta description, and keywords, but you don't have much control past that.

In contrast, Wix evidently puts a great deal of effort into their Technical Features. They have substantial resources aimed to educate their customers on SEO and provide an assortment of apps to enhance page rankings. While there are certain areas they could stand to improve, they do recognize the importance of proper SEO techniques and tackle it from several angles.

The app store is what really catapults Wix past the competition in a technical capacity though, where these introduce a wide range of new features and tools. Quite similar to the plugin infrastructure used by WordPress, you can install these directly from their market to your website with the click of a button. Factoring in the third party options like Rabbit SEO, SEO Analytics and Site Booster, the improvements are applied instantly to your site and you can sit back and let the magic happen.

Winner: Wix

Wix pulls out all the stops when it comes to Technical Features, accommodating a wide range of necessary options to ensure optimal website performance. Compared to the limited approach utilized at GoDaddy, they provide a much more robust platform that truly manages to be all-inclusive. The sheer focus GoDaddy has on maintaining ease of use actually neglects to incorporate features we consider an absolute necessity at this late stage of the hosting industry.

Customer Service & Support

Questions or problems will inevitably arise, and we look to the hosting company for assistance when they do. This is often an afterthought when you are comparing plans, pricing and features, but it can quickly make or break your experience when the time comes.

GoDaddy and Wix both seem to favor their phone support, but the availability of their contact methods are considerably different. While Wix actually has two call centers operating out of San Francisco (CA) and Miami (FL), they are only available Monday – Thursday, during the hours of 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM Pacific (PST) time.

Calling the number after business hours gives you a message to visit https://wix.com/contact, a self-service platform with the option to submit a support ticket.

We happened to notice they aren't exactly forthcoming with their contact details though. The 800 number is difficult to find (in fact we had to Google it) and that contact page we linked above is nowhere to be found on the site. In fact, the Support tab takes visitors to a FAQ page with no visible information on how to reach the company.

In comparison, GoDaddy does provide 24/7 phone support across three departments including sales, technical support and billing questions. The automated menu will connect you to a live agent that can assist with questions or issues regarding their services.

While this is preferable to the limited hours at Wix, phone support is really the only consistent means of contact at GoDaddy. That’s a considerable drawback given Siteground and WP-Engine are excelling in all form of customer support. With GoDaddy, a major problem is that their live chat is often unavailable, there is no contact e-mail and ticket support has since been discontinued, leaving a community forum as the only alternative choice.

Both companies are comparable otherwise, providing quick and helpful assistance where needed. Unfortunately, they often use this opportunity to upsell other products and services. As such, it is necessary to emphasize the reason you contacted them and ignore their attempts to make a sale. On the upside, they both utilize proprietary Website Builders and are intimately familiar with these systems, meaning they can generally resolve matters without too much of a hassle.

Winner: GoDaddy

While these two are quite similar in most aspects, GoDaddy does have easily accessible phone support. This is available 24/7 and listed in numerous places on their website, ensuring you can reach an agent at any time. This distinction is what ultimately sets them apart from Wix, the ability to reach our hosting provider when it's convenient for us, not during a specific time frame several days a week.

Our Pick between Wix vs Godaddy

When it comes to choosing between GoDaddy Website Builder and Wix, which one offers a better package for website construction?

Our Pick: Wix

GoDaddy Website Builder is the king in terms of simplicity, making the process as straightforward as possible. They heavily favour convenience above control and don't leave much decision making to the customer. You pick a template, fill in a few text boxes and your website is published for the world to see. From the start, everything is readily available and a couple of bits of input are all it takes to make it your own.

In comparison, Wix strives to maintain a certain level of accessibility, while still providing a feature rich and customization friendly platform. Their templates are a foundation in which to build upon, offering the tools to change every possible aspect as you see fit. Furthermore, their emphasis on SEO and comprehensive app store make this platform a much more robust solution.

At the end of the day, the best choice is ultimately whatever works best for your needs. We can appreciate the WYSIWYG approach at GoDaddy, but they are far too restrictive to be a consideration for many use cases. Wix, on the other hand, has very few drawbacks, offering a much better toolbox with only a minimal sacrifice in regards to convenience.

WEB HOSTING 28 minutes

8 Best Namecheap Alternatives: Which Host Gives You More Value?

Last updated:
Author Vlad Melnic

With more than 10 million domains under its management, Namecheap is one of the biggest companies in the industry. The domain registrar is known for its affordable, high-performance web hosting packages, and it doesn’t hurt that Namecheap’s plans come with great support and a good number of features.

So why would you consider other hosting services in the first place? As an enthusiast webmaster, I can tell you that each domain registrar and hosting service has its own pros and cons.

For example, Namecheap’s infrastructure includes just two data centers and they are both remote from Asian and Australian audiences. In addition, Namecheap does not feature niche solutions, such as managed cloud or reseller plans.

I’ve researched and tested the best registrars and hosts on the market. Even though I’ve neatly organized them in a top, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at lower positions. In fact, as we’ll see later on, every name has its strengths and weaknesses. What might work for most people might not for you, and vice-versa.

In this review, I’ll show why you might need an alternative to Namecheap for hosting and for domain registration. Bluehost takes the first spot, but this doesn’t mean it’s the best for everything. If you’re looking for a managed service that can easily grow with your business, SiteGround is a better choice.

Read on to find out more.

Top Namecheap Alternatives

Namecheap’s continued success is largely due to the fact that this provider has constantly diversified and expanded its services. Having started out as a simple registrar, Namecheap is now a fully-fledged hosting provider with millions of customers worldwide.

You can also expect to get access to a free or discounted domain name with most yearly plans. That said, Namecheap has its disadvantages. These are the best Namecheap alternatives in terms of hosting:

  • Bluehost – one of the best (if not the best) hosts in terms of ease of use and beginner-friendly setup
  • SiteGround – excellently managed services with additional perks for developers and team environments
  • DreamHost – a powerhouse in terms of managed WordPress plans and high-performing infrastructures
  • Hostinger – a variety of highly affordable web hosting plans perfect for tight budgets
  • InMotion Hosting – excellent reseller plans and custom-built servers to power your business
  • HostGator – generous resources on hosting plans and affordable eCommerce solutions

Although associated with hosting, domain registration is an entirely different service. You might think it’s not as important, but you’d be surprised to know how many problems a simple domain can raise. From difficulties with improper caching, lack of consistent prices, security, and more, having a reliable registrar is part of a successful hosting experience.

To this end, I’d recommend you go with the following Namecheap alternatives for domain registration:

  • GoDaddy – affordable domains with a series of additional perks for those who manage portfolios
  • NameSilo – some of the best-priced domains on the market and enhanced security free of charge

Whether you’re looking for an alternative host, a different registrar, or both, knowing what you need is half of the entire effort. The other half is finding out which service is best for what. This is where I come in.

Best Namecheap Hosting Alternatives

1. Bluehost

Companies like Bluehost have been around for so long that they’re virtually synonymous with web hosting. Bluehost is known for its outstanding partnership with the WordPress Foundation, the nonprofit behind the ultra-popular CMS. In fact, many of Bluehost’s software engineers actively contribute to WP’s core, which is why it’s a great choice for WordPress hosting.

Bluehost Homepage
Bluehost Homepage

But what makes Bluehost stand out from the crowd as a Namecheap alternative? Well, that’s easy: an intuitive setup process, excellent performance, and great value for your purchase. Even though the company switched ownership in early 2010s, Bluehost kept its original values and continued to expand the portfolio that brought its success.

Unlike Namecheap, Bluehost offers professional marketing and web development services, but also specialized ecommerce solutions. If you’re looking to buy a domain name, you can easily get it from them and spare yourself the hassle of setting up nameservers.

Easy Setup

Bluehost’s intuitive setup is one of its most useful features. You even get a checklist that can help you on the way to creating and publishing your first website. The tasks range from basic security to performance optimizations, mobile compatibility, SEO, and more.

The checklist shows that Bluehost is willing to go the extra mile to help non-specialized users. The best part about it is that anyone can easily launch a simple website on their own without having to contract a web development agency.

Don’t get me wrong, more complex features will require developer knowledge. However, for web hosting beginners with a bit of time on their hands, Bluehost gives them everything they need to do it themselves.

Reliable Performance

For all the negative reviews that target Bluehost due to its affiliation with EIG, nobody can deny that the company has maintained an excellent service throughout. If anything, the host might have gotten better for it, as it’s now part of a large hosting family that manages a significant server infrastructure.

Despite the fact that it doesn’t have an SLA (service level agreement), Bluehost has excellent uptime records. Third parties indicate that it’s currently above the industry-standard of 99.9%. SSD drives ensure that your website loads blazing fast, while the in-built CDN (content delivery network) guarantees that your visitors from around the world experience pristine loading times.

Bluehost Google Speed Test May
Google Speed Insights for our Bluehost Test Website

All you have to do to enable the Cloudflare CDN on Bluehost is to head over to the Domains sections, click on the orange cloud, press activate, and then create your account. You also get premium security by enabling the content delivery network.

And if you want to learn more about how we test web hosting providers you can head over to this page. You'll also find there a great bunch of information on all the hosts we currently monitor, including Bluehost and Namecheap.

Great Value

Bluehost offers some of the best sharing hosting plans currently on the market. Although slightly more expensive than Namecheap, the plans let you select a domain of your choice, rather than restrict your pool to several TLDs.

In addition, you get access to a serious amount of free advertising credits with Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising. Pay-per-click marketing might not grow your traffic sustainably, but it does help spread the word about your brand, as well as lift your business off the ground.

If you want to benefit from even better discounts, all you have to do is sign-up for long-term contracts. The prices can get ridiculously low for three-year packages, especially with the initial rebate. And if you're still not convinced, you can check out our comparison where we thoroughly analyzed every aspect of these two popular hosting providers.

Free Trial for One Month30-Day Trial

2. SiteGround

SiteGround has a reputation for reliability, performance, and excellent service. Like Bluehost, the company has weathered the hosting industry for nearly a decade and continues to expand its services.

SiteGround Homepage
SiteGround Homepage

In early 2020, the team announced an important partnership with Google Cloud that saw its global infrastructure expand significantly. The switch to GCP also came with superior reliability and page loading speeds for SiteGround customers.

If you’re looking for a Namecheap alternative that also includes managed cloud, SiteGround is one of the best solutions. With it, your business can easily scale its resources up or down, while giving you access to dedicated server resources.

No-Stress, Fully Managed Services

Fully-managed services, such as SiteGround’s managed WordPress or managed cloud plans are slightly more expensive. However, they’re absolutely worth it, as we saw in our SiteGround review. Let me tell you why.

In addition to an isolated, high-performance infrastructure, your servers are preconfigured by the host’s DevOps. From specialized database support to lightning-fast server software like Nginx, nothing is beyond SiteGround’s tech gurus.

You don’t have to worry about maintenance or updates ever. This translates into major savings on your behalf, as your company can now work with a skeleton IT crew. Some in-house expertise will be required, but the advantage is that you can replace an entire corporate department with an agile team of experts.

If you end up choosing a managed WordPress plan, you can easily do everything yourself. Then, as projects scale in complexity, you can add collaborators via SiteGround’s account features and assign them administrative privileges. Just like that.

Build Your Online Identity from Scratch

I feel that this is an often-overlooked aspect of SiteGround as a whole. Especially for people who are just starting (or have been struggling to start), creating an online identity is no easy task.

SiteGround offers best-in-class expertise for SMEs and it’s all free of charge. From social media support to building your site, increasing your visibility, and optimizing it for growth, the team has you covered on all bases.

SiteGround's Web Hosting ‘Essentials' Offered on All Plans

For instance, many services out there offer website builders as part of their plans. Although SiteGround does have such a tool, the team also puts expert designers at your disposal to inform your website building process. Instead of having to compare between different layouts or buttons, you’ll know exactly what to go for in order to achieve an amazing user experience.

Working with SiteGround comes with much more than the face value of the plans themselves. Sure, they’re a bit more on the expensive side, but the price is well worth the ask. And from what we observed when we compared the two, you actually save money in the long-run.

First-Class Support

Last, but definitely not least, this is one Namecheap alternative that comes with amazing customer service. You’re probably familiar with hosts that claim to offer premium support only to let you down when something goes wrong.

Well, SiteGround takes pride in its high customer satisfaction rates as a result of support interactions. From your dashboard, you’ll be able to select a topic that is closest to your inquiry or problem and then be directed to someone who can actually help.

With many hosts, this is very much a hit or miss process that really comes down to the person that picks up your ticket. Here, you don’t have to worry about lady luck. The agents are trained to solve your problems quickly and effectively.

Wide range of plans at a cheap price
If you need multiple hosting solutions at an affordable rate then this might be your best choice
Check Hostwinds

3. DreamHost

If you’re looking for a trustworthy alternative to Namecheap, you can’t go wrong with DreamHost. Like Bluehost, DreamHost is among the managed hosting services recommended by the WordPress foundation itself. It’s one of the best places to host individual WordPress sites.

DreamHost Homepage
DreamHost Homepage

In more than 20 years of hosting, DreamHost has achieved a number of significant milestones. The company still has the same young start-up vibe as it did in the early 2000s, since it’s the same people who lead it as co-CEOs. This is likely part of the reason why DreamHost continues to be successful. The group chose a path and stuck to it.

Aside from a commitment to deliver excellence in terms of hosting services, the organization is strongly defined by its commitment to open-source. For example, the co-founders ran the Debian distro from the very beginning.

Back then, the decision was very much powered by a need to offer more competitive prices. In time, this proved to be a major asset for DreamHost, as the open-source model and community allowed the company to build on its solutions and enhance its services.

Premium Managed WordPress Experience

DreamHost is one of the best hosts to choose as an alternative to Namecheap’s WordPress plans. Although Namecheap claims its WordPress plans are managed, what it actually means is that your resources are isolated. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but DreamHost offers much more.

In addition to isolated RAM, the managed WordPress plans on DreamHost (aptly named DreamPress) come with fully automatic WordPress updates, as well as daily automatic backups.

The company has separate servers handling WordPress websites, which translates into superior performance on your end. These machines are configured to offer optimum WordPress speeds, so you best have your seatbelt on. Unlike Namecheap, DreamHost offers unlimited bandwidth, as well as unmetered cached visits.

If this wasn’t enough, all of the DreamPress plans also come with a professional Jetpack license. The value you get out of this premium WordPress plugin cannot be overstated. From specialized backups, to high-end security, SEO tools, and more, Jetpack alone has convinced many customers to transfer their WP websites to DreamHost.

Excellent Website Builder

It’s great to see that so many hosting companies are diversifying their services to be more user-friendly. Thanks to intuitive, drag-and-drop website builders, you can choose either one of hundreds of ready-made templates. Then, all you need to do is customize it to fit your needs.

DreamHost's WordPress Website Builder

Add your colors, photos, and content, hit publish, and you’re good to go. Namecheap offers similar functionality, but DreamHost takes it a step further with advanced features. Thanks to BoldGrid’s in-built SEO tools, you’ll be able to easily improve your website’s content and code to better rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Sure, this won’t replace the work that an actual SEO agency can do for you. However, it’s a great start for those on a limited budget or who like to do things themselves. Plus, when you do make the decision to hire SEO experts, they’ll be able to focus on the developer side of things, since you got the baseline already covered.

WordPress Speed and Performance Guides

Great knowledge bases are probably the most underestimated and overlooked feature of hosting companies. These repositories of tutorials, guides, and how-to documents are the key to improving your website(s), while keeping your costs down. With enough dedication, you can become a webmaster in no time.

As DreamHost’s team regularly contributes to the core development of the WordPress CMS, few other companies understand WP like DreamHost does. Its tutorials include everything from compressing your images while maintaining quality to implementing caching tools, working with CDNs, and more.

Looking for a team of experts?
Not only DreamHost offers excellent services, but they also have a team made up of professionals.
Try DreamHost

4. Hostinger

Hostinger understands how important it is to keep costs down. If you need affordable Namecheap alternatives, it doesn’t get any better than this. Namecheap has great value plans, but even they can’t beat Hostinger’s less-than-a-dollar shared hosting offer.

Hostinger Homepage
Hostinger Homepage

Keep in mind that, in this particular case, cheaper doesn’t mean less quality. The reason why Hostinger is lower on my list is that it focuses more on a mix of beginner-friendly and advanced features, rather than give you a complete package on every plan. That said, you can add more functionality to your account at your own pace, whether this means priority support, SEO toolkits, or CDN integration.

Hostinger’s best offers are for shared hosting, but managed WordPress plans are also available. Unlike DreamHost’s WP plans, which restrict you to just one website each, Hostinger lets you manage as many websites as you want from one account. The Jetpack license isn’t as good and you don’t get in-built caching, but the price is also more affordable.

Superior Budget Hosting

As is the case with most web hosts, renewal rates are higher with Hostinger too. But not by much. The prices fall in that sweet spot of reasonable features for great value.

Web hosting experts know all-too-well how common it is for companies to give you bargain prices to begin with and then add hidden fees on renewal. Fortunately, Hostinger has none of this trickery going on. The longer you sign-up for, the better the discountsThe best part about it is that you can always upgrade to cloud hosting or VPS plans.

Scaling might not be the first thing on your mind when you launch a website. But as it takes off and business grows, you’ll want to make sure that your host can give you additional resources to handle the expansion. With Hostinger, you don’t have to worry about more powerful plans taking a toll on your budget – they’re just as affordable.

Easy to Use Dashboard

If you’re a novice webmaster, you shouldn’t have to learn code in order to perform simple tasks on your Linux server. If this is a hobby of yours, that’s great. But thanks to modern control panels, it doesn’t have to be. That said, not all control panels are made the same.

Hostinger Control Panel
Hostinger's hPanel Preview and Features

Basic solutions such as Plesk or cPanel can be difficult to navigate for beginners, who often get lost in the sea of customizations. What’s necessary? What isn’t? And do I need two separate CDNs?

Hostinger simplifies your administrative tasks through its tailor-made hPanel. Aside from better performance due to the computing load being moved from the server and into the cloud, hPanel is also easy to work with.

Servers Built for Speed

Hostinger has servers in the US, Europe, and Asia, which means you can opt to host your website closer to your audience. This helps guarantee near-instant page loading times for your client base.

The company went a step further and configured its infrastructure with LiteSpeed technology and SSD drives. Aside from delivering content to your visitors in a fraction of a second, LiteSpeed has proprietary caching tools that turbo-charge your applications or website(s).

Unbeatable offers for newcomers

If you're building your first website or online business, then Bluehost might be the right choice for you. Although not as performance-oriented as other solutions, their cheap plans and beginner packages are perfect for anyone who's just starting out.

Get 63% Off Bluehost

5. InMotion Hosting

Like DreamHost, InMotion Hosting is a complete hosting solution that’s also one of the best Namecheap alternatives. From shared hosting to VPS, private cloud, and custom-built servers, there’s a good chance InMotion has anything you might need.

InMotion Hosting Homepage
InMotion Hosting Homepage

Although InMotion Hosting operates just two U.S.-based data centers, the company has a stellar reputation for customer service, and for high-performance hosting. Its plans come at a slightly higher price than most of the hosts on this list, Namecheap included, but the value purchase is well worth the ask.

If you’re looking for a customized, out-of-the-box solution, you can also commission InMotion’s team to design a website for your needs. The price is a bit high, but you can be certain that you’ll get a fully-responsive, sleek website with full ownership.

The ecommerce website design package even includes an easy product dashboard, shipping module, and product import functions. Seriously, what more can you ask for?

Higher Prices, Higher Value

InMotion Hosting might not be able to match the affordable, low-cost plans on Hostinger or Namecheap, but the company makes sure you get great value with each purchase. For example, all shared plans include marketing tools and security suite free of charge.

Unlike with most shared hosting plans, InMotion gives you SSH access to your server. Beginners might not be too excited about this feature, but developers will appreciate the improved control and site administration that comes with an SSH key.

Even if you don’t create websites for a living, you might want to learn how to use this encryption protocol when working on your website, especially if you have to do it over public or potentially insecure networks.

If there’s something you’re not satisfied with, you can take advantage of InMotion’s excellent 90-day money-back guarantee to get a refund. You won’t have to go through time-consuming procedures or wait for weeks on end to get your money back.

Custom Built Servers

Why go through the bother of setting up your own IT department and purchase expensive equipment when InMotion can design and manage a complete IT infrastructure on your behalf? You don’t even need system administrators.

InMotion Hosting Custom Built Servers
Custom Server Features at InMotion Hosting

Whether you’re looking for bare-metal servers to support your web application or growing ecommerce business, the company offers PCI compliance throughout. This is particularly important if you want to process payments through a website or application, because it can help you establish your image as a trustworthy, reputable vendor.

InMotion doesn’t cut corners on performance or support either, which is why major companies like Samsung, Intel, or Lenovo trust it to handle their hosting needs.

Excellent Reseller Plans

Depending on how confident you are in your developer skills, you can opt for one of three types of reseller hosting with InMotion. There are simple plans designed for start-ups, white-label VPS offers with WHMCS, and managed VPS hosting for businesses looking to expand.

You can easily upgrade from one reseller plan to another, but you can also switch from one type of hosting to a simpler or more advanced solution. All accounts include the WHMCS billing interface, which gives you a complete overview of all your accounts, free of charge.

For those who want to migrate their reseller business to InMotion Hosting, higher plans include a Launch Assist service to get you up and running. Through Launch Assist, you get access to a specialized managed hosting team from InMotion, which will help you set everything up.

Amazing performance and complete freedom
If you're seeking performance and the ability to optimize even further, then this is your host.
Check InMotion

6. HostGator

HostGator is a sister company of Bluehost, as the two are both part of the EIG family for some time now. This doesn’t mean they’re the same service, though. In fact, the two hosts have largely kept to the business model that earned their reputation, as well as to their respective brand identities.

HostGator Homepage
HostGator Homepage

Although it takes a lower spot on my list, HostGator is still a great Namecheap alternative, especially if you’re a beginner. From the free domain name for a year to significant discounts for long term plans, its proprietary website builder, and more, HostGator offers a complete package to help you create and publish your first website.

If there’s one thing to look out for, it’s the upsells. In some instances, features that other hosts give you for free or at a lower rate are sold at a premium by HostGator. In addition, the support might sometimes be slow to respond, especially during peak work hours.

Generous Resources

Like with Bluehost, one of the best reasons to consider HostGator are the generous resources, especially on shared and cloud hosting plans. HostGator’s entry-level cloud package is cheaper than Namecheap’s Stellar Business, but has slightly better value.

For example, HostGator gives you unlimited storage space and your choice of domain name, while Namecheap does not. In addition, with HostGator you know exactly how much CPU and RAM resources your account has access to. They’re not isolated, but they are more than enough for a small to medium website.

You also benefit from automatic failover in case of a hardware malfunction. With no less than three mirrored copies of your data existing at a given time, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have your website up and running no matter what.

If you run a business, such as an ecommerce storefront, uptime records and service availability are often tied-in to your reliability and image as a trustworthy company. This is where the redundancy and reliability of cloud hosting really earns its salt.

Easy to Use Website Builder

As is the case with many of the solutions on this list, HostGator’s website builder has the potential to save you a lot of money in the long run. From drag-and-drop functionality to analytics to keep track of your performance, SSL certificates, and more, HostGator’s website builder is a great overall tool.

HostGator Website Builder
Template Selection in HostGator's Website Builder

You get free access to it on a trial basis. It might not be enough to design your entire site, but it will definitely give you a better idea of what you can do with it. Higher-tier builder subscriptions include additional customization options, and even ecommerce templates.

Affordable Ecommerce Solutions

The web hosting industry has become increasingly competitive over the past few years. Overall, this led to more powerful hosting packages at better prices. Nowhere is this more visible than in the case of ecommerce solutions.

For a low cost, you can acquire HostGator’s website builder package and start your online storefront today. Whether you want to sell handmade jewelry, second-hand PC parts, or anything else, you’ll be able to easily do so with minimal costs.

If you want to be even more cost-effective, you can sign up for one of HostGator’s cloud plans and install WordPress on it. Using WooCommerce, EDD, or any other WP plugins for online stores, you can avoid the website builder altogether. Be warned, though: your work is cut out for you.

A favourite for newcomers
You have to check out HostGator's shared plans if you're just starting your first website.
Discover HostGator
If you want to learn more, make sure you check out our HostGator vs. Namecheap comparison.

Best Namecheap Registrar Alternatives

In terms of alternative Namecheap registrars, you don’t have to be as strict as with hosting services. After all, there are fewer criteria to work with, which greatly simplifies your search.

To come up with the two alternatives below, I’ve prioritized intuitive user interface and straightforward managed DNS. For developers who have to look out over a series of domains, you might also want to ensure that pricing is transparent, the billing plans are simple, and the renewal process is straightforward.

Depending on your needs, you might also want DNSSEC, support, or free email hosting.

1. GoDaddy

With over 40 million domains under its management, GoDaddy is the name to beat in terms of domain registration. Overall, GoDaddy is one of the most pro-active companies in the purchase and selling of domains, as they offer tools such as bulk domain search, domain investing, and domain auctions.

GoDaddy Homepage
GoDaddy Homepage

In GoDaddy’s knowledge base, you’ll find a wealth of information related to domain names in general. If you’re just starting out, these guides are a great way to get accustomed to industry standards.

It’s not uncommon to think of domain names in simplistic terms. However, the reality is more complex than adding .com to anything that might sound catchy. With GoDaddy’s tutorials, you’ll get a better idea of how you can use your domain name to your advantage, whether it’s choosing the right extension, targeting local audiences, or registering similar names.

Domain Auctions

GoDaddy didn’t get to where it is today through advertising alone, although primetime clips do play a large part in increasing the company’s visibility and establishing its identity. A significant portion of aftermarket domain sales happen in the grace period once a domain expires, but is still within the registrar’s control.

This grace period of 45 days is when GoDaddy auctions off most of the domain real estate. Lower prices incentivize buyers who are either looking to use a domain or expand their portfolio. These auctions are a veritable treasure-trove for market savvy individuals who may be able to sell the affordable domains at a handsome premium.

If someone buys a grace-period domain at an auction, it’s a win-win situation. GoDaddy doesn’t lose control as a registrar, while the client gets a great discount.

Domain Discount Club

For a reasonable annual subscription, you can become a part of GoDaddy’s Domain Discount Club. The program is only worth it if you register a lot of domains, since it gives access to better prices, discounts on the domain broker service, and additional streams of revenue.

GoDaddy’s CashParking Premium is a service intended for parked domains that can turn your domain portfolio into a goldmine. With it, GoDaddy places relevant ads on your domain and you receive 80% of the revenue they generate. Pretty neat.

2. NameSilo

NameSilo might not have had GoDaddy’s head start in the domain registration business, but it quickly rose to be a favorite among web developers. The company has a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to registration, renewal, and management. Its mission is to offer the best possible domain prices without giving up on customer service or user experience.

NameSilo Homepage
NameSilo Homepage

While NameSilo doesn’t invest in SuperBowl ads, the company takes pride in its no-upselling approach to the business. You can tell from its clean, sober interface that many of the people who work for the company own sizeable domain portfolios themselves. It’s an insider’s perspective that often informs the company’s decisions.

Affordable Domains

From a corporate perspective, NameSilo’s model makes complete sense. The organization keeps its overheads to a minimum and this often means sacrificing some of the supplementary services (such as advertising).

However, the practice of avoiding non-essential expenses worked out in its favor, especially since it allowed NameSilo to keep its prices low. Industry experts ultimately found out about the excellent service and tried them out anyway. After a great experience, customers stuck around and chose to spread the word.

It might not be as effective as GoDaddy’s commercials seen by millions of people at a given time, but it’s a strategy that leads to better long-term growth. The approach also speaks to professionals more than to beginners, i.e. people who are more likely to own and buy domains on a regular basis.

Domain Security

Many don’t know that domain names are actually the most vulnerable to hackers. The era of username and password protection is long gone and additional measures are now required to maintain ownership of one’s domain.

NameSilo offers a series of enhanced domain security features. For one, the company has locked all of its domains at a registry level, which means third parties will not be able to transfer a domain elsewhere even if they have access to it. In fact, nobody but you will be able to make any changes to your NameSilo domain.

The registrar also offers its 2-factor authentication, as well as its proprietary Domain Defender service for free. I did say they’re awesome and I meant it.

Reasons to Look for Namecheap Alternatives

It would be next to impossible to find a single viable Namecheap alternative and say: This is it, look no further! Instead, what I’ve tried to do is come up with a list of the top hosting services that do what Namecheap does. In most cases, these services are actually better than Namecheap.

However, finding the ideal host is ultimately up to you and your circumstances. Some services offer plans that you won’t find on Namecheap to begin with, such as InMotion Hosting’s reseller packages, while others try to compete with it on the same terms, such as Hostinger. Web hosts like SiteGround target specific audiences, such as developers or SMEs.

Below you’ll find a list of what I prioritized in my research and throughout my tests. If you ever want to compare another hosting company with Namecheap, you can rely on the same criteria and reach a viable conclusion:

  • Affordable Plans. Low-cost web hosting plans is what Namecheap is best known for. It’s in the name. However, if a hosting service is affordable that doesn’t necessarily make it a great deal. From the company’s reputation to renewal fees, service level agreements, and even server resources, you have to ensure that low-cost doesn’t mean a bad hosting experience.
  • Extra Features. Some services prefer to focus on value, rather than showing the lowest possible price. Depending on what you need, you should look out for what resources you get (RAM and bandwidth in particular), whether there’s a website builder, a CDN, or additional security tools.
  • Diversified Hosting Packages. This is not a necessity, but it is a great plus. Sometimes, you might find yourself in a situation where your current plan cannot handle your traffic load. In these instances, it’s a major advantage if you can either purchase more resources or upgrade to a better plan, rather than have to switch companies altogether.
  • Domain Names. This matters to customers looking to buy a domain and web hosting in the same place. In the chance that you have a domain yourself, make sure to check whether you get any plusses for transferring it, especially if the host you’re considering is also a registrar.

A lot of great alternatives to Namecheap include a free domain name, but make sure to check the fine print, such as whether you have any limitations on extensions or if there are premium names that do not qualify.

If you’re looking for Namecheap alternative domain registrars, then you might want to keep the following in mind:

  • Domain Features. As someone who either manages a domain portfolio or who is interested in getting in on the business, you’ll need additional features beyond the simple purchase and registration.
  • Domain Security. If you don’t use a premium DNS, you’ll want to pay special attention to the security of your domain. Don’t be afraid to prioritize the registrars that give you enhanced security for free.

Things like bulk domain search, auctions, and easy domain management are great pluses if you happen to come by them.

Some people (myself included) are annoyed by advertising campaigns, while others don’t care much. So long as you can resist the temptation to constantly buy something and there are no hidden fees, this shouldn’t be a major factor.

Be wary, though. A lot of companies will try to bank on features that are included for free in other registrar’s packages, so make sure to shop around a little before settling on a service.

These are my top choices of Namecheap alternatives in terms of hosting and registrars. Still, there’s nothing to say that my list is the best possible configuration for everyone. In addition, companies continue to diversify their offer and improve their packages, depending on a variety of factors, including competitors, clients, and more.

What you can do is take the criteria that I’ve used in my research and apply them to your circumstances. This will help you figure out what to look for even in up-and-coming hosts that are not necessarily on the radar just yet.

Choose the Best Namecheap Alternative for You

Whether you want an alternative Namecheap host or domain registrar, there’s a high chance you’ll find what you need in this list. Many of the services include what Namecheap is offering and more (such as SiteGround), while others focus on just one aspect (NameSilo).

Although it wasn’t easy, I’ve picked Bluehost as my top choice because of how intuitive it is. That said, if you already know what you’re doing, SiteGround’s advanced features might suit your circumstances better. It also helps that SiteGround has a lot of expertise in creating digital identities.

I’d go with DreamHost if you’re looking for a premium managed WordPress experience that also includes a mix of great features. It’s slightly more expensive than the rest, but the value offer is almost unmatched. I mean, professional Jetpack license and WordPress optimized stack? Yes, please.

Hostinger really pushes the boundaries of low-cost web hosting plans, while InMotion’s dedicated attention to server infrastructure keeps paying off year after year.

GoDaddy and NameSilo are at the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of alternative Namecheap registrars, but they’re both good at what they do. I prefer NameSilo, but GoDaddy is more suitable for large domain portfolios.

COMPARISON 31 minutes

Namecheap vs. Bluehost

Last updated:
Author Jason Moth

Choosing a hosting provider is an important decision that should never be rushed. That’s because it’s much easier to carefully consider your options before you commit than to switch providers later after realizing you’ve made a bad decision. You can apply that train of thought to a lot of companies but in this article, we’re going to take a look at the Namecheap vs. Bluehost comparison.

Namecheap and Bluehost are two very popular providers that have excellent reputations so you might be tempted to just pick one at random because they’re both great choices. Well, that would be a mistake in most cases. Even though they both have a lot to offer, one of these companies is overall better than the other when it comes to web hosting and in this article, I’m going to show you why that is.

Bluehost is a better choice for shared, managed and WordPress hosting when compared to Namecheap. While Namecheap offers low initial and renewal pricing, Bluehost's reliability (uptime), performance, speed, and support is far better than anything Namecheap has to offer.

Namecheap vs. Bluehost Overview

In case you’re not very familiar with these two providers, let me just preface by saying this isn’t a comparison between two wildly different companies. Far from it. Namecheap began as a domain registrar that later started to offer hosting services while Bluehost sort of did the opposite. Nowadays, the two companies offer many of the same products and services so the goal here is to find out which one of them would be the best choice for regular users. With that out of the way, let’s jump straight into it.

In this article, we are going in-depth with the comparison between the two hosts;

Update February 2020: Before you decide to buy make sure to check out this page to take advantage of the on-going 65% discount; available in the month of February 2020 and would be a shame not to take advantage of it, whatever your final decision will be after reading our article, we want our readers to take maximum advantage of the latest promotions (after clicking, the discount will apply automatically at check-out). If this offer changes, or if they start a better one we will immediately update this article to make sure our readers get only the best prices.

Namecheap Vs Bluehost

Main Differences

Namecheap has more complex, higher-priced hosting plans. However, if you're looking to step away from a basic hosting plan, then Bluehost is a better choice in our opinion. With Bluehost, you can get support and premium extras at lower prices than any other web hosting provider.

While Bluehost is well known for its cheap hosting, they also provide other features and domain services. Namecheap, on the other hand, is best known for its affordable domain prices.

  • Bluehost offers a money-back guarantee of 30 days, while Namecheap a shorter period of 14-30 days.
  • Bluehost is incredibly simple to use for the average user, whereas Namecheap has better pricing, but strives for ease-of-use.
  • Namecheap offers free Let's Encrypt SSL that makes it simpler to go HTTPS rather than Bluehost certificates.

As mentioned above, Bluehost really trusts their service and their support and they believe that they are the perfect fit for your website, that's why we encourage you to read more about their 30-days money-back guarantee policy and check out what they offer here; At the end of the day, it's a risk-free trial.

Namecheap Ease of Use vs. Bluehost Beginner Friendliness

If you’re new to hosting, you’ll probably want to go with a provider that makes things as easy and intuitive as possible. After all, you need to spend the majority of your time building and filling your website with content, not fumbling around trying to figure out your provider’s user interface. Luckily, both Namecheap and Bluehost are very good candidates for people who value simplicity and ease of use.

Regardless of whether you sign up with Bluehost or Namecheap, you will be able to manage pretty much everything related to your account or websites from the cPanel. Both Namecheap and Bluehost offer clutter-free and visually appealing cPanels, however, Namecheap’s panel is a bit more difficult to locate if you don’t know where to look. Same goes for the mailbox. I have to say that I like Bluehost’s system better as you can easily log in to either the cPanel or the mailbox from the same portal.

The cPanel is very helpful but you can make your life even easier by also using a good CMS (Content Management System) in conjunction with your hosting provider. There are a few solid options you can go for but unless you’re running an online store, I recommend sticking with good old WordPress. If you are looking to create an eCommerce platform, Magento would probably be your best bet.

Besides this, Bluehost takes things one step ahead of Namecheap by offering dedicated support for beginners, a support that will help you installing your theme, installing plugins and launching your website for free. Feel free to read more about this here (Not to mention their 1-click WordPress install that allows you to have a website live in 5 minutes after buying the host).

NamecheapBluehost
Domain$8.88Free
1-click InstallYesYes
Dedicated Support for BeginnersNoYes (read more)
Starting Price$2.88 $2.95
February PromoGET 50% OFFGET 65% OFF

You can use these content management systems, along with many others, with either Bluehost or Namecheap. However, WordPress itself recommends Bluehost as its number 1 choice so that’s definitely something to consider.

Bluehost vs. Namecheap: Prices & Plans

Buying a web hosting plan tends to be a long-term investment so it helps to carefully consider the price before signing up with a provider. If you’re worried about the price, I recommend going for a shared hosting plan as this is by far the cheapest option available. And, as it happens, Bluehost and Namecheap have some of the best offers on shared hosting right now so you’re getting a good deal regardless of which option you choose. (If you sign up via their promotional page, you'll get 65% off as mentioned above, this offer is available right now on February 2020, we'll update the article as soon as this changes or if they offer a better promotion).

Namecheap’s basic plan will only set you back $0.82 per month, which is an absolute steal. Meanwhile, the most expensive shared hosting package will set you back $3.88 per month, so you can easily go for the final tier right off the bat given the low cost. That said, these extremely low prices are only available for the first year. After that, you can expect to pay between $2.88 and $7.88 per month moving forward, which is still a very good price.

StellarStellar PlusStellar Business
Allowed Webistes:3UnlimitedUlimited
Storage20 GB SSDUnmetered SSD50 GB SSD
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Free SSLYesYesYes
Free Domain.online.online.online
Backups2 / WeekAutoBackup ToolAutoBackup Tool
Money Back Guarantee30 days30 days30 days
Price$2.88$4.88$7.88

Signing up with Bluehost will cost you between $2.95 and $13.95 per month depending on which plan you choose. As mentioned earlier, two of the shared hosting plans – Plus and Choice Plus – cost the same for the first term. Namely, $5.45 per month. The benefit of going for Choice Plus right away is that your first term can be as long as three years at Bluehost so you won’t have to worry about the renewal cost, which is more expensive for Choice Plus, anytime soon.

BasicPlusChoice PlusPro
Websites AllowedOneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
SSD Storage50 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Free SSLYesYesYesYes
Free DomainYesYesYesYes
BackupNoNoCodeGuard BasicCodeGuard Basic
Domain PrivacyNoNoYesYes
Spam PreventionNoSpam ExpertsSpam Experts2x Spam Experts
Pricing$2.95/mo$5.45/mo$5.45/mo$13.95/mo

Please note that the above prices are calculated with the on-going 65% Discount from BlueHost; Once they'll put an end to the promo, future customers will get higher prices.

Bluehost is only 9 cents more expensive when compared to Namecheap

As you might expect from a company called Namecheap, its prices are among the cheapest out there. Bluehost is actually considered a very affordable option compared to most other providers but it’s pretty difficult to beat Namecheap in the price department. However, I wouldn’t rule out Bluehost at this stage because I feel like the price is justified considering how much the company has to offer in other areas. But let’s take a look at some of the standout features these companies include with their shared hosting packages because there are a few interesting differences.

Is Bluehost better than Namecheap?

Both companies offer unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificates, and a free domain name for the first year. You can also expect support for an unlimited number of websites with most of the packages. The only exceptions are the cheapest plans offered by each company – Bluehost has support for 1 website while Namecheap can support up to three. Bluehost also includes unlimited SSD storage with every package except the cheapest one, which only comes with 50 GB. In the case of Namecheap, the storage situation is a bit strange. You get 20 GB with the first tier, unlimited storage with the middle tier, and then just 50 GB with the most expensive one.

Namecheap Stellar PlanBluehost Basic Plan
Free Domain:.online.com
Free SSL:YesYes
SSD Storage:20 GB50 GB
Free Backups:YesYes
Our Rating:3.5 / 54.5 / 5
Price:$2.88$2.95
GET 50% OFF GET 65% OFF

There aren’t many differences between Namecheap’s plans aside from the ones I just covered. The only other one worth mentioning is that the two most expensive packages also include a website backup tool while the cheapest one doesn’t. In the case of Bluehost, you get a couple of additional features at every new tier. Once you upgrade to the second package you get a free month of Office 365 mailbox along with a spam expert to help you manage it. The third tier also comes with domain privacy and a site backup tool while the final tier includes all of the above along with a dedicated IP and an additional spam expert.

Before we move on to the next section there are a couple of other things I wanted to mention about each of the two companies. Bluehost only works with yearly payments in the case of shared hosting so you won’t be able to pay on a monthly basis. However, you can pay for several years in advance and get better discounts in the process. The thing I wanted to mention about Namecheap is that all the prices discussed earlier at targeted at US customers. If you live in Europe and want to pick the company’s UK-based data center in order to get better performance, it will cost you an extra $1 per month regardless of which tier you choose.

Namecheap vs. Bluehost in terms of SEO

Knowing a little bit about how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works will help you grow your website a lot faster. Many experienced webmasters can optimize their content without having to rely on third-party tools but having a bit of help regardless certainly doesn’t hurt. So can you expect any sort of help in this area from Bluehost or Namecheap? Yes, but it’s more of a help-yourself type of situation.

The best way of making sure that your content optimization is up to par is by building your website using WordPress and installing a free SEO plugin. I recommend going with Yoast and maybe upgrading it at a later time if you want to take advantage of all its features. Both Bluehost and Namecheap offer 1-click installs for WordPress so you can set everything up in no time (Update: Bluehost also offers some extra SEO tools no matter what CMS you chose, read more about this on their website here).

namecheap SEO vs Bluehost SEO
Bluehost SEO vs Namecheap

If you don’t want to work with WordPress, you can get SEO tools directly from Bluehost. They’re not free but they only cost $2 per month and you can add them to any of the hosting packages offered by the company. Namecheap doesn’t offer any SEO tools, paid or otherwise. I’d still go with WordPress + Yoast myself but if you’re not into that combo, Bluehost’s own SEO tools are your best bet as far as these two companies are concerned.

Additional Hosting Plans

Shared hosting tends to be very cheap and that makes it a great option for small and medium-sized websites. If your website starts to attract more and more visitors, however, you’ll soon find that shared hosting will only get you so far before you site crashes due to a large amount of traffic. Luckily, there are other types of hosting plans you can get that will prevent that from happening.

WordPress Hosting

This first option is pretty much exactly what you would expect – a type of hosting specifically designed for WordPress users. Plans like these come with automatic installers for WordPress so you don’t even have to worry about the setup because the provider will take care of everything for you. Some providers also offer premium themes, plugins or other nice features in order to sweeten the deal.

Bluehost WordPress Hosting
Bluehost WordPress Hosting

Bluehost offers three unmanaged WordPress packages that are almost identical to its shared hosting plans both in terms of price and features. However, there is no fourth tier here and you get $200 worth of marketing credit along with features like automatic WordPress updates and WordPress staging environment with every package.

The company also offers managed WordPress hosting that starts at $19.95 per month. Quite a bit more expensive but you do get a lot of advanced features in return. A few of the highlights include Jetpack Premium, Jetpack Ads integration, marketing center, SEO tools, business review tools, PayPal integration, unlimited video compression, daily backups, unlimited storage, and more.

Namecheap WordPressBluehost WordPress
Number of websites11
Free SSLYesYes
SSD Storage10 GB50 GB
Free DomainNoYes
Marketing CreditN/A$200
Price$3.88$2.95
February PromoGET 23% OFFGET 65% OFF

Namecheap only offers managed WordPress hosting but doesn’t include a whole lot of interesting features with any of its plans, at least not when compared to other hosts such as HostGator and Bluehost. There are three tiers to choose from and the only real difference between them is that you get more storage if you pay extra. At most, you can get up to 100 GB of storage, which is not bad, however, Bluehost includes unlimited storage with all of its managed plans. Having said all that, the main appeal of Namecheap’s packages is once again the price. Signing up with Namecheap will only set you back between $3.88 and $11.88 per month depending on which plan you choose.

VPS Hosting

Subscribing to a VPS hosting plan will give you access to your own virtual private machine that you won’t have to share with anyone. If you’re worried about performance and reliability, you should definitely consider upgrading to a VPS if your site starts slowing down. Of, even better, do it before that happens to continue ensuring a smooth browsing experience for your audience.

Bluehost VPS Hosting compared to Namecheap
Bluehost VPS Hosting compared to Namecheap

Bluehost has three VPS plans on offer, with the cheapest one starting at $19 per month. The scalability here is pretty straightforward. The second tier costs almost twice as much and gets you a machine that’s almost twice as powerful as the previous one. Likewise, the price for the third tier is twice as much as the previous one and the machine is twice as powerful. Regardless of which plan you choose, you also get a lot of nice features along with the ability to add additional resources further down the line should you need them.

Prices at Namecheap start at $11.88 per month and there is only one other package after that, which is priced at $19.88 per month. Unlike a lot of other hosting providers, Namecheap offers fixed-price renewals so there’s no need to worry about having to pay extra after your first term expires. The two machines are more or less similar to what you would get with Bluehost’s Standard and Ultimate packages but quite a bit cheaper.

Namecheap VPSBluehost VPS
Free Domain.online.com
CPU2 Cores2 Cores
Storage40 GB SSD30 GB SSD
RAM2 GB2 GB
Bandwidth 1 TB 1 TB
Price$11.88$18.99
Hidden FeesYESNo
Deember PromoGET 20% OFFGET 40% OFF

In spite of the bargain prices, however, I’m not a big fan of Namecheap’s Server Management system. The company offers three levels of management – Free, Basic ($10/mo) and Complete ($25). In order to get access to many of the advanced features, you’ll need to subscribe to the Basic or Complete plans. Moreover, Free users need to pay $10 each time they want to restore their server while both Free and Basic users have to pay an hourly fee for core software changes and server failure fixes. Depending on how many issues you encounter, it’s entirely possible to actually end up paying more per month than what Bluehost charges.

Dedicated Servers

A dedicated server is fairly identical to a virtual private server in the sense that you pay for a machine that you don’t have to share with anyone. However, dedicated servers run on much more powerful machines which means you’ll pretty much never have to worry about things slowing down regardless of how much traffic you’re getting.

Prices at Namecheap start at $72.88 per month and can reach up to $203.88 per month. The company doesn’t work with the standard tiered model when it comes to dedicated servers. Instead, Namecheap offers a few dozen different machines with varying specifications. The benefit of this system is that you can generally find a server that has the exact specs you need. The bad news is that Namecheap only has a handful of each type of server in stock, so the machine you want may not always be available. Sadly, the Server Management system is present here as well and the paid plans cost even more.

Bluehost works with a more traditional three-tier system that’s similar to the one I’ve covered in the VPS section. Prices range between $79.99 and $119.99 per month and you can expect the same wide range of features you would get by buying a VPS. The machines offered by Bluehost are a bit more expensive than those of Namecheap if you were to only take the specs into consideration. However, the fact that 24/7 technical support and almost all features (with a couple of exceptions like domain privacy and SiteLock) are included for free adds a huge amount of value. Instead of paying for bits and pieces, you pay a flat rate for the whole package.

Namecheap Key Features vs. Bluehost Extras

A lot of people choose a hosting provider based solely on which company offers better prices, which is understandable. However, I recommend always checking out the features before you make a final decision. That way, you can make sure that you’re actually getting good value for your money. The features I’m going to cover in this next section are pretty essential so don’t ignore them.

Domain Registration

Despite offering some pretty decent hosting packages, Namecheap is primarily known as a domain registrar. The company is right up there with the likes of GoDaddy in terms of popularity and offers unbeatable prices for registrations. You can get a domain name from Namecheap for just $8.88 for the first year and then renew it for $12.98 per year. You also have the option of getting a personal domain for $8.99/year and there are plenty of great filtering options that will allow you to find the perfect name and extension for your website. Namecheap offers a free domain for 1-year and free privacy protection with all its hosting plans.

Bluehost Domain Registration
Bluehost Domain Registration

Bluehost’s bread and butter is web hosting but the company offers domain registrations as well. Domains here cost $11.99 for the first year and then $17.99 per year upon renewal. Domain privacy usually costs $11.88/year at Bluehost, however, there are certain hosting packages where it is included for free. Just like Namecheap, Bluehost offers a free domain name for the first year with all its hosting plans. For stand-alone Domains, Namecheap is for sure the better Alternative to Bluehost, but this only if you are not interested in hosting at all.

Namecheap DomainsBluehost Domains
Free Domain.online.com
Extra .com Domains$8.88$11.99
February PromoGET 20% OFFGET 30% OFF

Website Builder

Namecheap has a sleek website builder that comes with a drag-and-drop interface and over 200 templates to choose from. The builder is available in dozens of different languages, features a responsive design, and comes with social media integration, among other things. The builder also includes presets for various niches like business, entertainment or technology. Namecheap’s website builder is free to use, however, it only supports shared hosting plans. If you go for a different type of hosting, you’ll need to build your site using a different platform, such as WordPress for example.

Bluehost doesn’t have its own website builder but it doesn’t really need one anyway if you ask me. Bluehost has fantastic WordPress integration so you can just use the CMS as your site builder. WordPress comes with a huge amount of amazing templates that can be customized to your heart’s content. If you want to tweak things further, you can use a plugin like Visual Composer to make everything look exactly like you want. Bluehost also offers integration with the Weebly site builder but I would just stick with WordPress instead because you only get the basic version of Weebly for free.

Databases

Namecheap offers 50 MySQL databases with its basic shared hosting plan and unlimited databases with all the other packages. Meanwhile, Bluehost includes unlimited MySQL databases with all its hosting plans. You can create, delete, and manage databases directly from the cPanel with both Namecheap and Bluehost and each company has detailed tutorials on how to do it.

Domain Emails

Bluehost offers free webmail along with access to the Microsoft Office 365 mailbox and spam experts with certain hosting plans. You can get a free month of Office 365 with most hosting plans and then continue to use it by paying a monthly fee. Bluehost doesn’t impose a limit on how many email accounts you can create.

Bluehost Domain Email Login
Bluehost Domain Email Login

Namecheap also has free webmail as well as private email hosting, which costs anywhere between $9.88 and $49.88 per year depending on plan. If you want to just stick with the webmail instead, you can create up to 30 email accounts with the basic shared hosting plan and an unlimited number of accounts with the other packages.

Backups

Both Bluehost and Namecheap offer very reliable website backup tools. Bluehost customers can benefit from automatic backups courtesy of CodeGuard Basic, which is included for free with the pricier hosting plans and available as an optional paid service ($3/mo) with the others. Namecheap also offers a free automatic backup tool with the more expensive plans but users who go for the cheapest package can also benefit from free bi-weekly backups. Bluehost and Namecheap also allow you to manually back up your data.

eCommerce

Namecheap doesn’t have a dedicated eCommerce platform but it does include a few basic features that will help you manage an online store. If you want to create a solid store, though, you’ll need to look somewhere else. The company recommends going for a WordPress hosting plan and installing a plugin like WooCommerce to kick start your store. Alternatively, you can register a domain with Namecheap and connect it to an eCommerce platform something like Shopify. Either way, you won’t be able to get much direct help from Namecheap regardless.

Bluehost also recommends going the WordPress + WooCommerce route, however, the company also offers its own eCommerce hosting plans. These plans are based on the WordPress packages and will cost you anywhere between $6.95 and $12.95 per month. In return, the company makes things very simple by providing you with a site that has WooCommerce and a storefront theme installed right off the bat. You also get most of the other features found in the regular hosting packages, including free SSL certificate, domain name, domain privacy, dedicated IP, and more.

Money-Back Guarantee

Bluehost and Namecheap both have a 30-day money-back guarantee refund policy so you can’t go wrong with any of these guys.

Bluehost Money-Back Guarantee Policy
Bluehost Money-Back Guarantee Policy

Namecheap Reliability vs. Bluehost Performance

In this day and age, we tend to expect websites to load nearly instantly and always be up whenever we want to visit them. Considering how far technology has come, I think those expectations are pretty reasonable for the most part. The major hosting providers are well aware of user expectations and are doing their best to offer services that are as reliable and consistent as humanly possible. But which of our two contestants is the best in this area? Let’s find out.

Speed

Page loading speed was a bit of a problem for Namecheap before 2018 but nowadays the company is doing pretty well in that department. On average, you can expect speeds of around 625 ms at the moment. There are periods where you will consistently see speeds of under 500 ms but other times they can reach close to 1 second. 625 ms isn’t an amazing result but it’s not horrible either so I’d say the speeds at Namecheap are overall pretty average.

In the case of Bluehost, you’re looking at a much better situation. The company’s average page loading speeds tend to hover at around 406 ms most of the time. As with most companies, you do get some fluctuations here and there but overall the company has been very consistent with its speeds in 2019. With an average speed of 406 ms, Bluehost is currently one of the fastest providers on the market.

Uptime

Namecheap boldly claims to offer a 100% uptime guarantee with all its hosting plans, however, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. The real uptime sits at around 99.92% in 2019, which is still a pretty good result. It’s not really 100% but frankly speaking, there isn’t a company out there that doesn’t experience occasional downtime so Namecheap should probably dial back a bit on its uptime guarantee.

Bluehost performs better than Namecheap in this department and offers a more realistic uptime guarantee. The company promises 99.99% uptime guarantee and its actual uptime does happen to sit at 99.99% on average at the moment. That hasn’t always been the case but Bluehost has gradually been improving its infrastructure over the years to the point where that guarantee can be now taken at face value.

Customer Support

Customer support is one of those things that people don’t think about too much until something goes wrong. I know this because I used to do the same thing before I learned my lesson. That’s why I wholeheartedly recommend you check out the support options before signing up with any provider in order to avoid unpleasant surprises further down the road.

Namecheap’s customer support isn’t anything to write home about. The company provides 24/7 support via live chat and offers a ticket system but doesn't have any phone support. Purchasing one of the more expensive hosting plans will get you priority support but you’ll still need to pay for certain services, as mentioned earlier in this article. Even worse, you’ll have to pay by the hour, which is not exactly a customer-friendly system in my opinion.

Bluehost, on the other hand, has a very good customer support system in place. You can contact support agents 24/7 via live chat, ticket or phone, which is a big plus for customers who require urgent assistance. The company also has a team of professional agents that specialize exclusively on WordPress support. Bluehost support agents are renowned for being extremely responsible and knowledgeable so you can usually expect your issue to be resolved in no time.

Scalability

Nobody wants to pay top dollar when they’re creating their first website so it helps if you can start off cheap and work your way up from there. The cheapest plans won’t be able to handle a lot of traffic but that’s not really a big concern because you’re unlikely to get a lot of visitors right off the bat anyway. Once the traffic starts flowing at a constant rate, it’s great to be able to upgrade to a better hosting plan and then gradually repeat the process when you reach certain thresholds.

You can expect very cheap entry prices from both Bluehost and Namecheap if you’re signing up for a shared hosting plan. Upgrading to the next tier will only set you back a few extra bucks at every step with Namecheap, however, there are only three tiers to choose from and then you’ll need to start thinking about upgrading to a VPS.

Meanwhile, Bluehost scales a bit better because there are four tiers, two of which are priced the same for the first term so you can actually get a nice upgrade at no extra cost. The only caveat is that there is a more significant difference between the final two tiers. Still, it’s nice to be able to scale up one additional level in my opinion despite that little price bump at the end.

Another thing to consider is that Bluehost has three tiers of VPS hosting (read more about their VPS plans in our extensive Bluehost review) while Namecheap only has two. Once again, Bluehost makes it a bit easier to take things step-by-step and upgrade gradually before having to switch to a completely new type of hosting.

Namecheap vs. Bluehost – Our Pick

Namecheap is remarkably good jack-of-all-trades considering that the company is primarily known as a domain registrar. The prices here are some of the cheapest on the market and you can expect pretty good value in return for your money. That said, certain types of hosting like VPS and dedicated can end up costing you more than you bargained for due to how the company’s Management system works.

Bluehost is a more straightforward provider where you can tell right off the bat what you’re getting yourself into. There are a handful of paid optional services but they only cost between $1 and $3 per month so you don’t have to worry about paying a premium for anything extra that’s not advertised up front. Bluehost’s hosting packages are more expensive compared to those of Namecheap but you generally get more value in return.

Where Namecheap really falls flat is in the customer support department. Having to pay extra for technical assistance with certain types of hosting is a real bummer. The fact that the company doesn’t have a phone number you can call them at doesn’t help either. Bluehost, on the other hand, offers stellar support that you can always rely on and can be contacted via all the usual channels.

At the end of the day, I would recommend Bluehost over Namecheap to most people. Unless you’re just considering the price and nothing else, Bluehost is a better alternative that offers excellent bang for the buck, impressive performance, and world-renowned customer support. Namecheap is great if you want to register a domain and get a shared hosting plan at a bargain price but its downsides make it an overall worse when compared to Bluehost.

WEB HOSTING 31 minutes

Top 10 Squarespace Alternatives

Last updated:
Author Jason Moth

Squarespace is one of the most popular website builders around and it’s pretty easy to see why. The platform comes with some of the most beautiful templates out there, allowing even completely inexperienced users to create a professional-looking website.

The builder’s intuitive drag-and-drop functionality coupled with the wide range of creative tools makes it an excellent choice for artists, musicians, photographers or anyone else who wants to create a website that catches the eye and captures the imagination of visitors. But even though Squarespace has a lot to offer, the platform is certainly not without its drawbacks. The high prices make it difficult to recommend for users on a budget while the templates, while great looking, aren’t really suitable for all types of websites. In other words, Squarespace isn’t the best choice for everyone.

With that in mind, we decided to test some of the other platforms out there and use the information we gathered to create a comprehensive list of Squarespace alternatives. Many of the companies on this list are just as specialized as Squarespace while others are a bit different and try to appeal to a wider audience. Here’s a quick look at what we believe to be the best Squarespace alternatives of 2020:

  • Wix – The best Squarespace alternative in terms of price, design flexibility, and ease of use.
  • Weebly – A very close second pick that stands out thanks to its massive app marketplace.
  • Shopify – The best builder on this list for eCommerce-focused websites.
  • WordPress – More complex than Squarespace but also a lot more flexible.
  • Jimdo – A very good choice for multilingual sites that offers a neat logo creator.
  • SiteGround – Combines the benefits of WordPress and all-in-one builders like Squarespace.
  • Bluehost – Very popular hosting provider that integrates well with Weebly and WordPress.
  • iPage – Surprisingly robust site builder with plenty of interesting features.
  • Webnode – Missing some key features but otherwise a decent option.
  • HostGator – Good for small businesses and stores that sell physical goods.

We took a lot of factors into consideration while compiling this list, including price, features, ease of use, customer support, and more. This list is primarily meant to help the average user so we tried to stick to alternatives that are fairly accessible. But don’t worry if you’re an experienced webmaster because we also have a few picks that you’re definitely going to love.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at each of the platforms on our list so you can get a better idea of what they offer. Here’s our overview of the top 10 best Squarespace alternatives of 2020:

1. Wix

Wix is one of the most user-friendly website builders on the market right now. The platform is an excellent Squarespace alternative for anyone who wants to create a new website quickly and easily. Not to mention cheaply. If you’re thinking about switching from Squarespace, you’ll find the transition to Wix to be very smooth because the two platforms share a lot of similarities.

Wix Homepage
Wix Homepage

Wix brings to the table a very flexible drag-and-drop editor that comes with very few limitations. There are no sections or blocks to worry about so you are free to place elements virtually anywhere on a page and customize them as you see fit. There’s also a fully-featured “Dev Mode” that gives experienced users complete control over the backend along with an artificial design intelligence (ADI) system that acts as a guiding hand for newcomers. That combination makes Wix the perfect Squarespace alternative for newbies and veterans alike.

Another important reason why you may want to choose Wix over Squarespace is the price. Similar to a few of the other companies on this list, Wix offers a free plan that you can use for as long as you want. The plan comes with certain restrictions but is still very useful for those who want to build a small website or blog without having to spend a penny. As far as the paid prices are concerned, Wix’s cheapest package will only set you back $4.50, which is almost three times less than what Squarespace charges.

Hundreds of Templates to Choose From

Very few site builders can give Squarespace a run for its money when it comes to beautifully-designed templates. Wix is one of them. Not only are Wix’s templates very close in terms of quality to those offered by Squarespace but the company also offers a lot more of them. All in all, you’ve got over 500 templates to choose from and the best part is that none of them are locked behind a paywall. You’ll get full access to the entire template library even with the free tier. A lot of companies go either for quality or quantity when it comes to templates but Wix manages to offer both.

Wix absolutely dwarfs Squarespace and many of its other competitors when it comes to apps and widgets. Apps like Site Booster and Visitor Analytics are included by default with certain plans but you can get many more by accessing the Wix App Market. The market contains more than 200 apps, many of which are available for free. Among other things, these apps allow you to integrate your site with PayPal, AdSense or Amazon, improve your SEO, stream music, display social media feeds, and more.

Wix is a very well-rounded site builder that tries (and succeeds) to appeal to a much wider audience than Squarespace. One of the main reasons why Wix is our number one pick is because this is a risk-free builder that doesn’t come with many drawbacks. It’s also one of the easiest to use platforms of its kind and it offers a free tier so there are many reasons to check it out.

2. Weebly

Weebly is another very popular Squarespace alternative with plenty to offer. In our recent Squarespace vs. Weebly comparison, we found the two platforms to be extremely closely matched, with Weebly winning by just a hair in most categories. If you’re not a big fan of our first pick we strongly recommend checking out Weebly because it might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Weebly Homepage
Weebly Homepage

Weebly has a very streamlined editor that does its best not to overwhelm users. There are quite a few elements to play around with but there are no hidden options to worry about and the editing process is overall very intuitive. Just like Squarespace, Weebly comes with drag-and-drop functionality and allows custom edits via HTML or CSS code injection. The template selection is a bit less impressive when compared to that of Squarespace but you still have a good amount of designs to choose from. And, of course, plenty of options that allow you to customize the templates as you see fit.

Price-wise, Weebly is a lot more similar to Wix than it is to Squarespace. Namely, there’s a free plan that comes with non-removable ads and a very limited amount of storage, as well as a cheap premium package priced at only $5 per month. The more expensive plans were designed with online stores in mind and offer many of the same features you’ll find with Squarespace’s own eCommerce plans. Weebly is slightly better than Squarespace for online stores, but there are other platforms on this list that are far superior to both in this department.

Apps Galore

At first glance, it may seem like Weebly doesn’t give you as much to work with as Squarespace but that’s definitely not the case. The company has a massive marketplace consisting of over 350 apps that you can use to enhance your sites with a tremendous amount of additional functionality. There’s an app for just about everything here and, just like Wix, most of the apps offered by Weebly are completely free. The company uses a simple but effective sorting system for its app center and there’s also a search function to make it even easier to find the exact app you’re looking for.

One of the most important features offered by Weebly, and one that’s severely missing from Squarespace, is the ability to create manual backups of your site. Sure, most site builders will automatically back up your site at regular intervals, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to also have the option to manually back up your content whenever you want. Moreover, Weebly’s backup feature is easily accessible from the admin panel so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it quickly.

Weebly is another cheap Squarespace alternative that’s just as easy to use as Wix and comes with an even more impressive app marketplace. Weebly can be used to build pretty much any type of website but it‘s especially useful for bloggers and small to medium-sized businesses. The platform may not be as stylish as Squarespace but it’s far superior in terms of functionality, provided you put the app center to good use.

3. Shopify

Shopify is a specialized website builder designed exclusively for online stores. The platform is often referred to as the king of eCommerce and with good reason. Shopify is a great Squarespace alternative for physical stores that want to expand their presence into the digital realm or for users to want to build a serious (and sizeable) eCommerce business from scratch.

Shopify Homepage
Shopify Homepage

Shopify can feel somewhat intimidating to users switching from Squarespace because the platform is a bit more complex than your regular site builder. Luckily, the editor itself isn’t that much more difficult to use thanks to its drag-and-drop functionality. Users who don’t want to take the time to learn all of Shopify’s little intricacies don’t have to because the platform gives you access to a very solid pre-configured storefront. This storefront gives you a basic structure that you can then build upon by playing around with the available themes, customizing some of the elements and, of course, adding your own products.

Shopify is one of the more expensive Squarespace alternatives on this list but that’s to be expected from a specialized eCommerce platform that excels at what it does. The entry price of $29/mo isn’t actually that bad for an eCommerce-specific builder considering what you get in return, but the cost can reach up to $299 if you go for the most expensive plans. Moreover, Shopify also sells premium themes and apps so the monthly investment can potentially get even higher than that. Having said that, Shopify does offer an interesting option for users on a budget in the form of the $9/mo Shopify Lite plan. This plan doesn’t allow you to build an online store by itself but is more like an add-on that you can use to transform an existing website into an online store.

Incredible eCommerce Tools and Features

Very few Squarespace alternatives can hold a candle to Shopify when it comes to eCommerce features and tools. You can use the platform to sell physical and digital goods and services pretty much anywhere in the world. In addition, Shopify supports more than 100 types of payment gateways whereas Squarespace only supports PayPal and Stripe. The only downside is that customers are required to use Shopify’s own payment gateway if they want to avoid transaction fees. While some plans give you more features than others, you can ship products worldwide using major carriers like DHL or UPS even with the cheapest package. Meanwhile, Squarespace doesn’t unlock that feature unless you subscribe to its most expensive plan.

As far as marketing tools are concerned, the sky’s the limit in the case of Shopify. The platform lets you sell products and services directly on 10 different social media platforms (as opposed to Squarespace’s one platform) and offers plenty of apps that allow you to reach an even wider audience. Shopify also includes a tool that can be used to launch powerful email campaigns targeted at potential customers. And if you have really big plans for your eCommerce platform, you can integrate your site with huge marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.

Despite being a fairly expensive builder, Shopify is miles ahead of Squarespace in terms of eCommerce. If you’re thinking about opening an online store, we recommend not bothering with all-purpose builders like Squarespace because you’ll get a lot more out of a specialized platform like Shopify, albeit at a higher cost. If eCommerce isn’t a priority for you, on the other hand, you should check out some of the other alternatives on this list.

4. WordPress

WordPress powers around 35% of all websites on the internet so this is a pretty obvious choice. The great thing about WordPress is that it gives you two platforms to choose from. One of them is a SaaS (Software as a Service) while the other is a CMS (Content Management System). Both of them are good Squarespace alternatives but each has its own pros and cons.

WordPress Homepage
WordPress Homepage

WordPress can be a bit difficult to wrap your head around at first, but the platform offers a great deal of flexibility. The page editor is block-based and quite similar in many ways to the one used by Squarespace. In addition, there’s also a second editor that lets you make changes to your site as a whole. WordPress is actually not that complicated in its base form but things get a lot more complex once you switch to a new theme and begin installing plugins. The good news is that you can find guides and tutorials on all things related to WordPress so learning how to use the platform can be quite easy if you’re willing to do a bit of research.

One of the most appealing things about WordPress is its accessibility. The CMS is an open-source platform that you use without ever having to spend a penny. Sure, there are plenty of premium themes and plugins you can buy but you can just as easily find free versions of both. The only real financial concern to consider is the hosting, which you’ll have to purchase separately. Alternatively, you can opt for the more restrictive WordPress SaaS that acts like an all-in-one package complete with web hosting, just like Squarespace. The paid plans start at only $4 per month and there’s also an ad-supported free tier you can try.

Unlimited Customization

WordPress may have been primarily aimed at bloggers at launch but nowadays the platform can be used to build virtually any type of website. You do need to invest a lot of time and effort in order to create something truly unique but the results are well worth it. Thanks to the myriad of plugins available for the platform, users can enhance their websites with any number of interesting features with just a few clicks. Moreover, some of the best themes come with built-in tools that streamline the customization process so you don’t necessarily have to be a tech wiz to create a great looking WordPress website.

If you are a tech-savvy user, however, the possibilities are pretty much endless. Thanks to the fact that this is an open-source platform, you have full access to all the code and can modify every piece of it to your liking. WordPress supports several scripting languages, including HTML, CSS, and PHP. The WordPress SaaS doesn’t give you quite as much freedom as the CMS, however, you can still expect it to have more functionality and customization potential than Squarespace.

WordPress is the quintessential website builder that’s very easy to recommend to newcomers and veterans alike. We didn’t put it higher up on our list because it’s definitely less user-friendly and more difficult to work with than Squarespace. If you can get past the relatively steep learning curve, however, you’ll quickly realize that there’s a very good reason why WordPress is by far the most popular site builder around. As a side note, we recommend trying to learn how to use the CMS because the WordPress SaaS has a lot of drawbacks.

5. Jimdo

Jimdo is not quite as big as Squarespace but the company definitely has a lot to offer. The platform is perhaps best known for supporting a wide variety of different languages, which makes it a good choice for non-English speaking users. In addition, Jimdo has a free tier and a few neat features that make it perfect for mobile-focused websites.

Jimdo Homepage
Jimdo Homepage

Jimdo is a very easy to use Squarespace alternative that comes with a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) site editor complete with drag-and-drop functionality. This allows you to see all the changes you make before updating or previewing your website. One fairly important drawback is that Jimdo’s templates are not as flexible as those offered by Squarespace. This is likely due to the fact that all Jimdo websites are mobile responsive and being able to move elements anywhere on a page might interfere with that feature.

The free plan offered by Jimdo is similar to those you can find at Wix or Weebly. Namely, you’ll have to deal with ads and settle for a .jimdosite.com domain in exchange for building a site for free. As far as premium plans are concerned, there are three to choose from ranging in price from $9 to $39 per month. The entry price is quite a bit higher compared to some of the other builders on this list but still cheaper than Squarespace.

Quick Logo Creator

One of the most interesting tools offered by Jimdo is a logo creator. The logo you can make using this tool won’t be as flashy as those created by designers, however, they will look nice enough for most websites. Much like the site builder, the logo creator is extremely easy to use and the resulting logos do a pretty decent job at making your site look more professional. Plus, the tool is free and you can use the logos even on sites that aren’t hosted by Jimdo.

All in all, Jimdo is a very easy to recommend Squarespace alternative thanks to its multilingual support and simple site editor. Not to mention the fact that the site builder is mobile-friendly and has a free version. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend it over something like Wix or Weebly, but if those platforms aren’t your cup of tea, Jimdo might be the builder you’ve been looking for.

6. SiteGround

SiteGround is a very solid hosting provider known for offering good performance and lots of features at a very affordable price. The hosting provider doesn’t have an in-house builder but allows you to integrate your site with Weebly or WordPress. SiteGround is a great Squarespace alternative for users who value performance and functionality above all else.

SiteGround Homepage
SiteGround Homepage

The amount of useful features you get with a SiteGround plan is quite impressive. Among other things, you can expect to be able to benefit from daily backups, email accounts, SSL certificate, unlimited MySQL databases, and a free Cloudflare CDN account. Even more impressive is the fact that you get all these features (most of which are not offered by Squarespace) even with the most basic shared hosting plan. If you’re willing to spend a couple of extra bucks per month, you also benefit from a wide selection of advanced features like WordPress staging sites, white-label site management, SuperCacher, free site transfer service, and more.

It may seem like all those advanced features would cost quite a bit but that’s not really the case. SiteGround’s prices for shared hosting plans are pretty standard and range between $3.95 and $11.95 per month. By comparison, Squarespace’s cheapest package costs $12/mo so there’s clearly a big price difference here. With SiteGround you do have to manage more things, however, it’s not as difficult as you may think because the provider includes an intuitive and easy to use cPanel. And if you choose to pair the provider with Weebly, you also get a very user-friendly site builder.

Just as Easy to Use as Squarespace

SiteGround offers multiple types of hosting to choose from. Newcomers tend to go for a shared hosting plan but you can just as easily grab a dedicated or cloud hosting package if you can afford it. In addition, you can also find managed WordPress hosting and managed WooCommerce hosting plans. If you’re switching from Squarespace, we recommend going with a managed WordPress hosting plan because it comes with an easy one-click installer for the CMS.

Not just that but this plan also includes a tool known as WordPress Starter, which allows you to choose the design and features of your future site. The tool then automatically installs the relevant template and plugins while also taking care of the customization, giving you access to a brand new and fully-functional WordPress site in just a few minutes. In other words, SiteGround offers the same level of accessibility as Squarespace via the WordPress Starter tool. And, of course, the functionality and customization potential you get from WordPress itself are far superior.

7. Bluehost

Bluehost continues to be one of the most popular hosting providers on the market even in 2020. The company doesn’t have its own website builder but it does provide good integration with Weebly. But if you’re already somewhat experienced when it comes to site building, we recommend pairing Bluehost with WordPress instead because the two make a great team.

Bluehost Homepage
Bluehost Homepage

Since Bluehost isn’t really a site builder, it may seem strange to have it on this list as a Squarespace alternative, however, there’s a good reason why we chose to do that. For one, Bluehost offers significantly better performance than Squarespace, particularly if you go with a VPS or dedicated hosting plan. Furthermore, you get access to several important features that are not available with Squarespace, including MySQL databases, mailboxes, a manual backup system, better SEO tools, and much more. The only downside is that you’ll have to work with two platforms (Bluehost and a site builder) instead of just one.

Choosing a hosting provider like Bluehost over a regular website builder also makes a lot of sense in terms of pricing. Bluehost packages start at only $3.95 per month and reach only as high as $13.95 per month if you stick to shared hosting. Naturally, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of the website builder but the math on that is actually pretty easy since you can just integrate with WordPress for free. As mentioned, Bluehost also integrates with Weebly but the caveat is that it’s only the basic version of the builder, which comes with quite a few restrictions. You can upgrade to a better Weebly plan while still being hosted by Bluehost but going with WordPress would be a cheaper option.

Award-Winning Customer Support

Squarespace’s customer support is pretty good, particularly its help center, but the company doesn’t offer phone support while its live chat isn’t available 24/7. Bluehost, on the other hand, does have 24/7 support across all channels, including phone and even offers a special number for international (non-US) customers. Bluehost has its own comprehensive knowledge base you can browse for additional information on the platform along with plenty of tutorials and video guides.

The main reason why we put Bluehost (and a few of our other picks) lower on the list is that creating a website via a hosting provider involves a couple of extra steps. Meanwhile, Squarespace is an all-in-one-platform so you don’t have to worry about the hosting part. If you’re willing to undergo the extra steps, however, you’ll find Bluehost to be a very solid and much cheaper alternative to Squarespace, particularly when combined with the WordPress CMS.

8. iPage

iPage is another company primarily known for its hosting services but what a lot of users may not know is that the provider also has its own website builder. In addition, the company offers a 1-click installer for WordPress and supports many other content management systems like Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.

iPage Homepage
iPage Homepage

iPage launched its website builder back in 2017 with the aim of giving users all the tools they need to create a professional-looking site. The builder is easy to use, mobile-friendly and comes with over 100 customizable templates. Unlike some of the other companies on this list, iPage allows users to switch templates or reset them to their default settings at any time without losing content. This gives you a lot of freedom to experiment with your site without having to worry about breaking something. Likewise, there is a Revision History feature that you can use to revert to a previous automatically-saved version of the site in case you made a mistake but don’t want to start all over again.

The basic version of the site builder is available for free but there a couple of little caveats. First, you’ll need to purchase a hosting plan in order to use it. Shared hosting plans at iPage start at only $1.99 per month (first term) so you’re looking at a very small investment. However, the other caveat is that the basic version of the builder can’t be used to create sites with more than 6 pages. If you want to remove the page limit and unlock various other features, you can upgrade to the Professional or Business versions of the builder, which cost $6.99/mo and $15.99/mo, respectively. When you also factor in the hosting costs you’re looking at a maximum total price that’s similar to the one Squarespace charges for its own Business tier, but with a lot more features and functionality.

Lots of Great Features

iPage’s hosting plans are known for their great features and the website builder is no different. Some of the highlights include built-in SEO tools, Google Analytics integration, PayPal integration, and eCommerce functionality if you opt for the Business package. You can also expect a domain name, email accounts, SSL certificate, unlimited MySQL databases, and much more. The eCommerce features are pretty basic but you can definitely create a fully-functional, albeit small, online store using iPage’s website builder.

iPage may not be a traditional Squarespace alternative and that’s exactly why we chose to include it on our list. The platform isn’t all that cheaper than Squarespace when you factor in the costs of hosting but you get a lot of good value in return. In addition, the performance is quite a bit better as well and you get valuable features that are not available at Squarespace. Ultimately, we don’t think iPage is the best alternative for everybody but some users will certainly love it.

9. Webnode

Webnode is another Squarespace alternative that many users tend to overlook while searching for a website builder. That’s probably because Webnode launched in 2009 while Squarespace has been around since 2003 so there’s a bit of an age difference between the two. But you should definitely give Webnode a chance even if it doesn’t have quite as much experience as Squarespace.

Webnode Homepage
Webnode Homepage

Similar to Jimdo, Webnode is a great choice for small businesses and multilingual sites. The platform comes with a section-based site editor that’s remarkably similar to Squarespace in terms of functionality. Some of the features are pretty lackluster, especially those related to blogging, but for the most part, you’ll find all the elements and tools you would expect from an all-purpose site builder like this. The quality of the templates is very solid and you have almost 100 of them to choose from, which is about the same as what you would find at Squarespace.

Webnode offers a free plan for users who want to experiment with the platform along with a couple of very cheap premium packages priced at $3.95 and $5.95, respectively. Unfortunately, certain key features like the ability to remove ads aren’t unlocked until the $11.95 tier. That’s a bit of a shame because that puts Webnode’s Standard plan on par with Squarespace’s basic plan in terms of pricing. Allowing users to remove ads starting with the $5.95 tier would have swayed more users away from the competition. On the bright side, Webnode includes free email accounts starting with the second paid plan, which is a feature that Squarespace doesn’t include for free at all, except as a limited trial.

Still Missing Some Key Features

Even though Webnode is a good Squarespace alternative in some respects, there’s still plenty of room for improvement in certain areas. The blogging features and very basic, with the platform currently being unable to support comments and tags. There’s also no proper social media integration and the eCommerce functionality is not very robust at the moment. Webnode doesn’t have an app marketplace either so it’s pretty much impossible to compensate for the missing features with third-party plugins or extensions.

Webnode remains a very good Squarespace alternative for certain types of websites but we can’t really recommend it for blogs or online stores, for obvious reasons. Unlike Squarespace, Webnode features a fully-functional backup & restore tool and allows users to set up email accounts for free. And, of course, you can use the platform without spending a penny if you don’t mind the ads. There are clearly pros and cons to Webnode but this is ultimately a risk-free option so there’s nothing to lose by checking it out.

10. HostGator

HostGator is a popular hosting provider that also offers a very interesting website builder. Known simply as Gator, the builder is very reminiscent of Wix in many ways, though it doesn’t come with nearly as many features. Still, Gator is very easy to use and a lot cheaper than Squarespace, which is why we decided to include it on this list.

HostGator Homepage
HostGator Homepage

Gator is a straightforward builder that comes with drag-and-drop functionality and tons of customizable templates. The templates aren’t quite as nice as those offered by Squarespace but they are very good in their own right. Plus, Gator allows for more customization so you can definitely create a great looking website using this builder. Although there’s no full-fledged backup system, Gator does include a very useful Site History feature, which is very similar to the one offered by Wix. This feature allows users to revert their site to a previous version in the event that something goes wrong with the current one.

Purchasing a Gator plan will only set you back between $3.84 and $9.22 per month, depending on which package you choose. There isn’t a huge difference between the first two plans in terms of features while the third one’s main appeal is the eCommerce functionality. Similar to Squarespace, Gator includes a number of freebies like web hosting, domain name, SSL certificate, a website analytics tool, and more. There aren’t that many interesting features to look forward to but that’s to be expected given the very low asking price. In addition, Gator has very good 24/7 customer support via email, phone, and live chat.

A Constantly Evolving Site Builder

HostGator’s site builder is a fairly recent addition to its roster of products and services. As such, the builder is still a work in progress and currently missing quite a few important features. Similar to Webnode, Gator isn’t a very good choice for blogging or online stores. Blog owners don’t have a way to schedule posts or add a native commenting system, though the builder does allow Facebook comments. Meanwhile, Gator comes with very limited eCommerce functionality that only allows you to sell physical goods.

Do we still recommend Gator as a Squarespace alternative in spite of its drawbacks? Absolutely, but only to certain types of users. The builder is very good for business websites and can also support online stores that only sell physical products. It’s certainly not the ideal Squarespace alternative but it’s much simpler to use and won’t cost you nearly as much. If the price if your biggest worry, you can get an even better deal by signing up for a HostGator hosting plan (starting only at $2.75/mo) and building your website with a third-party CMS like WordPress.

A Few Reasons for Looking Into Squarespace Alternatives

One of the main reasons for looking into alternatives is the price. Squarespace is one of the most expensive site builders out there and, unlike direct competitors like Wix and Weebly, doesn’t offer a free plan. There is a free 14-day trial that lets you test the platform but that’s about it. Although you do get good value for your money with Squarespace, we think the entry point of $12 per month is a bit too high.

Another thing to consider is the fact that Squarespace is one of the most complex all-purpose builders on the market, even though it may not seem like it at first glance. The builder’s minimalistic approach is a bit misleading because there are many hidden buttons and options that are not noticeable at first. Granted, using Squarespace is still simpler when compared to open-source platforms like WordPress but some of the alternatives on this list are a lot more user-friendly.

Squarespace isn’t winning any awards when it comes to performance either. That’s likely due to the fact that most of its templates rely heavily on high-resolution images, which tend to affect page loading speeds. You can, of course, customize templates and completely remove some of the image blocks but even with fewer images, Squarespace still tends to be slower than many of its competitors.

The last factor we wanted to mention is the lack of certain important features, especially a proper backup system. While most users can live without having access to databases or free email accounts, not having a backup system is a serious oversight in our opinion. Squarespace makes automatic backups of all sites but there’s no actual restore function. The automatic backups are there as a contingency plan, just in case, Squarespace needs to restore sites after a serious server issue. The responsibility of backing up site content lies entirely on the user, which isn’t the case with most other builders.

Final Thoughts

Even though we focused a lot on the drawbacks of Squarespace in this article, we do want to stress that we actually love the platform. However, Squarespace clearly isn’t perfect and there are plenty of companies out there that surpass it in certain areas. We tried to add a bit of variety to the list and not make it strictly about regular site builders because there’s more than one way to create a website and some websites require specialized platforms.

If you want to make the transition from Squarespace to a similar site builder as seamless as possible, your best bet is to go with Wix or Weebly. WordPress is another good option that gives you great flexibility but requires more time and effort to learn. Meanwhile, Shopify is by far the best choice for eCommerce out of all the companies on our list.

The companies on the bottom half of our list are not to be overlooked either. Pairing a hosting provider like Bluehost and SiteGround with a third-party website builder can yield very good results and tends to be cheaper. These types of platforms are also a lot better in terms of performance and features. Alternatively, you can always use the website builders offered by hosting providers like iPage and HostGator to try and get the best of both worlds.

Winner – Each of the companies on this list has something interesting to offer but we think Wix is the overall best Squarespace alternative currently available. Wix is an easier to use platform that comes with tons of useful apps and templates that are very close in terms of quality to those offered Squarespace. Perhaps even more important, the builder has a free plan and many premium packages that are much cheaper than Squarespace’s plans.