Top GoDaddy Alternatives for Hosting a Website

Alternatives to Godaddy for Web Hosting

When you start looking at website hosting providers, chances are GoDaddy is among the first options you stumble upon. You’ve likely heard of them before, they spends millions to advertise during the Superbowl, offer outrageously low prices and of course rank first on Google as well. None of this speaks to their quality of service however, only to the sheer investment they devote to promoting their brand.

Unfortunately it comes as no surprise that GoDaddy has prioritized in all the wrong ways. While their offers are attractive at face value, their clients often complain of excessive downtime, disappointing technical support and deceptive sales tactics. They are notorious for advertising prices which are laden with fine print, most notably of which is the $0.99 domain deals. Despite claiming more than 17 million customers on their About Us page, their measly 1.2/5 star rating on consumeraffairs.com speaks volumes to their actual level of service.

If the above has persuaded you to consider other options, you won’t have to look far to find better alternatives. There is a wide variety of website hosting providers on the market and we’ve hand picked some of our favorites to share. Each choice has been considered against dozens of competitors to ensure they are among the absolute best available.

Here’s the Best Alternatives to Godaddy of 2018:

  • Bluehost
  • Siteground
  • A2 Hosting
  • Stablehost

Below your’ll find a summary of each Web hosting company and links to their products, pricing and speeds.

1. Bluehost

Anyone in search of website hosting in the last decade has probably heard of Bluehost. They have become one of the largest providers since starting out in 2003, powering more than 2 million websites to date. While GoDaddy has used questionable marketing tactics and advertising gimmicks to monopolize the industry, Bluehost has had similar success by offering quality services, exceptional support and affordable prices.

A lot can be said for a company that prevails while doing things by the book. WordPress.org has long since recommended Bluehost as their number one choice for WordPress hosting, one of the most prestigious accolades you can receive in this business. They are considered by many to be the ultimate WordPress hosting platform, not just because they offer customized dashboards, effective tools and feature rich plans. They are best known for their in-house WordPress experts, available to their customers 24/7.

Reliability, Speed, and Performance

Reliability: As per the tests conducted by wpbeginner.com, website uptime for Bluehost has been quite remarkable. While the observation period was considerably shorter than that of other providers, they concluded an impressive 100% uptime over the last 30 days, performing checks every 60 seconds during that time.

Speed: According to the same studies, Bluehost websites received a B grade from Pingdom, loading in just 1.24 seconds and coming in faster than 85% of sites. Although impressive, those numbers don’t really do their platform justice. These results were based on a stock WordPress installation without caching or other optimizations, areas which can further improve website performance by a vast amount. To further gauge the results under stress, the Load Impact tool measured their website speeds up to 100 concurrent visitors. This test determined that they remained stable throughout the duration, experiencing almost no fluctuation during peak traffic periods.

To reach conclusive results, a third and final test was performed using Bitcatcha, observing the server response times from various global locations. Not only did US visitors reach the US based website within a fraction of a second, visitors across the world had less than 1 second response times as well. While a proper Content Delivery Network can improve global load times, this outcome is quite impressive from a basic website with no third party enhancements.

Performance: The automated tests from down.com are continually updated on a regular basis, placing these among the most reliable statistics available. Based on their combined testing of website performance, Bluehost is ranked among the top 5 providers in performance of those reviewed. While their average load speed of 3.10 seconds was superb, it is worth mention that they have the absolute fastest speed score of 0.30 seconds and even their worst was outstanding at 9.17 seconds.

Pricing and Support

When it comes to traditional website hosting, Bluehost plans are among the most affordable options on the internet. Their starter plan, aptly named “Basic” is well equipped to handle a single website, providing adequate storage, unmetered bandwidth and generous caps for a mere $2.75/mo. The more feature rich “Plus” and “Prime” plans essentially discard any limitations, where everything of note has been upgraded to unlimited usage for just $5.95/mo. Past that, there isn’t much difference between the two, where these packages are in fact the exact same price. Although a bit strange to say the least, there is little reason to choose “Plus” when “Prime” has a few extra bells and whistles for no extra cost.

For those targeting a specific platform such as WordPress or WooCommerce, Bluehost has custom tailored solutions designed to better serve your needs. These are enhanced services, built on a unique VPS architecture and loaded with the latest optimizations, features and security. While the traditional plans will serve the average blogger just fine, these innovative packages are the whole enchilada, constructed by WordPress developers to provide a blazing fast website framework.

Bluehost employs more than 750 industry trained professionals, working around the clock to maintain their massive hosting network. Their technicians are always available should the need arise, easily accessed via phone, live chat or the support desk. While some providers will limit your options for support by the plan chosen, Bluehost treats every client, big or small with the exact same level of quality service.

Did the latest WordPress plugin update and break your website? It could be Christmas morning and Bluehost would still have you covered, with quick yet effective help to resolve the issue. While some poor schmuck is bouncing between automated messages and case escalation at GoDaddy, the knowledgeable folks over at Bluehost will already have you back online. They know their stuff and they care, because no customer is too small. A client with the $2.95/mo Basic service takes just as much priority as their biggest clients and that stands out above all else.

Notable Features

  • WordPress centric hosting platform
  • Custom tailored solutions
  • 24/7 customer support (phone, chat, tickets)

 

2. SiteGround

When it comes to exceptional website hosting, there are few companies that can compete with SiteGround. We’ve compared them to GoDaddy in the past and they came out ahead every… single… time. They are a well established business, operating since 2004 and dedicated to providing their customers with the best service possible. They seem to pour their heart and souls into the company and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Is Siteground a good Bluehost alternative?

Reliability, Speed, and Performance

While their competitors are busy reinventing the wheel, SiteGround continues to pursue the latest innovations in website hosting. In the areas which technology has fallen behind, their team designs, develops and deploys custom solutions to better meet their needs.

Reliability: Using an in-house server monitoring platform, their technical team monitors each system in real-time, alerted to potential issues before they have even occurred. Better yet, this proactive tool doesn’t just warn the team, it is even capable of applying automated fixes immediately without user intervention. When we are living in the age of self driving cars and robot cashiers, it’s a surprise that SiteGround has to be the exception rather than the rule.

With a team of 24/7 professionals on hand and omniscient robots fixing problems, their incredible 99.996% uptime stats for the past 12 months makes sense. The difference is they let their quality do the talking and boy does it speaks volumes! While GoDaddy dumps millions into pulling new users, SiteGround has chosen to reinvest their profits to keep improving their services.

Speed: When we compared GoDaddy vs. SiteGround, the speed results were more surprising than we imagined. As per the research conducted over an extended period of time, websites hosted on SiteGround actually loaded nearly 3x faster than the competition. When testing website requests, SiteGround lost a mere 7 packets out of 500 total, compared to 70 drops by GoDaddy hosted websites.

Performance: While SiteGround checks all of the important boxes, they are unmatched when it comes to strict security and raw performance. We can’t attribute this to a single feature, but rather the complete toolbox built from various software and hardware components. When combined together, these form the blazing fast hosting platform that SiteGround is known for.

The NGINX web server is among the fastest in terms of pure speed. The HTTP/2 protocol offers accelerated page load times. Meanwhile, the custom built “SuperCacher” boosts website performance by caching frequent content for faster delivery. These are but a few of the many gears in the machine that we know as SiteGround.

Pricing and Support

Siteground hosting plans

SiteGround isn’t the cheapest option on the market, but you get what you pay for (as the saying goes anyways). With that said, their prices are actually quite reasonable considering the features that they include. The Free SSL certificate for example, offered through the Let’s Encrypt service, is included with even their introductory plan. When we check this against GoDaddy, they advertise SSL certificates as a $67.49 value, one of their primary incentives for choosing the most expensive “Ultimate” plan.

In addition, they also provide free SSH access, unlimited e-mail accounts, unlimited MySQL databases, Cloudflare CDN integration and even daily backups. When you consider all of this comes standard, combined with the blazing fast speed of SSD powered servers, the negligible difference in cost seems almost insignificant.

Their impeccable customer service department is no different, a team of compassionate individuals trained to serve you. While GoDaddy customers are jumping through hoops trying to reach an agent on the phone, or locate the intermittent live chat service, SiteGround customers have full 24/7 access to help via phone, chat or the support desk.

Notable Features

  • 24/7 customer support (phone, chat and tickets)
  • Excellent website uptime & load times
  • Strict security layers
  • Let’s Encrypt SSL integration
  • Innovative platform tools & solutions

3. A2 Hosting

You’ve probably never heard of A2 Hosting and that’s no surprise, most people haven’t. They have been around since 2003, marketing themselves as a developer friendly website host. This may concern those who aren’t tech savvy but don’t be deterred. This essentially means they strive to keep everything up to date, staying on the cutting edge of the latest technology. There is nothing worse than out of date auto installers, missing features or unpatched security flaws and A2 Hosting puts high priority on these areas.

Reliability, Speed, and Performance

A2 Hosting claims to offer 20x faster hosting than competitors, available through their Turbo Servers. Upon closer inspection, we noticed this service is only included on their most expensive plan but considering the drastic improvements, the sub $10 price tag is still quite affordable. They have taken great strides in recent years to heavily upgrade the hosting platform, bringing well deserved recognition and praise from the hosting community. They are already among our favorite alternatives to GoDaddy, and yet still continue to impress us.

Reliability: There are few companies with a better record for reliability than A2 Hosting. They have a 99.9% uptime commitment and stand by it. While this excludes events beyond their control, any downtime in which they are responsible for will incur a 5% account credit, increasing every hour in which your site is unavailable.

While we as customers can appreciate the offer of compensation, chances are you will never have to hold them to that guarantee. They have managed to achieve a nearly perfect uptime over the past 12 months, with 4 months in 2017 actually reaching a complete 100% uptime. Using statistics gathered by HostingFacts.com, A2 Hosting’s lowest month of the year still held an impressive 99.93% uptime.

Speed: According to surveys conducted by Akamai and Gomez, visitors expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less, often abandoning those which take longer. Since speed is where A2 Hosting asserts dominance, we were curious to see how they actually fared against the competition.

Based on the aggregated research from several major websites, A2 Hosting had the fastest load times of all tested providers. Over a span of 12 months, they averaged a page speeds of just 0.39 seconds, 200% faster than the industry average of 1.05 seconds. For an optimized website, that means the normal visitor will have a nearly instant load into your website.

Performance: While the performance of A2 Hosting is nothing short of incredible, customers on the low end plans miss out on the most noteworthy improvements. Features like Turbo, A2 Site Accelerator and RailGun Optimizer are what propel them ahead of the competition, yet these are reserved for the most expensive package.

Short of having those extra boosts available, both the Lite and Swift plan seem to benefit equally from the optimized network of A2 Hosting. Every website is hosted on at least a 12 core CPU, with 64 GB memory and unlimited storage on SSD drives. Although Turbo seems to be the most cost effective option, it is nice to see several optimization tools are available as a paid upgrade for the other plans as well.

Pricing and Support

The plan pricing from A2 Hosting remains competitive, with each tier priced among the industry standard. It is worth noting however that the Swift package, including 2X resources and free SSL is actually a contender with GoDaddy’s most expensive “Ultimate” plan, yet cost several dollars less per month. Better yet, A2 Hosting offers unlimited storage on blazing fast SSD drives, while GoDaddy websites are hosted on obsolete hardware, using slow mechanical hard drives which are prone to failure.

Factoring in the uptime, reliability and performance we discussed above, the prices at A2 Hosting easily provide more bang for your buck.

A company is only as good as the people behind it though, and A2 Hosting manages to shine once again. They have one of the best service departments in the industry, with amazing 24/7 support via phone, chat and ticket. If you are comfortable figuring things out yourself, their knowledge-base is also jam packed with every piece of information you could possibly need. It covers everything from the basics like how to place an order, to more advanced topics such as using SSH keys for remote access.

Notable Features

  • 24/7 customer support (phone, chat and tickets)
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited bandwidth and SSD storage
  • 20x faster loading times w/ Turbo
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee

 

4. StableHost

StableHost is the man wearing black in a room full of vibrant colors. Their website is simple and easily overlooked, they don’t have flashy advertisements or celebrity endorsements and chances are, you won’t even find them mentioned on most reviews. But what they lack in terms of excitement and appeal, they more than compensated for in price, quality and of course… stable hosting.

As one of the newer players to the game, StableHost was founded in 2009. They have a small team of just 15 employees that are passionate when it comes to website hosting. They place the utmost value on absolute simplicity and as a customer, it’s a refreshing change from what we have grown accustomed to. If you want to skip the endless comparisons, debating between bells and whistles, StableHost is the perfect example of “what you see is what you get”.

Reliability, Speed, and Performance

Reliability: While they don’t build in-house monitoring solutions or employ hordes of server monkeys, they still manage to do maintain impeccable reliability. As their name would suggest, they are nothing if not stable. In the updated tests performed by down.com, their average uptime to date was 99.94%, with the infrequent outage lasting between 1-2 minutes in length.

Much of this success can be chalked up to their usage of high availability clustered hosting. To put it simply, this means that in the event a machine start to experience issues, their automated fail-over system will detect the problem and relocate your website to a healthy node. Even the best machines in the world can collapse without warning, but thanks to the StableHost clusters, such disasters are not only avoidable but you would likely never even notice it happened.

Speed: Using the same statistics from down.com, the latest page speed tests have placed StableHost among the top 3 providers of those tested. With an average load time of 3.04 seconds and a recent best of 2.23 seconds, they are one of the few hosting companies which routinely clocked speeds in the sub 3 second category.

The raw test results are impressive to say the least, with StableHost scoring an “A” grade in nearly every check. While these do indicate one datacenter performing considerably better than the other, it appears to be a fault in the survey configurations and not indicative of the host itself.

Performance: Using website headers optimized for performance, StableHost leverages compression and caching to achieve fantastic page speeds. Deploying servers equipped with dual E5 processors, 96GB of memory and enterprise class SSD drives, their machines are built with the highest grade components on the market. And for those planning to host a WordPress site, they use Litespeed web-server which vastly out performs NGINX and Apache in speed tests.

Since website hosting providers are notorious for overloading their machines, they’ve taken it one step further and even provide a real-time graph, illustrating the resource usage for your node. This is readily accessible from your control panel and displays a breakdown of server utilization for the past 24 hours.

Pricing and Support

In contrast to GoDaddy and their questionable tactics, StableHost doesn’t double their prices and then slash them in half, giving the appearance of a flash sale. They do however provide affordable packages and substantial promotional codes, the likes of which drop their plans into the realms of barely profitable.

I purchased their Starter package 2 years ago on a triennial (3 year) billing cycle, paying a grand total of $45.00… that is $1.25/month! To put that into perspective, for the price of a McDonald’s cheeseburger, you can get unlimited SSD storage space and bandwidth, 2 Gb of DDoS Protection and 1 full CPU core. During that time, I have had just one outage lasting more than 5 minutes and within minutes of contact support, I was reminded of the scheduled maintenance taking place.

Which brings us to their support team, a small but effective group of professionals that are actively awaiting the chance to help. As I am preferential to live chat, the lack thereof is the most notable mark against them. With that said, they have been absolutely phenomenal over the phone and the support desk, often answering tickets in 10 minutes or less. When you receive top notch support from a 15 person team, yet struggle to get meaningful help from GoDaddy’s army of agents, it can certainly put things into perspective.

Notable Features

  • High availability web hosting clusters
  • 24/7 customer support (phone, tickets)
  • 45 day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited bandwidth and SSD storage
  • Let’s Encrypt SSL integration

 

Our Pick for the Best Alterntaive to Godaddy:

BLUEHOST

We’re recommending Bluehost as Top Godaddy alternative due to their Pricing (cheap), Easy to use Control panel and options they provide.

If you’re a GoDaddy customer looking towards greener pastures, or just comparing your options before getting started, any of these options will make an excellent choice. While SiteGround has become another one of the most favorable alternatives, A2 Hosting has climbed from the ashes to stake their claim in the high performance, web-hosting industry as of late. If you are more preferential to the simplistic, yet straight forward approach, StableHost may very well just be your cup of tea.

If there is another great alternative to GoDaddy you would like for us to check out, make sure to let us know. Our team is open to vet other potential options and if they make the cut, we will add them to the list of top choices for hosting a website.