When it comes to hosting your website, GoDaddy and HostGator are names you may recognise. While HostGator has dominated web-hosting for more than a decade, GoDaddy has expanded its domain business and taken a large share of the market in recent years. As these industry giants are in direct competition for your business, their plans and pricing appear almost identical at first glance.
Before we dive into the gritty details, we will first look at the packages being offered by each company. Once we know what our options are, we can read between the lines and figure out who actually does it better. On the surface, they are almost indistinguishable, yet there is a clear winner between these providers!
GoDaddy offers three tiers of shared hosting plans, starting with the “Economy” package at $3.99/month. This is an affordable option with certain limitations, designed exclusively for hosting a single website. In addition to the unmetered bandwidth, it also includes 100GB storage space, 25 sub-domains and up to 10 1GB MySQL Databases. If you intend to run more than one website or need less restrictive options, you will have to consider the other plans instead.
When it comes to website hosting, the “Deluxe” and “Ultimate” packages are comparable. Both options include unlimited websites, data storage and sub-domains. While the “Ultimate” plan includes some perks such as a free SSL certificate, the most notable upgrade is the increased hardware allocation. Processing power and memory are the resources a website uses to operate, where this particular package provides double that of the other plans.
Are the “Ultimate” package upgrades enough to justify paying nearly twice the price? The short answer is probably not. Shared hosting means that server resources are split between all customers on a specific machine, sometimes numbering into the hundreds. In theory, the extra power would give your website(s) a performance advantage. However, this doesn’t always translate into the real world. There are simply too many factors in website hosting for this to be a noteworthy selling point, and the rest is negligible at best.
HostGator also provides three similar tiers of shared hosting plans, starting with the “Hatchling” package at $3.95/month. In contrast to GoDaddy’s Economy plan, this has considerably fewer restrictions on the usage.
While there is a one website maximum, features such as storage space and bandwidth are unmetered, meaning there is no defined limit. Instead, if they detect unusually high usage, they will contact you to discuss the matter or suggest an upgraded plan.
The second tier “Baby” and third-tier “Business” plans are more inline to GoDaddy offers.
Baby is a minimal upgrade, where it just removes the limit of 1 active website. Their Business plan, however, is the most prominent, including a free dedicated IP address, SSL certificate and VoIP Phone service. While these are not necessary services for every customer, they can prove to be essential for certain websites in the business sector.
GoDaddy vs HostGator: Who Has The Best Performance?
When it comes to website hosting, performance and uptime are absolute keys. Google has determined that 53% of mobile visitors will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. As such, a fast website will see an increase in returning visitors, less bounce rate and generate greater revenue.
In November 2017, SayWebHosting.com conducted an in-depth analysis of GoDaddy vs HostGator website performance. Over the course of 30 days, they used tools such as GTmetrix and Pingdom to take snapshots of key statistics at recurring intervals.
During this period, HostGator came out as the clear winner, both in website uptime and page loading speeds. The Pingdom benchmarks indicate that HostGator pages loaded nearly twice as fast, taking 1.52 seconds versus GoDaddy at 3.11 seconds. Tests performed on GTMetrix confirmed this to be the case as well, clocking HostGator pages at just 0.8 seconds compared to GoDaddy at 1.6 seconds.
Who Has The Best Customer Service?
It may be years before you ever need to contact support, but when that time comes, a prompt and helpful response is expected. Having expert technicians accessible 24/7 will ultimately determine if you are using a reliable provider. To that extent, GoDaddy and HostGator have made nearly every support channel available, including live chat and phone for urgent matters. Less immediate questions or issues can be sent via e-mail, support ticket or even posted on their community forums. Depending on your personal preferences, though, one of these may work better for you.
GoDaddy Customer Support
GoDaddy has put an obvious priority on their phone support, placing the number at the top of their website. If you prefer speaking with a live person, you may favour this service. Other contact methods, however, are not so useful, where the option for live chat is somewhat buried and not always available. It seems to consistently disappear at random intervals, replaced with vague text that simply states “Unavailable – Please Call”. For those less inclined to sit through automated message prompts, this can be a major deterrent.
HostGator Customer Support
HostGator, on the other hand, favours their Live Chat service, with multiple buttons to start a conversation on every page. Their operators are quick to respond, knowledgeable of their services and seem genuinely happy to assist. Better yet, both Live Chat and Phone Support are available 24/7, meaning you can reach them through any means should the need arise.
Winner Between these Two Hosting Companies?
Our Pick: HostGator
These are both award-winning industry leaders, firmly established at the top of the web-hosting market. With subtle differences in the package features and plan pricing, we have to look at the specific details to determine which is the better choice.
While individual user experiences will, of course, vary, based on our own independent research, we can safely declare HostGator to be the preferred host between these two industry giants.
Taking into account the considerable performance differences, exceptional customer service and less restrictive plans, HostGator simply offers more for less. At the end of the day, both providers are strong candidates, yet HostGator has definite advantages in every area of importance.