GoDaddy vs. Squarespace – Picking the Right Hosting Provider
Though they cater to different audiences and have carved a unique niche for themselves, GoDaddy vs. Squarespace in a way are still competitors. If the word “Hosting” and “Website Building” is involved, there has to be competition. The two offer many of the same services, including domain registration, hosting, and website builders, among others. Therefore, choosing between GoDaddy and Squarespace isn’t always as simple as it may seem. Don’t worry, though, because we’re here to help.
In this article, we’re going to pit Squarespace and GoDaddy against each other to find out what each of them brings to the table. To that end, we’re going to compare various vital aspects such as pricing, features, performance, customer support, and more. By the end of this article, we hope to help you decide which of these two companies would be the better fit for you and your website.
It’s no secret that GoDaddy shines in certain areas while Squarespace does better in others. But how do they stack up against each other overall? Not everybody is interested in signing up with one of these companies to benefit from a particular type of service. Some people want the full package, an all-in-one solution. With that in mind, let’s find out which of these two companies offers the best overall bang for your buck.
Hosting Plans and Prices
Right off the bat, it’s pretty easy to see that GoDaddy and Squarespace aren’t quite at the same level when it comes to web hosting. On the one hand, both companies offer multiple packages to choose from to those interested in shared hosting. On the other hand, those looking for different types of hosting like WordPress or VPS don’t have much choice but to go with GoDaddy in this particular scenario because Squarespace doesn’t offer these options. Even if Squarespace were to start this option, GoDaddy, as we covered in our in-depth GoDaddy review, is miles ahead from many of its competitors.
Squarespace has four shared hosting plans to choose from, each of which seems to target a specific type of potential customer. The price difference between the cheapest plan and the most expensive one is quite substantial. But so are the features you can expect in return. And that's what makes it amongst the most preferred GoDaddy alternatives. GoDaddy, on the other hand, gives you a choice between four different plans. However, the price differences aren’t all too big from one tier to the next. That said, the features you get with any shared hosting plan at GoDaddy aren’t anything to write home about.
Squarespace’s prices start at $12 per month with the Personal plan and can reach up to $40 per month with the Advanced Commerce plan. We've seen how Squarespace, as compared to Bluehost, is extremely expensive for a starter plan. Nonetheless, customers can expect to get the best value for their money with the second tier, Business, which goes for $18 per month. The two most expensive plans seem to be focused primarily on eCommerce. If you don’t have an online store, it’s probably a good idea to go for one of the first two tiers and save some money in the process.
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GoDaddy’s cheapest tier, Economy, starts at only $6 per month and it’s the most expensive one. That's nearly 60% more costly than GoDaddy's alternative option – HostMonster. GoDaddy's best value plan here seems to be the third one, Ultimate, which sits at $13 per month. All the four shared hosting plans offered by GoDaddy come with many of the same features, but you can expect more resources to work with if you’re willing to pay for one of the higher tiers.
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Both Squarespace and GoDaddy offer customers the option of paying a monthly recurring subscription or a one-time yearly fee for most of their shared hosting plans. The only exception to this is GoDaddy’s Economy plan, which you’ll have to pay for at least three months in advance. This is important to note because you can expect to pay less in the long run but more upfront with a yearly subscription. Besides, certain features and incentives are only available to those who purchase an annual plan.
Most of the plans offered by the two companies come with unlimited bandwidth and storage along with support for an unlimited number of domains. Again, GoDaddy’s Economy plan is the exception. The plan does come with unmetered bandwidth but only includes 100 GB of disk space and can support a single website. Similar features can be seen in not just GoDaddy and Bluehost products but other leading hosting services as well, albeit the majority of them are much cheaper.
Both GoDaddy and Squarespace also offer free SSL certificates and a free domain name, along with necessary analytics tools. Free business email addresses are included with any of GoDaddy’s four plans. Squarespace users can also get access to these types of emails but not for free.
Squarespace aims to provide an all-in-one solution for users who don’t want to bother messing around with other platforms. While that does have its advantages, it also prevents customers from working with platforms such as WordPress. Meanwhile, GoDaddy doesn’t have any restrictions like that and even offers several hosting plans specifically designed for WordPress users, which makes it amongst the best Bluehost alternatives.
GoDaddy has four WordPress plans to choose from, ranging in price from $7 per month (Basic) to $30 per month (Pro 5+). The final plan is customizable in the sense that users can opt for more storage space and support for any additional websites for an extra monthly fee. The cost can ultimately get pretty spicy (as much as $230 per month), but you can expect good value in return if you’re looking to host a vast number of websites.
All WordPress plans include a free domain name, free daily backups, free sign-up forms, and automatic regular malware scans. Aside from Basic, all other plans also include one-click installs and built-in SEO wizards. Meanwhile, Pro 5+ users can expect several other excellent features such as free site maintenance tools, real-time performance and uptime monitoring, and a free SSL certificate.
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VPS hosting is perfect for users who require more raw power and resources than what a shared plan can offer. Squarespace isn’t targeting users who run websites that might require Virtual Private Servers and is therefore not offering this hosting. By comparison, GoDaddy targets a much broader market, including users who may want to opt for VPS over a shared hosting plan.
GoDaddy has four VPS options to choose between, each offering slightly better specs than the last. Prices start at $20 per month with the Economy tier and can reach up to $75 per month with the Ultimate plan. All plans come with unmetered bandwidth, three dedicated IPs, and a free 1-year SSL certificate.
Similar to what we learned in GoDaddy vs. DreamHost, all VPS hosting plans have three levels of management – Self-Managed, Managed, and Fully Managed. These essentially dictate how much control you want to have over your server. If you know what you’re doing, you’ll probably want to go with Self-Managed, or Managed if you still need a bit of help. If you choose Fully Managed, GoDaddy will take care of most of the technical stuff for you so you can sit back and relax. While that may seem ideal, it’s worth noting that allowing GoDaddy to manage your server will cost you more than if you were to do it yourself.
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Once again, Squarespace doesn’t have anything to offer in this department, though that’s not exactly surprising. Dedicated servers are generally used by big business and websites that receive a large amount of traffic regularly. Dedicated servers are similar to Virtual Private Servers. However, these give you even more resources to work with and deliver the best possible performance.
GoDaddy offers four dedicated plans to choose from with excellent specs even at the lowest tier. Prices here start at $90 per month with the Economy plan and reach up to a whopping $180 per month with the Ultimate plan. Dedicated servers are quite expensive, and there isn’t an option that would be considered cheap by most users. However, you do get what you pay for.
Just like with VPS, all these plans come with unmetered bandwidth, three dedicated IPS, and a free 1-year SSL certificate. The three levels of management mentioned in the previous section are available here as well and work in a very similar way. Given the high initial cost of these plans, it’s generally a good idea to try managing the server yourself even if it may seem intimidating at first because going for the Managed or Fully Managed options will add quite a bit to your monthly bill.
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GoDaddy vs. Squarespace Key Features
In this section, we’re going to take a look at what Squarespace and GoDaddy have to offer in terms of key features. Different people have different ideas in regards to what represents a key feature. For example, some might be mainly interested in website builders while others may want to know about eCommerce tools. You’ll probably find some of the features discussed below to be more crucial than others, but it’s important to note that they are all important in their own right.
Registering a new domain with Squarespace will set you back $20 per year, which is a bit pricier compared to what other companies offer. That's the reason why Squarespace and its alternatives don't fare well against GoDaddy. However, renewing your domain costs the same each time, and every domain you register with the company also comes with a free SSL certificate and WHOIS privacy protection. Also, you can get a free domain for one year when you sign up for any of the annual hosting plans.
GoDaddy has held the title of world’s most popular domain registrar for many years now. Registering a domain with them will only set you back $4.88 for the first year and $17.99 upon renewal. GoDaddy also includes WHOIS privacy protection, as well as an SSL certificate, but only with specific hosting plans. Likewise, you can get a free domain by signing up to some of GoDaddy’s hosting plans, though not all of them, as is the case with Squarespace.
Squarespace’s website builder is arguably the primary reason why you would want to pick them instead of any of their competitors. The company’s builder is famous for its flexibility and ease of use, allowing you to create beautiful looking websites in no time. Squarespace offers a wide variety of great-looking themes, many of which were created by professional designers. There are also plenty of customization options to work with, so you shouldn’t have any issues designing the site of your dreams.
Squarespace’s entire business revolves around its website builder, which is included for free with any of its hosting plans. It would probably be fair to say that customers pay for the website builder itself, and the hosting is included for free. Whichever way you look at it, Squarespace’s website builder is great and worth checking out.
GoDaddy’s website builder isn’t too shabby either, though it is a bit more limited in terms of its capabilities. GoDaddy uses something called ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) to create websites for users based on their preferences automatically. This system creates fairly generic websites, but you can then jump in to edit and customize them to a certain extent. When experimenting with GoDaddy and WordPress, we saw how inversely successful these companies were.
Because you’re not building your site from scratch, however, you don’t have as much control here compared to Squarespace. GoDaddy’s website builder was designed with speed and ease-of-use in mind but can’t hold a candle to Squarespace in terms of design and customization. It's quite similar to comparing Bluehost and Squarespace. Except, Bluehost doesn't have a website builder as GoDaddy and Squarespace do. Talking about website building, GoDaddy offers four different plans for its website builder, with prices ranging from $6 to $20 per month. Web hosting is included for free, and you can also benefit from 1-month free trial regardless of which plan you choose.
Squarespace doesn’t appear to offer any MySQL databases with any of its hosting plans. GoDaddy, on the other hand, does include at least 1 GB worth of MySQL databases with all of its plans. If you need more than that, you have the option of going for one of the pricier plans that come with unlimited databases.
Both Squarespace and GoDaddy offer domain emails with most of their hosting plans, but there are some differences in regards to how you can acquire them. Squarespace has a partnership with Google that allows users access to the company’s G Suite. The suite includes features such as business email addresses, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and more. However, the G Suite comes at a cost, and customers must pay an extra monthly fee to take advantage of these features.
GoDaddy has a similar partnership but with Microsoft that comes with many of the same features. These include domain emails, storage, and online calendar, among others. GoDaddy offers free access to the Microsoft Office 365 suite with its shared hosting plans but only for the first year. After that, customers are required to pay a monthly fee for the service, similar to how Squarespace does it.
Interestingly enough, Squarespace doesn’t appear to offer users the option of manually backing up their websites. The company does make automatic backups of all sites but only stores them for about 30 days. GoDaddy has a similar way of doing things when it comes to automatic backups, though the company also offers daily backups in addition to monthly ones. The bad news is that GoDaddy provides this as an optional paid service for many of its hosting plans. The good news is that the company also gives users the option to back up their websites when needed manually.
Both Squarespace and GoDaddy offer a nice variety of eCommerce-focused features for those looking to build an online store. These include things like email marketing tools, SEO tools, advanced analytics, social media integration, abandoned cart recovery, and more. The two companies are relatively similar when it comes to eCommerce, though it’s worth noting that Squarespace does enforce transactions fees for two out of its three hosting plans that feature eCommerce integration. On the flip side, the company also allows users to sell certain digital products, which makes it a great Wix alternative, while GoDaddy is just about physical goods.
The other main difference between the two is related to the pricing model. Squarespace integrates eCommerce tools directly into its hosting plans, albeit only the two most expensive ones are designed specifically for this purpose. Meanwhile, GoDaddy gives users the option of adding an online store alongside any of its hosting plans. This gives customers more flexibility but also sets them back $30 per month, which is more than Squarespace’s $26 Basic Commerce plan but without the hosting. That said, GoDaddy does offer a 14-free trial for those who want first to test its eCommerce tools.
Performance and Reliability
Low prices and helpful features are nice to have, but those things won’t mean much at the end of the day if your website is struggling to stay afloat due to technical issues. The overall performance of your website is just as outstanding as any of the other aspects mentioned so far. Maybe even more so for a lot of people. So how do Squarespace and GoDaddy stack up in the performance department?
To answer that very question, we’re now going to take a look at two fundamental aspects related to performance. Namely, server uptime and page loading speed. Although in an ideal world these factors would be constant and easy to predict, uptime and speed tend to fluctuate from year to year so the statistics shown here may very well change if you’re reading this in the future. As of right now, though, these stats are solid and should give you a good idea of what to expect from Squarespace and GoDaddy in terms of overall performance.
GoDaddy wasn’t always one of the fastest hosting providers around, but that situation seems to have changed in recent times. Our data indicate that the average page loading speed at GoDaddy for the past couple of years or so has been as low as 517 ms. While there are other companies out there that can perform even better, 517 ms is a very respectable loading speed and quite surprising given that GoDaddy has suffered from plenty of technical issues in the past.
Squarespace also performs pretty well in this department but is a bit slower than GoDaddy on average. Data indicates that users can expect the average page loading speed to sit at around 627 ms at the moment. That’s certainly not bad, and most users will hardly notice the difference between 517 ms and 627 ms. However, every little advantage counts in this highly competitive market, and this difference is bound to influence some people’s decision over which company to choose.
Both Squarespace and GoDaddy generally have very reliable uptimes, which means you’ll rarely have to worry about your site being down regardless of which of these two companies you pick. That said, some slight differences between the two may ultimately sway those who are still on the fence.
GoDaddy was able to maintain an average uptime of 99.97% over the past couple of years. That’s pretty close to the company’s 99.99% uptime guarantee but still no quite there. Meanwhile, Squarespace was able to maintain an average uptime of 99.95% over the same period. Just a bit lower than GoDaddy, but Squarespace doesn’t make any guarantees regarding uptimes, and these results are overall perfect for both companies.
Regardless of your experience level as a webmaster, chances are sooner, or later something will go wrong with one of your sites. When that happens, you’ll likely have to rely on support to give you a helping hand or possibly even fix the problem for you. Customer support is vital and can be a real deal-breaker in certain instances. So how to Squarespace and GoDaddy fair in this department?
Both companies offer multiple channels that you can contact them through, but there are some differences. Squarespace offers 24/7 email support alongside a live chat option that’s available Monday through Friday. However, the company doesn’t provide phone support. GoDaddy, on the other hand, does offer 24/7 phone support along with 24/7 live chat. However, you can’t contact them through email.
The support agents of both companies are generally very knowledgeable and helpful, so everything mainly boils down to personal preference here. If phone support is a must, you’ll want to pick GoDaddy. But if you would instead contact your provider via email, Squarespace is the way to go. In addition to the channels mentioned above, Squarespace and GoDaddy also offer very extensive knowledge bases, tutorials, blogs, and other self-help resources. GoDaddy has more resources to offer in this department, but Squarespace makes it easier to find what you’re looking for thanks to its streamlined help center.
GoDaddy vs. Squarespace – Our Pick
Squarespace and GoDaddy target different audiences, a fact that is immediately apparent upon looking at the services on offer. Squarespace is more of a niche company than GoDaddy and targets customers who are either inexperienced when it comes to setting up and launching a website or don’t want to bother with the technical aspects of this process.
Squarespace provides precisely what it advertises – an all-in-one solution that includes hosting, domain registration, eCommerce tools, and a world-class website builder. The company’s services are more expensive compared to many of its competitors, including GoDaddy, but you do get exactly what you’d expect, all in a straightforward package.
GoDaddy also offers everything included in a Squarespace package, but you will have to pay separately for certain things. That’s not ideal for casual users, but it’s a significant advantage for tech-savvy ones. GoDaddy offers a lot more versatility than Squarespace along with many more hosting plans to choose from. If you require more than what a shared plan can offer, there’s no competition between these two as GoDaddy is the only one here that offers WordPress hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers.
If you want to build an excellent little blog or website that looks great with minimal effort and can be used as an online store if needed, Squarespace is an excellent option. However, we’ll have to give the win to GoDaddy here as the company has overall more to offer and you can expect better performance from them, though not by too much. Squarespace would easily take the win if the comparison had been strictly about who has the best website builder. As it stands, though, we aimed to compare all the crucial aspects potential customers might be interested in and so in this GoDaddy vs. Squarespace battle, GoDaddy takes the crown this time.