Bluehost vs. GoDaddy is like the boxing match between Rocky and Apollo Creed. They are two of the biggest names in web hosting today. Each hosts millions of websites around the globe.
Which web hosting company is the best?
But how do they stack up? I’ve compared GoDaddy vs. Bluehost to help you decide which hosting provider is right for your website.
From my research and experience, I’ve found Bluehost to be the best fit for WordPress-based bloggers. Bluehost is intuitive and easy enough for a beginner to use. Plus, its most basic hosting plan comes with an SSL certificate. You’ll have to pay extra for this must-have with GoDaddy.
But there are some cases in which you might prefer GoDaddy. That’s especially the case if you already use one or more GoDaddy services and want a one-stop shop for your website needs.
Here’s a quick synopsis of Bluehost vs. GoDaddy in 2022.
|Best for||Beginners & bloggers||Current GoDaddy customers|
|Strengths||Ease of Use & Pricing||Product Integration|
|Weaknesses||Focus on WordPress||Plan Caps & Exclusions|
|Promotion||$2.95/mo + Free Domain||$2.99/mo + Free Domain|
Best for pricing & simplicity.
Best for bundled services.
Keep reading my Bluehost vs. GoDaddy comparison for more details on how these popular web hosts stack up with their cheapest plan.
|Free Domain||1 year||1 year|
What Is Bluehost?
Bluehost is one of the largest and most popular web hosts on the internet.
The company’s services are particularly favored among WordPress bloggers. In fact, Bluehost has been an official WordPress recommendation and partner since 2005.
In addition to web hosting, Bluehost offers complementary products such as domain names, email services, website building tools, and web design services.
In a nutshell, Bluehost is the go-to solution for WordPress-based websites. I’ve used this hosting provider for multiple projects of my own and recommend it to many clients.
You can read more about why I like this company in my in-depth Bluehost review.
What Is GoDaddy?
GoDaddy is one of the world’s largest web services companies. Since its founding in 1997, GoDaddy has become the world’s largest domain registrar.
Not only does it offer domain registration services, but GoDaddy is also a popular web host and offers website-building and even digital storage services.
Ever since WordPress has become the most popular content management system (CM), GoDaddy has made a considerable effort to market its WordPress hosting product.
For comparison’s sake, I’ll focus on GoDaddy’s web hosting services when I pit it against Bluehost. However, if you’re looking for other features, you can check out my in-depth review of GoDaddy’s website-building services.
Bluehost vs. GoDaddy Pricing
Both Bluehost and GoDaddy offer four different pricing tiers for web hosting plans. As you can see from the below price comparison, for the first year, GoDaddy is the more expensive of the two:
|Free Domain Name||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year|
|Storage||25 GB||48 GB||100 GB||200 GB|
|Free Domain Name||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year|
However, these prices include signup discounts. As it turns out, the renewal rates at both web hosts are exactly the same.
For example, the most popular Bluehost WordPress hosting plan is its Basic package. This plan is good for one website and includes a free domain for one year, an SSL certificate, and a free content delivery network (CDN).
After the initial one-year discount, this hosting plan costs $8.99 per month.
What Is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate authenticates a website and establishes an encrypted link between a server and a web browser. Without one, your website may be left open to attack. “SSL” stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
The comparable GoDaddy shared hosting plan is the Economy plan, also good for one website and including a free domain for one year. After the initial one-year discounted term, you’ll also pay $8.99 for this plan.
That said, there are some differences. Here are a few highlights:
- Bluehost includes an SSL certificate in all web hosting plans, which is essential for any website.
- On cheaper hosting plans, GoDaddy provides you with more storage than Bluehost but caps how many databases you can have. This shouldn’t really affect you unless you’re trying to run multiple software installs or upload lots of high-quality photos.
- On more expensive hosting plans, Bluehost bundles automated backups, while GoDaddy always charges a la carte.
As for short-term pricing, I’ve found that Bluehost runs deeper discounts compared to GoDaddy.
Both web hosting services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. So you can always get your money back if you decide a service or hosting plan isn’t right for you.
However, if you decide to use another service, you’ll need to consider whether you’ll need a website migration service to help move your site from one web hosting service to another.
Due to the deeper discounts and bundled SSL, after making a price comparison, I’ve determined Bluehost’s pricing on shared hosting plans has marginally better value than GoDaddy’s.
Both Bluehost and GoDaddy also offer managed WordPress hosting plans that start around $20 per month. However, for simplicity’s sake, I’ve chosen to leave these hosting plans out of this comparison.
Speed and Performance
Any web hosting server worth its salt will do more than just hold your website. It’s imperative that your server lets users access your site quickly.
The easiest speed metric to judge is Time To First Byte (TTFB). This measures how quickly the server gets the request and sends the first byte of information back.
I recently conducted a speed test on one of my Bluehost websites, along with a GoDaddy site. The differences were negligible:
In the speed test, the Bluehost site’s TTFB came in at 0.351 seconds, while the GoDaddy site’s speed was 0.463 seconds. (As a side note, both speeds are slightly slower than what I’ve seen with InMotion Hosting, an independent competitor.)
Bluehost and GoDaddy are both solid when it comes to speed. Both web hosting services get the job done and won’t hold you back if you start optimizing for speed with caching, image compression, etc.
Web Hosting Features
When comparing web hosting plan features, check out the “3 Ds”:
- Domain names: How many can be assigned to a website on the account?
- Databases: How many unique website installations can you have on your web hosting account?
- Disk space: How much stuff can you put on your server?
If you want only a super-cheap WordPress hosting solution for one small website, you should consider GoDaddy’s Economy package or Bluehost’s Basic plan.
Both hosting plans limit you to one website and curb either your storage (Bluehost) or databases (GoDaddy).
Otherwise, all of their core features are basically the same. They both include the cPanel control panel if you want to run non-WordPress apps. They both have similar email and free domain offerings in addition to technical setups.
And they both provide “unlimited storage” and unlimited bandwidth (technically, “unmetered bandwidth” and unlimited website add-ons) for higher-tier hosting plans.
Both Bluehost’s and GoDaddy’s uptime is excellent, at 99.98% and 99.97%, respectively.
GoDaddy offers an uptime guarantee– if the web host fails to maintain at least 99.9% uptime, you can request credit worth 5% of your monthly web hosting fee. You can use that credit to purchase an additional product or service.
So be careful, or you could end up spending more money just to take advantage of the guarantee.
One big difference in features is the SSL certificate. SSLs are essential for any website now. If you don’t have one, every browser will throw up a security warning.
Bluehost includes a basic free SSL certificate on all hosting plans. It’s strong enough for nearly every site, and it’s free.
GoDaddy includes a premium SSL certificate only at the higher tiers and encourages the purchase of one at lower levels.
Another differentiating feature is automated backups. For GoDaddy, it’s a paid feature only.
Bluehost includes backups, but at irregular intervals. Although this is better than none, it’s best to have a dedicated backup solution.
With the exception of SSLs, Bluehost and GoDaddy are about the same when it comes to web hosting features. They both get the job done.
Editor’s Note: No matter which service you choose, you should budget for a dependable backup solution (such as the JetPack plugin).
When comparing web hosting services like GoDaddy and Bluehost, it’s important to examine their WordPress integration abilities.
After all, WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. In fact, about 64 million websites– including this one– are run on WordPress. And nearly 700 ew WordPress sites go live every single day.
What Is WordPress Hosting?
With that in mind, it’s clear that Bluehost has the upper hand. The web host is renowned for its seamless WordPress integration. And WordPress itself has made Bluehost an official recommendation. (Other WordPress-recommended web hosts include DreamHost and SiteGround.)
On the other hand, GoDaddy has worked hard to “up” its WordPress game. One of the best features that GoDaddy offers for WordPress sites is a selection of exclusive premium themes. However, Bluehost has aligned itself so closely with the CMS that it’s nearly a no-brainer. It offers so many WordPress features and functionalities that you’d lose out on by not choosing this web host, if using WordPress is important to you.
Hands down, Bluehost is the clear winner here. It’s a go-to for anyone looking to build a WordPress site.
Ease of Use
When you sign up for a shared hosting plan, you don’t get a website. Instead, you get a backend– a dashboard from which you can operate your web hosting account. Here, you can add domains, install files, manage databases, install WordPress, monitor bandwidth, etc.
Since what you get is the backend of a server, it’s not going to be super user-friendly.
Good web hosting companies strike a balance between convenience and control. Their backends and account dashboards should be clean and straightforward.
Bluehost uses a backend control panel called cPanel for all accounts. cPanel is the industry standard. Typically, it comes with an unpolished but straightforward interface.
Bluehost has really streamlined its backend, compared to many other web hosts that use cPanel. The company has organized it with different tabs to reduce the clutter. Bluehost has also added several educational options, in addition to a big blue Install WordPress button.
Years ago, GoDaddy had a proprietary backend that was sleeker and more straightforward than cPanel. But it became frustrating, limiting, and unwieldy if you ever tried to build out multiple sites on the account.
In 2013, GoDaddy officially switched over to the industry-standard cPanel. Like Bluehost, GoDaddy customized it a bit to make it more user-friendly. However, it’s still a bit unpolished.
Bluehost completely redesigned its signup flow and hosting dashboard in 2019.
The new design is clean, minimalist, and super-straightforward (especially if you plan on creating a WordPress site).
In fact, it’s so sleek that I updated my Website Setup guide to use Bluehost’s screenshots.
That’s not to say GoDaddy’s usability is not terrible. In fact, it’s way better than it used to be.
The problem with GoDaddy is that, as a platform, it’s trying to do too much with one screen. Accounting, email, and everything else all crowd into the hosting screen. The backend just isn’t as intuitive as Bluehost’s.
If you already have all your other web services at GoDaddy, then you might not be too bothered. But in a head-to-head comparison, Bluehost is simply much better.
If you’re already using another hosting provider and are considering a switch to either GoDaddy or Bluehost, you may be wondering how easy each service makes the move.
Migrating a website can be a real headache if you don’t know 100% what you’re doing.
With both web hosts, website migration is relatively simple and straightforward.
However, if you need assistance, I’ve found Bluehost to offer the better service.
Bluehost’s website migration service does all of the work for you for a one-time fee of $149.99. That includes migration for as many as five websites and 20 email accounts.
However, certain websites may qualify for free Bluehost WordPress migration.
GoDaddy doesn’t offer a migration service that takes care of all the work for you. If you don’t have a WordPress site, you’ll have to do the migration manually. That means you’ll have to download all of your files ad then upload them again using the GoDaddy control panel.
If you’re transferring a WordPress website, GoDaddy makes it a bit easier. The cPanel will walk you through the process.
Again, Bluehost makes it easy. For sites that qualify, you can’t beat a free migration service. And for a relatively low one-time fee, Bluehost could take care of the whole shebang for you.
Service and Support
Now, judging customer support is tricky. You need to rely on anecdotes, especially if you haven’t used customer support much.
Plus, each phone or email rep is an individual person. Every experience will vary.
Based on my experience with both companies – and talking with people who use both as well – I’ve found GoDaddy’s support to be adequate.
I’ve always had to wait only a few minutes on the phone. I’ve always had to explain a couple of times what my issue is. But overall, the support team has gotten the job done and resolved my problems.
I have no GoDaddy horror stories. But the support has never been super-special.
On the other hand, Bluehost has always provided me with fast, solid support. I’ve spoken with the team via phone and email and had great experiences with them every time.
Bluehost has highly rated customer service (especially for non-technical issues like billing, etc.) and seems to deserve it.
But this is all anecdotal. So let’s look at the hard customer support facts.
GoDaddy and Bluehost both have large knowledge bases. GoDaddy seems to skew towards its own products rather than hosting help.
Both offer support across a range of channels, including phone and chat.
The main difference is that Bluehost allows for “self-triage.” You pick your support issue before calling and then move to a ticketing system.
On the other hand, GoDaddy pushes everything to the main phone line to let account reps and/or the phone tree sort issues without a ticketing system.
I’ve found Bluehost’s approach to be much more preferable. If you’re calling about a WordPress issue, you won’t be stuck in the same queue as billing question people. There are fewer transfers between reps, and I feel more in control because every single issue has the same reference ticket.
I’ve had multiple people write to me about frustrations with GoDaddy. GoDaddy seems great if you can answer on the same call. However, anything that requires multiple calls just falls apart.
Reviewing customer support is always a challenge.
GoDaddy is fine, especially if you’re already using its products (domains, hosting, email, etc.)
However, if you have web hosting-specific issues that require multiple interactions, Bluehost is a better option.
Products and prices change all the time. The web hosting product that you purchase now might be different a year later.
I’ve been watching the web services industry for years. It’s become clear that when purchasing a multiyear product, it’s important to think about how the company’s structure and direction will influence its product over the course of several years.
For example, a company’s customer service doesn’t slide just because. It slides because its focus treats support as a cost rather than an investment.
Bluehost and GoDaddy actually share a lot in common. Both are part of the largest and deep-pocketed web services companies in the world. Both have the scale and resources to operate massive, well-resourced web operations. Both have been around for quite a while.
However, their direction and product focus is quite different. Both have strong suits, but it’s important to match their strong suits to your needs.
Bluehost has doubled down on its bread-and-butter web hosting solution. In fact, it’s doubled down on self-hosted WordPress hosting.
Bluehost promotes a few sister brands like Constant Contact. And it will integrate some third-party services like Office365. But by and large, Bluehost has built its products, services, and checkout flow to revolve around a self-hosted WordPress website.
Newfold Digital, Bluehost’s parent company, has a focus on broad appeal, high usability, and core focus. The company is highly involved in the WordPress open-source project. In fact, Endurance has financial stakes in Automattic, the for-profit commercial arm of WordPress that runs WordPress.com.
GoDaddy has doubled down on being the “platform for small business.” The company has acquired design and development shops in addition to web security companies, accounting software, drag-and-drop builders, photo storage suites, and basically every type of software that a small business would need to run.
It’s telling that GoDaddy’s main menu doesn’t even list web hosting. Its focus is on domains, websites, and marketing.
Now, that could be a good thing if you want a one-stop-shop. However, that structure does lead to “upsell-itis,” for which Bluehost is famous. Every product complements another. That can be convenient but also troublesome if you just want a shared hosting service.
If you’re running a self-hosted WordPress website, Bluehost will likely be a better fit. That’s especially true if you’re a beginner or blogger– Bluehost’s core market.
On the other hand, if you own a business and already use GoDaddy products, you’ll likely find it convenient to stick with that company and keep everything in one place.
Which Is Better?
Who wins in the contest of Bluehost vs. GoDaddy? It depends on what you’re looking for
Best for pricing & simplicity.
Best for bundled services.
If you’re looking for the overall best deal on shared hosting and are limited to choosing either GoDaddy and Bluehost, Bluehost is the better bet.
Keep in mind that both Bluehost and GoDaddy offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. So you can always try the product and get a refund if you’re not satisfied.
- Check out InMotion Hosting if you’re looking for an independent (i.e., not owned by a holding corporation) web hosting company with a focus on technical service and high performance.
- SiteGround is also good if you don’t mind a custom backend.
- Bluehost’s sister brand, HostGator, offers cheaper hosting with unlimited features and better performance.