Making a choice between Bluehost and GoDaddy can be quite the dilemma. In this case, you have two veteran web hosts that have been in the industry for a long, long time. And because they’ve been around for quite a while, they both know what webmasters need.
Both are One-Stop Shops
Over the years, they’ve morphed into one-stop platforms for just about every hosting requirement that you might have. Be it shared, VPS, dedicated, WordPress, reseller, or even cloud hosting, they will give it to you. So, how do you go about deciding whether to go with Bluehost or GoDaddy?
Well, pricing and features are two of the most important factors to compare for a start. On the surface, HostGator is cheaper than Bluehost since the two companies are neck-to-neck when it comes to features. But when it comes down to making your final decision, there’s a lot more to consider other than pricing and features.
The following will offer comparisons and ratings for various important factors in order to help you make an informed choice.
Here below is a tl;dr summary version of our Bluehost and GoDaddy head-to-head comparison.
The following web hosting features have been compared and scored (click on the link to scroll to each feature section): 1. reliability, 2. security, 3. scalability, 4. cancellation, 5. support and 6. extras.
Comparing the Two Companies
There are some major differences between the two companies that you should be aware of. Before we explicitly compare non-price, non-feature related items, let’s take a look.
A Comparison of cPanel Control Panels
Both Bluehost and GoDaddy bundle the cPanel Control Panel with their shared hosting packages (though more premium offerings may choose to implement an alternative option).
You can think of cPanel as “command central” for your website and its hosting.
What Can I Do with cPanel?
More specifically, the control panel allows you to do things like:
- Upload files to your website
- Manage and review your server usage
- Manage domains and subdomains
- Handle DNS management
- Adjust billing settings
- Create email addresses & forward email
- Configure anti-spam solutions
- Manage security settings
- Manage site backups
As you can see, the control panel is pretty important.
Different Hosts, Different Versions of cPanel
The way that different hosting providers implement a control panel, even if they underlying option is a specific product, differ.
For example, Provider A might provide its users with a stock cPanel option, while another provider might modify its cPanel offering differently.
This is the case with Bluehost and GoDaddy. While both companies provide cPanels that are equivalent in terms of functionality, the usability isn’t necessarily the same.
GoDaddy Offers a Stock cPanel
GoDaddy provides its users with the stock cPanel brand control panel.
This is by no means a downside — cPanel is well-known for its solid design and ease of use.
Bluehost Offers a Customized cPanel
Bluehost, however, provides its users with a custom control panel that the company built on top of the default cPanel option.
The goal of this is to provide its users with a simplified panel that works well with the offerings and options included with Bluehost hosting packages.
With that said, which (Bluehost’s or GoDaddy’s) is better? It depends.
A complete novice user to the world of web hosting might find Bluehost’s streamlined control panel more intuitive, but a user coming from another host offering cPanels might find GoDaddy’s offering less jarring.
While both Bluehost and GoDaddy broadcast that their plans offering unlimited bandwidth, the term unlimited may not mean what you think it does.
For most users, the limitations of “unlimited” resources won’t be a factor simply because they won’t have the traffic levels or serve enough content for web hosts to take note.
However, some users might easily bump into issues if their websites are large, they see a high level of traffic or both. In such instances, the web host will get in touch with you to discuss your options.
The most likely result is that you’ll be asked to move to a more premium type of hosting that is a better fit for the type of website you’re serving.
As a small business owner, is this something with which you should be concerned? Possibly. However, if you’re just getting started, the answer is likely to be no.
Both Bluehost and GoDaddy offer WordPress-specific hosting options, but which option is better?
Bluehost is one of the few hosting providers expressly recommended by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.
The two companies work closely together to ensure as seamless a workflow as possible, and the benefits of choosing a WordPress package from Bluehost include:
- 24/7 support from WordPress experts via phone, email, or live chat
- 1-click WordPress installation
- Easy scalability to larger hosting packages
- Enhanced cPanel to make site management easy
GoDaddy Will Take Care of the Technical Details for You
GoDaddy, on the other hand, offers “managed” WordPress hosting where the company handles all things related to installation, daily backups, and software updates on your behalf.
Though GoDaddy does not offer a 1-click WordPress installer, the company does offer pre-built sites and a drag and drop page editor. Furthermore, all plans include a domain name, email, and 24/7 support.
As a small business owner, which should you chose? You can’t go wrong with either option, but if you want to be more hands-off, go with GoDaddy. If you want to do the work yourself, but you don’t want a highly complex process to deal with, go with Bluehost.
Shared Hosting Packages
GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator (a peer to both companies) all offer solid shared hosting packages at great prices. How do you choose the best option for you?
For many small businesses, the cost is a concern. All offer shared hosting at similar price points, but depending on the coupons and specials available when you sign up, the final price you pay may vary. Shop around for the best deal.
All three companies offer packages that include everything you need to get up and running, and all boast top-notch customer service.
Datacenters are the physical locations where the files for your website are stored and serve.
The physical distance between datacenters and your viewers’ matters — the further apart they are, the longer it takes for your website to load.
Users are impatient — the faster your site loads, the better (especially if you are dealing with online sales where bounced users directly correlate with lost sales).
Bluehost, unfortunately, does not disclose the locations of its data servers. However, because the company is based in Utah and has a large presence there, we assume that some of its servers are there.
GoDaddy’s data centers are located in:
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Ashburn, Virginia
- Chicago, Illinois
- Los Angeles, California
- Mesa, Arizona
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Scottsdale, Arizona
- Singapore, Singapore
Speeding Up Site Loading with CDNs
It should be noted that both of these hosts do not rely solely on their datacenters to deliver your site. They both offer CDNs — or content delivery networks.
What is a CDN? Why is it Important to Use One?
CDNs are global networks of dozens of datacenters. These datacenters store copies of the most recent version of your website. When a visitor clicks on a URL to visit your site, the CDN will automatically detect their location and serve up the site from the datacenter closest to them.
Using a CDN is an important part of optimizing your site loading speed.