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HostGator vs GoDaddy – Market Leading Comparison

It’s easy to get confused between HostGator and GoDaddy when looking for a web host provider. After all, these are the two giants in the web hosting industry that many have come to trust. However, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each web host can make it easier to choose the best fit for your website.

A quick comparison shows that HostGator and GoDaddy are not too different, and in fact share a few similarities.

Instant Perks on Show

Both hosting providers offer an uptime guarantee of 99.9%, and 24/7 live chat, phone, and email customer support. They also provide tutorials and knowledgebase articles where you’ll find solutions to problems and answers to questions you may have.

The main difference between these two web hosts, which may influence your final decision, is the type of security offered. GoDaddy performs backup and malware scans daily while HostGator only does this on a weekly basis. An even closer look at the other differences and similarities between HostGator and GoDaddy is discussed below.

Here below is a tl;dr summary version of our of HostGator 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.


CompanyMain featuresPriceRatingMore
GoDaddy review
Free domain name
Unlimited bandwidth
24/7/365 support
45-day money back guarantee
More features at godaddy.com
From 12.99 /mo71% score Visit website
Read reviews
HostGator review
  • Unlimited disk space

  • Unlimited bandwidth

  • 24/7/365 support

  • 30-day money back
  • guarantee

More features at hostgator.com
From $2.75/month67% score Visit website
Read reviews

Reliability & Uptime Guarantees: What Happens If the Host Goes Down?

Whether you like it or not, you’ll need to be aware of your website’s uptime and potential dangers of downtime. Luckily, both hosts are aware and put priority measures in place to avoid the costly consequences of any major downtime.

Furthermore, there are guaranteed compensation packages on both ends.

HostGator – 3/5

HostGator provides you with an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. If they fail to live up to this expectation of service, you can apply to have a credit applied to your following month of hosting.

As long as you also provide a good reason because they do have discretion regarding whether to apply for the credit.

GoDaddy – 2/5

GoDaddy talks about their 99.9% uptime guarantee on their site but they don’t seem to mention what, if any, credit you receive if they fail to honor this commitment. Anyhow, there is a promised guarantee, therefore there must be compensation.

What Security Measures and Backup Protocols Are in Place?

Unless you are a super tech-nerd and have unlimited work hours or have one on your team, you’ll want some security measures in place. Let’s see how team gator and team daddy fare in this department. Data can be compromised in many ways – consider this, you absolutely need as much security as your provider can handle.

Common ways how data compromisation includes:

  1. Hacking
  2. Power failures
  3. Natural disasters in all forms
  4. Theft of hardware
  5. Deletion (accidental or purposeful)
  6. Physical damage (uncontrolled factor)
  7. Malfunctions (mostly mechanical)
  8. Malware and viruses
  9. Human errors

HostGator – 3/5

Backups and malware scans are done weekly. This is obviously not as good as doing them daily so you should do both tasks every day yourself. If you wish to use a HostGator backup to restore your site, they’ll charge you to do it.

HostGator data centers are extremely security-conscious so they have numerous layers of protection of your data and of the physical equipment (such as servers, etc.)

Staff Hours and Availability

Technical and admin personnel staff the centers 24/7/365 so problems can be rectified as fast as they possibly can, often without people even knowing problems existed. Entrances are fully secure and protected by biometric locks, CCTV monitoring 24/7/365 and other physical protection layers.

They have an uninterrupted power supply cooling systems to stop servers overheating. Fire suppressors, diesel generators, smoke detectors and many other tools. Obviously, they won’t reveal all of their security secrets.

GoDaddy – 4/5

Daily backups and malware scans are carried out and your entire website and its files are backed up and stored in the cloud. You pay a tiny monthly fee for this protection and it’s well worth it to avoid facing a crisis where you may lose a folder or everything related to your site.

GoDaddy is so huge that they’re a major target for hackers. Systems block an average of 2.5 million brute force attacks every hour. All hosting plans provide SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption, the most powerful protection available. Having deep pockets means GoDaddy can spend more on security so customers will have peace of mind.

Security in their massive data center is a critical component of their business. They have an uninterrupted power supply. There are various powerful cooling systems to keep servers and other equipment at the right temperature. Real people monitor everything 24/7/365 via CCTV so if intruders break in or if there are any problems with any of their equipment, there are people on the spot to fix such problems.

What Happens If You Want to Upgrade to a Better Plan Mid-Contract?

If you are starting a small business, you may not think you need much from your host. But what happens if you start to get more traffic? You might be ready to move from shared to VPS hosting. First, what is the difference between the two plans?

Shared hosting is a type of web hosting service where the service provider uses one server to house multiple websites, each with their own domain name. Drawbacks of shared hosting are:

  • Additional security risks
  • Risk of your site being slowed down if another site on your server has a major traffic spike

For smaller sites, shared hosting offers the most affordable hosting option.

VPS Hosting

VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server) shares the same physical hardware as other sites but allows the site owner more access and security options than shared hosting.

VPS Hostgator
HostGator has generously packed VPS plans with fair resources. 

Security issues and traffic spikes on other sites are unlikely to affect your site if you use a VPS, however it is more costly than shared hosting. Overall, there are a number of reasons why a VPS plan can be beneficial as opposed to a shared plan:

  • Easier scalability
  • Easier backup availability
  • Freedom of configuration
  • Simpler up or downgrading
  • Custom security options
  • Huge, often unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Better support
  • Less likelihood of lacking resources
  • Increased functionality and perks

It’s generally a safer option, although pricier.

HostGator – 5/5

You can choose a yearly or monthly contract for your website hosting. This gives you flexibility because you may wish to upgrade if your site really takes off.

Upgrades will only incur a fee that amounts to the difference between your existing plan and the new one.

GoDaddy – 5/5

If you want to upgrade your site because you have greater needs than when you started, the only cost you’ll incur is the difference between your current plan and the one to which you upgrade.

There won’t be any downtime whilst this is done. If you’re very “tech-savvy,” you can even do the upgrade on your own.

How Long Is the Free Trial and Money-Back Guarantee?

If you happen to be unhappy with your services or plan, you want to be able to get financial compensation. While this is unlikely with these two great hosts, it’s an ideal backup plan.

HostGator -4/5

A 30-day money-back guarantee comes with every brand new site or a site transferred from another host. This guarantee only covers your contract. It doesn’t apply to domain names, customized installations. Admin fees and other costs.

Unless you pay with a credit card when setting up your account, you won’t receive a cash rebate. Instead, it will be applied to your site account. This guarantee only applies to new accounts.

GoDaddy – 3/5

You get a 45-day money-back guarantee if your contract is one year.

If it’s only for a month, however, you’ll only get a 48-hour money-back guarantee.

Read the terms and conditions as only a portion of the money will be refunded and generally, it’s just the hosting part, not the domain name or other add-ons.

What Support Options Are Available and What Is the Availability?

When you need help, it’s best to make sure it’s at hand. Both compared hosts are luckily in the bracket of excellent support, by providing cross-platform support in multiple ways.

Before we dig in, we will explain what different support methods provide you as a customer:

Support TypeTicketingE-mailPhoneLive ChatKnowledgebaseForum
How It WorksBy simply submitting an e-mail style support ticket, you enter into a conversation with an allocated member of staff.

With ticketing, it’s easy to keep track of all interactions.

A classic way of support – you simply e-mail the hosting provider at the e-mail address given and wait for a response. Responses are usually quick, depending on their terms and team size.Phone support is often dependent on the availability by country, however, many hosts offer international phone support due to popular demand.

If you like to or prefer to chat, this is for you.

The most popular support method on the internet today, live chat. Here, you talk to a company representative online in real time, without having to phone anyone or wait for a response.

The downside here is the limited ability with extreme technical issues, although some hosts provide premium live chat for problems as such.

Widely appreciated by the resources clients of hosts, knowledgebases are a library of useful information related to services provided.

A very popular way of hunting down your own answers.

Are you one who likes to go to the community for help? Forums allow you to speak to both other users and representatives to find answers.

Additionally, you are able to submit feedback, suggestions and engage in discussions.

HostGator – 5/5

All hosting companies vary in terms of the support systems they offer.

HostGator is one of the better options because their support includes: live chat, phone calls, emails, more than 700 informative articles, over 500 “how to” tutorials, a huge knowledgebase and numerous forums, some are free for anyone to join and the rest are only accessible by members.

GoDaddy – 4/5

GoDaddy provides 24/7/365 support to customers via:

  • Live Chat
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Ticketing

Additional Knowledgebase

They also have a massive knowledgebase where you can find many of the answers you seek.

Customers also have access to a lengthy list of tutorials from their expert services menu. This is separate from all other support services and helps you learn how to do various tasks that may be basic but if you’re not very technically-minded, they will save you time and effort trying to contact a support staff member.

GoDaddy’s site is hard to navigate and this can be a negative, depending on your needs.

Any Extra Features? What Else Does the Company Offer out of the Ordinary?

The list of expectations must sometimes be exceeded, and this is exactly the case with web hosting companies. They exceed our expectations with a handful of bonus goodies.

HostGator – 4/5

You get a free domain name for the first term of every site you create. You have access to a website builder for a fee. If you wish to migrate your site from another host, it’s free to do so.

You can use some free advertising in Yahoo/Bing and Google AdWords because you’ll receive $200 in credits.

GoDaddy – 4/5

You get a free website builder to help create your new site. Your domain name will be free for the first term as long as your hosting package is a year or more.

You get $100 of Google Adwords advertising credits.

You can migrate your site from a different host to GoDaddy and you won’t incur any fees for doing so.

What Other Hosting Features Should I Consider When Comparing Hosts?

Still not sure which host is right for you? It can be difficult to decide, so here are a few more areas you might consider.

Control Panel

The control panel is where you access many of your host’s features, including files, apps, email, and domains.

GoDaddy users will have access to cPanel, a very popular control panel that is easy to navigate. There is also plenty of documentation online if you need help completing a specific task.

If you use Hostgator, on the other hand, the control panel will depend upon the plan. Lower level hosting plans will use cPanel, but Resellers and another specialty plans use Web Host Manager,  while VPS and Windows hosting plans use Plesk.

WordPress Users

Wondering which host is better if you are using WordPress? Overall, GoDaddy seems to offer more features, but the best WordPress host will depend upon your specific needs.

Here are a few features each host offers specifically targeted to WordPress users.

HostGator WordPress Hosting Features

  • WordPress-specific hosting plans
  • Free migration of WordPress sites
  • Easy install using “Quick Install” in MOJO Marketplace
  • Fast load times
  • Automatic site back up
  • One-click scalability if your traffic suddenly spikes

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Features

  • Pre-built sites and drag-and-drop editor
  • Daily backups
  • Free one-click restore of your site
  • Automatic WordPress security updates
  • One-click migration tool
  • Free Microsoft Office 365 email with the annual plan
  • Free domain

Visit hostgator.com Visit godaddy.com

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