Business Planning

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: Which Hosting Provider Is Best for You?

Read Time: 16 min

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: a classic debate for new websites. Bluehost and GoDaddy are two of the most popular website hosting providers on the market.

With Bluehost, you can choose between a variety of hosting plans to suit different budgets and needs. It can be a great option for both small businesses and larger enterprises. GoDaddy, on the other hand, specializes in managed WordPress hosting. Bluehost vs GoDaddy, which should you choose? We’re here to help!

an illustration of two people using building blocks with a website page over them as they decide between godaddy vs bluehost

What Is Web Hosting?

Before we discuss GoDaddy or Bluehost plan features, here’s a simple definition of exactly what web hosting is:

Websites are stored – or “hosted” – on a publicly-accessible computer (known as a server). Some websites require an entire server to themselves. Others can share a server with hundreds of other websites. The storage space, and the features that come with it, make up your hosting plan. Most people choose “shared hosting” plans because they’re more economical and offer adequate power and storage for most use cases.

We’re going to focus on shared hosting plans primarily and go over the basics to help you choose either GoDaddy or Bluehost as your provider. Let’s compare features first.

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: Feature Comparison

Both offer a variety of features and pricing options to suit different needs. Bluehost is ‌considered to be more user-friendly, while GoDaddy is known for its affordable plans. However, both hosts have their own pros and cons.

Website migration & hosting

When it comes to website migration, Bluehost makes the process incredibly easy. They offer a free migration service for qualifying websites, like WordPress, over to their platform with just a few clicks.[1]BlueHost. “Free WordPress Site Migration“. Accessed June 7, 2022. GoDaddy does not offer this service. If you’re looking to move your website to GoDaddy, you’ll need to do it yourself or hire a third-party company to do it for you.

Control panel

Both companies offer industry-standard control panels. Bluehost uses cPanel as its control panel while GoDaddy offers its own proprietary control panel. The Bluehost cPanel offers a bit more customization by allowing for custom scripts. GoDaddy allows automatic backups from the cPanel with some plans.

Both BlueHost and GoDaddy’s control panels can handle complex tasks like file management and access to server information where applicable.

App Integration And Installation

Both hosting companies give you the ability to install hundreds of third-party apps. Bluehost offers 1-click installs for apps like Drupal, Joomla, and Opencart.

With GoDaddy, you can install WordPress from the dashboard and the cPanel has 1-click installation tools for over 150 free apps. Take a look at the full list of the scripts they run by each plan.

Website Building

When choosing GoDaddy or Bluehost, comparing the website builder’s features is key. Building a website should be simple.

Bluehost

Bluehost has a drag-and-drop WordPress-focused website builder and AI-driven templates. Its website builder comes with all hosting plans. Most hosting plans include the ability to build unlimited websites, over 300 design templates, a photo library with unlimited uploads, and social and email marketing features.

Paid upgrades to the Bluehost website builder focus on eCommerce businesses. They include things like unlimited products, online payment functionality, and premium templates.

GoDaddy

A base version of GoDaddy’s website builder is offered with all of their plans. But if you want full functionality, it starts at $6.99/month so it can be a bit pricier than Bluehost. 

GoDaddy’s builder offers 100+ design templates, social media marketing, email marketing, eCommerce functionality, and appointment scheduling tools. Overall design functionality, especially with respect to eCommerce, is a little more limited.

When deciding between the GoDaddy or Bluehost website builder, Bluehost’s builder draws the most beginner-friendly profile and offers more value for less money. In fact, it was voted the best drag-and-drop website builder for beginners by Crazy Egg.[2]Crazy Egg. “Bluehost Review“. Accessed June 7, 2022.

Compared to the many other website builders available on the market, both Bluehost and GoDaddy offer great website builders and can integrate with many others through a plug-in.

Email hosting

Bluehost and GoDaddy offer email services through most shared hosting plans. These include POP3, SMTP, and webmail. They also offer integration and forwarding services with third-party providers such as Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail.

According to their website, GoDaddy offers two to five Microsoft 365 accounts for one year with all of its web hosting plans. Bluehost offers a bit less by way of emails. With the basic plan, you’ll get five free email accounts through their webmail. You can choose between the Roundcube and Horde webmail clients to access these email accounts. Although Bluehost does include email through Microsoft 365, it’s only for three or four of its plans – and only for 30 days. After that, emails are paid add-ons. 

So, which offers better email services: GoDaddy or Bluehost? Bluehost offers Microsoft email accounts as a paid add-on, while GoDaddy offers more overall bang-for-the-buck and more comprehensive email solutions for businesses.

UI/UX and ease of use

When it comes to UX/UI on Bluehost vs GoDaddy, both are quite easy to use. GoDaddy has a nice domain interface but their hosting interface isn’t quite as beginner-friendly as Bluehost’s. Bluehost has customized its backend and cPanel so that the total beginner can learn and use it easily.  

Account management

Bluehost vs GoDaddy account management aspects include things like sign-in, passwords, and account dashboards. They’re useful to discuss since they involve overall security and how a platform manages account sharing. 

Account Dashboard

Bluehost has two account management dashboards, Rock and Legacy.

Legacy is Bluehost’s original interface while Rock is an updated version. Those who use Rock, use it for its simplicity and ease of use.

GoDaddy’s account management dashboard provides access to all of your “products.” These include domains (active or not), websites, email accounts, SSL certificates, and anything else you’ve purchased to manage your online presence. Some people, especially beginners, might find this a bit overwhelming. That said, it’s fairly straightforward to get into your website management workspace. 

Sign-in and Security

Bluehost’s account sign-in screen has two options for log-in: domain name and password, or single sign-on. For added security, it offers limited access to user passwords and 2-factor authentication. 

GoDaddy doesn’t offer automatic 2-step verification but you can enable it. If you want to invite different users to your account, you can designate an access tier for each person. This essentially means that each tier has varying “levels of permission.” 

Bluehost vs GoDaddy account management comes down to whether you want to focus on website management or if you don’t mind a master base focused on a larger product suite. Most beginners tend to choose Bluehost.

Website management tools

Both platforms offer website management tools like staging, performance monitoring, and security.

Bluehost’s “My Sites” tool takes you directly to your websites for management. From here you can click on a chosen website, head to the admin area, and access website management tools. There’s also a convenient 1-click staging tool.

GoDaddy has two ways to get into your website to access management and administration tools. The first integrates website links into the domain management page so you can go to your domain page, choose a domain from the list, and go to that domain’s website admin. Or, you can access a website hub from the “My Products” homepage.

GoDaddy’s staging service is a bit more limited. You can stage WordPress websites from GoDaddy on all hosting plans except the basic shared hosting plan.  

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GoDaddy vs Bluehost: Performance

There are several ways to compare the performance of website hosts. For our purposes, we’ll touch on uptime and downtime, website speed, overall website performance, site security, and more.

Uptime and downtime

Downtime and uptime determine how reliable a website is. Downtime refers to when a website is not operational and uptime refers to when the website is operational. The industry-standard uptime guarantee for hosting companies is generally 99.9%. GoDaddy guarantees 99.9% available uptime per month, while Bluehost guarantees 99.98%. To put this in perspective, websites hosted by GoDaddy will be down for about an hour each year, while websites hosted by Bluehost will be down for less than 10 minutes. 

An independent, 12-month study monitored two self-hosted WordPress sites on both GoDaddy and Bluehost and found that Bluehost outperformed GoDaddy with a 99.81% uptime. GoDaddy’s uptime was 98.5%, a stark underperformance with respect to both the industry-standard rate of 99.9% and their own guarantee.[3]Web Hosting Buddy. “Bluehost vs GoDaddy”. Accessed June 7, 2022.

For most users, the difference in uptime will be negligible. However, for businesses that rely on their website for sales or customer service, even a few minutes of downtime can be costly. In terms of uptime, Bluehost is the clear winner.

GoDaddy’s hosting agreement promises that if your uptime in a given month falls below their guaranteed service rate, they’ll refund you 5% of the monthly host fee for that month. Bluehost doesn’t offer any refunds for downtime that exceeds the amount allowed in the 99.98% uptime guarantee. 

Website speed

No one has patience for websites that are slow to load. A website should load in three seconds or less. Three seconds is the maximum amount of time that a page can take to load before the experience is negatively affected. This might be one of the most important factors when choosing between GoDaddy or Bluehost.

In the same 12-month study, Bluehost had an average load time of 2.4 seconds. During the test, the fastest load time pinged from Argentina (1.4 seconds) while the slowest pinged from Florida (10.1 seconds). 

During the same test, GoDaddy was slower with an average load time of 3.4 seconds, with the fastest time standing at 3.4 seconds and the slowest at 16.8 seconds. 

This test shows that Bluehost is the faster host service.

However, a different tester with Cyber News ran a load test comparing the same site from just one location. Both companies loaded the site in under two seconds, a very respectable result for Bluehost or GoDaddy.[4]Cyber News. “Best Website Hosting: Bluehost vs GoDaddy”.Accessed June 7, 2022. In this particular test, GoDaddy slightly outperformed Bluehost.

Aside from location and time of day, load times are heavily impacted by theme features and how “weighty” website functionality is.

Overall web performance

Aside from load time, stress (how a website handles a large influx of traffic over a short time) also affects overall web performance. 

When Cyber News stress-tested Bluehost and GoDaddy, they found that GoDaddy handled twice as many visitors with virtually no slowdown. This indicates that GoDaddy has more server power.

Overall, Bluehost shows faster performance from various locations in the world for lighter-weight themes and websites. However, heavier-weight websites or themes could be well-served by an appropriate hosting plan from either provider.

Site security

Let’s compare host cybersecurity in the form of SSL certificates, malware, and anti-hacking policies.

SSL Certificates

It’s fairly standard for hosting companies to offer SSL certificates for website domains that they host. Bluehost offers one free SSL certificate with all of their shared hosting plans through ‘Let’s Encrypt’. The certificates self-install and activate.

GoDaddy offers a free certificate for the duration of applicable hosting plans. All four of their shared WordPress plans come with free SSLs and two of their Linux-based web hosting plans come with a free SSL. Because of GoDaddy’s large product suite, you can also purchase extra SSL certificates separately.

Network Monitoring and Protections Policies

Both companies offer basic security for servers and networks. GoDaddy advertises 24/7 network security, DDoS protection, security upgrades, and 256-bit encryption for email and privacy protection. 

Bluehost uses Sitelock for security upgrades and offers things like increased scan frequency and malware detection. Prices range from $2.99 to $29.99 per month.

GoDaddy offers 3-tiers of website security upgrades. This add-on administers extensive backups, malware scans and removals, firewalls, and annual site cleanups. Price ranges from $5.34 to $19.99 per month.

Website Backups

A website owner can undertake manual backups through either host’s cPanels or plug-ins. 

Bluehost offers automatic free backups with some of their plans. Their Choice Plus and Pro plans offer auto backups for non-WordPress sites. Their highest-tier WordPress plan called Online Store includes Codeguard backups. On Bluehost’s Basic and Pro plans for WordPress sites will need you to install backup plug-ins or get a paid Codeguard add-on starting at $2.99/month.

GoDaddy, on the other hand, offers one-click backup protection and restoration for all of their WordPress hosting plans. They also offer free database backup and restoration for all four of their non-WordPress web hosting plans. You can get comprehensive backup service through their security add-ons.

In general, when choosing between Bluehost or GoDaddy, automatic backup protection for WordPress sites is comparable. Both offer add-ons via security plans, plug-ins and app integration, and customization via the admin panel. 

Outside of WordPress, GoDaddy’s automatic backup services seem to be built-in to more of its hosting plans compared with Bluehost. 

Optimization and caching

Caching and optimization are one of those pesky backend details that seriously impact website speeds and performance. 

Bluehost offers a free WordPress cache tool that allows you to select from three different cache levels. You can also disable it and use a plugin. 

GoDaddy offers a no-cache tool so you’ll need to install a good plug-in.

An illustration of two workers choosing bluehost vs goddaddy for wordpress while in front of computers

Content delivery networks (CDN)

Content delivery networks (CDN) handle the automatic filing of website files to servers all over the world, making them accessible to site visitors no matter where they’re located.

When choosing between Bluehost or GoDaddy, remember that Bluehost only maintains servers in Utah, whereas GoDaddy maintains servers throughout the globe. This might be why Bluehost includes a free content delivery network tool with all their plans via the cloud service, CloudFlare.

With GoDaddy, you generally have to rely on an app for CDN services or get it through one of GoDaddy’s security upgrades. Their plans rarely offer it for free but then again, they don’t need to thanks to their global server locations.

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: Pricing Comparison

Both companies offer a variety of plans at different price points, so it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. To help you make a decision, here is a pricing comparison of the two companies.

Shared hosting plan details

Bluehost offers four different plans: Basic, Plus, Choice, and Pro:

  • Basic: $2.95 per month and includes 50 GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth.
  • Plus: $5.45 per month and includes unlimited storage and bandwidth.
  • Choice: $5.45 per month and includes unlimited storage, bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate.
  • Pro: $13.95 per month and includes unlimited storage, bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and daily backups.

GoDaddy also offers four different plans: Basic, Premium, Commerce, and Commerce Plus:

  • Basic: $6.99 per month and includes 100 GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth.
  • Premium: $13.99 per month and includes unlimited storage and bandwidth.
  • Commerce: $14.99 per month and includes additional functionalities for eCommerce websites (like a shopping cart and product pages).
  • Commerce Plus plan: $29.99 per month and is the most robust package available for eCommerce (a price point that is comparable to Shopify).

The non-WordPress GoDaddy plans offer 1-click WordPress installs so they can easily convert to WordPress sites. The plans offer between 100 to unlimited GB of storage, a free SSL certificate, a free domain, and 2 to 5 Microsoft 365 emails.

When choosing between Bluehost or GoDaddy, remember that Bluehost plans are WordPress-focused. They offer easier entry with an inexpensive, one-year trial price point for WordPress sites and new website owners.

Usage policies 

All of GoDaddy’s plans feature unlimited bandwidth, which means that they don’t automatically limit how much bandwidth or storage you can theoretically use. But if site usage presents a risk to server functionality, they’ll send you an email with further instructions or limitations. 

Bluehost also offers plans with unmetered bandwidth. You do receive a set amount of bandwidth, but the amount of data you transfer using it is variable. Server speed is limited, but technically speaking, the amount of data you can process within it is unlimited.

Domain name registration

Bluehost offers a free domain name registration with every 12-month or higher hosting plan for one year. Some higher-tier plans include free domains for the duration of the plan.

GoDaddy offers a free domain name registration with every hosting plan for the duration of that plan, even with its most basic plans. For example, if you purchase a 3-year plan, you’ll get a domain registration for the 3-year period so there are no “surprise” renewals.

With Bluehost, make sure to read the fine print about domain pricing renewals after the first year expires. Pricing varies and renews at the “current price.”

When choosing between Bluehost or GoDaddy, it seems that GoDaddy’s domain registration is more streamlined and straightforward. If you get a base plan with Bluehost that’s cheaper than a GoDaddy plan, Bluehost potentially offers a better initial value during the first year.

SSL certificates

As mentioned previously, Bluehost offers one free SSL certificate with all hosting plans, while GoDaddy includes multiple free SSL certificates with higher-tier plans. 

Both companies also offer premium SSL certificates with enhanced protections for eCommerce sites.

Bluehost offers better basic website security for all owners by providing them with a free SSL certificate with all hosting plans. GoDaddy also offers free SSL certificates with many of their plans and robust protections for things like email and privacy. 

GoDaddy vs Bluehost: Which is the best value?

It’s important to remember that pricing is subject to change as host companies refine plans and services.

So, let’s address basic patterns.

Bluehost

The two lower-tier Bluehost hosting plans cost $2.95 and $5.45 per month for the first year at the time of publishing and offer:

  • Free SSL certificates for the 1st year
  • Free domain for 1 year
  • A simple account management interface & proprietary dashboard
  • 300+ templates and AI-driven templates
  • A “1-click” website builder
  • Free domain registration for a year
  • Amazing uptime
  • WordPress server focus
  • Free CDN
  • Either 50GB or unlimited GB storage

GoDaddy

The two lower-tier GoDaddy plans cost $5.99 and $11.99 per month and offer:

  • Linux or WordPress servers
  • Either 1 website (base plan) or unlimited websites (higher low-tier plan)
  • Free domain for the duration of your plan
  • Payment platform
  • 1-click WordPress install
  • Two to three free Microsoft 365 emails
  • Either 100 or unlimited GB storage

Without a doubt, Bluehost’s 1st-year trial prices offer a best-in-class value for people who want a WordPress-focused host and a super-easy interface. 

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: User Support

Both companies offer solid 24/7 customer support through chat, phone, and email. They also both offer active community forums, knowledge bases, and extensive guides. 

Note: you can only access GoDaddy’s live chat after you’ve dealt with a chatbot.

Bluehost seems to excel in customer service, with customized, paid support for things like design and migration. The Web Hosting Buddy review concluded that they significantly exceeded expectations. GoDaddy’s phone support, on the other hand, seemed to be geared more to domains than hosting. 

Bluehost vs GoDaddy WordPress Integration

The major difference for WordPress integration is that Bluehost is a dedicated hosting company that’s targeted at WordPress users. This integration is their main product, and WordPress has recommended Bluehost since 2005 and calls it the “ultimate WordPress platform”.

GoDaddy, on the other hand, is not a dedicated hosting platform but more of a domain registrar that got into hosting over time. Still, it offers robust WordPress integrations and has become a worthy competitor.

WordPress site staging tools

Website staging allows site owners to create a private testing copy of a site. This allows you to make adjustments and see how they’ll impact the website without pushing them live (which is important if you have traffic visiting your pages regularly).

Bluehost includes a 1-click staging tool that makes this very simple and accessible. You can copy the entire site, files, or database. GoDaddy also offers a staging tool for a “1-click testing tool” for their three higher-tier WordPress plans. 

WordPress site management

WordPress powers over 30% of the world’s websites and Bluehost wants to distinguish itself as the best WordPress host around. To accomplish this, it features a WordPress-centric dashboard for seamless management. It also has an internal team of WordPress experts. Bluehost automatically installs the latest and most secure version of WordPress when you sign up for a hosting account. You can log into your WordPress admin straight from Bluehost.

GoDaddy also has a dedicated team of in-house WordPress experts. Site management tools can include things like SEO tools to get found on Google, managed and automated tasks such as backups, marketing outreach, and analytics. 

Overall, both hosts make it easy to manage WordPress sites. They both provide expert WordPress support and robust add-ons and integrations for admin, design, sales, and outreach. 

That said, Bluehost is well-known as the industry-setting standard when it comes to a hosting company for people new to WordPress.

FAQs: GoDaddy vs Bluehost

Now that you’ve had a thorough overview of the pros and cons of both GoDaddy and Bluehost, let’s discuss some remaining questions you may still have in the Bluehost vs GoDaddy debate.

Which factors are the most important when choosing GoDaddy vs Bluehost?

In general, most people consider the following factors the most important for their website host:

  • Pricing and value
  • Customer support
  • Security
  • Speed and performance
  • Ease of use and accessibility

Are there alternative hosting providers worth considering?

Solid hosting service alternatives are SiteGround, Dreamhost, HostGator, and GreenGeeks.[5]Quick Sprout. “Best Web Hosting”. Accessed June 7, 2022. You can take a look at their websites to see how they compare to the information provided for Bluehost and GoDaddy to see if their features better address your specific website’s needs.

Do hosting providers provide free domain names?

a man sitting in front of their desk deciding between godaddy or bluehost as they are programming

Domain names and registrations are paid services. Some hosting services, like Bluehost and GoDaddy, bundle the domain into the pricing for their hosting service.

If you want a “free” domain name, you’ll need to sign up for a hosting account. Both Bluehost and GoDaddy provide them free with many of their plans, but Bluehost generally only offers the domain name free for the first year.

Bluehost or GoDaddy: Which is Best for You? Closing Thoughts

If you’re a non-techy or a beginner who’s WordPress-focused, Bluehost is generally the better option. If you want or need access to a wide suite of products or you’re more business-focused, GoDaddy offers solid options worth considering. But the best option for you specifically will depend on the needs of your business. Once you decided on your hosting plan and get your website up and running, you’ll be ready to start accepting online payments in no time.

Article Sources

  1. BlueHost. “Free WordPress Site Migration“. Accessed June 7, 2022.
  2. Crazy Egg. “Bluehost Review“. Accessed June 7, 2022.
  3. Web Hosting Buddy. “Bluehost vs GoDaddy”. Accessed June 7, 2022.
  4. Cyber News. “Best Website Hosting: Bluehost vs GoDaddy”.Accessed June 7, 2022.
  5. Quick Sprout. “Best Web Hosting”. Accessed June 7, 2022.


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