Bluehost vs GoDaddy (The Mistake That Cost Me Dearly)

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Welcome to my Bluehost vs GoDaddy review for 2021. You know Ali vs Frazier? Red Sox vs Yankees? Bird and Magic? This is NOTHING like those great rivalries. This is only web hosting….

But seriously, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of web hosting. 

Choose the wrong service and your site will load more slowly, crash at the worst times (costing you thousands in revenue), and cost way more than it should to maintain. Plus, you’ll have to deal with all of their annoying upsells. 

I’ve used both of these hosting providers for eCommerce (WordPress and WooCommerce), and one is CLEARLY SUPERIOR to the other. Do not risk your entire business on this decision.

Overview

I’ll give it to you straight: One of these services is better than the other, especially for serious eCom pros. But I also feel like everyone is entitled to making their own decisions based on objective information.

So in this article, I’ll include:

  • A Bit of a Background on Both ServicesFeatures Breakdown (Side-By-Side Comparison)
  • Pricing
  • Customer Support
  • Reviews and Reputation
  • WordPress Performance
  • One Alternative to Bluehost and GoDaddy

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: Bluehost is the clear winner and best host for eCommerce 2021

After using both services, Bluehost is the clear winner. And I’ll never use GoDaddy with any of my sites/stores again.

Better uptime, performance, eCom integrations, security and support—what else do you need? PLUS NONE OF THE ANNOYING UPSELLS!

Bluehost hits a home run in almost every category. I get thousands of visitors to my sites simultaneously and I NEVER HAVE ISSUES. 

Here’s how it works…

Bluehost WooCommerce plans are specifically for new eCom stores.

You get:

  • Unmetered traffic so you can scale fast WITHOUT throttling 
  • Done-for-you WooCommerce installation 
  • $100 in free advertising credit

Bluehost sets up your theme, gives you ads to get started, and has reliable hosting and unmetered traffic so you can scale…

Yeah, talk about easy.

What exactly do I not like about GoDaddy?

GoDaddy definitely isn’t bad by any means, especially if you just have a tiny niche site. 

You’ll see similar speed and performance (mostly) up until a certain threshold. But once I started seeing serious traffic, I started having performance issues. And even just a fraction of a percentage point more downtime per year could result in thousands in lost revenue. 

It almost cost me my business.

And switching hosting down the road is going to be a B*TCH! Don’t shoot yourself in the foot before the race even starts.

NOTE: Bluehost is running a promotion with packages starting at $3.95/month with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Bluehost

Bluehost vs Godaddy: Overview

Web hosting comes down to one word: Reliability. You want to choose an established, reliable name that you can trust.

Both GoDaddy and Bluehost are about as established as you can get.

GoDaddy: History

GoDaddy is the world’s largest and most famous web registrar. It’s basically the industry standard.

Think of it like the New York Yankees or Manchester United of web hosting companies. They’ve got money. They’ve got power. They’ve got the name. And boy, do they know how to use it.

They’ve been in the game since 1997, and today they empower over 19 million entrepreneurs and handle nearly 80 million domain names. Check out their About page for more info.

Of course, the biggest doesn’t always mean the best. And, as you’ll see later on, that’s actually a disadvantage for them in my opinion (support issues!).

Bluehost: History

If GoDaddy is the evil empire, Bluehost is the cunning, intelligent rebellion.

They don’t have the name of GoDaddy, but that’s why they’re so good. GoDaddy gets by on name alone. Bluehost actually has to provide A+ hosting AND reliable support to keep its customers.

They specialize in WordPress hosting, specifically for WooCommerce—a plugin that basically turns your WordPress site into a fully functioning eCommerce store.

Don’t these brands remind you of Rocky and Clubber Lang?

In one corner you’ve got the big name, a famous boxer that lost his hunger and gets by on name alone. In the other corner, you’ve got a rival that has to scrape and claw for everything he’s got.

I digress…

Let’s cover features.

BlueHost vs GoDaddy Shared Hosting: Features

Both Bluehost and GoDaddy have a ton of features outside of just “plain old hosting.” But since you’re probably here to find out who the better host is, let me give you an idea of their hospitality.

Let’s start with basic “Shared Hosting” (a bunch of different websites sharing one server). This is where most people get started.

I’ll use both sites’ “recommended” packages for a quick comparison:

Bluehost Choice Plus

Bluehost Choice Plus Price

The cheapest shared hosting plan comes with 50GB of disk space and 1 website, but I don’t think it’s worth it. Let’s look at the recommended plan instead.

Unmetered storage, free SSL, unlimited websites, and a site backup—at first glance, this is all pretty standard.

And all hosting plans come with MySQL. You can learn how to create and delete databases here.

GoDaddy Ultimate

GoDaddy Ultimate Price

GoDaddy’s Ultimate plan appears very similar to Bluehost’s Choice Plus plan at first glance.

That’s because it is.

Unlimited sites, unlimited storage, and unmetered bandwidth (with a caveat! I explain below) plus free SSL and domain.

The bonus here is you get a free year of Office 365 email. Pretty sweet deal. 

Unmetered Bandwidth Note: Your bandwidth is unmetered so long as you’re within the terms of their hosting agreement.

Hosting agreement of GoDaddy

Basically what this says is that your storage and bandwidth won’t be limited so long as it doesn’t cause a risk to the rest of their network. I think that’s standard across the industry, but I’m not sure, to be honest.

Thing is, I noticed that even with “unlimited bandwidth,” I still suffered through some weird performance issues.

Shared Hosting Features Verdict: Draw (But I prefer GoDaddy’s Control Panel!)

GoDaddy vs Bluehost: Performance Comparison

Website speed is everything. Users and Google HATE slow websites.

53% of mobile users bounce when sites take longer than 3 seconds to load. 3 SECONDS.

Count in your head: 1…2…3. OK, they’re gone.

And what affects site speed the most? HOSTING (and a few other things…).

Web hosting is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as an entrepreneur.

Here’s a speed comparison between the two. This is why I highly recommend BlueHost.

Bluehost Speed

Bluehost Speed

Bluehost is fast and reliable. In general, pages load quickly regardless of which plan you’re on.

I never worry about the performance of my sites.

Notice that this site loads in 2.29 seconds—well below the 3-second threshold. 

And, in general, they’ve got as fast a WordPress hosting speed as anyone out there. Here are the results of one independent page speed test on average load times:

Page speed test of Bluehost

.65 seconds! Holy ****!

GoDaddy Speed

GoDaddy isn’t the performance workhorse that Bluehost is, but it’s definitely not bad (at the beginning!).

That same independent test from before showed GoDaddy’s average speed to be a shade over 1.2 seconds. Not too shabby at all.

GoDaddy Page Speed & Uptime

Source: WPDevShed.com

But here’s the issue. That’s under non-stressful circumstances. 

As soon as the test ran up to 100 concurrent users, average load times tanked to an average of 3 seconds.

Average load times of GoDaddy

Source: WPDevShed

This data confirms what I experienced with my own sites.

GoDaddy is fine and even really fast at times. But as soon as you start to experience heavy traffic, things get slow very fast.

And get this: If an eCommerce site is making $100,000 a day, then a 1-second delay could cost you 2.5 MILLION in revenue. You probably aren’t making 100k per day, but you get the point.

GoDaddy vs Bluehost Uptime

GoDaddy offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, while Bluehost doesn’t make any big claims.

But Bluehost’s uptime is actually better than GoDaddy’s by a fraction of a percent in my experience (99.8% vs 99.7%).

In the end, this doesn’t make a massive difference, but .1% extrapolated out over a year is a few extra hours of downtime. Not saying that it’s guaranteed to happen to you, but is it worth the risk?

Performance Verdict: GoDaddy and Bluehost are roughly similar at low capacity, but once traffic increases, GoDaddy waivers while Bluehost remains tough. Bluehost is the clear winner here.

GoDaddy vs Bluehost: Pricing

Both sites offer different types of hosting (shared, dedicated, WordPress, etc.) with multiple service tiers within each category.

And each plan comes with different features with each new level unlocking bigger, better, and faster goodies for your web site.

What I’m trying to say is that pricing is super complex and I can’t cover every detail here. I can only give a brief overview and my general thoughts after using each.

Bluehost Pricing Basics

Shared

Bluehost Shared hosting

Shared hosting starts $3.95 and goes up to $13.95 for the PRO version. The most popular plan is $6.95.

Shared hosting is pretty low-performance in general, but $3.95 is a steal for Bluehost’s speed and performance.

Dedicated Hosting 

Bluehost Dedicated Hosting

Bluehost’s dedicated hosting is excellent, but you pay for what you get.

Prices start at $79.90 and end at $119/mo.

WordPress/WooCommerce

Shared WordPress Hosting

I love Bluehost’s dedicated WP hosting. The instant updates and management are a godsend for me. And this all comes for $3.95 – $6.95/mo.

It includes:

  • Auto installation
  • Google My Business verification
  • $200 in marketing credit (you have to spend $25 though…there’s always a catch)

WooCommerce plans, created for WP-powered eCom stores (and recommended by WP), range from $6.95 – $12.95 per month.

Note: You don’t need to have a blog to benefit immensely from WP hosting. It works on eCom stores too.

Now for the catch…

Remember, there’s always a catch. Nothing can be this good AND this cheap without a catch.

Bluehost only lets you sign up for LONG-TERM plans. There are no cheap month-to-month plans around this town.

Bluehost Monthly Price

The reason they can offer cheaper prices and better performance is that they lock you into longer deals. This decreases your flexibility, but as an eCom store, are you really going to be switching hosts multiple times per year? You’re going to save hundreds of dollars over the course of 3 years. THIS IS WORTH IT.

Think about it as an investment. Say you buy a 1-year package at $3.95. That’s roughly $50.

$50 to guarantee 99.8% uptime and fast load times for your life’s work. Yeah, not that much, dude.

Another Note: Bluehost also offers VPS hosting starting at $19.99.

GoDaddy Pricing

GoDaddy Pricing

GoDaddy’s pricing is a little bit more expensive but a lot more flexible.

Here’s what you need to know:

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting starts at $5.99 and runs to $19.99. For $5.99, the Economy plan is a pretty good deal. 100GB of storage (Plenty of space for a small site), unmetered bandwidth (kind of), and a free domain. Not bad.

WordPress Hosting

Wordpress Hosting

Again, WordPress hosting with GoDaddy is pretty cheap but not as cheap as Bluehost.

Prices start at $6.99 and go up to $15.99.

Now, here are a few of the bonuses you get with the $15.99/mo plan:

  • $550 marketing credit to Google, Yelp, and Bing (subject to limitations, obviously)
  • Instant Yoast installation (the #1 SEO plugin)
  • Free website backup

Pretty solid value if you ask me.

Dedicated Hosting

GoDaddy Dedicated Hosting

GoDaddy starts throwing its weight around with its dedicated hosting prices. The hosting is great, you just have to pay a lot for it!

Prices start at $94.99 and go up to $184.99.

GoDaddy Pricing Flexibility: GoDaddy offers a 3-month plan on its lower-tier packages and even month-to-month pricing for its higher-tier packages.

So, if you’re looking for a short-term deal, it’s a good option. But how do you plan to make it in the eCom world if you can’t afford a 12-month hosting plan for $50? If you’re at the point where you can only afford month-to-month hosting, I’m not sure you’re ready to make money online.

Pricing Verdict: Bluehost is more affordable and delivers better quality. Normally, that’d be a 500-foot home run. The only thing holding Bluehost back from running away with this is the lack of flexibility. GoDaddy offers 3-month plans and even month-to-month on some premium plans. If you aren’t ready to pay for at least 12 months, GoDaddy can help you out.

Bluehost vs. GoDaddy: WordPress Hosting

Shared WordPress Hosting

Bluehost is known for being the eCom hosting company. And that’s for good reason.

Their WordPress hosting is the best in the business. 

So much so that WordPress even recommends them as their number one hosting option:

WordPress Web Hosting

Kind of hard to argue with that!

The best part of their WP hosting is their in-house WordPress experts. These guys REALLY know their stuff. Any time I have an issue, they know exactly how to fix it. And they’re always keeping your WP site up-to-date.

GoDaddy’s WP hosting is fine, but it isn’t as good as Bluehost’s. It does come with a ton of benefits though:

GoDaddy’s WP hosting benefits

And some of the most popular WP plugins are built-in to GoDaddy’s WordPress themes so you get the best plugins and save the time needed to research.

Still, Bluehost takes this one easily. And if you’re using WooCommerce, it’s not even close.

Bluehost vs. GoDaddy: Customer Service

It’s not a matter of if you’ll need customer support, but WHEN.

When that time comes, you’ll want someone to pick up the phone…in a language you understand.

No hosting service is perfect. There will always be issues.

Email, changing domain names, WordPress installation, downtime, uptime, in-between time (I made that up)….**** happens. Trust me.

Which is why I always recommend Bluehost over GoDaddy.

GoDaddy’s customer service (Live chat and phone support) is a bit like that kid who sits at the end of the bench on your high school basketball team: He’s trying really hard, but he’s just not that good. 

GoDaddy supports millions of customers around the globe and tens of millions of sites. They are just overburdened. Still, I have to address this issue.

Look what happens when you google “GoDaddy Reviews”: 

GoDaddy Reviews

Lots of unhappy customers out there. That’s mostly due to people being PO’d about customer service not keeping up with their calls.

Personally, I’ve been disconnected more times than I can count or left on the line waiting for up to an hour. Of course, there are plenty of times when support is fine and live chat responds promptly.

But in general, I’ve had too many bad experiences to recommend them. And I’m not the only one.

I’ll just leave this here…

GoDaddy Customer Service Reviews

OK, how about Bluehost?

On the flip side, Bluehost’s support has been great overall. They have a much smaller customer base, so they aren’t dealing with nearly as many calls. 

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a prompt response from support when something is wrong with your store. If a customer can’t buy because your site isn’t working, not only do you lose that sale, but there’s a chance they will NEVER COME BACK.

And when I do get someone on the line, they always speak clear English, and as far as my research shows, they are based out of Utah. That’s a huge plus!

In fairness to GoDaddy, if you google “Bluehost customer support reviews,” it’s also not spectacular.

GoDaddy Customer Service Reviews

But the difference here is that these are merely poor to “meh” reviews rather than people outright calling it the worst support of all time. 

That’s a big difference.

GoDaddy vs Bluehost Support Verdict: Bluehost wins in a landslide. GoDaddy tries, but they are overburdened.

Bluehost vs GoDaddy – Verdict

Bluehost is the clear winner, and if you’re starting an eCommerce site, it’s the only option.

Better speed, more reliable uptime, and better customer service make it head and shoulders above GoDaddy.

The only thing GoDaddy has over Bluehost is its plan flexibility and slightly better cPanel usability.

Other than that, Bluehost wins nearly every other category. 

In the beginning, you probably won’t notice much of a difference. But once traffic starts to pick up, Bluehost will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE. 

HostGator – An Alternative to GoDaddy and BlueHost

HostGator - An Alternative to GoDaddy and BlueHost

HostGator is a super popular web hosting company that’s even cheaper than Bluehost. 

Starting at just $2.75/mo, you get unmetered bandwidth, one-click WP installation, and 100GB of storage. Plus the dashboard is easier to navigate than the other hosts.

The price jumps considerably when you renew, and the performance isn’t quite to Bluehost’s level. But definitely worth considering if Bluehost isn’t your thing or GoDaddy’s support makes you pull your hair out.

Bluehost vs GoDaddy FAQ

Q: Why is Bluehost the best?

A: Bluehost is the best web host because of their fast speeds, reliable uptime, and specialized hosting, specifically for eCommerce stores. That specialization gives you better pricing, better service, and better functionality for online stores.

Q: Is GoDaddy the best?

A: No, GoDaddy is definitely not one of the best web hosts. They are just the most famous one. They serve millions of customers around the world, but their service isn’t as good as their competitors’.

Q: What is the difference between GoDaddy and WordPress?

A: The difference between GoDaddy and WordPress is that WordPress is a tool that simplifies the process of creating a website online whereas GoDaddy is a domain and web hosting provider. GoDaddy gives your site a name and location online, and WordPress is the tool that you use to build that website.

Q: What is the best web hosting site for a small business?

A: The best web hosting site for a small business, in my opinion, is Bluehost. This is because of their speed and pricing. Their prices start as low as $3.95 per month and their uptime is the best in the business.

Q: What is the best website builder?

A: The best website builder is WordPress. It’s fast, easy, and convenient, and most of its functionality is free.

Q: Why is Bluehost so cheap?

A: Bluehost is so cheap for two reasons:

1.They only offer long-term plans of 1, 2, or 3 years, so their plans reflect a bulk discount;

2. They specialize in eCom and WordPress hosting, helping them improve their service and lower their prices.

Q: Is Bluehost good for beginners?

A: YES, Bluehost is good for beginners. That’s why WordPress recommends it as their preferred hosting provider. It’s cheap, great for WP, and easy to set up. WordPress is a great platform for beginner sites, so they’ll only recommend a provider that’s the same.