Comparison updated: September 2018
If you’re looking into hosting, you will certainly have heard of these two names.
How on earth is it possible to choose, then?
GoDaddy is probably the better-known provider of the two, but does that mean it’s better?
Bluehost’s front page gives a starting price of $2.95 a month, and GoDaddy gives a starting price of $2.49 a month, but is the price difference noteworthy?
Or, does Bluehost’s increased price mean it’s delivering better service?
Ultimately the choice is yours, and while it can be tough to pick, we’ll help you get there.
1. Godaddy vs. Bluehost (Facebook Poll)
I have conducted a poll on Facebook where BlueHost got 63 votes and Godaddy got 51 votes.
Now, let’s get into the next point of interest most of you will have—the cost!
2. BlueHost vs GoDaddy Comparison 2018
|Price / mo.||$2.49/mo||$2.95/mo|
|Sites Hosted (Claimed)||13 million customers||Services over 2 million|
|Disk space||100 GB||50 GB SSD|
|Addon Domains||1 Website||Unlimited|
|MySQL Databases||10 x 1 GB||Unlimited|
|Best Average Uptime?||100% uptime||99.94% uptime|
|Free email Accounts||Free Microsoft Office 365 Business Email||5|
|1 Click WordPress Installation||Yes||Yes|
|Customer service||040 4918 7600||00 1 801-765-9400|
|Integrated Control Panel?||CPanel / WHM for Linux and Plesk for Windows||CPanel / WHM for Linux|
|1-Click Shopping Cart Installation||Yes||Yes|
|Money Back Guarantee||—||30 DAYS|
|Visit GoDaddy||Visit BlueHost|
So, how does the price break down between these two titans?
Like all major hosting providers, there are many types of hosting available.
Shared web hosting is typically the cheapest and most popular kind of hosting, with more expensive options typically being cloud hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, and dedicated server hosting.
For most people Googling around for basic information on hosting—beginners and smaller users—shared web hosting plans are the most accessible.
They’re available for relatively low prices, while offering enough features for solid customer satisfaction.
Quick note: many of these prices are only for your first year of service.
The listed prices for both Bluehost’s and GoDaddy’s shared hosting packages are discounts for the first year of service, but rise significantly after the first year.
Right off the bat: Bluehost’s shared web hosting plans start at $2.95 a month for the “basic” plan. For the second tier of shared hosting, “Plus,” you’d pay $5.95 a month, and for “Choice Plus” you also pay $5.95 thanks to a current discount.
Lastly, the “Go PRO” tier would start at $13.95 a month.
On contrast, GoDaddy’s first tier is called “Economy,” and comes in slightly cheaper at $2.49 a month. “Deluxe,” is also slightly cheaper, coming in at $4.99 a month, and “Ultimate” costs $7.99 a month. A fourth tier, called “Business Hosting,” would cost $20.99 a month.
To be clear: that’s the “Business” tier of shared web hosting. GoDaddy has a separate set of pricing tiers for its “Business Hosting” package: this is essentially a simplified VPS package.
In contrast, Bluehost just calls it VPS hosting.
GoDaddy’s Business Hosting starts at $22.99 with the “launch” tier, and continues to “Expand” for $59.99.
While Business Hosting has four tiers with GoDaddy, Bluehost has three (keep in mind this is straight-up VPS hosting). However, they have the same range: “Standard” goes for $19.99 and “Ultimate” goes for $59.99.
The thing is, while GoDaddy’s Business Hosting is like a more basic VPS, they also have VPS hosting. These start at $17.99 and end at $39.99.
Only Bluehost offers cloud hosting, however. If you’re interested in cloud hosting, don’t worry—plenty of other providers offer services on-par with Bluehost.
For our purposes, only Bluehost does. They start at $6.95 and end at $15.95 between three tiers.
Finally, there’s dedicated hosting. This is one of the most serious options you can go for, so you’ll probably have hefty needs if you’re looking into this.
GoDaddy’s dedicated server hosting starts at $69.99 and ends at $129.99 between four tiers.
Bluehost’s dedicated server hosting starts at $79.99 and ends at $119.99 between three tiers.
That’s a lot of prices, so let’s summarize: Bluehost and GoDaddy both have shared web hosting, although GoDaddy just calls it web hosting on its site.
They also both have Virtual Private Server hosting, and dedicated hosting options.
However, only Bluehost offers cloudhosting, whereas GoDaddy is the only one offering “Business Hosting”—but remember, that’s just trimmed-down VPS hosting.
As you can see, they have overall the same prices. GoDaddy tends to offer lower starting prices, but Bluehost sometimes counters with lower final prices for the highest tiered options. GoDaddy more often has four, rather than three tiers, but I’m not sure how much that matters.
One more thing: Bluehost almost always offers you a 30-day trial with each product. If you don’t like what you got—even if it’s a dedicated server—you can get your money back after trying it.
In contrast, GoDaddy only gives you a free trial for its website builder. Just the website builder.
While GoDaddy may sometimes offer a marginally lower price, Bluehost offers a free trial—and that’s a whole lot more valuable considering the prices aren’t that different to begin with.
3. Features Comparison
If you read the last section, you might’ve thought to yourself, “that’s great, but what’s the context of the prices?”
After all, what are you getting for those prices?
As you can guess, an article detailing every feature for every pricing plan would be infinitely long (or close).
Therefore, I’ll mostly be looking at shared hosting—the most popular options, since that’s what you’re most likely looking at.
First up: Bluehost. If you get a Basic account for $2.95 a month, you’re allowed one website. In contrast, Plus, Choice Plus, and Prime all have unlimited sites. You also get 50GB of SSD storage for Basic and unmetered SSD storage for Plus and above.
Bandwidth is unmetered (nice that they don’t say unlimited) for all tiers, but you only get 5 parked domains and 25 sub domains for Basic, as well as only 100MB of storage per email account with a maximum of 5 accounts permitted (all of these are unlimited for the latter two tiers).
For GoDaddy’s Economy package at $2.49 a month, you similarly get one website, but twice as much storage and unmetered bandwidth. For Deluxe plans upwards (remember Deluxe is $4.99 compared to Bluehost’s $5.95 for Plus) you get unlimited websites and unlimited storage.
As with Bluehost’s Basic plan, GoDaddy’s Economy plan allows 25 subdomains.
Everything upwards of that has unlimited subdomains. Finally, both GoDaddy and Bluehost conveniently include a free domain name with your purchase.
So far, it sounds like GoDaddy wins the features battle, right?
After all, it’s a little cheaper ¬and even its cheapest option has twice as much disk space as Bluehost’s…with everything else being the same.
Finally, while both Bluehost and GoDaddy give you email accounts with your hosting packages, Bluehost only offers 100MB of storage per account for Basic and 5 email accounts—for a total of 500MB.
GoDaddy offers 5GB for Economy, dwarfing Bluehost.
Having said that, GoDaddy’s 5GB continues throughout all tiers, whereas Bluehost allows for unlimited storage if you upgrade, and GoDaddy only gives one free mailbox.
Yeah, I’ll admit, despite my personal preference for Bluehost, GoDaddy sounds more competitive at first.
Here’s something else to consider, though: Bluehost offers you a free SSL certificate from its Basic plan upwards.
GoDaddy only includes an SSL certificate for its Ultimate plan.
An SSL certificate is what makes sure your visitors—your customers, really—feel secure on your site.
Not having an SSL certificate isn’t the end of the world, unless you think you’ll want any transactions to take place on your site.
If you are selling anything on your site, you’d better get an SSL certificate somehow.
And Bluehost makes it very easy to get one, by including it in its $2.95 a month package.
GoDaddy gives it for $7.99 a month, over twice the price—and that’s for one of the most important features you can get.
Overall, I think GoDaddy looks better feature-wise, at least on paper and for cheaper accounts.
However, Bluehost’s included SSL certificate is a noteworthy contribution, and the price difference is not so significant between the two.
I’ll let GoDaddy slide by with this one, but keep reading, because there’s quite a bit more under consideration!
4. Customer Support Comparison
Solid customer support is essential for any hosting provider, but especially for these two.
As they are so large, they must meet the burden of supporting a much larger base of customers than other platforms. So how do they stack up?
As with most hosting services, there are quite a few resources at the disposal of the customer.
First, there are on-site documentation and educational resources.
Secondly, there are representatives designated for helping customers with specific issues, or adding a human touch.
The former typically consists of a knowledge base, FAQs, how-to videos, and so on. The latter typically consists of phone, email, and live chat support.
Bluehost makes its customer support very explicit.
At the bottom of every page, there’s a little menu with the main site resources: support gets its own section, with quick links to the chat, tickets, knowledge base, and systems status pages.
Tickets/the ticket system is essentially email support: it seems pretty straightforward and sturdy enough.
Their phone support line is not immediately obvious, depending on the page you’re on, but they do have one. This page lists different phone numbers for different categories of questions.
Finally, their knowledge base—which they call the Help Center—is accessible and comprehensive.
All in all, 2-3 minutes is hardly a bad wait time—and it’s especially nice because I joined the chat without using an account, but as a normal website visitor.
GoDaddy has more or less the same set of resources as Bluehost.
There is a very accessible number for phone support at the top of their home page, and their help page (also known as their knowledge base) is also easy to find.
As far as I can tell from poking around, GoDaddy’s help center is on par with Bluehost’s; the only reason you’d really prefer one over the other is personal taste preferences.
GoDaddy’s live chat function is falsely presented, however; though a “chat now” button is presented alongside the 24/7 support number, it doesn’t seem to be usable.
Well, I logged in to test it using my personal site account, and I found…the same result.
Perhaps there’s something up with my browser…but I doubt it, because this has never been an issue before, and I talk to people on live chat often.
I hope it’s not controversial, therefore, if I give Bluehost more credit for chat support.
Overall, both sites have decent customer support. But if I’m going to be quite honest, GoDaddy’s support feels less solid and more of a basic, bare-minimum approach.
Bluehost seems to be much more proactive about supporting its customer base. Plus, Bluehost clearly has better chat support.
5. Ease of Use
Ease of use is essential, and especially so for the largest hosting providers: they’re so big because they’re appealing to massive amounts of people.
In a way, that kind of gives you the answer already: they are both easy to use services. Frankly, I don’t have much more to say.
When a service is easy to use, and has a great user experience, there just isn’t much to say—ease of use is something you’ll only really comment on if something is going wrong.
The only shortcomings are those that are inevitable: hosting can be complicated, as there are many things you need to take care of.
There is the actual hosting process, then taking care of domain names, as well as building the website itself, and so on and so on.
However, Bluehost and GoDaddy both make this as easy as it can be; at the very least, it hasn’t gotten much easier at any other platform.
Don’t forget that both these platforms have tutorials, FAQs, and how-to guides in their knowledge bases.
Most of these materials can be accessed without an account, so if you really want to get a feel for the services’ ease of use factor without signing up, you can peruse the help centers.
6. Security and Reliability
Now, let’s talk about security and reliability. This is one of the most important things to look at for hosting services: can they protect your presence online?
The good news is major providers, like Bluehost and GoDaddy, are sufficiently well-established to the point you’re probably overall safe.
However, we can never be too careful, and solid website uptime is essential. With that being said, let’s dive in!
Backups are a pretty important feature for hosting services. If, God-forbid, anything happens and your site goes down, you do not want to lose any work or important changes.
Bluehost automatically creates backups every day, week, and month of your account. You can rest assured restoring your account won’t be too much of a task.
Bluehost also has an accessible page that reports updates about server outages. This is great if you care about transparency (you should).
They also mention a tool that protects sites on shared servers (which otherwise could be riskier than VPS or dedicated servers).
There are optional add-ons that also add to your security, such as: sitelock, domain privacy tools, and unique IPs.
When I tried to look into other security details on their site, I couldn’t find any. This is not the same as Bluehost not having good security protocols—but the lack of official information is disappointing.
GoDaddy, on the other hand, has an accessible page just about site security.
Unfortunately, it’s more of an informative/instructive guide for customers, rather than a solid documentation of their own safety.
So, while both providers fail to make easily available and accessible pages documenting their security protocols, we still can look at uptime.
Uptime is pretty darned important—after all, you want your website to be up as much as possible.
We found that within the last two months, GoDaddy had better uptime.
Fortunately, in the two months prior, Bluehost had 100% uptime.
But once again, unfortunately, there were some disappointing downtimes in the earlier months of the year.
The test site was down for 9 minutes in September and 1 minute in October, as well as for 6 minutes in January.
Now, overall this isn’t the end of the world, but Bluehost can do better.
I don’t think GoDaddy is significantly better in this regard either, however; as we’ve discussed earlier, GoDaddy doesn’t use CloudSites.
CloudSites basically show a copy of your site that was stored to the cloud in the event of a server failure.
If the hardware fails, the cloud comes in to save you—something GoDaddy doesn’t offer, and something that isn’t represented by these uptime scores.
Overall, I’ll say Bluehost wins for Cloudsites, but it’s not far ahead of GoDaddy by any metric.
So, what’s the verdict?
To recap: Bluehost has slightly more expensive cheap plans than GoDaddy, but the differences tend to even out or switch for more expensive or premium options.
As far as features go, they’re about the same. However, GoDaddy overall offers more features for its cheapest plan, or greater quantities of the same features (e.g., storage space).
The important exceptions are things such as SSL certificates, and CloudSites, which Bluehost offers competitively (GoDaddy does not even offer the latter).
Both companies’ knowledge bases are about equally comprehensive. However, Bluehost has a noticeably better support in the form of live chat.
Both Bluehost and GoDaddy are about equally easy to use; it’s really just a matter of personal preference at this point.
As far as security and reliability goes, GoDaddy might eek out over Bluehost.
Bluehost overall has solid uptime, but there have been several months with 2 or more minutes of downtime in our record—which we don’t look too favorably on.
Overall, I would recommend GoDaddy for those who are less serious about hosting.
For people who are more interested in stepping into hosting, who do not have hefty hosting or business needs, or who just want a small blog or website—GoDaddy might be the better option.
It’s cheaper overall, and offers more bang for the buck.
However, for those who are more serious, but still want to save money, I think Bluehost is a good option.
It may not always be as cheap as GoDaddy, but it offers most of the same features at a price still low relative to other companies, as well as some really important features such as SSL certificates and CloudSites.
It’s a mixed bag!
Ultimately, think about what your hosting needs are.
If you know what you need and what you want to do online, you’ll be fine.