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Bluehost vs GoDaddy — “6 Tests” Based on My Experience

Chris Wagner

“We have been a paying customer for BlueHost and Godaddy.

We are monitoring both shared hosting’s servers for Uptime and Performance through our test sites hostingpill-bh.website and hostingpill-gd.website.

This Comparison of BlueHost vs Godaddy is based on actual testing done on their servers.”

Bluehost vs Godaddy is one of the classic comparisons ever done in Hosting industry.

Bluehost and GoDaddy are two of the biggest hosting providers out there, so big that they’ll come upon almost every major list of the best hosting options.

How on earth is it possible to choose, then?

GoDaddy is probably the better-known hosting provider of the two, but does that mean it’s better?

GoDaddy’s hosting pricing is also infamous for being less-than-clear, but is that really true?

Web hosting with GoDaddy seems generous in resources, but are there hidden limitations?

Bluehost’s front page gives a starting price of $2.95 a month, and GoDaddy offers a starting price of $5.99 a month, but is the price difference noteworthy?

Choosing the best hosting provider is tough, let alone the best hosting plan…even more so its two industry titans, Bluehost vs. GoDaddy.

Ultimately the choice is yours, and while it can be tough to pick, we’ll help you get there.

Table of contents

Jump to see specific test by click on the following links

  1. Facebook Poll
  2. Pricing Comparison
  3. Features Comparison
  4. Customer Support Comparison
  5. Ease of Use
  6. Security and Reliability
  7. Verdict

1. Facebook Poll: Verdict

I have conducted a poll on Facebook asking people to choose between Bluehost vs GoDaddy.

BlueHost vs Godaddy: Facebook Poll

Now, let’s get into the next point of interest most of you will have—the cost!

2. Who has better pricing?

GoDaddy BlueHost
Plan Economy Basic
Price/mo. $5.99 $2.95
Founded 1997 2003
Sites Hosted 13 million
Services over
2 million
Website 1 1
Disk Space 100GB 50GB SSD
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered
Add-on Domains 1 Website Unlimited
MySQL Databases 10×1 GB Unlimited
Automated Backups
Live Chat Yes Yes
Best Average Uptime? 100% 99.94%
Free email Accounts Free Microsoft Office 365
Business Email
1 Click WordPress
Yes Yes
Customer Support 24/7/365 24/7/365
Customer Service 040 4918 7600 00 1 801-765-9400
Integrated Control Panel cPanel
WHM for Linux
Plesk for Windows
WHM for Linux
1-Click Shopping
Cart Installation
Yes Yes
Money Back
30 Days

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 all this—beginners and smaller users—shared 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.

If you want a really in-depth look at Bluehost’s pricing, you can check out my analysis here. But otherwise let’s see the overview:

The listed prices for both Bluehost’s and GoDaddy’s shared web hosting packages are discounts for the first year of service, but rise significantly after the first year.

So for the price of shared web plans on Bluehost versus GoDaddy, Bluehost is generally a few bucks cheaper.

Right off the bat: Bluehost’s shared hosting plans start at $2.95 a month for the “basic” plan. For the second tier of shared hosting, “Plus,” you’d pay $4.95 a month, and for “Choice Plus” you pay $5.95 thanks to a current discount.

However, both Plus and Choice Plus have the same renewal price.

BlueHost vs Godaddy: bluehost plans

Lastly, the “Go PRO” tier would start at $13.95 a month.

In contrast, GoDaddy’s first tier is called “Economy,” and comes in a bit pricier at $5.99 a month. “Deluxe,” is also a slightly pricier, coming in at $7.99 a month, and “Ultimate” costs $12.99 a month. A fourth tier, called “Maximum,” would cost $19.99 a month.
BlueHost vs Godaddy: Godaddy Shared Hosting Plans

To be clear: these are the “regular” tiers of shared web hosting. GoDaddy has a separate set of pricing tiers for its “Business Hosting” package: this is essentially a simplified VPS package. GoDaddy also has straightforward VPS options.

In contrast, Bluehost just has VPS and shared hosting.

GoDaddy’s Business Hosting starts at $19.99 with the “launch” tier, and continues to “Expand” for $59.99.
BlueHost vs Godaddy: Godaddy Business Hosting Plans

While GoDaddy’s “Business” plans have four tiers, Bluehost has three (keep in mind this is straight-up VPS hosting). However, they have the same range: “Standard” goes for $18.99 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.

The VPS hosting price GoDaddy lists has a large range: from $4.99 to $69.99 a month for standard RAM, and $9.99 to $99.99 a month for higher RAM plans.

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 servers starts at $129.99 and end at $399.99 between four tiers for HDD storage servers, and $139.99 to $419.99 for SSD servers

Bluehost’s dedicated servers start at $79.99 and end at $119.99 between three tiers.

Bluehost and GoDaddy also have WordPress hosting. Bluehost has two types of WordPress hosting:

Fully managed WordPress hosting which is $19.95 to $49.95 per month, and shared web hosting that’s WordPress-friendly at the same price as Bluehost’s regular web hosting.

GoDaddy also has two types of WordPress hosting: managed is $24.99 to $169.99 per month and self-managed is $6.99 to $15.99.

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, and dedicated server options.

As you can see, they have overall the same prices. However, GoDaddy tends to have more options–specifically for higher-end plans. And GoDaddy’s range starts higher.

But it’s important to note that upon renewal, the prices even out further. For example:

Bluehost’s dedicated plans renew at a higher cost than the initial term. GoDaddy’s start higher, but have the same price upon renewal. The same is true for their VPS plans.

So for high-end solutions, Bluehost seems cheaper at first vs GoDaddy, but in the long run they’re pretty similar.

The exception: GoDaddy’s “business” hosting plans are about the same as Bluehost’s VPS plans including renewal. And for just shared web hosting, the renewal prices are similar, too.

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: Pricing Verdict

Bluehost offers you a 30-day money back guarantee for 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.

A money back guarantee is a whole lot more valuable considering the prices aren’t that different, to begin with.

3. Bluehost vs Godaddy: Who fares better in features?

If you read the last section, you might’ve thought to yourself, “that’s great, but what’s the context of the prices?”

As in, what are you getting for the hosting prices GoDaddy and Bluehost offer?

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.

You can view GoDaddy’s full list of features here, and Bluehost’s full list here.

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.

BlueHost vs Godaddy: bluehost features

Bandwidth is unmetered (nice that they don’t say unlimited) for all tiers, but you only get 5 parked domains and 25 subdomains 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 rest of the tiers).

For GoDaddy’s Economy package at $5.99 a month, you similarly get one website, but twice as much storage and unmetered bandwidth. For Deluxe plans upwards (remember Deluxe is $7.99 compared to Bluehost’s $5.45 for Plus) you get unlimited websites and unlimited storage.
BlueHost vs Godaddy: Godaddy's Features

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.

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.

Plus, GoDaddy’s email is only included free for the first year, and after that first year it renews at cost. This is not the case for Bluehost’s.

So while GoDaddy’s included email is much more competitive for the first term and the entry level plan, Bluehost’s email is more cost-effective long term and for any higher tiers.

Here’s something else to consider: Bluehost offers you a free SSL certificate from its Basic plan upwards.

GoDaddy offers an SSL certificate only for its Ultimate and Maximum plans.
BlueHost vs Godaddy: Godaddy SSL

An SSL certificate is what makes sure your visitors—your customers, really—feel secure on your site.

If you are selling anything on your site, you’d better get an SSL certificate somehow…it’s crucial.

If you aren’t processing transactions or sensitive information, an SSL certificate may be less essential. BUT, if your site lacks SSL, visitors’ browsers may warn them of poor security and search engines will deprioritize your site.

So it’s less essential, but still pretty dang important. By now, just about every hosting company offers SSL for free with their plans. It’s standard fare for any current web host.

And Bluehost makes it very easy to get one, by including it in its $2.95 a month package.

GoDaddy gives it free for the first year only, and only for the higher two tiers. After a year it renews at about $79.99.

Lastly, there is a more notable difference in features when it comes to WordPress hosting. As I’ve said early, both our competitors offer managed and self-managed shared WordPress plans.

Both of them have well-featured managed WordPress.

But for the shared web hosting WordPress plans, GoDaddy offers more features, including free WordPress plugins that are valuable.

On the other hand, Bluehost’s WordPress plans are cheaper, and Bluehost has the honor of being recommended by WordPress itself.

It’s one of only three hosts recommended by WordPress, including Dreamhost.

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: Features Verdict

So overall? When it’s Bluehost vs GoDaddy on features, I think GoDaddy looks better feature-wise, but only if you’re willing to spend extra on add-ons.

But if you’re going on what you get out of the box, included for free and by default, Bluehost wins easily. Any given Bluehost hosting plan has a good amount of value packed into it.

But, keep reading because there’s quite a bit more under consideration!

4. Bluehost vs Godaddy: Whose customer support is best?

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?

Like most hosts, 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.

I found Bluehost’s live chat to be overall responsive. Note: the times in the bottom left corner are seconds away from the most recent message in the chat.
BlueHost vs Godaddy: BlueHost chat 1

The representative “joined” the chat within seconds of my starting it.
BlueHost vs Godaddy: BlueHost chat 2

I feel pretty confident the original response was copy-pasted. Once I re-iterated my question, I got a response within a few minutes.
BlueHost vs Godaddy: Bluehost chat 3

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 has improved but is still not very reliable. You can easily chat with a rep from a chat box on every page.

BlueHost vs Godaddy: godaddy chat 1

First you’ll interact with a chatbot:
godaddy chat 1
And then you’ll be directed to a representative. But frequently, all the reps will be busy and you’ll have a very long wait time (by live chat standards):

godaddy chat 1
This isn’t the first time GoDaddy’s live chat has been unreachable, or at least very slow.

Well, I logged in to test it using my personal site account, and I found…the same result.

Keep in mind that GoDaddy has certain hours for live chat use (yes, they have 24/7 phone support but not 24/7 chat support—go figure), but that this was within those hours.
Godaddy chat 2

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 its 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 vs GoDaddy: Customer Support Verdict

Bluehost seems to be much more proactive about supporting its customer base. Plus, Bluehost clearly has better chat support.

5. Bluehost vs Godaddy: Which is easy to 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 web host 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.

There are the basics to worry about: 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.

GoDaddy cPanel:

BlueHost vs Godaddy: Godaddy cPanel

BlueHost cPanel:

BlueHost vs Godaddy: bluehost hosting cPanel
BlueHost vs Godaddy: bluehost cPanel 2

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.

Lastly, when it’s Bluehost vs GoDaddy on WordPress ease of use, there isn’t a huge difference. Both companies’ WordPress plans make things a lot easier.

But, Bluehost is in general a simpler interface to work with, and has good support dedicated to WordPress, and for that reason may be slightly preferable for easily running WordPress.

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: Ease of Use Verdict

Overall, however, I count no noteworthy differences between ease of use for either GoDaddy or Bluehost.

6. Bluehost vs Godaddy: Who is more secure?

Now, let’s talk about security. This is one of the most important things to look for in a hosting company: can they protect your presence online?

The good news is that any major hosting company, like Bluehost or GoDaddy, is usually sufficiently well-established to the point you’re overall safe.

However, we can never be too careful, and solid website protection 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 only includes automated backups for its two highest tiers. You can pay for add-ons to do this at the lower tier, however.

It’s basically the same for GoDaddy: for real, automated site backups, you need to pay a bit extra for an add-on.

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, as I mentioned, 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 solid documentation of their own safety.

7. Bluehost vs GoDaddy: Who performs better?

Uptime is pretty darned important—after all, you want your website to be up as much as possible.

From August 2018 to August 2019, GoDaddy had pretty solid uptime. Almost every month had 99.99% uptime or perfect uptime. The lowest was 99.97%.

In the last year, GoDaddy’s performance has been consistent with that, roughly. One day in October 2019 saw some downtime that brought down the yearly average, but the overall score is solid for a year:

godaddy uptime 1 year
And on a monthly basis, it’s closer to 99.97% uptime:
godaddy uptime 3 months
In terms of speed, GoDaddy is pretty good. Since August 2018, GoDaddy’s response times have been in the 400-500ms range.

So speed with GoDaddy isn’t just good, but CONSISTENTLY good.

As for Bluehost, we’ve been testing them since spring 2017. Things were rougher in 2017 but from 2018 to 2019, roughly speaking, uptime for a given month would usually be at least 99.98%, and often perfect.

However, some months would see less-than-ideal scores, meaning below 99.95%.That’s old news though–in terms of recent history, here’s how Bluehost has done for the last year:

bluehost uptime 1 year

It’s really good. Over the course of a year, 99.98% uptime (99.99% if you round up) is nearly perfect.

And any given month during the last year has been about the same–the last three months, for example, are also at 99.98%.

The speeds are poorer than GoDaddy. Since early 2019, our Bluehost test site’s response times have consistently been higher than our GoDaddy’s site.

However, it’s not exactly slow, more like average. And the big picture is that while GoDaddy had better uptime a while ago, the last year has seen Bluehost EASILY beat GoDaddy on uptime.

One feature related to performance: 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.

It includes a CDN (content delivery network) so that your site will always reach visitors quickly. Cloud Sites isn’t free, but an optional add-on that can boost performance.

In any case, you can continue to track the uptime of our test sites with GoDaddy here and Bluehost here.

So what’s the big answer on performance for GoDaddy vs Bluehost?

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: Performance Verdict

Overall, I’ll say Bluehost definitely wins on performance. If you’re willing to risk more downtime for speed, GoDaddy could be better.

But for most people, uptime is the top priority, and speed can be improved in other ways anyway…hence, Bluehost wins here.

Bluehost vs Godaddy: Which one is better?

So, what’s the verdict?

To recap: Bluehost has slightly cheaper 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).

That said, these features are generally not included free after a year, whereas Bluehost’s included features are.

Of particular note are SSL certificates, and CloudSites, which Bluehost offers competitively (GoDaddy does not even offer the latter).

While both companies have many WordPress plans, GoDaddy is a bit more generous on features…at least for the first year. Bluehost still seems overall better for WordPress, though.

Both companies’ knowledge bases are about equally comprehensive. However, Bluehost has noticeably better support in the form of superior 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 goes and reliability go, GoDaddy and Bluehost are about even.

Bluehost overall wins very clearly on uptime, despite having a worse record prior to the last year.

Overall, I would recommend GoDaddy for those who are newer to hosting and want more things in one platform.

That’s because GoDaddy emphasizes its ability to do it all–provide domains, website building, SSL, etc. It will naturally come with extra cost to make use of GoDaddy’s add-ons, but it can make things much easier for beginners.

On the other hand, I recommend Bluehost to people who just need simple, good-quality hosting.

It may have less on the features front but has better value out of the box, costs less overall, has better support, AND has better uptime.

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.

Bluehost vs GoDaddy: FAQ

Which Is Better Bluehost Or GoDaddy?

Bluehost & GoDaddy both offer free domain names for the 1st year. The basic plan of Bluehost costs $2.95/Month with 50 GB SSD whereas GoDaddy costs $5.99/Month with 100 GB Storage. Bluehost has better tools included for free while GoDaddy has better tools available for purchase. Bluehost includes a free SSL certificate in the basic plan that is not included in GoDaddy’s economic plan. Bluehost also performs better, and is thus overall better, too.

But if you’re looking for a GoDaddy alternative and aren’t impressed by what you’ve read of Bluehost so far, there are still other good GoDaddy alternatives.

How Much Is GoDaddy Per Month?

Economy plan costs $5.99/Month with 1 website and 100 GB storage. Deluxe plan costs $7.99/Month with unlimited websites, unlimited storage & subdomains. Ultimate plan costs $12.99/Month with features of Deluxe plan plus free SSL certificate for a year & free premium DNS. Please note this pricing is for September 2020; for current pricing click here.

How Much Is Bluehost Per Month?

The basic plan costs $2.95/Month with 1 website, 1 domain, and 500 GB SSD storage. Plus plan costs $4.95/Month including unlimited domains and sub-domains. The Choice Plus plan costs the same, and includes Site backup CodeGuard basic in addition.

Can I Get A Refund From GoDaddy And Bluehost?

In order to request a refund from GoDaddy, you need to contact their customer support team.
You can get a full refund from Bluehost if you cancel the hosting service within 30 days. Bluehost will deduct a non-refundable domain fee of $15.99 if the plan including the free domain is canceled within 30 days. No refund offered for any claim or cancellations after 30 days.

All of this is spelled out in Bluehost’s money back guarantee, so you won’t get hoodwinked.

How Much Does A GoDaddy Domain Cost?

A “.com” domain varies in price. Generally it’s free for a year, after which it renews at a price of $17.99/Year. Purchased alone, it starts at $11.99. You may add Domain privacy at an additional cost of $9.99/Year

How Much Does A Bluehost Domain Cost?

As with GoDaddy, you can register a free domain name for a year along with a web hosting package. A standalone domain purchase is similar to GoDaddy’s price:

A “.com” domain costs a total of $11.99 for the 1st Year after which it renews at a price of $17.99/Year. You may add Domain privacy at an additional cost of $15.00/Year.

Does GoDaddy Charge Monthly?

GoDaddy has an option to charge monthly for a web hosting plan, whereas Domain services are billed annually.

Does Bluehost Charge Monthly?

No. Bluehost shows monthly price but is billed annually.