In this Bluehost vs GoDaddy comparison, we’ll see which hosting provider is better. I thoroughly tested their speed and reliability, ease of use, security, and support. By the end of this post, you’ll know for sure which is the better option and why.
Bluehost has a love and hate relationship with the web hosting community. It’s a huge company that’s really doing quite a good job. Constant updates on the user interface adding new and better functionalities together with affordable prices seem to attract a lot of people. But other users bash it for being just another mega-corporation that just wants to get its hands in your pockets.
GoDaddy is a mega-corporation that’s mostly known for its domain services. And while hosting is not as loud in its advertising, it does bring a big chunk of revenue to the company. So perhaps GoDaddy’s web hosting is the hidden gem we all should know about?
No doubt, these two companies grew big no thanks to an accident. So let’s see which of the two big guys is the better one.
Bluehost vs GoDaddy: general info
Both Bluehost and GoDaddy are very popular and both of them focus on small businesses. The hosts designed their services to help the owners set up and manage their business more easily. Or so they claim. So looking at the surface, there’s really not much that separates them except for the price.
In this GoDaddy vs Bluehost comparison, I analyzed all that the providers have to offer. You can either find the most interesting bits for you or jump straight to the verdict.
|Rating:||4.2 ★★★★||4.0 ★★★★|
|Pricing:||from $3.95/mo||$1/mo special plan is available|
|Ease of use:||Native dashboard and cPanel||Native dashboard with the standard cPanel integration|
|Performance:||99.99% uptime and 361ms response time||99.98% uptime and 341ms response time|
|Security:||Free SSL and server monitoring||DDoS protection and email privacy with encryption|
|Support:||24/7 live chat and phone||24/7 ticket support and 5:30AM – 9:30PM PT live chat|
From the first looks, Bluehost pricing seems cheaper, starting at $3.95/mo. Meanwhile, the cheapest GoDaddy plan is priced at $4.33/mo originally. On the other hand, GoDaddy has a special deal on it – if you choose a 1-year subscription, it will cost $1/mo for the first term.
At the same time, GoDaddy’s prices go all the way up to $20/mo for shared hosting, while Bluehost stops at $13.95/mo. It also has friendlier prices for the mid-range plans.
As for the other options, you can choose WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting options with both hosts. But shared hosting is what brings the most users to these 2, so I’m focusing strictly on that.
Both providers have a 1 website limit on the entry plans, and they both give you a free domain for the first year. Plus, bandwidth is unmetered. But that’s where similarities end.
- Bluehost Basic ($3.95/mo) provides 50GB SSD storage, free SSL, and 5 email accounts.
- GoDaddy’s Economy ($1 or $4.33 a month) is equipped with 100GB storage and 1 Microsoft 365 mailbox for the first year.
Quite disappointingly, GoDaddy does not include a free SSL certificate. This is a big red flag because SSLs became a standard for other providers. Nonetheless, if you get that $1/mo deal, GoDaddy is much cheaper. With a free domain, it’s a hard-to-beat offer.
Nonetheless, to get these prices, you will have to buy specific subscription lengths. Which means pre-paying. And after the introductory period is over, the plans will renew at higher rates. This is how it looks:
|Provider||Plan||Term required||Total initial||Total renewal|
Both providers renew at the same $8.99/mo rate. So no matter what you pick, in the long run, the price will be the same.
At the same time, 1 website limit even with generous storage offered is restrictive. So I checked what plans are offering the best value overall.
For example, Bluehost has 4 plans in total ranging from $3.95 to $13.95 per month.
While all of the plans include the essentials such as domains and free SSLs, starting with Plus, you get to host unlimited sites. And that’s just $2/mo extra compared to the cheapest plan.
Meanwhile, Choice Plus adds extra security such as domain privacy and automatic backups (1st year only) for another $1/mo.
These 2 plans are quite affordable initially, yet there’s a catch. Plus renewal ($11.99/mo) is not as steep as Choice Plus ($16.99/mo), so it’s much more logical in the long run. Especially knowing that you lose daily backups after the first year.
As for the Pro, it offers nice additional features such as backups and dedicated IP, but the renewal ($26.99/mo) is just too steep to justify.
So to get the best price with Bluehost, pick the Plus plan with a 36-month subscription. It’s a quite friendly $214.2 initially and still perfectly fine $431.64 upon renewal.
Check Bluehost Pricing Now
As for GoDaddy, it also has 4 shared hosting plans ranging from the $1/mo deal to $19.99/mo.
With the mid-range plans priced at $7.49 and $8.49 a month, I really cannot justify choosing them. Plus, the Deluxe won’t include an SSL either, and Ultimate only gives it for a year.
As for Maximum, it is very overpriced and the only advantage is that you get unlimited SSL. Nope, that won’t cut.
So only the Economy remains. And with the $1 deal, it’s really the best option you can get. Not many providers will give you a free domain at that price point.
To get the best deal with GoDaddy, pick Economy and opt for a 1-year subscription. That’s just $12 for the first year and $107.88 on renewal.
Check GoDaddy Pricing Now
That being said, GoDaddy’s Economy is best for users that need short-term web hosting. You get a full year to test out the waters.
By the way, both providers have a similar 30-day money-back guarantee. Just make sure that you pay with a credit card for Bluehost, as other methods are non-refundable.
Altogether, I personally think that Bluehost’s plans and pricing are more comprehensive. Especially if you’re looking for a long-term option. However, GoDaddy has an offer that’s hard to beat if you only need hosting for a year.
Hosting management: ease of use
Both Bluehost and GoDaddy combine 2 ways of managing your hosting account: a proprietary dashboard and classic cPanel. In all honesty, not many differences can be found – the dashboard in both cases is used for the essentials such as app installation, while cPanel is reserved for more advanced management.
On the other hand, Bluehost might prove to be more functional with additional features offered.
Account management dashboard
No matter which provider you go with, the process of setting up a website once you log in will be very similar. Both providers will guide you through the necessary steps to have WordPress installed and the domain working.
With Bluehost, the first thing you see will be the setup wizard. By going through these steps and answering questions, you’ll come out with a working WordPress website. You can even choose a theme at the end!
Of course, if WordPress is not your primary choice, you can skip the setup altogether.
Once you go through or skip, the main dashboard will welcome you. In the middle, there’s a step-by-step interactive guide for beginners. It teaches you how to create WordPress pages, posts and customize settings.
More importantly, on the left, we have a menu with the main management modules.
You can reach all of your websites in the My Sites area, while Marketplace has a variety of options for other content management systems and additional services. Domains will allow you to add new domains or purchase them as well as create subdomains. The email section is reserved for paid email options such as Microsoft 365. Finally, Advanced will take you to cPanel.
As for GoDaddy, a neat interface will greet you. By clicking Set up by the Hosting tab, you’ll prompt a setup wizard similar to Bluehost’s.
By the end of all questions, you’ll have a WordPress website ready.
Again, you can choose not to install WordPress in this one, and pick another content management system later.
After the wizard, the Set up button will be replaced by Manage and that will allow you to reach the main hosting management area.
Here, GoDaddy lists your websites created with it as well as server information.
The area is not as functional as Bluehost’s. This one is meant for navigation rather than management.
At the top, there are cPanel shortcuts to phpMyManager, File Manager, FTP, and. GoDaddy Analytics. cPanel Admin button is also conveniently available just a little bit below.
Altogether, Bluehost and GoDaddy both have clean and intuitive dashboards. However, Bluehost has more management tools, while GoDaddy keeps its interface minimal.
Control panel comparison
Almost no surprises in the control panel department of this Bluehost vs GoDaddy comparison. Both hosts use cPanel integration. At the same time, Bluehost tweaked a couple of things, while GoDaddy stayed true to the classics.
Bluehost’s cPanel matches the provider’s branding.
Additionally, the provider emitted some of the modules. For example, you won’t find domain management in Bluehost’s cPanel anymore. That’s because the Domains tab is integrated into the main dashboard.
For me, cPanel’s domain management was absolutely straightforward, and I don’t know the reason behind such a choice. Other than that, Bluehost has all the standard functionalities such as file manager, phpMyAdmin, emails, and more.
GoDaddy’s cPanel is completely standard, straight from the factory.
The provider has kept all the standard management modules. You’ll find domains, databases, software, and other tabs. Nothing is skipped on this one.
So one thing is clear. Bluehost hides the cPanel under the Advanced tab because it’s so rarely needed. All essentials are in the main dashboard. Meanwhile, GoDaddy uses cPanel the way it was created.
Extra website management tools
When it comes to extra features, Bluehost comes out on top with a WordPress management interface and staging. Meanwhile, GoDaddy provides a bunch of premium themes to jump-start your WordPress website.
Talking about Bluehost, there’s a lot of features this host includes with all plans. All of which are meant to make website management easier.
For starters, My Sites lits all of your created websites, and it’s the place that takes you to the individual management area of each of them.
This interface has dedicated settings for marketing, security, and performance. The more general Settings will let you put the website in maintenance mode (Coming Soon Page), which makes it unavailable for search engines and visitors while you are building it. It also settings for updates and comments.
It’s a really convenient hub from which a lot of website-management-related stuff can be done.
Another feature is staging, which’s integrated directly into WordPress.
In a few clicks, you can create a copy of your website and use it for testing changes or fixing bugs. Then, in a few clicks, you can publish those changes to the live version.
Staging is definitely one of the most useful tools to have. It’s rarely available on shared hosting.
GoDaddy’s features are a little more limited.
The first time you’ll enter your WordPress Admin panel, you’ll be greeted with a choice of GoDaddy’s templates.
These templates are not otherwise available on WordPress, but they are beautiful and well-designed. Choosing one will set a layout for your website with all the demo content.
If you’re in a hurry to create a website or don’t really know how to do that – this can be a lifesaver. You simply switch GoDaddy’s content into your own and have a professionally designed website ready. Takes no more than a day with many coffee breaks counted in.
So while Bluehost has more comprehensive features that help you manage the website, GoDaddy’s templates are also very useful.
All in all, I have to give the win for Bluehost in the ease of use comparison. It’s simply more functional than GoDaddy, with many tools to help you out. GoDaddy is also very easy to use, but its feature toolkit is not as elaborate.
Bluehost vs GoDaddy performance
To find out which provider is more reliable, faster, and stronger, I compared the performance testing results. Turns out, both hosts are almost on the same level. However, GoDaddy is slightly faster, and its servers can handle more traffic.
Uptime and response time
In 2 months, Bluehost had 6 outages that resulted in a 99.99% uptime result. This is an aspiration for many providers as the standard guarantee is 99.9%.
The response time is also way better than the industry’s statistics (~600ms), averaging at 361ms.
As for GoDaddy, in a similar period, it had 3 outages, but they were slightly longer, totaling 16 minutes of downtime. That puts the uptime result at 99.98%.
Response time is equally as impressive, averaging at 341ms. Additionally, GoDaddy’s response time is more stable staying in 100ms range.
So looking at long-term monitoring, both providers are almost the same. They both are showing excellent uptime results and even better response times.
For website speed comparison, I created 2 identical websites and put them through the speed test. The key metrics here are:
- Largest Contentful Paint – keep it under 2.5 seconds, and you’re good.
- TTFB – initial server reaction. The best result would be up to 200ms.
- Fully Loaded Time – if it’s more than 3 seconds, visitors start getting annoyed and might leave your site.
Bluehost’s Largest Contentful Paint loads in 1.8s, and there’s no further delay until Fully Loaded. This means that the provider fits in the recommended time frame. Although this result is not the best you can get.
The reason for not getting an even better result is hiding in plain sight. TTFB is at 1 second. That’s way more than recommended 200ms.
So Bluehost’s server took a while to respond, slowing down the whole loading process.
Meanwhile, GoDaddy loads the Largest Contentful Paint in 1.5 seconds, and there’s similarly no delay until Fully Loaded. That is slightly better than Bluehost’s result.
Additionally, GoDaddy’s 224ms TTFB is just a tiny bit above the recommended number. This gives it an upper hand when comparing Bluehost vs GoDaddy performance.
Nonetheless, loading speeds are quite similar. A human eye won’t really know the difference. And to have your site loaded in less than 2 seconds is a great result.
In the final test, I wanted to see how much traffic each provider can handle over a very short time. I started at 50 Virtual Users (bots) and decreased the number if needed.
For reference, 50VUs is about the maximum I expect from mid- or high-end shared hosting plans to handle. That would add up to at least 50 000 monthly visits.
Bluehost was capable of handling 15VUs.
In this graph, it’s important to look at the blue line (it’s response time) and the grey line (it’s the number of visitors).
As you can see, with the growing number of visitors, response time increases. This shows that the provider slowed down a little. On the other hand, the red line, which would represent failures, is nowhere to be found.
So while Bluehost accommodated the traffic by slowing down a little, it did pass the test just fine.
In the meantime, GoDaddy handled 30 visitors.
In this case, the slowdown is barely noticeable, although it is there. The blue line went up a tiny bit when the number of visitors reached 20.
So GoDaddy is capable of handling twice as many visitors, indicating more power under its servers.
Altogether, both Bluehost and GoDaddy are solid providers when it comes to performance. The reliability is excellent, page loading time is great, and they can handle quite a lot of traffic. On the other hand, GoDaddy takes the win as it was at least a tiny bit better in most of the tests.
Security is the area where both providers could step up a little, but Bluehost definitely takes the win for the simplest of reasons – it includes SSL with all plans. GoDaddy, at the same time, only includes SSLs with high-end plans.
Now, if we get into details, Bluehost’s security features cover the basics:
- Free SSLs with all plans on unlimited domains.
- DDoS protection via Cloudflare that you can set up from the dashboard.
- Basic server monitoring.
This is the minimum that all providers do. However, extra services have to be purchased separately. Daily backups cost $2.99/mo, and malware removal is an additional $2.99/mo too.
As for GoDaddy, it has:
- Server monitoring for fraud, virus, and DDoS.
- Email & privacy protection with 256-bit encryption.
- SSL certificate for a year with the Ultimate plan and unlimited SSL certificate with Maximum.
To get a more comprehensive security package, that includes SSL, web application firewall, and malware removal would cost $4.75/mo.
All things considered, neither of the providers is brilliant in the security department. To get all-rounded security, you’d need to take additional steps yourself. However, SSL is what gives Bluehost the win.
To get some help, you can reach both Bluehost and GoDaddy via 24/7 live chat and phone. Also, there are knowledgebases, and GoDaddy steps up by offering a community forum too.
Live chat is the main way for users to get help, so I contacted both providers with some questions about their security. After all, that’s where they both got a B-, so some redemption is needed.
Bluehost agent replied instantly. The answers were friendly and informative.
Sure, the agent recommended sticking to the paid options, but that’s how Bluehost works. Altogether, I got my questions answered in a quick 5-minute interaction.
As for GoDaddy, you first have to use the chatbot. So it takes longer to get connected to an agent. But overall, the experience was also quite quick.
The agent was friendly and tried his best to help me. He even offered to make a discount on an SSL certificate purchase for me, as I was asking if free versions are available.
So I had great experiences with both providers and picking one is simply not possible here.
At the same time, you can find answers to your questions in knowledgebases.
Both Bluehost and GoDaddy have big collections of articles and tutorials that cover documentation for their services as well as general knowledge about web hosting.
But GoDaddy steps up a little as it has a community forum as an additional place to search for answers. As expected, web hosting topics don’t get fired up discussions, but all questions get answered as support members moderate the space.
All in all, both Bluehost and GoDaddy have great customer support. You can expect instant answers. Additionally, there are knowledge bases to read on your own or a community forum in GoDaddy’s case.
Bluehost vs GoDaddy: final recommendations
In this Bluehost vs GoDaddy comparison, I checked how these 2 web hosting giants fare. I found out, there weren’t that many differences. However, Bluehost offered better pricing, a more functional interface, and slightly better security. Meanwhile, GoDaddy came out on top regarding performance.
That’s how all of this looks summed up:
|Pricing||★★★★||★★★★||Bluehost has more affordable prices overall, starting at $3.95/mo. However, for short-term hosting, GoDaddy has a $1/mo deal on the cheapest plan with a 1-year subscription.|
|Interface||★★★★★||★★★★★||Both providers use intuitive interfaces with cPanel integration, but Bluehost’s dashboard is more functional with additional tools such as staging.|
|Performance||★★★★||★★★★★||Both providers were equally reliable, but GoDaddy was able to handle more traffic and deliver faster page loading times.|
|Security||★★★★||★★||Security is on the basic side with each host, but Bluehost includes SSLs with all plans making it a better option.|
|Support||★★★★||★★★★||24/7 live chat and phone support with both providers is quick and efficient. Knowledge bases are available too, and GoDaddy steps a little further including community forum.|
Generally, Bluehost is a slightly better option than GoDaddy. It got more wins than the contender that is quite significant – it’s more functional and offers better security for a better price in the long run. Bluehost is a great option to start a website, whether it’s a portfolio or a small business website.
Although it’s hard to disregard GoDaddy as it showed great performance results. So if you need hosting for a very short time, a $1/mo offer will get you a good value deal.
Alternatives to Bluehost and GoDaddy
If neither Bluehost nor GoDaddy impressed you, I’m happy to announce that there are a bunch of other options for various different needs available.
For example, A2 Hosting is a performance-focused provider while InterServer allows month-to-month billing for tighter budgets.
A2 Hosting service is entirely focused on speed. You should pick either of the Turbo plans (starting at $9.99/mo) to get benefits such as LiteSpeed web server with caching engine as well as software optimizations. Additionally, you’ll have data center choice in the US, Europe, and Asia.
The provider uses the classic cPanel interface for all web hosting management tasks, so it is easy to use too. It’s a great alternative for business websites and online stores.
InterServer is one of few providers that have a month-to-month billing option without pricing increases based on it. The first month is $2.5 and then – $7/mo for as long as you need it.
The provider’s shared hosting plan allows unlimited websites and storage, so it suits both smaller and larger websites. Additionally, you’ll get to use cPanel for hosting management. InterServer is a great alternative if you don’t want to commit and pre-pay large sums.
Bluehost vs GoDaddy FAQs
Is Bluehost better than GoDaddy?
Bluehost is slightly better than GoDaddy when it comes to ease of use, security, and pricing. On the other hand, GoDaddy showed better performance results.
Is Bluehost cheaper than GoDaddy?
Overall, Bluehost has lower prices than GoDaddy for the introductory period, but they are quite even upon renewal. At the same time, GoDaddy has a big discount on its Economy plan ($1/mo) for short-term use.
Do Bluehost and GoDaddy give free domain names?
Yes, both Bluehost and GoDaddy will provide you with a free domain for one year no matter which plan you choose.