Best GoDaddy alternatives: more for less
In this post, I’ll introduce you to 5 web hosting providers that work as great GoDaddy alternatives if you want to change the provider or find it not good enough.
Just in case the provider’s ads haven’t reached you – GoDaddy is a platform that provides a full range of services, from domain registration and web hosting to email and site-building.
Now, GoDaddy is one of the most popular hosting services out there. “The world’s #1 host”, or that’s what it says about itself.
However, I could argue that there are a few cons that could make you turn to Godaddy’s competitors.
The main drawbacks of the provider circle around:
- Price and tools included,
- Customer services,
If any of these things are not up to your standard, there are 5 great GoDaddy alternatives that can help you with a few or even all of the listed weaknesses. Here’s how those providers rank.
Best GoDaddy alternatives: ranked
- Hostinger – the cheapest performance-oriented GoDaddy alternative
- Bluehost – the best beginner-friendly hosting provider
- HostGator – fast and resource-rich GoDaddy alternative
- DreamHost – reliable and cheap WordPress-focused GoDaddy alternative
- HostPapa – secure and beginner-friendly hosting provider
|Features||Free SSL, CDN, hPanel|
|Best for||Budget-friendly and fast web hosting|
Extremely cheap and highly performance-oriented - Hostinger is an impressive player in the hosting field. Don’t be fooled by its low prices. The host delivers only the highest quality (got you concerned there for a second). Its inclusive plans, powerful servers, and tempting price points are what make Hostinger such a good GoDaddy alternative.
Let’s see what Hostinger has to offer:
- Hostinger offers shared hosting plans for as low as $1.39/mo. Even at the renewal, this price only jumps to $2.99/mo. Simply put, Hostinger’s renewal price is GoDaddy’s promotional offer. Take it as you will.
- The provider is very performance-centered. It uses LiteSpeed Web Server with a built-in cache engine to guarantee the speediest website performance. You can also pick the server location and add CDN.
- For added ease of use, Hostinger has developed its own native management panel called hPanel. The panel is very simplistic, well organized, and just as easy to use as cPanel.
- If you’re looking for a variety of customer support services, Hostinger has quite a few to offer. The provider has 24/7 live chat, email, a ticketing system, and a very useful knowledge base. Overall, Hostinger agents are very well trained and helpful. However, you might have to wait a bit to get a reply.
All in all, Hostinger seems to have it all - good prices, performance, and support. And best of all, it’s not just bragging, it delivers too.
Hostinger offers 3 shared hosting plans with prices ranging from $1.39/mo up to $4.99. In comparison, the cheapest GoDaddy plan is $2.99/mo. Feel the difference?
Notably, Hostinger includes a free lifetime SSL certificate and at least 1 email account with each plan. It also provides various nifty features like WordPress acceleration, LiteSpeed cache, and Git integration. You might not need them, but hey, they’re there.
- Single ($1.39/mo) is great for smaller personal blogs or portfolios. You get 1 website and 1 email account, with a bandwidth limited to 100GB and storage of 30GB.
- Premium ($2.59/mo) is a functional solution for low-to-mid-sized blogs and shops. The plan includes 100 websites, 100 GB SSD storage, 100 emails, unlimited bandwidth, and a free domain.
- Business ($4.99/mo) will suit small applications and e-commerce websites. It adds daily backups and doubles the Premium plan’s storage.
Keep in mind the price will increase upon the renewal of your term. However, after the renewal, Hostingers’ entry plan will come up to $2.99/mo, while GoDaddy’s cheapest plan will retail for $8.99/mo.
To secure the best deal, you should consider the Premium plan. With a 48-month subscription, you will only pay $124.32 for the first 4 years. With this plan, you will get a free domain and the ability to host up to 100 websites.Check Hostinger Pricing Now
Hostinger is very well known for its fast and reliable performance, but can it perform well under stress too?
To test the provider’s abilities in handling heavy traffic on site, I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs).
And just like I hoped, Hostinger ate this test for breakfast. The provider handled the full 50VUs test with true ease.
The response time (blue line) was pretty stable. Hostinger did not slow down, regardless of how many VUs (grey line) were trying to break my site. Kudos to you, sir.
In addition, it’s quite reassuring to know that such good performance can be maintained in different parts of the world. That’s due to Hostinger offering 4 server locations with its shared hosting plans. The choice is between the US, Netherlands, Lithuania, or Singapore.
Combining affordability, performance, and functionality, Hostinger is among the best solutions if you want to get a lot of resources in a user-friendly package.
- The cheapest shared hosting in the market
- Ability to handle heavy traffic
- Knowledgeable customer support
- No domain with the entry plan
- Customer support wait time can get long
|Features||Free SSL, domain, CDN, cPanel|
|Best for||Ease of use with a strong emphasis on business websites|
Bluehost is one of the most well-known hosting providers for WordPress that offer beginner-oriented solutions for a pretty affordable price. Moreover, you will find an abundance of useful features regardless of your needs.
While most provider claims can be just marketing strategies, here’s what Bluehost has to offer:
- First and foremost, Bluehost is a very beginner-friendly solution. You've never created a site? Worry not. The host has a checklist in its customer management panel on how to do just that and an automatic site setup process. More so, regardless of your level of experience, you’ll find Bluehost’s native panel very easy to use. Especially with a cPanel integration that the provider offers.
- Bluehost also pays a lot of attention to small businesses. Such tools like staging, Google Ads management, and Google My Business are included free of charge with all plans.
- Different from GoDaddy, Bluehost includes a free SSL certificate with all its plans. This simply means that no more additional will be needed on top of your plan’s price.
- Lastly, Bluehost includes a free website builder option regardless of which plan you choose. Even better, this builder is a part of WordPress integration, meaning you won’t have to worry about not being able to use and alter your website’s design on WordPress.
Simply put, Bluehost is a very simplicity-centered provider. You get great tools to boost your business visibility online as well as don’t break your brain and waste your time doing so.
There are 4 shared hosting plans: Basic ($2.95/mo), Plus/Choice Plus ($5.45/mo), and Pro ($9.50/mo).
Note that the prices are lower than GoDaddy’s just for the initial payment. The renewal rates bring both of these hosts to the same standpoint.
Each plan is quite rich in terms of features, offering unmetered bandwidth, free SSL, domain, and CDN.
- Basic ($2.95/mo) offers 1 website and 50GB of disk space, which is a nice starting point for small websites.
- Plus and Choice Plus ($5.45/mo) plans are great for managing multiple websites. They include unlimited website and storage, as well as one free month of Office 365 for email. If you pick Choice Plus, domain privacy and site backup features will be at your service. However, a significantly higher renewal rate will also apply.
- Pro ($9.50/mo) is for a more serious endeavor, although the improvements are questionable: it adds a dedicated IP address and an additional layer of spam protection for email on top of everything that Choice Plus has to offer.
If you’re looking for the most optimal solution, Plus may be the one. Although Choice Plus is at the same price point, Plus brings much more value in the long run with its lower renewal rates.Check Bluehost Pricing Now
When it comes to performance, all I can say is that Bluehost gets a little stressed under the stress.
To see how much traffic can be handled on the cheapest Bluehost’s plan, I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) to roam around my site for 5 minutes.
Short and sweet, 50VUs were simply too much for Bluehost to cope with. The first pass was with 15VUs.
As you can see, the graph is all over the place. The response time (blue line) is dependent on the number of visitors on the site - the more VUs, the slower the site gets. While this is not ideal, I am happy to see that there are no failed requests (red line) in sight.
Also, I must note that new 15VUs every minute for a month on your site could result in 15 000 monthly visits. This is equal to a relatively popular blog or a small business website.
Lastly, Bluehost hosts all its users’ websites in the US alone. Keep this in mind if your audience resides somewhere else in the world.
Overall, Bluehost is an all-in-one hosting service that offers an unparalleled user experience. With justified prices and functional plans, it is a solid choice for beginners and small businesses alike.
- Native control panel with the cPanel integration
- Google Ads and Google My Business integration in the dashboard
- Free website builder based on WordPress
- High renewal prices
- Handles relatively low traffic on cheaper plans
|Features||Free SSL, domain, website builder, cPanel|
|Best for||Small-to-medium personal projects|
HostGator is yet another widely known, reliable, and beginner-friendly option. Resource-rich plans, powerful performance, and ease of use are the exact reasons that have landed this provider among the best GoDaddy alternatives.
Here are some of HostGator qualities that make this provider so tempting:
- First, all HostGator plans include all website essentials. The provider includes a free domain, email accounts, and an SSL certificate. You can be worry-free that no other expenses will be needed. Just a friendly reminder that GoDaddy’s 2 out of 4 plans do not include a free SSL.
- To make your hosting and website management that much easier, HostGator offers the widely known and liked cPanel. cPanel is considered the epitome of ease of use as it is very well organized and straightforward.
- When it comes to customer support, HostGator has 2 options - 24/7 phone support and live chat. With both options, the agents are very speedy and very helpful. I never had a problem with their support. However, as HostGator agents are outsourced, some may be more invested in your problem than others.
In simple terms, HostGator is a very attractive option to beginners and experts alike. Cheap yet generously packed plans, simplicity of it all, and fast support will benefit a personal blog or a business website.
HostGator gives you 3 options: Hatchling ($2.75/mo), Baby ($3.50/mo), and Business ($5.25/mo). Only the cheapest GoDaddy plan can compete in regards to price, so go figure.
The nice advantages of each plan include a free SSL, domain, email accounts, website builder, and unmetered bandwidth. Here’s how they differ:
- Hatchling ($2.75/mo) plan will be a good fit for a personal blog or a small business site due to the fact that you can host only 1 website on it.
- Baby ($3.50/mo) can be used for multiple business sites, as it makes the number of websites unlimited.
- Business ($5.25/mo) would be great for medium-sized business website/s. The useful additions include a dedicated IP address and SEO tools for marketing.
The best deal hides with HostGator’s Baby plan. If you commit for 3 years, you will only pay $126 in total. This is the best option as it gives you the freedom of hosting more than 1 website, which is not the case with the Hatchling plan.Check HostGator Pricing Now
HostGator is seen as a reliable and fast hosting provider, but will it remain just as fast under additional stress?
To really evaluate HostGator’s ability to handle high traffic on the site, I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) to break my site.
Why do I say break? Well, continuous traffic of 50VUs is intense enough to overwhelm the server entirely. Although, HostGator didn’t get the memo and handled the full 50VUs test without a sign of a struggle.
Apart from 1 more significant jump, the response time (blue line) remained stable. Just as stable with 1 or 50 visitors (grey line).
One more thing to note, HostGator’s servers are located in the US, meaning that the speediest performance will be in the US too.
In general, HostGator is an affordable option for those seeking to get their website up and running quickly and without any hassle. It has decent features, great uptime, and... Cute plan names.
- Affordable plans that require no further investments
- Beginner-friendly cPanel
- Ability to handle heavy traffic
- Data centers in the US only
- Customer support is outsourced
|Features||Free SSL, domain, website builder, native panel|
|Best for||WordPress-based hosting for business-oriented websites|
If there is one WordPress-focused hosting to highlight, it is DreamHost. Reliable, easy-to-use, and highly economical, the provider stands out not just from the crowd of GoDaddy hosting alternatives but overall.
But is it really as good as it sounds? Let’s see ourselves:
- If you’re looking to build a WordPress website, DreamHost just might be the way to go. The provider is highly WordPress-focused with offers such as 1-click WordPress installation and WordPress-based web builder. You also can install any CMS you wish to, but WordPress gets the most of DreamHost’s attention.
- Additionally, the provider offers you its native customer management panel, which is very easy to navigate and use. You can rest assured that you will have no troubles managing your site regardless if you’re a beginner or a pro.
- When it comes to security measures, DreamHost makes sure to supply you with many security tools. The provider includes domain privacy, Web Application Firewall, and automated backups to help you defend against the most common threats.
- Lastly, DreamHost’s prices are very reasonable for long and short billing periods. The starter plan retails for $4.95 with a month-to-month option, $2.95/mo with an annual payment, and $2.59/mo with a 3-year subscription.
In sum, DreamHost is a very competitive GoDaddy alternative in terms of price, resources, and power. Additionally, any business website will greatly benefit from the security tools included.
With DreamHost, you have 2 options: Starter ($2.59/mo) and Unlimited ($3.95/mo). GoDaddy doesn’t even come close to that, which makes DreamHost an advantageous pick for WordPress.
Both plans include a free domain, SSL certificate, unlimited traffic, and a WordPress-oriented website builder.
- Starter ($2.59/mo) allows you to set up 1 website, which will suit customers who need a basic website with nothing too fancy. If you need an email, you’ll have to pay an extra $1.67/mo for it.
- Unlimited ($3.95/mo) will suit small and medium business websites, as it removes all limits from websites and email.
The cheapest best value offer lies with the Unlimited plan. Just for $3.95/mo with a 3-year subscription, you get free email accounts and more than 1 website to host.Check DreamHost Pricing Now
If pricing wasn’t enough to convince you, performance will. DreamHost performed just as speedily under stress as it would with normal conditions.
For this test, I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) to the site for 5 minutes. Keep in mind, 50VUs is intensive traffic that could easily result in tens of thousands of monthly visitors.
Even though such traffic is no joke to some, it was just that to DreamHost. The provider handled the full 50VUs test effortlessly.
Even though the response time (blue line) has its ups and downs, the provider did not slow down, regardless of how many visitors (grey line) were on the site.
Additionally, you should know that the provider has servers in the US exclusively. What this means is that US audiences will get to enjoy the best website’s loading speed.
DreamHost applies a clear approach to pricing, providing useful features for an affordable cost. If you’re looking for a reliable and user-friendly provider to host your website, this is it.
- Very good prices for any billing period
- Strong security features
- Ability to handle heavy traffic
- Only US-based servers
- No email account with the entry plan
|Features||Free SSL, domain, website builder, cPanel|
|Best for||Secure and beginner-friendly hosting for any website|
HostPapa may not be the most popular hosting solution, but its offers are still very good. The provider may woo you with its generously packed plans, very reasonable prices, and its special attention to smaller businesses.
Despite HostPapa officially advertising its services for businesses, any type of website will be able to find something that could benefit their site:
- To begin with, HostPapa offers cPanel as its main website management panel. If you’re not familiar with cPanel, you’ll be able to navigate in no time as it’s that easy to use. If you’re an experienced user, well, you’re most likely more than familiar with it.
- Compared to GoDaddy, HostPapa’s plans look pretty similar, yet the latter also includes a free SSL certificate in all of them. This is very much lacking with GoDaddy.
- One thing that really distinguishes HostPapa from the rest is its free one-on-one training sessions. The provider gives you 30 minutes to chat with an experienced professional to solve any issues you may have or learn any skills you may wish in regards to website creating and hosting services.
- Last, HostPapa takes security pretty seriously. It does advertise its services to businesses, which means that HostPapa has to make sure that any business is protected against the most common threats. For that reason, every plan includes server firewall, monitoring, and intrusion detection, DDoS protection, and network monitoring.
In simple words, HostPapa is a very secure provider that makes your website hosting very simple. It even offers a free training session, which is a big rarity.
There are 3 shared hosting plans to choose from - Starter and Business go for $3.95/mo, while Business Pro jumps to $12.95/mo. Why do the first two cost the same? Don’t worry, you’ll feel the difference upon renewal. That will make it quite similar to GoDaddy’s pricing.
Regardless of which plan you’ll choose, you will get a free domain, an SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, and a website builder. On top of that, things like one-on-one training and 400+ apps make the offers even shinier.
- Starter ($3.95/mo) is a solid option for simple websites and small businesses. You are getting a total of 100GB of SSD space for two websites – with a two-page site builder as well!
- Business ($3.95/mo) lifts all restrictions, offering unlimited websites, emails, and storage. It’s a good pick for businesses that don’t require extra-high resources.
- Business Pro ($12.95/mo) adds an auto-backup and domain privacy, but the main difference is the 1,000-page site builder. This might be a great fit for an agency or just for bigger projects.
If you’re looking for a long time value, I suggest you give Started a look. This plan has it all, a free domain, free SSL, and free email accounts. If 2 websites are enough for you, there’s no better HostPapa option.Check HostPapa Pricing Now
While HostPapa has very inclusive plans, performance under stress-inducing conditions is not its area of expertise.
I have sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) to the site to create a stressful environment - high traffic for an extended period of time. 5 minutes to be precise.
And simply put, stress got to HostPapa. It failed the full test and reached the first success at 15VUs.
Even then, it is pretty clear that 15VUs is about as much as you can expect from the entry plan.
The response time (blue line) increased alongside the number of visitors (grey line). This suggests that the more visitors on site, the more likely the site is to slow down. While this is nothing crazy bad, the red line (failed requests) tells that this is the limit.
As a last note, HostPapa offers 3 server locations (the US, Canada, and Europe) to choose from. This allows you to get closer to your target audience and battle latency. Especially if your audience is not from the US.
With a plethora of features and resources, HostPapa offers very attractive prices. Suited for beginners and tech-savvy customers alike, it is a good choice for those who don’t rely on SEO nor care about speed.
- Good security tools
- Free domain, SSL, and emails
- Free one-on-one training session
- Inability to handle heavy traffic
- The pricing structure is a bit complex
Best GoDaddy alternatives: final recommendations
GoDaddy, while a good hosting provider, still has its drawbacks. Some might be discouraged by its high price or lack of some basic resources. Regardless, you can choose 1 out of 5 providers that outshine GoDaddy in one area or another.
Here’s an overview of what each provider excels at:
- Hostinger is the cheapest shared hosting provider with great performance and very knowledgeable customer support agents.
- Bluehost is beginner-friendly hosting for WordPress with many business-oriented tools.
- HostGator delivers resource-rich plans and fast website performance for a very reasonable price.
- DreamHost is a WordPress-oriented, very reliable, secure, and powerful GoDaddy alternative.
- HostPapa is a beginner and small business-oriented provider that guarantees good security measures.
What’s wrong with GoDaddy?
Before we begin, let’s make a few things clear. GoDaddy is a reliable and functional service with good performance – and it’s very easy to use. From domain names to marketing strategies, GoDaddy has it all.
Unfortunately, the lack of some vital features, high prices, and ever-changing quality of customer support might lead you to consider alternatives for GoDaddy hosting.
Now, let’s explore each con in more detail.
High price for plans that could be more inclusive
One of the first things that catch your eye is GoDaddy's quite high prices for shared hosting plans. If it wasn’t for the introductory discount, the cheapest entry plan would retail for $8.99/mo. And even then, this is the price you will be paying after the initial billing period ends.
While such a price is pretty good for 100GB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, and a free domain name for a year, a lack of SSL with GoDaddy’s 2 cheapest plans is very concerning. Needless to say, you can’t have a reputable website without SSL encryption – it’s a must. The feature has become a given these days, and all the providers I listed include it free of charge.
However, GoDaddy charges $4.75/mo for its security package, which includes SSL, web application firewall, and malware removal. And after the first year, the renewal rates bring it up to $7.99/mo… Sounds like a joke, but it’s not.
More so, the provider does not include automated backups free of charge either. If you wish to have that, you will have to sacrifice an additional $2.99 every month.
Simply put, some resources like storage and bandwidth are more than enough for a single website. Yet tools like SSL or automated backups will cost extra. And that will get very pricey, very soon.
Just like with many successful businesses, the mere scale of operations prevents GoDaddy from delivering top-tier customer support. Yes, the agents are responsive, but they aren’t always helpful – which is the main purpose. Whether or not you’ll be connected to an expert or a trainee is a game of chance.
However, even if the agent is knowledgeable, there also may be some miscommunication issues. Most of GoDaddy’s agents are nonnative English speakers, which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.
If you are going to host your first website, that is a scary thing to hear. In its defense, GoDaddy has a 24/7 live chat, extensive knowledge base, and most importantly, phone support in 51 countries worldwide.
In sum, GoDaddy is helpful when it comes to customer support. But like most things where the human factor is involved, the experience can be great one time and not so much the other.
GoDaddy definitely does not disappoint when the topic turns to performance. The provider is reliable, fast, and can handle very reasonable traffic.
One test that I’ve put GoDaddy through was the stress test. The stress test is meant to see how much traffic can the provider handle. As a starting point, I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) to the site. What they do is they visit the site and click around, just like a real user would.
Keep in mind, 50 new VUs every minute for a month could result in pretty intense traffic of 50 000.
In short, GoDaddy was not able to pass the test the first time around. The graph looks more like abstract art than anything else, but the conclusion is clear. 50VUs is too much.
The first victory was at 40VUs.
That in itself is pretty good. Especially considering that the host did not slow down (blue line) regardless of the number of visitors (grey line) on-site.
Yes, 40VUs is very reasonable traffic for small-to-medium blogs or small business sites. But if you’re already shaking your head and saying this is not enough, some other providers like Hostinger, HostGator, or DreamHost can handle much more.
Just like with anything, GoDaddy isn’t perfect. It has its own drawbacks that may or may not be relevant to you, but it is far, far from being bad. GoDaddy is just not for everyone.
Best GoDaddy alternatives FAQs
What is the best alternative to GoDaddy?
There isn’t the best GoDaddy alternative – each has unique advantages. Hostinger is the cheapest GoDaddy alternative. DreamHost is better for WordPress and is also affordable. Bluehost shines in user experience and functionality.
Can I migrate my website from GoDaddy to another hosting provider?
Yes, you can migrate your website to any provider. Some hosting platforms, like HostPapa and HostGator, will migrate your website for free. With others, you can do it manually or for an additional fee.
What is the cheapest alternative to GoDaddy?
The cheapest of GoDaddy hosting alternatives is Hostinger. HostGator and DreamHost are a close second.