HostGator vs GoDaddy 2017

After using HostGator from 2013 to 2016, and GoDaddy from 2009 to 2016, here is my HostGator vs GoDaddy comparison to help you decide which web host works better for you. I will keep this comparison updated to include the latest hosting updates and changes.

I have read multiple hosting reviews and comparisons on the internet, and I have to say that I am disappointed in the amount of false information being provided to you. There are countless “top 10 web hosting” affiliate lists all over the web.

Every site is unique and utilizes different resources. A web hosting company that is a universal fit for every site does not exist – or at least I am not able to find one that does. The same is true for HostGator and GoDaddy as each company serves a different type of site and user.

HostGator Vs GoDaddy – Quick and simple comparison

Founded in 2002, HostGator sells web hosting and domains only. HostGator is a part of the Endurance International Group (EIG), which is a large company that owns a lot of other web hosting providers.

Founded in 1997, GoDaddy is the more experienced company and goes beyond web hosting and domains.  The company sells other related services such as online marketing, website builders, website security, and online bookkeeping.

Here is a quick and simple comparison between HostGator and GoDaddy that you can review:

HostGator logo GoDaddy Logo
Best For: Unlimited hosting

Unlimited bandwidth
Unlimited storage space
Single website
Website builder & templates
cPanel interface

[maxbutton name=”HostGator Small”]

Best For: Cheap hosting

As low as $3.99 a month
Constant coupons & promotions
Integrates products well
Backup options
Not part of the EIG network

[maxbutton name=”GoDaddy Small”]

Speed and performance

Everyone prefers a fast loading site, and so does Google (page speed is now a ranking factor) and other major search engines. Whether you own a store or blog, you need a site that loads fast. That is why speed is an important factor when choosing a web host.

I conducted the following speed test:

I build a basic WordPress site and installed a Genesis theme. I then hosted the same site on HostGator and GoDaddy. I used Pingdom to check the loading time of both sites. HostGator loaded in 1.52 seconds, which is a good speed for shared web hosting. GoDaddy loaded in 3.11 seconds, which is about 2 times slower.

Furthermore, the server response time was better on HostGator than on GoDaddy.

HostGator speed test:

HostGator speed test

GoDaddy speed test:

GoDaddy speed test

Conclusion: HostGator loads about 2 times faster than GoDaddy, which is a big difference. A good recommended site speed is between 1 to 2 seconds.

Control panel

The hosting control panel interface is the one place that you will visit most often. I am in favor of working with a platform that is user-friendly and clean, not clunky and complicated. Thus, it is beneficial to choose a web host that offers a control panel interface that you are not only familiar with, but comfortable using too.

Both HostGator and GoDaddy offer cPanel for Linux hosting, and Plesk for Windows hosting. Each control panel is clean and user friendly, and do a good job at helping you manage the entire hosting account at one centralized location.

I am in favor of HostGator here because they offer the latest cPanel theme that I am most familiar with. GoDaddy uses a custom cPanel theme that is clunky at times.

Conclusion: At the end of the day, user preference is going to play a role in the decision process. Go with the host that you are more comfortable with.

Installing scripts

The days of you having to install scripts manually are long gone. Today, a lot of web hosting companies offer a simple process for installing scripts and other third-party applications onto your site. In most cases, the installation process is completed with a “one-click installer,” which automatically installs the script on your site.

HostGator and GoDaddy offer the “one-click installer” for commonly used scripts such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. The process is straightforward and almost identical on both platforms.

In addition, both web hosting companies give you the option to install scripts to the hosting server manually. To do so, upload the script or application to the root of your domain and start the installation process from there. The process is the same for both hosting providers.

Conclusion: While the process of installing scripts and third-party applications is almost identical, HostGator offers a larger selection of applications that you can easily install on your site. Thus, that is the only reason of why I am in favor of HostGator in this category.

Hosting perks

Hosting perks are special offers and features that a lot of web hosting companies offer to entice you to buy hosting from them instead of their competitors. In theory, these perks add value to your hosting purchase. However, some of these free perks are either useless or have limitations. Make sure you are aware of that before you make your decision.

HostGator offers the following hosting perks for free on all shared hosting plans:

  • Free version of Weebly site builder (good for starter sites).
  • 4,500 website templates that you can use on your site.
  • The option to transfer your site and domain when you buy hosting.
  • $100 Google AdWords credit (only good if you use Google AdWords, otherwise useless).
  • $100 Yahoo and Bing credit (same as above).

GoDaddy is limited to the following free perks:

  • You get a free domain name when you buy an annual hosting plan (you have to pay for the entire year of hosting in full).
  • Advertising credits that vary by location.

Conclusion: If you need to build a website from scratch, HostGator is the better option because you get a free website builder with thousands of templates. In addition, you can market your website with the included advertising credits. However, if you need a free domain name to accompany your hosting package, GoDaddy is probably the better option.

Uptime and money back guarantees

Even with the advanced server infrastructure, it is impossible for a web host to have a perfect uptime. A lot of the hosting companies calculate their uptime from previous years. Every single web host is going to experience downtime at one point or another.

Both HostGator and GoDaddy offer an uptime guarantee of 99.9% and a 45-day money back guarantee for annual plans. With HostGator and GoDaddy, refunds for the monthly plans must be submitted within 48 hours after you buy hosting.

I used both web hosting providers for many years and I can tell you that neither host is perfect. Eventually, you will need to upgrade to a different type of hosting (e.g. managed WordPress hosting).

Conclusion: Both of the guarantees are the same on HostGator and GoDaddy. You can expect some downtime with either host.

Price of hosting

With web hosting and almost every other product, you get what you pay for. While it is important to examine your available budget, it is also a good idea to choose a web host that is reliable right now and in the foreseeable future.

In terms of pricing, here is how the two hosts compare to one another (cheapest shared hosting plans are compared below):

HostGator logo GoDaddy Logo
Monthly Price: $10.95 Not available
Price for 3 Months: $32.85 $23.97
Price for 6 Months: $65.70 Not available
Price for 1 Year: $107.40 $59.88
Price for 2 Years: $190.80 $107.76
Price for 3 Years: $250.20 $143.64
Renewals:  $6.95 to $10.95 $7.99 to $16.99
Coupons:  EC25OFF (25% off) Not available
[maxbutton name=”HostGator Small”] [maxbutton name=”GoDaddy Small”]
Conclusion: The cost of hosting is an important factor that you need to consider when making your final decision. GoDaddy is cheaper, but only if you plan on paying in advance and do not mind regular downtime. HostGator has cheaper renewal fees, and I was able to negotiate a 25% discount for all Ecommerce Critics visitors – use EC25OFF coupon code at checkout.


Customer support is not something that a lot of people look at until they need help or things go terribly wrong. Both web hosts offer you English-speaking support department via phone, email, and live chat.

HostGator offers you 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat. Furthermore, they offer a helpful resource page. I contacted their support team via live chat and asked a hosting question. The wait time was approximately 1 minute. A support representative joined the chat session and provided me with the information that I was looking for.

HostGator support

With the exception of the live chat option which is available during limited hours, GoDaddy offers you 24/7 support. Like HostGator, they offer a resource page where you can find helpful guides and tutorials. I contacted their support team via live chat. Initially, my estimated wait time was 2 minutes. However, I ended up waiting about half an hour. The estimated wait time changed several times (see image below). This is an ongoing issue with GoDaddy. I also need to note that GoDaddy will only assist you with their products (hosting, domains, etc.). They will not assist you with applications and other third party software.

GoDaddy support

Conclusion: In reality, you will rarely need to contact either support department. Support is something like insurance – it is only good to have it when you need it. HostGator offers a responsive support department that is available 24/7.

5 things HostGator does better than GoDaddy

  1. Servers are more reliable and site performance is better.
  2. There are far less site errors and crashes.
  3. You get a free version of Weebly with 4,500 website templates that you can use to build and design your site.
  4. HostGator’s control panel has a slight advantage because they use the latest cPanel theme and layout.
  5. 24/7 support assistance via phone, email, and live chat.

4 things GoDaddy does better than HostGator

  1. Hosting and domains are cheaper due to constant discounts and promotions.
  2. You get a free domain name when you buy hosting.
  3. GoDaddy integrates their products well. You have everything in one place – hosting, domains, email marketing, and etc.
  4. GoDaddy is independently owned and they do not have any plans to sell their company to Endurance International Group (EIG).

HostGator vs GoDaddy – Conclusion

As mentioned above, every site is unique and needs different resources. I feel that your preference and available budget are going to determine which web host is ultimately better for your site.

While I recommend HostGator over GoDaddy, I feel that it is only fair to go with the web host that covers most of what you need. However, if you are using WordPress and expect a large amount of traffic, I recommend looking at a provider like WP Engine – a managed web hosting solution made for WordPress.

Here is my final verdict for HostGator vs GoDaddy:

  • Go with HostGator for better performance (do not forget coupon code: EC25OFF) or;
  • Go with GoDaddy for cheap web hosting.

Which web host do you recommend? Share your thoughts to help other users by posting a comment below.


One Comment

  1. My experience with GoDaddy was a nightmare. I don’t even understand why it’s considered one of the best website hosts–it truly isn’t. The customer support was just awful and so unreliable. I had to switch to HostGator in just less than a year. And you know what? I’m glad I did–HostGator is sooo much better and is definitely one of the best website hosts in the business today. I’ve never noticed the site ever being down, plus the speed is also good. It’s definitely a great option for small businesses. Take my advice, avoid GoDaddy and go for something better.

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