GoDaddy vs HostGator: Which is Best? (Hint: Neither Are Good)
GoDaddy is by far the most successful hosting company in North America (based on market share) – largely thanks to being one of the only hosting companies airing commercials on TV. Thanks to their slick marketing, almost every inexperienced new user will go to GoDaddy to buy their domain names and many will also opt for hosting without knowing there are other options.
I think GoDaddy is an excellent place to get domains (brand new or a premium domain at auction), but hosting is a different story.
GoDaddy is a big company – part of their draw and also part of their downfall. It seems to be that service and support are lacking because they just can’t accommodate customers in the same ways some of their smaller competition can.
You don’t want to use either of these companies, but in case you do. Here’s my take in my GoDaddy vs. HostGator comparision post.
Things I Love:
- They’ve been in the business a long time, so you know they won’t up and disappear on you.
- Anytime refund policy. They’ll reimburse you for unused days of service.
- Millions of different packages to choose from. If your site gets too much traffic, you’ll have no issue upgrading to a new package.
- 99.98% uptime in the year I monitored their servers. This is fantastic!
- Really fast servers with a 439 ms average server response time.
- 100% U.S. based customer support, this includes chat, phone, and support tickets.
- The sales (not technical) chat support you get is by far the best I’ve ever seen (read more below).
- The quality of phone support is strong; no language barriers or clueless staff on the other end.
- cPanel is now their standard control panel. It’s about time, GoDaddy! No only are they using cPanel, they also have a sleek way of integrating it with their own icons and design.
Things I Hate:
- Their dedicated and VPS packages are way overpriced – so make sure you track down one of their absurdly good coupon deals or you’ll wind up paying through the nose.
- GoDaddy is really quick to make you upgrade to a VPS. With just minimal traffic, you might be asked to move you account up to a level that you just don’t need.
- There are TONS of up-sells during checkout. It’s overwhelming how often they try to sell you different things than what you came for. It’s so bad that you’ll start wondering if you’re making the wrong purchase decision.
- Developers frequently complain about how much of a nightmare GoDaddy is to work with due to the way their servers are built. I’m no developer, but take note if you are.
- They’re slow to reply to tickets, especially when compared to other top companies. You’re looking at 12-24 hours to get a response. Your question will hardly ever get answered correctly, as all they do is copy and paste the information already listed on their site without any personalization at all.
- The brilliant chat support (mentioned above) is only for sales. If you’re already a customer then you don’t get any chat support. That’s pretty frustrating.
- While phone service is good, wait times are NOT. You’ll wait at least 8 minutes before speaking to a person.
Things I Love:
- Unlimited domains come with the basic shared hosting.
- HostGator is priced perfectly. It’s $71.40 for a full year of hosting, but even cheaper if you want more than a year.
- They use cPanel for their control panel and they’ve found a beautiful way to integrate the billing right into the cPanel.
- Dedicated IPs are an option if needed.
- HostGator has come out with reasonably priced dedicated and VPS hosting options. I haven’t tried either but if I were looking for a VPS I would probably wait for them to work out the kinks. Still, it’s good to know you have the ability to upgrade from shared hosting if you have to scale up.
- CloudFlare is fully integrated into cPanel with a full tutorial on how to set it up. CloudFlare is a service that puts a copy of your server on other servers so that when your server is experiencing downtime, the DNS will automatically and temporarily switch to a server that isn’t down. This is all free and it will help you to avoid downtime.
- All the customer support is 100% U.S. based – so at least you’ll understand what they’re saying.
Things I Hate:
- Monthly payments are not an option and you must pay for at least a full year upfront.
- The SimpleScripts script installer is not good. It takes much longer to put a CMS on your site than it should.
- The wait time for chat support is extremely annoying; support can fail to be helpful once you finally get them on the line, especially if your problem doesn’t fit a scripted mold.
- Like HostGator, getting a question answered that doesn’t fit the mold of what a normal sales question is can be hard because the sales representative will tell you that you contact a different department instead of just forwarding the call onwards to the right department or trying to answer the question themselves.
- HostGator was acquired by EIG in July of 2011. From that point on, they began overselling server space and saw a big a decrease in the quality of support.
- HostGator had two massive outages (August and December). This left many customers days without access to their site. In addition, oversold server space leaves a whole lot to be desired when it comes to site performance and uptime.