HostGator vs GoDaddy: Neither is Great

Neither HostGator nor GoDaddy has a lot of features. But HostGator is better than GoDaddy at delivering value, while GoDaddy is more expensive but lacks several basic features you expect from pricey hosting. If you’re looking for cheap and reliable hosting, HostGator is the obvious choice, but if you want better features, I suggest you stay away from GoDaddy and choose one of the alternatives.

HostGator Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Free SSL
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited storage
  • Included website builder

HostGator Cons:

  • HDD drives
  • US data centers only
  • No backups or security

Read the full HostGator review to learn more.

GoDaddy Pros:

  • NVMe drives
  • Daily backups (1-day retention)
  • Data centers in Asia and the EU

GoDaddy Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No free SSL

Table of Contents

HostGator vs GoDaddy: Pricing and Promos

Despite its reputation as a cheap web host, GoDaddy is much more expensive than HostGator. The basic GoDaddy plan starts at $5.99/m, whereas HostGator’s Hatchling plan costs just $2.64/m. HostGator also has better discounts compared to GoDaddy. Here’s a list of HostGator promo codes to get you started.

$2.64/m

Old Price: $6.95/m

$5.99/m

Old Price: $8.99/m

Here’s a table showing the price differences between HostGator and GoDaddy for the three hosting packages.

Hosting PackageHostGatorGoDaddy
Basic Plan$2.64/m$5.99/m
Advanced Plan$3.38/m$7.99/m
Premium Plan$5.08/m$12.99/m
HostGator vs GoDaddy Pricing Comparison Chart

In addition, GoDaddy doesn’t have as many coupons as HostGator, and they’re very inflexible with their discount strategy. You can see from the list of GoDaddy promo codes that it’s just a tiny handful. There are also regular HostGator flash sales throughout the year that you can use to get even lower discounts, whereas GoDaddy doesn’t even organize Black Friday sales.

The discounts for HostGator are also three times higher. GoDaddy’s pricing strategy is to give as few discounts as possible while withholding essential features. HostGator holds one final advantage over GoDaddy: it has a more extended money-back guarantee period of 45-days compared to GoDaddy’s standard 30-days, giving you more time to back out.

HostGator vs GoDaddy Pricing Ratings:

HostGator Price Rating: ★★★★★ 5 stars
GoDaddy Price Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 1 star

Winner: Hostgator

HostGator vs GoDaddy Features

Even though it’s not nearly enough, GoDaddy has more features than HostGator. Since HostGator is a budget web host that provides basic hosting, it has options to purchase more add-ons. GoDaddy has NVMe drives and one day’s backup retention, but what’s notable is that it lacks the essential features that I expect a premium web host to have.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Web Hosting FeatureHostGatorGoDaddy
Free Backups
Free Security
Drive TechnologyHDDNVMe
Initial StorageUnlimited100 GB
Free Domain
Money-Back Guarantee45-days30-days
HostGator vs GoDaddy Features Comparison

The most crucial feature of GoDaddy that beats HostGator is that it provides one day’s worth of backups. It’s not much, but it will protect your site in some circumstances.

HostGator vs GoDaddy Storage

The most significant difference between HostGator and GoDaddy in terms of storage is that GoDaddy uses NVMe drives on all its plans, whereas HostGator uses HDD drives. GoDaddy also has limited storage on its basic plan, whereas HostGator allows unlimited storage on its starting Hatchling plan. Here’s a screenshot:

HostGator Unlimited Storage
HostGator Unlimited Storage

The starting storage limitation doesn’t make much difference since you’re only allowed to host one website on either, and there’s a limit to how big a single website can grow. In addition, both HostGator and GoDaddy restrict the total number of files and folders you can use. HostGator restricts it to 200,000 iNodes, and GoDaddy has a limit of 250,000 iNodes. In addition, both include terms in their ToS that discourage you from using the service as file dumps.

Here’s a list of web hosting with unlimited disk space if you want more options.

GoDaddy vs HostGator Backups

While neither GoDaddy nor HostGator have a good backup service, GoDaddy backups up your site once a day, while HostGator does not. The HostGator backup service is pretty bad, but that’s not surprising, considering how cheap it is. If you want backups, you need to purchase the HostGator CodeGuard add-on as shown here:

HostGator CodeGuard Backup
HostGator CodeGuard Backup

GoDaddy also lets you purchase extensions that allow you to retain backups for seven or fourteen days. These are essential since having a single day’s backup is insufficient and protects you from nothing but immediate server crashes. You need at least one weekly backup at all times.

Here’s a list of web hosts with free backups if you’re looking for choices.

HostGator Free SSL and GoDaddy

Years back, HostGator started offering free SSL certificates, while GoDaddy continued to demand that users pay for this essential feature. Today, things have changed. Even though the website hosting features on GoDaddy give the impression that you can only get SSL if you purchase the higher-tier plans, GoDaddy offers free AutoSSL on all its plans. Here’s a screenshot.

GoDaddy Free AutoSSL
GoDaddy Free AutoSSL

This FAQ item is pushed down to the very bottom of the page. It’s deceptive of GoDaddy not to show it more prominently because the hosting features currently imply that you have to purchase an expensive SSL certificate to get SSL protection. In contrast, HostGator offers its free SSL service very openly.

HostGator vs GoDaddy Features Ratings:

HostGator Features Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2 stars
GoDaddy Features Rating: ★★★★☆ 3.5 stars

Winner: GoDaddy

HostGator vs GoDaddy Data Centers

HostGator is an entirely US-based company with only two data centers:

  1. Houston, TX, United States
  2. Provo, Utah, United States

HostGator doesn’t have server locations in Europe or Asia. GoDaddy, on the other hand, has data centers in the US, Europe and the Middle East (EMEA), India, and Singapore. They make it very hard to find the exact data center locations, and you also have to raise a ticket to request a change of data center.

Also, you can’t choose the GoDaddy data center you want when you place the order, which is weird. What’s the point of having a data center in India, for example, if you can’t choose the location at the start?

HostGator vs GoDaddy Performance: Downtime

Even though it may seem that it has superior performance thanks to NVMe drives, the reality is that GoDaddy performs worse than HostGator. This isn’t to say that HostGator has excellent performance; after all, it’s a budget host, and you’ll never get outstanding performance on a shared hosting plan. But it has better performance than GoDaddy.

There are two problems with GoDaddy’s performance.

First, they have a lot of downtime. I don’t know the cause of the downtime. It might be overcrowding on the shared server or misbehaving accounts that GoDaddy doesn’t control, but the consensus is that GoDaddy’s servers keep going down, and customer support doesn’t help. They either try and up-sell you to a higher plan or suggest illogical solutions like asking your customers to disable their firewalls! Here’s a screenshot of a customer’s experience:

GoDaddy Performance vs HostGator
GoDaddy Performance vs HostGator

This is anecdotal, but the number of horrific complaints about GoDaddy far outstrips those from HostGator. The consensus is that GoDaddy’s performance is terrible. So while I can’t give HostGator a lot of stars for performance, at least it’s not as bad.

HostGator vs GoDaddy Performance Ratings:

HostGator Performance Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3 stars
GoDaddy Performance Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 1.5 stars

Winner: HostGator

GoDaddy vs HostGator Security: Both are Bad

Neither GoDaddy nor HostGator have any security worth mentioning. The full article on HostGator security shows that it protects the server from DDoS attacks and other vulnerabilities that threaten everyone. They don’t have application-level security, malware scanning, or a Web Application Firewall (WAF) to fend off advanced threats.

However, poor security is unforgivable for GoDaddy because of the hosting price. At least HostGator has the excuse of being cheap, but what’s GoDaddy’s reason? Other web hosts like NameHero, HostArmada, and KnownHost have excellent security features and free malware scanning and are more affordable than GoDaddy.

Both HostGator and GoDaddy have security packages as add-ons. The basic HostGator SiteLock plan costs $2/m. GoDaddy’s security package costs a lot more, as shown here:

GoDaddy Security vs HostGator
GoDaddy Security vs HostGator

It’s astounding that even with a paid security plan, it only promises to clean your site once a year. And it trumpets the free SSL certificate as if that’s something to be proud of when every web host gives it for free.

So while both GoDaddy and HostGator have insufficient security, HostGator has a better-paid security add-on than HostGator.

HostGator vs GoDaddy Security Ratings:

HostGator Security Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3 stars
GoDaddy Security Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 1 star

Winner: HostGator

HostGator and GoDaddy Customer Service

While HostGator’s customer support isn’t great, experienced web hosting customers hate GoDaddy’s support. In the screenshot above, the customer rep asked the client to tell their visitors to disable their firewall, which is absurd. GoDaddy’s employees also try and get you to upgrade your plan, though they’re by no means the only ones that do this. I have limited exposure to HostGator’s customer support, but the experience hasn’t been terrible.

GoDaddy has a selection of global telephone numbers that you can call, compared to HostGator, which has US-based numbers. This makes sense since GoDaddy has data centers located on all continents. But just because a server is in the US doesn’t mean that the customer is too.

HostGator vs GoDaddy Customer Support Ratings:

HostGator Customer Support Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3 stars
GoDaddy Customer Support Rating: ★★★☆☆ 2.5 stars

Winner: HostGator

Alternatives to Both GoDaddy and HostGator

There are three good alternatives to both GoDaddy and HostGator.

1. NameHero

NameHero

NameHero’s pricing is close to HostGator’s, starting at $2.15/m, but it has free daily and weekly backups, a LiteSpeed server, and free security.

9.7

★★★★★

  • LiteSpeed web server
  • Free daily and weekly backups
  • Free security
  • NVMe drives
  • Unlimited storage
  • Server-side caching

More Info

NameHero is the main alternative to both GoDaddy and HostGator. It’s not quite as cheap as HostGator, but it’s cheaper than GoDaddy. It has free backups, malware scanning, and a WAF, all of which are paid additions for HostGator, so it’s more cost-effective overall. Here’s the NameHero coupon page to get you started.

2. HostArmada

HostArmada

HostArmada uses the NGINX and LiteSpeed servers. It has at least 7 days of backups, free security, and data centers all over the globe. Pricing starts at $2.48/m.

9.7

★★★★★

75% off

Coupon:
WPT75

  • 7-21 days of backups
  • NGINX/LiteSpeed web server
  • Free malware scanning
  • Global servers, including India
  • Free private DNS
  • Static and dynamic caching

More Info

HostArmada has the best free backup systems of all the shared hosting services. It offers a unique architecture using the NGINX web server that you can upgrade to the LiteSpeed server on the Speed Reaper plan. The pricing is competitive with HostGator and less expensive than GoDaddy. Here’s the best HostArmada coupon:

3. KnownHost

KnownHost

KnownHost uses a LiteSpeed web server, and has strict resource restrictions, which ensures fast speeds for everyone. It has free backups and malware scanning, with pricing starting at $3.47/m.

9.7

★★★★★

  • 2 days + weekly backups
  • Free malware scanning and fixing
  • LiteSpeed web server
  • In-built server-side caching
  • Free IPV6 address
  • Free Opcache

More Info

KnownHost is slightly more expensive than either NameHero or HostArmada, and they’re very strict about resource restrictions. The benefit is that their servers are high-speed, and they have excellent customer support. With free backups, malware scanning, and the powerful LiteSpeed server, it’s a far better alternative to either HostGator or GoDaddy. Here’s the KnownHost promo code page to get you started.

Final Thoughts on HostGator vs GoDaddy

On paper, GoDaddy’s hosting specifications are better than HostGator’s, but the reality is very different. GoDaddy is far more expensive and doesn’t give you enough in return in the way of backups or security. HostGator is plain, vanilla hosting with nothing special. But for the prices GoDaddy charges, you’re better off choosing a different host like NameHero, HostArmada, or KnownHost.

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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