Choosing the right web host is one of the most critical decisions when launching a WordPress site.
The hosting provider you go with will significantly impact your site’s performance, security, and reliability.
Pick the wrong host and your site is bound to run into problems down the road.
But with so many hosting providers, how do you decide which is best for your WordPress site?
Two of the biggest names in web hosting are GoDaddy and HostGator. They both offer plans tailored specifically for WordPress users.
On the surface, GoDaddy and HostGator may seem very similar. But when you dig into the details, there are some key differences between these two popular web hosts.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare GoDaddy and HostGator side-by-side on the metrics that matter most for WordPress hosting.
We’ll look at pricing, speed, uptime, features, ease of use, security, and more.
By the end, you’ll have the information you need to determine which host best fits your WordPress site.
Whether you’re launching a brand new site or migrating an existing one, choosing the right web host will have a big impact on your WordPress success.
Let’s dive in and see how GoDaddy and HostGator stack up.
Overview of GoDaddy and HostGator
Before we dive into the details, let’s start with a quick overview of GoDaddy and HostGator.
Founded in 1997, GoDaddy is one of the largest domain registrars and web hosting providers in the world.
They register roughly one-third of all domain names worldwide.
In addition to domain registration, GoDaddy offers a full range of hosting services including:
- Shared hosting – Entry-level hosting where multiple sites share server resources
- WordPress hosting – Managed WordPress plans with automatic updates
- VPS hosting – Virtual private servers give more control and resources
- Dedicated hosting – Physical server fully dedicated to your site
- Email hosting
GoDaddy has data centers located around the globe. They emphasize being a one-stop shop for domains, email, hosting, and more.
HostGator was founded in 2002 and is now part of Endurance International Group. They focus specifically on budget-friendly web hosting services, including:
- Shared hosting – The Hatchling plan starts at just $2.75/month
- Cloud hosting – Unmanaged VPS and dedicated server options
- WordPress hosting – Managed WP plans through their HostGator ScaleRight line
- Reseller hosting – Allows you to resell hosting to clients
HostGator is well known as one of the top budget hosts for WordPress users.
Their plans consistently offer excellent performance and speed for the money.
Now that we have a brief background on each company let’s move on to comparing their core shared hosting plans and pricing.
Hosting Plans and Pricing
One of the most important factors when choosing a web host is the available plans and pricing.
Let’s take a look at the shared hosting options from GoDaddy and HostGator.
Shared Hosting Plans
Both GoDaddy and HostGator offer Linux-based shared hosting plans. This means your website shares resources like server space and RAM with other sites on the same server.
Shared hosting is the most common and budget-friendly option for small to medium WordPress sites.
Some key things to compare across shared hosting plans include:
- Disk space – Amount of storage for your site files and media
- Monthly data transfers – Traffic your site can handle per month
- Email accounts – Number of email addresses you can have
- MySQL databases – Databases for storing WordPress site data
- Free domain – Is a free domain registration included?
Both hosts also offer managed WordPress-specific hosting plans.
We’ll look at those options in more detail later on.
Pricing for Entry-Level Plans
Let’s start by looking at the pricing for GoDaddy and HostGator’s cheapest shared hosting options:
GoDaddy’s Basic Plan
- $5.99 per month (when booked for 12 months)
- 100 GB storage
- Unmetered bandwidth
- 25 email addresses
- 1 free domain for first year
HostGator’s Hatchling Plan
- $2.75 per month
- Unmetered disk space and bandwidth
- Unlimited email addresses
- Unlimited MySQL databases
- Free domain upon signup
As you can see, HostGator’s entry-level plan comes in at less than half the cost of GoDaddy’s lowest-tier option.
HostGator also offers unmetered disk space and bandwidth. With GoDaddy, you’ll pay more as your storage and site traffic grows.
Regular Discounts and Promos: HostGator vs. GoDaddy
When it comes to budgeting for your WordPress hosting, discounts and promotions can play a significant role. Both HostGator and GoDaddy offer promotional deals, but the frequency and depth of these discounts vary widely between the two.
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HostGator’s Year-Round Savings
- Consistent Discounts: HostGator regularly offers up to 60% off its hosting plans, making it an exceptional value all year round.
- Multiple Plans: The discounts extend across various plans, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your needs without breaking the bank.
GoDaddy’s Less Frequent Deals
- Occasional Offers: GoDaddy does offer discounts, but they are sporadic and usually range from 20-30% off, which is significantly less than HostGator’s regular promotions.
- Limited Scope: These discounts often apply to specific services rather than the full suite of hosting solutions that GoDaddy offers.
The Bottom Line
HostGator’s consistent and substantial discounts give them a distinct advantage in terms of cost, especially for WordPress users.
These discounts make their already competitive prices even more budget-friendly.
When evaluating the cost, it’s wise to consider these promotional prices rather than just the full sticker price, as they represent what you’ll likely end up paying.
Next let’s look at how these two hosts compare when it comes to critical performance metrics like speed and uptime.
Performance and Speed
The hosting server your WordPress site is on has a major impact on its speed and performance.
Faster sites provide a better user experience, rank higher in search engines, and convert more visitors.
Let’s see how GoDaddy and HostGator compare when it comes to critical performance metrics.
Page Load Speed Tests
Third party sites like Bitcatcha and HostingFacts run regular speed tests on various web hosts.
Here are the results for GoDaddy and HostGator’s entry-level shared plans:
|Host||Avg Page Load Time|
As you can see, HostGator’s servers delivered WordPress sites 34% faster on average compared to GoDaddy in these independent tests.
Faster page load times keep visitors happy and can lead to higher conversions for ecommerce sites.
Site speed should be a top priority when choosing a WordPress host.
Factors Impacting Speed
There are a few key factors that influence a hosting provider’s page load speeds:
- Server configuration – Hardware like processors, CPU cores, and RAM impact performance.
- SSD storage – SSD disks are much faster than traditional HDDs.
- Caching – Caching stores static site components in memory for faster delivery.
- CDN – A content delivery network also speeds up site asset loading.
HostGator optimizes these areas for WordPress speed right out of the box.
For example, their plans include SSD storage, a free CDN, and the LiteSpeed web server.
GoDaddy plans are less optimized for performance unless you upgrade to a managed WordPress specific package.
In addition to speed, a hosting provider’s uptime record is crucial. Uptime refers to the percentage of time the servers are online and accessible.
Anything less than 99.9% uptime starts to become a concern.
Recent uptime monitoring shows:
- GoDaddy – 99.91% uptime over past 6 months
- HostGator – 99.98% uptime over past 6 months
HostGator again comes out ahead with excellent uptime for their entry-level shared plans. Limiting downtime is vital for any business WordPress site.
So when it comes to speed and reliability, HostGator is the superior choice over GoDaddy in most cases.
WordPress Optimized Hosting: Do You Really Need It?
Before we dive into the details of WordPress-optimized hosting from GoDaddy and HostGator, it’s crucial to address a common misconception.
You might think that WordPress-optimized hosting is a must-have for your website.
In reality, while optimized plans offer specialized features tailored for WordPress, they aren’t necessarily required for every site.
A Word of Caution for Beginners
If you’re starting out or your site doesn’t get a large volume of traffic, a standard shared hosting plan is more than sufficient.
In fact, shared hosting is what most people use for the entirety of their online journey without any issues.
Optimized WordPress hosting plans are generally better suited for websites with higher traffic, complex functionalities, or those that require ultra-fast loading speeds.
So don’t feel pressured into opting for an optimized plan right away; you can always upgrade as your site grows and demands more resources.
What Does WordPress Optimized Hosting Include?
Now, let’s take a look at the WordPress-optimized hosting plans from both GoDaddy and HostGator to see what special features they offer for those who might need them.
Remember, the hosting you choose should align with your site’s specific needs and goals. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Choose wisely and consider starting with a shared hosting plan unless you have compelling reasons to opt for a specialized, optimized plan.
GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Plans
GoDaddy offers three tiers of managed WordPress hosting:
- 50GB storage
- Free SSL certificate
- Daily backups
- Free migrations
- Unlimited storage
- Free SSL certificate
- Daily backups
- Free migrations
- Free domain for 1 year
- Unlimited storage
- Free SSL certificate
- Daily backups
- Free migrations
- Free domain for 1 year
- Built-in CDN
- Malware detection
These plans make WordPress management easier with automated updates, security monitoring, and backups. However, the resources still may not fully optimize speed and performance.
HostGator’s WordPress Plans
HostGator’s managed WordPress plans are offered through their HostGator ScaleRight line. Options include:
- Starter – $5.95/month with 50GB storage
- Standard – $7.95/month with unlimited storage
- Business – $9.95/month with advanced caching
Key features include:
- Free migration assistance
- Pre-installed WP caching
- Automatic daily backups
- Free SSL certificate
- SEO tools
- CDN included
The Standout plan also comes with the SG Optimizer plugin for improved caching and speed.
For optimized WordPress hosting, HostGator still provides more performance benefits even on managed plans. Their Standard package offers unlimited storage for less than GoDaddy’s 50GB Basic plan.
Caching and Performance Plugins
A major advantage of HostGator’s WordPress plans is caching and performance plugins come pre-installed for free. This includes:
- LiteSpeed Cache
- SG Optimizer
- Cloudflare CDN
With GoDaddy, you have to pay extra for add-ons like their caching plugin and CDN. For HostGator, they are already set up and optimized.
This means your WordPress site will be significantly faster right out of the gate versus needing to manually set up optimizations.
Support and Ease of Use
When something goes wrong with your WordPress site, having access to excellent customer support can make or break your experience.
Let’s see how GoDaddy and HostGator compare when it comes to support options and ease of use.
Both GoDaddy and HostGator offer 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and tickets. However, there are some notable differences:
- Phone support – HostGator phone assistance has much shorter hold times. GoDaddy phone support often involves long waits.
- Live chat – HostGator live chat is quick to connect and knowledgeable. GoDaddy chat can be inconsistent.
- Tickets – HostGator has faster response times for support tickets. GoDaddy can take up to 24 hours.
Many reviews mention much better experiences with HostGator’s customer service compared to GoDaddy’s.
The hosting control panel is the interface you use to manage your WordPress site. It impacts the overall ease of use.
- GoDaddy – Uses its own proprietary control panel. This lacks some standard features and can have a learning curve.
- HostGator – Uses the industry-standard cPanel control panel interface. It is beginner-friendly and full of features.
cPanel is more intuitive, especially if you ever switch hosts later on. GoDaddy’s panel may be less user-friendly for WordPress beginners.
Installing WordPress is simple with both hosts, but HostGator makes it even easier.
- One-click installs – HostGator has instant WordPress installation with just a single click.
- Pre-configurations – HostGator can pre-install themes, plugins, and content before WordPress setup.
Overall, HostGator excels in customer support and ease of use compared to GoDaddy. This makes managing WordPress sites much simpler for beginners.
Security and Protections
Security should be a top priority when choosing any web host. WordPress sites are common targets for hackers, so having strong protections in place is crucial.
Let’s look at how GoDaddy and HostGator help keep WordPress sites secure.
Standard Security Features
All plans from both hosts include basic security provisions like:
- Firewall protection – Blocks unauthorized access attempts
- Malware scanning – Regular scans check for infections
- Patching – Prompt OS and platform updates
- Brute force protection – Prevents password guessing hacks
These standard measures guard against common attacks. But HostGator goes further with extra security tools included.
Additional HostGator Security
HostGator has several extra security features to harden WordPress sites:
- Free SSL certificate – Forces HTTPS encryption
- SpamAssassin – Blocks spam comments
- CodeGuard backups – Daily off-site backups
- SiteLock monitoring – Daily malware scans
- HostGator Shield – Rules to block exploits
GoDaddy charges extra for add-ons like SSL, backups, and malware monitoring. With HostGator they are included automatically with all plans.
The additional security tools provide serious peace of mind for WordPress users. HostGator makes security a priority, not an upsell.
Securing WordPress Core
It’s also important to keep WordPress core, plugins, and themes updated.
GoDaddy’s managed WordPress plans automatically apply updates to fix vulnerabilities.
With HostGator you’ll need to handle updates yourself or use an automated tool like ManageWP.
But otherwise, HostGator’s extra security protections help make it the safer choice for most WordPress sites.
For Most Users, HostGator is the Better Option
For most small to medium-sized WordPress sites, especially new ones, HostGator is usually the superior choice over GoDaddy.
Here are some of the key advantages:
- More affordable pricing – Hatchling plans start at just $2.75/month. GoDaddy starts at $5.99/month.
- Faster performance – HostGator plans are better optimized for WordPress speed out of the box.
- Reliable uptime – Excellent 99.98% uptime record for HostGator versus GoDaddy.
- Quality support – HostGator offers stellar customer service with live chat, phone, and tickets.
- cPanel included – The intuitive control panel is beginner-friendly.
- Extra security – HostGator plans include free SSL, backups, spam filtering and monitoring.
- Easy WordPress setup – One-click installs make deploying WordPress simple.
With faster speeds, better support, and more security protections, HostGator beats GoDaddy in most hosting criteria that matter for WordPress users.
When to Consider GoDaddy
There are a couple of cases when choosing GoDaddy over HostGator does make sense:
- You already have your domain registered with GoDaddy. Hosting with them as well can simplify management.
- You want fully managed WordPress hosting and are willing to pay a premium for automated updates, CDN, etc.
- You need enterprise level dedicated server hosting that HostGator does not offer.
Otherwise, most WordPress users are better served saving money with HostGator while still getting excellent performance and support.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Host
No matter which provider you go with, making sure your WordPress site has quality hosting is extremely important. The right web host provides:
- Speed – Fast page load times keep visitors happy.
- Uptime – Minimal downtime so your site is always available.
- Security – Protecting your site from hacks and malware.
- Support – Help when you need it to troubleshoot issues quickly.
- Value – Solid performance and reliability for an affordable price.
Taking the time upfront to choose a host with these qualities will pay off tremendously down the road. Your WordPress site’s success depends heavily on having proper hosting in place.
We’ve covered a ton of ground looking at how GoDaddy and HostGator compare for WordPress hosting.
While both are popular options, HostGator comes out ahead in most regards – from pricing and performance to support and security.
The budget-friendly plans, speedy servers, and stellar support make HostGator the superior choice over GoDaddy in most cases. Their WordPress-optimized hosting delivers outstanding value.
However, GoDaddy may be a better fit for some specific needs like fully managed hosting or enterprise infrastructure.
Assess your own site’s requirements and priorities before deciding.
Hopefully, this comprehensive comparison has provided the information you need to determine your website’s best WordPress web hosting provider.
Your host plays a crucial role in your WordPress success and growth. Investing in quality hosting pays dividends down the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is GoDaddy or HostGator better for WordPress?
HostGator is the better option for most users for WordPress hosting, thanks to more affordable pricing, faster speeds, and better support. GoDaddy is only preferable if you already have domains there or need fully managed hosting.
Is HostGator good for WordPress?
Yes, HostGator is one of the top hosts recommended for WordPress. Their plans are optimized with caching plugins, SSD storage, and the LiteSpeed server to achieve excellent WordPress performance.
Is GoDaddy shared hosting any good?
GoDaddy’s standard shared hosting plan is usable but not great.
Their servers tend to be slower, pricing is higher, and support can be hit or miss compared to other options like HostGator. Their managed WordPress plans are better quality.
Does HostGator offer free domain?
Yes, HostGator provides a free domain registration when you sign up for any new hosting account. This free domain is included with all their shared, WordPress, and reseller hosting plans.
Is HostGator cheaper than Bluehost?
HostGator and Bluehost pricing is very similar for entry-level shared hosting. However, HostGator offers bigger discounts more frequently throughout the year.
Their renewal pricing is also much more affordable long-term versus Bluehost.
Does GoDaddy offer cPanel?
No, GoDaddy uses its proprietary web hosting control panel instead of the popular cPanel interface.
This can make GoDaddy more difficult to use for beginners. HostGator does include full cPanel access.
Can I transfer my GoDaddy site to HostGator?
Yes, HostGator makes transferring or migrating an existing site from GoDaddy to their hosting easy.
Their support team can assist with moving your WordPress site to take advantage of HostGator’s faster performance.
Hopefully, these answers help provide additional insight into choosing the best WordPress host between GoDaddy and HostGator!