A one-on-one comparison is an excellent way to take the confusion out of trying to find the web host that is right for you. Let’s look at two web hosting companies that have been providing hosting services for many years – GoDaddy, since 1997, and iPage, since 1998.
GoDaddy has nearly 13 million customers, and iPage hosts more than 1 million. While iPage emphasizes its shared hosting plans, both GoDaddy and iPage provide shared hosting, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated server plans. GoDaddy offers Linux and Windows options for all plans, while iPage is Linux only.
GoDaddy has won numerous awards, including being a Fortune 100 “Best Company to Work For” in 2012. GoDaddy also made a name for itself with its controversial ad campaigns – especially the ones for the Super Bowl in recent years. iPage has been recognized with numerous “best of” awards, including Best Budget Host and Best Choice for Affordable Hosting.
GoDaddy began in 1997 as Jomax Technologies and was rebranded as Go Daddy in 1999. In 2006, the two names were combined and the brand became GoDaddy. GoDaddy is owned by a private investment group – though Bob Parsons, the founder, still remains the largest individual shareholder. In 2009, iPage was purchased by Endurance International Group (EIG), a company that owns numerous web hosting companies, but lets them operate under their original names.
Uptime and Reliability
Uptime. Uptime matters. When your website can’t be viewed because a server is down, you lose viewers. GoDaddy guarantees an uptime of at least 99.9%. If the site falls .1% or more from 99.9% in one month, you are credited 5% of that month’s hosting fee. iPage does not have a guarantee, but statistics dating to 2005 shows an uptime of 99.85%, which is still very good.
Performance. GoDaddy uses Core i7 processors in its shared plans, and Xeons in its VPS and dedicated plans. iPage uses Intel Xeon Quad Core Processors for their shared hosting servers.
Testing a site hosted on GoDaddy yielded a load time of 2.91s, faster than 56% of the sites tested with Pingdom. Testing a comparable iPage site resulted in a load time of 3.31s, faster than 50% of the sites tested.
Reliability. GoDaddy owns its primary data center in Phoenix, Arizona, and leases two other Arizona centers at Mesa and Scottsdale. GoDaddy has other data centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Ashburn, Virginia. A European center is in Amsterdam, and an Asian center is located in Singapore. The data centers are powered and cooled with redundancy and diesel backups.
The two data centers for iPage are located in Boston, MA. iPage uses pooled server technology, with no pool being contained entirely in one rack. This means if a rack loses power, your site will remain up. The data centers for iPage are also powered and cooled with redundancy and diesel backups. Mirrored backups are done daily.
Opinion on GoDaddy and iPage Performance
While GoDaddy has an uptime guarantee, a large number of GoDaddy customers complain about downtime. Neither company sets records for speed in the response and load time tests, but they are adequate. iPage servers are mirrored daily, which is a plus.
Compare Key Features
Note: When you see the word “unlimited” or “unmetered” in a hosting plan, you need to remember that it does not mean “all you can use,” but rather what the hosting company “deems reasonable usage.”
Domain Registration. While both hosts are domain registrars, GoDaddy is the world’s largest registrar with over 60 million domains under management. GoDaddy offers one year of free domain registration for the initial term when the term is 12 months or longer. iPage also offers a free domain registration for a year.
Website Builder. GoDaddy has the drag-and- drop interface with its Website Builder, starting at a promo price of $1 per month. iPage provides a drag-and- drop interface website builder with Weebly Basic, free of charge – with Weebly Premium or goMobi available for a monthly fee.
Database. Depending on the plan chosen, GoDaddy offers from 10 to unlimited MySQL databases. iPage has unlimited databases on all of its plans.
Email Accounts. GoDaddy offers 100 to 1,000 accounts with 100 MB to 1 GB of storage, depending on your plan. iPage provides unlimited email accounts and email forwarding on all its plans.
WordPress Hosting. Both GoDaddy and iPage offer managed WordPress plans. Managed WordPress plans typically cost more than a standard shared plan. However, the backups and updates on your site are done for you, which allows you to focus on the important thing – your site’s content.
GoDaddy.GoDaddy has four plans.
The basic plan, which is limited to one site, 25,000 visitors per month, and 10 GB of SSD storage.
Deluxe plan with one site, 100,000 visitors, and 15 GB storage; Ultimate with two sites, 400,000 visitors, and 30 GB SSD storage.
Developer plan with up to 5 sites, 800,000 visitors, and 50 GB of SSD storage.
All plans come with a free domain when ordering an annual term. The top two tiers also come with an SSL certificate free for one year, and the Ultimate plan includes free SiteLock.
iPage.iPage has two plans. Starter, which basically differs little from their regular hosting, and Essential, which is SSD-based, comes with one free domain registration and WordPerfect expert support and has the same unlimited bandwidth and storage their shared plans have.
eCommerce Solution. GoDaddy offers free shopping carts, such as Magneto, ZenCart, PrestaShop, and others, through its cPanel. ShopSite, a commercial store software, is available from iPage for a monthly fee (a version limited to 5 pages is offered free). It is integrated into iPage and accessible from the control panel.
A drawback is that the store is not easily transferred elsewhere. CubeCart, ZenCart, osCommerce and other free carts are available through iPage’s SimpleScripts installer. WP eCommerce plug-ins such as WooCommerce are available from both hosts for WordPress sites.
Backups. GoDaddy has a site backup and restore plan for a monthly fee with its shared plans, and free daily backups on WordPress, VPS, and dedicated plans. iPage makes daily backups using NetApp Snapshot. For an additional monthly fee, an optional Site Backup and Restore that does schedule automatic backups and restoration at the file level is available.
Hosting Security. GoDaddy does scans and proactively acts against DDoS threats, and it provides what it calls “CageFS.” CageFS allows you to set up user privileges to limit access to content. GoDaddy provides SpamAssasin, as well as BoxTrapper, for email filtering.
iPage offers customizable spam filters and virus checking for email through its control panel. To find, remove, and prevent malware, iPage partnered with SiteLock and provides the basic service free and the premium service for a monthly fee per site.
GoDaddy provides free shared SSL for its plans, with the top tiers getting Private SSL free.
GoDaddy offers Windows or Linux options for all its plans; iPage is strictly Linux-based.
Control Panel. GoDaddy uses cPanel, but it has done some customization, which may make it unfamiliar to regular cPanel users. iPage uses vDeck, which does the job, but may not be as transferable if you decide at a later point to change hosts.
Green. Data centers are energy hogs. iPage works to be eco-friendly by purchasing enough Renewable Energy Credits to offset its operational costs by 200%.
Opinion on GoDaddy and iPage Key Features
Both hosting companies offer features you’d expect from more expensive hosting companies. GoDaddy is the industry’s go-to site for domain registration. iPage’s unlimited bandwidth, databases, and email feature for all its plans gives it an edge for mid-to-larger sized businesses and individuals with high traffic sites. GoDaddy has an edge for those who require Windows, as iPage is Linux only. If being green is important to you, iPage would be a hosting company to consider.
Hosting Plans & Pricing
Note: To stay competitive, hosting companies change prices and offer promos. The pricing in this comparison is what was listed on the websites at the time the comparison was done. Promo prices are usually only good for the first term of service, so signing up for a longer term means higher savings. Usually, signing up for longer terms, regardless of ongoing promotions, means there will most likely be a price break.
Shared Web Hosting Plans
GoDaddy. GoDaddy offers three shared plans on both its Windows and Linux options, and the features are similar for both. Economy allows one site, unlimited bandwidth, and 100 GB of storage, for $3.99. Deluxe, at $4.99 per month, and Ultimate, at $7.99 per month, offer unlimited websites, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited storage. All the plans come with a free year of domain registration on an annual plan. Email accounts are limited to 100, 500, and 1000, respectively. The Ultimate plan adds a free SSL for one year.
iPage. iPage makes choosing a shared plan simple. There is only one plan that has all the features that top tier plans of other hosts provide for $3.25 per month for the first term. Unlimited domains, email, databases, disk space, and bandwidth come with the Essential Plan. In addition, a free store and the basic SiteLock service are offered. iPage shared plans also come with free domain registration for one year.
Managed WordPress hosting: GoDaddy offers four plans, with the lower two being limited to one site, the top two having 2 and 5 sites allowed. GoDaddy limits visitor numbers per month based on your plan, and the amount of SSD storage varies by plan.
GoDaddy prices are $3.99, $4.49, $7.99, and $13.99 per month. iPage offers two plans, WP Starter and WP Essentials, for $3.75 and $6.95 per month. iPage’s WP Starter has similar features as its shared hosting plan. WP Essential offers enhanced security, WP experts for support, and an SSD-based infrastructure.
VPS and Dedicated server hosting GoDaddy offers more VPS plans, with five plans for Linux and five for Windows – the Windows plans cost around $10 per month more. iPage offers three VPS plans, but GoDaddy hosting plans offer unlimited bandwidth. Also, the servers have better specifications.
iPage offers fewer dedicated plans than GoDaddy. GoDaddy offers five dedicated plans for Linux and 5 for Windows. GoDaddy’s Windows plans run around $30 more than its Linux plans. GoDaddy’s plans have unlimited bandwidth, while iPage’s run from 5 TB to 15 TB of storage.
Credits GoDaddy offers different marketing credits, depending on your location. iPage offers free marketing with $100 credit for Google and $100 for Bing/Yahoo. Both sell domain names, and both iPage and GoDaddy provide one free year of registration for new sign ups.
Money-back Guarantee GoDaddy and iPage offer money-back guarantees. GoDaddy and iPage both offer the standard 30-day guarantee for annual and above terms. For monthly plans, GoDaddy’s full refund is limited to 48 hours and is pro-rated after that.
If you have the free domain registration on GoDaddy or iPage, they will withhold the domain registration fee from the refund, and you will keep the domain name.
Opinion on Hosting Plans Pricing
For shared hosting, iPage has the edge with its unlimited features and the simplicity of just having one plan. Its prices make it suitable for the personal site or blog, or for small businesses. GoDaddy also has budget pricing, and its VPS and dedicated plans have better features for lower, or similar, pricing of iPage plans.
Ease of Use
Control Panel. GoDaddy and iPage use different control panels. cPanel’s user-friendly graphical interface is the industry standard, and it has most of the features needed to administer your website through easily identified icons. GoDaddy has most of the features of the regular cPanel, but uses a custom interface. The industry standard Plesk is used by GoDaddy for Windows plans.
vDeck, which iPage uses, has improved over the years, and the latest, Version 4, is a good control panel – though it is not as widely used as cPanel.
One-click Installer. GoDaddy provides one-click app installation to hundreds of apps through its control panel. iPage uses SimpleScripts, which is also a one-click installer, though it has fewer integrated applications. Both have a one-click installation of WordPress.
Website Navigation. Both GoDaddy’s and iPage’s sites provide plenty of information. GoDaddy offers more products in addition to hosting, so it’s slightly more confusing to navigate, and its pages involve a lot of scrolling. iPage is not totally user-friendly, as some information can only be found by scrolling to the bottom of the page to the footer.
Opinion on Ease of Use
iPage makes choosing a shared hosting plan as easy as it gets – there’s only one plan. vDeck is powerful, once you are used to it. If there is an edge in usability, it might go to iPage, but only slightly.
Technical and Customer Support
Based on customers’ reviews, GoDaddy is considered no better than average. Also based on customers’ reviews, iPage has good support. Both have support personnel that are considered friendly and knowledgeable.
Both GoDaddy and iPage have a phone, email, and live chat 24/7. Both have an extensive knowledge base with tutorials and videos, and both have a blog. GoDaddy provides informative articles in addition to its blog in the “GoDaddy Garage,” while iPage has a unique Community Directory which lets you find websites hosted on iPage, sorted by genres.
Opinion on User Support
Both GoDaddy and iPage provide multiple methods of contact, so getting help is easy. GoDaddy support is rated average or below by the majority of customers who have commented, while iPage customers speak of better than average support.
Note: Never use customer reviews as the main source when deciding on which host to go with. However, when something consistently comes up in customer reviews, it may be something to consider. Most reviews are generally posted by those who are passionate, so most customers who post reviews have strong negative or strong positive attitudes.
Negative Reviews for GoDaddy and iPage
GoDaddy. Most negative reviews of GoDaddy complain about customer support, the strict limits placed on some plans, and downtime.
iPageg. iPage, too, has most of its negative reviews relating to support. Very little upsets a webmaster more than slow or non-existent support. Some have complained about the lack of DDoS protection on iPage servers causing downtime. There have also been negative reviews concerning SiteLock effectiveness.
Positive Reviews for GoDaddy and iPage
GoDaddy. Positive reviews from customers of GoDaddy comment on its domain registration services, and its pricing.
iPage. iPage gets good reviews for its pricing and unlimited bandwidth and storage. A number of reviewers comment on how easy it is for a beginner to get a site up on iPage.
Opinion on User Reviews
Reviews indicate that GoDaddy seems to concentrate on being a domain registrar and hosting is an afterthought. Overall, there are more positive reviews from iPage customers.
Which hosting is best for you?
Both of these hosting companies have their positives and negatives.
Reasons to choose iPage over GoDaddy:
- Security – Free SiteLock
- Simplicity in choosing a plan
- More unlimited features in plans
Reasons to choose GoDaddy over iPage:
- Sells multiple web products in addition to hosting
- Linux and Windows options for all plans
- More tiers for more options in plans
- Industry standard cPanel (though modified)
GoDaddy might be best suited for beginners, since everything web-related from domain name to SSL, marketing, and SEO services, and online bookkeeping, can be obtained from one site. However, iPage is well suited for the beginner looking for simplicity and low cost.
Small businesses will find the unlimited bandwidth and storage appealing. More experienced webmasters might find GoDaddy too limiting, but GoDaddy’s VPS and dedicated server plans offer more choices, with better server specifications.
An alternative to consider when shopping for a web host is InMotion Hosting. InMotion offers a 90-day money back guarantee, compared to the 30-day guarantees of GoDaddy and iPage.
For those that don’t mind spending just a few dollars more for premium features – and some of the fastest speeds available – SiteGround is a hosting company worth investigating.
Do you have any questions about GoDaddy or iPage? What have been your experiences with web hosting? Leave your comments and let us know.