Finding a web hosting company that can best fit your needs can be frustrating. One way to make it easier is to do a one-on- one comparison of hosting companies. Let’s look at two well- known web hosting businesses that have each been in business for many years, GoDaddy and SiteGround.

Both GoDaddy and SiteGround offer a full range of features that are appealing to webmasters. GoDaddy has nearly 13 million customers, and SiteGround hosts nearly 500,000. Both GoDaddy and SiteGround provide shared hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and VPS and dedicated server plans. GoDaddy offers Linux and Windows options for all plans, while SiteGround is Linux only.

GoDaddy was named in 2012 as a Fortune 100 “Best Company to Work For.” GoDaddy is also known for its controversial ad campaigns – especially during recent Super Bowls. SiteGround has been recognized by magazines and web organizations and has won numerous “best of” awards.

Starting in 1997 as a consulting company called Jomax Technologies, it 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 the founder, Bob Parsons, remains the largest individual shareholder.

SiteGround was founded in 2004 and is a privately owned company with its main headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria – though as you’ll see later in the review, it has a worldwide presence.

Compare the performance of GoDaddy and SiteGround

Uptime and Reliability

Uptime monitor

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.

SiteGround has an even stronger guarantee for an uptime of at least 99.9%. If the site falls between 99.9% and 99%, you get one month of hosting free; for each 1% below 99%, you receive an additional month free.

Performance. GoDaddy uses Core i7 processors in its shared plans, and Xeons in its VPS and dedicated plans. SiteGround servers change because they just don’t sit on the same technology for years. When new methods or faster tech rolls out, SiteGround will update its data centers – and not just for new users. They do a complete overhaul when they update. Also rarely heard of in shared hosting is that SiteGround uses Supercache for all their plans, not just managed WordPress hosting like most companies.

Testing a site hosted on GoDaddy yielded a load time of 2.91s, faster than 56% of the sites tested with Pingdom. A test of a SiteGround site resulted in a load time of 1.2s, faster than 87% of the sites tested.

Reliability. GoDaddy owns its main 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.

SiteGround also has data centers worldwide to serve its international clients better. There are data centers in Chicago, London, Amsterdam, and Singapore. The data centers are powered and cooled with redundancy and diesel backups. In 2015, the shared servers were upgraded to use Linux containers, which pools servers to speed up access and provide more reliability, and all plans were switched to SSD for storage as well as MySQL databases.

Opinion on GoDaddy and SiteGround Performance

While uptimes are guaranteed on both, a large number of GoDaddy customers complain about downtime. SiteGround has a better uptime guarantee and is much faster in load and response times in the performed tests. They also have an edge in technology due to doing complete overhauls when better servers are developed.
Features of GoDaddy and SiteGround

Compare Key Features

Key features compared

Note: Many times you will see the word “unlimited” or “unmetered” in a hosting plan. You need to keep in mind that does not mean “all you can use,” but it is 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. SiteGround offers free domain registration for a year as well.

Website Builder. GoDaddy has the drag-and- drop interface with its Website Builder, starting at a promo price of $1 per month. SiteGround also provides a drag-and- drop interface website builder with Weebly Basic, free of charge.

Databases. Depending on the plan chosen, GoDaddy offers from 10 to unlimited MySQL databases. SiteGround has unlimited databases on all its plans.

Email Accounts. GoDaddy offers 100 to 1,000 accounts with 100 MB to 1 GB of storage, depending on your plan. SiteGround provides unlimited email accounts and email forwarding on all its plans.

WordPress Hosting. Both GoDaddy and SiteGround offer managed WordPress plans. Managed WordPress plans typically cost more than a standard shared plan. However, the backups and updates are done for you, which allows you to focus on the important thing – your site’s content.

GoDaddyGoDaddy has four plans. They are Basic, which is limited to one site, 25,000 visitors per month, and 10 GB of SSD storage. Deluxe with one site, 100,000 visitors, and 15 GB storage. Ultimate with two sites, 400,000 visitors, and 30 GB SSD storage; and Developer 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.

SiteGround.SiteGround has three plans; Startup, which is limited to one site and 10 GB of storage, GrowBig with 20 GB storage, and GoGeek with 30 GB. The GrowBig and GoGeek plans provide unlimited sites, free SSL for a year, and priority status on support tickets. The GoGeek plan adds Git and has fewer users per server. All three plans come with a free domain, free CDN, WordPerfect support, and unlimited traffic. SiteGround doesn’t limit the number of visitors. Instead, CPU usage is measured by SiteGround, and warnings are issued for excessive usage.

eCommerce Solution. Both GoDaddy and SiteGround provide free shopping carts through their cPanel installers, such as Magneto, ZenCart, PrestaShop, and others. 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. SiteGround does daily backups that are kept 30 days, and also recommends users make their own backups and store them off-site.

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.

For email filtering, SiteGround also provides SpamAssasin. SiteGround has custom software that can isolate accounts that have issues. This keeps your site protected, even if the wrong site is on the same shared server. SiteGround also monitors servers in real-time and its software can react automatically to most issues without human intervention.

GoDaddy provides free shared SSL for its plans, with the top tiers getting Private SSL free. All but the lowest tier plans at SiteGround are provided a free SSL certificate for a year.

GoDaddy offers Windows or Linux options for all its plans; SiteGround is strictly Linux-based.

Control Panel. SiteGround uses the industry standard cPanel. GoDaddy also uses cPanel, but it has done some customization, which may make it unfamiliar to regular cPanel users.

Opinion on GoDaddy and SiteGround Key Features

Both hosting companies provide features for which you’d be expecting to pay much more. GoDaddy is the go-to site for domain registration. SiteGround has better features in its WordPress plans, and its 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.
Compare the web hosting plans and pricing of GoDaddy and SiteGround

Hosting Plans & Pricing

Pricing plans compared

Note: Prices constantly change because promos are often run by hosting companies to stay competitive. 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.

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.

SiteGround. SiteGround offers three shared plans. The startup allows one site and 10 GB of storage. GrowBig and GoGeek offer unlimited websites, and 20 GB and 30 GB of storage, respectively. All the plans come with a free year of domain registration, unlimited email accounts, unlimited traffic, daily backup, and free CDN. The GrowBig and GoGeek plans add priority technical support and a free SSL for one year. The GoGeek plan adds fewer accounts per server, PCI compliance, and Git. While SiteGround does not count visitors against your bandwidth usage, it does measure CPU usage and will issue a warning for what it deems excessive usage of CPU resources.

Managed WordPress hosting

GoGaddy. GoDaddy offers four plans, with the lower two being limited to one site, the top two having 2 and five sites allowed. GoDaddy limits visitor numbers per month based on your plan, and the amount of SSD storage varies by plan.

SiteGround: SiteGround has unlimited visitors and limited storage in its three plans. GoDaddy prices are $3.99, $4.49, $7.99, and $13.99, while SiteGround is similarly priced at $3.95, $7.95, and $14.95.

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. SiteGround offers four VPS plans, with prices higher than GoDaddy. Both hosts offer custom configuring of the plans. GoDaddy plans have unlimited bandwidth, while the SiteGround plans offer 5 TB of bandwidth.

SiteGround offers fewer dedicated plans than GoDaddy, and they are significantly higher in price. GoDaddy’s Windows plans run around $30 more than its Linux plans. SiteGround’s dedicated plans have faster servers, but its plans allow less bandwidth. GoDaddy’s plans have unlimited bandwidth.

Credits. GoDaddy offers different marketing credits depending on your location. SiteGround does not have marketing credits. Both sell domain names, and both SiteGround and GoDaddy provide one free year of registration for new sign ups.

Money-back Guarantee GoDaddy and SiteGround offer no-questions- asked money-back policies. GoDaddy offers 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. SiteGround has a 30-day money-back guarantee for all its plans. If you have the free domain registration on GoDaddy or SiteGround, they will withhold the domain registration fee from the refund, and you will keep the domain name.

Opinion on Hosting Plans Pricing

Based solely on price, GoDaddy has the edge. Its prices make it suitable for the personal site or blog, or for small businesses. SiteGround does have better server specifications and SSD storage for its plans, but it has limited storage on its shared plans, which might deter customers with larger sites.
How easy to use GoDaddy and SiteGround

Ease of Use

How ease to use interface

Control Panel. Both GoDaddy and SiteGround use similar 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.

One-click Installer. GoDaddy provides one-click app installation to hundreds of apps through its control panel. SiteGround also has hundreds of one-click apps through Softaculous. Both have a one-click installation of WordPress.

Website Navigation. Both GoDaddy’s and SiteGround’s sites provide all the information you need to know to find out about the different plans. Both provide convenient charts for comparing the tiers in their plans. GoDaddy offers more products in addition to hosting, so it’s slightly more confusing to navigate, and its pages involve a lot of scrolling.

Opinion on Ease of Use

The one-click installers are very similar, both offer cPanel (though GoDaddy’s is modified), and both websites are user-friendly. You can call this one a tie.
Support of GoDaddy and SiteGround

Technical and Customer Support

User support compared

Based on customers’ reviews, GoDaddy is considered no better than average. Also based on customers’ reviews, SiteGround has excellent support. SiteGround states wait time on support tickets is only 10 minutes. Both have support personnel that is considered friendly and knowledgeable.

Both GoDaddy and SiteGround 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.”

Opinion on User Support

Both GoDaddy and SiteGround 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 SiteGround reviews tell of excellent support.
User reviews of GoDaddy and SiteGround

User Reviews

User reviews compared

Note: Never use customer reviews as the only, or main, source for deciding on which host to go with. Though, when something constantly comes up in customer reviews, it may be something to consider. 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 SiteGround

GoDaddy. Most negative reviews of GoDaddy complain about customer support, the strict limits placed on some plans, and downtime.

SiteGround. Most negative reviews of SiteGround complain about the auto-renew policies and the lack of warning before shutting down a site for CPU usage overages.

Positive Reviews for GoDaddy and SiteGround

GoDaddy.. Positive reviews from customers of GoDaddy comment on its domain registration services, and its pricing.

SiteGround. Positive reviews from customers of SiteGround praise the speed and helpfulness of support, and the reliability.

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 SiteGround customers.
Conclusion on comparison of GoDaddy and SiteGround

Which hosting is best for you?

Choosing the Best platform

Both of these hosting companies have their good points and disadvantages.

Reasons to choose SiteGround over GoDaddy:

  • Security
  • All plans use caching
  • Free CDN

Reasons to choose GoDaddy over SiteGround:

  • Lower prices
  • Sells multiple web products in addition to hosting
  • Linux and Windows options for all plans

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. More experienced webmasters might find GoDaddy too limiting.

SiteGround also limits the storage in its plans quite a bit, which could be an issue, but it is well suited for small-to- mid-sized businesses, especially with its managed WordPress plans.

An alternative to consider when shopping for a web host is InMotion Hosting, Its managed WordPress plans are less expensive and faster than GoDaddy or SiteGround plans. InMotion offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, compared to the 30-day guarantees of GoDaddy and SiteGround.

Do you have any questions about GoDaddy or SiteGround? What have been your experiences with web hosting? Leave your comments and let us know.