Are you currently looking at different hosting providers and comparing plans? Or maybe are you becoming dissatisfied with GoDaddy’s web hosting and domain registration services and looking to switch?
Thankfully, there are dozens of wonderful alternatives to GoDaddy. Use this report to know what to look for in web hosting and domain registration services. Afterwards, see our top GoDaddy alternative picks for 2020.
Web Hosting with GoDaddy
GoDaddy can be affordable, with shared plans starting at $5.99/month and VPS plans starting at $24.99/month. For the big league sites, dedicated hosting plans begin at $89.99/month.
Renewal costs increase for shared and dedicated plans. However, GoDaddy’s perks (such as free Office 365 software/email) are no longer free after your courtesy first year subscription. For this reason, one of the biggest complaints by customers is how much their costs increase after the first year.
Even the most basic bundles include a free domain and a year’s subscription to an Office 365 email account (as noted above). Like most leading web hosting providers, GoDaddy grants unmetered bandwidth, meaning that no one is tracking how much bandwidth you’re using (hosting providers that do monitor the bandwidth usually intend to charge you for the amount of bandwidth you use). SSL certificates are free the first year, as well.
Users have many different plans to choose from, including hosting bundles specifically for WordPress sites, ecommerce, and more.
While GoDaddy does most things well, as you would expect of a leading web hosting provider, they fail to overly impress in any capacity.
Happy users praise GoDaddy’s loading speed (particularly for VPS and dedicated hosting), along with its full array of starter tools.
There are mixed reviews about GoDaddy’s customer support. On the one hand, they make extensive use of online chat and provide a phone number to call customer service. Both are available any time of day or night for all customers. However, many complain that it can be difficult to find the help you need initially as you work through the online help system.
As a result, many are falling away from one of the biggest domain registration and web hosting brands in the market. GoDaddy is a respectable web host, but there are other great players in the market today.
GoDaddy Pros and Cons
- User friendly
- Great for new website creators
- Low prices for basic plans
- Offers all hosting types excluding cloud hosting
- Well-integrated with Microsoft productivity software
- Add ons add up
- Hefty renewal costs
- No cloud hosting
- In nearly every respect, good but not stellar
- Spotty customer service
Table of Contents
Website Hosting at a Quick Glance
In order for the Internet to run properly, there needs to be a computer equipped to send information to other computers. These computers are known as servers and are specifically designed to host web content on the Internet.
When you build a website, all the information is hosted on a server, and there are a few different ways that a server can house that information. If you are looking for alternatives to GoDaddy web hosting, you are likely looking for either shared or VPS hosting.
The two other hosting types – dedicated and cloud – are more complicated and expensive, but we’ll be sure to include some information on those types, as well.
In our recent guide on VPS versus hosting, we likened shared hosting to living in a dorm or hostel. The website shares hosting space with other websites on the server. Generally, this is a reliable form of web hosting for basic or uncomplicated websites.
However, if another website starts using a lot of hard drive space, your website (and others on the server) begin to slow down. There’s only so much shared space to go around. If your website needs more space, bandwidth, and site security, then you need to upgrade to VPS hosting.
VPS hosting is more expensive than shared, but it does a better job of ensuring your website’s performance. Instead of living in a dorm room, your website now lives in its own apartment. Even though there are multiple websites operating on the same server, no site is sharing space with another.
Websites that provide web services, ecommerce, collect data, etc. need the benefits offered by VPS hosting. Once your site needs a server all to itself, you should upgrade to dedicated hosting.
Our #1 choice for best GoDaddy alternative is Bluehost because they consistently perform well across the board. From their impressive uptime record, loads features offered to outstanding customer service Bluehost rarely disappoints.
Close behind are SiteGround and HostGator who both also offer a wide range of options to choose from with the performance to back it up.
Throughout this article we’ll cover the pros and cons of each recommendation, as well as the reasons why we chose them as great alternative options to GoDaddy.
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Top 7 Web Hosting Alternatives to GoDaddy
GoDaddy is a giant of a business. As such, their adaptability is lower to changing customer needs than many other hosting providers out there. We’ve compiled our research and combed through customer reviews. We strongly recommend these 7 alternatives to GoDaddy.
Bluehost - Best WordPress Hosting
BlueHost makes it extremely easy to get your WordPress website up and running. With an intuitive cPanel and great price-point, these hosting plans are hard to beat.
Being a WordPress officially recognized provider, Bluehost has an incredible track record for customer support and uptime.
Shared Plans starting at: $2.75/month for a 3-year subscription, $3.95/month for a 2-year subscription, and $4.95/month for a 1-year subscription ($7.99/month thereafter)
VPS plans starting at: $18.99/month for a 3-year subscription, $23.95/month for a 1-year subscription, or $29.95/month (renewal costs vary based on renewed subscription duration)
Dedicated plans starting at: $79.99/month for a 3-year subscription, $89.99/month for a 2-year subscription, $99.99/month for a 1-year subscription, or $149.99/month (renewal costs vary based on renewed subscription duration)
SiteGround - Best for Customer Support
SiteGround make it easy to switch hosting services. Get the help of experts to migrate your site to one of their hosting plans, free of charge. If you are just starting out, SiteGround can be easily integrated with many of the most popular CMS platforms, including WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. One-click installs let you bypass the need for a developer and get your site up and running fast.
Free email accounts, reasonably priced pricing tiers and great customer support reviews put SiteGround at the top of our list of best GoDaddy alternatives for hosting.
Shared Plans starting at: $3.95/month for 1-3-year subscriptions ($11.95/month thereafter)
Cloud plans starting at: $72/month for a 1-year subscription or $80/month ($80/month thereafter)
Dedicated plans starting at: $260/month for a 6-month subscription or $269/month ($269/month thereafter)
Hostgator - Best Well-Rounded Option
Backed by their 99.9% uptime guarantee, HostGator offer a range of plans for every hosting type from shared to dedicated and everything in between.
You’ll get a free website transfer, free SSL certificate and free domain registration for one year. These features combined with the multitude of hosting options available make HostGator a great GoDaddy alternative with the ability to scale.
Shared Plans starting at: $2.75/month for a 3-year subscription ($6.95/month thereafter for renewed 3-year subscription) or $10.95/month
VPS plans starting at: $29.95/month for a 3-year subscription ($79.95/month thereafter) or $79.95/month
Cloud plans starting at: $4.95/month for a 3-year subscription ($8.95/month thereafter) or $12.95/month
Dedicated plans starting at: $118.95/month for a 3-year subscription ($189/month thereafter) or $189/month
Inmotion - Best Premium Option
Featuring an included staging environment with every plan, Inmotion makes it into our list for best premium option. This provider boasts robust managed security to protect your site against hacks and malware. Additionally automated updates and backups ensure extreme reliability.
With the most basic plan you will get 40GB SSD storage as well as a free domain. WordPress comes pre-installed so you can hit the ground running and starting building your site immediately.
Shared Plans starting at: $6.34/month for a 2-year subscription or $7.46/month for a 1-year subscription ($7.99/month thereafter)
VPS plans starting at: $29.19/month for a 2-year subscription ($39.99/month thereafter for renewed 2-year subscription), $31.34/month for a 1-year subscription ($49.99/month thereafter for renewed 1-year subscription), or $41.46/month ($59.99/month thereafter)
Cloud plans starting at: $21.04/month for a 2-year subscription ($34.99/month thereafter for renewed 2-year subscription) or $31.34/month ($49.99/month thereafter)
Dedicated plans starting at: $105.69/month for a 1-year subscription ($159.99/month thereafter for renewed 1-year subscription) or $136.59/month ($189.99/month thereafter)
A2 Hosting - Best for Speed
With each of their hosting plans even named along this theme, A2 Hosting is all about the speed. Backed by the claim of 20x faster hosting, each plan allows unlimited disk space and transfer, automatic backups, and “guru crew” support.
A refreshing twist on the industry standard money back guarantee, you can get refunded at any time for the unused portion of your plan.
Shared Plans starting at: $2.94/ month for a 3-year subscription ($5.99/ month thereafter for renewed 3-year subscription), $3.92/ month for a 2-year subscription ($7.99/ month thereafter for renewed 2-year subscription), $4.41/ month for a 1-year subscription ($8.99/ month thereafter for renewed 1-year subscription), and $4.90/ month ($9.99/ month thereafter)
VPS plans starting at: $5/ month for unmanaged, or $25/ month for managed.
Cloud plans starting at: $5/ month
Dedicated plans starting at: $99.95/ month with unmanaged server for a 1-year subscription ($119.99/ month thereafter for renewed 1-year subscription) or $124.49/ month ($149.99/ month thereafter)
Greengeeks - Environmentally Friendly Provider
While a little less well known, Greengeeks boasts a unique value proposition. Their eco-friendly approach to web hosting actually puts power back into the grid. When you host with Greengeeks, your website will actually be “carbon-reducing”.
Starting at a reasonable $2.95/ month for the basic plan, you get a free domain for one year, free SSL and unlimited web space.
Shared Plans starting at: $2.95/month for a 3-year subscription, $3.95 for a 2-year subscription, $4.95/month for a 1-year subscription, or $9.95/month (monthly rate is the renewal rate for all other subscriptions)
VPS plans starting at: $5/month
Dedicated plans starting at: $169/month
Namecheap - Best for Lower Price
If you are looking for a cheaper hosting alternative, Namecheap has your back. With an intro price of just $1.44/ month, you can get 20 GB SSD storage and host up to 3 websites.
You will also get a free domain name, whois guard privacy protection, SSL certificate and 30-day money back guarantee.
Shared Plans starting at: $1.44/mo for a 1-year subscription ($2.88 thereafter) or $2.88/month
VPS plans starting at: $9.74/month for a 1-year subscription ($11.74/month thereafter for renewed 1-year subscription) or $9.88/month ($14.88/month thereafter)
Cloud plans starting at: Available through Stellar plans, and prices start at $4.44/month for a 1-year subscription ($11.74/month thereafter for renewed 1-year subscription) or $8.88/month
Dedicated plans starting at: $59.66/month for a 1-year subscription ($74.66/month thereafter for renewed 1-year subscription) or $40.88/month ($82.88/month thereafter)
Its important to always keep in mind your specific website needs when looking at hosting providers.
Some hosts are indeed better than others at specific product offerings. That is to say, if you are looking to upgrade from shared hosting to VPS, make sure you are researching which providers offer the best VPS hosting plans, and so on with dedicated, cloud, etc.
Next, we are going to dive into the specific offerings of these seven hosts. We’ll cover the pros and cons of each to help you can find a plan that fits your unique needs.
WordPress users will prefer Bluehost most of the time. WordPress recommends users to Bluehost, as the two are long-time affiliates. In fact, experts in the hosting industry recommend Bluehost as the top choice for beginners.
Experienced web developers love Bluehost for its security features, as well as its impeccable uptime. That means that Bluehost sites rarely go down. This year, Bluehost declared an uptime rate of above 99%.
Bluehost Pros and Cons
- Cheaper than GoDaddy
- WordPress’s favorite hosting provider
- Almost 100% uptime
- Free domain and SSL certificate
- Great security features
- Unreliable backup services
- Renewal costs are high on shared plans
WordPress users love SiteGround, as it offers optimized shared hosting for WordPress starting under $5/month. It also comes with plenty of free add-ons for web hosting plans. SiteGround is great for beginners and experts alike.
SiteGround’s customer service is outstanding, and as long as you’re willing to commit to a full year (or more) membership, you’ll save a lot of money. However, if you prefer the option to go month-to-month, you’ll need to look elsewhere. However, you can take advantage of their 1-month trial before committing to a full year.
Siteground Pros and Cons
- Shared hosting is cheaper than GoDaddy
- Top notch customer service
- SSL certificates included in all plans
- Generous bundles with free tools
- Integrates well with WordPress
- Simple bundle options (Startup, GrowBig, and GoGeek)
- No month-to-month plans
- No VPS hosting
- Poor storage options on lower plans
- No free domains
We have found that Hostgator offers the overall best bundle deals. The promotional rates are great, but they are limited to 36-month subscriptions. That being said, you do get your promotional rate locked in for 3 years, so there is a positive trade off. If the upfront cost makes you uncomfortable, Hostgator will let you change your mind within 45 days of your purchase.
Your site will get backed up regularly. Also, you won’t have to accidentally spend more than you intended during setup, since most of the “extra” features in web hosting are already included in your subscription.
HostGator Pros and Cons
- Cheaper than GoDaddy for first 3 years
- Amazing bundles with “unlimited/free everything” even on the lowest plans
- Consistent backup services included
- Money back guarantee lasts for 45 days
- Live chat customer support is one of the best
- Best prices only available for 3-year subscriptions
- Major increase in prices after promotion ends
- Cloud hosting is shared SSD only
- Challenging to configure VPS or dedicated hosting
For technical purposes, Inmotion does a great job of including competitive backend features, including regular backups and remote access to a Share Shell server. The SSD build out is available to all, including those on shared plans.
If you’re not a technical person, you’ll find their customer service easy to work with. As a matter of fact, many users report being able to secure better promotional and renewal rates when discussing budget concerns with their customer service rep.
Common complaints were that the shared hosting plans did not perform as well as competitors. However, for VPS and above, Inmotion is one of the best in the business.
Inmotion Pros and Cons
- SSD infrastructure
Efficient backup system
- Great customer service (phone, chat, and email)
- Low price hikes at subscription renewals (with the possibility of convincing an Inmotion rep to give you a discount when it’s time to renew)
- Money back guarantee is good for 90 days
- Low promotional rates
- Shared hosting services are not stellar
#5 A2 Hosting
A2 boasts their fast Turbo Servers, available to all users, including those on shared plans. It also competes handily with Bluehost’s uptime rate. In other words, whether you’re using the bottom shared plan (Lite) or the managed dedicated plan, your website performance will be excellent.
For developer experts, you will save thousands of dollars using one of A2’s unmanaged servers, specifically the unmanaged VPS plans.
All in all, it is hard to find much to critique about A2 Hosting. It is a consistent favorite for those switching from GoDaddy.
A2 Hosting Pros and Cons
A2 Hosting Pros
- Cheaper hosting than GoDaddy
- Super fast Turbo Servers
- Adequate customer support
- Great uptime rate
- Amazingly low prices for those that want to manage their own VPS server
A2 Hosting Cons
- Notable price hike after introductory price expires
- Only real cost savings occur with 1-3-year subscriptions
Did you know that websites have a carbon footprint? One website can be responsible for 5,000 pounds of CO2, which is essentially the carbon footprint of taking your pickup on a winding cross-country road trip across the United States. It is for this exact reason that Greengeeks founders decided to build a web hosting business that was 100% eco-friendly.
For some time, Greengeeks has struggled to keep up with the performance and agility of their competitors. But that is slowly changing, and now they are able to turn the heads of other leading web hosting providers.
Still, they still have a few kinks to work out, especially on upgraded servers like VPS and dedicated hosting. It offers no managed server hosting and lacks many of the backend features that a website requiring VPS hosting would appreciate.
Greengeeks Pros and Cons
- Cheaper hosting than GoDaddy
- Offers a competitive bundle of free services (domain, website migration, and more)
- Completely eco-friendly web hosting
- Shared hosting performance is great
No price hikes on VPS or dedicated server hosting renewals
- Mediocre customer support
- Major increase in shared hosting prices after promotion ends
- VPS and dedicated hosting performance are less than stellar
Namecheap is especially cheap, as one would expect. Thankfully, they are not cheap in their hosting service and bundles. If your main concern is budget, you will be perfectly pleased with Namecheap.
Namecheap is actually a domain registration provider. As it happens, they provide adequate web hosting services. So of course they’re going to throw in a free domain name with a hosting subscription (though you may want to go ahead and invest a little bit into a good domain name that doesn’t end in .website).
For VPS and dedicated hosting, there are a few things to be aware of. For one, all hosting is unmanaged, so you better be able to manage your own server or pay someone else to set it up.
Namecheap Pros and Cons
- Cheapest by far of all the hosting providers listed
- 3 websites allowed on lowest plan
- Decent shared hosting performance
- Renewal cost bumps are relatively low
- Not great for WordPress
- SSL certificate price increases each year for 3 years
- Does not guarantee regular backups
Domain Registration at a Quick Glance
In business today, entrepreneurs are in the habit of checking to see if their brand or business name is available as a domain before completing their entity paperwork. Why? Because your domain is your website name. It is the name between the www. and .com/.org/.biz/etc…
Without a domain name, your site would be unreachable except to those that can remember and access the server’s IP address. If it sounds ridiculously technical, that’s because it is.
Domain registrars are those that sell available domain names. It is a marketplace for never-before-used domains, formerly-owned domains, and in-demand domains that people have purchased in order to resell.
While not nearly as vital as your web hosting provider, choosing the right domain registrar can save you time and money. Thankfully, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) provides accreditation to those sites that are safe. Before domain registration organized, many domain name owners/shoppers got scammed.
Domain Registration with GoDaddy
GoDaddy is a well-established name in the business. Their main advantage is the ability to buy a domain name from a leading registrar and then be able to secure reliable web hosting at the same time.
But GoDaddy generally costs more than its competitors, and they charge for most add-ons.
- Good deals on both hosting and domain registration when bundled
- Great customer support
- Plenty of great add-ons if you have the budget
- Expensive compared to competitors when just purchasing a domain
- No free domain privacy
Top 3 GoDaddy Alternatives for Domain Registration
Thanks to a mature market and ICANN accreditation, there are many wonderful alternatives to GoDaddy. Many of them also offer domain and hosting bundles comparable (or better) than what GoDaddy provides. Here are our top 3 domain registration alternative picks.
Even though Namecheap offers web hosting (see above), they are more well-known for their domain registration services. Shopping for domain names on Namecheap’s website is easy and fun. And of course, being able to bundle your domain with web hosting is a nice touch.
Domain names are generally cheaper when purchased from Namecheap (hence the name). Prices start at $.49 per domain. All domain names come with free Whois domain privacy.
Namecheap is very clear about your initial and renewal price before you check out. Also, it doesn’t automatically set you up with auto-renewal. This gives you the autonomy to turn it on or off yourself. It is often a source of consternation that domain registrars will set your auto-renewal to “on” and make it difficult for you to find where to turn it off.
- Cheaper domain registration than GoDaddy
- Transparent pricing
- Free domain privacy
- You may want to consider a different hosting provider to keep hosting and domain registration separate
For many, Domain.com feels like GoDaddy, only less expensive. For instance, domain privacy isn’t a free add-on with Domain.com, but it costs less than what you would have to pay at GoDaddy. For .com domains, prices start just under $10/domain.
Domain.com also provides web hosting and a web builder. Their customer support is above average.
- Cheaper .com domain names than GoDaddy
- Great customer service
- Cheaper add-ons than GoDaddy
- Bundles available for domain name and web hosting
- No domain privacy included
- Not a contender for one of the better web hosting providers out there
For those looking to get a free domain name bundled with web hosting for their WordPress site, Bluehost should be one of your top choices. Their .com domains start at $11.99 – which is about average.
Domain privacy is not free, but it is cheap. Bluehost’s “domain privacy + protection” add-on inserts their information in your place on Whois directories. This protects you from hackers, telemarketers, and more.
- Free domain name bundled with low-priced web hosting make it more affordable than GoDaddy
- Optimized for WordPress sites
- Domain privacy plus protection is only $.99/month
- No free domain privacy
- Domain pricing may not be a good deal if you aren’t wanting to bundle with web hosting