HostGator and Go Daddy are two of the largest hosting companies in the world yet have some of the strongest differences. HostGator is tailored for more for average internet user; they give you all you need up front at a small cost. Go Daddy focuses on beginners and breaks website building, and hosting, and other products into separate packages.
1. Company Info
HostGator has grown rapidly because of their feature-rich, affordable plans while Go Daddy has grew fast because of their number 1 place as ICANN registrar and, of course, their sexy model Super Bowl commercials.
HostGator was founded in 2002 and is located in Austin and Houston, Texas. They host over 9 million domains and have 400,000+ customers. They are one of the fastest growing hosting companies around.
They focus on getting new customers by keeping prices low, giving you lots of tools and performing great.
Go Daddy was founded in 1997 and is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have over 55 million domains, 11 million customers and they are one of the most recognized and popular hosting companies in the world.
Their missions is to focus primarily on new website owners. They over a lot of basic packages that include website templates and easy to use website builders.
2. Plan & Pricing
With HostGator customers get an access to more tools, customization, and support options for a lower price. Go Daddy has all of their own proprietary products, tools are treated like addons, they do not have all the same options for support as HostGator, and costs more.
- Economy - $2.99/Month unlimited bandwidth, 1 website, 100GB, 10 Databases, 100 Email Addresses.
- Deluxe - $4.49/Month unlimited bandwidth, websites, and disk space. 25 databases, 500 email address.
- Ultimate - $9.99/Month unlimited bandwidth, websites, disk space, databases, and email address.
- Lowest plan is VPS Level 1 (plans increase from here) - $19.95/Mo. 384MB RAM, 10GB space, 250GB bandwidth, unlimited domains, email and databases.
- Highest plan is VPS Level 9 - $219.95/Mo. 4435MB RAM, 231GB space, 3150GB bandwidth, unlimited domains, email and databases.
- Lowest plan is Basic - $174.00/Mo. 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drives RAID-1, 10TB bandwidth, 5 IP addresses, unlimited domains, email and databases.
- Highest plan is Pro - $374.00/Mo. 16GB RAM, 1TB hard drives RAID-1, 10TB bandwidth, 5 IP addresses, unlimited domains, email and databases.
Website Builder Hosting
- Personal - $5.99/Mo. 5 webpages, 1 email, 1GB disk space, 150GB bandwidth, 8,700 professional images.
- Business - $8.99/Mo. 10 webpages, 500 email addresses, 10GB space, 500GB bandwidth, 8700 professional images.
- Unlimited - $14.99/Mo. Unlimited webpages, 1,000 email addresses, 50GB space, 1TB bandwidth, 28,000 professional images.
- Economy - $5.99/Mo. 10 databases, 100 email addresses, 100GB space, 1 website, unlimited bandwidth.
- Deluxe - $8.99/Mo. 25 databases, 500 email addresses, unlimited space, websites and bandwidth.
- Ultimate - $14.99/Mo. unlimited databases, email addresses, space, websites and bandwidth.
- Lowest plan is Economy - $29.99/Mo. 3GB RAM, 40GB storage, 1TB bandwidth, CentOS Fedora or Windows.
- Highest plan is Ultimate - $149.99/Mo. 8GB RAM, 240GB storage, 8TB bandwidth, CentOS, Fedora or Windows.
- Lowest plan is Economy - $99.99/Mo. 2GB RAM, 160GB storage, 5TB bandwidth, CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, or Windows.
- Highest plan is Memory Hog - $99.99/Mo. 16GB RAM, 1TB storage,15TB bandwidth, CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, or Windows.
3. Control Panel & User Experience
Navigating control panels at HostGator and GoDaddy is completely different. HostGator uses a widely popular control panel called, cPanel, while Go Daddy has a custom control panel called, Hosting Control Center.
Navigating cPanel take a little getting used to because of all the different apps. If you read over each section and understand the applications, then it will make sense. It's really grown on me, and I prefer it. The real benefit to using cPanel is lots of other hosting companies use it. Say you ever need to switch hosting companies, you will still know your way around cPanel.
For each of Go Daddy's packages you have a slightly different control panel. I haven't used them yet, so it's unfair to say at this point if they are good or bad.
4. Installing and Managing Joomla/WordPress
Both companies give you two options for installing Joomla. First, you can use an installer. Second, you can install manually.
With HostGator you can install Joomla by using QuickInstall, Fantastico, or manually. QuickInstall is the best of the two installers because it is kept up to date. Fantastico works fine if you need to use it, but check to see which version you are installing. Manual installation is the best option overall, in my opinion, because you can customize your databases and table prefixes.
There are no compatibility errors when installing Joomla with HostGator.
HostGator backs up your Joomla site weekly. They do not keep older versions of backups, only the latest.
Installing Joomla can be done through their apps section called, Popular Apps. During the installation you have to create database descriptions and passwords, choose a directory, admin name and password, and email. You do not have control over table prefixes. You can install Joomla manually if you want to using FTP and MySQL databases.
According to their website Joomla should not have any issues. I have not installed it myself, so I cannot say for sure.
Go Daddy does not keep backups of your website.
5. Performance (speed and uptime)
Performance at HostGator has always been great and I have not tested the speed at Go Daddy, so this part of the comparison here will be one sided.
We have used HostGator for four plus years with great success. There is hardly any downtime and response time is very good.
When you are using Joomla, it is fast and responsive. Load times are great, which means your site could rank higher in search engines.
6. Support Options
Both HostGator and Go Daddy have solid support. HostGator has one up on Go Daddy in support and that is because they offer Live Chat.
Live Chat happens to be one of my favorite ways to get support. HostGator is on top of it and answers quickly. I can usually talk to them within 7-8 minutes. The other options are great too; phone support 24/7, ticket system, knowledgebase and forums.
They do not have my favorite method, Live Chat, at Go Daddy, so that is a negative point for me. Instead of chatting I submitted a ticket asking a simple question and they got back to me within 13 hours. It was somewhat helpful, but not very detailed. It will probably take a couple more emails to get the answer clarified. Besides ticket system, they have phone support 24/7, knowledgebase, and forum.
Even though HostGator and Go Daddy are two of the largest hosting companies, they are very different in how they set up plans and packages, give you access to control panels and how they set up tech support.
To sum up my thoughts on these two companies, my preference is HostGator. The plans are cheaper for how much access you get to resources and tools, the control panel has everything in one place, and technical support has my favorite form of support, Live Chat.