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WordPress powers more than a quarter of websites. This is why it’s unsurprising that even major web hosting companies offer WordPress hosting services. Case in point, industry giant GoDaddy is offering WordPress hosting services. What’s surprising though, is that a smaller company like SiteGround is considered a tight competition for GoDaddy when it comes to WordPress hosting.
Is WordPress hosting a landslide win for GoDaddy? Or would SiteGround give GoDaddy a run for their money?
One of the few in the industry based outside of the US, this Bulgarian company expanded to more than 4 locations in three continents, hosting more than 1,800,000 domains from around the world. The company is still growing but over the years, it received recognition as a fast and reliable WordPress host.
SiteGround has 3 managed WordPress hosting plans: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.
The StartUp plan hosts only one website, excellent for new or small websites with no more than 10,000 monthly visitors. The plan has all the essential hosting and WordPress features including 10gb of SSD storage, CMS installation, and free email accounts. The GrowBig plan offers premium hosting services for an unlimited number of websites with at least 25,000 monthly visitors. It is an excellent upgrade for growing businesses with all the features of the StartUp plan and premium features like all 3 levels of SuperCacher, free backup restores, free site transfer, and support priority. Lastly, the GoGeek plan has the features of the other plans with the addition of geeky features like free backups on demand, PCI compliant servers, and free staging environment (WordPress and Joomla). With a monthly visitor limit of at least 100,000, the GoGeek plan is best suited for eCommerce sites.
Siteground’s plans offer comprehensive features and tools. Each plan is designed for websites in different stages of growth. There are core hosting features, core and advanced WordPress features (including developer tools, WordPress security tools, collaboration tools, etc.). SiteGround also offers site optimization features (instant Cloudflare CDN setup and free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate), advance security, and support options.
These features are applicable to almost all types of WordPress sites. The addition of developer tools provides more flexibility and further enriches existing functionality.
- Lightning-fast speed. SiteGround is one of the few hosting companies that actually deliver on their promised server speed and uptime. This is possible through the utilization of the latest technology including cutting-edge hardware, custom software, and innovative speed optimization solutions.
- Multiple server locations. SiteGround has 6 data centers strategically positioned on 3 continents (North America, Europe, and Asia)
- Servers are optimized for WordPress hosting. WordPress hosting plans come with in-house performance optimization tools to further enhance the performance of the shared servers.
- Advanced security. When SiteGround says security, they don’t just mean server or website security. SiteGround offers an all-inclusive security approach that includes user accounts, applications, and hardware security.
- Advanced tools including development and collaboration tools for developers and their clients.
- Industry-best customer support. Almost all hosting services offer 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and tickets but SiteGround is one of the few that built a positive reputation for its fast customer service waiting times and support staff efficiency. Its team of expert support reps also provide fast support that goes beyond hosting issues. Aside from this, SiteGround also offers comprehensive knowledge base resources in the form of how-to guides and video tutorials.
- The price point is higher than most competitors.
- No free domain registration for new accounts
- The minimum subscription period for shared hosting plans is 1 year.
GoDaddy Hosting Overview:
GoDaddy is an established name in the web hosting industry and a household name even outside of the US. It is, after all, the world’s largest domain name registrar, managing more than 78 million domain names.
In the past 20 years, GoDaddy became more than a domain name registrar. It’s now the go-to company for building professional websites and creating a web presence for brick-and-mortar stores.
With over 18.8 million customers, GoDaddy is the largest cloud platform with dedicated resources for independent enterprises.
But, is GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting service as reliable as their other web hosting offerings?
Godaddy WordPress Plans:
GoDaddy has 4 WordPress hosting plans: Basic, Deluxe, Ultimate, and Pro 5+. The Basic plan, as the name implies offers basic WordPress hosting features with GoDaddy’s regular hosting features. The Deluxe plan comes with an integrated SEO wizard, excellent for websites that need more visibility to drive more traffic through organic marketing strategies.
The Ultimate plan is excellent for larger websites that need more storage and security features. Lastly, the feature-rich Pro 5+ plan is excellent for superusers managing up to 50 websites.
Every Godaddy wordpress plan comes with automatic WordPress updates (core software and security), a drag and drop page builder, Microsoft Office 365 (free with every annual plan purchase), CDN boost, temporary domain name, SFTP access (only for Deluxe and Ultimate plans), PHP 7 latest version, and free themes and plugins.
Godaddy for wordpress pros:
- GoDaddy offers an excellent WordPress solution for small businesses that want to get into e-commerce.
- Pre-installed, updated, and configured WordPress site
- Reliable and tested network infrastructure
- Several WordPress hosting plugins (contact forms, page builder, SEO, analytics, etc.) are built into GoDaddy’s premium themes.
Godaddy for wordpress cons:
- The Basic plan is on the expensive side. The price is comparatively higher than most of the starter plans in the industry
- cPanel interface, which is an industry-standard is not available on the regular WordPress hosting plans
- Aggressive upselling and customer retention strategies. GoDaddy is well-known for cross-selling but their ways can be borderline infuriating. They will actually redirect you to different cross-selling options that it would take more steps than necessary to checkout. This isn’t a new problem, either. This had been pointed out for many years now.
- Free SSL certificates are only available for the Ultimate and Pro 5+ plans.
SiteGround Vs GoDaddy Comparison for WordPress:
All GoDaddy WordPress hosting plans come with an auto-migration tool that is in the same vein with 1-click installation tools. There are exceptions, though. The built-in migration tool won’t be able to migrate WordPress sites that:
- Has classic or Web Windows hosting
- Has page display errors or DNS issues
- Protected by two-factor authentication
- Uses custom WordPress login pages
GoDaddy doesn’t have a manual website migration service so you need to keep the restrictions in mind before committing to a GoDaddy WordPress hosting plan.
SiteGround offers complimentary professional website transfer services for GrowBig and GoGeek accounts. StartUp account owners can also avail of the service for an additional fee. You can request for website transfer via SiteGround’s Account Setup Wizard or via their support section. The service doesn’t have any restrictions or exceptions but the speed of transfer will depend on the availability of support agents. SiteGround stated that these experienced agents migrate websites by the hundreds each day.
The GoDaddy WordPress hosting plans are understandably expensive. This observation is not based on the value of the features but on the value of the GoDaddy brand. It’s the same with other branded items. One thing you can appreciate is GoDaddy’s prudence on the renewal fees, even providing the same discount for the renewal of the Pro 5+ plan.
But for this price point, a majority of the features are actually restrictive. This is evident with the 10gb storage allocation for the Basic hosting plan. It’s the same storage allocation as SiteGround’s StartUp plan but that plan limits the number of monthly visits to 10,000 in comparison to GoDaddy’s Basic plan’s 25,000. Most of the time, this isn’t a problem, though. Websites this small often only need about 5gb of bandwidth. The number of supported websites on the Deluxe and Ultimate plan is also very limiting but still serves their recommended purpose well. The Pro 5+ plan is a huge jump from the other two plans, though. It seems like there are no in-between hosting 1-2 websites to hosting 5-50 websites. These solutions still work for many businesses, though. It’s actually the same jump from GrowBig (25,000 visits, unlimited websites, and 20gb space) to GoGeek (100,000 visits, unlimited websites, and 30gb space) with the latter plan actually ending up as the more expensive one.
According to GoDaddy, they have the fastest page loading time in the industry at 0.215 seconds with SiteGround in fifth place with 0.765 seconds. GoDaddy being the best at something is not surprising. But in real-life page-loading scenarios, these numbers are barely noticeable with how the time difference is.
GoDaddy backs this up with reliable servers and high-performance hosting solutions. GoDaddy has 9 data centers located in the US (Arizona, California, Illinois, and Virginia), Netherlands, and Singapore. In 2014, it was stated that GoDaddy has a total of 37,000 servers. Most of these servers are load-balanced, clustered servers that can prevent server overload even during unexpectedly high traffic spikes.
SiteGround did not disclose the number of their servers but they do have 6 data centers in the US (Iowa and Chicago), Netherlands (Amsterdam and Eemshaven), UK (London), and Singapore. Also, SiteGround has a different approach to preventing server overload. This is through the use of the Linux Containers (LXC) virtualization technology. SiteGround developed an in-house solution that allows them to easily scale up available server resources.
The Pro 5+ plan has free site maintenance tools that include uptime reporting, premium backups, and automated security scans. Another advantageous management tool is the automated client reports that summarize the site’s performance, uptime, monitor keywords, page views, and other essential data about the website’s status.
These tools and features show GoDaddy’s long experience in web hosting. They clearly know who their clients will be (entrepreneur bloggers, marketers, and website managers) and anticipate what they will need. This may also be the reason why GoDaddy doesn’t have much in the way of development tools and coding features.
SiteGround’s WordPress hosting services are mainly general-use. They try to cast a wide net with their flexible and highly customizable approach to website management and it seems to work for a wide variety of clientele.
Security features include automatic daily malware scans (through the pre-installed Sucuri plugin). Premium plans have an advanced version of this feature, the Website Security Essential. Aside from automatic malware scans, this tool also performs guaranteed malware cleanups.
24/7/365 global customer care operations. GoDaddy’s primary support team is, of course, is based in the US but they also offer local-language support for more than 50 countries and territories. Only select countries have 24/7 support but the localized support is more than what SiteGround can offer.
Even so, SiteGround’s WordPress-related, priority support, and general support services are still lauded by customers and experts alike.
GoDaddy certainly has the infrastructure and the resources but when it comes to WordPress hosting, it’s the newcomer. The mere acknowledgment of SiteGround, a comparatively smaller company, as a competitor is enough to prove that SiteGround provides one of the best WordPress hosting services.
But what really makes SiteGround as the better WordPress hosting service provider is the company’s innate understanding of WordPress’s capabilities, limitations, and the business goals of the people that use the platform. This understanding shows in the way SiteGround designs their plans, rations off server resource allocations to each account, offers customization features to basic accounts, and most importantly, with how they treat their customers with empathy and respect.
Reasons to Love SiteGround:
There are several reasons why SiteGround may be the perfect fit for your WordPress hosting needs. These reasons include:
- An official recommendation from WordPress!
- Average load time of 1.3s – providing almost instantaneous speed boosts and 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime.
- Let’s Encrypt free SSL certificates
- Excellent customer service that is available 24/7 via chat, phone, and ticket. No-hold time on chat and phone while you can receive ticket answers less than 10 minutes.
- High customer satisfaction is evident with its low cancellation rate and consistently positive feedback from users.
- Each migration has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- See why people love Siteground: