Hosting Comparison: BlueHost/GoDaddy/HostGator

This is a guide on comparing the three major hosting companies on the web – BlueHost, GoDaddy, and HostGator.

These providers combined host millions on websites around the internet including the one you are reading now.

BlueHost, GoDaddy, and HostGator all strive to keep up with the technological demands of their users by providing the latests web based software for their clients to install.

Since there is little difference in the technology behind these hosts, let’s look at some price comparisons and different options. For ease of comparison, I assumed a minimum of 2 years worth of hosting would be purchased, and divided this by 2 for the yearly cost. This seemed the fairest way to compare.

I’ve also included two cost case scenarios, the first set of pricing highlighting “just the basics” includes what you would need to run a basic informational based website, or blog. The second includes an SSL certificate which is required for eCommerce based websites.

In most cases, if you are setting up an eCommerce website, it’s smart to know this before hand as you will save a lot of money on SSL certificate purchases.

BlueHost

BlueHost is the host I have selected for hosting this blog. They are always responsive to support queries and their cPanel interface makes administration quite simple. Click here to check out BlueHost’s plans and sign up.

Cost Comparison

Just The Basics

Plan
Estimated Monthly Cost
Dedicated IP
Domain Cost
Estimated Yearly Cost
Standard $6.95 $2.50 1 free forever domain (no renewal costs) $113.40

Extra Details:

  • Additional domains will set you back a flat fee of $10 per domain.
  • Bandwidth is unlimited.
  • Storage is unlimited.
  • SSL certificates purchased via BlueHost cost $45 per year.

With SSL

Plan
Estimated Monthly Cost
Dedicated IP
Domain Cost
Estimated Yearly Cost
Pro Package Upgrade (purchased afterwards) $14.95 Included 3 free forever domains (no renewal costs) $179.40

Extra Details:

  • Additional domains will set you back a flat fee of $10 per domain.
  • Bandwidth is unlimited.
  • Storage is unlimited.
  • SSL certificate is included.

GoDaddy

I’ve used GoDaddy in the past for hosting basic websites. Their support is quite good and in particular when I have contacted them attempting to install various web software systems and they were more than happy to help me sort it out. Click here to check out GoDaddy’s plans and sign up.

Cost Comparison

Just The Basics

Plan
Estimated Monthly Cost
Dedicated IP
Domain Cost
Estimated Yearly Cost
Deluxe Plan $6.29 $2.99 $1.99 (when purchased with hosting) $113.35

Extra Details:

  • Additional domains will set you back $9.99+ per domain.
  • Bandwidth is restricted to 10GB per month.
  • Storage is restricted to 300GB.
  • SSL certificates purchased via GoDaddy cost $29.99 per year.

With SSL

Plan
Estimated Monthly Cost
Dedicated IP
Domain Cost
Estimated Yearly Cost
Unlimited Plan $13.49 Included $1.99 (when purchased with hosting) $163.87

Extra Details:

  • Additional domains will set you back $9.99+ per domain.
  • Bandwidth is unlimited.
  • Storage is unlimited.
  • SSL certificate is included.

HostGator

HostGator uses a similar back end to BlueHost so making the switch from one to the other wouldn’t be too much of a leap. I personally haven’t trailled HostGator, but I hear mostly positive things. Click here to check out HostGator’s plans and sign up.

Cost Comparison

Just The Basics

Plan
Estimated Monthly Cost
Dedicated IP
Domain Cost
Estimated Yearly Cost
Baby Plan $7.95 $2.00 $15.00 $134.40

Extra Details:

  • Additional domains will set you back a flat fee of $15 per domain.
  • Bandwidth is unlimited.
  • Storage is unlimited.
  • SSL certificates purchased via HostGator cost $75 per year.

With SSL

Plan
Estimated Monthly Cost
Dedicated IP
Domain Cost
Estimated Yearly Cost
Business Plan $12.95 Included $15.00 $170.40

Extra Details:

  • Additional domains will set you back a flat fee of $15 per domain.
  • Bandwidth is unlimited.
  • Storage is unlimited.
  • SSL certificate is included.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it looks as though it depends on what your designing the site for. The impact of SSL certificate purchasing makes the choice a little harder, so if you’re planning an eCommerce site, you need to factor this cost in.

This guide was intended just as a impartial look at the “big three” hosting companies. There are plenty of good smaller hosts available that provide more personalised or dedicated services. Please suggest some in the comments below if you have positive experiences.

I find these three hosts in particular are good for DIY websites where you aren’t setting up anything that needs high availability, or constant support contact.

Obviously from the numbers, GoDaddy appears to be the cheapest, but this shouldn’t be the only thing you consider. Other factors such as support responsiveness, ease of use from an administrative side, accessibility and downtime all play a part.


Affiliate Disclosure

Josh Kohlbach

Josh is a software entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia. He spends most of his time helping e-commerce store owners. This is his personal blog where he shares his thoughts and other tidbits on online business and life in general.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Most of these codes (anything that ends in 1,2,or 3) expired 6-16-09.

    Here are the Go daddy coupon codes I found that all work.
    ZINE7 – $7.49 .com domains and renewals
    ZINE6 – $5 discount on all orders of $30+
    ZINE5 – 10% off anything
    ZINE25 – $25 off on any $100 or more order

    The Zine godaddy discount codes are going to be working through mid-2010, so please feel free to

    reblog these newly active replacement coupons. I know a lot of online people and internet

    marketers that type domain name based Seo tactics for creating backlinks, ecommerce platforms,

    etc. I’ve looked all over and these are the best Godaddy.com coupon codes out there for .com

    domains, domain renewals or any other web development need.

    1. Excellent, thanks hoover. I didn’t take into account discount codes in the above comparison, but it’s definitely worth a search around the place as it can save you a few extra dollars.

    1. Hey Methods, thanks for commenting. What is it about HostGator that you find is best? I haven’t reviewed the plans in a little while – I’ve been planning on revamping this post, would be good to hear if there is any major changes.

  2. I’ve been with Godaddy for years but I”m switching to one of your other top hosts. With godaddy you get excellent service but you pay the long distance costs to talk to support. I also don’t like their soft porn approach to advertising and thir lack of respect for women. Personally I like SBI site build it but I need a separate hosting program for my other projects.

    1. Hey Vickie,

      I quite agree with your gripes about GoDaddy’s marketing style, it is a bit soft porn and disrespectful. Unfortunately the way that business is constructed it seems to be the ticket for attracting clients (they more than likely have a high customer turnover). You’ll see similar things with other business models that require high customer turnover.

      Personally I didn’t get much better service at GoDaddy than I did the others when I had a hosting account, but you hear horror stories about all of them. Bluehost included which is my favourite for small websites (including this one).

      Best of luck with your projects.

  3. I am using Godaddy windows shared hosting currently and looking to buy a virtual private server for better performance.
    Has anybody used Hostgator VPS and have any suggestions?

    1. I’ve had experience with VPSs in general, but I’m not sure what Hostgator’s is like. I’m sure you’ll see a good performance increase though especially if you’re coming from shared hosting.

      Be prepared for some extra work though as running a VPS is pretty much like running your own server.

  4. I prefer godaday

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