Deciding between SiteGround vs. GoDaddy? I wouldn’t use either.
SiteGround is who I used until 2019 when they started going downhill (I moved to Cloudways Vultr HF). Their TTFB got slower and they reduced support, increased prices, and the DNS got blocked by Google for two days. They have strict CPU limits and take down your website until you upgrade, tried to limit the number of websites on each plan, and banned certain countries. Hristo (SiteGround’s community manager) and their affiliates are admins for several Facebook groups and remove negative posts about SiteGround (they even ban people from groups). The whole SiteGround vibe has gotten unethical and filled with issues. I no longer recommend them.
GoDaddy has their fair share of complaints too. The DNS is slow shown on dnsperf.com, they make you pay for SSL, and also have CPU limits (but unlike SiteGround, GoDaddy only throttles your bandwidth instead of holding your website hostage). They have a long history of security and malware issues, ban plugins, and their dashboard is overlysimplified which gives you very little control. GoDaddy’s TTFB can actually be decent – but there are definitely better options.
I refuse to recommend bad hosting for commissions. NameHero and Cloudways are much better than SiteGround and GoDaddy. I use affiliate links in those reviews (and appreciate your support) but not in this post because I don’t recommend either host.
|CPU Limits||Very Strict||Strict|
|Pricing||Expensive Renewals||3 Year Renewals|
|Alternatives||Cloudways + NameHero||NameHero|
1. Facebook Feedback – What People Say About SiteGround vs GoDaddy
I always like to start my reviews by showing conversations from Facebook Groups. Just be careful – SiteGround and their affiliates are admins of several Facebook Groups and remove negative posts about them. The WP Speed Matters Facebook Group is the main one I suggest joining and is run by Gijo Varghese. Here is what people say about SiteGround and GoDaddy.
2. TTFB – SiteGround’s TTFB Is Slower Than GoDaddy’s
I tested SiteGround’s GrowBig plan and GoDaddy’s Deluxe plan in KeyCDN’s Performance Test which measures TTFB in 10 global locations.
Methodology: I installed WordPress with the same Astra Starter Site (and same 6 plugins) with no caching/CDN. The SiteGround data center was in Council Bluffs, Iowa while GoDaddy’s was in Los Angeles, California: this is why TTFB gets slower as the geographical distance gets longer.
Winner: believe it or not, GoDaddy had a much faster TTFB than SiteGround. Backlinko’s PageSpeed Test also showed SiteGround had the absolute slowest TTFB of any host tested.
3. DNS – Googlebot Blocked SiteGround’s DNS, GoDaddy’s Is Slow
In 2021, Googlebot blocked SiteGround’s DNS for 4 days.
This caused millions of dollars to be lost by their customers. They were furious as they lost money, dropped in Google rankings, and threatened SiteGround with lawsuits. Not only was SiteGround late to inform their customers, but instead of advising them to move to an external DNS, SiteGround claimed “there is no blocking on our end” but then 2 days later, said “we have implemented a fix.” In typical SiteGround fashion, they claimed no accountability. Oof, not good.
Status Update: We are glad to inform you that we have implemented a fix for the Google bot crawling issue experienced by some sites. Websites are already being crawled successfully. Please allow a few hours for the DNS changes to take effect. Thank you for your patience!
— SiteGround (@SiteGround) November 12, 2021
You should be advising people to move to an external DNS to resolve the issues if it is causing them massive losses in business. I have just sorted our connectivity issue in around 25 minutes by moving to googles DNS. If you had let us know 4 days ago, we wouldnt be £20k+ down!
— Jon Bunce (@thejonbunce) November 11, 2021
I can understand that you may have problems, they are part of the job.
What I can’t understand is that as soon as you detect them you don’t warn your customers and try to hide them. This says a lot about the company’s philosophy.
Is very unethical and unfortunate.
— Pantic (@Pantic_14) November 11, 2021
GoDaddy’s DNS is slow which you can see on dnsperf.com.
That’s why no matter which host you’re using, I recommend using Cloudflare’s DNS which is faster and more reliable than SiteGround and GoDaddy’s. It’s good to keep them separate too.
4. Caching – SiteGround Optimizer is Better Than GoDaddy’s Caching
SiteGround’s Optimizer plugin is the biggest pro of using SiteGround.
It uses server-side caching which is significantly faster than WP Rocket and most other cache plugin’s file-based caching. They’ve also updated it to address core web vitals and reduce CPU.
GoDaddy has built-in caching in their dashboard but you’ll need to configure a separate cache plugin like WP Rocket/FlyingPress since most free cache plugins don’t address core web vitals. These plugins don’t use server-side caching either – so SiteGround definitely wins this category.
5. CPU Limits – SiteGround Takes Down Websites, GoDaddy Has 503 Errors
CPU limits are a huge issue with SiteGround, GoDaddy, and most shared hosting.
Each plan includes a certain amount of CPU/inodes. If you exceed them (which can be for a number of reasons including plugins, themes, bots, traffic), then GoDaddy will throttle your bandwidth which slows down your site and results in 503 service unavailable errors. If you exceed CPU limits on SiteGround, they will send you a couple email warnings until they take down your website and hold it hostage until you upgrade, or you can wait until they are reset.
GoDaddy only includes 250,000 inodes on all shared hosting plans. SiteGround at least increases inodes as you upgrade plans on StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek which include 150,000, 300,000, and 450,000 inodes respectively. If you search “SiteGround CPU limits” Facebook Groups, you’ll see many people complain about it and their site getting taken down.
6. Support – It’s Honestly A Tossup At This Point
GoDaddy’s support has always been average.
SiteGround’s support used to be much better than GoDaddy’s, but it has declined in recent years. They hid the support button, added a huge disclaimer about scope of support, and push upgrades. SiteGround’s entire team seems like they’re trained not to hold accountability and blame it on WordPress, plugins, themes, etc. If it’s a SiteGround problem, they won’t admit it.
7. Security – GoDaddy Has A History Of Issues
SiteGround has zero major security breaches.
GoDaddy has frequent security breaches (one in 2021, 2019, 2018, and beyond). In 2018. GoDaddy was one of the top 2 malware hosting networks worldwide. It’s not a coincidence GoDaddy has terrible security but offers a malware removal service for hundreds of dollars.
Although SiteGround has an entire page about their security, I always recommend going through a WordPress security checklist since there are many things site owners can do as well.
8. Dashboard – SiteGround Site Tools vs. GoDaddy’s Custom Dashboard
Both SiteGround and GoDaddy use a custom dashboard, and neither are great.
SiteGround’s Site Tools is much better than GoDaddy’s dashboard, although it still has issues and there were tons of bugs and missing features when they released it (they basically used customers as beta testers). But to their credit, Site Tools is easy to use and has gotten better.
GoDaddy’s dashboard is way too simplified and gives you very little control. It’s pretty much empty. So besides doing very basic things, don’t expect a whole lot in your GoDaddy dashboard.
9. Banned Plugins – GoDaddy Bans Caching, Backup, Stat Plugins
GoDaddy bans many plugins while SiteGround does not.
Even though GoDaddy bans caching plugins, you can use WP Rocket and many other premium cache plugins. Cache plugins do a lot more than caching and you want those extra optimizations.
10. Data Centers – SiteGround Has 6, GoDaddy Has 9
You want to choose a data center geographically close to your visitors so your TTFB is faster (shown in KeyCDN’s performance test).
SiteGround at least lets you choose your data at checkout while GoDaddy does not. If they don’t have a data center close to your visitors, it’s important enough to consider another host.
SiteGround Data Centers:
|Council Bluff, Iowa (US)||Frankfurt (DE)|
|London (UK)||Singapore (SG)|
|Eemshaven (NL)||Sydney (AU)|
GoDaddy Data Centers:
|Phoenix, Arizona (USA)||Los Angeles (USA)||Virginia (USA)|
|Scottsdale (USA)||Chicago (USA)||Amsterdam (Europe)|
|Mesa (USA)||Ashburn (USA)||Singapore (Asia)|
11. Uptimes – SiteGround’s Is Better
As much as I dislike SiteGround, I’ll admit when they’re doing something right and uptimes is one of them. But if you exceed CPU limits and they take down your website, then it’ll be down.
But GoDaddy, not so much. You can check their DownDetector profile and they usually have several reports even when looking at the last 24 hours. GoDaddy claims to have a 99.9% uptime guarantee, so read their terms and conditions and get your money refunded if it’s anything less.
12. Ethics – SiteGround Has Become Very Unethical
Why do I think SiteGround is unethical?
- They rarely (if every) take accountability for anything.
- They banned certain countries because they don’t make enough money.
- Their affiliate TOS lets SiteGround legally threaten people who write bad reviews.
- Their community manager/affiliates are admins for Facebook Groups and remove posts.
- They constantly cut costs (multiple price increases, no free migration, hiding support, reducing support, ditching cPanel, moving priority support from GrowBig to GoGeek, etc).
13. Migrations – Both Are Paid Services
SiteGround used to offer free migrations but now it’s $30/site.
GoDaddy’s migration cost is likely based on your website since they provide instructions, then at the bottom of the page, tell you their specialists can help with a link to their hosting services.
14. Pricing – High Renewal Prices And Long-Term Contracts
SiteGround and GoDaddy have a similar pricing structure.
SiteGround offers the cheaper intro price for 1 year, then it renews yearly at roughly 2.5x the price. GoDaddy offers cheap intros only if you sign up for 3 years, then it renews for an entire 3 more years. You’ll get a huge bill at the end of your billing cycle on both, but GoDaddy is worse.
|SiteGround Plan||Intro Price||Renewal Price|
|GoDaddy Plan||Intro Price||Renewal Price|
15. TrustPilot Rating – Don’t Be Fooled By TrustPilot Reviews
SiteGround and GoDaddy both have decent TrustPilot ratings, but don’t be fooled.
When I left a bad review of SiteGround on TrustPilot, the review was immediately flagged by SiteGround even though it was 100% truthful. Plus, both SiteGround and GoDaddy’s support team funnel customers asking for TrustPilot reviews. Most of the reviews are actually solicited.
16. Alternatives (NameHero + Cloudways)
NameHero uses LiteSpeed servers, cPanel, has better support, and is just as cheap as SiteGround/GoDaddy. LiteSpeed servers are a newer, faster type of server rated highly in Facebook polls. This means you can use the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin which has excellent reviews and uses very fast server-side caching (it’s better than WP Rocket). They have great TrustPilot reviews, excellent feedback in Facebook Groups, and their CEO (Ryan) is a genuinely helpful guy who cares about customers – watch his YouTube videos or search Facebook groups.
Cloudways Vultr High Frequency is who I currently use and my GTmetrix report speaks for itself. There’s a huge trend of people leaving SiteGround for Cloudways. It’s monthly pricing with no higher renewal, 3-day trials, and a free migration. It starts at $13/month for Vultr High Frequency (the plan I recommend). The main con is that it’s a little more techie since it requires you to launch a server and they use a custom dashboard. It takes getting used to, but is worth it.
Don’t be fooled by other SiteGround vs. GoDaddy comparisons.
Of course they will hype up SiteGround because they pay more commissions than GoDaddy (up to $160/sale). I used to be a super affiliate of SiteGround back in the day until they got too big and stopped caring about their customers. Aside from their declining service, they’re unethical.
Your post title includes this – “Don’t Touch GoDaddy With A 10-Foot Poll”
I think you mean 10 foot POLE – https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/not_touch_something_with_a_ten_foot_pole
A poll is when you ask people questions.
Fixed and appreciated :)
Great reviews, sometime it seems that Go daddy is far better than site ground. Both are best service providers. I will try to move website form go daddy hosting so I searching some tutorials. Thanks for this information.
Godaddy has made some improvements over the years, still better than EIG.
Do Godaddy still pay $100 per referral on 12 months hosting plan?
I’m not sure, I’m not an affiliate for Godaddy as I don’t recommend them – there are better options.
Hmm. I love how you nail it with a detailed comparison and long guides that covers every part of your topic. Thanks for sharing such insightful resource. I think I should no where else, Your article is almost covering everything!!
An awesome blog BTW..
I have a food and travel website, what do I need to know if I plan to change hosts? Does that mean all my traffic will be gone? or all my data before will be removed since I had to start from scratch when I transferred from wordpress.com to .org. After reading this, I’m seriously considering making the switch, my site always loads a bit too long for my taste.
Hope you can help.
Your website will be the exact same. But yes switching from .wordpress.com to self hosted (.com) is a ton of work. For hosting you just need to choose which data center you want during the sign up process (choose the closest one to your visitors), then open a support ticket to request a website transfer. Once SiteGround is done they will email you. That’s it :)
I would then just browse through SiteGround’s cPanel and setup any features you want (e.g. automatic backups).
Let me know if you decide to do it and how it goes.
I just switched 6 websites from MidPhase to SiteGround. Initially MidPhase was great but their customer service got so bad I left. I was quite concerned about switching but SiteGround was totally incredible. Very easy to make the move. They walked me through the steps, I took notes and all transfered beautifully. They are very helpful and easy to reach.
I do a lot of research on hosting companies, and this is one of the most detailed writeups I’ve seen. Great job, keep it up!
Thanks Samantha :) I just recently added the Facebook comment threads. I think a lot of people will find them helpful. Glad you like it!
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I like your post. I will share your blog to my friend.
Go Daddy Deluxe plan offers staging. GrowBig does not. Requires $30/month (on renewal) geek plan- double the price. This is a big negative. How to go about staging on growbig plan?
I wish there was staging on GrowBig but you need GoGeek to get it, unless you contact SiteGround and pull some strings. Yeah GoGeek is more but those extra server resources are definitely nice.