Are you really deciding between SiteGround vs. GoDaddy?
This is honestly the easiest comparison I have ever written. GoDaddy is absolute garbage and you should avoid them at all costs. When comparing them to SiteGround, it’s like night and day.
GoDaddy packs too many people on their servers (making them slow) which is well-known on Quora, Facebook, and Twitter. They were rated the top malware hosting network and make news for all the wrong reasons, being called out by iThemes, Wikipedia, Forbes, Mashable, and PC Mag. They have been called a “scam” because they make customers pay to upgrade PHP versions and malware issues, when it’s their own fault. GoDaddy is like a doctor who forces illness on patients and treats symptoms to make their money, but doesn’t fix the cause. They also blacklist cache plugins and make you use their own built-in caching system, which doesn’t hold a candle to plugins like WP Rocket, Swift, or even W3 Total Cache. They are known for being 1 thing (cheap) but you will pay the price long-term. I don’t recommend them to anyone.
SiteGround is used by Yoast, recommended by WordPress, and were rated the #1 host in 30+ Facebook polls. I was able to get 100% GTmetrix scores and <1s load times on their semi-dedicated GoGeek plan. Many people who migrated have publicly posted their new load times. Their support is top-notch and you can get ahold of live chat in 30 seconds, and tickets usually answered within 15 minutes – which their customers praise. They have way more features than GoDaddy like free Let’s Encrypt SSL, Cloudflare, daily backups, staging, 4 data centers, and the newest PHP versions. Most importantly, they keep current with new technology and constantly release new updates to improve speed, uptimes, and security – which you can see on their Facebook page. They offer 3 plans and do free migrations with GrowBig and GoGeek.
1. SiteGround vs. GoDaddy In 30+ Facebook Polls
Join the WordPress Hosting and WordPress Speed Up Facebook Groups to see what real, unbiased people are saying since hosting is the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide. SiteGround is consistently #1 in Facebook polls while GoDaddy is rarely in the top 5. If you have specific hosting requirements, the WordPress Hosting Group is a great place to get feedback from people who actually know what they’re talking about – without affiliate links.
2. GoDaddy Servers Are Painfully Slow
GoDaddy is able to offer low-cost hosting because they pack too many people on their servers. You can’t tell how many websites you’re sharing the server with, or how much bandwidth they’re consuming. That’s why it’s best to look at what (unbiased) people are saying on Quora, Facebook Groups, and look at the server response times current GoDaddy clients are getting.
3. PHP 7 Only Available On cPanel Plans
How are you not suppose to treat your most loyal customers?
Release an “improved” cPanel plan and tell old customers they have to pay for an upgrade if they want to use PHP 7. GoDaddy’s cPanel and Plesk are the only plans that support PHP 7, otherwise you’re out of luck. Not only were they one of the last hosts to release PHP 7, but when they do, they try to make customers pay for it. They’re the only host I know doing this.
GoDaddy was using PHP 5.6 until 2018 and was one of the last hosts to implement PHP 7. Not only did this make customer websites slow, but also less secure. GoDaddy received countless complaints about this on their support threads and Twitter, and were very late to take action.
4. Malware Problems
GoDaddy is one of the top malware hosting networks and constantly make news for being one of the least secure hosts. If you care about the security of your website, do not use GoDaddy. While SiteGround clearly lists how they protect your website, GoDaddy does the bare minimum. Even to this day, they have a long history of hacked accounts, malware, and viruses.
GoDaddy’s malware scanner detects malware even if it’s not there because they want customers to pay them to remove it. It’s pretty shady, and there have been numerous reports.
5. Blacklisted Plugins
GoDaddy’s blacklisted plugins are suppose to prevent you from exceeding server resources. They use their own built-in caching system and don’t let you use cache plugins. The problem is, cache plugins do way more than caching. This means you see will likely errors in GTmetrix and Pingdom (eg. minification errors). With GoDaddy, you need to use a plugin like Autoptimize, but with SiteGround you can use better plugins like WP Rocket, Swift, and WP Fastest Cache.
6. Wikipedia Moves Domains Away From GoDaddy
Wikipedia is all about freedom of speech, so when GoDaddy decided to support SOPA (which has been compared to China’s internet censorship), Jimmy Wales moved all Wikipedia domain names away from GoDaddy. A massive boycott erupted after Reddit users started a “Leave GoDaddy Day” which is conveniently when they decided to withdraw support from SOPA. The question is, are you willing to support a company who wants to limit your freedom of speech?
7. Support Is Awful
This is the by far the biggest difference between GoDaddy vs. SiteGround. GoDaddy is full of excuses, upgrade selling, lack of responsibility, and no resolutions. They have ridiculous wait times and a designated Twitter account @GoDaddyHelp where customers blast them with frustration. You can get connected to a SiteGround technician within minutes on live chat or phone, who will dig into the problem and help solve it. You’re in better hands with SiteGround.
8. Bob Parsons Hunts Elephant
In 2011, Bob Parsons (GoDaddy founder) tweeted about killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. He claimed it was a problem elephant destroying crops. The video shows local villagers (who are rocking GoDaddy hats) carving and passing out elephant meat to the sound of ACDC. Did he do it to get links to godaddy.com or is he just an idiot? We’ll never know. He resigned in 2018.
9. SiteGround Speed (Migration Results)
Here are people who migrated to SiteGround and posted their results. You can click each image to view the Tweet. In extreme cases, people cut over 10 seconds from their load time.
10. SG Optimizer, Cloudflare, PHP 7.3+ For The Win
SiteGround clearly lists their speed technology (NGINX, SSDs, PHP 7+, HTTP/2, SG Optimizer, etc) while GoDaddy claims “industry leading load times” without saying what technology they use. Just my thought, but if hosting companies don’t list their stack, it’s probably not very good.
SG Optimizer is SiteGround’s cache plugin which offers 3 levels of caching (static, dynamic, memcached). It uses server-side caching which is faster than the file-based caching used by other cache plugins. It also has options for browser caching, minification, gzip compression, image optimization, removal of query strings, and the ability to upgrade PHP versions. It has great reviews on WordPress.org and SiteGround recently made big updates to their plugin, making in comparable to plugins like WP Rocket. If you’re choosing SiteGround, give it a try.
Cloudflare is built-in to SiteGround’s cPanel and can be activated in 1-click for free. This makes it super easy to take advantage of Cloudflare’s free CDN which has 180+ data centers.
PHP 7.3 is the highest version on SiteGround, and they’re are also one of the first hosts to release new versions when they become available. Companies like Bluehost will release a new version but won’t be stable so you can’t use it. No need to worry about that with SiteGround.
11. WordPress Features
SiteGround has more WordPress features than GoDaddy including automatic WordPress updates, their SG Optimizer plugin (for caching), and a migrator plugin. SiteGround even updates their servers when new plugin vulnerabilities are detected (something GoDaddy needs to get better at) and their support is is much more knowledgable when it comes to WordPress. GoDaddy’s WordPress plugins are useless – the only good plugin they had was P3 Performance Profiler and they abandoned it years ago. You can see SiteGround’s WordPress features on their comparison page under the “we give you more WordPress features” section.
12. SiteGround Is Endorsed By Yoast, WordPress, Ivica
I haven’t seen 1 credible person recommend GoDaddy.
SiteGround is also recommended by WordPress.
And by Ivica who runs the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group with 15,000+ members.
13. Support Is Unbeatable
SiteGround support has blown me away several times. Free migration with no downtime or errors? Yes please. Have a question about specific plugins taking a long time to load or interfering with your website? They’ll be glad to help. SiteGround’s support is always fast and happy to help even if it doesn’t have to do with their hosting. For the money you’re paying, you’re not going to get better support than SiteGround. And with GoGeek, you get priority support – I’ve had tickets answered within 7 minutes. This is how they built their reputation.
14. Tons Of Hosting Features
You can see these on SiteGround’s features page which lists everything you get with their StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plan. I usually recommend GrowBig since it’s $2/month more and you get more server resources (key speed factor found in the WordPress optimization guide), storage, staging, on-demand backups, advanced caching, and a free website transfer.
- Daily backups
- 4 data centers
- SG-Git (with GoGeek+)
- Staging (with GrowBig+)
- Cloudflare, SG Optimizer, PHP 7+
- On-demand backups (with GrowBig+)
- Automatic WordPress updates (optional)
- And lots more
On their features page, go to “we allocate the resources you need” and hover over the “server” tab to see how many server resources come with each plan. More resources = faster website.
15. They Protect Customer Websites
SiteGround’s features page shows how they protect your website. They were the first host to use isolated accounts, meaning if a website you shared servers with got hacked, it wouldn’t affect yours. They also post updates on their Facebook page with frequent security updates.
16. Free Migrations
SiteGround does free migrations with their GrowBig plan and up. I have done taken advantage of this many times and have never had downtimes or errors. The migrations always go smooth.
17. Choose A SiteGround Plan: StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek
StartUp allows you to host 1 single website but lacks server resources, storage, staging, advanced caching, free website transfer, and other features. It’s mainly for websites that don’t have much traffic, run resource-hungry plugins, or websites that are just starting to launch.
GrowBig is the best value IMO. For only $2/month more (promo price), you get more server resources, storage, staging, advanced caching, on-demand backups, and a free website transfer. You shouldn’t need priority support (SiteGround’s regular support is already great).
GoGeek is semi-dedicated hosting and comes with about 4x more server resources than regular shared hosting (one of the biggest speed factors in the WordPress optimization guide). This is the main reason to upgrade, but you also get priority support, GIT, and PCI compliant servers if it’s an eCommerce site. If you’re running a WooCommerce site or you’re running multiple resource-hungry plugins, I recommend either GrowBig or GoGeek since they will be able to better accommodate WooCommerce, which usually requires more server resources.
18. In Case You’re Still Not Sure (More Social Evidence)
Do your research on Facebook Groups, Quora, and other unbiased sources. You will quickly see that when it comes to SiteGround vs. GoDaddy, SiteGround is the clear, obvious winner.
Been with them since 2015.
I write WordPress speed optimization tutorials for a living and wouldn’t any of my readers to GoDaddy. SiteGround has been great, they’re basically a silent partner, keeping my site loading fast with 100% uptimes and no random errors you get with GoDaddy and other cheap hosting.
Have Questions? Drop Me A Line – I hope you got a lot out of my SiteGround vs. GoDaddy WordPress hosting review. I know choosing a host is tough and there are tons of reviews and biased opinions out there, so if you have questions leave me a comment and I’ll be glad to help.