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.
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.
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.
You can run any website through Google PageSpeed Insights and if the reduce server response time item is in your report, this means your server (hosting) is definitely slow.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
You can also check out my own GTmetrix report, Pingdom report, and server response times. Obviously tutorials like this take longer to load because they have so many images on the post.
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 200+ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
View SiteGround’s Plans
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.
View SiteGround’s Plans
GoDaddy has a long history of shady business practices and issues with their servers, security, and uptimes. They made customers pay for an entirely new hosting account to upgrade PHP versions, supported SOPA, and were rated in the top 2 malware hosting networks world wide in 2018. They have been called out by Wikipedia, iThemes, Forbes, and Mashable on multiple issues. Their founder also hunted an Elephant in Zimbabwe.
SiteGround is much faster than GoDaddy and has tools like their SG Optimizer plugin, Cloudflare's free CDN, and PHP 7.4 to make your site faster. GoDaddy does very little to keep updated with speed technology and overcrowds servers in order to make profits.
GoDaddy is much cheaper, but you get what you pay for. You will pay less upfront, yet you will likely spend more time dealing with issues caused by GoDaddy's servers.
SiteGround was rated the #1 host in over 20+ Facebook polls taken by WordPress-related Facebook Groups while GoDaddy is usually not in the top 5. The WordPress Hosting Facebook Group is a great place to get unbiased opinions on different hosting companies.
GoDaddy has their own built-in caching system and blacklists most cache plugins. The problem with this, is cache plugins do a lot more than just caching. So if you don't use a cache plugin, you will be missing out on many other speed optimizations.
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.
WordPress site running slow on GoDaddy? You and everyone else.
GoDaddy is known for domain registration, not hosting. iThemes called them out for packing too many people on the same server (which is how they cut costs). They’re also slow to release newer PHP versions, and of course, the CEO kills elephants and was boycotted for supporting SOPA. Even Forbes wrote an article titled “5 Reasons You Should Leave Godaddy.” They also blacklist all cache plugins and force you to use their own built-in caching system, which doesn’t hold a candle to top cache plugins like WP Rocket, WP Fastest Cache, or even W3 Total Cache.
If you want to continue using GoDaddy, you can speed it up by upgrading to PHP 7.2 in their cPanel, setting up Cloudflare’s free CDN, and using plugins like Autoptimize + WP-Optimize.
You can run your site through Google PageSpeed Insights to see if reduce server response time is in your report. Google recommends a server response time of <200ms. Anything over 200ms is considered slow, and you can identify GoDaddy’s slow servers as the main problem.
Bottom line – I encourage you to look elsewhere for a new hosting provider. Even outside the controversy, their hosting is infamous for being slow. The WordPress Hosting Facebook Group constantly bashes GoDaddy for it, and their hosting was rated poorly in many Facebook polls.
I use SiteGround’s WordPress hosting who is also used by Yoast, recommended by WordPress, and was rated the #1 host in many Facebook polls. Lots of people have already migrated from GoDaddy to SiteGround with faster load times. I’m on their semi-dedicated GoGeek plan and have 100% GTmetrix scores with 200ms server response times. They also do free migrations.
Regardless, these tips will help speed up your WordPress site. Comment with any questions!
When you’re done, hopefully your GTmetrix report looks like this:
This video should help (timestamps are in the video description):
Run your site through Google PageSpeed Insights to see if reduce server response time is in your report. This either means your hosting company uses slow/outdated technology or your plan doesn’t include enough server resources. To fix this, you either need to upgrade plans on GoDaddy (managed/VPS) or switch to someone like SiteGround whose speed technology is 10x faster. As you can see in the Tweets below, this is a common issue with GoDaddy clients.
Upgrading to PHP 7.2 can make your site 2-3x faster. Most WordPress users run outdated PHP versions since GoDaddy (and other hosts) won’t upgrade you automatically since it can break your site if you’re running incompatible plugins. That’s why whenever GoDaddy releases a new PHP version (which they’re often late to do) you should upgrade as soon as you can.
How To Upgrade To PHP 7.2 On GoDaddy
If you run your site through GTmetrix/Pingdom you will usually see recommendations for minify, Gzip, others. Install the Autoptimize plugin and simply enable the options in the main menu. If you plan on using StackPath (step 13 which is $10/month which comes with a 30-day free trial, but is a recommendation in WordPress’ optimization guide), enter your CDN URL.
If you’re using Google Fonts, these can also result in GTmetrix errors:
If you see them, go to the Autoptimize “Extra” settings and select “combine and link in head”:
Install the WP-Optimize plugin then click ‘WP-Optimize’ (left in your dashboard). Running it deletes your trash, spam, post revisions, trackbacks, and garbage files. Since these are constantly accumulating, make sure you schedule WP-Optimize to run every 2 weeks or so.
Cloudflare is a free service which improves both your website speed and security. It improves speed by hosting your WordPress site on multiple data centers around the world which acts as a CDN (content delivery network) and reduces the geographic distance it takes for your content to travel. You will need to sign up for a free plan, change your nameservers to Cloudflare’s, then tweak a few settings in your Cloudflare dashboard. Instructions are below.
1. Sign up for Cloudflare’s free plan add your website, and run the scan. Cloudflare will walk you through a set of pages until you reach a page where Cloudflare assigns you 2 nameservers.
2. Login to your GoDaddy account and in your product list go to Domain → Manage DNS → Nameservers → Change. Click “custom nameservers” and add the ones Cloudflare gave you:
3.Go to the Cloudflare’s speed settings and copy these:
4. In Cloudflare go to the caching settings and Purge Individual Files → Purge Everything.
This is all you need to do. It can take up to 72 hours for Cloudflare nameservers to propagate.
We’ll use GTmetrix for this. Run your site through GTmetrix and in your report you’ll see images can be optimized 3 ways. GTmetrix only shows unoptimized images for a single page so start by optimizing images that appear on multiple pages (logo, sidebar and footer images), then run your most important pages through GTmetrix and fix individual images on those too.
There are 3 ways to optimize images in GTmetrix:
Serve Scaled Images – GTmetrix tells you which images are too large and the dimensions they need to be resized to. Find the image, crop or resize it, upload it to WordPress, then replace the old image with the new one. Follow your “image containers” and create a cheat sheet (below). You can manually check for large images by right clicking an image → copy image address then go to that URL where you should see if it’s too large. Never use the drag to resize feature in the visual editor since this only resizes the displayed image (not the actual image).
Sample cheat sheet:
Specify Image Dimensions – refer to your GTmetrix report and expand these items to see which images need this. Locate each one in WordPress, then specify the dimensions (width/height) which GTmetrix will tell you. The visual editor takes cares of this automatically so you usually have to do this with images that are in widgets, page builders, and other places.
Optimize Images – losslessly compress images using Imagify or Kraken (both are free until you reach the monthly limit). While there are other completely free plugins that offer unlimited compressions, do NOT use these since they have bugs, won’t work, or will break your images.
When you’re done, run your pages through GTmetrix and make sure all 3 items are 100%.
The following plugins taken a long time to load. Many of these are in GoDaddy’s list of blacklisted plugins because (especially stat and related post plugins) consume a lot of CPU.
You can also use the GTmetrix waterfall tab to see your slow plugins…
Either delete these or find a faster plugin that does the same job. For example, the Revolution Slider plugin can cause speed issues while Soliloquy Slider barely adds to your load time. JetPack and social sharing plugins can cause speed issues. Delete WordPress Importer, Hello Dolly, and other plugins you don’t need. If you only use a plugin at certain times (like Broken Link Checker), fix your broken links then delete it. Yoast generates a sitemap for you so you don’t need Google XML Sitemaps. Insert your Google Analytics tracking code directly into your footer instead of using a plugin. Or use a Facebook widget and Twitter widget without using a plugin. Less plugins means faster load times and less potential errors on your website.
These kill your load times. Try to only use one on the contact page, or take a screenshot of the map (since a photo is quicker to load than an embedded map) and use an “Open In Maps” link.
Just like Google Maps require your site to pull resources from external websites and add a TON of requests to your GTmetrix/Pingdom report, advertisements are pretty much the worst thing you can do to your load times. Forget about using Google AdSense and start using affiliate links (they’re not only more profitable but they will also keep you load times down).
Soliloquy – $19 lightweight slider plugin which is super easy to use and is a good replacement for Revolution Slider or Layer Slider which are notorious for slowing down WordPress sites.
Meta Slider – free minimal slider plugin with great reviews.
Envira Gallery – $29 lightweight gallery plugin you can use to replace NextGEN Gallery and Essential Grid which are slow. Envira has a free version but it doesn’t come with albums, tags, social integration, gallery templates, deeplinking, pagination, ecommerce, image proofing, etc.
FooGallery – free popular lightweight gallery plugin with great (5 star) reviews.
Sassy Social Share – lightweight social sharing buttons with over 100 social sharing and bookmarking services and customizable icons.
DVK Social Sharing – alternative plugin that supports Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Install the WP Disable plugin which helps you turn off unused settings in WordPress core (which consume CPU) and has other options to speed up your WordPress site. Tips are below.
A single video usually adds 2-3 seconds to your page load time. The Lazy Load Videos plugin makes it so videos are only loaded once readers scroll down the page and it becomes visible.
Light YouTube Embeds – another option is to only load videos once people click the play button. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel (and you will need some coding knowledge), but I followed this light YouTube embed tutorial. You will basically paste some code into your web template, paste some more code into your CSS, then embed each video using a “div” code. If you need help you can have my developer do this for you, but it does make a huge difference.
StackPath’s CDN hosts your site on 31 data centers around the country/world which reduces the geographical distance between your server and visitors. Both Cloudflare and StackPath are CDNs, but more data centers = faster content delivery. It’s $10/month with a 30-day trial.
You can (and should at least test out) using both Cloudflare and StackPath since while Cloudflare is free, StackPath uses SSDs (solid state drives) with 10 GB connections and their support team was able to improve my GTmetrix YSlow score by 8%. That said, make sure you contact their support to make sure it’s configured optimally, then retest your site in GTmetrix. If you see an improvement, keep it. If not, cancel your free trial. But it’s for sure worth testing.
Step 1: Sign up for StackPath with a free 30-day trial to see how you like it.
Step 2: go to the StackPath dashboard, click the CDN tab, and create a StackPath CDN Site.
Step 3: Copy your CDN URL and paste into the Autoptimize settings from step 3.
Step 4: In StackPath go to CDN → Cache Settings, then click “Purge Everything.”
Step 5: Run your site in GTmetrix and “content delivery network” should be green in YSlow.
If you expand items in GTmetrix and see it has to do with your CDN, contact StackPath’s support team who should be able to help you fix these. They have outstanding support.
CAOS is a plugin that fixes “leverage browser caching” you’ll often see in GTmetrix and other speed testing tools. Just install the plugin, enter your Tracking-ID and the plugin does the rest.
You can use Google Analytics to find the load times (and recommendations) for your top viewed pages and slowest loading pages. Login to Google Analytics and on the left, go to Behavior → Site Speed → Speed Suggestions. Click the ‘Page Speed Suggestions’ to see recommendations, though I would say GTmetrix recommendations are usually better.
Update WordPress core, theme, plugins, and framework if you use one (eg. Genesis).
SiteGround is consistently rated the #1 host in Facebook polls and are worlds better than GoDaddy. They’re also used by Yoast, myself, and recommended by WordPress. Another great option is Kinsta who is fast, but pricey. If you have slow server response times in PageSpeed Insights, look at people who migrated from GoDaddy to SiteGround and posted their results. You’ll notice how nobody goes from SiteGround to GoDaddy because it is a huge downgrade.
I use their semi-dedicated GoGeek plan which comes with 4x more server resources than shared hosting. Click through my pages to see how fast they load, check out my GTmetrix report, or see people who migrated and posted new load times. They also do free migrations.
Here are the Facebook polls on what people think is the “best” hosting:
They’re recommended by WordPress:
And by Ivica who runs the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group with 16,000+ members.
A few threads:
SiteGround has 3 plans:
Higher plans include more server resources (#1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide). Here’s the full comparison chart, but GrowBig gives you about 2x more server resources than StartUp, and GoGeek is semi-dedicated hosting which gives you even more. GrowBig and up comes with a free migration, staging, advanced caching, and ability to host multiple websites. GoGeek comes with priority support. Their cloud hosting is quite the price jump at $80/month.
You can see this on their features page:
People usually migrate because their speed technology can cut load times in half:
Get hosting from SiteGround
If you’re looking for more tips to make your WordPress site load faster, check out my WordPress speed guide which has 400+ comments and has helped multiple people optimize their site to load 400% faster. I’ve already gone over many of the tips but if you’re still struggling with a slow WordPress site on GoDaddy, I’m always updating it with new goodies.
Pronaya is a WordPress developer I found on freelancer.com who lives in Bangladesh and specializes in WordPress speed optimization (yes, he’s better than me). I have worked with him for over 5 years and he’s the one who helped me optimize my site to load so fast and multiple client sites to load 500% faster. He’s $40/hour (projects usually run $300 – $400) and he has a perfect 5 star review on his freelancer profile. I have worked with over 20 overseas freelancers and he’s the one I always turn to for advanced WordPress speed and development.
How to hire Pronaya – sign up for a Freelancer account and search for user BDkamol. Make sure the “online users” option is turned off, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Serious inquiries only, and please do not tell him you expect a 100% score when you’re using slow hosting, bloated WordPress theme, and tons of plugins. Please review my WordPress speed guide and make sure you’re on good hosting and minimize plugins at the least (thank you!!!).
Probably, they overcrowd their servers and were rated poorly in 40+ Facebook polls. In terms of speed, GoDaddy is one of the worst hosting choices you can make.
Run your site through Google PageSpeed Insights to check your server response time. It should be less than 200ms.
Upgrade to PHP 7.2 in your GoDaddy account, install the Autoptimize plugin, setup Cloudflare's free CDN, clean your database with WP-Optimize, and use an image optimization plugin like ShortPixel. Avoid any plugins that consume high CPU and show multiple times in your GTmetrix report. I also create a list of 65+ slow plugins to avoid.
No, GoDaddy uses their own built-in caching system and blacklists cache plugins. The problem with this, is that cache plugins do a lot more for your speed than just caching.
To cut costs. GoDaddy is known for being 1 thing (cheap) and are for beginner website users. Most experienced users who join WordPress-related Facebook groups and do more research know there are better options.
GTmetrix is the best tool for getting specific recommendations to improve speed, and finding specific images or plugins that need to be optimized. Google PageSpeed Insights is primarily good for measuring server response times.
So…. did it work?
Let me know your new Pingdom/GTmetrix scores in the comments! Or if you need help fixing GoDaddy’s slow WordPress hosting, leave a comment and I’ll be glad to help with whatever I can. If it’s related to a plugin/tool I mentioned, keep in mind they also have their own support :)
Please share if you liked this tutorial – I’d appreciate it!
Oh, and here’s the founder of GoDaddy, Bob Parsons:
See Also: How I Optimized My WordPress Site To Load In <1s