SiteGround vs GoDaddy Review: The Surprising Truth

SiteGround vs. GoDaddy Hosting is the story of a well-known, corporate giant facing off against a rapidly growing, independent company.

Although there is no “best overall” hosting company out there, these companies excel at certain types and types of websites. I wrote a WebsiteGround Review, and GoDaddy Host Review.

This comparison of SiteGround and GoDaddy will show you the differences I found in seven areas, including pricing structure, customer service, and market focus. You can then decide which one is best for your project.

Let’s take a look at SiteGround vs. GoDaddy.

Comparison Summary

My ReviewSiteGround ReviewGoDaddy Review
My Rating8.5/108/10
PromotionGet Up to 73% OffOnly $4.99
Cheapest Plan$3.99/mo.$2.99/mo.
Uptime Guarantee
Money Guarantee30 days30 days
No cost domain
SSL Free
Free website migration


GoDaddy has become a major brand in the web services industry. They are a big brand in the website services industry. Although they started out as a domain registry, they have since expanded to include a variety of complementary products such as web storage, email and bookkeeping.

They changed their CEO in 2013 and began to shift away from their sales-focused, edgy reputation. Their website creator has been reviewed before. I compared their domain product with Namecheap. However, this comparison will focus on their Linux hosting product.

SiteGround is an established company, but they are only just starting to grow. They are one of few remaining independent hosting companies (i.e., they are not owned by Newfold Digital and GoDaddy). Although they are based in Bulgaria, they have a great reputation worldwide with data centers in all major regions and industry conference sponsorships.

They place a lot of emphasis on support and cutting-edge features for developers (such as one-click SSL) as I have already mentioned in my SiteGround Review. Although they offer complementary products, their bread and butter is hosting products.


It can be difficult to compare pricing in the host industry. There are many pricing tiers. Everyone has different caps. Everybody adds different bonuses. Nobody can just sell a vanilla product. Everything must be “marketed up” regardless of the fact that it is exactly the same thing.

The short version of GoDaddy vs. SiteGround says that GoDaddy does shorter-term pricing better. It’s also cheaper for some product variants.

Nevertheless, SiteGround offers a competitive pricing model and is more affordable for value than GoDaddy. This is especially true if you consider SiteGround’s introductory discount (which can be locked-in for up to three years).

*Prime Price$3.99/mo.$6.69/mo.$10.69/mo.
Renewal price$14.99/mo.$24.99/mo.$39.99/mo.
Storage10 GB20 GB40 GB
No cost domain name
SSL Free
IP dedicated
Daily Backups

* Prices per month for 12-month subscription

SiteGround Current Plans

*Prime Price$2.99/mo.$7.99/mo.$12.99/mo.$19.99/mo.
Renewal price$8.99/mo.$11.99/mo.$16.99/mo.$24.99/mo.
Storage25 GB48 GB100 GB200 GB
No cost domain name1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year
SSL Free
IP dedicated
Daily Backups

* Prices per month for 12-month subscription

GoDaddy Current Plans

Okay, now for the long version.

All my hosting reviews break down hosting pricing into three buckets.

  1. Hosting core features include disk space, databases and domain connections.
  2. Bonus features – ad credits, premium support, SSL certificates, etc.
  3. Special Services – WordPress/CMS Management, Custom Setup, Security Scans, etc

Core web hosting features provide the essentials to get your website up and running. Hosting is simply renting space on a server to store your website files, and serving them up whenever a browser requests them. This is the way to go if you want to extract as much value from your host as possible.

The bonus hosting features that are added to a service you purchase. Some things matter, some don’t. It all depends on what you value. It is important to focus on the people you care about most and only then can you identify those.

Exceptional hosting services are usually segmented into a different set (e.g. “WordPress Hosting”) which allows you to have the same plans but with additional services offered by the hosting company. It is important to determine if these services are really important to you, and then to clarify what you need from them.

Many hosting companies offer “WordPress hosting” and “Joomla!” Hosting – Both are core features of hosting with specific services added.

It can be worthwhile at times, such as security scans and server-level caching. Other times, it is almost worthless because you can call a support specialist who “knows your software”.

SiteGround and GoDaddy offer all three.

SiteGround limits core hosting features and their storage caps for all plans.

GoDaddy restricts databases for Economy & Deluxe, as well as limiting storage and domain connections for the Economy plan.

SiteGround charges between $4 and $10 per head for the general head-to head pricing. SiteGround also offers a lower mid-tier and low-tier option.

GoDaddy limits email storage space for both. GoDaddy also charges additional fees for backup and restore (free & daily on SiteGround), as well as SSL bonus features.

Value pricing is about the same on both the low and mid tiers.

SiteGround’s top tiers and GoDaddy’s are a little confusing.

SiteGround is more expensive than GoDaddy, but this is largely because their top tier offers so many additional bonuses and services that it is too different from GoDaddy.

GoDaddy’s top-tier allows unlimited email storage and more memory on their servers. SiteGround’s middle-tier covers both of these features. SiteGround’s Ultimate Tier is, in some ways, a superior competitor to SiteGround mid-tier.

SiteGround’s GoGeek tier top tier is different from GoDaddy’s separate Developer WordPress Hosting plans or their Business Hosting plans.

Hosting pricing can be confusing.

Again, the short version is that GoDaddy has the lowest price, while SiteGround offers more value per tier than GoDaddy.

Pricing is not the only thing to consider. Let’s take a look at the actual feature list.

Hosting Features

Although I have covered many aspects of pricing, I want to highlight a few core features and differences in “bonus” hosting features.

First To reiterate what I said in pricing core hosting features, GoDaddy and SiteGround each have limitations, but they focus on different areas. SiteGround’s limits are centered on storage. GoDaddy places a lot of emphasis on storage (which affects the number of apps you can install and how many emails you can send).

Second GoDaddy’s “bonus” features are geared towards things that can be integrated with its complementary services. They are domain registrars. So they offer a free domain and one-click integration. They have a partnership with Microsoft so they pitch their integration for Office365.

SiteGround’s “bonus” features are focused on security and performance. You can get free Let’sEncrypt SSLs. Their servers are run with SSD (short for flash memory hard drives) rather than magnetic tape drives. They are up-to-date with PHP and have HTTP/2 servers.

These features may not be required by every user. However, the focus of GoDaddy is ” we’re convenient” while SiteGround’s focus is ” We are a high-performing host.”

Third, Backups SiteGround claims they keep “up to 30 backup copies” of your website with free daily backups. However, this is not available for the StartUp plan. It’s an extra fee for GoDaddy.

Fourth Both offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Performance & Performance

As I said, the main job of a web hosting service is to deliver your website files when a browser requests them. However, you will likely want your webhost to deliver them quickly.

Website speed has a lot of variables. Most of these variables are up to the website owner.

There are only certain things you can do to speed your site up if you have slow web hosts.

Your engine is your web host. You might not be driving a slow truck because you are overloaded, or have the brakes on. But if your engine is underpowered there will be a limit to how fast you can go.

Only SiteGround’s engineering teams know the performance of their networks minute-by-minute, as well as how many websites they attempt to host on each server.

However, Time to First Byte (TTFB) can be used to estimate website performance. This is a rough measurement of the speed at which a server responds when it receives its first request.

It is best to measure it as a trend. Here are the most recent tests I have performed on similar-structured sites.

Both sites look almost identical, as you can see. Both sites are not optimized for speed (ie with caching etc). both of them can be made faster. It is helpful to see each site’s default performance.

There is also “uptime”, which is the status of your server’s up- or down status. SiteGround has a public dashboard that shows real-time uptime. Both sites guarantee 99.9% uptime.

SiteGround has always been the winner in terms of performance. SiteGround has always been the winner in terms of performance. However, GoDaddy’s recent improvements have made them quite competitive for general speed tests.

Onboarding & Usability

Onboarding refers to the process of converting a new customer, from an “ok, I signed-up…now what?” moment, into an active, happy customer.

The software’s usability design is intended to allow the user to do what they want.

SiteGround, GoDaddy and others use cPanel for their server management dashboards. It is customized to look simple and not intimidating. These are the respective screenshots.

Both do a great job moving you from purchase to site setup. They are generally tied, except for GoDaddy’s upsells.

Upsells are not something I dislike. Sometimes they can be helpful and complimentary. That’s great. GoDaddy, like the domain buying process, does not go too heavy on the “special deals.”

SiteGround is better for you if you find this tedious. Both are fine for usability and onboarding. Both will get you to the place that you want to be.

Customer Service and Support

Customer service, like performance, is difficult to measure unless there is real-time access and culture.

Both companies will have horror stories and love stories. I have received emails from both companies’ frustrated customers. I have never had a problem with either. SiteGround’s representatives pass the “yeah…this rep knows their stuff” test, while GoDaddy is more likely for me to be transferred.

With all my best Web Hosting Comparisons, it doesn’t matter what, I like two indicators to determine if a company views customer service as an expense, an investment, and/or a sales opportunity.

Access to customer support is the first.

SiteGround and GoDaddy offer phone, chat and email support. Both have knowledge bases. SiteGround’s knowledge base has a higher quality, which I can see publicly. It can be used to solve problems, even those not related to SiteGround. GoDaddy’s knowledgebase focuses exclusively on GoDaddy-specific issues.

The second is customer support investment. GoDaddy places a strong emphasis on customer contact. While they clearly invest a lot in phone support, their phone support also includes a lot of triage.

As I said with their knowledgebase, they don’t have a lot of pre-solving problems and routing calls directly to experts. They also have a disadvantage due to the wide range of products they offer. They offer everything, from photo storage to bookkeeping to hosting to builders. Their support will be centered on triage and not deep problem-solving.

SiteGround is the solution. SiteGround is unable to solve the problem but it is clear that they invest a lot in training, transparency and other complementary resources such as webinars, knowledge base and integrated tips.

SiteGround is the best service and support provider, despite GoDaddy’s improvements since 2013.

Market Focus

Since 2013, GoDaddy has been trying to be the all-in-one provider of small business services. You can find almost every product on their site. They also have a bookkeeping product and the best security scanning software. They have to be market-focused to make it “everyone.”

Targeting “everyone” can lead to you inherently targeting “no one”. You are the Walmart of websites. People will use your services for convenience and price. You are fine.

SiteGround stands out among other hosting companies. American brands dominate the hosting market. Although there are some niche providers in the region, none of them have been able to compete on both the American market and the global one.

SiteGround is a Bulgarian business, but they can be found anywhere. SiteGround uses that global brand and their global information centers to create something truly unique.

Other than that, there is nothing wrong with Bulgaria. Although Bulgaria is extremely cool, the language, population size and currency as well as distance to tech hubs make it difficult.

SiteGround’s sole focus on developers and freelancers has allowed them to grow quickly. SiteGround was the first company to offer innovative features such as shared staging and one click SSLs. They are always available at conferences and meetups. They are transparent. They have the distinction as a hosting company not owned by a large corporate holding company. Although some of their messaging and features sound complex and intimidating, they stick to their core product (hosting), and their core market “hipster freelancers” and developers.

SiteGround is super cool because of this section. However, it is important to remember that focus is not good or bad.

It is a good idea to use GoDaddy hosting if you already have GoDaddy products such as a domain or email. GoDaddy is a good choice if you care about price more than anything else. SiteGround is a better choice for freelancers and small businesses looking for a company that will “stick to their knitting”.

Other Factors

As I have mentioned in my Domain Registration post, there are other factors that customers might want to consider. These factors are part of the “consciously buying” movement.

Since GoDaddy’s CEO changes, they have moderated their sexist advertising. However, there have been cultural controversies such as CEOs hunting Lions…but SiteGround is still ahead in two areas.

SiteGround is transparent and provides a status page to track their uptime as well as full specifications of their hardware. All this can be accessed from their main navigation menu.

They have profiles for their support staff and a page with very specific values. This is not new, but it’s better than what GoDaddy does.

SiteGround is a community support organization that supports open-source software communities like Joomla and WordPress. SiteGround sponsors many meetups for website owners all over the globe and provides cutting-edge features.

GoDaddy recently launched STEM partnerships in schools. This allows charities to receive “roundup” funding through their checkout page. The page is hidden in the footer by a link titled “Corporate Responsibility”.

SiteGround is a company that I believe has a better understanding of the issues than GoDaddy.

SiteGround vs. GoDaddy Conclusion

GoDaddy is the best choice if you are looking for the cheapest domain name or the most convenient (assuming that you use GoDaddy domains). They work well for me and my clients.

GoDaddy Current Plans

SiteGround is a great host if you’re looking for better support and performance.

SiteGround Current Plans

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