Best Small Business Web Hosting: Godaddy vs. HostGator vs. BlueHost

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In this review, we compare three of the most popular web hosts: GoDaddy, HostGator, and Bluehost. We also point out special cases when you may want to consider another provider and give you links to our full reviews of those providers as well.

This review is for the small business that expects less than 500 visitors a day to its website. For a site with this amount of traffic, we recommend going with a shared hosting plan, which costs less than $10 a month.

Best Small Business Web Hosting: GoDaddy


We chose Godaddy as the best small business web host because of their superior customer service, reliability, and affordable pricing.

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Godaddy vs. HostGator vs. Bluehost Summary Table





Current price for first year




Price after renewal




Customer Support




Free domain?




Free email Accounts

Yes (up to 100 emails)

Yes (unlimited)

Yes (Unlimited)


Unlimited Bandwidth /100 GB of Storage

Unlimited Bandwidth/Unlimited Storage

Unlimited Bandwidth/Unlimited Storage

1-Click Wordpress Installation




Website Builder Included?

No, but website builder is available as a separate product starting at $1/mo.



Server Speed and Performance

Very Good



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Why We Chose Godaddy As The Best Small Business Web Host


First and foremost, we chose GoDaddy as the best small business web host because we host a number of our sites with them as well as sites that we handle for some of our small business customers. Our experience has been very positive.

They are the industry leader, hosting over 40 million domains, so their offerings don’t change as frequently as some of the other hosts. In addition, GoDaddy’s customer support is fantastic and will walk you through setting up the hosting, installing wordpress, or whatever else you need.

GoDaddy is also an economical option. While they don’t offer free advertising credits and have a couple of restrictions in the entry level plan (100 email addresses and 100 GB of web hosting storage) that the other two options reviewed do not have, this should be plenty of space for the average small business website.

Try Godaddy

See Our Full Godaddy Hosting Review

When You Should Choose A Service Other than GoDaddy

For most small businesses, GoDaddy is the preferred choice. It’s a reputable provider with a lot of experience in web hosting that translates to excellent customer support. However, there are a couple situations where we recommend another provider.

Best Web Host If Budget is Your Main Concern – Arvixe


Arvixe offers the best value for money of all the web hosts we reviewed. There are no price hikes when you renew. They offer a wide variety of web hosting features, such as unlimited bandwidth and storage, a free domain name, and unlimited emails.  Arvixe is the smallest web hosting company we reviewed, however, they have been in business for over 10 years.

Visit Arvixe

See Our Full Arvixe Review

Best Web Host If You Want Maximum Speed and Performance for Your WebsiteA Small Orange


A Small Orange is the leading web host when it comes to server uptime and response times. This means your website may perform better and faster on A Small Orange than other hosts. The difference is not likely to be noticeable for most websites, but if you are an online business that can’t afford any slowdowns, then you may want to consider A Small Orange. A Small Orange is also very budget friendly.

Visit A Small Orange

See Our Full A Small Orange Review

Web Hosting Costs

Most shared web hosts are very reasonably priced around $5 to $10 per month. The difference between hosts is usually just a matter of a few dollars per month. 

Web hosting providers are always offering discounts, so you can save money by shopping around. However, these discounts are promotional offerings for the first year, and when you renew your plan, your pricing will increase.

All the hosts offer a money back guarantee within 30 to 45 days, so if you’re unhappy with the service, you can get a refund. Bluehost also offers a prorated refund if you cancel at any time.

godaddy---MiniGoDaddy – Current pricing is $4.99/month with an annual subscription. This jumps up to $6.99/month when you renew. No free Google Adwords credits.


hostgator-logo (1)HostGator – Current pricing is $5.56/month with an annual subscription, which increases to $6.95/month upon renewal. Comes with $100 of free Google Adwords credits when you spend $25 on Google Adwords.


bluehost-logoBluehost – Current pricing is $3.95/month with an annual subscription, which jumps to $7.49/month after renewal. Comes with $ 50 of free Google Adwords credits.


Customer Support

When your website goes down or faces an issue, it’s important to be able to get someone on the phone quickly. GoDaddy, HostGator, and Bluehost all offer 24/7/365 phone support to help you manage your website and keep it at peak performance.

Although the channels of support are more limited on GoDaddy, the quality of support is excellent. One of the reasons we chose GoDaddy as our recommended provider is because of its excellent customer support. We have personally called GoDaddy (late at night even) for help with our clients’ websites, and they’ve walked us through everything from setting up email to Wordpress installation without upselling us on a costlier plan. 

And it’s not just us that praise GoDaddy customer support. We reached out to other small businesses. Kisha Mays, CEO of Just Fearless, had this to say about GoDaddy: “I chose Go Daddy, mainly because of the 24 hour customer support. I have had my site hacked before and have had other technical issues. Each time, no matter what time of day or night it was, I was able to get technical support and more. Their follow up is really significant as well.”

Orun Bhuiyan, co-founder of SEOcial, said, “GoDaddy has great support. They always answer the phone quickly. The quickest of the 5 [shared hosting platforms we reviewed] probably.”

godaddy---MiniGoDaddy24/7/365 phone support (US based) + live chat 5 AM – 12 AM MST + self help

hostgator-logo (1)HostGator – 24/7/365 phone support (US based) + live chat 5 AM – 12 AM MST + email + self help


bluehost-logoBluehost – 24/7/365 phone support (US based) + live chat 5 AM – 12 AM MST + email + self help


What’s Included In Small Business Web Hosting

Free Domain

A memorable, catchy domain is often the key to attracting customers to your website. You can get a free domain registration with Bluehost and GoDaddy. The domain name is free for your initial plan term on GoDaddy and for 1 year on Bluehost. After that, you must pay around $10 to $15 per year to keep renewing your domain.

One big drawback of HostGator is that it doesn’t include a free domain name. You have to pay $12.95/year or more to get a domain from HostGator.

godaddy---MiniGoDaddy – One free domain for initial term. Renewal starts at $8.99/year.


hostgator-logo (1)HostGator – No free domain. Domains start at $12.95/year.


bluehost-logoBluehost – One free domain for 1 year. Renewal starts at $14.99/year.


Free Email Accounts

Each of the three hosts provide free business email accounts (e.g. The host can be your email client, but for ease of use, we recommend you follow our instructions to manage your inbox in Gmail.

godaddy---MiniGoDaddy – provides 100 emails for free.


hostgator-logo (1)HostGator – provides unlimited emails


bluehost-logoBluehost – provides unlimited emails.


Web Hosting Bandwidth/Storage

Bandwidth and storage are probably the most misunderstood terms in web hosting. The promise of “unlimited bandwidth and storage” leads people to believe that their website will run fast even if it gets lots of exposure or stores lots of files. This is not true. 

By definition, when you sign up for shared hosting, you are sharing the server’s computing power and memory with hundreds of other websites. If any website on the server gets really popular, it will consume more resources. As a result, your website will run more slowly. 

That being said, most small businesses that get around 500 or fewer visits to their website a day will be fine on a shared server. There will just be occasional moments when your website runs more slowly because of a surge of activity to your website or other websites sharing the server. If you get lots of traffic or store hundreds of images or videos on your website, that’s when you may want to consider cloud hosting or a Virtual Private Server.

To see your resource usage, as well as do many other things related to website (manage email, manage domains, transfer files to your website, etc.), go to your control panel. The most popular control panel is cPanel. For example, here is how GoDaddy’s cPanel screen looks like:


godaddy---MiniGoDaddy – Unlimited bandwidth and 100 GB storage (sufficient for most small businesses).


hostgator-logo (1)HostGator – Unlimited bandwidth and storage.


bluehost-logoBluehost – Unlimited bandwidth and storage.



E-Commerce businesses and any business that stores sensitive information on its website should avail themselves of certain security features. The most important are SSL certificates and secure file transfer.

SSL certificates are required if you process credit or debit card payments on your website (instead of sending payments to a third party processor). SSL encrypts the credit card data and other personal information. A shared SSL is not sufficient because it doesn’t protect your domain–a private SSL certificate protects your domain. 

Free SSL certificates are only included in the costlier shared hosting plans, or they can be purchased separately for around $60/year. Don’t skimp on security. If you store sensitive information on your website or process credit card payments, you need to get SSL protection.

Secure file transfer is important when transferring files into and out of your website. Most hosts have SFTP or FTPS technology. These encrypt confidential data and allow you to easily drag and drop files into your website.


godaddy---MiniGoDaddy – One free SSL certificate in Ultimate plan for 1 year. Supports SFTP technology.


hostgator-logo (1)HostGator – One free SSL certificate in Business plan for as long as you’re on the plan. Supports SFTP technology.


bluehost-logoBluehost – One free SSL certificate in Business plan for as long as you’re on the plan. Supports SFTP technology.


1-Click Wordpress Installation

Millions of small businesses now create websites on Wordpress. Providers have made it easy to host a WP website with single click installation from your control panel. For example, here’s a short video showing how easy it is to install a Wordpress site or blog using our recommended provider GoDaddy: 

1-click installation is not just for Wordpress. It is also available for hundreds of other applications (including Joomla, Drupal, shopping carts, online discussion forums, and more), so you can build a website that works for your business.

GoDaddy and Bluehost offer a separate product from shared hosting for Wordpress websites. It is called managed Wordpress hosting. This can be a good choice for small businesses with Wordpress sites that get thousands of visitors every day and that are central to the business. Managed WP hosts run your site on Wordpress-optimized servers and handle the technical backend of Wordpress for you by running WP updates and doing regular backups. 

godaddy---MiniGoDaddy –  Offers 1-click installation for Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, Zen Cart, Magento, and hundreds of other applications. Also offers managed Wordpress hosting.


hostgator-logo (1)HostGator – Offers 1-click installation for Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, Zen Cart, Magento, and hundreds of other applications. No managed WP hosting.


bluehost-logoBluehost – Offers 1-click installation for Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, Zen Cart, Magento, and hundreds of other applications. Also offers managed Wordpress hosting.


Server Speed & Performance

The speed and performance of your website are only as good as the server that hosts your website. One of the reasons we recommend GoDaddy is that it consistently ranks in the top three shared hosting providers for uptime and server response time.

GoDaddy commissioned an independent study of shared hosting performance by Cloud Spectator. The results for each provider are shown below. Uptime is the time during which the server is up and running. Response time is how long the server takes to deliver content to visitors to your website. While GoDaddy performs the best of the three, Bluehost and HostGator have decent uptime and server response times as well.

GoDaddy and HostGator offer a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, which means they will credit you for any excess downtime.

godaddy---MiniGoDaddy – Very Good. 99.95 % uptime and 593 ms response time.


hostgator-logo (1)HostGator – Good. 99.94 % uptime and response times around 1038 ms response time.


bluehost-logoBluehost – Good. 99.84 % uptime and 924 ms response time.


Website Builder Included With Hosting?

Before you can host a website, you have to create one. Hosting providers try to make this a simple process by giving you website building tools. GoDaddy has a good website builder that we recommend for small businesses on a budget. It starts at just $1/month. 

HostGator and Bluehost include Weebly website builder, our overall recommended website builder for small businesses. Weebly comes free with these hosting providers if you want to build a website with 6 pages or less. More than that, and you have to pay $8.99/month (in that event, you’re better off just subscribing to Weebly directly instead of going through HostGator or Bluehost). For larger websites, therefore, GoDaddy is easier on the budget.

If you’re a Weebly fan, you should also consider A Small Orange more closely because it includes the Weebly site builder with no page limit.

godaddy---MiniGoDaddy – No site builder included, but you can purchase it separately starting at $1/month.


hostgator-logo (1)HostGator – Weebly included for websites under 6 pages. After that, it costs $8.99/month.


bluehost-logoBluehost – Weebly included for websites under 6 pages. After that, it costs $8.99/month.


Godaddy vs. Hostgator vs. Bluehost Bottom Line

Each of these providers is a good web host, offering many features that a small business would want. Ultimately, we recommend GoDaddy because they have the best customer support in our opinion and are a reasonably priced option. However, at the end of the day, you probably won’t go wrong by choosing any of these providers.

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    • Salim Ramjauny says

      Godaddy, stay away from them. They will charge your card without authorization and will not refund you. Their service is mediocre. When you buy mail hosting facility from them you will get a lot of spam because their mail server will not protect you. They will charge you a exorbitant fee for a calender facility that you do not need. Godaddy will rip you off if you host with them. They do not need customers so do not bother they are not worth a click.

    • says

      Hi there,
      GoDaddy and HostGator support windows hosting. Bluehost does not. GoDaddy supports anywhere from 10 to an unlimited number of 1 GB MySQL databases. HostGator supports an unlimited number of MySQL databases, and there’s no limit on the size.
      Hope that helps!

    • says

      Hi Leonard,

      Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for web hosts to get poor customer reviews! In fact, in that same website, you’ll see that most of the large web hosts like Bluehost and HostGator also get negative reviews. As a result, we couldn’t rely solely on that factor to make our recommendations. We considered a variety of factors, including the technical features offered, uptime stats, customer service, knowledge and experience in web hosting, and pricing.

      When you take into account all of those things, we thought GoDaddy had the most to offer. It offers a lot of technical features for both Linux and Windows systems, has good uptime, and is fairly priced. Most importantly, they have years of experience in web hosting and domains, and they’ve personally been able to help us with website issues. This isn’t to say that there are no downsides to GoDaddy, but we thought they were the best of the bunch for small businesses that don’t have very complex websites.

      Also, we think size counts for something. GoDaddy has been around since 1997 and has more than 13 million customers. The problem with some of the smaller web hosts is that they quickly get acquired by other companies, and the change in ownership affects the quality of the product and service that they offer.

      Have you used GoDaddy? What has been your experience?


  1. tushar soni says

    just wanted to know which of the three would be useful for wordpress multisite subdomain hosting.
    i will have around 15-20 sub domains. I believe go daddy doesn’t provide it.

    • says

      Hi Tushar,

      Subdomains can be thought of as equivalent to websites when it comes to multi-site hosting. GoDaddy WordPress plans can only be used to host up to 5 WordPress domains/sites, but it is the least expensive.

      Hostgator will let you host up to 20 WordPress sites on their costliest $89/month plan.

      You can also try Bluehost’s WordPress plans, whose higher end plans ($60/month + for the first month, and $119/month + after that) will let you host more than 20 WordPress sites.

      Make sure you compare the plans in terms of the RAM and storage you need and the number of monthly visits that you get to all your sites.

      Good luck!

  2. says

    Don’t go to godaddy if your company used to pay $100-$150/year for a simple 60-email package and in six years time their package (under a different name) explodes to $700/year. Godaddy’s explanation: “You have enjoyed years of low prices and we have new plans”. For domains, it’s easy to move to another webhost company. For emails, we have in boxes, draft boxes, sent boxes which cannot be transferred. I feel that Godaddy is not catering for the masses now. It is targeting medium-sized companies and their charismatic CEO has ventured on to other more lucrative businesses. Even their market presence eg. advertizing is seen less and less. This was written as of July 7th 2015.

    • says

      Hi Bernard,
      Out of curiosity, which GoDaddy plan are you signed up for? Even the most expensive WordPress plan advertised on comes to $300 year after taking into account the post-renewal price hike.

  3. Kelly says

    Hi, if I have website from Wix and a purchased domain, can I transfer it to Hostgator or GoDaddy? Which one is better? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Kelly,

      Yes, you can transfer a domain purchased with Wix to another host. You may wish to read this article from the Wix online community prior to doing so for specific instructions. GoDaddy prices start at $7.99 for domain name transfer (plus free 1 year renewal), and HostGator will do a free domain name transfer and free 1 year renewal for new customers. Both are good web hosts, but GoDaddy has more experience with domain names, and we like their customer service.

      Hope that helps!


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