Flywheel vs. GoDaddy (2017)

Laura Stamey Laura Stamey Hosting Expert
“We tested Flywheel & GoDaddy — The winner is Flywheel!”

Here we have two companies with reputations that precede them: While Flywheel is known as one of the few WordPress hosting providers formally endorsed by the WordPress Core team, GoDaddy has been declared king when it comes to domain name registration and hosting services. Furthermore, pricing distinguishes one from the other. GoDaddy is extremely budget-friendly, and Flywheel is, without question, a premium service provider with a price tag to match. As such, it shouldn’t be difficult to determine the host that best fits your upcoming site needs, but be sure to thoroughly read through the reviews below before pulling the trigger.

Advertiser Disclosure

Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Flywheel »
Overall Rating
4.7/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit GoDaddy »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

A fast-growing web hosting provider laser-focused on performant WordPress hosting, Flywheel serves experienced designers, developers, and agencies a beautifully designed hosting experience with the muscle... read more +

A fast-growing web hosting provider laser-focused on performant WordPress hosting, Flywheel serves experienced designers, developers, and agencies a beautifully designed hosting experience with the muscle to back up the good looks.

More than a pretty face, Flywheel appeals to a more experienced customer base that understands the importance of a technology stack specifically tailored to hosting the world's most popular content management system.

Instead of trying to be all things to all hosting customers, Flywheel employees put all their effort into managed WordPress services — there is no email hosting, no domain services, no website builder, and no built-in eCommerce tools. Those limitations might frustrate mainstream hosting consumers, but the more tech-savvy Flywheel customers should have no problem arranging the services they need. As avid WordPress users ourselves, we appreciate Flywheel's dedication to optimizing WordPress hosting.

Flywheel deploys a virtual private server for each customer, meaning each user receives ample computing resources, stability, and security. Without shared hosting, the company's infrastructure is never overcrowded or overtaxed.

In business since 2012, the host based in Omaha, Nebraska, doubled its staff in 2016. In addition to software developers and designers, Flywheel employs numerous Happiness Engineers and Customer Success Specialists to ensure happy hosting experiences.

We appreciate that Flywheel offers assistance through phone, email tickets, and live chat during those hours, along with around-the-clock emergency support to respond to any outages. However, live support hours are restricted to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT on weekdays, and we'd love to see those hours extended to match the 24/7 norm in the industry.

read less -
  • WordPress-exclusive hosting
  • Managed caching and security
  • 1-click staging environment
  • Nightly backups and 1-click restores
  • Free SSL certificates and migrations
  • Get started on Flywheel now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
5 GB - 120 GB
Domain Name
N/A

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

GoDaddy is exceptionally well-known in the hosting space — deemed the World's #1 Domain Name Registrar. They make it incredibly easy and affordable for folks to choose a domain name, sign up for hosting,... read more +

GoDaddy is exceptionally well-known in the hosting space — deemed the World's #1 Domain Name Registrar. They make it incredibly easy and affordable for folks to choose a domain name, sign up for hosting, and start building their online business or personal web property. While known for their domain, email, and shared hosting services, GoDaddy offers options for virtual and dedicated servers as well. They make the upgrade process as seamless as possible, so you shouldn't shy away from scaling your site as your business needs grow.

The user control options are pretty popular in the hosting space: your choice between the easy-to-use cPanel or Plesk control panels, plus Root (administrative) access for more tech-savvy customers. If you're particularly interested in webmail, GoDaddy offers their GoDaddy Workspace feature, an intuitive interface for keeping up with the unlimited email accounts you have available to you as a customer. All of this can be easily accessed and secured with your GoDaddy login info that you receive upon sign-up.

Customer support has been a focus of the GoDaddy team as they constantly work to improve. Today, they have an award-winning team of experts on staff, readily available to handle customer support tickets and emails 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While they're on hand to talk you through any issues, they're also keeping an eye on your server (as well as other clients sharing your server). Their security monitoring is round-the-clock and they guarantee uptime rates of 99.9% or better. This uptime rate is by no means outstanding in the industry, but for most end-users, it's all that's required. Their page load speeds (the time it takes for your webpages to load) are industry-leading, however.

The bottom line is this: GoDaddy is a go-to domain web host for millions of users world-wide for a reason. They maintain their ever-expanding network of users by offering blazing-fast load times, award-winning security and support, and a free domain name when you sign up for a year-long plan. It's a great hosting deal, particularly for first-timers and SMB owners, at a really great (low!) price point.

read less -
  • Industry-leading load times
  • Award-winning support and security
  • World's #1 Domain Name Registrar
  • Choice of cPanel or Plesk included
  • 99.9% uptime guaranteed
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

N/A

Flywheel does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

A main pull factor for GoDaddy's hosting services is certainly the cost. It's hard to beat web hosting for a dollar per month, especially when they include a free domain name (with annual plan sign-up),... read more +

A main pull factor for GoDaddy's hosting services is certainly the cost. It's hard to beat web hosting for a dollar per month, especially when they include a free domain name (with annual plan sign-up), cPanel control panel, and some of the industry's fastest webpage load times. They make it not only affordable but super easy to get started — for first-timers, bloggers, business owners, and others.

You can choose a GoDaddy hosting plan based on your needs, with a range of options for storage, email, processing power, et cetera. If your site grows to need scalable and/or dedicated resources, their team makes that transition easy as well. VPSs and dedicated servers can be provisioned in minutes, with Root and cPanel access, and no re-provisioning is required for upgrades. All GoDaddy plans are equipped with the user control of cPanel (or Plesk, if you prefer). From cPanel, you can easily install and set up popular web applications for blogging and/or eCommerce (e.g., WordPress, Drupal, or Magento).

A big name in the budget web hosting space, GoDaddy is consistently improving the performance of their servers, their site, and their services in order to offer a great customer experience. With cPanel control and 1-click installations for standard web apps, you can get your website up and running quickly. Their 24/7 security monitoring and DDoS protection allow you the comfort in knowing that the professionals are making sure your site is online, loading quickly, and hacker-free. That power and peace of mind — at such a low price point — is quite a value deal.

read less -
  • World's #1 Domain Name Registrar offers a FREE domain with hosting
  • Industry-leading page load times for your site's webpages
  • Unlimited bandwidth with up to unlimited storage space
  • Choose from two popular control panels: cPanel or Plesk
  • Award-winning support on-hand 24/7
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

N/A

Flywheel does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Dedicated Rating

★★★★ 4.1/5.0

GoDaddy dedicated server hosting plans feature managed support options, on-demand resources that are all yours, and the intuitive user control of cPanel. They offer plans for Linux and Windows users, with... read more +

GoDaddy dedicated server hosting plans feature managed support options, on-demand resources that are all yours, and the intuitive user control of cPanel. They offer plans for Linux and Windows users, with a variety of options for operating systems, RAM, processing power, disk space, and hardware choices.

With award-winning security monitoring, GoDaddy support is not only available around the clock to help you troubleshoot issues with your server but they're keeping an eye on your server status. They offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which isn't significant in the hosting industry, but their team is committed to keeping your site online and running speedily. They offer premier DDoS protection, anti-hacking services, and other SiteLock security add-ons. GoDaddy managed hosting customers benefit from the assurance that the experts will facilitate security patches, bug fixes, and site backups. In general, customer support is an element of the hosting experience that GoDaddy is consistently striving to improve in their offerings.

With resource configurations customized to meet your needs, GoDaddy offers dedicated server hosting that you can grow your business with — starting with a free domain name if you start with a 12-month plan. The GoDaddy tech support team is available 24/7, guarding your site against malware, hackers, unexpected downtime, and DDoS threats; meanwhile, their support agents are handling any support ticket requests that come through their chat portal or email system. With on-demand resources and industry-leading page load speeds, GoDaddy is a dedicated host that's worthy of your consideration.

read less -
  • "Ready NOW" dedicated resources
  • Self-, semi-, and fully-managed plans
  • Maximum performance and data protection with RAID 1 disk mirroring
  • Total administrative control with Root access, plus cPanel control panel
  • Disaster recovery included
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
512 GB - 2 TB
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Flywheel takes an interesting approach to web hosting by giving each customer a virtual private server, or VPS. The company doesn't offer shared or dedicated plans, instead focusing on doing one thing... read more +

Flywheel takes an interesting approach to web hosting by giving each customer a virtual private server, or VPS. The company doesn't offer shared or dedicated plans, instead focusing on doing one thing exceptionally well.

The company offers single-site or bulk hosting plans, referring to the number of WordPress installations allowed. The $14-per-month price tag for the most affordable single-site plan will seem a little steep for novice customers who are used to seeing shared hosting, unlimited websites, and costs less than $5 per month. The added infrastructure, resources, and managed support, however, make Flywheel an excellent deal for developers and designers with more discerning tastes.

Flywheel starts single-site hosting plans with 5GB of storage and 250GB of bandwidth, along with a free site migration and SSL certificate. Traffic is limited to 5,000 monthly visits with the most basic plan, but Flywheel won't shut off your site if you go over. Single-site plans scale to 100,000 monthly visits, 20GB of storage, and 1TB of bandwidth.

Flywheel doesn't share as much information about the company's infrastructure as we'd like, but we like what we can find: server-side Varnish caching, NGINX web servers, chrooted PHP-FPM, and, naturally, MySQL databases. All features allude to Flywheel's technical prowess and WordPress expertise.

With the infrastructure optimized for speed, Flywheel engineers devote ample time to security. In fact, Flywheel is so confident in its protections that customers aren't allowed to install additional security plugins for fear of interference and slowing down performance. Servers are configured with WordPress security best practices, and server-level blocking and scanning services prevent brute force attacks and protect core files.

If a site does become infected, Flywheel will remove the malware for free. Flywheel's partnership with Sucuri means customers get world-class malware scanning, and the company's intelligent IP blocking detects attackers within seconds and prevents them from attacking the network.

read less -
  • Server-side caching and CDN ready
  • WordPress-optimized infrastructure
  • Choice of 10 server locations
  • Easy billing transfers for resellers
  • NGINX comes standard for speed
  • Get started on Flywheel now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
5 GB - 120 GB
Domain Name
N/A

VPS Rating

★★★★ 3.8/5.0

If you're looking to grow and scale your website — you currently need, expect to need, or want the option to require scalable resources on-demand, GoDaddy has you covered. They have options for... read more +

If you're looking to grow and scale your website — you currently need, expect to need, or want the option to require scalable resources on-demand, GoDaddy has you covered. They have options for cloud-based, virtual, and dedicated servers along side their shared server offerings. Upgrading to any of these options is a relatively-seamless process. For example, after provisioning your server (in mere minutes) before initial deployment, you won't have to re-provision should you choose to upgrade later.

Dev folks will be pleased to hear that GoDaddy offers Root access, so you can install PHP, modules, and proxy servers via the command line with ease. Plans also include cPanel, so you can easily manage your hosting service. Meanwhile, the GoDaddy team will monitor your server 24/7, including handling patches and backups should you select one of their managed plan options.

The GoDaddy name may not immediately bring VPS hosting to mind. Nonetheless, GoDaddy's cloud server offerings include the security, support, and value deal that together embody the GoDaddy reputation in the hosting space. They give you everything you need to scale your web presence in the Cloud.

read less -
  • Designed to handle traffic with Linux or Windows operating systems
  • Provision your server in minutes, with Root access and cPanel included
  • Provision-free upgrades, with tons of SiteLock security add-ons
  • Unlimited bandwidth and tons of processing power available
  • Managed services come standard
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
40 GB - 240 GB
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

It seems rather obvious (and repetitive) to say that a web host that solely hosts WordPress sites excels at hosting WordPress — but it's true. In addition to infrastructure optimized for the world-famous... read more +

It seems rather obvious (and repetitive) to say that a web host that solely hosts WordPress sites excels at hosting WordPress — but it's true. In addition to infrastructure optimized for the world-famous content management system, Flywheel offers several proprietary, one-of-a-kind services that extend WordPress hosting beyond traditional norms.

We're suckers for hosts that provide WordPress staging environments, and Flywheel has one of the best — no need for an additional server or plugins. Users can push and pull changes between production and staging environments with just one click of the mouse, in addition to selectively merging the database or just themes and plugins. Staging environments are the perfect way to test how new plugins or updated versions of WordPress will affect your website.

Flywheel further streamlined the design and development process when it acquired popular local WordPress development platform Pressmatic, eventually relaunching it as Local by Flywheel. Local™ removes the technical headaches of configuration and debugging local environments and allows for one-click WordPress installations, flexible infrastructure, simple root access, and shareable URLs.

We also appreciate that Flywheel enables designers, developers, and agencies to package together commonly used themes and plugins for rapid, automated configuration of new sites and projects. Blueprints can be saved and deployed with speed and simplicity, empowering you to focus on a client's specific needs and customizations.

In addition to free site migrations and all-VPS architecture, Flywheel further expands WordPress hosting with performant server-side Varnish caching and full-featured, free demo sites.

Everything is controlled from a gorgeous, easy-to-use interface. All your sites are hosted and accessible through the admin portal, meaning you don't have to remember all the different logins for sites you manage. Traditional hosting customers might miss the standard cPanel installation, but Flywheel's platform was clearly designed for people passionate about well-crafted user experiences.

read less -
  • Free local WP development app
  • Managed security scans with Sucuri
  • Sandbox environment for staging
  • In-house WP expertise and support
  • All-VPS infrastructure
  • Get started on Flywheel now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
5 GB - 120 GB
Domain Name
N/A

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Upon first getting started with GoDaddy, customers who sign up for an annual plan receive a free domain name and the power to control their hosting via cPanel or Plesk control panels. From either of these... read more +

Upon first getting started with GoDaddy, customers who sign up for an annual plan receive a free domain name and the power to control their hosting via cPanel or Plesk control panels. From either of these interfaces, you can quickly install and set up the WordPress environment at no additional cost. Even if you don't sign up for a 12-month GoDaddy plan, they're still known as the World's #1 Domain Name Registrar, so they're a reputable choice for hosting your domain.

GoDaddy WordPress plans feature managed services, which means you don't have to worry about tedious details of maintaining the server on which your site is hosted (e.g., security patches and bug fixes). While you're busy adding content, photos, or products to your WordPress site, GoDaddy ensures that your web pages are loading quickly and hackers are staying away. GoDaddy offers award-winning security practices, including DDoS protection, 24/7 server monitoring, and the peace of mind in knowing that experts are not only watching your server but they're keeping an eye on the activity of other users sharing your server.

Folks seeking a WordPress website are in need of the WordPress install itself, the domain at which to host the site, and as many easy-to-use features for managing the WordPress site as possible. GoDaddy offers all of the above: the 1-click install, domain, email, security monitoring, and hosting management power via cPanel. Especially for the low, low cost, they're a fine choice for WordPress hosting.

read less -
  • 1-click WordPress installs via cPanel or Plesk control panels
  • World's #1 Domain Name Registrar offers a FREE domain
  • Experience 24/7 expert support
  • Award-winning security monitoring
  • Screaming-fast page load speeds
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
10 GB SSD - 50 GB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

N/A

Flywheel does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

GoDaddy uses a version of the InstantPage website builder to offer a user-friendly site-building solution to their customers. Most of GoDaddy's hosting plans include this website builder as an option at no... read more +

GoDaddy uses a version of the InstantPage website builder to offer a user-friendly site-building solution to their customers. Most of GoDaddy's hosting plans include this website builder as an option at no additional cost. Plus, if you sign up for an annual hosting plan, this world-leading domain name registrar will include your website's new domain for free.

The InstantPage site builder interface is incredibly easy to use and includes a lot of options for customization. While you worry about making your website beautiful and professional-looking, the GoDaddy team is working around the clock to ensure that your site will remain online and performing speedily. Their award-winning security team monitors the server that's supporting your website — keeping an eye out for downtime, hackers, and other security threats. They also keep an eye on the usage of other customers sharing your server. The end result is their uptime guarantee of 99.9%, which isn't much in the hosting world, but it does the job for most users.

The bottom line is that for a mere dollar per month you can get started with GoDaddy's website builder plan and choose from hundreds of theme options to start designing the site of your dreams. See it as a free website builder with hosting that costs a dollar per month, or a dollar per month spent on a site builder with the hosting included for free — either way it's a pretty sweet deal.

read less -
  • FREE InstantPage website builder included with most hosting plans
  • Easy-to-use interface with tons of customization options available
  • 24/7 expert support via phone, email, and ticketing system
  • 99.9% uptime with an award-winning team monitoring your site and server
  • Step-by-step walkthroughs
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
1 GB - 50 GB
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

Flywheel vs. GoDaddy - Our Conclusion

Laura Stamey Laura Stamey Hosting Expert
“We tested Flywheel & GoDaddy — The winner is Flywheel!”

BOOM — there you have it. GoDaddy is a host that appeals to the masses with low-cost, beginner-friendly shared, VPS, dedicated, domain, and email hosting services. For elite, highly optimized WordPress hosting fit for developers, designers, and creative agencies, Flywheel reigns supreme. Which host most appeals to your hosting agenda?

Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Flywheel »
Overall Rating
4.7/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit GoDaddy »