GoDaddy vs Hostwinds (2018)

Laura Bernheim Laura Bernheim Hosting Expert
“We tested Hostwinds & GoDaddy — The winner is Hostwinds!”

Even though both GoDaddy and Hostwinds offer the full spectrum of shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting options, site owners would be hard-pressed to find two more different hosts. GoDaddy is the ubiquitous, globally known brand that serves solid performance, security, and domain hosting to more than 17 million customers, while Hostwinds is a young upstart that is laser-focused on superior customer service and high-powered infrastructure. Hostwinds offers the more advanced architecture and technologies, while GoDaddy excels at affordability and user-friendly tools.

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

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

Promising enterprise-grade hosting solutions for prices that appeal to small and medium businesses, Hostwinds delivers the full range of operating systems and server configurations to help customers build... read more +

Promising enterprise-grade hosting solutions for prices that appeal to small and medium businesses, Hostwinds delivers the full range of operating systems and server configurations to help customers build and grow an online presence. With hosting plans covering niches like vBulletin and Minecraft, Hostwinds attracts a customer base as mixed as the server configurations.

After frustrating web hosting experiences of his own, CEO Peter Holden set out to prove that providers didn't need to choose among powerful infrastructure, responsive support, and cost-effective prices. As a 20-year-old, he launched Hostwinds in 2010 to accomplish all three objectives. Now, the fast-growing company offers the full range of services while guaranteeing complete satisfaction.

We'll put the magnifying glass to the company's shared, cloud, VPS, and dedicated server options later, but we wanted to give a quick shoutout to Hostwinds for its top-notch reseller and white label plans. The traditional reseller route operates as you'd expect, with the added perks of being able to set your own prices and capitalizing on Hostwinds's robust product line.

For the less tech-savvy reseller or those wanting to offer multiple hosting options to clients, Hostwinds makes its full spectrum of services available under your branding. The company streamlines deployment and sets up WHMCS for billing management and payment processing. We already appreciate the company's high-powered hardware, so we're naturally supportive of easy-to-configure plans that help customers spread the love.

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  • 400% faster speeds via SSDs
  • Litespeed web server performance
  • FREE dedicated IP address
  • 99.999% uptime guarantee
  • Datacenters in Dallas and Seattle
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
Unlimited SSD
Domain Name
$14.84

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.

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  • 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

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

A recurring theme in the Hostwinds product lineup, the company offers multiple configurations to ensure every customer's needs are perfectly met. The standard shared hosting services compete with the likes... read more +

A recurring theme in the Hostwinds product lineup, the company offers multiple configurations to ensure every customer's needs are perfectly met. The standard shared hosting services compete with the likes of InMotion Hosting, SiteGround, and A2 Hosting. Modern solid-state drives place Hostwinds and the others in a somewhat more expensive hosting bracket, but savvy customers will notice the value.

Between the SSDs and Litespeed web servers, Hostwinds ekes out 400% faster performance compared with typical shared hosting plans. Combined with the bevy of unlimited features (bandwidth, disk space, subdomains, email accounts, databases, and FTP accounts), we love how Hostwinds matches superior services with affordability.

For hosting customers looking to take a small step up without committing to the management requirements and time investment of a virtual private server, Hostwinds offers business hosting plans with an even more souped-up approach to performance. Instead of placing 200 clients on the typical shared server, Hostwinds gives business hosting customers a larger piece of the shared server pie. Business hosting servers top out at 50 customers per machine, and CPU limits are lifted. Virus and malware scans are upped to once per week, instead of monthly for regular shared hosting.

Our one gripe about Hostwinds is how the company doesn't include a free domain registration, which is commonly tacked on to what seems like every other shared hosting plan on the market. This obviously doesn't affect Hostwinds's impeccable performance or customer experience, but it could be a damaging tie-breaker against Hostwinds in the ultra-competitive shared hosting market.

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  • Shared hosting plans offer the ultimate affordability
  • Upgraded business plans give users more control and room to grow
  • Softaculous auto-installation scripts
  • Unlimited bandwidth and subdomains
  • FREE website transfers
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
Unlimited SSD
Domain Name
$14.84

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.

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  • 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

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

At the highest end of the hosting spectrum, it can sometimes be challenging to discern which servers reign supreme. Providers naturally put their finest hardware and most luxurious features at the... read more +

At the highest end of the hosting spectrum, it can sometimes be challenging to discern which servers reign supreme. Providers naturally put their finest hardware and most luxurious features at the forefront when it comes to attracting customers for high-price dedicated hosting. Hostwinds, however, somehow manages to eke out ahead of the rest on the strength of the company's incredible range of configurations.

For starters, customers can choose among 15 Windows or Linux operating system and equip servers with up to 3TB of hard-disk drive storage per bay (the maximum number of drives is four). Alternatively, servers can be equipped with up to 1TB of solid-state drives per hard drive bay. RAM scales from 8GB to 128GB, outpacing even the most luxury hosts at seemingly every turn.

From there, users can select to use up to 32 IP addresses. Although inbound bandwidth is free and unlimited, outbound transfers can scale between 10TB to 200TB and more. Depending how many hard drives you opt to deploy, you can configure five different RAID backup options for free.

All told, customers can easily configure servers that cost upward of $1,000 per month — but the performance will undoubtedly be worthwhile. Hostwinds servers somehow always seem to ring up a few dollars per month cheaper than competitors and come with a superb 99.999% uptime guarantee.

Our only tentative reservation is trusting a smaller, newer company with such a business-critical task at such a large scale. We have absolutely zero evidence to support our fears, just feel the need to mention the company doesn't have the tried-and-true legacy of some other well-known brands. If the premium hardware and slight savings are worth the tiny gamble, however, we expect large companies will enjoy the payoff.

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  • Choice between Windows or Linux
  • Fully managed support 24/7/365
  • SAS Type II and Tier 4 datacenters
  • Automatic DDoS attack detection
  • 1-hour hardware replacement
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
120 GB SSD - 12 TB HDD
Domain Name
$14.84

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.

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  • "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

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#2 out of 9 in VPS Hosting reviews

Does any hosting provider have more virtual private server packages than Hostwinds? The company offers 10 configurations — and that's just for managed Linux server partitions. Hostwinds provides 10... read more +

Does any hosting provider have more virtual private server packages than Hostwinds? The company offers 10 configurations — and that's just for managed Linux server partitions. Hostwinds provides 10 additional plans each for managed Windows VPS and unmanaged varieties of both operating systems.

Virtual servers range from 1 CPU core, 512MB of RAM, and 20GB of storage all the way to 16 cores, 64GB of RAM, and 500GB of storage. Customers can pay less than $5 per month — or more than $630. Around-the-clock monitoring of the company's network and devices ensure reliability, but Hostwinds promises a five-minute response to incidents and hardware replacements within an hour.

For those wanting even more flexibility and scalability, Hostwinds offers cloud hosting billed by the hour or month. Create an instance, select your operating system and infrastructure, and enjoy the company's fully managed support. Customers can deploy block or object storage volumes and rely on the company's strict firewall to protect it all.

Add in the company's stellar 99.999% uptime guarantee, high-powered solid-state drives, and the guaranteed 1Gbps port, and customers will be hard-pressed to find a more flexible, performant, and affordable VPS or cloud service.

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  • Managed or unmanaged virtual servers available in Windows or Linux
  • Cloud hosting instances with hourly or monthly billing
  • Instant upgrades without downtime
  • FREE around-the-clock monitoring
  • Automatic nightly backups available
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
20 GB - 500 GB
Domain Name
$14.84

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.

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  • 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

N/A

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

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.

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  • 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

Hostwinds 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.

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  • 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)

Hostwinds vs. GoDaddy - Our Conclusion

Laura Bernheim Laura Bernheim Hosting Expert
“We tested Hostwinds & GoDaddy — The winner is Hostwinds!”

Choosing between GoDaddy and Hostwinds should be fairly easy, depending on your specific hosting and website goals. If you’re looking to start a personal website and dabble with WordPress or an online store, GoDaddy is the go-to host for beginners. If you expect your website to scale large enough to become your livelihood, you should probably upgrade to Hostwinds if you value performance and technology over name recognition. You can see above how we made our decision, but rest assured that both hosts are trusted providers — just for wildly different reasons.

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