GoDaddy vs WP Engine (2020)

Laura Bernheim Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested GoDaddy & WP Engine — The winner is GoDaddy!”

Which would you rather be: a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond? That’s the dilemma facing web hosting customers choosing between GoDaddy and WP Engine. As the world’s largest hosting brand, GoDaddy represents that big pond — more than 17 million fish call GoDaddy their hosting home, which comes with pros and cons. Obviously, so many site owners wouldn’t continue swimming to GoDaddy if the company didn’t have a solid, well-supported platform of web hosting, site builders, support, and domain registration tools. However, the big fish swimming in WP Engine’s cloud-powered pond have more resources and optimized experiences. Which is the right habitat for you?

Updated: September 3, 2020
Overall Rating
4.7/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit GoDaddy »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit WP Engine »
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Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

GoDaddy is exceptionally well-known in the hosting space, typically serving as site owners' introduction to the world of web hosting. The company makes 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 its domain, email, and shared hosting services, GoDaddy offers options for virtual and dedicated servers as well. Pre-built templates come with the hosting company's basic WordPress offering, or upgrade to managed WordPress services for top support or help with your online store.

The company makes the migration process as seamless as possible, so you shouldn't shy away from scaling your site as your business needs grow; GoDaddy is a hosting home that will grow alongside you.

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 an intuitive interface for keeping up with the unlimited email accounts you have available to you as a customer. Each email account comes with 256-bit encryption and enhanced privacy protection.

Customer support has been a focus of the GoDaddy team of late. Today, the team has an award-winning collection of experts on staff, readily available to handle customer phone calls and messages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Luxury services like WordPress Premium Support and Website Security also add support ticketing functionality.

While GoDaddy is on hand to talk you through any issues, the team is also keeping an eye on your server (as well as other clients sharing your server). The hosting provider's around-the-clock security monitoring enables GoDaddy to 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.

The bottom line is this: GoDaddy is a go-to domain web host for millions of users worldwide for a reason. The company maintains an ever-expanding network of users by offering blazing-fast load times, award-winning security and support, and a free domain registration when you sign up for a year-long plan. It's a great hosting deal, particularly for first-timers and small business owners, at a really great price point.

  • 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 (1 year)

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

We absolutely adore WP Engine as a hosting company, but there's one huge reason we can't recommend it to everyone: It's exclusively built for WordPress users. If you are a WordPress fan, then read on! If not, you'll want to try one of our other recommendations.

If you care enough about your WordPress site — its security, scalability, load time, and uptime — to spend upward of $20 per month on it, then WP Engine is an ideal choice for you. It'd be tough to make a strong case arguing otherwise.

Although WP Engine's price tag may scare off newbies, those who know WordPress will attest to the impressiveness of WP Engine's proprietary platform. Always updated with the latest hardware to maximize server performance, WP Engine boasts a market-leading software layer built exclusively for WordPress users. This includes the company's own caching system to ensure your site loads super quickly for visitors, a one-click staging area, and constant security monitoring to ward off online threats.

For beginners, installing a WordPress theme and getting a site up and running couldn't be easier. For more experienced folks, such as myself, WP Engine's advanced features, such as single-click development staging areas, Git integration, multiple server locations, CDN compatibility, and a ton of other niceties, can't be beat. These features make the monthly price worthwhile, compared to what the more economically competitive hosts offer.

  • Enterprise-level WordPress hosting
  • Built-in caching and staging
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • Daily backups and 1-click restore
  • 20% discount for HostingAdvice users (was $24.20/month)
  • Get started on WP Engine now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#6 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

A major 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 the company includes a free domain name, control panel, impressively fast load times, and unlimited websites with most plans.

The company makes it not only affordable but super easy to get started on a shared hosting plan — for first-timers, bloggers, business owners, and others. You can choose a GoDaddy hosting plan based on your exact needs, with a range of options for disk space, email, processing power, and other resources.

If your site grows to need scalable and/or dedicated resources, the company's team makes that transition easy — but with most plans coming with unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth, you should have plenty of room.

Virtual 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.

A big name in the budget web hosting space, GoDaddy is consistently improving the performance of its servers, website, and services 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.

The company's 24/7 security monitoring and DDoS protection allow you the comfort in knowing the professionals are making sure your site is online, loading quickly, and hacker-free. We do wish the web hosting provider would include a free SSL certificate with each shared plan, however.

All in all, the web hosting service comes with incredible power and peace of mind, at such a low price point, making GoDaddy quite a value deal.

  • Get a free domain with plan from world's #1 registrar
  • Industry-leading page load times for your site
  • Unlimited bandwidth and up to unlimited storage space
  • Choose between cPanel or Plesk control panels
  • 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 (1 year)

Cheap Rating

N/A

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

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

GoDaddy dedicated server hosting plans feature managed support options, on-demand resources, and the intuitive user control of cPanel and Plesk. The company offers plans for Linux and Windows users, with a variety of options for operating systems, RAM, processing power, disk space, and hardware choices.

As a bare-metal solution, GoDaddy dedicated hosting gives customers 100% control over their server in a single-tenant environment. Unlimited bandwidth is always nice, as is the ability to choose between high-capacity HDDs and high-speed SSDs for storage. Site owners can also choose to host their server in datacenters in U.S. or Europe.

With the optional fully managed services, GoDaddy support is not only available around the clock to help you troubleshoot issues with your server but the team is keeping an eye on your server status.

The company offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee and premier DDoS protection, anti-hacking services, and other security add-ons. Each server comes with a free year of SSL certificate protection, and GoDaddy fully managed hosting customers benefit from the assurance that the experts will facilitate security patches and bug fixes regularly and on time.

Each dedicated hosting plan comes with Panopta monitoring for your server, application, and network services. Users can easily view uptime and system-level metrics like CPU, RAM, storage, or set up alerts and notifications.

With resource configurations customized to meet your needs, GoDaddy offers dedicated server hosting that you can grow your business with. The GoDaddy tech support team is available 24/7, guarding your site against malware, hackers, unexpected downtime, and DDoS threats.

Meanwhile, the company's support agents are handling any requests that come through the phone lines or chat portal. With on-demand resources and industry-leading page load speeds, GoDaddy is a dedicated host worthy of your consideration.

  • Dedicated resources provisioned in minutes
  • Maximum performance and data protection with RAID-1 disk mirroring
  • Admin control via root access, cPanel, or Plesk
  • Choose from semi- or fully managed services
  • Get 45% off of your first term
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
400 GB SSD - 8 TB HDD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Dedicated Rating

N/A

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

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★ 4.2/5.0

#10 out of 10 in VPS Hosting reviews

If you're looking to grow and scale your website, GoDaddy has you covered.
Developers and web enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that GoDaddy offers root access, making it easy to install PHP modules, applications, stacks, and various customizations to fine-tune your virtual server for peak performance via the command line or remote desktop.

Plans also include a variety of control panels, led by cPanel and Plesk, so you can easily manage your hosting service with an intuitive graphical interface. The surprisingly powerful virtual servers can have up to 32GB RAM and 400GB of SSD storage that boasts three times faster page loads.

In addition to unlimited bandwidth and KVM virtualization, GoDaddy boasts global datacenters on four continents and tons of modern operating systems. Choose from platforms like CentOS, Ubuntu, and Windows Server.

Meanwhile, the GoDaddy team will monitor your server 24/7 to alert and ward off traffic with malicious intent. Customers will have to patch their operating system as needed, but GoDaddy provides around-the-clock hardware monitoring with failover solutions and snapshots to minimize downtime.

Panopta monitoring is also included with all semi- or fully managed VPS accounts, giving you a window into network and application services via easily configurable alerts and notifications.

The GoDaddy name may not immediately bring VPS hosting to mind. Nonetheless, GoDaddy's virtual server offerings include the security, support, worry-free fully managed services, and value combination that embodies the GoDaddy reputation in the hosting space.

For those who may not quite be ready to make the jump to a VPS plan, the hosting company's Business Hosting packages combine the best of both worlds: the amped-up power of a virtual private server with the ease and simplicity of shared hosting.

  • Designed to handle traffic with Linux or Windows
  • Admin access via root access, cPanel, and Plesk
  • High-speed SSDs and 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Unlimited bandwidth and lots of processing power
  • Fully or semi-managed servers with optional control panel
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
40 GB - 400 GB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Rating

N/A

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

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★ 4.4/5.0

As champions of low-cost, high-impact hosting, GoDaddy understandably offers a slew of services geared for all levels of WordPress users.

Starting with the company's basic shared hosting services, which start at $1.00 per month, each GoDaddy customer who signs up for an annual plan receive a free domain name and the power to control their site via the cPanel or Plesk control panels. From either of these interfaces, you can quickly install and set up the WordPress environment in one click at no additional cost.

GoDaddy's improved cPanel is configured with CageFS to protect your content and uses CloudLinux to keep your site's resources truly balanced. While you're busy adding content, photos, or products to your WordPress site, GoDaddy ensures that your web pages are loading quickly.

More serious WordPress users may prefer to step up to the web host's suite of optimized WordPress hosting plans, which feature an automatically installed SSL certificate, backups, and daily malware scans. Users can create and launch unlimited websites with most of these packages, and you can choose to automatically upgrade your plan as you need extra resources.

Even higher up, GoDaddy Pro Managed WordPress Hosting starts site owners with a delightful onboarding experience and one-click migration tool to make it easier than ever to get started. Once you configure your free CDN and built-in caching, you can take advantage of daily backups, automatic core updates, pre-built sites, and a staging environment to ensure your WordPress website is picture perfect.

  • 1-click WordPress installs via cPanel or Plesk
  • FREE domain from the world's #1 registrar
  • Experience 24/7 expert support
  • Award-winning security monitoring
  • FREE year of Office 365 business email services
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#7 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews

With prices much higher than many WordPress users are accustomed to seeing, we understand that WP Engine may not be for everybody. But for those developers, designers, agencies, and growing businesses passionate about website performance, stability, and cutting-edge WordPress features, WP Engine will be a godsend.

Installing WordPress, setting up a theme, and moving a site from development to staging to production is simple for beginners. The company's 2018 acquisition of StudioPress, the makers of the ultra-popular Genesis theme framework, further solidified customers' design options and WP Engine's involvement in the WordPress community.

More experienced users will appreciate the single-click staging areas, Git integration, choice of server locations, CDN compatibility, and other niceties. Plus, don't forget available add-ons for WordPress Multisite, geotargeting, and edge security. These luxurious features make the higher-end monthly price exceedingly worthwhile.

Plus, the built-in caching system allows WP Engine sites to outperform almost all other WordPress sites without the use of plugins, meaning you can focus more on your content and design and let the experts at WP Engine focus on maintaining your site's ridiculously great performance.

  • 20% OFF your first payment for our readers
  • FREE Genesis Framework & StudioPress themes
  • Fast, scalable, and secure WordPress
  • FREE SSL certificate and CDN ready
  • Upgrade for geotargeting and edge security
  • Get started on WP Engine now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

#9 out of 10 in Website Builder Hosting reviews

GoDaddy uses a custom website builder and easy access to dozens of content management systems to offer a user-friendly site-building solution to customers. Most of GoDaddy's hosting plans include these options at no additional cost. Plus, if you sign up for an annual hosting plan, this world-leading domain name registrar will include a GoDaddy domain for free.

The company's Websites + Marketing plans combine the GoDaddy website builder with built-in marketing tools to seamlessly integrate your website, social media, and online reviews to attract the most visitors. Even better, you can get started for free! To unlock the full publishing power, though, plans start around $10 per month.

You can save money by signing up for a shared hosting account, which will point you toward easy-to-use content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. You'll still get a lot of options for customizations and one-click installations but not quite the same drag-and-drop simplicity you'll find on most site builders.

Regardless of which you choose, the GoDaddy team is working around the clock to ensure your site will remain online and performing speedily while you worry about making your website beautiful and professional-looking.
The company's award-winning security team keeps an eye out for downtime, hackers, and other security threats. The end result is their uptime guarantee of 99.9%, which does the job for most users.

The bottom line is that you can get started with multiple GoDaddy's website builder options for a dollar or less per month and choose from hundreds of theme options to start designing the site of your dreams.

  • Get started for FREE, no credit-card required
  • Easy-to-use interface with tons of customization
  • GoDaddy InSight™ provides tailored action plans for your site
  • 99.9% uptime with an award-winning support team
  • Built-in marketing tools and expertise
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Website Builder Rating

N/A

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

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GoDaddy vs. WP Engine - Our Conclusion

Laura Bernheim Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested GoDaddy & WP Engine — The winner is GoDaddy!”

As you can see, GoDaddy and WordPress tend to serve two rather different needs in the hosting industry. GoDaddy is a well-rounded provider with solid tools that extend beyond domain registration. WP Engine, however, enacts a much narrower business model by choosing to concentrate on managed WordPress services. Making the call between these two providers likely hinges on your comfort with technology, budget restrictions, and website requirements. Feel free to click on our reviews above to get more information about the services GoDaddy and WP Engine offer. Hope your hosting goes swimmingly!

Overall Rating
4.7/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit GoDaddy »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit WP Engine »