Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: December 2019
Our Quick Summary
A2 Hosting wins this comparison. They’re better in pretty much every aspect when compared to GoDaddy. They’re faster, have better support, and generally cheaper with more value.
Keep reading to find out how both hosting companies rate on pricing, support, speed, and ease of use!
Between A2 Hosting and GoDaddy, each company has managed to carve out a distinctive identity and brand in the web-hosting stratosphere. A2 Hosting has made a name for itself thanks to blazing-fast upload speeds (more on that later). GoDaddy, on the other hand, is known primarily as a domain registrar that puts out provocative commercials in time for the Super Bowl.
A2 Hosting was born in 2001 as the pride and joy of its CEO, Bryan Muthig. The company started in a two-room office in Ann Arbor, MI while providing affordable hosting solutions. Today, the company claims to have, “the industry’s leading customer service team,” and “faster service than (its) competitors.”
Bob Parson founded GoDaddy in Baltimore after selling his financial software services company to Intuit three years earlier. Now headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, GoDaddy is one of the largest web hosting companies in the world, with nearly 6,000 employees and 18.5 million customers. The company is still known for its original service—registering domains—but it has developed a fleet of web hosting services around its primary enterprise.
Picking a web hosting provider is an essential aspect of building a website. Not only does it dictate everything from your uptime to features and speed, but it lays the foundation for the site itself. To make your life easier, we have evaluated A2 Hosting and GoDaddy on their pricing, support, performance/speed, and ease of use.
Pricing – A2 Hosting Wins
A2 Hosting has three web hosting plans: Lite, Swift, and Turbo. The Lite Plan, which is the lowest tier, goes for $3.92 per month. This offer includes a single website, five databases, unlimited storage, unlimited transfers, and free SSL certificate, SSD, and site migration.
Swift and Turbo retail at $4.90 and $9.31 per month while expanding on the offerings of the Lite Plan. The upgrades include unlimited websites and unlimited databases. Turbo includes their turbo-charged features for twenty times faster page loads because it has fewer users per server and enhanced performance.
While not as tantalizing as their commercials or as well-known compared to their status as a domain registrar, GoDaddy offers remarkably low hosting prices. Their introductory offer is the Economy Plan, which only costs $1.00 per month. Their Deluxe and Ultimate packages go for $7.99 and $12.99 per month, respectively.
The Economy Plan includes a single website, unmetered bandwidth, a free domain, and 100 gigabytes of storage. It also comes with a complimentary year of Microsoft Office 365 Business email. The Deluxe and Ultimate models expand the number of features users can access and is tailored towards “small businesses” and “complex, high-traffic sites” in their own right.
Support – A2 Hosting Wins
A couple of problems are bound to pop up whenever you are creating or managing a website. Having reliable customer service can make all the difference when it comes to fixing those issues and getting customers to renew their plans. A2 Hosting makes a concerted effort to help its customers with friendly and insightful experts who people can reach by phone, chat, or ticket-based support. Many generally note positive things about their experience with customer support.
GoDaddy’s website notes the company offers award-winning 24/7 support. Customers can get in touch with representatives via chat or phone. GoDaddy also has nearly 4,700 representatives to handle the 50,000 customer interactions they receive daily.
Online reviewers were significantly less complimentary about GoDaddy. There are also a considerable number of complaints aimed at their refund policy.
Speed – A2 Hosting wins
A2 Hosting is fast – really fast. It would not be an exaggeration to call them out as the Usain Bolt or Florence Griffith-Joyner of the industry.
Thanks to their Turbo service, A2 Hosting’s page loading speed comes in at around 350ms.
Despite servers spread out across the continents (which is handy if you’re looking for web hosting services for Canada, Singapore website hosts, or even decent web hosting for New Zealand), the overall performance is not quite operating at the same level. Their current average uptime is only 99.92%, which equates to seven hours of downtime per annum. While they have a relatively consistent track record of uptimes, it is disconcerting to see such low figures compared to their awesome speeds.
On the other hand, while GoDaddy would beat much of the industry when it comes to page load speed, the web host race is not one they will win. Their average rate comes in at about 517ms. For all the track and field fans out there, this makes GoDaddy the Yohan Blake or Veronica Campbell-Brown of page loading.
As a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ, GoDaddy has the financial resources to have their 37,000 servers spread from Amsterdam to Ashburn, VA. GoDaddy’s average uptime comes in at a more than respectable 99.97 percent. This mark is well above the industry average and equates to roughly 13 minutes of downtime per month.
Ease of Use – It’s a Tie
Both A2 Hosting and GoDaddy provide the cPanel control panel to keep life easy for users. In case you are unfamiliar with cPanel, it has effectively become the standard for the web hosting world. They each have well-regarded security services, too, so their customers don’t have to worry about spam or viruses.
A2 Hosting works with all the prominent content management systems, so there is no need for you to go out and hire a developer. They also have SiteBuilder, which allows you to customize your website without knowing HTML. All webpage builders need to do is drag and drop features until they like the way their creation looks.
GoDaddy has a website builder that is specifically designed to make the process of site creation simple. This feature comes with 125+ applications that users can install with a single click. Plus, they have integrations with all the popular content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
Conclusion – A2 Hosting Wins
There are plenty of reasons to go with GoDaddy. Three of the most prominent features are free email offer for a year, comprehensive domain services, and ridiculously low prices. When it comes to declaring a winner, however, we have to give the title belt to A2 Hosting.
A2 Hosting is one of the best web hosting providers out there and is worth consideration, almost irrespective of a website’s needs. They offer unbelievable speeds, robust customer support, and even provide free site migrations. Sure, their uptime is unremarkable, but their all-around strengths are too much to ignore.