“GoDaddy vs. iPage” is a pretty common question for anyone researching their options for web hosting.
GoDaddy and iPage are two of the best known budget hosts in the world. And they are owned respectively by the two of largest web services companies in the world (GoDaddy Group and Endurance International).
They are both “go-to” brands for business owners looking for simple, affordable hosting. And yet – they are different companies with different brands. When you are choosing a website host – you still have to end up choosing which company to go with.
I have current clients who use (and like) GoDaddy hosting. Although this site runs on InMotion Hosting (which I’ll mention later) – I also used iPage for a couple small projects. I wrote a full iPage review here.
In this comparison between GoDaddy and iPage, I’ll try to break down the differences that I’ve found in seven different areas ranging from pricing structure to customer service and market focus so that you can decide which is the best fit for your project.
Let’s dive into GoDaddy vs. iPage…
Disclosure – I receive customer referral fees from companies mentioned. All opinion and data are based on my experiences as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Both iPage and GoDaddy offer a wide menu of products such as VPS hosting, Dedicated hosting, specialized WordPress hosting, and more. But for pricing – we’ll focus on the most common product that small businesses usually need – shared Linux hosting.
Shared Linux hosting is also known as the “kind of hosting that lets you run WordPress, Joomla, and most non-Windows web apps.”
- You can check out iPage’s current shared hosting plan / discount here.
- You can check out GoDaddy’s current shared hosting plans / discount here.
While GoDaddy offers web hosting in 3 tiers, iPage offers a single, “unlimited” web hosting plan. Additionally, both iPage and GoDaddy run frequent discounts.
So it makes a direct comparison quite difficult.
iPage offers a single plan with uncapped features that renews at $7.99/mo.
GoDaddy has tiered out their plans based on the type of cap they use.
GoDaddy uses domain, storage, database and email caps. On different tiers, GoDaddy will cap the number of domains you can connect or the number of files/databases that you can store. I’ll cover these more in the next section.
But for now, note that iPage’s plan is somewhere between GoDaddy’s Deluxe and Ultimate plan. It has the uncapped features of GoDaddy’s Ultimate plan without the bonus features.
GoDaddy’s Deluxe plan renews at $10.99/mo. Their Ultimate plan renews at $16.99/mo.
GoDaddy’s main bonuses on the Ultimate plan are a free SSL certificate, free Premium DNS (for anti-spam), and free “processing power.”
The problem for GoDaddy is that the price difference between iPage’s one plan and GoDaddy’s Ultimate plan can easily pay for 3rd party services for the bonuses, especially the Premium DNS and SSL.
If you are looking solely at price and overall value for features – iPage is better than GoDaddy.
Now – price is not the only factor in hosting. So let’s look at other areas.
Like I’ve outlined in other web hosting reviews, it’s useful to break web hosting features down into two different sets – a “core feature set” and a “bonus feature set”.
The core feature set consists of what I call the “3 D’s” – domains, disk space and databases/email.
Domains are how many distinct web properties you can connect to your hosting account.
Disk space is how many files you can store on your account, and databases/email is how much software you can install to help manage those files (ie, one install of WordPress requires one database on your server).
GoDaddy caps one of these three core features on their Economy and Deluxe plans. iPage offers “unmetered” on all of them.
That said, you can start to see a difference between GoDaddy and iPage on bonus hosting features – and complementary services. The catch about bonus features is that you need to actually use them to be worthwhile.
iPage offers standard bonus features such as marketing credits for AdWords, Bing, etc. They also offer a free business toll-free phone number for your business. They try to fluff them up in their marketing copy, but nothing really stands out.
GoDaddy offers a free Office 365 subscription. They’ll also bundle many of their services like Premium DNS, accounting, etc. It helps that GoDaddy is not “just” a hosting company. They have fully built out solutions for a range of business.
If you are are a small business who likes the convenience of GoDaddy’s complementary services, then GoDaddy will be a better fit. If you want plain vanilla hosting for your site, then iPage will be a good fit.
The core job of a web host goes beyond simply storing and delivering files to your website visitors. You’ll also want your web host to deliver the files quickly.
There are a lot of factors that go into website speed, and many times you cannot blame a slow website on a slow host (e.g., even the most powerful engine cannot go Zero to 60mph in 5 seconds if it’s pulling a massive boat).
That said – server speed is still critical. There’s not really a good way for non-network engineers to measure server speed between hosts (since again, lots of factors).
Here are the results from my most recent test –
As you can see, GoDaddy edges out iPage on this one test. GoDaddy has built a reputation for substandard speed but has recently started improving their services. Though my historical data on GoDaddy has been poor, this recent test reflects some of their improvement.
The best speed data, though, comes from internal engineering teams.
Normally, that’s not publicly available. But, EIG (the owner of iPage) is a publicly traded company with all the public reports that go with that. Here’s their internal data from their most recent Investor’s Day report –
As you can see, even Endurance’s (possibly biased) internal data shows iPage as faster than GoDaddy…but also as the slowest of all their brands. This tells me that iPage is focused on price – not on performance. They are slower than their other brands because that is not the brand’s priority.
The main takeaway – they are both fast enough for you to work on all the other variables that you control and affect website speed.
There is one aside – uptime and consistency.
That’s not to be glib about downtime. Downtime matters. But it’s important to look at why the downtime happened – and if a similar incident happened again.
Given their size and resources, I see iPage and GoDaddy’s downtime risk as about the same. iPage’s risk comes from the fact that they are a budget host with overloading risk. GoDaddy’s risk comes from the “big target” and “big company” risk.
Usability & Onboarding
Any good product can turn bad quickly if you can’t figure out how to actually use it. And this point is especially true with web hosts.
Both iPage and GoDaddy have fairly straightforward onboarding and good usability. GoDaddy uses a proprietary setup in addition to cPanel. They both maintain similar account portals and they both send out similar onboarding emails. iPage is a bit more “old school” than GoDaddy.
They both also make it straightforward to install common web apps like WordPress. Here’s what their respective “backend” setups look like –
As you can see, they are very similar – with GoDaddy’s design being a bit cleaner and more organized.
They both do upsells. GoDaddy already has the reputation for upsells, but iPage’s can be a bit annoying too. Here’s their checkout process.
The big problem with iPage is that they also pre-bundled so much software. It’s marketed as a “free service” – but it’s really just more upselling.
That said – upsells don’t have to be bad. GoDaddy is a domain registrar and “business services” provider. Many times, a company will have a domain and email with GoDaddy before they have a website. In that case, GoDaddy does make product integration simple.
If you already have a domain with GoDaddy, pointing it to iPage is not a huge issue. But, if you already use GoDaddy’s email and other services, then you’ll have a simpler setup sticking with their hosting services.
Overall, GoDaddy has an edge in usability and onboarding. It’s nothing decisive but does speak to the type of customer that they are looking for, which we’ll cover shortly.
Usability and onboarding can solve a lot of problems. but not every single issue. And that’s where customer service comes in.
The tricky thing about customer service is that it’s all anecdotal. No single comparison (including this one) can state definitively if one company has “good” service or “bad” service.
You never know if your customer service agent just started yesterday (or was their one seasoned pro) or was having a terrible/awesome day – or if it’s a deeper indication of company culture.
Instead, I try to look at indications on whether a company treats their customer service as a cost, a sales opportunity or as an investment.
According to the EIG’s Investor’s Day report, they are obsessed with their Net Promoter Score (NPS). In short – that is a metric that measures how likely your customers are to recommend you.
They draw a clear correlation between customer service → NPS → $$$
In other words, iPage views customer service as an investment that leads to both more sales and more upsell opportunities. GoDaddy treats it similarly.
That’s a good thing for you as the customer with a catch (ie, the upsell part). If you don’t mind putting up with the upsells, you’ll likely experience alright customer service from iPage and GoDaddy. I’ve found both services lacking in this area for advanced customer service.
They both have phone access and a similar triage set up.
GoDaddy seems to have better processes from my experience, but that’s anecdotal. I’d honestly put both these companies in the same bucket with customer service. It’s fine, but I’d have low expectations.
*If customer servicer is the primary issue for you – be sure to also check out InMotion Hosting (my review here). They’re an independent company (ie, not owned by EIG) with a strong focus on customer service.
Why? Because they likely see them as complementary brands that fit different types of customers – sort of like Coke & Sprite.
Here’s their chart for investors on their “brand positioning” –
This chart lines up perfectly with how I’ve found iPage’s customer service & usability.
iPage markets to website owners looking to get a website up and running for very low cost.
GoDaddy positions themselves as a company striving to “empower small business owners.” In other words, they want people who are business owners first and website owners second.
It makes sense – and is also important for what products & improvements each brand will likely make in the future.
Here’s grab bag of other factors to consider.
- iPage has the same money-back guarantee as GoDaddy (30 days).
- For better or for worse, they are both owned by a giant corporation. As I’ll mention in the conclusion, if you want a non-EIG host, you can look at InMotion (review), Web Hosting Hub (review) or SiteGround (review).
- iPage and GoDaddy both offer specialized WordPress plans…that are really just an upsell.
- They both have website builders, though iPage’s is more of a tool to work with hosting while GoDaddy’s is more of a stand alone builder.
GoDaddy vs. iPage Conclusion
So GoDaddy vs. iPage? They’re both fine hosts with some differences.