WordPress (Basic): GoDaddy or 1&1?

I recently created this site using GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting – after much deliberation about whether to go with GoDaddy or 1&1. Ironically enough, within a month I was asked to build a website for a client who had already bought their domain through 1&1. So using both of these experiences, I’m going to run through the advantages, disadvantages and differences between the two product offerings.

Before I start, many of you maybe wondering ‘why WordPress’. The main reasons why I used WordPress for my site and recommend it to potential clients is because it’s free / open source, it’s relatively straightforward to setup and use and there’s a big support group online due to it’s huge user base and popularity. Furthermore, there seems to be a plugin for almost anything you could think of. Saying that another of my clients uses Squarespace, which admittedly has a strong offering and is also easy to use and can help build sophisticated looking websites with relative ease.

The aim of this post is to compare the basic packages offered by both GoDaddy and 1&1, as opposed to their bigger WordPress product offerings / bundles (facts correct at the time of writing, Sunday 17th July 2016).

Both companies give you a free domain with their basic packages, which is great – especially as they have a wide range of domain extensions, including some of the newer gTLDs, e.g. .xyz, .tech, .website, etc. However, what you need to be aware of here is that the domain is only free for a certain amount of time – nonetheless, it’s better than nothing. However, I’m pressed to say GoDaddy seems to be better with this as you can get the domain free for longer by increasing the ‘contract length’ of the WordPress hosting. For example, if you pay for three years of WordPress, you can (in my experience), get the domain free for three years – this is compared to 1&1, which seems to only give you the domain free for one year before charging you X per year thereafter.

In addition to the above, 1&1 seemed to only let me buy the package for 36 months – whereas GoDaddy allowed me to lock it down for 60 months – along with the domain for the same period of time, which can potentially be a key factor when weighed against your business growth plans (as it’s generally cheaper initially as a new customer). However, saying that, GoDaddy’s basic package only seems to allow (at the time of the writing) 25,000 monthly visitors (unique (based on IP)), whereas 1&1 offer unlimited visitors, which is great, so you never really have to worry about your site growing exponentially.

Another great part of the 1&1 offering is free SSL certification (e.g. https as opposed to standard http), which starts from £44.99 per year at GoDaddy. As of late June, Moz (a well respected SEO platform) wrote an article explaining how their data shows that 32.5% of Google’s first page results now use https – a ranking signal for SEO. Additionally, 1&1 offer 50GB of storage (GoDaddy offer 10GB), great if you have a lot of images, etc. – and better still, unlimited (forwarding) email accounts, e.g. name@company.com. GoDaddy do of course offer this, but it seems to be limited to 100 incoming emails, which should be enough initially.

In terms of support, both seem sound, although GoDaddy have live chat, which is great when you can’t get on the phone and need an answer relatively quickly. I do also have to commend the GoDaddy website, which is relatively intuitive to navigate your way around and find what you’re looking for.

Interestingly enough, SiteGeek have done some user sentiment analysis on both providers, which you can see here for GoDaddy and 1&1, with GoDaddy ahead with 89.8% positive user sentiment and 1&1 with 63.41% positive user sentiment (again, at the time of writing).

Albeit inconclusive, hopefully this post will help you understand the key advantages, disadvantages and differences between the two basic packages offered by two of the biggest providers. Although neither could be considered a bad choice, there are potentially features of one provider that may draw you in more than the other. The setup of WordPress on both is unbelievably straightforward – which in essence, is the main thing. There’s obviously other providers out there, but based on what I’ve seen (and heard) these are the two I’d recommend. I’d also strongly recommend looking around for new customer offers, voucher codes and even cashback sites to get yourself the best deal possible.

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