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Plans and Pricing
GoDaddy Keeps Things Simpler – and Cheaper – Than Microsoft AzureIf you’re at all familiar with web hosting services, you probably already know that GoDaddy offers shared and WordPress-optimized hosting. Higher-tier plans offer faster page loading speeds, more features, and more resources. Whereas Microsoft Azure doesn’t offer traditional plans at all – it uses a pay-as-you-go system for web hosting pricing. To host a site with Microsoft Azure, you have to pay for a combination of different services: a virtual machine to host the site, cloud storage, a database, and more. There’s no “package deal” for web hosting.
GoDaddy Hosting Web Hosting
Plan NameStorageBandwidthFree SSLNumber of SitesPricePlan NameStorageBandwidthFree SSLNumber of SitesPriceEconomy - Linux and Windows100 GBunlimited-1$5.99More detailsDeluxe - Linux and Windowsunlimitedunlimited-unlimited$7.99More detailsUltimate - Linux and Windowsunlimitedunlimited+unlimited$12.99More detailsMaximumunlimitedunlimited+unlimited$19.99More detailsMore details
A free domain name is included with some hosting plans from GoDaddy Hosting
This allows you a lot more flexibility and ensures that you are paying only for the resources you use. But it adds a lot of complexity to your monthly bill. With GoDaddy, you’ll know exactly what your monthly bill will be each month, but with Microsoft Azure, you’ll likely need a calculator nearby (and, in fact, there is a pricing calculator on the Azure website). With GoDaddy, each plan has everything you need to get started. Paying for a 36-month plan will get you the best prices. Every plan also comes with a free domain for the length of the hosting term. With Microsoft Azure, you’d have to register and pay for your domain elsewhere. While the price increases at renewal time are annoying, GoDaddy is still cheaper than Microsoft Azure, and it provides better value.
Microsoft Azure Cloud Hosting
Plan NameStorageBandwidthCPURAMPricePlan NameStorageBandwidthCPURAMPriceFree1GBPAYGShared1GB$0More detailsBasic B110GBPAYG11.75GB$14.00More detailsBasic B210GBPAYG23.5GB$26.00More detailsBasic B310GBPAYG47GB$52.00More detailsStandard S150GBPAYG11.75GB$70.00More detailsStandard S250GB PAYG23.5GB$140.00More detailsStandard S350GBPAYG47GB$280.00More detailsMore details
Microsoft Azure Provides Straight Answers – GoDaddy, Not So MuchOn the surface, GoDaddy and Microsoft Azure have similar support platforms, both offering 24/7 live chat and ticketing. I’ve tested both to see how they would handle common support queries. It took a while to connect with GoDaddy’s live chat – I had to initiate multiple attempts. Once I got through, I noticed the support agent’s English was fairly poor. I found myself having to reread a few responses to make sense of them. Then, with almost no details about what I wanted, the agent tried to pitch an expensive plan that simply wouldn’t have met my needs. I asked about the performance I could expect for my US visitors, but I was told that performance was only dependent on the “data files” of my website. Aside from not making much sense, this came off as an attempt to absolve GoDaddy of any future performance issues. While I did explore Microsoft Azure’s support service, you don’t get far unless you pay for a support plan. There are multiple tiers available, but the basic plan which is included for all customers only provides ticket support. Moving up to the next level allows you to follow up on ticket requests via email, during business hours only. To get an idea of the support quality and level of professionalism you can expect, I asked some basic questions via pre-sales live chat. Response times were inconsistent. Sometimes I didn’t get a response at all – other times, it’d be instantaneous. However, I found the agent to be much more straightforward with me than GoDaddy’s. There were no aggressive pitch attempts, and my questions were answered as clearly as possible. However, the agent lacked knowledge. A lot of my questions went unanswered, as the agent simply didn’t know for sure. I was offered a phone call with a specialist, but it would have been nice if the information I needed had been available via chat. Overall, both providers’ support services could use some improvements, but at least with Microsoft Azure you get clear and professional responses.
GoDaddy Includes More Useful Features Than Microsoft AzureMicrosoft Azure lists a huge variety of hosting solutions – it doesn’t just focus on serving websites. This means GoDaddy appears to have more to offer when it comes to web hosting. For example, GoDaddy includes a trial Office 365 email account (from Microsoft!) for a year with every plan, but Microsoft Azure doesn’t include any form of email hosting whatsoever. GoDaddy also offers beginner-friendly plans that include a simple-to-use site builder and useful marketing tools, which are very suited to small businesses. Again, there are no such options available with Microsoft Azure. Instead of providing any useful little extras, Microsoft Azure focuses on providing you with a fully-flexible, enterprise-level hosting environment. The best way to host a website with Azure is through its Virtual Machines, which can be customized and scaled to your exact needs. However, even this service isn’t for beginners – configuring and running a Virtual Machine requires a lot of technical knowledge. Migrating an existing site to Microsoft Azure could prove to be a challenge, as there is no migration support given within its basic support plan. On the other hand, GoDaddy’s WordPress plans include a plugin that can automatically migrate your WordPress site for free.
GoDaddy has a lot more features for newbies and non-techies, and while Microsoft Azure certainly is more flexible, this level of versatility is really only useful to developers.
|Hosting Types||Shared, WordPress, VPS, dedicated server||Linux/Windows Virtual Machines, app hosting, more|
|Free Domain||Free for the initial term, available with annual, biannual, and triannual plans||✘|
|Free SSL Certificate||✔ (except with low-tier shared plans)||✘|
|Disk Space||100GB – unlimited||4GB – 30TB|
|Bandwidth||Unmetered||Data transfer within the same availability zone is free but charged by the GB elsewhere|
|Automatic Backups||Available as a premium service||Available as a premium service|
|Control Panel||cPanel||Able to install the control panel of your choice|
|Email Accounts||Trial account for first year||✘|
|Free CDN||✔ (only with WordPress plans)||✘|
|Free Site Migration||✔||✘|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30-day refund window for annual and longer plans, 48-hour refund window for shorter payment terms||12-month free trial, $200 credit, 750 hours runtime for virtual machines|
GoDaddy Edges Past Microsoft Azure With WordPress Hosting PerformanceReliability-wise, GoDaddy features a 99.9% uptime guarantee, so I expected at least that in the results of my testing. However, results were mixed – with the basic shared hosting plan, uptime was generally good, and above the guarantee. Sadly, the WordPress plans were far less reliable, falling below the 99.9% promise. Microsoft Azure is much more stable, offering a 99.99% uptime guarantee. My tests showed that it actually manages to fulfill this promise, with very consistent uptime over many months. GoDaddy has three data centers: one in North America, one in Europe, and one in Asia. Conversely, Microsoft Azure has a whopping 160+ data centers throughout the globe. Microsoft Azure’s Virtual Machines are powered by speedy Intel Xeon processors, so with all of Microsoft’s technological power I expected Azure to score higher in page loading speeds. But GoDaddy turned out to be the better performer overall. GoDaddy’s basic shared hosting plans performed more slowly, but its WordPress plans sped past Microsoft Azure. These plans come with access to a CDN and WordPress-specific optimizations, which seems to have worked wonders. Check out our GoDaddy review for more details. Microsoft Azure’s speeds were disappointing, especially considering the sheer size of the infrastructure backing it up. To find out what went wrong, take a look at our Microsoft Azure review.
Microsoft Azure Leaves Security Up to You – GoDaddy Has You CoveredMicrosoft Azure’s platform lacks an easy way to install a free SSL certificate. It is possible to install a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate manually, but this is a bit of a headache. Thankfully, GoDaddy’s WordPress plans (and its upper-tier shared plans) include a free SSL certificate which is automatically installed for you. GoDaddy also includes 24/7 network protection and basic DDoS mitigation for free on all plans, but more advanced security features are locked behind various tiers of paid add-ons. For the most part, Microsoft Azure leaves you to secure your site yourself. You get access to the Azure Security Center for free, which gives you customized security recommendations. There’s also Azure Defender, which is a premium service that takes care of network handling and threat detection. These are both nice systems, but they only go so far. The recommendations given by Azure Security Center will need to be configured manually, and many of these require advanced technical knowledge. You’d also still need to purchase expensive firewall services or third-party solutions to be fully secure. GoDaddy provides comprehensive solutions which are much easier to implement.
GoDaddy Emerges VictoriousI have to declare GoDaddy as the overall winner of this comparison. It’s more user-friendly, it contains many more features, and it offers better performance if you choose a WordPress plan. It also includes everything you need to get started right out of the gate, while Microsoft Azure requires extensive planning and purchasing multiple services. Microsoft Azure may still be the better option for personal use, if you’re a developer looking to benefit from its great flexibility. Just remember to make good use of Azure’s pricing calculator when you’re setting up infrastructure – costs can add up quickly. However, neither of these hosts are particularly ideal when compared to the providers on our list of the best web hosting services for 2023. For example, Hostinger offers even better performance at significantly lower prices. I’d recommend taking a look at some of these other options before making your final decision.
Plans and Pricing
Simpler pricing structure, plans include everything you need to get started at a low price
Complex pay-as-you-go pricing, need to purchase multiple services to host modern websites
Many helpful extras included, such as website builders, email hosting, and automatic migration tools
Much more flexible and customizable, but no beginner-friendly features
WordPress plans offer faster page loading but are less reliable; shared hosting plans are slower but more reliable
Slower page loading speeds than GoDaddy’s WordPress plans, but much more reliable
Basic security features included on all plans, advanced security incurs a premium monthly fee
Includes security recommendations for free, but you’re expected to configure security manually
Inconsistent responsiveness, poor quality communication and unhelpful information
Inconsistent responsiveness, polite and clear communication, but a lack of technical knowledge (on pre-sales chat)