GoDaddy may be a household name, thanks in part to its advertising campaigns, but that doesn’t mean it’s the ideal solution for everyone. If you’re looking to build a serious website for your business, Flywheel might be a much better choice.
To look at the fine print behind these web hosting services, I’ve researched their features extensively. It’s clear that GoDaddy is a low-budget web host that’s ideal for building personal sites, while Flywheel is a managed web hosting service that shines for small businesses with its collaboration and workflow tools.
Click here to see Flywheel’s latest deals, or read on to find out which host is the best choice for you.
To compare these two hosts, I’ve tested them in five areas that I believe all the best web hosting services should excel in. Since Flywheel only offers Managed WordPress, I’ve compared the two based on their WordPress plans.
1. Plans and Pricing
GoDaddy Offers More Storage Space, Flywheel Offers More Security
GoDaddy’s low prices for WordPress hosting might look attractive, but to get the same features Flywheel offers for free, you have to buy add-ons.
For instance, GoDaddy’s Basic WordPress plan does not include Website Security or a standard SSL certificate, but you can add them at checkout. These two add-ons more than double the cost of hosting. In comparison, Flywheel’s Tiny plan includes a free SSL and state-of-the-art Google Cloud security, all for less than what GoDaddy charges with the add-ons.
The downside with Flywheel’s Tiny plan is that you get much less storage space (5 GB vs 75 GB) and bandwidth (5K monthly visitors vs 100K). If you’re looking for a basic WordPress plan but need lots of storage and bandwidth, the extra cost for GoDaddy might be worth the money.
Flywheel Throws In Extra Features, GoDaddy Upsells Them
Attractive as they may be, some of GoDaddy’s cheaper plans might end up costing you more in the long run.
For instance, Flywheel gives you a free CDN (content delivery network) from Fastly with all its plans, while GoDaddy will only give you one on the Ultimate plan or higher.
In addition, Flywheel gives you advanced features such as Staging Sites and Blueprints, a proprietary feature that allows you to save a web page’s theme and plugins to use on other sites.
|Hosting Types||Managed WordPress||Shared, WordPress, VPS, dedicated servers|
|Free Domain||No||Yes, for one year on annual plans|
|Disk Space||5 GB to custom||30 GB to unlimited|
|Visitor Bandwidth||5K to millions||25K to unlimited|
|Free Site Migration||Yes||No|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days for annual plans, 72 hours for monthly ones||30 days for annual plans, 48 hours for anything less|
GoDaddy Performs Well, but Flywheel Does Even Better
If you compare GoDaddy and Flywheel based on their performance for a small, personal website with no media, they achieve similar loading times. However, if you want to build a more complex website, Flywheel will likely perform better because it runs on the Google Cloud Platform.
Flywheel gives you the option to host your website(s) in one of its five data centers, in the US, Europe, or Australia, while GoDaddy limits you to its Phoenix data center if you want to benefit from its CDN. If you don’t care about a CDN, you can choose from one of its nine data centers, in the US, Europe, or Asia.
GoDaddy offers a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee, although there have been times when the service has dropped below this threshold. Flywheel goes above and beyond with its impressive 99.99% uptime guarantee, which is backed by its redundant cloud technology.
Flywheel achieved an impressive score in our performance tests. For more information, you can read our in-depth Flywheel review.
GoDaddy’s score was okay, but could have been better. To find out what went wrong, head over to our expert GoDaddy review.
Flywheel Keeps You Safe, GoDaddy Charges Extra
All of GoDaddy’s WordPress plans offer automatic daily malware scans via the Sucuri plugin.
But with Flywheel, you get much more: a free SSL certificate for each of your websites, and enterprise-grade DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack protection on all plans. Its Google Cloud infrastructure ensures your information is encrypted when in transit, and then once again when it’s stored.
GoDaddy Keeps You Waiting, Flywheel Keeps You Going
You can reach GoDaddy via 24/7 live chat or phone (in 34 countries), but you might be in for a long wait – even one full hour during peak times. While you can’t get help via email, GoDaddy’s managed WordPress plans give you access to premium support on a tiered, credit-based system.
Flywheel has 24/7 support over live chat, e-mail, or phone. The latter, however, is only available for higher-tier plans. Based on my experience with Flywheel’s support, they are friendly and thorough in their interactions.
Don’t Be Swayed by Headline Prices
GoDaddy might seem cheaper at a glance, but that’s not necessarily true. Flywheel offers superior value if you’re looking for tools to help run your business online.
If you’re building a website as a hobby or for contact purposes, or even as a small business, GoDaddy can help you save some money. If, however, you want to build a website for a business or organization, Flywheel offers collaborative tools that will streamline some of your operations, saving you valuable time.
If you’re not sure if either of these hosts is the best one for you, you can find some great alternative options on our list of the best web hosts.
Here are the main takeaways from this comparison:
|Plans and Pricing||Low initial prices, renewal costs are roughly 30% higher, good value on higher-tier plans||Higher baseline prices that are identical on renewal, good value for business websites|
|Features||cPanel, unlimited storage on higher-tier plans, free domain name for 1 year||Fastly CDN, website staging, blueprints, and collaborative tools|
|Performance||Good performance with some resource limitations||Reliable cloud infrastructure with great performance|
|Security||Free SSL for initial term on higher plans, daily malware scans and backup||Free SSL for all your websites, free data encryption|
|Support||24/7 support via chat and phone; tutorials and knowledge base||24/7 support via chat, phone, and email; thorough knowledge base and tutorials|
- Go to the website where you’ve registered your domain and log into your account.
- Find the DNS editor. It’s like a spreadsheet that tells your visitors what address to go to when they visit your website. You need to change these instructions so that they point to Flywheel.
- To ensure that both the root domain and its www version point to your Flywheel site, it is recommended that you set the value of www.yourdomainname.com to yourdomainname.com, and the value of yourdomainname.com to your Flywheel site IP address.
To find this out, log into your Flywheel control panel and navigate to the Overview The address should be under the Domains tab.
- Use the Flywheel DNS Health Checker to verify that you’ve done everything correctly.
If you’re looking for more affordable shared hosting, I recommend you check out our list of the top web hosting services right now.
To add an A record to your DNS, log into your GoDaddy account and navigate to the Domain Manager. Browse to the domain name you want to modify and then click on Domain Settings.
Under Additional Settings, select Manage DNS. This will take you to the DNS management page. Scroll down to the bottom of the Records area and select Add A record.
- In the Host field, write the A record name that you want to link to. GoDaddy gives you the option to just insert @ if you want it to point to the root version of your domain.
- The Points to field should be set to your website’s IP address.
- Click Save.
Log into your WordPress account. On the right side, click the arrow on the Upgrades drop-down menu and select Domains. Then, enter the name of the domain/subdomain and click Add.
To complete the process, you also have to point GoDaddy’s nameserver to resolve to WordPress. Follow the steps above, but at question 3, instead of adding A record, you should add Nameserver instead. Then, use these nameservers: ns1.wordpress.com, ns2.wordpress.com, and ns3.wordpress.com.
If you don’t have a domain name yet, our list of the best domain registrars is a good place to get started.