WP Engine and Go Daddy are two completely different types of hosting companies. They both host WordPress, but thats about the extent of their similarities. You will find differences in their company’s size and scope, types of plans, control panel design, WordPress management, site performance, and technical support.
1. Company Information
WP Engine and Go Daddy are very different companies. WP Engine is a much smaller, narrower focused company that makes premium managed WordPress websites available to small and enterprise business. Go Daddy is an extremely large, broadly focused company that makes hosting packages of all types available to everyone.
WP Engine was founded in 2010, they have over 35 employees, and they are located in Austin, Texas. They host over 110,000 installations of WordPress. They have 6 datacenters spread throughout the world.
WP Engine is a WordPress ONLY host. They manage your WordPress site from end to end. For the most part, only serious WordPress site owners take advantage of the managed service, because of it’s premium cost.
Go Daddy was founded in 1997, they have over 3400 employees, and they are located in Scottsdale, Arizona. They currently have over 11 million customers and host 55 million domains. Their datacenters are located in Arizona, Iowa, California, Colorado, Washington, D.C., and India.
Go Daddy can host WordPress, but that’s only one of many packages they offer. You don’t get a managed website, but it is relatively inexpensive.
2. Plans and Pricing
The main difference between WP Engine and Go Daddy is that Wp Engine builds all of their servers specifically for WordPress installations and Go Daddy runs hundreds of different application types on theirs. Another major difference is the price. You will pay more for the premium managed WordPress site at WP Engine, but you will get plenty of space and traffic before you have to upgrade. Go Daddy is a more affordable choice, you don’t get the premium managed site, but you do get plenty of plan features.
- Personal – $29.00/Month for 1 WordPress install, 25,000 visits/Mo., 10GB storage, and unlimited data transfer.
- Professional – $99.00/Month for 10 WordPress installs, 100,000 visits/Mo. 20GB storage, and unlimited data transfer
- Business – $249.00/Month for 25 WordPress installs, 400,000 visits/Mo. 30GB storage, and unlimited data transfer
- Premium – Custom plan and price – Unlimited WordPress installs and visits per month.
Discounts for paying upfront
- Pre pay for one year and get 2 months of your hosting for free!
- Economy – $2.99/Month unlimited bandwidth, 1 website, 100GB, 10 Databases, 100 Email Addresses.
- Deluxe – $4.49/Month unlimited bandwidth, websites, and disk space. 25 databases, 500 email address.
- Ultimate – $9.99/Month unlimited bandwidth, websites, disk space, databases, and email address.
- Entry plan Economy – $23.99/Month 40GB storage and 1TB bandwidth.
- Top plan Ultimate – $149.99/Month 240GB storage and 8TB bandwidth.
- Entry plan Economy – $89.99/Month 160GB storage and 5TB bandwidth.
- Top plan – $249.99/Month 1 TB storage and 15GB bandwidth.
Discounts for paying upfront
- Shared Hosting 50% OFF
- VPS: 10% Off 12 Months, 20% Off 24 Months.
- Dedicated: 10% Off 12 Months, 20% Off 24 Months.
3. Control Panel and User Experience
With WP Engine and Go Daddy you get two very different types of user experiences. WP Engine is a minimal control panel that gives you access to the essential tools to manage your WordPress installations. Go Daddy has a broad control panel with sub control panels for each of it’s tools and you can manage any type of website you own including WordPress.
Accessing the control panel at WP Engine is easy because it’s at the top of their homepage. Once you log in you can manage your users, settings, domains, CDN, URL redirection, backups, see error logs, and use phpMyAdmin.
There is very little guess work involved with finding the tools you need at WP Engine. Because it’s such a simple control panel, everything is pretty straightforward.
With Go Daddy you’re in for a bit of complexity with their control panel. While Go Daddy does have a ton of different options, each one has it’s own unique control panel. Navigating through each of these different control panels can be confusing.
Depending on how many tools you use, you could get lost in all of their different control panels. I have found it to be pretty troublesome when you need to get something done, it can slow you down.
4. Installing and Managing WordPress
Installation and manage is very different between WP Engine and Go Daddy. WP Engine accounts come with WordPress installed when you sign up and management tools are all accessible from the control panel. Go Daddy offers easy one-click installation of WordPress via Hosting Connection application and each tool is accessible through their control panel.
Since WordPress comes preinstalled, any changes can be made by logging into your account and accessing the tools in the control panel.
Managing your installation is very simple, you have access to phpMyAdmin, backups, SFTP, and more. Upgrading or redesign can be done using a staged version of your site which you can build out in a just a few clicks.
Installing WordPress is easy. You can use the 1-click installer to install WordPress easily or you can use the manual method to install it.
Using their 1-click installer, Hosting Connection is pretty simple and straightforward, you won’t run into any server compatibility errors. Like with any other host, I prefer to install WordPress using the manual install method. This way I have more control over the database creation.
Managing WordPress is simple. You get access to file manager, FTP and the databases, so you can make any changes you need to.
I only have data for WP Engine. Go Daddy may very well have fast WordPress servers, but I do not currently have any data to share.
Since I can not compare WP Engine directly to Go Daddy, It’s helpful to explain just how fast they are using other hosts’ averages. Most of our websites have an average response time of around 600ms to 1.4seconds (these are hosts spread across multiple hosts and platforms). WP Engine has an average response time of 600ms over the past two years which is very fast.
Their uptime has been outstanding as well. Most hosts have an average uptime of around 99.5% to around 99.99%. WP Engine has an average uptime time of 99.95% in the past two years.
6. Technical Support
This may be the only section in which I prefer Go Daddy. WP Engine has decent support, but I have found Go Daddy to be easier to get a hold of.
You can contact WP Engine using ticket system or phone. The phone system works pretty well, but they ask you to use it for Emergencies only.
The ticket system could be better. When I was ready to migrate my site back from a staging environment, it took them a day to get back to me. I’m not sure how long it would have taken, because I sent out a Tweet asking them why I had not heard back. They responded quickly after that, but it took my making it public to get the response. The response to my ticket was very thorough and on point.
The main reason I appreciate Go Daddy’s support more is because there is no fuss about when I can or can not call technical support. No issue is too small or big, just call. Sounds better to me.
The ticket system was better, but only by a little. I received a response in 13 hours and I didn’t have to send out a tweet to get my problem looked at. So they were ~11 hours quicker than WP Engine.
In most aspects of hosting a WordPress site WP Engine is better. Go Daddy is better technical support, but WP Engine has a better control panel, it’s easier to manage WordPress, and the performance is off-the-charts good. WP Engine and Go Daddy tie in the area of plans and prices simply because they are segmented in totally different parts of the hosting industry.
Steven Johnson, a WP Hosting Reviews senior editor, works from Atlanta and covers all things related to WordPress and Hosting.
He graduated from Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, has managed hosting companies and now builds WordPress and Joomla Websites for small to medium companies full time.