1&1 vs GoDaddy Hosting – What You Need To Know in 2019

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Both 1&1 (recently renamed to 1&1 Ionos) and GoDaddy are well-known within the hosting industry, due in part to their large marketing budgets and for GoDaddy provocative marketing campaigns.

By looking past the glitz and glamour of their adverts, we can help you answer the question…which provider is better?

In this article, we dive into each service to look at their pricing models, tech-setup, customer support amongst many other things to consider before trusting either one of these companies with your websites future.

Pricing & Packages

Price is typically a factor that is in the forefront of any shopper’s mind. It’s natural to want to maximize value to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. So, let’s take a look at each provider’s Web hosting and WordPress hosting prices.

Also, I’d like to point out that 1and1 offers the exact same prices with basic, mid-tier, and advanced hosting packages for both Web and WordPress hosting.

The following outlines 1&1’s WordPress hosting:

  • Basic – $0.99 per month
  • Plus – $4.99 per month
  • Unlimited – $8.99 per month

The following outlines GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting:

  • Basic – $3.99 per month
  • Deluxe – 43.99 per month
  • Ultimate – $7.99 per month
  • Developer – $13.99 per month

The following outlines 1&1’s Web hosting:

  • Basic – $0.99 per month
  • Plus – $4.99 per month
  • Unlimited Pro – $8.99 per month

The following outlines GoDaddy’s Web hosting:

  • Basic – $2.49 per month
  • Deluxe – $4.99 per month
  • Ultimate – $7.99 per month
  • Maximum – $14.99 per month

On the whole, I was pleased with each providers pricing, and think that these pricing models aren’t only affordable and inexpensive, but also a good value.

Especially if you consider the discounted rates for the first subscription term. And while the prices for renewed subscriptions are fair, I dislike the way each provider hikes up the monthly cost.

This, to me, seems gimmicky. Do you think that a year after you subscribe you’re going to remember that the service is going to cost significantly more? I doubt most people would remember.

This tactic is similar to free services who count on customers forgetting to cancel their subscriptions, and then automatically billing them at a higher rate. Even though the first year is discounted, I really dislike this feature of the pricing models.

If you notice on either provider’s website, the fact that the price increases after one subscription term is written in very tiny fine print. I’m sure they put it in fine print because it increases conversions, but to me, it doesn’t feel like a very honest and trustworthy thing to do.

Furthermore, note that GoDaddy costs significantly more, not only with the first year’s subscription but also with regards to the increased price after the first subscription term.

While I wasn’t very pleased with their marketing and pricing tactics, I do have to award the pricing victory to 1&1.

Free Trial Accounts

I wasn’t surprised regarding a trial account because free trials are often advertised on any given provider’s website in a big, bold, technicolor font. Since I didn’t see any free trial advertisements popping out at me, I had to do some digging.

As I expected, 1&1 does not offer a free trial account – not really. Basically, you effectively get a 30-day money back guarantee, and although it isn’t desirable as a truly free trial with no strings attached, is at least something.

1&1 has the following to say about free trial accounts on their Account & Billing page:

Try out your 1&1 package for 30 days. Not satisfied? No problem. With our 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee you will be reimbursed for all costs incurred. You do not need to give a reason for canceling, and we guarantee your money back immediately (monthly fees and setup fee). The 30-day trial begins when you place your order.

Conversely, GoDaddy does have a true one-month free trial. But what I like about it best is that you don’t need a credit card!

When any service offers a free trial without the need of payment card data, the amount of respect I have for that service skyrockets, because they’re forgoing the use of marketing tactics that prey on basic human nature, such as forgetting to cancel a subscription.

However, do be aware that if you forget to pay before the one month period expires, your site would be unavailable until you decided to commit to a subscription.

The free trial offers GoCentral Website Builder as a way to stitch together a free site, and it promises to guide you through the process in under an hour. If you want my honest opinion, creating a quality website take much longer than an hour.

But for simple websites for a mom & pop type store, small business, or a freelance photographer wishing to showcase samples online, it’s a great place to start.

Features and Benefits: Web Hosting

Unlike the WordPress hosting packages, which we’ll discuss next, I found the Web Hosting packages to be much more comparable.

First off, I’d like to point out that both services’ web hosting packages include a free domain. Secondly, note that the storage is also equal between both providers.

The Basic version of each service offers a mere 100GB of storage. Then, if you wish to upgrade to a higher level plan, each service offers unlimited storage, which I thought was a massive addition of value over the Basic plans.

Furthermore, the number of websites you can build is even as well. Each provider only allows one website per Basic plan subscription, but once you upgrade to the mid or pro-tier packages, you are allowed unlimited websites.

With regards to memory, however, things start to vary. GoDaddy simply doesn’t offer anywhere near the amount of memory offered by 1&1. For perspective, consider that 1&1’s Basic plan offers 512MB more memory than GoDaddy’s Maximum plan.

To be completely honest though, among all of these different packages, I see the most value with 1&1’s Unlimited Pro service. Why do I think it’s the most valuable service between both providers?

Well, the Unlimited Pro comes with a feature called SiteLock, which is an add-on service you would have to pay for if it weren’t bundled in with 1&1’s service. Basically, SiteLock is a third-party service that helps secure your website.

To be fair, it does only come with the Basic SiteBlock version, but I still see value in this feature. SiteLock will scan your pages to identify any potential malware threats. Additionally, it comes with a Bad Bot Blocking feature.

The basic version’s value of $5 per month. When considering that the Unlimited Pro costs $8.99 per month for the first 12 months and then $14.99 thereafter and it has 6GB of RAM, I think it’s a great deal.

The following outlines 1&1’s Web hosting:

  • Basic –  1 website, a free domain, 2.5GB RAM, 100GB storage, 25 databases, 500 email accounts, and an SSL wildcard certificate
  • Plus – unlimited websites, a free domain, 6GB RAM, unlimited storage, unlimited databases, unlimited email accounts, and an SSL wildcard certificate
  • Unlimited Pro – unlimited websites, a free domain, 6GB RAM, unlimited storage, unlimited databases, unlimited email accounts, an SSL wildcard certificate, SiteLock Basic, and a CDN with Railgun

The following outlines GoDaddy’s Web hosting:

  • Basic – 1 website, 100GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, 1-year free business email, and a free domain
  • Deluxe – 1 CPU, 512MB RAM, unlimited websites, unlimited storage, unlimited subdomains, free SSL certificate for one year, free premium DNS, and unlimited databases
  • Ultimate – 2 CPUs, 1GB RAM, unlimited websites, unlimited storage, and unlimited
  • Maximum – twice the power and memory of the Ultimate plan, twice the maximum site traffic, and a free SSL certificate for the duration of your subscription

If you simply don’t know what you’re doing with regards to security (be it a lack of knowledge or a lack of planning), I’d recommend the Unlimited Pro version of 1&1.

I absolutely love the SiteLock feature, and it could save you a ton of time, hassles, and headaches. Websites are compromised by malware every day, and an infiltrated website could break trust with your audience and give your brand a terrible reputation.

How highly would your potential customers and audience think of you if your website gave them a virus, malware, or compromised their data? Probably not too high, and it takes a tremendous amount of work to regain their trust if it is lost in the first place.

Features and Benefits: WordPress Hosting

All of 1&1’s hosting packages came with security features, including an SSL wildcard certificate, geo-redundancy, DDOS protection, data recovery, a pre-live staging.

In fact, I couldn’t believe they would give those security features away with even the basic package, which is a mere $0.99 cents per month for the first 12 months.

I was surprised to see that 1&1 offers a drastically larger amount of storage space than GoDaddy, and more websites as well.

For instance, note that the most advanced GoDaddy plan only offers 50GB of storage and five websites. The Basic 1&1 plan can match GoDaddy’s most advanced package with 50GB of storage, and the 1&1 Plus plan allows for five websites.

Furthermore, I really didn’t like GoDaddy’s storage limitations with the Basic and Deluxe packages, which only offer 10GB and 15GB of storage, respectively.

I think that the first GoDaddy package that really adds value is the Ultimate plan, because it offers anti-malware, yet still only has 30GB of storage.

Conversely, the first 1&1 package that adds value is its second-tier Plus plan, which is cheaper than GoDaddy’s Ultimate plan. But there are other hosting providers like SiteGround or Bluehost which we compared in our earlier articles.

The following outlines 1&1’s WordPress hosting:

  • Basic – 1 website, 50GB SSD storage, 1 SSD database, unlimited visitors and email accounts, 20 FTP accounts, and a free domain for 12 months
  • Plus – 5 websites, 250GB SSD storage, 5 SSD databases, unlimited visitors and email accounts, 20 FTP accounts, a free domain for 12 months, and SiteLock Basic
  • Unlimited – unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, unlimited SSD databases, unlimited visitors and email accounts, unlimited FTP accounts, a free domain for 12 months, and SiteLock Basic

The following outlines GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting:

  • Basic – 1 website, 10GB storage, sFTP, and suitability for approximately 25,000 monthly visitors
  • Deluxe – 1 website, 15GB storage, sFTP and SSH access, suitability for approximately 100,000 monthly visitors, search engine visibility wizard tool, and site staging for testing
  • Ultimate – 2 websites, 30GB storage, sFTP and SSH access, suitability for approximately 400,000 monthly visitors, search engine visibility wizard tool, site staging for testing, anti-malware, and a free SSL certificate for the first year
  • Developer – 5 websites, 50GB storage, sFTP and SSH access, suitability for approximately 800,000 monthly visitors, free domain with an annual plan, and one-click site staging

Privacy, Security, and Headquarters Considerations

I would like to take a moment to discuss where each service is headquartered. Before I begin, I want you to be aware that I don’t think either service is nefarious or compromised by a higher power, but there are undoubtedly security concerns of which you should be aware.

It has become common for security purists to avoid digital services based in the United States. For that matter, some people go on step further and avoid digital services based in New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

There are two reasons for this practice. First of all, after Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the US NSA, citizens felt that their privacy was violated.

After all, the NSA was caught wiretapping domestic citizens through backdoors installed into many popular domestic firms, including gargantuan brand name companies like Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.

Not only was the NSA collecting phone call data, it even had (or has) the capability to see individual pictures sent as attachments.

That’s certainly one reason to be distrustful of services based in the US, but GoDaddy and 1&1 didn’t make the list.

People avoid US services not because all US-based businesses were compromised by the NSA, but because there is a chance they have been coerced into complying with the federal government, and some people just don’t to take the risk.

To make matters worse, the US entered into the FiveEyes intelligence sharing the policy with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, so some people extend their distrust of digital services to those countries as well.

Unfortunately for security purists, GoDaddy is based in Phoenix, Arizona. 1&1, on the other hand, is headquartered in Montabaur, Germany. From the view of a borderline conspiracy theorist, or anyone who distrusts the federal government, 1&1 is the obvious choice.

I don’t really think that either service has been coerced, but you can’t take security too seriously. The last thing anyone wants is a website that’s been compromised.

Customer Service & Support

I must say, I was rather impressed with each service’s customer support department, though I do think GoDaddy has a competitive advantage, as we’ll shortly discuss. But first, let’s take a look at 1&1’s customer support department.

One unique feature that I haven’t seen with other services is a callback service. You can enter your phone number into a text field on the support page, and then when the support department has an opportunity to reach you, they’ll call you.

I think this feature is absolutely brilliant and simple and should have been implemented by support departments decades ago. Imagine the millions of unhappy customers who could have been spared the agony of waiting in a phone queue. So great job, 1&1!

In addition, it’s possible to contact the support department by calling them toll-free or reaching out through a live chat system. I wasn’t overly impressed with the knowledge base though. While it is well organized, I didn’t care for some of the articles because some lacked visual content.

But on the whole, I thought they did a good job providing customer support. GoDaddy, on the other hand, has a feature that I adore.

Believe it or not, GoDaddy actually has regional support, meaning that you’ll be able to work with someone who speaks your language as their native tongue, and who keeps the same hours as you.

Offering regional support makes it much easier to successfully communicate and relate to the support representatives, which eliminates a lot of hassle.

I was displeased to find that some regions don’t offer 24/7 support. For instance, Polish customer support is only available from 9:00 – 18:00. But for larger countries like the US, the UK, Singapore, and other locations, support is available 24/7.

The knowledgebase is laid out in an organized manner, and the quality of the guides was above average. I was happy to see that they took screenshots to offer visual cues to further aid customers.

Furthermore, there is a community page which offers forums and AMA (Ask Me Anything) events. The forums have thousands of posts organized into different general categories like managing domains, domain transfers, cPanel hosting, and many other related topics.

It is very active and topical, and I liked that it also has a “Top Answers” section. All in all, the community section is rich with content and chock full of helpful information that could negate the need of contacting a support agent in the first place.

To put it bluntly, GoDaddy has a much more extensive customer support department than 1&1 and offers regional support. So, I have to award GoDaddy the victory with regards to customer support.

Conclusion and Editor’s Choice

To wrap things up, GoDaddy certainly seems to be the more popular provider, and for good reason. It has had edgy marketing campaigns and is the older, more established service. But which one is really the better provider?

Personally, I think 1&1 can give GoDaddy a run for its money, and there were a lot of things I liked about 1&1’s plans.

First and foremost, note that 1&1 is the cheaper of the two providers. I don’t think GoDaddy’s plans were over-priced, but be aware that you can save several bucks a month by opting for 1&1.

I also liked the fact that 1&1 is based outside the United States. To be fair, I think GoDaddy has superior customer service, so if being based in the US is not an issue for you and you want regional customer service, GoDaddy is perfectly suitable.

But all in all, 1&1 offers more storage space and more RAM than the comparable GoDaddy packages. Oh, and it costs less too. More hardware for less money…what’s not to love?

Last but not least, if you’re still not sure, I highly recommend taking advantage of the free trial. With either service, you have 30 days to decide if you want to commit to a full term subscription.