GoDaddy Review: Is The GoDaddy Website Builder Right For You?
You’re probably familiar with GoDaddy thanks to its infamous advertising campaigns, but did you know they offer a lot more than website hosting? With the GoDaddy website builder you can create a website and include their other services like domain registration, site hosting, email services and other add-ons to your website needs. Our GoDaddy review tells it all!
One thing to note if you do choose to go with this company for your site hosting needs: the checkout will give you sticker shock if you’re not careful. As you add inexpensive products to your basket and click “check out”, you’ll be taken to an upsell page that’s jam-packed with add-ons. If you simply glance at the total in your shopping cart, you’ll probably fall out of your chair. Fortunately, you can easily uncheck all the “great money saving discounts” the site touts and get back to whatever it is you wanted to purchase in the first place.
- Plans & Pricing
- GoDaddy is Ideal for…
- Templates & Design
- Mobile Optimization
- Templates & Design
- Ease of Use
- In Conclusion
Summary: The GoDaddy Site Builder Tool
GoDaddy’s site builder tool can be bundled with the purchase of a domain name, or purchased separately. The company offers three hosting plans: personal, business and business plus. They do not offer free website hosting.
You can either use one of the many templates provided by GoDaddy, or hire a professional designer to build a website for you. The personal account level offers 50 simple site templates, while the business-level accounts give you access to 300 templates. Templates for business websites run the gamut from the typical “we’re a serious business” abstract style template to templates appropriate for pet stores, retail stores, crafters and more.
You’ll be able to see all of your website statistics on the free interface that comes with your website account. The site tracks visits, visitors, average time on site and all of the usual statistics site owners need to improve their online presence.
If you’re interested in opening an ecommerce shop, GoDaddy may not be a great fit for your needs. The site can accommodate HTML buttons from third-party applications such as PayPal, but it does not offer a robust shopping cart for a serious ecommerce business. For the same price per month, you’d be better served by GoDaddy competitors such as Shopify or Bigcommerce.
Comparison of GoDaddy Hosting Plans
GoDaddy offers three Hosting Plans:
- Personal: Priced at $5.99 per month, this is the least expensive option, but also the most limited option, so it might not be a good fit for a business. It includes 1 GB of disk space and 150 GB of bandwidth. GoDaddy provides you with 50 free templates to use to build your website. The Personal option is not optimized for mobile viewing. You do get a free domain name if you pay upfront for annual hosting.
- Business: This is the first tier for business hosting. It costs $9.99 per month and offers a free domain name with purchase. The Business plan includes 10 GB of disk space and 500 GB bandwidth. The service offers 300 templates to choose from with many common small business categories such as technology, pets, medical, retail, and more. Business sites are optimized for mobile viewing. You can have any number of pages on a Business site.
- Business Plus: The Business Plus plan is the most robust of all three plans and costs $14.99 per month. It includes everything in the Business plan such as 300 templates, a free domain name and unlimited pages, but increases the amount of storage space to 50 GB of disk space and 1,000 GB bandwidth. The added features include search engine optimization assistance, an automated tool from GoDaddy that helps you choose keywords and incorporate them into your website effectively to garner a higher position in search engine results. It also includes a social media manager and a free added SSL certificate. SSL is a security service that helps keep transactions on your website private. It is normally a $69.99 fee from GoDaddy.
For those interested in internet retail stores, you’ll need to add a separate Online Store to your GoDaddy site hosting plan. That’s going to increase your monthly bill by $9.99 for a basic online store. This is why GoDaddy’s site builder isn’t the best option for online retail, but may be just fine for a service-based business.
Is It Right for My Business?
GoDaddy’s website builder may be fine for a small startup business or a service-based business that simply needs a good, basic website. The unlimited page count is a great feature, and the bandwidth available for your site should be fine for most basic business needs.
However, be careful about using the Personal plan for a business account. Mobile site design is no longer optional for a business website; if your site doesn’t look great on a smartphone or tablet screen, you’re going to lose customers. Go for the Business package even though it is more expensive if you choose GoDaddy for your site hosting.
Internet business owners would probably be better served by one of GoDaddy’s competitors. Paying extra for a Store, SSL and a robust shopping cart as we all as payment processing with other vendors is going to increase your costs quickly. As for the search engine optimization tool, while we didn’t test it, there are many free online tools that can help you with your SEO needs just as easily.
Templates and Design
One plus for GoDaddy’s website hosting tool is their variety of templates and the intuitive, easy to use design tool. If you’ve ever built a free website before on Wix or Weebly, you’ll recognize the same toolbars and features on the GoDaddy site. You’ll probably get the hang of it in no time at all.
While it’s just three steps to building your website, be careful with step one, choosing a theme. GoDaddy’s tool doesn’t let you change your template easily. If you do decide at a later date to change your template, you’ll lose all of the text and photos you’ve uploaded to the prior template. It erases it and makes you start over. You may wish to write your website text in a document and copy and paste it into the website builder so that you always have a record of the text used in your website.
After choosing your service and paying for it, you’ll be prompted to enter a domain name, and then taken to the site template selector. There are 300 templates on the Business plan sites, and you may need to hunt through them all to find the perfect one for your business. Select your template, and then move into the design phase.
You can add up to three levels of navigation on the site, which is usually plenty for most business needs. You’ll be prompted to enter your business contact information into the site builder tool, which it will use to populate your new site design.
There’s a one-minute video you can watch online which will walk you through the basics of the tool. As with most of GoDaddy’s training videos, it’s pretty good, and will go over the basics with you so that you can start creating your site quickly.
You can either drag and drop your page elements into place or click on the toolbar to add them. Snap-to guides appear on the page to help you line up your pictures and text. If you add new pages, they appear as blank pages. You will have to add elements to them such as title bars and text boxes.
The undo/redo feature is excellent and will let you easily correct mistakes or duplicate elements with the touch of the mouse.
The templates include some free stock photos to use, but if you want to upload your own photos you can easily upload them and edit them later in GoDaddy’s site builder. The site uses Aviary, a common photo editing software found on many tablets, computers and other website tools. If you’ve used one photo editing software, you’ll quickly understand Aviary’s simple instructions and intuitive design.
You can preview your website before publishing it. Once you do publish it, a dialogue box prompts you to share it on Twitter or Facebook. GoDaddy backs up your website automatically, which is also a great feature for busy business owners.
Only the Business and Business Plus plans offer mobile optimization. You don’t need to do anything special during the design process. The templates themselves automatically optimize for mobile viewing when you use Business-level plans.
Ease of Use
GoDaddy’s site builder tool has come a long way in the past few years from its original clunky design. The new intuitive drag and drop interface, combined with commonly used tools such as Aviary’s photo editor, make it very easy for novices to use.
Pricing & Support
GoDaddy is notorious for offering very low entry-level discounts with full price renewals. When you visit their site, you’ll be prompted with many offers to encourage you to purchase their services and add more and more into your shopping cart. The initial prices, even at full price, are actually quite reasonable and on par with similar site hosting products available elsewhere.
As for GoDaddy’s support, some people love it, some hate it. They offer live chat or telephone support. The telephone support often suffers from long waiting times on hold to get an operator, but once you do, they are knowledgeable and friendly, and can solve most problems over the phone for you.
Should You Try GoDaddy’s Site Builder?
GoDaddy’s website hosting and site builder tool offer solid products at a reasonable fee. Although there are many choices for business owners, if you want a simple package that includes a domain name and site hosting, this may be a fine entry level product to try.