GoDaddy is widely known thanks to its ubiquitous adverts. So what exactly does this company offer? Well, beyond doing a whole lot of advertising, GoDaddy provides web hosting, sells domain names and – hardly surprising – runs its own website builder.
Frankly speaking, GoDaddy has never been among our favorite website builders. Too clumsy and blatantly salesly, it didn’t inspire confidence. But things have changed a bit since our latest review. The GoDaddy builder has survived a major overhaul. In an attempt to address the lack of coherence and other issues, the creators of the platform released what seems like an entirely new product – GoDaddy v7.
Is it any better than its predecessors? Let’s find out.
#1 Ease of Use
The GoDaddy homepage is still very erratic and displays too many links and blocks of content. Once you have found the link to their builder, you’ll have to sign up to GoDaddy and enter your credit card info to start your website.
The good news is that you’ll be eventually redirected to the completely new builder. The new editor is well-organized and offers more control over the creative process. The site editing interface shows the front-end look of your site with a floating toolbar showing page elements that you can add to your site.
To add a widget to your website, simply select and drag it to the page. Once it is positioned, you can perform further edits relevant to the chosen object.
Because the new builder offers more freedom, it can be difficult to align elements perfectly. To be sure they’re aligned well, turn on grids.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
The website builder is meant for creating simple websites, such as portfolios, basic business websites and alike. In our opinion, it offers enough tools to set up a decent website. Here are some of the included widgets: slideshow, photo gallery, navigation, form, Google Maps, audio player, button, shape, HTML code embed etc.
The full-packed plan (Business Plus) includes SEO Wizard designed to help you optimize your site mainly through updating your copy using suggested keywords based on the information you provide about your business, your specialization, and location. It will also make sure your homepage has an H1 headline and description. In general, the Wizard isn’t really impressive.
When you publish your website, GoDaddy automatically creates a mobile version of it. It doesn’t require any extra steps on your part. The feature is included in the Business and Business plus plans. The mobile version can be slightly customized, specifically, you can hide/unhide certain elements. Please note that GoDaddy creates a separate mobile version of your site, while most site builders choose to go with responsive design. The Personal plan has no mobile optimization solutions.
GoDaddy Commerce comes as a separate offering and isn’t included in any plan. Here are some of the key features:
- unlimited products;
- up to 10 images per product;
- custom message option;
- flexible shipping rates;
- accept credit cards and PayPal;
- coupon codes;
- secure checkout;
- Facebook store and some others.
The new GoDaddy offers a library of beautiful, modern themes. Themes are grouped into eighteen categories, from Business and Travel to Music and Pets. They’re great, but there’s a drawback – similar to Wix and Moonfruit, the builder doesn’t provide the possibility to swap themes.
Be aware that if you change the theme, you lose all of your content and have to start over again. This is mainly because of the editing freedom it provides. Weebly, for instance, also supports drag-and-drop, but it limits the area where you can position chosen elements. By doing so they let users switch themes many times until they find the optimal design.
#4 Customer Support
GoDaddy support is available online and on the phone. As for their knowledge base, it could be more logical. It gathers results for all their web hosting products, so finding answers can be a nightmare.
#5 Pricing Policy
The entire web service looks really salesly and it doesn’t seem to respect its customers. ‘Special offers’, discounts and other ‘recommended for you’ messages are everywhere. There’s always something on sale. It’s pretty annoying. We find this policy inappropriate.
The biggest disappointment is that GoDaddy doesn’t allow free sign ups or some kind of trial account program like that of Squarespace. If you want to try out the services of GoDaddy, you have to sign up for a paid account.
Like most site builders, GoDaddy offers three plan levels. The plans are differentiated based on the number of available themes (50; 300; 300), disk space (1 GB, 10 GB, 50 GB), bandwidth (150 GB, 500 GB, 1000 GB), email account storage, mobile optimization and other features. None of the plans include online store.
eCommerce functionality is advertised separately and costs $29.99/month. There’s a free 30-day trial, but you still have to enter your credit card info to sign up for it. At the end of your free trial you’ll be automatically billed $29.99 ‘plus applicable taxes’ for a monthly Premium Online Store plan.
When you select a plan, pay attention to the extras that GoDaddy usually adds to its bills. Whatever you’re buying from them, they state that You qualified for multiple money-saving offers! turning your $9 cost into $99. Just be prepared for the company’s upselling.
It’s needlessly complicated. It makes you commit to the Business and Business Plus plans for features you’d normally get free of charge with other site builders (mobile optimization, templates, unlimited bandwidth and more).
GoDaddy Website Builder Review: Conclusion
I’m sure there are people who have managed to build and publish their websites with GoDaddy website builder. Perhaps, they’re completely satisfied with the product. But based on our personal experience and customer testimonials, we can’t recommend this web service.
The new version of the platform is much better, yet it still can’t compete with Weebly, Squarespace and uCoz.
GoDaddy user? Please share your experience in the comments!