Shopify vs GoDaddy (Apr 2021): The Battle of The Online Store Builders

Which Will You Choose?

Are you considering launching an online storefront? With such a vast choice of ecommerce website builders on the market, it's never been easier to create a site and start selling within minutes…without any coding knowledge!

That said, choosing just one of the many platforms vying for your attention can feel like a daunting prospect. So, we're making your life easier by comparing two solutions claiming to be the best of the best: Shopify and GoDaddy.

How do they compare on features? Which provides better value for money?  Which one of the two is easier to use?

We’re taking a deep dive into Shopify and GoDaddy to find out. Hopefully, by the end of this review, you’ll have a better understanding of what each platform offers and which best suits your needs.

We have a lot to cover! So let’s dive into this Shopify vs GoDaddy comparison.

Shopify vs GoDaddy: Who's Shopify?

shopify homepage - shopify vs godaddy

Shopify’s name is often thrown into the ring when it comes to crowning the leading ecommerce platform. This is because Shopify is explicitly designed for ecommerce. As such, it provides everything you need to sell products online, manage your e-store and inventory, and scale your business.

It comes with over 150 eCommerce templates, its own POS app and hardware, and an expansive app store. Here you can extend the functionality of your Shopify store with just a few clicks.

To date, over 800,000 merchants use Shopify to host their online business. They can't all be wrong, right?

Shopify vs GoDaddy: Who's GoDaddy?

godaddy homepage - shopify vs godaddy

Both Shopify and GoDaddy have garnered plenty of attention over the years, but for different reasons. You might know GoDaddy best as a hosting company. But over time, they've expanded their functionalities and now offer a website builder complete with eCommerce tools, making it more of an all-in-one solution.

GoDaddy has assisted over 20 million customers worldwide, providing them with the tools to grow online. But GoDaddy didn’t start out in eCommerce. Instead, they offered domain names and hosting as its leading service…its website builder came later, which has now expanded to include eCommerce features.

Once we compare Shopify's and GoDaddy's functionality in more detail, it's plain to see that GoDaddy is still new to eCommerce and is yet to make it its primary focus.

That said, this shouldn’t dissuade you yet. It's safe to say that GoDaddy comes with a whole host of features that enable you to start selling online, and much more besides…

Shopify vs GoDaddy: Pros and Cons

Nothing illustrates two platforms’ differences better than a head-to-head pro-cons list. This should make it easier to compare where the two excel, and conversely, where they're lacking.

Let’s take a look at Shopify first!

Shopify's Pros 👍

  • Shopify is nearly unrivaled where ecommerce functionality is concerned, with its extensive online selling and store management tools.
  • Shopify integrates with POS systems, making it attractive to brick-and-mortar merchants looking to kickstart an online presence.
  • Shopify is highly scalable. Merchants can start with Shopify's basic plan and easily upgrade to solutions that suit even enterprise-level businesses!
  • All Shopify stores come with a free SSL certificate
  • Shopify integrates with a large number of plugins and third-party services, so you’ll likely not run into any dead-ends where functionality is concerned.
  • Shopify offers excellent customer support.
  • You can manage your store while you're on the go with Shopify’s mobile app.
  • All Shopify themes are sleek and modern. Even without design knowledge, you can get a professional store up and running in no time at all.

Shopify's Cons 👎

  • Shopify doesn’t offer in-depth customization. Instead, its focus is its intuitive store builder.
  • To begin with, its many features can sometimes feel overwhelming. As such, there's a bit of a learning curve while you familiarize yourself with everything the platform has to offer.
  • Shopify charges fees for using third party payment gateways (for instance, PayPal, Apple Pay, Stripe, etc.)
  • More sophisticated store templates are available, but they're pricy.

GoDaddy's Pros 👍

  • GoDaddy is a very affordable option for start-ups.
  • You can test its editor with Godaddy's free version. You can get your website set up and ready without spending a penny, and then upgrade to GoDaddy's eCommerce plan.
  • If you're a service provider, you'll be pleased to hear that easy-to-use appointment management features are available.
  • GoDaddy’s websites come with trusted hosting and domain names.
  • A mobile app is available, so you can edit while you're on the go.
  • You get access to 24/7 customer support.

GoDaddy Cons 👎

  • GoDaddy’s ecommerce features are much more limited than Shopify’s. eCommerce isn't a priority for this editor.
  • Some users complain that GoDaddy doesn't offer much in the way of creative freedom.
  • GoDaddy websites are criticized for not being as visually appealing as other website builders.

Shopify vs GoDaddy: Their Core Features

When choosing an ecommerce platform, nothing is quite as important as its tools for selling, marketing, and managing your store. Each solution comes with robust eCommerce features, but let’s take a look at how comprehensive they really are…

Shopify

Shopify’s Themes and Editor

Do you want your website to look professional, but you lack any experience or know-how when it comes to web design? No problem! Shopify’s selection of free themes makes it easy to get started (there are nine to choose from, which come in a few variants). Just pick the one you like the most and tweak it to suit your brand. All Shopify themes work responsively, meaning your online store will look fab, no matter the device your website visitors use.

As well as its free templates, Shopify also offers 64 premium themes, which are again, available in a number of variants. The price of these paid-for themes ranges anywhere between $100 up to $180.

Alternatively, you can start from scratch with a blank template or upload a custom theme. There's plenty of choices to be had, so you're bound to find an option that suits your needs!

Once you’re satisfied with the theme you’ve chosen, you can use Shopify's in-built editor to preview the look of your e-store in real-time. From there you can use the editor's drag and drop interface to bring your vision to life.

Inventory Management

If you’re looking for a simple way to manage your inventory, Shopify’s inventory tracking feature makes it easy to stay on top of your stock. And thanks to its POS integration you can manage both your online and offline stock from the convenience of one place.

This same feature also enables you to see how much stock you have left and your past inventories, with just a few clicks. Plus, you can also integrate with accounting tools to keep a closer eye on your profit margins. Pretty neat, right?

Store Management

Shopify's store management features enable you to check payments have been received, and that goods are sent out properly. You can also:

  • Choose which payment methods you accept: The good news is that Shopify supports a vast range of payment methods, so setting this up is simple. On top of that, Shopify also offers its own payment processor, Shopify Payments. If you opt for this payment gateway you won't be charged extra fees.
  • Customize your tax settings: You’ll more than likely need to set up any relevant taxes on the products you sell. If you’ve never dealt with tax before it can be daunting. Fortunately, Shopify comes with a sales tax calculator which goes a long way to simplifying the process for you.
  • Add your store policies: You must ensure your policies and customer rights are clearly detailed on your Shopify store. This includes information about refunds, privacy, and terms of service. Shopify makes it simple to include links to this information in the footer of your site.

Shopify’s Marketing Tools

From built-in SEO tools to an easy to navigate blogging engine where you can keep customers up to date, Shopify provides plenty of simple-to-use marketing tools. In terms of ease of use, Shopify's marketing functionality certainly comes up trumps!

For ease, here’s a quick breakdown of all the marketing features Shopify has to offer:

  • Campaign creation
  • Email marketing
  • Google Smart Shopping
  • Facebook Ads
  • Access to a virtual assistant who you can assign tasks to and get marketing tips from
  • You'll receive easy to digest, actionable insights to help you better target your marketing

Reporting and Analytics

If data and graphs are your thing, Shopify will hold great appeal with its reporting dashboard. Here, you can see who’s visiting your site (and when), and you can even see where they’re navigating to on your site. You can also analyze the speed of your website and all your transactions…to name a few.

GoDaddy

GoDaddy’s Themes and Editor

GoDaddy has a good selection of attractive themes up for grabs, with about 100 variants across 22 main themes. With so much choice, you’ll likely find one that suits your industry. And yes, they're all responsive so will work seamlessly on any device.

GoDaddy also suggests themes based on the industry you’re in. This works wonders for narrowing down your options and helping you find the perfect template for your website, quicker.

The suggested template is automatically loaded with industry-relevant stock images, but if you don’t like them, you can easily switch these out for your own photos.

GoDaddy's theme editor is pretty exhaustive, offering hundreds of pre-made sections for you to customize. From content to video, to audio and HTML – you can pretty much edit every facet of your site to make it your own.

Inventory Management

You can track stock levels across multiple sales channels by integrating GoDaddy with whatever online marketplace you're using (i.e., Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc). This will sync your inventory so you can see exactly what items you have available.

GoDaddy also permits customers to place orders even if you’re out of stock by allowing you to create and manage backorders.

Store Management

Managing customer payments, policies and taxes on GoDaddy is less straightforward than it is with Shopify. Unfortunately, there isn’t a dedicated store management page where you can navigate through it all.

Instead, you need to go to the settings tab and work through the different aspects of the setup. This is certainly more time consuming and less user-friendly when compared to Shopify.

GoDaddy’s Marketing Tools

GoDaddy shines when it comes to marketing tools. They have a range of helpful features to help you stand out against the competition, including:

  • It's free to send email marketing and abandoned cart recovery emails
  • You can integrate with social selling and online marketplaces
  • You can send SMS notifications
  • SEO tools
  • You can enable customers to leave product reviews

Reporting and Analytics

GoDaddy Insight comes as part of the web builder and is a one-stop-shop for all things data. The tool analyzes your industry, providing you with helpful, sector-specific recommendations. Just set your business goals and the tool will generate a few actionable points to help you get off to a good start.

You can also easily integrate with Google Analytics to view of how well your website is performing.

Shopify vs GoDaddy – Their Pricing Plans

Like any business investment, you should carefully evaluate the value for money these services provide before signing the dotted line. With that said, let's see how much you'll have to shell out for Shopify and GoDaddy.

We'll start with Shopify

Shopify

shopify pricing - shopify vs godaddy

The Shopify pricing is straightforward if you’re familiar with SaaS. There are four available plans to choose from. The more you're willing to pay, the more features you unlock – simply, right?

There's also a 14-day free trial where you can test the features for yourself before upgrading to one of Shopify's paid-for plans.

Shopify Lite

At just $9 a month, this isn’t an all-inclusive Shopify plan. Rather it's a fabulous option for just adding a store functionality to an existing website. Shopify Lite also comes with a buy button that you can embed onto your website, as well as Facebook and Facebook Messenger selling options.

To create a complete eCommerce store from scratch, you’ll need one of the following plans:

The Basic Shopify Plan ($29 a month)

The Basic Shopify plan is aimed at startups or anyone running a small business. It comes with Shopify's complete online store builder; you can list and sell an unlimited number of products. You also get access to a secure checkout/shopping cart, a POS integration, and web hosting (so there's no need to go to the effort of finding a reliable hosting provider!)

Furthermore, you also get:

  • Social selling features
  • You can register two staff accounts.
  • Access to Shopify apps
  • Marketing tools
  • You can create and use customer discounts and coupon codes.
  • You can connect with four physical locations.
  • Shopify shipping options (with up to a 64% discount)

On this plan, you’ll pay a 2% fee for using third-party payment processors. That said, if you opt for Shopify Payments, you're not charged additional transaction fees. But, to process credit card payments, you’re charged 2.9% + 30 cents on each sale.

The Shopify Plan ($79 a month)

The Shopify plan aims to equip growing businesses with more features. On top of everything in the Basic Shopify package, you unlock:

  • You can register five staff accounts.
  • You can generate professional reports.
  • You can create and sell gift cards.
  • You can connect with up to five physical locations.
  • Access to up to 72% shipping discounts

The transaction fees are also reduced to just 1% when you use third party processors and 2.6% + 30 cents to process online credit card payments.

The Advanced Shopify Plan ($299 a month)

Once you start scaling your business and employing a team, the Advanced Shopify plan may come in handy. You get everything listed above, plus:

  • You can register 15 staff accounts.
  • You get access to the advanced report builder.
  • You can connect with up to eight physical locations.
  • Access to up to 74% shipping discounts

Plus, you’ll pay only pay 0.5% on third-party payment processing and 2.4% + 30 cents for credit card transactions.

GoDaddy

godaddy website builder online store pricing

GoDaddy functions much the same in terms of billing. You make some savings if you choose to bill annually, and as such, those are the prices we've listed below. We have to note that only one plan actually enables you to sell online, so GoDaddy's three previous plans aren't relevant to this comparison (The Basic plan ($9.99 a month), the Standard plan ($14.99 a month), and the Premium Plan ($19.99 a month)).

That said, we want to highlight the fact that GoDaddy offers a freemium program. This allows you to design your website, check out GoDaddy's templates, and see how you get along with its editor. You can set up your entire online store, right down to adding prices and product listings with images and descriptions.

But only once you’ve upgraded to GoDaddy's most expensive package ($24.99 a month), the eCommerce plan can you start selling. For which you get:

  • An SSL certification
  • You can connect a custom domain
  • On-the-go editing with GoDaddy's mobile app
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Guidance and analytics
  • Search engine optimization
  • Unlimited access to social media platforms, social posts, and responses
  • 25,000 email marketing sends per month
  • You can use GoDaddy's content creator to post branded content to your social channels. On the eCommerce plan, you have access to unlimited templates and capabilities.
  • Online appointment management tools (one-time, recurring, group events, and payments for appointments)

And here, more specifically, are the eCommerce features you unlock:

  • Product listings
  • Flexible shipping options
  • Discounts and promotional features

Shopify vs GoDaddy: Which is the Best eCommerce Platform for You?

Now that we're at the end of this GoDaddy and Shopify comparison, you can see there are a whole host of benefits to using either platform. Both enable you to get started for free, offer a decent range of themes, and plenty of marketing tools to help you design and launch your eCommerce business.

But, which is better?

When it comes down to it the true winner depends on your individual preferences. Shopify is ultimately best for those looking to create an online store with a huge range of functions. As such, due to functionality alone, and its scalable payment packages, Shopify is usually the better choice for larger and rapidly expanding businesses.

However, while there’s no denying that GoDaddy is a much simpler platform (largely down to its lack of features in comparison to Shopify) it still has a great deal to offer. This makes it a fantastic option for those wanting a simpler site that can be built from start to finish in a very short timeframe. Not to mention, it's also cheaper. So, if costing is something you’re concerned about GoDaddy could be an excellent choice for you.

If you're still on the fence about GoDaddy and Shopify, the good news is that you don’t have to go in blind. With their free packages/trials, you can take your time and consider your experience with each platform before handing over your hard-earned cash.

Hopefully, our guide has gone some way to helping you make that big decision, but in the end, the choice is yours to match with the size and type of business you’re part of. Or, do you think you'll go for one of their competitors like WordPress with WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, Gocentral, Weebly, or BigCommerce? Whatever you decide, tell us all about it in the comments box below. We'd love to hear from you. Speak soon!

Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to e-commerce platforms, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, G2, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.