GoDaddy Website Builder Review: Rudimentary, but Good for Some

Of course you’ve heard about them. And your parents know them too. Because for over a decade now, GoDaddy has gone heavy on large-scale promotions, including Super Bowl ads. Consequently, they’ve grown into a powerhouse that not only manages 77 million domains, but also boasts of a customer base that stretches beyond 18 million.

Quite impressive, to say the least. The company’s commitment to domain registration and website hosting is seemingly unquestionable. However, we’re interested in a different thing today- the GoDaddy website builder. Can it possibly match up to the scale of other GoDaddy services? Or should the company simply give up already, and leave website building to the likes of Wix and Squarespace?

Let’s find out….

GoDaddy Website Builder: Overview

So far, GoDaddy is mostly renowned for domain registration. Nevertheless, many people don’t that it’s much more than that. In essence, it’s a dynamic service provider with a range of solutions and tools, including a website builder.

That said, the year 2017 was particularly outstanding because it marked a new chapter for the company and its customers. GoDaddy essentially replaced its rather redundant drag-and-drop editor with a fresh website builder.

The point? Well, the new GoDaddy website builder was basically developed to help you set up a professional site in no time. According to the company, thousands of its individuals have already leveraged the tool to build and publish attractive websites in less than an hour.

Now hang on a minute. Is this possible for ecommerce sites?

Although it offers a distinctive package for personal sites, this builder principally focuses on small business owners and professionals. As a matter of fact, two of its packages come with business functionalities, while an additional one caters exclusively to online stores.

To help you set up everything in the shortest possible time, the GoDaddy Website Builder uses a pretty straightforward approach. Just enter your business details accordingly, and the system will immediately generate a relevant website layout with its corresponding elements. Then you subsequently get to tweak some of the features, plus introduce media and content to personalize your entire site.

The editing process itself capitalizes on a methodology known as swipe-to-style editing. The whole point is to help you swiftly sample multiple designs with one-swipe shifting. And yes, you can also take advantage of drag-and-drop editing to adjust the elements.

Now, combine that with supplementary tools like checkout, mobile shopping cart, mobile site editor, email marketing manager, Facebook integration, payment processor, product editor, and SEO. Admittedly, it now sounds like something you’d be curious to try out for your ecommerce site.

So, let’s go deep into the details to establish if the whole thing is indeed as effective as advertisers make it seem. This GoDaddy Website Builder review covers all the features we’ve tested out in depth, to give you unbiased info about the tool’s strengths and weaknesses, plus its general cost.

GoDaddy Website Builder: Features

Overall Usability

Considering the website builder is reportedly praised for its user-friendliness, I was particularly curious about how things would turn out here.

The signup process, for starters, is quite basic. But, you have to set up a GoDaddy account first before proceeding to adopt the builder. And that only requires typical details like username along with email address, plus a corresponding password. Or alternatively, you can take the much shorter route of registering via your Facebook account.

When you finally land on the website builder, you’ll notice that it’ll start off by requesting for your site’s name and the nature of business. Analyzing such details fundamentally assists the system to come up with ideal site images to kick-start the building process.

Surprisingly simple, don’t you think?

From the resultant website layout, you can begin customizing the site by adding elements. Among other stuff, you’ll be able to see section options like reviews, online ordering, real estate listings, logos and badges, reservations, audio, video, mailing list subscribe, social, sell online, menu or price list, photo gallery, files, content, contact us, calendar, about, plus blog.

So, what functionalities would you have at this point?

Web Design and Editing

Right off the bat, I bet you’ll appreciate the fact that GoDaddy’s website builder looks stylishly modern with a functional minimalistic feel. It launches with a simplistic website preview to give you a general picture of the entire outline.

Well, you might be tempted to jump right into it and attempt in-place editing. But, interestingly, the GoDaddy website editor is not structured like the bulk of its rivals. You won’t be able to format text or adjust any element directly from the main site window- not even resizing, or perhaps dragging and dropping objects.

Instead, the editing procedure begins by clicking on a site object like an image, a textbox, or a header. This will subsequently display a sidebar with the object’s properties, from where you can tweak stuff like image controls, text, captions, and much more.

Ok, I can guess what you’re thinking at this point. And you could be right. That the whole process of switching between the sidebar options and the primary page might feel a bit unfamiliar. Especially since by now, you’re probably used to the alternative standard mode of hovering over objects with the mouse pointer, then consequently customizing them directly from the main page.

Fair enough. But, I can assure you that it takes a relatively short period of time to get accustomed to GoDaddy’s framework. Besides, you might eventually find it to be simpler than the alternative direct approach.

Thankfully, I swiftly learned the ropes, and in no time, I could comfortably manage even large-scale site edits. So, after selecting a suitable site theme, I proceeded to customize the color scheme and font.

Then as I continued moving down the page, I saw the editor introduce several Add buttons on the sides. Clicking on them revealed numerous predesigned site section options.

Apart from supporting sections like Collect Email Subscribers and Reservations, it’s possible to embed complex integrations like E-Commerce, Calendars, and Blogs; typical page elements like Price Lists, Menu, Contact Us and About Us; plus standard containers like Custom HTML Code, Audio Players, Video Players, and Photo Galleries.

Unfortunately, you don’t get advanced sections. The GoDaddy website builder only offers basic options with limited customization capabilities. Although you can edit the size quite extensively, you might face challenges if you attempt things like introducing share buttons, placing image boxes adjacent to text blocks, or resizing videos.

But then again, you could say leaving out such complex functionalities to focus only on the basics has exceedingly facilitated the platform’s user-friendliness. Consequently, you should find it extremely easy to design a decent ecommerce website from the ground up.

Ecommerce

All things considered, ecommerce seems to be the most critical function provided by the website editor. In fact, from the look of things, GoDaddy appears to have prioritized on this over all the other site features.

Why, you ask?

Well, remarkably, GoDaddy attempts to deliver the fundamental online selling features we’ve seen on standard ecommerce platforms. In a way, it almost challenges seasoned ecommerce players in their own game.

One of the most notable tools here is the Add Products dialog, which facilitates comprehensive stock editing and control. Apart from naming your items accordingly, you’ll be able to define normal prices and sale prices, upload relevant images, introduce complementary add-ons, set product options like size and color, determine item tax status, plus provide an SKU for inventory management.

Then to help you optimize your conversion funnel, the GoDaddy website builder sweetens the deal with abandoned cart support. You’ll consequently be able to hunt down cart abandoners via email to compel them to complete their checkout.

You can as well bundle that with GoDaddy’s email campaigns plus subscriber list building capabilities to holistically maximize your prospecting opportunities.

When the resultant customers start trickling in, your store will be able to process transactions through PayPal plus Skype. And while you’re at it, you can also consider capitalizing on GoDaddy’s ability to impose tax based on the applicable legislation.

Quite exciting, I admit. But, it doesn’t end there. The website builder goes beyond that to provide supplementary shipping features. It turns out you can even calculate the final logistical costs based on product dimensions and weight. Or alternatively, place a distinctive shipping price for each item.

Support

While support is crucial when it comes to website building, let’s be honest about this one. It comes with a very basic framework and straightforward processes. Consequently, you might not even need technical support at any point.

However, that notwithstanding, it’s always a good idea to keenly review the available support options. You never know when you might experience a significant technical issue.

For the most part, I bet the knowledge-base is the first place you’d seek answers from. And the GoDaddy Website Builder has a reasonably sized one, which is loaded with relevant detailed support pieces. It usually opens in a separate browser to avoid interfering with your work.

But, if that doesn’t pan out, you can get in touch with GoDaddy’s agents through its phone support channel. And the best thing about this is that the company has set up an expansive network of call centers spread across the globe, some of which are accessible 24/7.

Ultimately, you should be able to get through in a matter of seconds after keying in details like user number, phone number, and support PIN.

GoDaddy Website Builder: Pricing

Considering GoDaddy is a dynamic company with a wide range of web solutions, it would be understandable if the pricing schedule was rather complex with numerous staggered plans. However, I was pleased that it turned out to be the opposite- simple and well-organized.

Basically, all the features have been grouped into four plans- Personal, Business, Business Plus, and Online Store.

The cheapest here is the Personal package, which- as the name suggests- is tailored for personal websites. Business, on the other hand, offers features for building typical sites for businesses that only need an online presence, while the Business Plus is ideal for users who need extra appointment booking functionalities.

That said, ecommerce merchants have only one option- the Online Store plan. All the ecommerce features we’ve discussed are bundled here to facilitate smooth selling of products and services.

  • Personal£4.99 per month, billed annually as £59.88
  • SSL security
  • Build a blog
  • 24/7 support
  • Rapid Page-Load performance
  • Web hosting
  • Responsive mobile design
  • Business£6.99 per month, billed annually as £83.88
  • SSL security
  • Build a blog
  • 24/7 support
  • Rapid Page-Load performance
  • Web hosting
  • Responsive mobile design
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Donate or PayPal Buy Now button
  • Business Plus£10.99 per month, billed annually as £131.88
  • SSL security
  • Build a blog
  • 24/7 support
  • Rapid Page-Load performance
  • Web hosting
  • Responsive mobile design
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Donate or PayPal Buy Now button
  • Client management tools for payment history, appointment, contact info, etc.
  • Two-way calendar syncing with iCal, Outlook, and Google
  • Appointment bookings with Square and PayPal credit card processing
  • Share content to Facebook
  • Social Media Integration
  • Google My Business
  • Email Marketing
  • Online Store £19.99 per month, billed annually as £239.88
  • SSL security
  • Build a blog
  • 24/7 support
  • Rapid Page-Load performance
  • Web hosting
  • Responsive mobile design
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Donate or PayPal Buy Now button
  • Client management tools for payment history, appointment, contact info, etc.
  • Two-way calendar syncing with iCal, Outlook, and Google
  • Appointment bookings with Square and PayPal credit card processing
  • Share content to Facebook
  • Social Media Integration
  • Google My Business
  • Email Marketing
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Product reviews and social referrals
  • Offer discounts and promotions
  • Configure shipping and tax rates
  • Manage products, inventory and orders
  • Accept credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, etc
  • Full-featured online store

Going by the standard rates we’ve seen on other ecommerce site builders, I’d say that GoDaddy is reasonably priced. Plus, you get a 30-day free trial period with each plan. But get this- although what’s primarily outlined is the monthly pricing, GoDaddy will actually bill you on an annual basis.

Who Should Consider Using GoDaddy Website Builder?

Evidently, the GoDaddy Website Builder is not an ordinary site building platform. It goes beyond the parameters of a standard builder to provide extra features for creating a decent business or ecommerce site. In a way, it fits the description of a personal site builder as well as a basic online store builder.

Therefore, all things considered, it’s ideal for pretty much anyone who considers creating a regular site, professionals and organizations that need a web presence, individuals seeking to sell online, plus small business owners who’d be comfortable with basic ecommerce features.