What is GoDaddy and is it right for building your website?
If you’ve ever showed even the slightest inkling of interest in building your own website, you’ve almost certainly come across GoDaddy—and with good reason too. They’ve become somewhat of a household name as the largest domain registrar in the world, with more than 62 million registered domains under the GoDaddy banner.
Aside from domains, GoDaddy provides a full suite of digital services, including hosting and their Website Builder.
Psst—just as an aside—if you need a .CA domain, we can help you search out the perfect one for your site!
So, why build your website with GoDaddy? What does the ideal GoDaddy customer look like? Well, the GoDaddy Website builder tends to be geared mainly towards beginners, or those looking to get a decent looking website up and running with minimal drama.
GoDaddy pricing and plans
Now, we’ll get into the nitty gritty of how much each of the GoDaddy Website Builder plans will cost you per month (in Canadian dollars), as well as the key features each plan offers. FYI—all of the plans give you a one-month free trial, which is a nice perk for those who need a little extra time to decide what features they actually need. Just remember—once you upgrade to any of the paid plans below, there is no rolling your website back to the free trial version of Website Builder.
The “Basic” plan comes in at $12.99 per month and offers a decent set of features, including the ability to connect custom domain names, and edit your website on the go from your phone or tablet. The Basic plan even throws in GoDaddy’s web analytics, so you know where your web presence ranks next to other businesses.
Where things get a bit more—ahem—basic, is in social media and email marketing. The Basic plan only allows you to create and manage a business page on one social media platform and limits the amount of email marketing sends to 100 per month. Another aspect that may turn some folks off the basic plan is the lack of any search engine optimization (SEO) functionality.
Next up, the “Standard” plan at $18.99 a month serves up all the Basic plan features plus built-in SEO functionality and a beefier set of social media marketing features. Namely, you can create and manage business pages on three social media platforms (instead of one) and send up to 500 marketing emails per month. For many, this plan will offer the best balance of features while keeping your monthly investment somewhat low. GoDaddy’s customer support team actually says about 70 per cent of their Website Builder customer base opt for the standard plan.
Upgrading to the “Premium” plan at $23.99 a month allows you unlimited social media platforms for your business pages, unlimited social posts to your pages and up to 25,000 marketing email sends per month.
What’s perhaps the most appealing here is that you unlock the complete online appointment feature set, where customers can make one-time or recurring appointments directly through your website. You also gain the ability to set up one-time group events, accept credit card, PayPal and Apple Pay payments when customers book services or appointments and even send out email or SMS text appointment reminders.
Finally, we come to the “Ecommerce” plan at $39.99 a month. This is the option you’d pick when planning to create a digital storefront. Picking the e-commerce plan gives you access to everything from the previous three tiers as well as the ability to add and edit product listings, accept payments, set up shipping options and offer discounts or promo codes.
GoDaddy Website Builder advantages and disadvantages
Now, we’ll break down the main advantages and disadvantages of using GoDaddy to build your website.
First, let’s get off on a positive note with the advantages!
It’s extremely easy to use: Not feeling terribly tech savvy? Don’t have hordes of web coding experience? That’s not an issue with GoDaddy Website Builder. From the moment you sign up, you’re carefully guided through the website building process and have easy access to a full set of guides and tutorials. GoDaddy even lets you pick your website’s specific niche, be it photography, music, clothing, etc. and then provides theme options and appropriate stock photography.
Speedy website creation: With GoDaddy’s easy-to-use template and intuitive tools, it’s entirely possible to get a website built and live in a matter of minutes. Like we said before, if the objective is to get your website done with minimal time commitment, this is the platform for you.
Good, straightforward e-commerce functionality: GoDaddy may very well be one of the easiest platforms for building and managing an online store. Right off the hop, GoDaddy Website Builder will create a basic site for you based on the answers you provide to its initial onboarding questions. From there, you are guided step-by-step through adding products and customizing your online store. What’s more—GoDaddy lets you sell unlimited products and won’t ding you with any of their own payment transaction fees. You also get access to a fairly strong suite of digital marketing tools for email campaigns and tracking customer revenue.
Website building gets a boost from GoDaddy Insights: Once you’ve finally pushed your website live, GoDaddy Insights—a smart, AI driven system—will give you a score that shows the strength of your online presence compared to other, similar sites. Then, GoDaddy Insights creates a personalized action plan to help you make improvements, along with detailed metrics so you can track your site’s performance.
Outstanding mobile app: GoDaddy has found a way to make the entire desktop experience available on its Android and iOS mobile apps. That way you can do everything from selecting templates and building your website, to managing your business on the fly.
Strong 24/7 support: GoDaddy boasts 24/7 customer support via live chat or phone. There’s also a comprehensive set of video tutorials covering just about every aspect of your website build.
Well, it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows, right? Let’s take a look at the main drawbacks to keep in mind if building your website with GoDaddy.
Theme customization is quite limited: With extreme ease-of-use often comes limited customization options. For one thing, you aren’t able to make many changes to your website’s chosen theme. For instance, you’re limited to one primary colour for your entire website…but you can’t choose where that colour is applied. Don’t want your colour on a specific page or heading? Too bad. Another example is font customization. If your chosen theme has smaller headings, there’s no real way to make them larger without increasing the font size throughout your entire website.
In comparison, a website builder like Squarespace offers sleeker, snazzier templates with more in-depth customization that let you tweak virtually every facet of your site’s appearance.
Theme design can get repetitive: While the available, 300-plus GoDaddy themes are often praised for being clean and modern looking, a common complaint is that the theme designs can look kind of samey. If you’re wanting to create something completely unique, you may find yourself disappointed.
You may outgrow GoDaddy at some point: As mentioned before, customization on GoDaddy is very limited. And that also means you can’t install any additional plugins or outside apps to add more functionality to your website. Wordpress.org this is not. Point being—if you have ambitious plans and want to build a more complex site down the road, you might quickly find yourself outgrowing the limitations of GoDaddy Website Builder.
We hope this blog provides a bit more clarity around whether GoDaddy is the right website building and content management platform for you.
step-by-step guide to building your first GoDaddy website
Ready to press on? Check out our easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to building your first GoDaddy website.