GoDaddy Website Builder Review: The Right Tool in 2023?
GoDaddy claims that it offers "everything you need to thrive online". With its site-building platform, users of any experience level should be able to create a digital presence, even if they don't have any coding or programming knowledge. Below, we'll let you know how well this worked out for us.
What Is GoDaddy?
GoDaddy is a web hosting provider based in Tempe, Arizona that can lay claim to more than 20 million customers around the world. As the manager of upwards of 84 million domains, GoDaddy is also the largest domain registrar on the planet.
Among the many cloud tools offered by the service is its site builder "Websites + Marketing"*, which was launched in 2017. Anyone using it, even those lacking knowledge in coding, can easily create websites. In this review, we took a closer look at what its capable of.
GoDaddy Website Builder Review
Beginner-friendly and easy to use
Quick website creation thanks to ready-made sections
Solid ecommerce features
Practical marketing tools
Limited customization options
Unimpressive SEO features
Inconsistent support quality
Configuration and Usage
Since GoDaddy Website + Marketing is free to use (you'll only have to pay for your domain and other features), creating an account is fast: You won't need to supply any payment information. Should you not want to sign up by email, you can use your Facebook or Google login instead.
To register with GoDaddy, you won't need to input any payment information.
Next, select the category that best describes your business. For this, GoDaddy offers a number of options, however, you can also input a term in the search bar if you can't find what you're looking for. After that, name your business (this can be changed later if desired), and then you'll be taken to the site builder itself.
What kind of website are you creating? Based on the information you provide here, GoDaddy will suggest a suitable design template.
Emphasis on user-friendliness
The editor in Website + Marketing is comprised of two halves. On the left, a site preview is displayed, in which you can directly edit text and add new areas and sections to your website. To the right, you'll adjust your site's design and navigation.
Before all of that though, you'll be welcomed with a brief tutorial. After clicking on the "Next steps" button, some suggestions are offered for what to do next. GoDaddy recommends choosing a theme from those it thinks would work best for your website (based on the information you supplied earlier). All of this can be done by clicking on "Theme" in the upper-right of the menu.
It doesn't take long to get used to GoDaddy's editor.
The navigation menu also features two other tabs: Under Settings, you can make some adjustments to your website, integrate social media links, or add an analytics tracker. By clicking on "Website", it's possible to manage how your pages are arranged and, if desired, to add new ones. This is also where you'll integrate an online store into your website, or add-ons, such as a live support chat for your customers.
In the "Website" menu, you can add new pages or manage your existing web presence.
All other changes are made directly in the website preview area. There, you'll be able to either add new content or rearrange existing content of all types. This is also where text is edited, however, GoDaddy's editor doesn't have drag and drop capabilities, tying users to the existing layouts.
Generally speaking, GoDaddy's Website + Marketing is easy to get a feel for and intuitive, both of which are advantages to beginners. At the same time, the limitations reduce creative freedom, but more on that below.
GoDaddy lacks true drag and drop functionality, meaning that you won't be able to position content elements at will. Instead, the site builder offers ready-made sections that can be added to different layouts. To see what's available, click on the plus symbol between sections.
Sections are subdivided into categories like "General", "Audio & Video", "Store, or "Restaurant". In addition to classics like image galleries or contact pages, you'll also find more specific options, like job announcements, FAQs, or restaurant menus.
GoDaddy allows you to add all sorts of ready-made sections to your website.
Your layout options depend on the type of section you select. Just keep in mind that their arrangement and content cannot be changed. Unfortunately, it also isn't possible to add an empty section and adjust it to your specifications. Instead, you'll need to rely on what GoDaddy offers. Anyone unable to find the type of content block they're looking for among these options will be sorely disappointed.
Making matters worse, the platform also lacks an app marketplace hosting third-party features and content. The only consolation is that it is possible to input user-defined HTML code.
Basic blogging features
Blogs are added as sections. Entries aren't written directly in the site builder's editor, but rather, in the superordinate GoDaddy administration menu, which is accessible under the "Marketing" heading. Using the blog editor, you can add images, videos, and dividers, however, you won't find an HTML editor.
Entries can either be published immediately or scheduled for a later point in time. It's also possible to create categories and assign your blog entries to them. Beyond that, there isn't much to say about the platform's blog features. For editorial groups, the service's lack of team editing is disappointing. In the past, it was possible to enable comments via Disqus, however, GoDaddy appears to have removed this capability.
You can create a basic blog and schedule articles.
No multilingual websites
Unfortunately, GoDaddy's Website + Marketing doesn't offer an easy way to configure multilingual websites. Since page navigation isn't menu-based (hierarchical), it also isn't possible to repurpose a higher menu for a separate language. Should you need or want a multilingual website, you'll find your needs better met by platforms such as Wix or 1&1 IONOS.
GoDaddy provides all of the basics, but not much else. The lack of an app marketplace and the inability to create multilingual websites are both very disappointing.
Templates & Design
GoDaddy offers a nice selection of design templates, subdivided into categories like "Music", "Art & Design", or "Store". It's possible to change your existing theme at any time, however, not all of the templates are displayed in the selection window. In some cases, the selection is based on the branch you specified earlier, but support wasn't able to tell us why certain themes are displayed.
You can change your design theme at any time, however, not all options can be selected.
Little room for customization
As mentioned before, once you've settled on a template, you won't have much leeway in further customizing it. Colors and fonts can be adjusted in the theme menu, and it's possible to select from a number of different button designs.
When it comes to the various sections, you're stuck with GoDaddy's layouts. Owing to the lack of drag and drop functionality, and the inability to arrange individual elements within a section, your options are severely constrained. As such, you're only able to customize your content, sections, and how these are arranged.
Customization options are limited with GoDaddy's Website + Marketing.
You'll need to source all image and video content on your own with GoDaddy since the platform lacks a stock photo database or integration. It is possible to connect Facebook and Instagram and use images from either of these.
GoDaddy only offers a single navigation level, however, you can combine multiple options in a drop-down menu to slim down your site's (flat) hierarchy and create a sort of sub-menu.
Photos from Facebook or Instagram can be integrated onto your website.
GoDaddy's Website + Marketing doesn't let users stray far from the basics. With the exception of content, the intuitive editor's toolbox doesn't facilitate much customization. If this is important to you, you'll need to insert user-defined HTML code, which isn't an option for beginners, the platform's target group.
As a result, we felt incredibly restricted in terms when designing our site with GoDaddy. Anyone who wants to adjust more aspects of their website than just images and text is better served elsewhere.
E-Commerce, Marketing & SEO
To integrate an online shop onto your website (or create one), you'll need an add-on. Similar to the blog, you'll be able to manage the shop in the superordinate GoDaddy administrative menu. There, you can add products and manage payments or shipping.
Intuitive product creation
Both physical and digital products can be sold. Through the product menu, you'll be able to specify all of the relevant details, including a product's name, price, SKU, or tax category. Items can be arranged into different groups as well.
Alongside physical products, you can also sell digital ones.
A few more tabs can be found next to the product description. Using the "Inventory and Options" one, you can add all sorts of product variations, such as sizes or colors. GoDaddy handles this well, as you'll only need to specify a new aspect and the available options. After that, different combinations are automatically created and assigned SKUs.
In GoDaddy, you can add plenty of product variations.
GoDaddy is compatible with both Stripe and PayPal, and it's possible to accept offline payments.
In terms of delivery, you can specify different regions and types of shipping, linking the cost to order volume (but not weight).
Coupons & discounts
To drive up sales in your online store, it's possible to offer both lump sum and percent-based coupons, as well as free shipping. Coupons can be limited to specific products or categories, redeemed a fixed number of times, and tied to a minimum order total.
Beyond that, you'll also be afforded the ability to set sale prices in the product menu, so that the regular price of a product is stricken-through and displayed next to the new price.
You can encourage sales by offering coupons and discounts.
Social media and email marketing
GoDaddy's marketing tools also help you to gain new customers. With these, you can create and monitor social network posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Beyond that, the platform also includes a basic email marketing tool, which comes in handy for launching email campaigns. For this, GoDaddy offers a number of different message templates that you can use to contact your customers, members, subscribers, or even a list of email addresses. After you've started, you'll be able to keep tabs on how many of your emails are opened and their click rate.
You can create and launch email campaigns with GoDaddy to keep in touch with your customers.
GoDaddy's SEO settings leave too much to be desired. To access these, go to Settings > Search Engine Optimization. There, you can input page titles and meta descriptions, however, the latter isn't possible for blog entries. GoDaddy also offers an optimization tool that suggests page titles based on keywords, however, it isn't very innovative or useful.
You aren't able to edit page URLs in a separate field, since they're generated from the page title directly. We advise GoDaddy to revisit its SEO support since, at the moment, it needs a lot of work and completely ignores blog entries.
GoDaddy's SEO options haven't kept up with the times.
GoDaddy provides access to some statistics in the dashboard, but you can enhance these by integrating tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel.
Taken together, GoDaddy scores thanks to its solid ecommerce and marketing features but shows its weaknesses when it comes to SEO.
GoDaddy has a comprehensive help center with a dedicated area for Website + Marketing. In it, you'll find numerous helpful articles, most of which include tutorial videos that introduce and explain specific features and capabilities. Full-text search makes it possible to find exactly what you're looking for.
In GoDaddy's help center, you'll find some tutorial videos.
You can get in touch with GoDaddy's support Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM, however, the provider's live chat is staffed around the clock. Our experiences with the latter were mixed: On some occasions, answers arrived within seconds, while on others, it took upwards of 10 minutes.
The quality of the answers we received was not exactly up to the standards we're accustomed to. It seemed that some of the staffers we spoke with weren't familiar with the product we were using, and couldn't competently answer our queries.
In addition to the free version, GoDaddy's Website + Marketing is part of four different subscription packages. The free version includes a GoDaddy domain, whereas the paid Basic, Standard, Premium, and E-Commerce options offer unique domains. In addition, you'll get an SSL certificate and GoDaddy Insight statistics with each.
The two more affordable plans limit the creation of business pages on social networks, as well as entries and answers in social media channels. Email marketing is restricted to 100 or 500 recipients (in each of the two cheaper subscription options), while you can contact up to 25,000 individuals in the more expensive two plans. SEO is only part of the Premium and E-Commerce packages.
Digital sales are only possible with the E-Commerce plan.
In terms of duration, you can choose between monthly or yearly subscriptions, whereby the latter comes at a discount.
Below, you can find a current overview of GoDaddy's pricing:
|Monthly Price||$0.00||from $9.49||from $17.99||from $19.99|
|Contract Period (Months)||0||1 - 12||1 - 12||1 - 12|
|Free of Ads|
When deciding on a site-building platform, it can often be important to compare how services are priced, and below, we've provided a table showing GoDaddy's most affordable ad-free annual subscription that includes a unique domain:
Monthly subscribers can cancel their subscription up to 48 hours after payment, whereby annual subscribers have 30 days to request a full refund.
For those who value simplicity and don't have a knack for design, GoDaddy offers one of the most user-friendly site builders. Thanks to its ready-made sections, anyone using GoDaddy can build a spiffy website and fill it with content in no time flat. Its solid ecommerce features and practical marketing tools round out the advantages of its package.
The platform does suffer from some disadvantages though, the most glaring of which is the ability to do much outside of the ready-made content blocks. Unlike drag and drop editors, which are often more complicated, with GoDaddy, you're barely given any creative freedom. Adding to the negatives, features are limited, multilingual websites can't be created, and SEO settings aren't really up to the current market standard.
As such, GoDaddy's site builder is really only recommended for basic projects and users who want to spend as little time as possible designing their website.
But what are users saying about GoDaddy's site builder? We gathered a number of ratings from various review portals below.
GoDaddy is far from the only site builder that emphasizes user-friendliness. Weebly also features an interface that caters to beginners. Of course, compared to other drag and drop editors, your options with Weebly are also limited, however, you'll still have a freer hand than with GoDaddy.
For those looking to take a more active part in their website's design, we recommend the top performer from our sample, Wix. Although more detailed, you'll be able to unleash much more of your creativity.
More of the best alternatives to GoDaddy can be found below: