If you’re looking for a do-it-yourself website builder that comes with the basics, such as a domain name and web hosting, and gives you other options, like a shopping cart and SEO tools, on an a la carte basis, then the GoDaddy website builder is for you.
While GoDaddy is more known for its inexpensive domain registration and web hosting, it has expanded over the years into website building, marketing services, business e-mail tools and professional services, including web design, e-commerce design and logo design.
Do-it-yourself website building services include three options: website, WordPress site/blog and online store. Although the GoDaddy website builder may not have revolutionized the do-it-yourself website building industry, it is sufficient in providing a low-cost solution for anyone looking for a personal or business website at a fraction of the cost of hiring a designer or programmer.
If you’re judging a web builder on a wide variety of design templates, a bountiful image library with free use of photos, accessible support, ease of use and flexibility, then the GoDaddy do-it-yourself website builder definitely fits the bill.
The intent behind the GoDaddy builder is to give you the tools to translate your ideas into a website. Making the task even easier is an intuitive website builder, so no technical skills or design know-how is needed to create a professional website. In fact, GoDaddy claims you can get your business online in less than five minutes! That time frame is doable for a basic site because the steps are quick and easy:
- Select a template (this will probably take most of your time since there’s so many great ones to choose from);
- Choose a layout;
- Adjust the colors to match your business scheme;
- Replace the images with your own or pick from the nearly 9,000 free stock photos;
- Add your own text;
- Publish your site.
The website builder guides you seamlessly through all the steps, starting with choosing a domain name. A free domain is available with its plans, but be sure to read the restrictions. GoDaddy gives you the option of selecting a domain name, using a domain name registered elsewhere, or creating a subdomain.
The next step is selecting a theme for your site so the site builder can establish your site. Simply enter your site or business name, business category and contact information and GoDaddy takes it from there, automatically using this information to customize a website for your business.
To add the contents of your website, GoDaddy provides a Page Designer, with very clear cut toolbars. The left toolbar lists all the tools for adding text, images, forms, social media, widgets and other elements to your site. On the top toolbar, the undo and redo changes buttons, the page menu for moving between your web pages, and the preview and publish buttons are conveniently located.
GoDaddy gets high marks for its Page Designer, which is basically a blank canvas that you fill in with your desired content. Not only is it very easy to use with its drag and drop interface, but this functionality has been enhanced so it only takes a split second to customize your site by adding and deleting pages, changing colors and fonts, and adding your own photos and videos.
To move an element, simply select it and drag it. For example, to add text, drag the Text element from the toolbar and drop it on your web page where you want to add your text. Then use the pop-up text menu to choose the font, size, color and text format for your new text. Changing text is just as quick and easy. Simply click on the text and the text box will be outlined. Highlight what you want to change and add in your edits.
A similar process is used for adding other elements. When it comes to adding images, the website builder gives you a lot of options. The image can be uploaded from your computer, imported from your social media account, or selected from the GoDaddy builder’s free images and theme photos.
A great functionality is the swap photo tool, which makes it so easy to replace an image. Simply click the image you want to swap out, click Swap Image on the drop-down menu and add the new image.
You can also add apps to enhance your Web presence, like an instant menu and price list, online ratings and reviews, or an e-commerce store with products or services. The ease of customizing your website with the GoDaddy builder makes it a smooth, stress-free and enjoyable experience.
Once you publish your website, the GoDaddy site builder automatically creates a mobile version so it’s optimized for viewing and navigating on any type of mobile device. No extra steps are needed on your part unless you want to add web pages specifically for viewing on mobile devices. The option can be found under Design Your Pages by clicking Pages and selecting Add Mobile Page.
You can also turn off certain elements so they don’t appear on your mobile site, which is a pretty nice feature. It’s all done by selecting the Design Your Pages tab, clicking Mobile, then Select Layout and Edit Site. And if you don’t like the customizations you’ve added, you can reset to your original mobile site.
Keep in mind, however, that the mobile site is very basic. Depending on your website builder plan, you can customize your mobile website, such as change its layout, colors, or images, or add in a click-to-call button, mobile maps, or other website apps.
There are more than 300 themes in 16 categories that are wide-ranging to cover all industries and types of businesses within them. GoDaddy made the themes easy to search. You can either browse through the hundreds of templates that are conveniently categorized by topic, or use the suggestions from GoDaddy that automatically become available once you enter your domain name information.
A convenient feature is the full view functionality. Just move the pointer over the image and select full screen to see the complete design. To close the full view, click the close tab at the top of the toolbar and you can continue browsing.
The look of the designs are clean and crisp, but nothing exceptional that you wouldn’t find elsewhere. However, a big plus is the placeholder content feature, which really saves you time in designing your website. Not only do you get an idea of how your site will look before selecting the design, but when using the theme, all you have to do is replace the placeholder text, images, or other objects with your own simply by selecting them.
The GoDaddy website builder incorporates lots of flexibility, so your website can grow and become more functional as your business needs dictate. All GoDaddy plans give you unlimited pages, so you can add as many web pages as needed.
As your website grows and you add more pages, the website builder makes sure that whatever should be displaying on each page, such as your business logo, contact information, images, etc., is displaying in the same place on each page you add.
If you decide to switch to a new design template, you can do so without losing your original content. But for most people, what’s important when scaling up is a seamless transaction and not having to replicate or adjust their site. With GoDaddy’s pre-built website platform, when you change plans, nothing is lost with your website. Your account is updated instantaneously with the additional features, with no interruption to your website or its performance.
If your website needs more power, you can scale up to another GoDaddy web hosting plan for higher CPU memory, entry processes and other resources to make your website perform faster.
The GoDaddy web page builder has a built-in SEO tool that is really sophisticated. It gets your business listed on the major search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing, in just three quick and easy steps. However, the SEO tool is only available with GoDaddy’s business plus plan.
For other plans, GoDaddy has developed a really valuable SEO checklist report that identifies your site’s search engine visibility. It analyzes the elements in your website that search engines use to rank websites, such as proper navigation, sitemaps, title, description and image tags, good content, keyword density and controlled crawling, and lets you know if there are any issues with your site.
The SEO checklist report can be launched from the Account Manager by clicking Search Engine Visibility. The report has a Fix Now function that links you to the tool that will help you resolve the SEO problems on your site.
Adding a blog to your GoDaddy website is done effortlessly by using the blog page option under the Design Your Pages tab. Click Pages and Add Pages to see it on the list of page types. The blog page is already optimized for a blog, providing a nice time-saving feature.
You also have the option to import a blog you already have on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, or TypePad. However, you have to publish your blog to the Internet through the applicable blog service in order for it to display on your GoDaddy website.
At the onset, GoDaddy gives you the option to build your own website or online store. If you know you will be engaging in e-commerce from the start, you should use the online store option, which is a separate website builder for creating a virtual storefront.
However, if you decide after your website has been up and running that you want to sell products or services, you can add a shopping cart to your existing website for a cost that starts at $4.99 a month. GoDaddy offers Stripe as its built-in payment processor and provides automatic integration for PayPal. You will need to pay the applicable transaction fees charged by these payment processors.
Another option is to add an eBay app to your website. This option is available from the Design Your Pages tab. Under Current Page, select the page where you want to add the app. Click the Apps tab and drag and drop the eBay icon into your web page. You can enhance the app by giving it a name when it opens by selecting the Properties tab and entering the name in the title field. With the eBay app on your site, when visitors click on a product, they are automatically directed to your eBay store to purchase it.
GoDaddy is a leader in providing extremely reliable and fast performance to the sites it hosts. According to Cloud Spectator, an independent cloud performance firm that provides web host performance monitoring statistics, GoDaddy is highly ranked for its high performance services providing the fastest load times and fastest page load times using cPanel and Linuz.
The GoDaddy website builder includes free hosting, as well as unlimited monthly bandwidth and 10 x 1 GB MySQL. If you want more speed or capacity, you can get more RAM, CPU, or entry processes by upgrading to the deluxe or ultimate web hosting plan.
GoDaddy is not a free website builder, however, the plans are affordably priced, especially if you sign up during a promotional period. Three plans are offered for the website builder: Personal, Business and Business Plus. All plans include a free domain when the plan is paid in full for one or two years, free web hosting and unlimited pages.
The Personal plan for personal websites is regularly priced at $5.99 a month and features 50 personal themes, 1 GB disk space and 150 GB bandwidth. The Business plan, designed for small businesses, is regularly priced at $9.99 a month and includes 300 business and personal themes, 10 GB disk space, 500 GB bandwidth and a mobile site. The Business Plus plan, ideal for a growing business, is $14.99 per month regularly priced and comes with 300 business and personal themes, 50 GB disk space, 1,000 GB bandwidth, a mobile site, search engine optimization (SEO), a one-click social media manager, and a one year SSL certificate.
All plans are backed with a fair refund policy if you are not satisfied with the service. If you purchased an annual plan, you will receive a full refund if requested within 45 days of purchase. After 45 days, you will receive an in-store credit for any unused time on your plan. If you purchased a monthly plan, you will receive a full refund if you submit your request within 48 hours of purchase.
Top 3 Pros and Cons
- The backup and restore feature allows you to create multiple backup versions of your website. If a change you made to your site isn’t getting the results you expected, or if you made a mistake, you can simply restore to an older site version. And there’s no denying how important having a backup website can be. It’s a feature that very few, if any other website builders provide.
- The extensive help and support, with live chat, e-mail support and an extensive support center filled with video tutorials and text documents. Best of all, live phone help is available 24/7/365. Even better, the GoDaddy website displays how long your wait time will be. Usually, the wait time is under 10 minutes.
- Solid company with a solid reputation, so your website will be well served. Plus, the company is well established financially, so there’s no worries about the company going out of business and leaving your website in limbo.
- Domain name restrictions that don’t make the offer completely free. To qualify for the free domain offer, you have to purchase a new 12-, 24-, or 36-month plan and select a domain term length equal to or less than the term length of your plan, plus pay the applicable ICANN fee per domain name per year. If you purchase a domain name term longer than the term of your plan, you will be charged the current rate for the additional registration term.
- Unlike other website builders, you are unable to write your own code in the GoDaddy website builder. This might not matter to those who have no experience with coding, but for those who know a thing or two about basic web programming language are not able to add customized functions to their website.
- There are no blank templates for those who want to start their design from scratch instead of using a pre-made designed theme.
Help and support resources provided by GoDaddy are exceptional. There’s 24/7/365 for all customer contact points, regardless of your plan level. There’s phone support, which displays the wait time on the GoDaddy website, e-mail support, live chat support, and online support by submitting a ticket.
There’s also GoDaddy Customer Support, a searchable product support where you type in the topic you need help with and receive articles that match your inquiry. A great resource is the GoDaddy Training Hub, which is chock full of training topics, like plan a website, build a website and promote a website, with each module offering tutorials on various topics within the category.
Compared to other website builders, GoDaddy has the best customer support services. What’s more, help and support resources are accessible to all, unlike some site builders that make certain support avenues exclusive to higher level plans.
Whom This Website Builder Is Ideal For?
GoDaddy designed its website builder to accommodate those looking for either a personal website, a business site, or both. The personal themes appeal to individuals who want to connect with others who share a common interest, or keep family and friends close even though they are miles away by sharing news and happenings in one place.
The price of the website plans certainly cater to small businesses and the ease in which they can be created are appealing to entrepreneurs, professionals, or very small businesses where time and money may be tight.
Basically, if you don’t have the money to pay someone else to create a website for you or a lot of time to spend doing it yourself, the GoDaddy website builder is a good choice.
The GoDaddy website builder is a quick, efficient and affordable way to get an online presence. Whether you’re looking for a personal site or a professional website for your business, GoDaddy adequately fills those needs.
The website builder lives up to what’s promised by being able to help you build a website in about five minutes. A basic site certainly can be achieved in very little time, but if you’re looking for a more complex site, you might not find all the functionality you would like, especially when it comes to customizations.
Nevertheless, GoDaddy focuses on those without design or technical experience and makes it possible for them to have a really nice looking website that delivers quality performance. Overall, the GoDaddy website builder holds its own among the competition, even without all the bells and whistles that other builders may provide.
With the GoDaddy website builder, you are assured of a great looking site that performs well and is backed by a reputable company.