There are a lot of different website builders out there nowadays. Some of them are good, others, well… not so much.
GoDaddy Website Builder is one service that looks good at face value, but it takes reading a GoDaddy Website Builder review to work out whether this is actually the case or not.
The fact that GoDaddy has a website builder isn’t particularly well known.
GoDaddy itself is a company that offers domain name registration and hosting – and it’s one of the biggest names in the field. So, it kind of makes sense of the company to have a website builder.
Honestly though, the concept makes me wary.
Companies are great when they specialize in things. When they start to diversify – it doesn’t always turn out so great.
Most of the time, this means that a company specializing in website building will probably do a better job.
However, if you’re looking at GoDaddy for a domain name or hosting, looking into their website builder service does kind of make sense.
The Builder Itself
GoDaddy lists a number of key features of their builder:
This all looks great, but most of the features don’t really mean that much.
For example, just about every website builder offers custom website design (that is the point after all) and lets you easily add images and widgets.
Additionally, some of these features are really vague. I mean, what does ‘extra space’ even mean? Well… it means more space, but more space than what?
The builder also works a little differently than most website builders out there. In particular, it offers a blank canvas editor allowing you to add and move pieces around your page as you choose.
If you don’t like the constraints of a traditional editor, this can have its advantages. Certainly, it does allow you to be more creative.
However, it’s also much more time consuming and can be very frustrating.
For example, you have to manually align things on a page, which isn’t always easy. Likewise, you have to move elements of the page independently if you want to make space. If you have a lot on a page, this can be a pain.
This type of editor is particularly bad for people new to making websites. When you use a more traditional website creator, you are more constrained, but you also get more guidance.
For example, you know your website is going to be the right width – something that is more difficult to get right with a blank editor.
So, one of the key messages of this GoDaddy Website Builder review is that the builder does offer more flexibility, but that isn’t always a good thing.
For website building, support is a pretty big deal.
If something goes wrong, you want to be able to get in touch with someone to fix it as soon as possible.
The size of GoDaddy means that the company has the potential to support really well, but unfortunately, it doesn’t do that good.
In particular, there is no email support for the website builder, forcing people to use either telephone support or live chat. These are good options and can be effective – however, you have to wait for your turn.
This can take anywhere from ten minutes up and you risk getting a support person who doesn’t actually know how to help you.
If you like live support, then this type of support is a good thing. However, personally I find email works much better and I'm very surprised that the option isn’t offered.
As I mentioned before, the blank canvas approach does offer a lot of flexibility. Ultimately, this means that you can do more with your website than a traditional editor. It also gives you more ability to make your site look unique.
This is a big plus.
However, it’s important to note that GoDaddy isn’t the only blank canvas editor out there, so if you are looking for this type of approach, there are other places to try. For example, Wix has the ability to move around elements on a page and personally, I prefer that website builder.
Overall, GoDaddy does offer some pretty nice themes and the builder can make some pretty sites.
Because the builder is used less often than builders like WordPress, you have a better chance of making a unique site – particularly if you modify the design significantly.
This one is a little unusual as far as website builders go.
GoDaddy actually offers more than 25,000 stock images that people can use for their websites. This is actually pretty useful because most people new to website development don’t have good images to use and don’t want to buy stock images.
However, there is a catch.
That same set of images is going to be used by the majority of people building a website through GoDaddy. This decreases your uniqueness and can make your site look tacky.
I have a major issue with the theme situation at GoDaddy.
The service offers a range of themes, but your theme is directly tied to your content. This means that if you want to change themes, you lose your current content.
This is a major issue – particularly for internet marketers.
Realistically, if you are doing anything serious with a website, then you need the ability to change your theme.
For example, you might want to give your site a new image. Alternatively, you might find that your theme no longer works once you have lots of content.
In fairness, the fact that your site is tied to your content is for a good reason. The blank canvas editor approach makes it impossible for content to be transferred from one theme to the next. Nevertheless, this means that any website redesign is painstakingly slow and very frustrating.
GoDaddy is also a bit behind on the times when it comes to mobile support.
Most of its themes are not mobile responsive at all, although you can choose what content is shown or hidden on mobile versions of your web page.
What this means is that the mobile version of the site basically stacks the different elements from your site. This can end up looking really bad and in some cases may be unusable.
People are using mobile devices to view the internet more than ever before.
It is a very bad business decision not to have a website that supports these users.
The vast majority of website builders are free. Many of them offer premium features or more advanced memberships, but the core builder is free.
I think that’s really important.
After all, most people don’t really know what they want when they start off a website. So, you might go through multiple variations and experiments.
If you’re using something like WordPress, Wix or Siterubix, that isn’t really an issue.
However, GoDaddy actually charges for its website builder.
Granted, $1.99 a month isn’t a lot of money, particularly when you can just choose a single month to try it out.
However, this isn’t as cheap as it sounds.
If you want to use the builder for 24 months, the price goes up to $4.99 per month. At the same time, you only get that price if you sign up for at least 12 months. If you want to just do a single month, then the fee is $8.99 per month.
Additionally, all of the prices are listed as ON SALE, so they could be raised at any time.
The free domain name is only free for the first year, after that you start paying for it.
Assuming the price doesn’t go up in the future, this isn’t really a lot of money. However, the company is being pretty misleading about it. The real question is whether the builder is worth the money.
An additional cost-related issue I have with GoDaddy is that there is no trial. To figure out whether you like their builder, you actually have to buy it.
Now, the lowest cost you could pay for the builder is $8.99 for just one month.
That's quite a bit of money to just try out the builder. Plus, it's a ripoff, because if you do end up liking it, you would have to pay again in a month's time.
Besides that, having to give a company your credit card just to figure out whether you like their product isn’t a good situation. Most website builders have free trials (or are entirely free). I honestly don’t see why GoDaddy should be any different.
Everyone’s experience with a product is a little bit different but in general, the reviews and experiences of others can give you an idea of what to expect.
GoDaddy might be a big company, but it has a pretty poor reputation.
Much of this comes from its sales tactics.
As you can see from how it does its pricing for the website builder, GoDaddy has a tendency towards additional costs and costs that aren’t always obvious.
E-commerce and Blogging
GoDaddy might be good for general sites, but it doesn’t fare so well for specialized ones.
In particular, the website builder offers nothing in the way of eCommerce support. So, if you want to sell anything more than one or two items on your site, this is not the way to go.
In contrast, there are a large number of specialized eCommerce WordPress themes that work with any WordPress-based website builder.
Interestingly enough, GoDaddy also doesn’t have much support for a blogroll.
I find that one a little surprising, given most websites have some form of blog.
Nevertheless, with GoDaddy your only real option is using an external blog feed, which just isn’t an effective solution.
When I started writing this GoDaddy Website Builder review, I honestly didn’t know what to expect.
GoDaddy isn’t a company I particularly like, but I honestly thought they would do a good job of their website builder.
Overall, the builder is very average.
It doesn’t support some specialized functions and there is a sort of a ho-hum feel to it all.
I really don’t like being constrained to one theme or the lack of ability to try out multiple sites as you go along.
More than anything else, by biggest issue with the GoDaddy Website Builder is that it isn’t as good as its competitors.
There are a lot of better website builders out there and these have most of the features that GoDaddy offers.
Personally, I prefer using Siterubix for internet marketing or other services like WordPress.com and Wix. At least, these services let you figure out what you want and what you are doing before you commit to anything and before you start paying.