GoDaddy Website Builder: the right choice for your business?

Thanks to their commercials, GoDaddy is not only widely known, but also one of the companies that you either love or hate.

All feelings aside, we are here to help you find out if this company can do any good for your business. Their Website Builder aims to help professionals create a small business website. They support this claim with hundreds of customizable designs divided into industry-specific templates, very similar to 1&1 MyWebsite.

Looking at their pricing page, we can find three packages: Personal, Business, and Business Plus. Unfortunately, there is no free trial available, but the product seems to be constantly on sale.

If you have ever used the Wix editor (created by one of GoDaddy’s competitors), you’ll most certainly experience some déjà vu. Every aspect of it is very similar and, surprisingly, even some of Wix’s weaker characteristics have made it into GoDaddy’s Website Builder. So is it just a blatant rip-off or worth your time? Watch our video to learn more (video update coming soon!):

See it in action here

GoDaddy in Detail

Criterion Rating Comment
Ease of use
The editor is simple and the basics are easy to understand. However, the dashboard could be better structured as it is divided in two different pages.
Choice and flexibility of design (templates)
Their templates have a modern look and there is also a smartphone friendly version that can be customized. If you consider switching your theme, you’ll lose all your content. Unlike in version 6, it’s no longer possible to edit the CSS/HTML. A drawback is the missing style feature: there is no easy way to do sitewide font changes.
Advertisement-free yes The GoDaddy ad in the footer can be switched off.
Languages
The dashboard and editor are available in English, Spanish, French, Italian and many more languages. Apart from Google Translate, there is no special feature for multi-lingual sites.
Your own domain name (e.g. .com or .net) yes All GoDaddy plans include a domain. It is also possible to transfer an existing one or leave it at the current registrar and point it to GoDaddy.
Depth of navigation
It is possible to create a navigation with three levels (e.g. Images > Cars > Oldtimers). This should be enough for most pages. However, we found the menu to edit the navigational hierarchy rather confusing as there are too many places that do similar (but not exactly the same) things.
Widgets (small tools to add extra functionality)
All important apps are included (Facebook-Share, Google Maps, YouTube videos, etc.) There’s also a nice listing app that makes listing houses, prices, etc., really easy. Furthermore, we liked the MP3 streaming player (max. 15 MB per file).
Monetization yes You can add banners, Google AdSense or affiliate links.
E-Commerce
The Website Builder allows you to add a PayPal Store, which is quite limited. GoDaddy also offers an ecommerce solution called Quick Shopping Cart (that we haven’t tested yet). But to use it, you need to upgrade your GoDaddy plan.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The SEO Wizard takes you by the hand and lets you edit all SEO relevant areas, like page title, description, headline tags, etc. A major flaw is the fact that GoDaddy doesn't allow Google to index pictures. 
Blog
All the Website Builder offers is integration to an external blog feed, such as Blogger or WordPress.
Visitor statistics
No integrated statistic tools. You need to add an external solution like Google Analytics.
Contact form yes The form editor comes with some presets and is fully customizable.
Password protection no This is a big step back into the stone age of the internet. For some reason, GoDaddy abandoned the option of password protection for your whole website or even selected pages. It’s not possible to offer exclusive content.
Newsletter tool yes Go Daddy offers a solution called Express Email Marketing. Not reviewed.
Add HTML code yes You can add third party apps and widgets. You can also add site-wide code, such as JavaScript.
Storage space 1 GB+ No need to worry about storage space: Personal: 1 GB, Business: 10 GB, Business Plus: 50 GB. They also have bandwidth limits between 150-1000 GB, which regular site owners will never even come close to.
Forum no ...but you can integrate an external tool like Tal.ki.
Support yes Phone, live chat and a knowledge base. There’s no email support. In our test, we had to wait more than 40 minutes to start the live chat session. Telephone support needs at least 10 minutes. Plan your time accordingly!
Fun Factor
Decent product that works in the end like Wix. Definitely an improvement to the previous version. We liked the fact that you can create back-ups.
Overall Rating
2.7/5
Website Builder is well-intentioned, but still has some work to do. Depending on their current promotions, it can be very affordable, but there are definitely better alternatives out there.

Conclusion

All in all, we have mixed feelings about GoDaddy’s Website Builder. Yes, there is the beginner-friendly SEO Wizard and fresh designs which are all pretty neat. But that still doesn’t give it any particular edge as there are some essentials missing, like password protected pages or a proper blogging function. Furthermore, there is no integrated online shop solution. You either have to replace your website with the online shop or create a new account.
Regarding designs and user interface, it looks like GoDaddy’s product developers found their muse in Wix’s website builder, which probably had to pose as a model for the Website Builder product. All in all, we find the original much more convincing.

To our surprise, GoDaddy doesn’t offer email support. Live chat and telephone support sound great, but it’s not as fast and flexible as you may think. You’ll have to wait at least 10 minutes to be helped; in the case of live chat, it took 40 minutes until it was our turn.

But what if you already have your domain name at GoDaddy? Should you use their site builder to have it all under one roof? You could, but don’t forget that you can also connect your GoDaddy domain name to a different website builder quite easily.

Give Go Daddy WebsiteBuilder a try yourself

GoDaddy Example Sites

Alternatives to GoDaddy

Weebly
See review
Squarespace
See review

FAQ about GoDaddy

Can I only register my domain name through Go Daddy but use a different website builder?

Yes, that’s possible.

Is there a free trial?

No, unfortunately there isn’t.

Review Updates

10 Jun 2014 - Review update GoDaddy V7
18 Feb 2013
 – Video review added
11-15 Feb 2013 – Initial tests

Last updated: 10 Jun 2014 | Armin Pinggera

Your opinion and user reviews:

 
  • chopsueyguigui

    This review is seven months old. A lot has changed. You should check it out now.

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      Thank you for your comment. You’re right and we try to update this review as soon as possible, but we gladly invite you to share your experiences here. More interesting comments about GoDaddy can be found on our YouTube Channel.

  • Palmer

    Thank you guys for your reviews. I’ve found them very helpful.

    I know your team isn’t responsible for GoDaddy and so this next paragraph is more a warning to others but I do have a question after this…

    I built my company’s site with GoDaddy and I’m trying to figure out which website builder to switch to because GoDaddy’s site builder has been one of the worst products I’ve ever used. I have had so many issues with it. I thought it would be quick but it took a long time solely because of the bugs I had to deal with. Primarily, when I drag and drop an element, it automatically jumps about 10 to 20 pixels away from where I dropped it so dealing with that is always fun. When I finally published my site there were huge spaces between paragraphs that are not there in the site builder program and text boxes moved positions from where they are shown in the builder. The phone tech support said it was the browser’s plug-in and if I installed another “clean” browser it would fix it (so what about all the people that didn’t install their browsers yesterday?). I installed three different fresh installs of browsers I didn’t have before and they all rendered exactly the same as my old browser with the positioning errors. If you have created a link in a text box, another text box’s periphery outline cannot overlap the link or the link won’t work which forces you to have large spacing between text boxes/headings. The first phone tech support said, “oh your in the nudging things around stage, just move it a 1/4 inch and it’ll fix it.” That did indeed fix it, but I’m forced to have unnaturally large spaces between adjacent text boxes now. The text boxes themselves will get code errors in them where you’ll get random carriage returns in the middle of a sentence or word.

    For example, you could have a sent
    ence or paragraph do someth
    ing like this. Very
    annoyin
    g, right? Their solution after 3 different people looked into it was to copy the text box’s content into notepad and paste it back which would clear out any hidden code. It worked but still pretty annoying. And the most frustrating thing I’ve experienced is every single time tech support has tried to “go in” to fix a problem, they move things around. You have things set in place and when you log back in and they messed with your stuff, so incredibly frustrating.

    Sorry for the rant (I know you get a lot of that), now for the question…

    I wanted to use something quick and easy to set up with a easy learning curve. I was thinking of either Wix or Weebly but some of the comments here have made me nervous about both. My website is basically text (English needed only), pictures, a blog, and a few videos (no eCommerce) so nothing terribly special needed. I need really good SEO capabilities (including the blog) because that is the primary way my customers find me. I’m truly not even really concerned about price at this point, +/-$100 a year is not a big deal if the solution is a good one.

    Here are my concerns, if you could help me with them:
    Wix:
    1) you compared Wix’s sitebuilder to GoDaddy’s, is it buggy?
    2) Wix’s AJAX induced hashbang URLs obviously are not good for marketing materials and just look odd. No fix in sight on this issue and it’s funny their site’s URLs don’t have hashbangs.

    Weebly:
    1) Not hearing great things about their SEO (all headings are H2 unless done manually) (file management renames pics?)
    2) Overly simple Blog (from what I’ve read…??)
    3) Limited color changes on the templates (again, from what I’ve read…??). I suppose a custom template is the only solution there?

    Your recommendation is very much appreciated!

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      Hi Palmer,
      Thank you for this huge feedback. GoDaddy still has to fix a lot of issues. The Wix website builder works like the GoDaddy website builder, but is more sophisticated. However, I wouldn’t you recommend Wix due to the poor blog and bad URLs.
      Weebly is by far better for that project as it has a decent blog, own video player, etc. A good alternative would be Squarespace. The website editor is not so easy to use like Weebly or Wix, but it has the best blog among our tested website builders.

      • Palmer

        Thank you Armin!

  • Adam Barger

    Can you do a review of WebStarts?

  • Megan Corse

    Thank you for the review. I was just about the enter my credit card information, when I decided to look up some reviews. You’ve changed my mind! I used Wix once before and liked it – I think I’ll go back to that. Thanks again!

  • Casper

    I have used website builder for the last 3-4 years, but this is my last. Switching from 6 to 7 was basically making a new site, nothing could be transferred. In the beginning I loved the ease of the design but i lacks a lot of features, like some basic html as anchors for making links within the same page. The reason for that is so they can sell more pages my supporter told me. No possibility to add password to a page, and a lot of other stuff. I’m about to find something else. Any good ideas?

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      Thank you for your feedback, Casper. The GoDaddy website builder is strongly inspired by the Wix website builder. However, it lacks the features you mentioned. Recently, Wix introduced the anchor tags and also offers password security. You can check the features side by side with our comparison tool.

    • AlisaC

      I just posted this: Hi everyone. I want you to all know that if you hate Godaddy
      version 7, the answer is to go to ActNowDomains. I used to have 6 sites
      with GD and 6 with ActNow. Guess what? ActNowDomains uses VERSION 6!
      And has NO plans of “so-called upgrading” to the horrible version
      7!(they know it sucks). Prices are almost the same (about $2 more/ month
      but well worth it) AND they will help you bring your stuff from GoDaddy
      to them WITHOUT LOSING anything! They have excellent cust. service, but
      best of all Version 6! Templates are fresh and updated. You can do Duda
      mobile for free. PERFECT solution and alternative.

  • Christopher Knight

    Overall I’m pretty satisfied with Godaddy’s website builder and SEO optimization tools, but there are some serious changes that need to be done. I linked my website to my google plus page and set up authorship for the site. I noticed after severall months that google was still not displaying my authorship information in search results. I also noticed that while my pages were being indexed in google, none of my pictures were being indexed. So I looked at the robot.txt tester tool on google and noticed that my robot.txt file was blocking certain elements such as images, flash, scripts, plugins, etc from being crawled. I then went to Godaddy’s SEO wizard page to try and change this and there is no way to change it. I even set my meta tags to allow google to crawl everything on the website, but the robot.txt file was still blocking images and other important elements from my site. This is simply unacceptable, I have hundreds of photos on my website that need to appear in google images search results. The file names of the images would also help drive my traffic up and boost ratings on google searches, but after a long talk with a representative they said that there is no way to change your robot.txt file. This is absurd because all I would have to do to fix the problem is open the robot.txt file, highlight everything, and push delete and the problem would be solved. Dear godaddy staff, you need to fix this problem immediately or I will have to find a different webhosting company. I would give the website builder and SEO tools a 5 star rating but this is such an important problem that I could only give you 2.5 stars as a result. The representative I spoke to on the phone said that there were currently around 1,000 individual complaints about this issue, so hopefully you address it soon before we stop being happy customers. If you fix this issue quickly I will consider Godaddy’s website builder a 5-star tool again and would definitely recommend it to friends.

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      Hi Christopher,
      That’s interesting to know. We checked it and you are right. Therefore, we’ve added this important information and did a new evaluation. Let’s hope that GoDaddy will fix this soon.

      • http://www.Blackthorn-USA.com/ Blackthorn-USA

        If this issue isn’t resolved soon I’m going to have to take my sites elsewhere. Any good word on solutions yet?

    • dviladybug

      My website with godaddy is another interesting story like yours, I didnt create robot file so nothi, sitemap is good (I think godaddy build the sitemap automatically), competition for the keyword is very low.. yet my website does not appear in few first google page. Whereas, I use just a free website with free domain with webs.com, and bravo that website is always on the first page of google search. Both of them use the same keyword to search.

    • asilvas

      Hello Chris,

      The robots file is a bit deceptive. Even though all of those folders are blocked from Robots on your domain, all of your images are served up from a content delivery network outside of your domain. Robots most certainly do index your images as expected. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Richard Watson

    My experience over the last couple of years was and is that the service with Go Daddy is worthless and aggravating. The customer service personnel will provide conflicting information, inadequate information and inconsistent information. My story has gone on for years and I am going to leave Go Daddy in the not to distant future and take my business elsewhere. My advice to anyone listening – go anywhere else because you obviously have a great idea – don’t waste it with Go Daddy. After my experience If you are thinking of a website I could not refer them for any product or service. As Jerry House always said “That’s my opinion outta be yours”.

  • AlisaC

    Hi everyone. I want you to all know that if you hate Godaddy
    version 7, the answer is to go to ActNowDomains. I used to have 6 sites
    with GD and 6 with ActNow. Guess what? ActNowDomains uses VERSION 6!
    And has NO plans of “so-called upgrading” to the horrible version
    7!(they know it sucks). Prices are almost the same (about $2 more/ month
    but well worth it) AND they will help you bring your stuff from GoDaddy
    to them WITHOUT LOSING anything! They have excellent cust. service, but
    best of all Version 6! Templates are fresh and updated. You can do Duda
    mobile for free. PERFECT solution and alternative.

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      We had also reviewed Go Daddy version 6 but in our opinion it was also a pretty outdated website builder. Lots of issues like the very clunky user interface, especially for the navigation. There are site builders like Jimdo and Weebly that are way better. You can compare their features here: http://www.websitetooltester.com/en/website-builder-comparison/

      P.S. Our old review video of V6 is still online in case anyone is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKIvIuB1M38

  • Adam Smith

    Change CSS in version 7: use Konami: Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A

    • DoesItBuild?

      Totally thought you were full of it. You are indeed telling the truth. Thanks for the tip!

  • jeanpeac

    Go daddy would not even help me create a new database; was on the line with a girl who started to help me but I said I would call her back after my files finished loading. Called back with a young man who would help but got disconnected, called back and “Billy” said he wouldn’t help me, “That’s not what we do.” The site was done anyway. Need to get site up today for a specific event but godaddy is down, “limited access” they said.

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Thanks for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that but it looks like that you are using a different product than the one we’ve reviewed here. With Go Daddy Website Builder it’s not possible to create databases. Sorry I can’t do more for you in this case.

  • Steven

    I ONLY used the godaddy website builder because it was included with my email. I have been using godaddy for years but I do not prefer or really like them. They are snaky in their seductive but misleading advertised prices for domain names, etc. Their email page really sucks in that at least half the real estate is wasted and you can only see the bottom half of the page and it’s a waste; it’s difficult to write or read emails.

    The website builder was tricky and often nonresponsive. It is unnecessarily difficult to accomplish the simplest of tasks, because the option boxes are mysterious and unclear. I don’t remember exactly the problems or how to explain them now, as it’s been a few months, but, again, I do not like godaddy. The only reason I’m still using them is because I haven’t chosen a new email provider and theirs was included free with my domain purchase years ago. You get what you pay for. It’s not unusable, it’s just archaic. Godaddy has zero sense of asthetics. They need an graphic artist who has a sense of design and flow.

    Godaddy is simply another example of a dominant internet company that rose to the top because they did whatever they needed to, and consumers somehow succumb to their advertising or whatever. Virtually every friend or associate I know who had godaddy left them for other hosts, etc.

    That being said, for free, the website looks pretty nice. It’s only 5 pages. Their font options are limited, and pretty ugly, with few choices, and their free photos are extremely dated (which I found with EVERY website builder when I researched them) and unattractive, although I managed to find a couple of basic photos that I could use. I simply made the absolute best of what I was offered.

    I do NOT recommend godaddy for all the reasons stated above. Plus, now, they do not offer the free website builder. They offer an introductory price that’s about a dollar a month I think, for the first year. I think after that they raise the prices. BEWARE godaddy’s automatic renewals of ALL their products – domain names, storage, etc., because they automatically renew unless you disable the renewal option. They are a slippery company.

    They have good support at times, but you sometimes reach support techs who are mostly interested in selling products – they almost always make a pitch, no matter what you call for – and I often (but not always, depending on the particular person) felt like that was their sole motive. I have even been made to feel somewhat guilty for “wasting their time” and not buying products. And once they know you are not interested, they often just want to get off the phone immediately.

    So, for all those reasons, I dislike godaddy. But I’m grandfathered in for free email with my domain, so I’ll probably stay until I choose to purchase something of significance elsewhere.

    Those are solely my experiences. I have also reached really nice tech support people. My suggestion is this: if you feel you are speaking to a support tech or sales person with a bad attitude, just say goodbye and call back and speak to someone else. They have many on staff and there’s a mix of each.

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      Thank you for your detailed opinion! Indeed, it’s a pitty that GoDaddy doesn’t offer a free plan. The plans have an attractive pricing, but we always recommend to test the website builder extensively. Their telephone support told us that they have a return policiy with a 45-days refund. In case you shouldn’t like it, you find many alternative website builders in our Top 10.

  • Melanie Sawyer

    thank you website tool tester!!! you just saved me a whooollee lot of time and also some money! much appreciated.. BIG thumbs up :)

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      Thank you, Melanie. Maybe you’ll find a good alternative in our Top 10.

  • howie

    is there anyway for me to copy my text from notepad and paste into the godaddy website builder text box?

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      Hi Howie! Yes, that’s no problem.

  • James Vech

    Is there a way to put a customer review feature on a site so our products can be reviewed?

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      The only way I think this is possible would be including something like a comment box with the HTML-Widget. However, this a very basic approach. For instance, Shopify has an app called “Product Reviews” that allows to integrate SEO-friendly user feedback. Here you find more information about Shopify.