When I think of the SuperBowl, two things come to mind: huge football quarterbacks battling it out on the field and insanely expensive commercials.
But before we begin, let’s give a little context:
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What GoDaddy GoCentral and Wix Have in Common
Both GoDaddy and Wix are huuuuuuuge companies. They are publicly traded, making millions in profit, and spending millions in marketing. And yes, that includes SuperBowl commercials.
GoDaddy’s SuperBowl Commercial 2017
Wix’s SuperBowl Commercial 2019
They also target similar audiences: personal users, small and medium-sized business, and online stores. All through a solution that makes it fast, easy and cheap to get build a website without technical skills. Also: both offer full support at no additional cost.
Wix vs GoDaddy: What’s the difference?
Wix’s main business is their website builder with hundreds of highly customizable templates. GoDaddy is a domain and web host that also has its own site builder. Due to their reduced features, GoDaddy is a bit easier to use. Both offer ecommerce and a blog but overall Wix is stronger on features and also offers a free plan.
GoDaddy GoCentral is just one of the thousands of services offered by GoDaddy. Okay maybe not thousands, but there is a whole page dedicated to all their products, including web hosting, domain name auctions, email marketing, and more.
Wix keeps it simple. They make websites, that’s about it. But (spoiler alert), this may be what gives them an advantage.
Now before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s break down this comparison into our first category:
GoDaddy plans range from $10 – $25, and all come with a free 1-month trial. There are only four plans, and the structure is transparent, which I like. There will be additional costs, though, because strangely for a domain-selling company, they make you pay for a domain name. If all you need is a simple website with text and pictures, GoDaddy’s entry plan “Personal” is a decent, affordable option.
GoDaddy Pricing notes:
- Price range: $10 – $25.
- Free 1-month trial available.
- Four plans only, all with transparent prices.
- Surprisingly no domain included, must be purchased extra.
Generally speaking, Wix comes with more options. There are ads on the cheap and free plans, though. And like with GoDaddy, neither domain nor email hosting are included. They must be purchased separately through them or externally. Finally, the longer your subscription (12 or 24 months), the cheaper the monthly price. And good news: you can cancel your plan at anytime.
Wix Pricing notes:
- Price range: Free – $49 .
- Free plans display ads, but use them however long you need.
- Complicated price structure. So much so, that I wrote a full article on the subject.
- Combo plan is usually the one I recommend for a standard ad-free website with a domain name.
- Other plans add apps you don’t necessarily need (e.g. Site Booster App, Events Calendar etc.). Usually better to pick and choose from their App Market manually.
- For ecommerce you’ll need their Business Basic plan or higher.
- You get a free domain voucher for the 1st year. After that it’s around $15 annually.
Winner: Always hard to say as it depends completely on your project. If you really just need a very simple, ad-free website, you might save a little bit with GoDaddy. Other than that, I reckon Wix is usually the better option. Keep in mind that, should you ever want to stop paying, Wix lets you keep your website through the free plan. With Godaddy on the other hand, it will just disappear.
If you’re only glancing at Wix and GoDaddy’s website designs, it’s hard to immediately pick a winner. Both companies have a ton of choice in numerous categories. And both look professional and well made. But there are a few differences:
GoDaddy Designs notes:
- Loads of choices and categories (health & medical, financial service etc.).
- Not 100% control over the designs.
- Responsive designs, but lacking in customization options for mobile display.
- Design switching is possible.
Wix Designs notes:
- Also a lot of categories (wedding, portfolio, restaurants etc.).
- Optimized for mobile, but you can still edit the layout.
- You have access to cool animations.
- More design options means it’s easier to mess up the style.
- Once you select your design, you can edit it, but not switch to another option.
Winner: Both look great but I still think Wix does a better job at customization. Their designs have a more unique feel, and the animations really help them stand out.
Ease of Use
Both GoDaddy and Wix claim you can build a website without programming knowledge. It’s absolutely true. No need for installation or updates (unlike with WordPress), and the building is done via drag and drop. Super easy to modify fonts, images and colors. And in case you need a helping hand, both have good tutorials, and also a backup option if your website comes crashing down.
The only thing I’d note here is that GoDaddy’s builder offers fewer options. In a way, it’s good because it means it’s even easier to learn for complete beginners. But if you want a bit more options, maybe Wix is better for you.
Winner: Probably a tie. Since you can do less with GoDaddy, it’s easier to handle, but more limited. Wix, however, is by no means complicated. Still extremely easy to use so it shouldn’t cause any troubles, even to newbies.
After building your website, you’ll probably want to bring people to it. This is why both Wix and GoDaddy give you tools to make your marketing life a bit easier. These include deals for buying ads on Google, Bing, Yelp and others.
GoDaddy Marketing notes:
- Their email marketing options integrate very neatly with the online store. This is a case where having access to extra GoDaddy products in the family helps. Just choose from the existing catalogue and add products as needed. No need to recreate all the info (images, product texts, pricing etc.).
- I also like their Facebook Sync Option to automatically connect your website with a Facebook page. If you’ve ever done it manually, you know it can be a pain.
- There’s a SEO Wizard to help with your rankings (more info below).
Wix Marketing notes:
- Wix has its own email marketing service called… Wix Email Marketing. If you’re familiar with MailChimp, it’s not all that different.
- Can’t connect Instagram to your online store out of the box.
- You can, however, link it to Facebook or Twitter.
Winner: I mean, on the one hand it’s easy to add everything you might need with both providers. GoDaddy’s seamless integrations and newsletter tool gives it the advantage, but Wix’s templates look nicer. I’d say a tie.
SEO is a complicated thing, especially for beginners. Luckily, both GoDaddy and Wix let you grasp the basics thanks to their SEO Wizards. Funnily enough, they both share the same name, and both ask questions to help you optimize titles, description and content. While this is a good start, you’ll still need a strong strategy, but contrary to popular belief, it’s not impossible to rank high with website builders. For the technically minded, an enduring myth is that Google has issues indexing AJAX-based websites (such as Wix). It’s not true, as Google themselves explain.
GoDaddy SEO notes
- Good SEO Wizard.
- Losing points because the headline order doesn’t always make sense (e.g. H1, H3, H2). It’s weird.
Wix SEO notes
- SEO Wiz is also good.
- You’ll get some issues when renaming image file names. For instance, a file with the name dog.jpg will become a 09a0a67abb7~mv2.jpg.
Winner: Both deliver well enough, but both have minor issues. Definitely a tie.
Let’s get something out of the way: if your main goal is eCommerce, dedicated solutions like Shopify or WooCommerce are probably better. However, both GoDaddy and Wix’s online store features are conveniently integrated with the website builder. You can even test it for free, but can’t sell anything in the free plan/ trial. As a vendor you won’t pay any additional sales fees that you might know from platforms like eBay or Amazon.
GoDaddy Ecommerce notes:
- Good product import function (interesting if you already own a small online store).
- You can either add a simple PayPal Buy or Donation button or add the complete online store.
Wix Ecommerce notes:
- You can sell physical and digital goods (ebooks, music etc.).
- Pricier eCommerce plans don’t really offer better features. it’s mainly about storage space and faster support. But faster support doesn’t mean better support.
- Wix’s ecommerce plans give you more features for your money.
Winner: Wix has more to offer for sellers – especially when you consider the extra features (more info below). This point goes to them.
Building your site is a good start, but if you want more options, you’ll need to add plugins, code snippets etc… Ideally, it’s all one-click installs, because you don’t want to have to learn to code for enabling extra features. Let’s see how GoDaddy and Wix handle them.
GoDaddy Extra Features
- There’s simply no app store, so that’s that….
- However, you do get extra options designed for specific industries. For real estate: MLS/IDX Real Estate Listings, Zillow Reviews. For restaurants: Open Table reservations, ChowNow Restaurant Online Ordering, etc..
- Note that adding features like Appointments & Services requires at least the BusinessPlus plan ($20 per month).
Wix Extra Features
- Wix’s App Market is the best of its kind. Most apps are free, but premium features like accepting online payments might come with extra costs.
- The list of extra features is huge.
- Many apps are developed by Wix themselves, so they integrate seamlessly.
- My favorite apps include: Wix Bookings, Wix Hotels, Wix Music, Wix Forum, Wix Events and many more.
Winner: Clearly Wix! The sheer amount of available apps gives Wix enough flexibility to be the best choice for tons of website categories.
Although both editors are easy to use, you might come into a situation that requires assistance. As noted in our intro, GoDaddy and Wix give you free support, even with the cheap and free plans.
GoDaddy Customer Support notes:
- The GoDaddy Help Center covers most typical questions. There’s also a community forum where you can ask your questions.
- GoDaddy’s English-speaking phone support is available 24/7. They operate worldwide so can call them wherever you located.
Wix Customer Support notes:
- The FAQ is your first stop. A huge database that troubleshoots common issues very well.
- You can contact Wix via email. Answers don’t take too long, but depending on the topic, the quality can vary.
- Wix also offers a call back service, but it’s not a 24/7 solution.
- VIP plans will give you faster support. Both your tickets and phone calls will jump to the front of the queue. It’s nice, but doesn’t guarantee a solution to your problem.
- There’s even an option to request new features, so you can always hope your idea will be implemented next.
Winner: Equal. We actually ran a full support test and found that Wix’s answers were of a higher quality. But GoDaddy offers more live support channels, so it depends on how you like to get in touch with support.
TL; DR – Our Quick Godaddy vs. Wix Overview
|Ease of use||GoDaddy|
Overall, there’s no denying that Wix is the stronger candidate. Their platform gives you more flexibility: both for design and for features. The complete control over the drag and drop editor makes it feel more powerful. On the other hand, GoDaddy’s basic editor is a little bit easier to handle. Fewer options means fewer chances you’ll mess something up.
Now of course, it always depends on the kind of website you need. But generally speaking, here’s what I would suggest:
When to choose GoDaddy over Wix:
- You want the cheapest plan with no ads on your website.
- You need a very simple way to put a website together.
- You are already a GoDaddy customer, especially one who uses their marketing products.
When to choose Wix over GoDaddy:
- You want complete control over your website design.
- You want a powerful online store attached to your website.
- You will need to add more features as time goes by, through the excellent Wix App Market.
And that’s it! If you think I’ve left anything out of this review, or you have comments and feedback, don’t hesitate to get in touch in the comments below!
23 Apr 2019: Smaller updates and corrections
26 Aug 2019: GoDaddy’s online store can handle digital goods.