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website builder support

At WebsiteToolTester, we take support questions very seriously. I really enjoy helping users find the best solution (after all, that’s why I created the site), and it keeps me updated about how website builders and ecommerce platforms are performing.

So when our users started complaining about missing refunds from Wix or the support they received from sites like GoDaddy or One.com, I decided to check it myself.

I have to admit, it wasn’t easy. “Support quality” is a hard metric to measure scientifically.

But after testing refund policies and interacting 60+ times with 10 providers’ support teams, I think I got a pretty good idea of who is good at helping – and who isn’t.

Email Support – How Long Do Platforms Take To Reply?

The first step was to see how long it takes to get an answer to a simple email. I sent 6 rounds of questions at different times of the day and week to calculate an average response time.

Note that out of the 10 providers I tested, GoDaddy was the only one who doesn’t offer email support. I used their live chat instead.

Company Overall answer time Average time Weekend question reply time
Strikingly 18 hours 42 minutes 3 hours 7 minutes 8 minutes
One.com 34 hours 24 minutes 5 hours 44 minutes 1 hour
BigCommerce 46 hours 25 minutes 7 hours 44 minutes 7 hours 7 minutes
Wix 54 hours 14 minutes 9 hours 2 minutes 28 hours 17 minutes
Shopify 69 hours 27 minutes 11 hours 34 minutes 28 hours 29 minutes
Webnode 93 hours 46 minutes 15 hours 37 minutes 45 hours 31 minutes
Weebly 107 hours 09 minutes 17 hours 51 minutes 55 hour 47 minutes
Jimdo 109 hours 59 minutes 18 hours 19 minutes 51 hours 40 min
Squarespace 128 hours 23 minutes 21 hours 23 minutes 11 hours 10 min
Godaddy No email support Average live chat waiting time approx. 10 min

What I learned:

  • Weebly claims to offer support on weekends as well as weekdays. However, when I sent a question Saturday morning, the answer only came back on Monday.
  • During my first week of tests, Squarespace’s team put up a banner in their help section to say support was slower than usual. Live chat was hardly ever available during that time. Answer times didn’t improve significantly, even after the supposed peak was over.

squarespace support
Seems like we picked the wrong time to review Squarespace’s support

  • Even though Godaddy’s live chat was available pretty instantly most of the time, we also had two instances when it took almost an hour to reach a support agent (especially for billing related issues). In these cases, email support would have been much more convenient, which they, unfortunately, don’t offer.

godaddy support

GoDaddy’s Live Chat is not always instant

  • Jimdo’s support team seems to be based out of Europe. If you are from the US and write them in the morning, you might even have an answer on the same day. However, write them in the afternoon/evening and you will most certainly receive your answer the following day.

Support Answers Quality – Are They Actually Helpful?

Your experience of how good an answer is will vary greatly. So I created a set of 6 questions, from the very basic to the fairly tricky. Each answer then got a score: excellent (+2 points), OK (1 point) and bad (-2 points).

The questions were:

  1. How can I add a Wistia video to my website?
  2. How can I create a bilingual website?
  3. How do I add hreflang tags to my site?
  4. What’s my cheapest option to set up my own domain and 5 email accounts?
  5. How do I compress the images on my site to speed it up?
  6. How do I add Meta Keywords to my website?

Question #4, for instance, was a sneaky one. It’s usually cheaper to buy domain name and accounts externally, but platforms tend to favour Google’s G Suite, which most of them partner up with. It’s a great service, but not the cheapest. (Only Shopify and BigCommerce had good alternative solutions).

Question #6 was also designed to confuse support: Meta Keywords are not really necessary anymore, so a good answer would recommend other good SEO techniques. (Squarespace, BigCommerce, and Webnode scored maximum points here.)

Company Excellent (+2) Okay (+1) Bad (-2) Score Comment
Strikingly 4 2 0 10 The only company to deliver 4 excellent answers. In some cases, they even offered to implement website changes directly for me.
Jimdo 3 3 0 9 They may not be the fastest to answer but they take good care to answer questions properly.
Shopify 4 1 1 7 With one exception, all their answers were very good.
Webnode 3 2 1 6 Pretty solid. They even recorded a short screencast for one answer.
Squarespace 3 2 1 6 One fail, but very good answers otherwise.
Wix 1 4 1 4 Answers were often very brief, just linking to the knowledge base.
Weebly 1 4 1 4 Brief answers usually.
BigCommerce 3 1 2 3 They recommended developers far too often.
Godaddy 2 2 2 2 Seemed they had no clue what I wanted at times.
One.com 1 2 3 -2 Almost never answered anything directly, often had follow-up questions.

What I learned:

  • BigCommerce is pretty far down the list. That’s because they’re very quick to recommend hiring a developer – even for simple things like adding a Wistia video, which really isn’t all that hard. Shame because their other answers were excellent.
  • GoDaddy and One.com are at the bottom. It often felt like they were completely clueless.

Knowledge Pages – Who Had The Best Ones?

In an ideal world, you would find all your answers simply by searching the support pages. While some companies take great care to craft good answers, others don’t. Here’s how I rated them:

Company Video tutorials Knowledgebase quality Comments
Wix Yes 5/5 Covers nearly everything. This is what a modern KB should look like. They even have little self-help chatbots to guide you through certain fixes.
Squarespace Yes 5/5 In-depth articles, very helpful.
Shopify Yes 5/5 Huge amount of videos in the Youtube channel, good articles.
BigCommerce Yes 5/5 Good articles and detailed videos.
Strikingly Yes 4/5 Sometimes shows results from the Idea Forum, which is about suggestions, not technical answers. Otherwise, their articles could be a little more in-depth but overall good.
Jimdo No 4/5 Great articles, however, none of the linked videos was actually available.
Weebly Not many 4/5 Great articles with good screenshots but not much video content.
Webnode Yes 3/5 Articles don’t go very deep. Also the pages mix the old and the new editor, which is confusing.
Godaddy Yes 2/5 Very easy to get lost in the KB as they mix all of GoDaddy’s products together.
One.com No 2/5 Not that easy to navigate. Like with GoDaddy, all of One.com’s products are bundled together. Also two different Website Builder versions, which complicates things further.

What I learned:

  • GoDaddy and One.com: please sort out your knowledge base so it’s product-specific. It’s so frustrating to find answers about your email hosting feature when I’m clearly looking for website builder info.
  • Wix is ahead of the game with their small bot chat wizards. They’re not only useful but also quite fun to use.

wix support wizard

Your bot-assistant for Wix sites

Getting Refunds – I Want My Money Back!

Refund policies are one of the biggest complaints we hear about. It’s understandable – you really don’t want to feel like you are paying for something you don’t use anymore. But is it the fault of the provider, or the users who don’t read the terms and conditions?

To investigate, I actually bought packages and checked if I could get my money back – ensuring it was within their refund policies. This is how it went:

Company Refund policy Got a refund? Comments
Wix 14 days Yes, within 3 days. They have an efficient self-service system for refunds.
Weebly 30 days Yes, within 3 days. The only one with a refund period of up to 30 days.
Jimdo 14 days Yes, within 3 days.
Squarespace 14 days Yes, within 3 days.
One.com 15 days Yes, within 1 week.
GoDaddy 14 days for yearly packages, 48 hours for monthly packages. No, but it was our own mistake. We missed that we only had 48h to cancel our package. Annoyingly you have to start a live chat, which in our case had really long waiting times.
Webnode 14 days Yes, within 1 month.
Strikingly Free 14 days trial Didn’t get charged after canceling the free trial. They will only start charging your CC after the free trial is over.
Shopify No refunds given, only free 14 days trial. N/A If you try out a premium plan, you have to pay for it.
BigCommerce No refunds given, only free 15 days trial. N/A If you try out a premium plan, you have to pay for it.

What I learned:

  • If you ask for your refund within the set time frame, you’ll get your money back. Sure in some case it might take a while, but you will get it.
  • Wix had by far the most efficient system. You will use a chatbot type application that will immediately confirm whether the refund will be processed or not.
  • Shopify and BigCommerce have no refund policy in place at all, so there is no way to trial an actual paid package. They do have a free trial though.
  • Maybe all the complaints we get are from users who don’t actually read the T&Cs?

Conclusion – Which Provider Has the Best Support Overall?

Admittedly, this point system is a little bit flawed, but it still gives us a good overview of the support quality. To calculate it, I added up the points for quality and the knowledge base (KB). Each available support channel gave another point. Email answer speed was not included (except to separate those with the same score) – because some companies also offer live chat, which is usually instantaneous.

Company Available Channels Overall Score (max. 20) Comments
Strikingly Email, Live Chat 16 points Best in class support. Fast, friendly and efficient.
Shopify Email, Live Chat, Phone 15 points Quality personal support and an excellent KB.
Jimdo Email 14 points You can expect really good and personal support. Not always the fastest, though we found it worth the wait.
Squarespace Email, Live Chat (limited availability) 12.5 points Support quality was very good but availability was a huge issue.
Reduced it by 0.5 as live chat wasn’t always available. Overall a pretty lucky 4th position.
BigCommerce Email, Live Chat, Phone 11 points Excellent support unless you ask them on a bad day.
Wix Email, Phone (call back) 11 points Their KB is one of the best, personal support is average.
Weebly Email, Live chat, Phone 11 points Support quality was mostly acceptable.
Webnode Email 10 points Webnode’s support quality is very good. Unfortunately, their KB is not that extensive and they only offer one support channel.
Godaddy Live Chat, Phone 6 points A confusing KB and (sometimes) unknowledgeable support staff.
One.com Email, Live Chat 2 points Unfortunately, the quality of their support leaves much to be desired.

Final things I learned:

  • You can’t go wrong with the top 3. Strikingly, Shopify and Jimdo do a splendid job. Anything after that and you might run into some frustrations.
  • Surprisingly, contacting Wix is not as easy as it should be. You have to find a topic, then click NO when they ask if the answer was helpful. Only then will you be able to talk to someone.
  • GoDaddy’s phone support is just as poor as their emails: they seem to mistake phone support with sales.
  • Refund periods were always honored in our experience. If they say money-back guarantee, they mean it.

And there you have it! Hopefully this will give you more confidence about choosing the right website builder or ecommerce provider.

And if you have any questions, comments or feedback – please ask us below. I promise you our support is excellent 🙂

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