Building a website today is all about who you know — not necessarily the most experienced and expensive developer who can do the job for you, but rather the reliable and affordable web host who will help you do it yourself.
As the largest domain name registrar in the world, GoDaddy is extremely popular. They boast a ridiculously low price for hosting, and a 1-month free trial for their InstantPage site builder, making web design easier than you ever imagined.
However, is it right for you? Let’s take a look at reviews of GoDaddy’s site builder, including results of our team’s initial test drive, as well as the biggest pros and cons you might encounter as a user.
Overall Review: / 5.0
Our very own Ryan Frankel took GoDaddy hosting for a test drive and tried out the host’s popular website builder. Overall, he found the builder to be very intuitive and well-supported, but maybe a little limited on design flexibility and eCommerce tools. Here is Ryan’s review of his experience:
- FREE InstantPage website builder included with most hosting plans
- Easy-to-use interface with tons of customization options available
- 24/7 expert support via phone, email, and ticketing system
- 99.9% uptime with an award-winning team monitoring your site and server
- Step-by-step walkthroughs
- Get started on GoDaddy now.
Top 5 “Pros” of GoDaddy’s Website Builder
We’ll start with the good stuff, as they are one of our favorite hosts, but you can skip to the cons if you’d like.
1. It’s Free to Get Started
The InstantPage site builder is an exclusive offering of GoDaddy’s website builder plans. The three tiers of website builder hosting plans are extremely reasonable, making the included site builder a steal — and with a 1-month free trial, you can get started today with zero cost.
The tool’s drag-and-drop interface is incredibly easy to use and lets users of the two higher-end plans seamlessly switch between desktop and mobile versions of their site. The highest-tier Business Plus plan also includes a 1-click social media manager and SEO tools to get your newly built site noticed.
2. Over 300 Themes and Templates
Like many of the best site builder hosts, GoDaddy bundles hundreds of theme options with their site builder plans, all tailored to your specific needs. Seriously, there are multiple templates for plumbers. Sort the themes by categories, such as education, food, personal, photography, and travel, to find your favorite.
Once you select a theme, GoDaddy will automatically populate the theme with the information you enter. You can edit text, change colors and fonts, add or delete pages, and upload your own pictures or videos.
3. Step-By-Step Tutorials Included
GoDaddy’s beginner-friendly website builder offers step-by-step explanations of how to set up and fine-tune your website. Whether you’re adding a button or making a photo gallery, GoDaddy has a guide for that.
4. Get Help from Support 24/7
Yet another perk of going with a hosting company as well-known as GoDaddy, their support team is one of the most reputable in the industry. If you get stuck at any point, you can contact their experts 24 hours a day, seven days a week via phone, email, or live chat.
5. Hosting is Only $1
Let’s say the site builder isn’t your cup of tea. If you want to take the regular hosting route and build your site with a platform, such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, it really doesn’t get more cost-effective than Go-Daddy’s $1-hosting. With a domain name included for free with the purchase of an annual plan, you can still create your site for next to nothing by using a free theme.
While we love GoDaddy for their perks, no host is perfect at everything. Read on to see the things we’re not wild about.
Top 5 “Cons” of GoDaddy’s Website Builder
As an authority on web hosting, we have to be objective. Here are five potential drawbacks we’d like to change:
1. No eCommerce Tools
GoDaddy doesn’t make it easy to open an online store. The main site builder doesn’t include anything for eCommerce, but you can use a separate online store builder — for twice as much as the premium site builder plan. If you’re looking for a site builder host that’s a little more friendly to online businesses, check out our favorite eCommerce site builders.
2. Very Basic Design
Even though you have so many themes from which to choose, they all kind of blend together after a while. While very clean and modern, GoDaddy’s website builder interface is best for very basic designs. That’s good for many, but try one of 2017’s best website builder plans if you want something a little more intricate.
3. You Can’t Switch Between Themes
One unfortunate caveat to GoDaddy’s 300+ themes is that you can’t switch between them without losing your content. This might be more annoying than a deal breaker, so be sure to choose your theme carefully before you fully commit.
4. Their Uptime Guarantee Isn’t Great
GoDaddy leads the web hosting industry in a lot of things: domain hosting, affordability, and page loads, but their uptime guarantee of 99.9% isn’t quite up to par with some of our top hosts. For many users, however, that extra tenth of a percent won’t make much of a difference.
5. No Password Protection
Not being able to password-protect certain pages of your website is a major faux pas in the web hosting world these days, so GoDaddy’s lack of password-protected pages functionality is the only other thumbs-down feature we can think of — but again, this won’t matter much to many users.
3 Website Builders We Like Better
While GoDaddy has its strengths and is trusted by more than 16 million customers around the world, the website builder is not as robust or feature-rich as competing platforms. The lack of snap-to-grid functionality makes perfecting design a tedious process, particularly for non-developers or designers (the bulk of the GoDaddy customer base). We prefer to recommend a host with a more nuanced website builder, and you’ll find a few of our favorites below.
- No coding skills needed with drag-and-drop website builder
- 100s of templates with industry-specific designs
- Add features via the App Market
- Build an eCommerce store easily
- Build small sites on a budget
- Get started on Wix now.
- Choice of Weebly or WebsiteBuilder by iPage
- #1 Pick for WYSIWYG site building with FREE domain
- 100s of professionally designed, customizable themes
- Start your personal blog or business site in minutes
- Get +75% off your first month
- Get started on iPage now.
- Integration with Fotolia and Flickr image databases
- Pre-built and customizable content with GridBlocks
- Responsive themes with tablet and mobile editing views
- Generates clean, efficient, and compliant HTML
- SEO, gallery, and forms plugins
- Get started on BoldGrid now.
Bottom Line: We Like It, But Don’t Love It
Like we said at the beginning, it pays to know a host that’s so prominent and respected in the industry. It’s hard to go wrong by trusting your website needs to GoDaddy’s hosting and website building interface.
Many of the faults we found with GoDaddy’s tool might be quite inconsequential to you, making them an excellent option. If you want to keep shopping, you could compare GoDaddy to our top 10 recommended builders.