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: 4.5 / 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
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days|
|Disk Space||1 GB - 50 GB|
|Domain Name||FREE (w/ annual plans)|
|Website Builder Hosting Plans||www.godaddy.com/site-builder|
Our Expert's GoDaddy Review
GoDaddy uses a version of the InstantPage website builder to offer a user-friendly site-building solution to their customers. Most of GoDaddy's hosting plans include this website builder as an option at no additional cost. Plus, if you sign up for an annual hosting plan, this world-leading domain name registrar will include your website's new domain for free.
The InstantPage site builder interface is incredibly easy to use and includes a lot of options for customization. While you worry about making your website beautiful and professional-looking, the GoDaddy team is working around the clock to ensure that your site will remain online and performing speedily. Their award-winning security team monitors the server that's supporting your website — keeping an eye out for downtime, hackers, and other security threats. They also keep an eye on the usage of other customers sharing your server. The end result is their uptime guarantee of 99.9%, which isn't much in the hosting world, but it does the job for most users.
The bottom line is that for a mere dollar per month you can get started with GoDaddy's website builder plan and choose from hundreds of theme options to start designing the site of your dreams. See it as a free website builder with hosting that costs a dollar per month, or a dollar per month spent on a site builder with the hosting included for free — either way it's a pretty sweet deal.collapse info -
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
|Money Back Guarantee||14 days|
|Disk Space||500 MB - 20 GB|
|Website Builder Hosting Plans||www.wix.com/site-builder|
Our Expert's Wix Review
Website building is where Wix shines. The thousands of templates, the intuitive editor, the industry-leading designs that cater to a variety of specific fields and use cases — all these facets represent a platform that excels at facilitating easy web design for the non-tech-savvy user. Sign up with your Facebook account or email address and get started for free.
I'll admit, the Wix Editor may appear daunting when you first meet it, but get to know the interface. Once you familiarize yourself with the environment, you'll realize that what first comes across as overwhelming is actually empowering — the customization functionalities to be had are many, and they're awesome. There's no need for coding of any kind. Just drag and drop elements of your new site and BAM: What You See Is What You Get (i.e., Wix is a WYSIWYG website builder!).
You don't have to design your website from scratch with Wix, though blank templates are available. There are thousands of templates, each one categorized by design need and further classified into industry niches, and the site's look can be molded to match your brand or personality very easily. Layout and design options include parallax themes (where the viewer scrolls down the screen and one page rolls seamlessly into the next), custom sliders, multiple columns, mobile-specific and mobile-responsive displays, and tons of button and menu navigation tricks.
While Wix isn't our favorite host in terms of expert support or top-of-the-line hardware, it's an industry-leading platform for website building. It's popular for many reasons: the simple startup process, the ease of use, the array of customization options, and the WYSIWYG results, as examples. Its reputation precedes it, and we can totally see where the rave reviews are coming from.collapse info -
- Choice of Weebly or WebsiteBuilder by iPage
- #1 Pick for WYSIWYG site building with FREE domain
- 100s of professionally designed, customizable themes
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days|
|Disk Space||100 GB - Unlimited|
|Domain Name||FREE (1 year)|
|Website Builder Hosting Plans||www.ipage.com/site-builder|
Our Expert's iPage Review
Do you want your website built today? If you answered "yes," you should look no further than iPage. In fact, it's possible for you to be online before you even finish reading this article. Thanks to iPage's user-friendly interface, instant provisioning, and free domain name, you can have a live, attractive website in mere minutes.
For those that have been around the Web for a while, you may remember when it took a day to get your server online; thankfully those days are gone. Your site is live the second you complete your order with iPage. A domain name is also included, so the ordeal of purchasing a domain name, setting name servers, and waiting for them to propagate is also extinct. Once that's completed, you are taken to the incredibly user-friendly interface, where you can begin your site creation process.
Powered by their own proprietary builder, iPage's WebsiteBuilder makes it easy to have a professional-looking site created in minutes. It all starts with your choice of template — with hundreds of options available. From there, you can customize color schemes, fonts, and sizes, and add your own pictures and videos. Adding forms for comments, RSVPs, or business contacts is just as simple. Before you know it, you have an attractive, functional website.
From the ease of use to the speed at which you are able to get a site live, iPage leaves us with little doubt as to why we've ranked them #1 on our list of web hosts with site builder functionality. An already incredible value, their 30-day money-back guarantee means that you can feel at ease knowing that iPage stands behind its product, and they're confident that you will be happy with their service.collapse info -
- Integration with Fotolia and Flickr image databases
- Pre-built and customizable content with GridBlocks
- Responsive themes with tablet and mobile editing views
|Money Back Guarantee||90 days|
|Domain Name||FREE (1 year)|
|Website Builder Hosting Plans||www.inmotionhosting.com/boldgrid|
Our Expert's BoldGrid Review
After taking the BoldGrid suite of plugins for a test drive, we experienced how they make WordPress more accessible for beginners and much more efficient for professional developers.
Because BoldGrid requires a separate hosting account and WordPress installation, it is a little more challenging for wide-eyed beginners to get started than it is for other website builders. However, by signing up with a reputable host — we recommend BoldGrid partner InMotion Hosting — you'll be equipped with a helpful support staff to lead you through the setup process.
BoldGrid themes are beautiful, modern, responsive, and come with usable content out of the box. Choose from pre-made page layouts or create your own using GridBlocks, which create clean, modular designs without any coding. Simply drag and drop each element to adjust its position and size. Unlike most other site builders, BoldGrid generates pristine code that is friendly to SEO and developers who want more control.
The two features most appealing to us, however, are the staging environment and editing capabilities for mobile and tablet views. The lack of a staging area has long been one of the few complaints about WordPress, and BoldGrid has solved that issue with aplomb. Use it to test new looks, plugins, or updates before you deploy them to the active site.
Although many other site builder themes boast mobile-optimized responsiveness, BoldGrid is one of the few platforms that give you control over exactly how your site will look in tablet or mobile modes.collapse info -
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.