Web hosting. It’s the unseen service that keeps your business in the black. Nothing’s costlier than a site that suffers more outages than NBC’s Super Bowl coverage.
GoDaddy has a stellar reputation for helping businesses host and build websites. Year after year, they smash industry records and win new customers.
Naturally, you’d expect great things from GoCentral, GoDaddy’s browser-based website building software. And, by and large, it doesn’t disappoint. GoCentral is an excellent, easy-to-use product. We built a site with it in less time than it took to write this GoDaddy review. I’ll show you just how easy this was. I’ll also explain why GoDaddy’s website builder won’t be to everyone’s tastes.
|Ease of Use|
|Help & Support|
|Reviewed by Expert Market:||10/01/2018|
What's On This Page?
Head straight to a specific section by clicking the links below.
Is GoDaddy a Good Fit For My Business?
If you want to set up a modern site with minimal fuss, GoDaddy has your name written all over it. Literally. GoDaddy gives you a free domain name when you sign up for a website builder subscription. Seeing if your dream .com destination is still up for grabs is as simple as using their handy search tool:
Result! And it’s an absolute steal!
GoDaddy’s website builder, GoCentral, gives you a dizzying array of website templates styled for different businesses. They’re great jumping off points that anyone can use to get started.
GoDaddy Website Builder Pricing Plans
Along with a domain name, all GoDaddy website builder subscriptions include shared web hosting. Admittedly, there are some drawbacks to shared hosting, which we’ll cover later. The best part about getting your domain, hosting and design tools all in one place is that you have everything you need to publish your site as soon as you’re happy with it.
Beyond the basics, GoCentral business subscriptions come in three tiers:
GoDaddy’s Business tier is best for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The unlimited bandwidth is great, but you should be aware that they tier pricing by the number of visitors to your site. So, you can go wild building the best website ever, but make sure you budget for increased hosting costs as more people discover it.
Business Plus is best if you’re trying to build an email or social media following through your site. Gyms, restaurants and businesses that rely on customer bookings will benefit the most from the online appointment scheduling that comes with this plan.
If online retail is your jam (and, given the importance of e-commerce UX), GoDaddy’s Online Store justifies the extra spend. In our experience, offering more on-site payment methods keeps customers from clicking away to your nearest competitor.
All these plans come with a 30-day free trial, which we tested for this GoDaddy review. It makes sense to try before you buy, and in GoDaddy’s case, you’re able to put their website builder through its paces before you commit to anything.
A Word on WordPress…
WordPress is the open source software that runs almost a third of all websites. Any web hosting provider worth its salt supports it.
GoDaddy lets you build WordPress websites, but that involves a separate set of WordPress hosting plans which we won’t be reviewing here. This is a GoDaddy review, which means we’re only reviewing GoDaddy’s own website builder. GoCentral specializes in quick website creation for non-specialists. WordPress is more customizable, but it takes longer to set up a website. We just thought you should know that GoDaddy offers dedicated WordPress support if you need it.
How does GoDaddy’s Website Builder Perform?
“Build a website in under an hour”
That’s taken directly from GoDaddy’s website. A bold claim indeed, but can they back it up? We tested their GoCentral website builder to find out:
GoDaddy Website Builder Features
GoCentral has all kinds of things going for it that make it one of the best quick-start website builders around. Here are a few of our favourites:
- ✔ There are thousands of sleek website templates for different industries. Whether you run a construction company, a jewellery store or a restaurant, you'll find templates to match.
- ✔ It's stunningly easy to add ecommerce features to your site. You just select the ones you need and GoDaddy guides you through setup. Magento is also available as a 1-click install.
- ✔ GoDaddy's web security is the best in the business, so you don't have to pay extra for third party guarantors. Sitewide SSL encryption and certification is included with your business subscription.
- ✔ You can embed widgets from Google Maps, Youtube, Soundcloud, and more. With these options, you can improve your customers' on-site experience.
- ✔ You can segment customer email addresses and send newsletters using GoDaddy's email software (available at an extra cost).
Despite its many advantages, there are some drawbacks to using GoDaddy that you should be aware of:
- X Although there are lots of great templates, they have limited layouts and themes. For example, you're restricted to using a fixed 24-color palette across your site. That could be a problem for large companies with strict brand identities.
- X You can add social media buttons to your site, but you can't choose which ones; it's all or nothing. Let's face it; Google Plus is a bit silly, but it's even sillier having their button on your site if you don't have an account with them.
On balance, the benefits of using GoDaddy’s website builder tend to outweigh its limitations.
GoDaddy SEO: More Than Meets the Eye?
Lots of website builders claim to help customers be more visible in search engines. Few actually explain convincingly how they do this.
GoDaddy, on the other hand, has an expert SEO team who really know their stuff. Don’t believe us? Kick things off with a free phone consultation with one of their staff, and we bet you’ll be impressed. Site audits, competitor research, analytics; you name it, they do it.
We’ve yet to find any GoDaddy reviews that take a negative view of GoDaddy SEO support. Their SEO services put the competition to shame, and are a big reason why their customer care is so highly regarded.
How Does GoDaddy Support Customers?
As the largest hosting company in the world, GoDaddy has the scale and resources to serve customers in ways that few can. The result?
- 4,700 customer support reps
- 24/7 phone support in 30 languages.
- Online chat support
- 99.9% server uptime (the amount of time that your website is live)
In particular, 24/7 phone support is a rarity in the world of web hosting. When we called their US support line for this review, we spoke with a knowledgeable and friendly customer service agent. Their chat help reps also gave me helpful, speedy responses to my questions.
In general, we found speaking with GoDaddy’s staff more useful than surfing GoDaddy’s website for answers. There’s a ‘Help’ section that houses FAQs and tutorials for the GoCentral, but some pages haven’t been updated in a while:
Pages like this one still appear in Google search results. As great as GoDaddy’s SEO services are, their Help section could use some work.
GoDaddy’s support team is so good that these shortcomings don’t detract from the overall experience too much.
Bluehost vs GoDaddy
GoDaddy and Bluehost are close competitors for your bandwidth. But, when it comes to website builders, they really don’t compare. GoDaddy has the edge. That’s because GoDaddy offers their own website builder, while Bluehost doesn’t.
But, that doesn’t have to stop you from powering your dream website with Bluehost. It just means that you’ll need to use another company’s website builder to create it. For example, you can design your site in Weebly’s website builder, and use Bluehost’s servers to run it. Bluehost also works closely with WordPress to offer the best WordPress hosting rates of any top web hosting company. One-click installs of Page Builder and countless other WordPress add-ons make it simple to set up a site with Bluehost.
But, for simplicity and speed of use, GoDaddy is in a league of its own. The learning curve with WordPress Bluehost is steeper, so unless you’ve used it before, it’s trickier to create a site from scratch.
GoDaddy is like the landlord you wish you had. Their shared website hosting space is cheap to rent, and they give you free reign to do what you like with it.
That could mean migrating your existing WordPress site to their servers, or starting a new site from scratch with GoCentral and a GoDaddy domain name. Whatever the case, GoDaddy has you covered. Their website creation suite is the best in its class for small business users. If you’re still in doubt about how easy it is to build and publish a site, sign up for a free trial.
Sure, it won’t appeal to web developers who spend all day looking at 0s and 1s; but it was never supposed to. GoDaddy keeps its software code-free for a reason, and thousands of businesses are much the better for it.
There’s no one size fits all solution to website creation, for the simple reason that every business has different needs. You often have to hunt for the best web hosting and design packages.
If you’re building a website and want an idea of the costs involved, your best bet is to get bespoke quotes.
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