GoDaddy SiteBuilder review: Fuss-free business websites, fast


GoDaddy is one of a number of big web hosts that, in the wave of the success of Wix and Weebly, has pivoted to offering website-building tools as well. Website Builder is, like the aforementioned services, a template-based editor designed to make it quick and easy to create a slick, modern-looking website, even if you don’t have any technical knowledge.

It will work with existing GoDaddy hosting packages or connect to existing domains. Alternatively, you can create and even publish your site with a godaddysites.com suffix, then buy a new domain for it later.

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GoDaddy review: What do you get for the money?

GoDaddy offers a free one-month trial, after which you have to sign up to a plan, with the most basic costing £3.99 per month (at the time of writing) if you pay for a year up front. Even with the basic plan you can have your own domain connected – although you’ll need to pay for this separately – and there are no limits on file bandwidth or storage.

Move up to the £5.99 per month Standard plan or £8.49 per month Premium plan and you get additional features for search engine optimisation and marketing through social media and email. The Premium plan also allows you to set up recurring appointments and payments for appointments, which becomes useful if you use your website to run some kind of professional services business.

However, full e-commerce features only become available with the £9.99 per month Ecommerce plan, which covers product listings, payments and shipping options, enabling you to set up a full online store.

Note that these prices apply only when you pay annually up front, although they’re often discounted during sales periods. Just be aware that the normal prices will resume once the initial sale price period is over, usually after the first year. What’s more, pay monthly and GoDaddy’s plans grow significantly more expensive. For example, the Basic plan rises to £10.99 per month and the Ecommerce plan hits £24.99 per month.

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GoDaddy Website Builder: How easy is it to set up?

It couldn’t be much easier. You can create a new GoDaddy account or go through your existing account, then start building. You’re asked for a name for your site and your area of business – the templates focus primarily on business and e-commerce users – and from there the tool generates an initial site design, ready to be populated with content and customisations. Lots of website-building tools claim you can be up and running in minutes, but you can get through this first stage in under five if you don’t spend too long deliberating.

GoDaddy Website Builder: What’s it like to use?

Ease of use and speed are very much the focus. While the tool helps you select an initial look and feel, you’re free to switch to another template, or theme, or simply change the existing colours, fonts and buttons, through a tabbed tool panel on the right-hand side.

Nor are you stuck with the existing layouts for individual pages; alternatives are available at a click, while you can replace existing images or edit any text simply by clicking in the main window or in the relevant section of the tool panel. Website Builder even has built-in tools to edit images in situ, although these can be a little slow in operation. It’s still better to get everything prepared beforehand.

You can also add new pages or sections manually, building up new pages from a series of pre-made sections designed to showcase specific types of content – whether that’s video, blog posts, PDFs or even raw HTML if you want to embed your own JavaScript or CSS. The blogging and video tools are fairly basic – this isn’t the best website builder for budding media barons – but for quick posts and content designed to engage potential customers and contacts, you get everything you need.

Templates used to be a weak point for Website Builder but GoDaddy has clearly invested in putting some decent Themes together, and you shouldn’t have trouble finding something that works for you or your business. And while the customisation options might not provide enough control for more ambitious users, they’re perfect for an audience without skills in design or coding. You might not get exactly what you have in mind, but it’s hard to come up with something bad or that just doesn’t work.

One feature we’re particularly keen on is the Next Steps button. Click this at any time and Website Builder advises you on which tasks might help you to launch or improve your website, complete with a shortcut to the relevant tool or settings. Often you’re pointed to tasks such as creating a Google Business profile or posting to social media that might seem obvious to experienced website builders, but won’t be to the non-expert users that GoDaddy has in mind.

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GoDaddy Website Builder: Is it good for e-commerce?

With any business-focused tool, decent e-commerce features are a must. Interestingly, GoDaddy goes as big on professional services as it does on building online stores, with features to schedule appointments and even set up webinars and training sessions via Zoom. Meanwhile, the store features themselves are strong, including secure payment through PayPal, Square or Strip, along with GoDaddy Payments, plus integrated marketing via email campaigns, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp and Google.

The tools for adding and managing products in your inventory are robust but also easy to follow, and you also have options for selling through established marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon, with inventory tracking across them and your own online store. Again, GoDaddy’s strength is in the way it points you towards tasks or opportunities that could help you grow your business, whether that’s SEO optimisation with the built-in SEO wizard or posting about your latest products to social media.

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GoDaddy Website Builder: What other features does it have?

GoDaddy has its own tool for designing ads and branded visuals – GoDaddy Studio – and you can access this from within the Website Builder interface. Again, it’s no Photoshop, working mostly through ready-made templates rather than freeform design tools, but you can create some good results with a little time and effort.

Similarly, while the SEO wizard isn’t going to be as effective as building up your own SEO expertise, it does a solid job of asking you questions about your site’s focus and content, then delivering sensible suggestions on how you might improve its search rankings. Not all are brilliant – I wouldn’t want to use the same keyword twice within my main page title – but it’s going to help some users who don’t have the expertise to sort this stuff out themselves.

GoDaddy Website Builder: Is there anything it could do better?

Website Builder is very fast and thoroughly effective at building a specific style of business site: one focused on showcasing a business or a set of products and services and on adding the fundamental pages and functions needed to support that. If you’re building something to, say, showcase your interests or your photography portfolio, then you might want to look for something with more flexibility and a wider range of tools and features.

It’s also worth mentioning that, while GoDaddy has a library of stock photography and art you can use, it isn’t particularly extensive. The selection is fine for mocking up a site you can populate with your own content later, but you wouldn’t want to rely on it permanently.

GoDaddy Website Builder: Should you sign up?

For anyone looking to spend the minimum of time putting up a professional-looking business site, then GoDaddy Website Builder is one of the best options around. It’s very easy to use, with streamlined processes and wizards covering most major features, it has a good selection of templates to work with and some surprisingly powerful business features. The price you pay for this, however, is that it isn’t the most flexible or versatile tool. GoDaddy is great at what it does, but some of its rivals will do even more.

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