A painfully incoherent product that will constantly try to up-sell you. Avoid if you can.
If you like really hard puzzles that waste your time, you’ll probably enjoy navigating GoDaddy’s website. Trying to get anything done on it is tough.
For example. Let’s say last week you bought a GoDaddy website and today you want to work on the website. You login and try to find the website builder. But it’s a nightmare. You’re forced to go link hunting just to find out how to get to their website builder. Finally you see a link to the “Website Builder” and are taken to this page:
There is only one, small link to the actual website builder (the link is called: “Already own this product? Manage now”).
Maddeningly, 95% of the page is devoted to sales and only one link lets you get to the product. You’ve already paid for the product and yet GoDaddy is presenting you with sales material. Not a good first impression.
The Website Editor
The GoDaddy website editor has plenty of features and integrations. For example, you can add image montages (essentially image carrousels) and integrate with products like Open Table or Mapquest (although Mapquest is odd because everyone uses Google Maps these days).
Unfortunately, while many of the features seem great, they often feel inaccessible because they’re hard and confusing to use.
Take for example the simple task of editing paragraphs and text. This should be the simplest task in a website builder but in the screenshot below there are 5 different regions with buttons to edit the text with.
This is simple text editing but it’s been overblown with features and nothing to tie all the options together. Sure, you can edit the HTML. You can change the block properties. You can change the text styling. You can cancel, save, clear, import or delete (all in wildly different areas). But the options are placed so erratically that most users will never figure out how to use these features.
Another example of features that are so confusing that they’ll be next to impossible to use is the “Share Block.” These are basically repeatable regions on a website, for example, you may want your website navigation to be the same on every page. It’s always a bit of a design challenge— but GoDaddy is no where near to solving it.
Pages are made up of cells. And cells are made up of elements (like images and text). That’s three layers of abstractions (page / cell / element). From a user’s standpoint this is a needless and confusing abstraction— most website builders combine elements and cells. Users should not have to think that hard.
There are also all sorts of little frustrations in the UI. For example, if you’d like to pull the “drawer” up, you’ll hit this triangle:
But bizarrely, once you do that, there’s no reverse triangle to allow you to bring it down again. I don’t have the numbers, but I bet many users get confused by that.
GoDaddy websites are not mobile friendly. The desktop version is the same as the mobile version.
Some websites built with GoDaddy have the option of “mobile” pages (depending on which GoDaddy server you’re on). Unfortunately, It’s not entirely clear what the strategy is with mobile pages. Apparently, these are pages you can add that will work on mobile phones. It’s very confusing and not clearly explained to users in the website or the help docs.
Pricing and Sales
Anyone who’s tried to purchase a product knows that GoDaddy will constantly try to nickle and dime you. The entire checkout process is filled with upselling: “Hey you! Add a domain name for only $4.99!” or “Add free security options for $3.99!”. It’s like GoDaddy is the used car salesmen of technology companies.
There is even lots of nickel and diming with their website builder product. Want to add a blog to your website? No problem! That’ll cost an extra $4.99 a month. Want to add ecommerce? Great! That costs an extra $9.99 a month. Apparently the $9.99 you pay each month does not cover these things. This nickle and diming is ridiculous compared to the transparent pricing of great website builders like Webs, Weebly and Jimdo.
GoDaddy has a history of controversy.
Their annual Superbowl ads often feature scantily clad women and have resulted in accusations of of misogyny.
In March 2011, GoDaddy CEO, Bob Parsons published a video of him hunting elephants in Zimbabwe.
And in late 2011 it was revealed that GoDaddy supported SOPA, the controversial Hollywood-back copyright bill. In response, a grassroots boycott was organized. Wikipedia announced they were moving their domain names off of GoDaddy. Reddit users staged a protest and declared Dec. 29 “ditch GoDaddy day.” In five days, over 72,000 domain names were moved from GoDaddy. Since then, GoDaddy has tried to distance itself from controversial subjects but unfortunately past accusations of misogyny and animal cruelty still linger.
I bet GoDaddy makes a lot of money. Maybe they’re highly profitable— but their website builder is awful. Save yourself time and money and avoid it all costs.