Last Updated Jan 23 2019
GoDaddy’s website builder aims to let you create a website in 60 minutes. Unfortunately there can be a downside to that— it's too simple. So if you're unhappy with GoDaddy, I've got 7 competitors that you can try as an alternative.
If you want a website builder that’s easy to use… I’m kicking things off with Weebly as it’s the most direct competitor to GoDaddy’s website builder— the chief selling point of both is how simple they are to use.
But while GoDaddy makes things easier by cutting back on functionality, Weebly takes a better approach with a clear interface that makes performing intricate changes to your website straightforward and intuitive. That’s partly thanks to the Weebly App Store which allows you to add lots of functions to your website but won’t force you to interact with settings you don’t want mess with.
Weebly also has a decent free plan that includes unlimited bandwidth and a weebly.com subdomain.
For a beautifully finished website… One of the GoDaddy website builder’s weakest points is its theme selection— there are only 8 different themes. To make matters worse, they all share a similar structures.
Squarespace, on the other hand, has sophisticated, modern themes that offer different page layouts and style options. They're also highly customizable— thanks to Squarespace's handy style editor. It's subjective— but I believe Squarespace has the strongest themes of any website builder.
For the freedom to switch hosting provider easily… One downside of using a hosted website builder like GoDaddy is that you can’t move your website to another host— instead once you design your site on GoDaddy’s site builder, you have to stay their for the lifetime of that website.
But if you use a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress instead, it’ll be easy to change hosts. WordPress allows you to download an entire copy of your site’s code to transfer to a new server. You can even install WordPress on a GoDaddy server if you sign up to a standard package rather than a GoCentral website building plan.
WordPress does have a steeper learning curve than GoDaddy’s simple website building software. But because of the customizability it offers (there are 54,000+ WordPress plugins you can personalize your site with), it’s well worth taking the time to get to grips with.
If you want a powerful ecommerce site… Although GoDaddy’s Online Store package does cover the basics of ecommerce, it lacks sophisticated features. For example, you can’t sell gift cards or personalize the email receipts sent to customers.
Shopify is totally different. It's highly customizable. Shopify is only for ecommerce websites— which means it's able to provide more ecommerce features— things like customer account creation and gift card personalization are built into every site.
Plus you can add additional functionality to your ecommerce site using Shopify’s App Store. It’s full of useful apps that let you do anything from automating customer receipts to creating a digital map of order locations.
Calling all photographers... Like Shopify, Format is designed to build a particular type of website— with Format, it’s photography websites. GoDaddy does let you create gallery pages, but they’re simplistic and only allow for very basic personalization.
In contrast, Format offers 6 different gallery layouts that can be combined with 24 themes— all of which are designed to showcase photos.
Thanks to its focus on photography, Format has also been able to add features you won’t find elsewhere. These include direct Adobe Lightroom uploads and photo proofing tools to help customers order accurate prints of your photos.
Browsing Format themes.
For design freedom… GoDaddy’s website editor is restrictive— you don't get real control over the positioning of content. Wix’s editor, on the other hand, is effectively a blank canvas. You can move elements anywhere you want to, allowing you to get specific with your changes (even down to the pixel).
Like Weebly, Wix offers a free plan (though I don't recommend it— it’s offers just 500mb storage and no ability to connect a custom domain).
If you want to create your own template… If Wix’s blank-canvas editor isn’t doing it for you, why not throw away the canvas altogether?
Webflow allows you to create your own theme. It’s a more advanced design tool than the other builders on this list, so it’s not a service I recommend for beginners. But if you have a little technical know-how, Webflow will allow you to take advantage of that and create something extremely custom.