Jan 17 2019 · By Steve Benjamins
GoDaddy’s GoCentral website builder is designed to allow you to build a site in under an hour. I personally found it to be too limiting, but if you decide to use it, there are some key facts you should be aware of before picking a plan. In this article, I’ll share some insight into how to find the most suitable package and a few money-saving tips.
GoDaddy offers dozens of different services— including domain name registration, web hosting, online marketing and more. But we're looking specifically at their DIY website builder (sometimes called GoCentral). You can build a website with some of GoDaddy's other services (for example, hosting) but you’ll have to use a third-party CMS such as WordPress to design and manage your website.
GoDaddy offers three website plans for personal or business websites and one for eCommerce.
All plans are charged annually— GoDaddy doesn’t offer any form of monthly payment, so make sure you factor that annual bill into your budget.
At the bottom end of the scale is the Personal plan. It costs $5.99 / month (but remember, it will be billed at $71.88 / year) and is what I'd recommend for most websites.
One step up is the Business plan ($119.88 per year) which is an upgrade I would not recommend. You only get access to very, very simple Paypal buttons (either Buy It Now or Donate and a simple SEO tool. Neither of these are worth an upgrade— you can find plenty of better SEO tools (see my list here) and PayPal buttons can easily be created and embedded for free.
Then there's the Business Plus plan ($179.88 / year). It includes all the features from the two cheaper plans and includes some upsells:
I really only recommend the upgrade if you need to accept online appointment bookings— the other features aren't worth it.
GoDaddy refers to its only ecommerce plan as the Online Store package and it costs $29.99 / month. As store builders go, it's easy to use but not very sophisticated— for example you can't customize the email receipts your customers receive.
All GoDaddy plans begin with a 1 month free trial. You don’t need to register a credit card to sign up for it, just an email. No part of the website builder is off-limits during your trial, so make good use of it to determine if you want to commit for a year or two-year contract when it ends.
Of course, you can't add a domain name during the free trial— instead you can opt for a subdomain (example:
Domain name costs vary depending on the exact domain you pick, but if you choose a relatively uncommon name, the chances are it will cost either $0.99 / year for the first year of your plan, or $2.99 / year for the first two years.
These prices are heavy discounts on the standard domain registration rate. The exact factor of the increase you experience in the second or third year of your plan depends on the precise domain you choose, but third-year prices for a .com domain name will be at least $17.99 / year.
Although the increase in domain registration cost isn’t significant compared to the annual cost of the entire website builder package, GoDaddy would serve its readers better with clearer, transparent pricing.
No matter what kind of GoDaddy site you create, if you register a domain with your package then your personal information will be available to the world via a whois search. While some website builders (such as Squarespace) include domain privacy in their registration costs, GoDaddy doesn’t— you’ll need to add a domain privacy service to your plan if you want to keep your personal information private.
It costs an additional $9.99/year, but you’ll be happy to learn that, unlike domain registration, that’s a fixed cost that won’t change with time.