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GoDaddy Review

GoDaddy wants to you to be able to build a website in less than an hour. The problem? They designed a cookie-cutter website builder that is far too limiting. Watch Video Review »

My work is supported by affiliate commissions. Last Updated Aug 20 2018


User Experience

A few years ago, I interviewed the product manager for GoDaddy’s website builder. He explained that GoDaddy surveyed users and found that most users thought building a website took too long. Because of that, GoDaddy decided to build a new website builder based on letting people build websites in less than an hour. They called this website builder Website Builder 8.

"Build a better website in less than an hour."

Right: "Build a better website in less than an hour."

You can see GoDaddy's philosophy ("build a website in less than an hour") throughout Website Builder 8. For example, pages are built by stacking sections (example: photo gallery, form) on top of one another— these cookie-cutter sections let you build fast but have almost no meaningful customization.

Right: Sections (each section is seperated by the blue +)

For example, there are just 7 Content sections to choose from— and you can't add any individual elements to those sections. It's very limiting. Building my website like this felt like filling out a mad libs.

Right: There are just 7 blank Content sections to choose from.

So what if you want to add a button below the image here? You can't. You're stuck with what GoDaddy has pre-designed for you

Now there are some interesting sections that GoDaddy has added in the last year. For example, online restaurant ordering, OpenTable reservations and MLS/IDX real estate listings. I spent some time using the appointments scheduler and it's really handy— you can create classes and appointments for visitors to schedule.

There are some interesting sections to choose from.

Right: There are some interesting sections to choose from.

But overall GoDaddy's cookie-cutter sections are too frustrating. In designing Website Builder 8 they built a system for designing a website quickly— but it's far too limited.

Features

  • Blog

    Last year GoDaddy didn't offer a blog— so I'm glad to see a blog is included now— though it's quite basic. Posts can have text, images or a divider (that's it though). You can put posts in categories and set a featured image but there are no draft posts, no saving posts, no publishing posts at a later date, no customizable URLs, no comments and no RSS feed. It's not for professional blogging.  Show Screenshot

  • Ecommerce

    GoDaddy has a simple store builder that covers the basics of ecommerce: run sales, set product options (with variant pricing), calculate shipping costs and integrate with Stripe or Paypal. There are not many features for more sophisticated stores— for example you can't create gift cards or customize the emails your customers receive.  Show Screenshot

  • Form Builder

    There's a Contact Us section that has an email form but it's not really a form builder. Instead it just lets you add single-line or paragraph text inputs— no file uploads, radio buttons or checkboxes. Existing GoDaddy users may find this frustrating as older versions of the website builder included a full form builder. Show Screenshot

  • iOS & Android Apps

    No.  

  • Retina Ready

    Yes.  

  • Newsletter

    There is a Subscribe section that let's you collect email addresses for a mailing list. It automatically works with GoDaddy's email marketing tool— but also allows you to export the email addresses so you can import them in other email marketing software (example: Mailchimp). Show Screenshot

  • Membership System

     

  • Design from Scratch

    No. GoDaddy's templates are cookie cutter and don't allow you to re-arrange elements with any flexibility. 

  • Multi-lingual

    No. Your website is limited to one language.  

  • Restaurant Menu

    There is a Menu section that lets you create simple restaurant menus (there are two layout options). It's actually quite easy use. You can add items and simply group them into categories. One neat trick is that you can click an individual item on the page to edit it— which is a handy timesaver.  Show Screenshot

  • Donations

    No. You can add a Paypal donation button but this is not a full donation system— it sends visitors to checkout on a different website and doesn't allow you customize email notifications.  Show Screenshot

  • Audio Player

    No audio player. There is an Audio section that lets you embed Soundcloud but no official audio player. (Furthermore, it's not even an integration with Soundcloud. Instead it's just— and this getting a bit technical— a simple embed code.)  Show Screenshot

  • Podcasts

    No.  

Themes

This is a huge disappointment. Every GoDaddy website has roughly the same layout— there is very little structural difference, instead theme's just re-arrange headers and apply different colors and fonts. There are only 8 themes— and they've only added one new theme in the last year, so don't expect a lot more to come. for every GoDaddy website.

Right: Switching between website themes.

Theme customization is terrible. You can only set one theme color. Want to change the link color in your navigation? Nope, they can only be black. Want to change the color of your headings? Nope, the also can only be black. Want to increase the font size of anything? Nope, can’t be done.

Theme customization is limited to choosing one color and fonts.

Right: Theme customization is limited to choosing one color and fonts.

Good Billing Practices

You are able to cancel GoDaddy using a web-based interface. You're also now able to try the website builder without a credit card— something you couldn't do for a long time.