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If there’s charm to GoDaddy’s website builder it is it’s simplicity. But of course, while simple is usually easy to use, simple also means limited (which you discover when you realize there is no blog and ecommerce features).
The website editor is what I call a Blank Canvas Editor— which means you can drag elements anywhere on any page. These kind of editors sound good but usually get confusing when they run into the structured parts of a website, such as the footer. With GoDaddy, your footer is pushed down as you add content— pretty slick right?
Here's the problem: if you remove content, the footer doesn’t just pop back up. Instead it stays down below (which makes it look like the footer is stuck in no man’s land). If you highlight footer elements and drag them up (the obvious thing to do) you will actually remove those elements from your footer! Which is really, really confusing!
Strangely, there is no place to set a unified style for your website. Instead, each element is styled individually. This gets frustrating when, for example, you want update all the headings across your website— the only way to do it is to manually update the styles for each heading individually.
You can’t build a blog on GoDaddy. (Don’t be confused by their Blog/RSS widget— it’s not a blog where you can write and publish posts. Instead it’s just an RSS reader that aggregates posts from other blogs.)
No ecommerce. Though GoDaddy offers a widget to accept Paypal payments, it’s important to note this is not ecommerce. Paypal payments means your checkout system is off of your website, you can’t customize email receipts, you can’t set taxes and a whole slew of other limitations. Show Screenshot
Full form builder lets you add a variety of different field types— text, paragraphs, file uploads, checkboxes, radio buttons and more. There’s some handy customizations you can make to form labels— you can move them from above or beside the fields and you can add a tooltip that shows when you hover over the label. You can also send successful form submissions to a custom URL— nice. Show Screenshot
No. Images looked blurry on Retina screens (such as new iPhones, MacBooks etc.)
You can collect email addresses for a mailing list but because it’s GoDaddy, you’re locked into their ecosystem— which email addresses can only be integrated with GoDaddy’s newsletter software. This is not ideal, I’ve never used GoDaddy’s newsletter software but most small businesses use Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor. Show Screenshot
No. Theoretically you can delete your elements and start a design from scratch, but practically speaking it’s a mess. Two major problems stand in the way: (1) there is no way to set centralized styles, so you’ll spend way too much time individually styling elements in order to have a unified look. (2) Your mobile theme will simply not work as expected. I encountered many strange hiccups where my custom designs were a mess on the mobile site. If you do design to ignore my warnings and start from scratch you’ll want to make sure Snap to Other Elements is turned on (it’s under Show Grid/Guides).
No. Your website is limited to one language.
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
Simple audio player that lets you create playlists. Show Screenshot
There are 300+ themes. Unfortunately once you choose a theme, you are tied to it— so be careful when you choose your theme initially. (This is one of those unintentional frustrations with a blank canvas editor.)
There are some nice themes but there are also pretty lame themes. (But hey, 300 is a lot of themes).
The major problem with customizing your theme (as I’ve already pointed out in this review) is that there is no central place to set style options. Instead, every element has to be styled individually. This gets painful when you want to change the look of all the headings on your website— you have to go through each element individually updating the text style.
Unfortunately even when I was making individual style customizations I was running into bugs. For example, it was impossible to get rid of a (tiny!) border on this audio player— even when I deleted all the border settings!
Finally, no GoDaddy themes are responsive. Instead GoDaddy has one simple mobile theme that they use for all themes. Not only is this theme ugly and cookie cutter, it also poorly integrates with your website— in this screenshot “Site Builder” is the logo. It looks weird just sitting there. Additionally there are no style customizations you can do to your mobile site.
GoDaddy is one of the only website builders not to offer a free trial— instead you have to buy it to try it. Fortunately it was easy to pay and cancel my website builder plan.