A couple of days ago a friend asked if I could build them a website.
I pointed them in the direction of the website design price list to which they replied “I was thinking more GoDaddy prices!”
So let's find out exactly what a GoDaddy website builder can do and what you get for your money.
First of all, lets have a quick recap of what GoDaddy is:
Established in 2007 GoDaddy are the world's largest domain registration and web hosting service boasting 13 million customers and 62 million domain names under management. That is a user base any company in the world would be proud of.
With its super racy Super Bowl ad's and extensive TV advertising GoDaddy has become a household name. Its primary business is the purchase and resale of domain names along with website hosting, and it also offers its own website builder which was recently given the makeover treatment to bring it up to date with modern responsive website building technology.
Website Builder Overview
If you don't have an existing domain name in your GoDaddy account, then you'll need to be able to provide one for the website builder to hook up to. For this demo, I used an existing domain in my GoDaddy account.
On the face of it, the GoDaddy pricing model means that if all you want to do is build a five-page website, then all the tools are there for you to do it for free. When you start your project though you'll find that's not the case and if you want some essentials like a favicon (I mean come off it a favicon!) or you want your site to be mobile optimised then you'll need to upgrade to the business plan.
In my opinion its a poor way of approaching the problem of what to offer with a free plan because recommendation comes by word of mouth. Producing sites that have no basics like being mobile optimised or shorn of favicon's because they are on the free plan isn't going to do that. Mobile responsive sites are an essential requirement, not a luxury afterthought.
The way to scale this, in my opinion, is to offer the same features across the board that cover all the basics and then start generating revenue on the back of a site's success. As a site grows, site owners need help with advanced SEO or custom form development, and those are features that you could fully justify charging a premium for. Charging extra for basics like a favicon is nickel and dime marketing.
- Business, Finance, Law
- Design, Art, Portfolio
- Health, Beauty
- Home Services, Construction
- Music, Entertainment
- Non-Profit, Causes, Religion
- Personal, Family, Wedding
- Pets, Animals
- Real Estate
- Restaurant, Food
- Sports, Recreation
- Transportation, Auto
- Travel, Hospitality, Leisure
There are over 300 website themes in the collection (50 on the free plan), and you should be able to find something that suits. The process of choosing a theme is simple “pick and click”, and you can change the theme at any time after you've begun your site. A theme is a starting point if you like to get you up and running.
Be aware though that if you change your theme, you'll be starting again from scratch so take some time to browse around before you settle on a design theme.
Because the website editor is full “drag and drop” you can modify your theme at any time.
Building Your Website
It's really easy. You choose the area you want to edit, click the mouse and your editing options are displayed. There is a floating column of editing tools which you can place anywhere on the screen, and the whole process is straightforward and painless for even the least experienced technophobe.
Design elements can be dragged and dropped anywhere on the page. Is this a good thing? There are conventions you know, but then again rules were made to be broken!
Thankfully there are Undo and Redo buttons to help you out if you have decided that something needs putting back how it was but unfortunately there is no history log, so you can't go back to a precise moment in time.
All text editing is done in the WYSIWYG text editor, and you can edit images as well using the online tool, but again, you have to be on a business plan to be able to do this.
There are “one click” options to install Facebook “like” buttons, Twitter buttons and a Google map which is handily placed on the default “about” page and collects the information from your GoDaddy account details to display on the page.
The Blog/RSS tool gives you an option to place an RSS feed on your site. Just fill in the address of the feed you'd like to display.
As for an actual blogging tool - that is missing, but this isn't really about blogging. It's about presenting a face to the world on a tight budget. You know what I'm going to say – if you want to blog use Wordpress. Horses for courses people.
There are one-click tools to add YouTube videos, buttons and shapes and you can even edit the HTML directly if you desire. But if you wanted to do that you wouldn't be here in the first place.
You've got an entirely serviceable contact form which you click on and then update the details with your email address and the text you want to display once the form has been submitted. Very easy.
There is the option to add “Apps” to your website. There is a one click install to add an email subscription button. You can accept payments with PayPal and add ratings and reviews powered by Yelp. This is nothing like the advanced App store available from Wix or Weebly though.
Despite all the sales gimmicks, 2 for one offers and glitzy schmaltz that makes you either love or hate GoDaddy, one thing that is good about them is their customer support.
They have 24/7 live chat and phone support. The latter of which seems like a dying breed in the self-service, cloud-based software arena. So many companies rush to market with good products and no support, so it is refreshing to find a company that cares about answering the phone.
They have email and support tickets as well.
Maybe you're the owner of a small company that's decided you need a website. Come Sunday afternoon on a whim you start building your GoDaddy website.
On Monday morning you hand over the task to an office junior who instantly makes a mess of your fledgeling site. Fortunately, GoDaddy has backup/restore points that mean you can go back in time to when everything was working properly.
The GoDaddy website builder will build you a small personal or business website in about two hours flat if you have all the copy and graphics to hand. So if you are looking to get a quick website built, then this tool does the job.
Perhaps you want to take payments for products at a show, fair or even a car boot sale where you can list all the products you've got for sale and point people in the direction of your website. Then you can accept payments by PayPal
Or maybe you want to create a holding website instead of producing the real thing a few weeks later.
Whatever the reason, if you want to create a very simple website without any fuss or hassle Go Daddy can do it for you. This is a great tool for creating a portfolio site for that job interview or a basic business website.
I'd recommend you take a look at Wix Website Builder or Weebly Website Builder as an alternative though. Both of these companies spend all of their research and development money producing drag and drop website builder interfaces, and their finished sites work superbly on mobile devices with better payment integration options if you need them.