website builder support

At WebsiteToolTester, we take support questions very seriously. I really enjoy helping users find the best solution (after all, that’s why I created the site), and it keeps me updated about how website builders and ecommerce platforms are performing.

So when our users started complaining about missing refunds from Wix or the support they received from sites like GoDaddy or One.com, I decided to check it myself.

I have to admit, it wasn’t easy. “Support quality” is a hard metric to measure scientifically.

But after testing refund policies and interacting 60+ times with 10 providers’ support teams, I think I got a pretty good idea of who is good at helping – and who isn’t.

Email Support – How Long Do Platforms Take To Reply?

The first step was to see how long it takes to get an answer to a simple email. I sent 6 rounds of questions at different times of the day and week to calculate an average response time.

Note that out of the 10 providers I tested, GoDaddy was the only one who doesn’t offer email support. I used their live chat instead.

CompanyOverall answer timeAverage timeWeekend question reply time
Strikingly18 hours 42 minutes3 hours 7 minutes8 minutes
One.com34 hours 24 minutes5 hours 44 minutes1 hour
BigCommerce46 hours 25 minutes7 hours 44 minutes7 hours 7 minutes
Wix54 hours 14 minutes9 hours 2 minutes28 hours 17 minutes
Shopify69 hours 27 minutes11 hours 34 minutes28 hours 29 minutes
Webnode93 hours 46 minutes15 hours 37 minutes45 hours 31 minutes
Weebly107 hours 09 minutes17 hours 51 minutes55 hour 47 minutes
Jimdo109 hours 59 minutes18 hours 19 minutes51 hours 40 min
Squarespace128 hours 23 minutes21 hours 23 minutes11 hours 10 min
GodaddyNo email supportAverage live chat waiting time approx. 10 min

What I learned:

  • Weebly claims to offer support on weekends as well as weekdays. However, when I sent a question Saturday morning, the answer only came back on Monday.
  • During my first week of tests, Squarespace’s team put up a banner in their help section to say support was slower than usual. Live chat was hardly ever available during that time. Answer times didn’t improve significantly, even after the supposed peak was over.

squarespace support
Seems like we picked the wrong time to review Squarespace’s support

  • Even though Godaddy’s live chat was available pretty instantly most of the time, we also had two instances when it took almost an hour to reach a support agent (especially for billing related issues). In these cases, email support would have been much more convenient, which they, unfortunately, don’t offer.

godaddy support

GoDaddy’s Live Chat is not always instant

  • Jimdo’s support team seems to be based out of Europe. If you are from the US and write them in the morning, you might even have an answer on the same day. However, write them in the afternoon/evening and you will most certainly receive your answer the following day.

Support Answers Quality – Are They Actually Helpful?

Your experience of how good an answer is will vary greatly. So I created a set of 6 questions, from the very basic to the fairly tricky. Each answer then got a score: excellent (+2 points), OK (1 point) and bad (-2 points).

The questions were:

  1. How can I add a Wistia video to my website?
  2. How can I create a bilingual website?
  3. How do I add hreflang tags to my site?
  4. What’s my cheapest option to set up my own domain and 5 email accounts?
  5. How do I compress the images on my site to speed it up?
  6. How do I add Meta Keywords to my website?

Question #4, for instance, was a sneaky one. It’s usually cheaper to buy domain name and accounts externally, but platforms tend to favour Google’s Google Workspace, which most of them partner up with. It’s a great service, but not the cheapest. (Only Shopify and BigCommerce had good alternative solutions).

Question #6 was also designed to confuse support: Meta Keywords are not really necessary anymore, so a good answer would recommend other good SEO techniques. (Squarespace, BigCommerce, and Webnode scored maximum points here.)

CompanyExcellent (+2)Okay (+1)Bad (-2)ScoreComment
Strikingly42010The only company to deliver 4 excellent answers. In some cases, they even offered to implement website changes directly for me.
Jimdo3309They may not be the fastest to answer but they take good care to answer questions properly.
Shopify4117With one exception, all their answers were very good.
Webnode3216Pretty solid. They even recorded a short screencast for one answer.
Squarespace3216One fail, but very good answers otherwise.
Wix1414Answers were often very brief, just linking to the knowledge base.
Weebly1414Brief answers usually.
BigCommerce3123They recommended developers far too often.
Godaddy2222Seemed they had no clue what I wanted at times.
One.com123-2Almost never answered anything directly, often had follow-up questions.

What I learned:

  • BigCommerce is pretty far down the list. That’s because they’re very quick to recommend hiring a developer – even for simple things like adding a Wistia video, which really isn’t all that hard. Shame because their other answers were excellent.
  • GoDaddy and One.com are at the bottom. It often felt like they were completely clueless.

Knowledge Pages – Who Had The Best Ones?

In an ideal world, you would find all your answers simply by searching the support pages. While some companies take great care to craft good answers, others don’t. Here’s how I rated them:

CompanyVideo tutorialsKnowledgebase qualityComments
WixYes5/5Covers nearly everything. This is what a modern KB should look like. They even have little self-help chatbots to guide you through certain fixes.
SquarespaceYes5/5In-depth articles, very helpful.
ShopifyYes5/5Huge amount of videos in the Youtube channel, good articles.
BigCommerceYes5/5Good articles and detailed videos.
StrikinglyYes4/5Sometimes shows results from the Idea Forum, which is about suggestions, not technical answers. Otherwise, their articles could be a little more in-depth but overall good.
JimdoNo4/5Great articles, however, none of the linked videos was actually available.
WeeblyNot many4/5Great articles with good screenshots but not much video content.
WebnodeYes3/5Articles don’t go very deep. Also the pages mix the old and the new editor, which is confusing.
GodaddyYes2/5Very easy to get lost in the KB as they mix all of GoDaddy’s products together.
One.comNo2/5Not that easy to navigate. Like with GoDaddy, all of One.com’s products are bundled together. Also two different Website Builder versions, which complicates things further.

What I learned:

  • GoDaddy and One.com: please sort out your knowledge base so it’s product-specific. It’s so frustrating to find answers about your email hosting feature when I’m clearly looking for website builder info.
  • Wix is ahead of the game with their small bot chat wizards. They’re not only useful but also quite fun to use.

wix support wizard

Your bot-assistant for Wix sites

Getting Refunds – I Want My Money Back!

Refund policies are one of the biggest complaints we hear about. It’s understandable – you really don’t want to feel like you are paying for something you don’t use anymore. But is it the fault of the provider, or the users who don’t read the terms and conditions?

To investigate, I actually bought packages and checked if I could get my money back – ensuring it was within their refund policies. This is how it went:

CompanyRefund policyGot a refund?Comments
Wix14 daysYes, within 3 days.They have an efficient self-service system for refunds.
Weebly30 daysYes, within 3 days.The only one with a refund period of up to 30 days.
Jimdo14 daysYes, within 3 days.
Squarespace14 daysYes, within 3 days.
One.com15 daysYes, within 1 week.
GoDaddy14 days for yearly packages, 48 hours for monthly packages.No, but it was our own mistake. We missed that we only had 48h to cancel our package.Annoyingly you have to start a live chat, which in our case had really long waiting times.
Webnode14 daysYes, within 1 month.
StrikinglyFree 14 days trialDidn’t get charged after canceling the free trial.They will only start charging your CC after the free trial is over.
ShopifyNo refunds given, only free 14 days trial.N/AIf you try out a premium plan, you have to pay for it.
BigCommerceNo refunds given, only free 15 days trial.N/AIf you try out a premium plan, you have to pay for it.

What I learned:

  • If you ask for your refund within the set time frame, you’ll get your money back. Sure in some case it might take a while, but you will get it.
  • Wix had by far the most efficient system. You will use a chatbot type application that will immediately confirm whether the refund will be processed or not.
  • Shopify and BigCommerce have no refund policy in place at all, so there is no way to trial an actual paid package. They do have a free trial though.
  • Maybe all the complaints we get are from users who don’t actually read the T&Cs?

Conclusion – Which Provider Has the Best Support Overall?

Admittedly, this point system is a little bit flawed, but it still gives us a good overview of the support quality. To calculate it, I added up the points for quality and the knowledge base (KB). Each available support channel gave another point. Email answer speed was not included (except to separate those with the same score) – because some companies also offer live chat, which is usually instantaneous.

CompanyAvailable ChannelsOverall Score (max. 20)Comments
StrikinglyEmail, Live Chat16 pointsBest in class support. Fast, friendly and efficient.
ShopifyEmail, Live Chat, Phone15 pointsQuality personal support and an excellent KB.
JimdoEmail14 pointsYou can expect really good and personal support. Not always the fastest, though we found it worth the wait.
SquarespaceEmail, Live Chat (limited availability)12.5 pointsSupport quality was very good but availability was a huge issue.
Reduced it by 0.5 as live chat wasn’t always available. Overall a pretty lucky 4th position.
BigCommerceEmail, Live Chat, Phone11 pointsExcellent support unless you ask them on a bad day.
WixEmail, Phone (call back)11 pointsTheir KB is one of the best, personal support is average.
WeeblyEmail, Live chat, Phone11 pointsSupport quality was mostly acceptable.
WebnodeEmail10 pointsWebnode’s support quality is very good. Unfortunately, their KB is not that extensive and they only offer one support channel.
GodaddyLive Chat, Phone6 pointsA confusing KB and (sometimes) unknowledgeable support staff.
One.comEmail, Live Chat2 pointsUnfortunately, the quality of their support leaves much to be desired.

Final things I learned:

  • You can’t go wrong with the top 3. Strikingly, Shopify and Jimdo do a splendid job. Anything after that and you might run into some frustrations.
  • Surprisingly, contacting Wix is not as easy as it should be. You have to find a topic, then click NO when they ask if the answer was helpful. Only then will you be able to talk to someone.
  • GoDaddy’s phone support is just as poor as their emails: they seem to mistake phone support with sales.
  • Refund periods were always honored in our experience. If they say money-back guarantee, they mean it.

And there you have it! Hopefully this will give you more confidence about choosing the right website builder or ecommerce provider.

And if you have any questions, comments or feedback – please ask us below. I promise you our support is excellent 🙂

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