GoDaddy is, without a doubt, one of the most established names in the internet business. While they’re more famously known for domain names and web hosting, you can also build your website with their very own website builder.
They’ve recently launched a brand-new version, and if that feels a little like deja-vu, it’s probably because it’s the second time in two years that they’ve done so. Their website builder, previously known as GoCentral (and simply Version 7 before that), is now officially a completely new builder called Websites + Marketing. But why “+ Marketing”? We’ll get to that in a minute.
Our biggest criticism of the previous version was that it was too restrictive, so with all these new changes, we wanted to know: have GoDaddy finally improved their website builder? At first glance, it definitely looks promising, with a modernized interface and a completely free plan (which wasn’t an option before).
So let’s dive in and see exactly what’s changed with GoDaddy’s new website builder.
GoDaddy Website Builder Review: What to expect?
GoDaddy Websites + Marketing is a beginner-friendly website builder that offers mobile-optimized designs. The latest version aims to provide a more all-round solution, particularly around marketing (hence the new name). There’s a Content Creator to help you create social media posts, a decent blogging feature, a neat little email marketing tool, and an SEO Wizard to help you optimize your site.
GoDaddy offers a free plan, and paid plans that start at a relatively affordable $10 per month. They all come with 24/7 customer support and website hosting. However, you can't use a custom domain name. Also, if you plan to open an online shop, you can only do this with their "Ecommerce" plan.
For simple sites using the godaddysites.com domain. An ad will be displayed at the top of all pages, and some features will be limited.
Lets you use your own domain and removes GoDaddy advertising. Advanced SEO not included. Allows for a small number of social media posts and email marketing sends.
Includes advanced SEO features. Limit of 500 email sends and 20 social media posts.
25,000 email sends and unlimited social media posts. Added options for online appointments, including accepting payment and recurring events.
Ecommerce features included like credit card payment processors and abandoned cart recovery.
Monthly prices for 1-year contracts. Domain name not included.
Pros and Cons of GoDaddy Websites + Marketing
Layouts are responsive and adapt to mobile phones and tablets. Even the website editor works on mobile devices.
Easy to use
The editor is very well structured. Adding and removing elements is a walk in the park.
All-in-one solution for marketing
With an improved blogging feature, built-in email marketing tool and social media content creator, GoDaddy Websites + Marketing manages many of your marketing functions in the one place.
The SEO options on the lowest plans are basic, and aren’t massively better even on the higher plans. In fact, we find some aspects to be downright harmful to SEO (e.g. the auto-generated page URLs that get changed every time you tweak a page title).
No app store
With just a handful of integrations available, there’s only so far you can go with your site’s functionality.
Incompatible version updates
GoDaddy has a history of launching a completely new website builder every two years or so. The problem with this is that you can’t move your content onto the new platform. As support for the older products is slowly waning, you’ll be forced to rebuild your website.
Ease of use
GoDaddy’s website builder offers a nice and easy editing experience. It follows the convention of most other website builders, with a central dashboard to manage your site, and page sections that you can add and edit directly within the visual editor. As an added bonus, it’s even possible to edit your site on a mobile device. No complaints here, although an ‘undo’ function would be handy.
Choice and flexibility of design (templates)
The themes aren’t exactly groundbreaking, but they’re clean and mobile-responsive. GoDaddy will suggest a few themes for you to choose from, depending on what kind of website you’re building (store, restaurant, blog etc).
As it’s not a drag-and-drop builder, you won’t get complete free rein over your layouts. However, unlike the previous version, you do get a good variety of options for displaying content (columns, image next to text etc), allowing you to put together a design that will probably be very close to what you’re after.
|A banner ad appears at the top of all pages. This can be removed on paid plans.|
The dashboard and editor are available in English, and many other languages. There is no option to create a multilingual website, though. If you like the editor experience, Site123 is excellent for creating a multilingual website.
Your own domain name (e.g. .com or .net)
It’s possible to use your own custom domain with your website, as long as you have a paid plan. You can do this by purchasing it directly through GoDaddy, or either transferring or connecting an existing one.
Depth of navigation
Basically one level only, but it’s possible to add a menu in order to display further navigation links in one place. This’ll help for a cleaner navigation look. Still, we would only recommend GoDaddy for smaller websites (less than 20 pages).
Widgets (small tools to add extra functionality)
Natively, you have some really useful features such as an appointment scheduler, website popup, messenger (a kind of live chat), and the ability to embed media. You can also add integrations to a handful of external tools (including SoundCloud, GoFundMe, Yelp, and OpenTable). Unfortunately, it still lacks an app store, which you might find limiting for your website.
It’s possible to add Google AdSense.
All plans allow you to add a PayPal Button. If you need an online store, you would need the highest plan. This includes some nice extras such as appointment booking, product reviews, and integrations with Amazon, eBay, Etsy and more. There’s even GoDaddy Payments, GoDaddy’s own payment processor, which is available in the US. GoDaddy is really only ideal for small stores, however (<5000 products). For bigger stores, you will find better alternatives here.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Unfortunately, SEO options on the free and lowest paid plan are limited to just page titles and descriptions. And even if you upgrade, the optimization options are quite basic. For example, you can’t edit SEO for blog posts. And what’s really baffling is that you can’t change page URLs either – they’re autogenerated, and they change every time you change your page title, which is terrible for SEO! We did like that you can view Google search metrics directly within the tool, however, their “big SEO draw” – the SEO wizard – is really only useful if you’re a beginner.
The blog is definitely an improvement on the previous version, with new features including categories, social sharing, email subscription and commenting (thanks to a built-in integration with Disqus). However content is limited to text, images and video, and there’s no HTML editor either.
Stats such as pageviews and a comparison score against other similar sites are available via the Insights feature. You can also integrate with Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel and Pinterest Meta Tag. It’s possible to use the HTML element to add another tool.
The contact form feature is pretty sophisticated, with the ability to add fields, display an opt-in button, and even include a ‘Message us on Whatsapp button’. You can choose to display it in a number of layouts (for instance, with a map).
Password protection & member areas
You can password-protect pages and invite members to view them by creating their own login. It’s also possible to hide pages from the navigation.
GoDaddy offers an integrated newsletter solution for simple email campaigns. Through it, you get access to your standard statistics – opens, clicks, bounces etc.
Add HTML code
There is no web space or bandwidth limit. It’s possible to create up to 999 pages.
Backups & Restore
You can create and restore backups whenever you wish using the Site History feature. Please note that blog articles and store items won’t be changed when you restore to an earlier version.
A knowledge base with how-to videos and guides will help with your first steps. While it’s great that there is 24/7 support available, we found it a bit slow at times. Other help resources include phone support, a Community forum and a blog.
One of the easier editors we’ve used, with a decent amount of design layout options, useful content sections (image galleries, price lists etc). Definitely an upgrade from the previous version, where you didn’t get a lot of creative freedom.
As a beginner-friendly website, GoDaddy really delivers – it’s simple, intuitive and a breeze to use. It also offers a great selection of in-built sales and marketing tools (blog, online store, social media creator, and email marketing) which work fantastically. While limited in terms of design control and SEO options, we think it could work well for anyone whose website requirements aren’t too complex.
While previous re-launches of GoDaddy’s website builder have been a little underwhelming, we’ve been pleasantly surprised with this latest update. Aside from a fresh new interface and modernized templates, GoDaddy have made a few big improvements to their website builder’s functionality. New features include website comparison metrics (Insights) and password-protected member pages.
They’ve also upgraded existing features, such as their blog, appointment scheduler and contact forms, as well as providing more options for layouts – all of which allow for the creation of more complete, fully-featured sites.
Despite all these changes, the ease of use is still there, with clear navigation and an editor that manages to balance simplicity with a good level of flexibility.
However, there’s still a way to go in terms of providing a greater range of apps and integrations, and improving SEO capabilities.
Will it serve your needs? If you’re looking for an easy-to-use website builder that is a one-stop shop for email marketing, a blog, appointments, social media posts, and an online store, it may very well be for you – as long as you don’t have requirements that are too complex. But if you want something that offers more control in terms of design, SEO, and integrations, GoDaddy isn’t quite there yet.
Given their track record of relaunching a completely new version every couple of years, we also have our concerns about ongoing support. Could a website built on this current version run the risk of being obsolete in just a few short years? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Is GoDaddy the right website builder for you?
You need a very simple tool to create a website.
You want to have your site tightly integrated with your online marketing (email marketing, social media, blog etc).
You are looking for an appointment solution with payment option for your visitors.
You want to have telephone support.
You need advanced SEO controls.
You want access to an app store to add more functionality to your site.
Your website will comprise of more than 20 individual pages. The navigation structure is too limited for more.
You want to avoid potentially having to rebuild your site in a few years’ time.
GoDaddy WebsiteBuilder User Reviews
2.8 / 5
GoDaddy Website Builder Alternatives
Can I only register my domain name through Go Daddy but use a different website builder?
Yes, that’s possible.
Is there a free plan?
Yes – the option to create a free website was introduced with the latest release (previously, it was only possible to trial GoDaddy for a month).
Latest Review Updates
13 Oct 2021 - Updates to ecommerce section
30 Oct 2020 – New video review added
05 Oct 2020 – Review of new GoDaddy Websites + Marketing website builder
09 Oct 2019 – Update reflects the new GoDaddy branding
26 Aug 2019 – Digital products available in the online store
24 Apr 2019 – Minor updates and corrections
01 Apr 2019 – Updated blog section
23 Oct 2018 – Support test ratings added
03 Sep 2018 – A blog and membership tool are available
26 Jan 2018 – General Update (New features available)
24 Mar 2017 – Full review update: new GoCentral website builder
17 Jan 2017 – Added the restore & backup category to the review
10 Jun 2014 – Review update GoDaddy V7
18 Feb 2013 – Video review added
11-15 Feb 2013 – Initial tests