Wix vs GoDaddy: These are the most popular website builders. I have written a GoDaddy Website Builder Review as well as a Wix Review. How do they compare?
|The Key Strength||It’s easy to use||Builder with all the features|
|Principal Complaint||Functionality limitations||Inadequacy of advanced features|
|The best for…||Simple websites and GoDaddy customers||Current GoDaddy customers|
|Current Promotion||Check out the current promo||Check out the current promo|
Let’s start with some background. Since the advent of the Internet, the process of building websites has evolved dramatically. Although the basic function of a website, HTML rendered in a browser, has not changed much over the years the technology used for creating it has. Although you can still create a website using a text-editor, most people prefer a technology that makes building and managing websites easier.
These all-inclusive website builders are particularly fascinating. Wix and GoDaddy’s Website Builder have made it easy to create websites for everyone, regardless of their programming skills.
There are many website building options available, each with their own unique characteristics. Each one offers a compromise between control and convenience. You can find a detailed explanation of website builders here. Here’s my take on it:
You have options like a text editor or server space, which you can purchase separately. It is a little like buying land for your home.
You have options like Facebook and Twitter which offer no control (not even domain names control) but are extremely convenient.
You have options like WordPress, which can be hosted on your server at a web hosting company but that you can use to manage and build your website using WordPress themes and other plugins. It’s like buying a house you own. You are responsible for any damage, but you have the freedom to do what you want.
All live “hosted” website builders, such as Wix or GoDaddy’s Website Creator, offer more control and convenience. You get more control by bundling web hosting, design, site builder software and an SSL certificate.
A website builder works in the same way as leasing an apartment in a luxurious development and personalizing it. While you retain control over decor, cleaning, and other aspects of your daily life, the property owner will take care of the plumbing, security, infrastructure, and construction. This is crucial because convenience and control are often in direct conflict.
It can affect your flexibility, functionality, and brand in the long-term. It can cause headaches in the short-term. However, it is not the best or most preferred choice. Only you can make the right decision based on your experience, goals, and circumstances.
Wix and GoDaddy Website Builder compete as a group with WordPress, which provides free software to create a website. (See my WordPress setup guide). You can also choose to type actual HTML code into a text document.
*Confusionally, GoDaddy also offers hosting plans that allow you to install software such as WordPress. This comparison will be focused on GoDaddy’s WebsiteBuilder, which bundles hosting. Here are GoDaddy’s hosting alternatives.
Does that make sense? Let’s see if it makes sense.
We’ll also be looking at pricing, onboarding/user experience and design features.
It is difficult to compare pricing between Wix and GoDaddy Website Builder because they have different tiers. GoDaddy bases their pricing on service upgrades, such as “Globally Optimized speed”. Wix offers several tiers that are based on many factors.
Each plan comes with a free option, as well as an ecommerce plan that allows you to open an online store.
Depending on the use case, Wix can compete with GoDaddy’s website builder. GoDaddy is a better option if you are looking for a basic, inexpensive plan with a lot of features. Wix is more affordable if you add Wix’s functionality to your plan and consider premium plans above $10/mo.
These costs will be different if you’re building your site using WordPress or another CMS. Bundled pricing is a key feature of website builders. You can get a website that has unlimited functionality at a much lower price if you create it yourself.
Onboarding and User Experience
No matter how simple or intuitive a piece is of technology, there will always be that moment when you wonder “what am I seeing and what should I do now?”
It is the way products help you get past this point. This is how companies make you an active customer and turn you into a new customer. Website builders should be able to take advantage of this fact because they offer a bundle product.
Onboarding is closely related to “user experience”, which is software jargon that describes how simple something is every day.
Wix excels at initial onboarding.
GoDaddy is the winner based on how fast you can get from your first click to a live site. However, there is a caveat.
Wix does a lot more than just finding the right template. Although their backend is simple, it requires some clicking and strategizing in order to decide what next to do – especially since they offer the most features of all three. Wix can get in trouble if it doesn’t have the right template.
GoDaddy’s website builder, as I mentioned earlier, is extremely fast from start to finish. Part of this is because they offer far fewer features and templates than Wix. This is especially true when domains and DNS records are included. Many people already have GoDaddy domains in their GoDaddy accounts.
This is not a bad or good thing. It all depends on your search. GoDaddy’s setup is more like setting up a Facebook profile or Twitter account than creating a website. It’s a great advantage that will be discussed in the following sections.
GoDaddy is used by so many people for their domains, making it easy to connect your domain with your website.
They can also create pre-filling templates and segmentation templates.
Design is an important part of website builders’ overall value.
Designing is difficult. It matters. Many people are able to spot a beautiful website, but it can be difficult to figure out how to make it happen. A template can be used as a foundation for your website. You can then customize it to suit your needs.
GoDaddy has a lot of templates. They also do a great job pre-filling them with solid imagery, as I mentioned in the section on onboarding.
GoDaddy offers very few design options.
You cannot drag and drop them. Although you can add sections, the color, typography and layouts can’t be changed. These templates are not original or particularly beautiful, but they are good.
Wix’s designs stand out among the rest. They have made significant improvements over the past year. Wix editors don’t allow CSS customization. You have to use their editing tools. They have also invested in more advanced tools, such as the Wix ADI (artificial designing intelligence)
My experience with Wix has been positive in website design. You can customize their templates if you like. Wix is better at ensuring your site works on all devices and browsers. GoDaddy is a great option if you don’t want to limit yourself to pre-filled templates that do the job.
Technical features are web development best practices, but they don’t really make a difference unless they matter a lot. This includes generating clean URLs and editable metadata. Also, allowing page level redirects.
Wix works well with permalinks, well-coded HTML and is not the ideal for professional developers or marketers. To build and deliver their Wix pages, they use the HTML5/AJAX engine. The setup is not popular with HTML/CSS experts. The setup was designed with DIYers in view.
GoDaddy creates sites that work, but are limited technically.
GoDaddy is all about what you see. It generates clean URLs with renderable HTML. This is not the best choice for long-term projects where you want to add and upgrade features.
Kevin Costner, in Field of Dreams, famously said that “if you build them, they will come”. Unfortunately, this is not true for websites. Like any other business, you must actively market and promote your website to get people to visit it.
Marketing features such as custom metadata, open graph information and Schema markups make it easier to market your site.
Wix excels in marketing features when you consider their proprietary marketing tool set that includes many plugin options in their app marketplace along with built-in features for SEO and social media.
Wix is, however, a bit more nuanced. Wix uses a lot of proprietary tools to give access to their tools. This is great news for DIYers. It’s not complicated or technically-daunting. It works especially well for websites that don’t depend on 100% internet traffic. Professional marketer’s point of view, I don’t like being limited or locked into Wix’s toolset. Their SEO wizard, for example, is fine. It’s easy to use. It’s perfect for small sites. It is not as powerful as the SEO tools I use to drive traffic for a large site.
Again, GoDaddy is all about what you see. It’s very simple, but it is not comprehensive. GoDaddy actually uses certain marketing features to upsell their customers while completely misinforming them. This is how they approach SEO. You can see the whole context in my GoDaddy Website Building Review. But basically, they make SEO a non-issue and then they sell the “solution.”
First, the notion of ranking higher is misleading. They place too much emphasis on title tag formatting. However, these are not as important as having a keyword map with quality content that targets a specific theme of keywords.
Or, you can map out a marketing strategy that works.
Both will work if you only need an online presence. However, I can understand and work with Wix sites.
Support & Service
Both offer customer support and knowledge bases. Both offer phone support during normal business hours.
Both run on proprietary platforms so it is usually easy to find a solution. There are many success stories and horror stories from both of them that you can find on the Internet. Although I have never had a negative experience with any of them, it is unfair to judge them based on their anecdotes.
All of them offer excellent support channels but all see customer support as both an investment and an opportunity to sell. GoDaddy offers the best options for phone support. Be direct about your problem, and be aware of upsells. But there’s no real advantage/disadvantage between these three on support.
Web services have been something I’ve been interested in for many years. While features and marketing materials are constantly changing, I find it helpful to understand the structure of a company to see where they are heading. This is how each company is organized and what it means for you in the coming years.
Wix is a publicly traded company. Right now, you can buy stock in Wix. Their website builder platform is also their specialty. This is how they make their money. Wix’s website builder is the best because it gets all their attention. Customers can expect more focus and development from them. Wix customers face the risk that they will have to deal with all the negative aspects of a public company. Their job is to make money. They are growing rapidly right now, but this could change.
GoDaddy is also publicly traded. Their website builder, unlike Wix’s, is just one product in a suite. GoDaddy customers have access to a slew if integrations and cross-subsidies. All the benefits of being big are yours. GoDaddy could change the product, require integrations, or otherwise neglect the product. It is unlikely that this will happen, as it compliments their products so well. However, it could happen.
Wix & GoDaddy Comparison
You may decide that an all-inclusive website builder suits your needs.
Anyone who is looking for something simple, quick and easy to use the GoDaddy Website Builder is a great fit. GoDaddy’s promotional offer is available here.
Wix is an excellent choice for DIYers who also want more features and designs. Get Wix’s FREE trial.
You can find my step-by-step tutorial here if you are interested in building your website using your own hosting, including GoDaddy Hosting.