Shopify vs. GoDaddy – these are two of most prominent brands in the website/eCommerce platform market. I have written reviews for Shopify and GoDaddy Website Builder respectively. But how does each compare to the other?
|The Key Strength||Easy Setup and Pricing||Integrations & features|
|Principal Complaint||Design and functional limitations||New users can be difficult|
|The best for…||Small stores & beginners||eCommerce business is growing|
|Current Promotion||Get started for free||Get a free trial|
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A little background first. The technology that allows you to turn your idea into a reality is improving. Online store costs have dropped over the last few years. It doesn’t matter if you use a text editor to upload to Amazon Cloud, host your own website powered by WordPress + WooCommerce, or simply drag and drop to build an online store.
These all-inclusive eCommerce builders are particularly fascinating. Squarespace, Squarespace and Wix have all made eCommerce accessible to all, regardless of their coding abilities.
There are many eCommerce solutions that can be used to build your eCommerce store. However, all of them have an end that is all-inclusive. They provide everything you need to start and grow your site.
These solutions are different from those that allow you to buy, install, and manage each “piece” of your website (e.g. web hosting, eCommerce software or custom domains, SSL certificates, etc.). It’s not something you should do, but it’s important to consider when choosing one of these solutions as a solution. This has both long- and short-term effects on your website.
It can affect your flexibility, functionality, and brand in the long-term. It can cause headaches in the short-term. However, it is not possible to choose the best or most desirable physical home or office. It’s all about your experience, goals, and circumstances.
An online store builder allows you to rent and customize an apartment in a luxurious development, instead of purchasing and owning a house. While you retain control over decor, cleaning, and other aspects of your daily life, the property owner is responsible for the infrastructure, including security and plumbing. This is crucial because convenience and control are often in direct conflict.
Shopify, GoDaddy’s builder and other options such as Weebly compete with WordPress + WooCommerce, which provides the free software to create a website you own & manage – see my WordPress setup guide. You also have the option to type actual HTML code into a file.
Three last prefaces are needed to be clarified.
First, GoDaddy is an all-purpose hosted website builder that also offers eCommerce capabilities.
Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform. This makes Shopify an easy-to-use and advanced tool, while GoDaddy Website Builder is a more powerful tool. You can quickly notice the difference with their respective free trials.
Third – GoDaddy, a traditional hosting provider that does not offer a builder, allows you to install WooCommerce or Magento on your own server. This comparison will focus on GoDaddy’s eCommerce website builders product. Here are GoDaddy hosting alternatives.
Does this make sense? It’s amazing! Let’s get into the comparison.
You can also check out my other articles:
- Shopify Review
- GoDaddy Website Builder Review
- Shopify vs. Etsy
- Shopify vs. WordPress/WooCommerce
- GoDaddy vs. Wix. vs. Weebly
We will also be looking at pricing, onboarding/user experiences, design features and technical features as well as eCommerce features, marketing features and customer support.
It is difficult to compare pricing between Shopify & GoDaddy Website Builder because they offer two different products. Shopify is geared towards online store owners, while GoDaddy caters to all.
Shopify’s Basic Tier is slightly more expensive than GoDaddy’s Website Builder Online Store Tier at $29/mo.
Shopify’s cheapest plan has more features than GoDaddy’s most expensive. Shopify also offers additional tiers that offer advanced features to their customers.
Shopify’s plans are available here.
GoDaddy’s Online Store Plan Website Builder is available here.
Pricing is not really about apples and oranges. It’s more like comparing the price of a motorcycle to an SUV.
The motorcycle is cheaper and can get you from A to Z faster, but it’s still a completely different experience.
It really all comes down to your needs for your project. Do you need two wheels to get you there or plenty of space and lots of features? Let’s now look at some other differences.
Shopify’s $9/mo Lite Plan is not applicable if you are curious. It’s more an inventory/payments software that an online store builder software.
Although you can upload products and manage them and accept payments, you cannot sell them through other platforms, such as a Facebook plugin, or a button on an already existing website.
Shopify vs. GoDaddy on Pricing
GoDaddy’s website builder is cheaper in terms of pricing. If it achieves your goals, it will be the most important thing. Pricing is not the only factor that matters to everyone. You’re probably looking at the overall value. Let’s look at some other factors.
User Experience & Onboarding
It doesn’t matter how simple or intuitive a piece is of technology, there will always be that moment when you wonder “What am I looking at? and What do I do now?”
Onboarding is the process that guides you beyond this point. The best thing about online store builders and website designers is their almost zero learning curve. It is easy to turn a website idea into a reality.
The user experience refers to how your customers perceive your product every day. Is it simple and intuitive?
Shopify and GoDaddy’s website builder do very well on this point. However, they do so in different ways.
Shopify offers a simple path to launch your site, from signup for a free trial to website launch. Shopify offers guided tours and an easy setup. You can also get support from them to help you get up and running quickly.
Shopify offers many additional features, apps, as well as technical options that can be a challenge. The most difficult hurdle is linking your custom domain to your shop (so that it doesn’t use Shopify’s default domain). Although it’s not difficult, it can be daunting when you mention “setting your CNAME.” Shopify is not domain registrar. However, they recently added the ability for customers to purchase custom domains through them and have it set up semi-automatically via the Shopify admin.
Shopify is a platform that allows for offline inventory, payments and other features. Their website store setup is located on the second menu rather than at the top.
GoDaddy offers a very fast signup process to get you on your live site. The setup process for an online GoDaddy store is intuitive. They also have many other services, such as domain names, integrated into one GoDaddy account.
Despite this, GoDaddy eCommerce is simple because it is so restricted. There are not many features or templates to choose from. It is a simple “get your ecommerce package, add product, add domain, and add payment gateway…and publish!” setup.
Onboarding/user experience is not something I would exclude either provider from consideration. Their differences are similar to a restaurant that has a waiter (Shopify), versus a fast-food restaurant that has a menu and a cashier (GoDaddy).
Shopify vs. GoDaddy on Usability
Shopify offers more customization and help, so it’s the right choice. GoDaddy is a less intimidating, but more limited, way to quickly view and order features.
Website builders are known for their simplicity and straightforward designs. No web designers are required. Choose from well-designed templates that you can customize to suit your needs.
Good design is not easy. It matters a lot. Many people are able to spot a great-looking website, but it can be difficult to figure out how they get there. A template can be used as a foundation for your website. You can then customize it to suit your needs.
Shopify and GoDaddy both use templates (also known as “themes”) to design their websites. They have very different customization options.
GoDaddy offers many templates that can be used for any type of website.
They are also very easy to edit. It is not possible to create a website by using drag-and-drop. There is no HTML/CSS editing. You can do very little editing. You only have images and content to edit.
Shopify doesn’t combine design and content. Shopify themes come with pre-built templates, but Shopify templates can be customized using CSS or their Liquid HTML drag-and-drop editing tool.
Shopify allows you to edit HTML/CSS so you can create any design. You can create any design you like, and there are very few limitations. Shopify also offers a drag-and-drop template editor that allows you to modify your layout or template within certain limits.
You can use pre-packaged themes and templates to create beautiful web designs that you can edit if you’re comfortable with HTML/CSS.
Shopify vs. GoDaddy on Design
GoDaddy is all about ease-of-use and design features. Shopify offers full customization while still being easy to use.
An eCommerce store’s core features are a
- product database
- Shopping cart
- Check out our checkout page
- payment processor
- order database
This is it.
An eCommerce store can offer so much more, especially in 2020. You can sell via Facebook Messenger, sync with Amazon FBA, integrate with eBay, and analyze Pinterest trends – all while executing marketing fundamentals.
There are many ways to sell advertising products: Buyable Pins and Google Merchant, Twitter Cards, and Twitter Cards. There are coupon codes and remarketing. There’s A/B testing. Inventory synchronization is possible with AliExpress vendors. There’s also order synchronization with shippers such as UPS and USPS.
This is just a small part of what’s possible.
Not every store will need every feature. You don’t necessarily need all the features if you only sell a few T-shirts. You need to be flexible if you want your business to grow.
Shopify is the clear winner in terms of raw eCommerce features. GoDaddy makes it easy to sell your product. GoDaddy offers the core features you need, but not enough to create a fast-growing store.
Shopify offers more features than just their platform. They also offer a well-established app shop that includes both paid and free apps to help you expand your store with all the features you need.
This section may be unfair to GoDaddy because they are a general web builder that also includes eCommerce. Shopify is an eCommerce platform.
It would surprise me if Shopify didn’t win on eCommerce features. Technically, GoDaddy is more competitive with Wix & Weebly that with Shopify and BigCommerce.
This review is actually very similar to my comparison of Shopify vs. Wix. Wix, which is a website builder, has almost the exact same problems (though with different details).
Shopify vs. GoDaddy on Ecommerce Features
If you are looking for core eCommerce features that can be integrated in a straightforward, easy way, GoDaddy is the best choice. Shopify is the best choice if you need an entire suite of eCommerce features for your business to grow.
Technical features are web development best practices that don’t really “matter until” they do. This includes generating clean URLs and editable metadata. Also, allowing page level redirects.
Shopify is a great host platform and Shopify has done well on this point.
Hosted platforms were a problem for web designers, developers and marketers who wanted the technical aspects of the site to be managed.
Shopify’s technical features, such as unlimited bandwidth, are what really makes them stand out to many skeptical hosts. Although you don’t have FTP access, you can access their Liquid editor to make changes to your server.
Shopify has a strong technical foundation but they do a lot more to keep up with the times. Shopify pays a bounty to find security vulnerabilities and bugs. They can quickly roll out global SSL changes to all stores.
Shopify also has an API that is openly maintained and actively maintained, which GoDaddy doesn’t have. An API is an extremely advanced feature that most store owners overlook. An API is a very important feature. It allows software to talk to other software. This means that you can add custom features to your software if you grow. Developers can create custom applications to link any software to your Shopify shop. A large Shopify App Store is available, as well as a ShopifyPOS system and other ecommerce tools.
GoDaddy does not have FTP access and cannot edit technical sections of their website, including data gathering, retargeting, or advanced analytics.
Shopify vs. GoDaddy on Technical Features
While both Shopify and GoDaddy have their limitations as hosted platforms respectively, Shopify is able to overcome these weaknesses and maximize its strengths as a hosted platform.
Kevin Costner, in Field of Dreams, says that “if you build them, they will come.” Unfortunately, this is not true for websites. You must actively market and promote your online store 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.
There is no comparison in design and eCommerce features. Shopify offers eCommerce store owners many more features (and better quality) and a more advanced app store.
Although GoDaddy does have some features built in, many of them are just used to upsell or don’t provide the store owner with what they really need.
Their SEO feature set, for example, provides (seemingly) clear direction on how to write title tags.
Then, they mislead customers about what really matters for SEO (like writing great content and having a strong keyword strategy), and how to determine which topics lead to sales. The outdated notion of keyword rankings is the focus.
The tool provides guarantees that can’t be achieved without an actual eCommerce strategy.
Shopify vs. GoDaddy on Marketing Features
This is all to say that while GoDaddy won’t hurt your marketing efforts it will limit them if you concentrate on digital marketing. This might not be an issue if your store depends on other marketing methods or offline. It is important to be aware.
Support & Service
It is difficult to evaluate customer service and support. As I have said in many of my reviews, one customer cannot really tell if they stumbled upon a disgruntled rookie and if the company really is that bad.
There are many ways to view a company’s customer support and customer service investment.
Shopify is my choice over GoDaddy. Shopify offers more customer support channels (phone, chat and email), as well as a vast help center.
The help center does not just address technical issues but also addresses customer success issues (aka issues with making money).
GoDaddy offers phone support and other support channels. However, these channels are often used to upsell.
Which Ecommerce Website Builder is Better?
Shopify vs. GoDaddy Website Builder: Which one is better for your project?
Shopify is the best choice if you want to manage a growing eCommerce business and have all the features you need. There is no comparison.
Shopify is available for free.
GoDaddy is a great choice if you are looking for a simple store that uses solid templates. However, my experience with other online shop builders has shown me that there are better options. To find the right fit, I recommend you take my online store builder quiz.