Weebly and GoDaddy are two of the most recognized brands in the web-building industry. I have written a GoDaddy Website Builder Review separately. How do they compare to one another?
|Key Strength||Easy Setup and Pricing||Multifunctional features|
|Complaint||Functionality limitations||Manage many pages|
|Best for||Simple websites||DIYers and small shops|
|Current Promotion||Start For Free||Sign up on Weebly to get for free|
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.
All-inclusive web builders are particularly fascinating. Weebly and GoDaddy’s website builder have made it easy to create websites for everyone, regardless of their coding skills.
There are many website building options available, each offering a different level of control and convenience. I have written an explanation on website builders. Here’s my take:
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 provide no control, but high convenience (not even domain name control).
You have solutions such as WordPress, which live on your server but allow you to manage and build your website. 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 Weebly or GoDaddy’s Website Creator, are geared towards convenience but offer more control. You can bundle a web hosting service, domain name, SSL certificate, design, and content management system into one subscription. However, you still have some control.
A site 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.
GoDaddy Web Builder competes with other options such as WordPress (which offers the free software to create a website you own & manage – read my WordPress setup guide), all the way up to the option of typing actual HTML code in a text file.
*confusingly GoDaddy also offers hosting where you can install software such as WordPress. This comparison will be focused on GoDaddy’s Website Creator, which bundles a hosting package. GoDaddy alternative hosting options can be found here.
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 GoDaddy Web Builder and Youbly, as their tiers differ. The Weebly tiers can be based on both technical and eCommerce features. GoDaddy bases their tiers upon service upgrades (such as “Globally Optimized speed”).
Both have a free plan.
Weebly has the best feature value with the fewest real caps at every premium and free plan tier. Weebly’s cheapest tier is ideal for small businesses or individuals. In addition to the free website builder, they offer an attractive online store option.
GoDaddy’s Website Builder has a price that is competitive depending on the use case.
Even though Weebly has the higher overall value, both are still competitive enough that I recommend you make a decision based upon other factors.
These costs may be different if you’re building a site with WordPress, or another product. The bundled pricing is part of the appeal of DIY website builders. You can get a website that has unlimited functionality if you make it.
Onboarding and User Experience
No matter how simple or intuitive a piece of technology is, 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. Onboarding is the process by which companies make you an active client instead of a new user. Website builders should be able to take advantage of this fact because they offer a bundled product.
“User experience” is the cousin of onboarding. This is software jargon that describes how simple something is to use every day.
Weebly is overall, considering how many features they offer.
GoDaddy is the winner based on how fast you can get from your initial click to a live site. However, there is a little caveat.
Weebly makes it easy to start the process by allowing you to quickly segment yourself by type (e.g. “restaurant” or property). You’ll also find plenty of information buttons, pop-ups and email sequences to help you stay on track.
GoDaddy’s website builder works fast from start to finish. However, a large part of this is because they offer far fewer features and templates than Weebly. Many people also have their customized domains registered in GoDaddy accounts. This integration is very convenient when you are setting up a site.
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 to host 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 great 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 without spending a custom design.
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 limited design options.
You cannot drag and drop them. Although you can add sections, the color, typography and layouts are predetermined. These templates are not original or particularly beautiful, but they are good.
Weebly offers a variety of templates. These templates are strong, but I can see that they are far more useful than any design.
My experience with Weebly is that it excels in design. Both have great templates and can be customized if you prefer. Weebly offers CSS customization. This is something I love. GoDaddy’s route allows you to limit your choices 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 really do matter. This includes generating clean URLs and editable metadata. Also, allowing page level redirects.
Weebly has many front-end tools. They generate well-coded HTML and permalinks automatically. If you wish, you can modify CSS and HTML. They are good web hosts from a professional’s point of view.
GoDaddy creates sites that work, but are very limited technical-wise.
GoDaddy – What you see is what will give you. 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.
Website builders have limited technical features, but Weebly is surprisingly good from the professional’s point of view.
Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams famously said that “if you build, they will follow.” Unfortunately, this is not true for websites. Your website must be promoted and promoted like any other business.
Marketing features such as custom, open Graph information, Schema Markups and email signups make it easy to market your site.
Again, GoDaddy is what you see. It’s easy, but very restricted. GoDaddy actually uses certain marketing features to upsell their customers while completely misinforming them. This is an example of what they do with SEO. You can see the whole context in my GoDaddy Website Builder Review. But basically, they make SEO irrelevant and then they sell the “solution.”
First, the notion of ranking higher is not a common one. They also put too much emphasis on title tags of this sort of matter but they don’t matter as much as having a good Keyword Map with great content that targets a specific theme of keywords.
Or, you can map out a successful marketing strategy.
Both will work if you only need an online presence. I prefer to work with a Weebly site.
Support & Service
All three offer knowledge-bases as well as customer support. Both offer phone support during normal business hours.
Both run on proprietary platforms so it is usually easy to find a solution. Both have success stories and anecdotal horror stories. Although I have never had a negative experience with either, it is unfair to judge them based on anecdotes.
Both offer excellent support channels but both also see customer support as both an investment and an opportunity to increase sales. 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.
Weebly, a private company, was acquired by Square, a publicly-owned payments company. Customers can expect many useful and inexpensive integrations from Weebly as a subsidiary. Weebly should be able to take advantage of Square’s use or potential use of Square. Square could also subsidize Weebly’s product as they add new features to their entire product line. Square doesn’t care about Weebly, but Square does. If Weebly fails to make money for Square, it can languish in neglect. (see Blogger and Google).
GoDaddy, a publicly traded company. Their website builder, unlike Weebly’s, is just one product in a suite. GoDaddy customers have access to a slew of 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.
Comparison of Weebly and GoDaddy
You can choose to use an all-inclusive web builder if you feel it is the right choice for you. This will depend on your goals and resources.
The GoDaddy website builder is a great fit for anyone looking for something simple, quick, and easy.
Get GoDaddy’s promo here.
Weebly can be used by anyone looking for a website builder that is both powerful and affordable.
Download the free trial of Weebly here.
This tutorial will show you how to build your own website using your web host, including GoDaddy WordPress Hosting.