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Weebly vs GoDaddy – Which Website Builder Should You Get?

Weebly vs GoDaddy – are two of essentially the most well-known manufacturers within the web site builders business. I’ve written a Weebly Evaluation and GoDaddy Website Builder Evaluation individually. However how do they examine straight to one another?

TakeawaysGoDaddyWeebly
Key PowerEase of Setup & PricingVersatile options
Key CriticismLimitations on performanceManaging a number of pages
Greatest forEasy web sitesDIYers & small outlets
Present PromotionStart For FreeGet Weebly For Free

First, a bit of background. The process of building a website has changed radically since the early days of the Internet. Even though the core job of a website – HTML rendered in a browser – has not changed, the technology used to produce the HTML has. While you can still produce a website with nothing but a text editor – most people choose a technology that makes the process of building and managing the website much easier and more accessible.

All-inclusive website builders have been particularly interesting. Companies like GoDaddy’s Website Builder and Weebly have brought websites to everyone regardless of coding skills with their drag & drop and/or customizable templates.

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There is a wide variety of website building solutions, and they all live on a spectrum with a tradeoff between control & convenience. I’ve written a full explainer on website builders here, but here’s how I think about it –

On the 100% control, but 0% convenience end – you have solutions like a text editor and server space that you purchase separately. It’s a bit akin to buying raw land to build your house for shelter.

On the 0% control, but 100% convenience end – you have solutions like Facebook and Twitter that provide no control (not even domain name control), but are highly convenient.

In the 50/50 middle – you have solutions like WordPress that live on your own server, but help you manage & build your website. It’s akin to buying a house that you own – you are responsible if anything breaks, but you can do really whatever you want.

Towards the convenience end, but with more control all live “hosted” website builders like Weebly and GoDaddy’s Website Builder. They offer more convenience by bundling a web hosting service, domain names, SSL certificate, design, content management system, etc in to a single subscription, but trade some control.

Using a site builder is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a really classy development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.

In the long-term, it affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. In the short term, it can certainly add/take away a lot of headaches. That said, just like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only such a thing as the right choice relative to your goals, experience, and circumstances.

GoDaddy Website Builder and Weebly as a group compete with options like WordPress (which provides the free software to build a website that you own & control on your own hosting – see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file.

*confusingly, GoDaddy is also a hosting provider, where you can install website software like WordPress. This comparison will focus on GoDaddy’s Website Builder that bundles a hosting plan. You can find GoDaddy hosting alternatives here.

Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive into the comparison.

Otherwise, we’ll look specifically at pricing, onboarding/user experience, design features, technical features, marketing features, customer support & company structure.

Pricing

Comparing pricing among GoDaddy Website Builder and Weebly is tough because their tiers are completely different. Weebly tiers are based on technical and eCommerce features. GoDaddy bases their tiers on service upgrades (like “Globally Optimized Speed”).

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Weebly Pricing

And both have a free plan.

The short version is that Weebly offers the most feature value and fewest real caps at each free and premium plan tier. Weebly’s cheap tier is a particularly attractive tier for a personal or small business website. They also have an attractive online store option in addition to their free website builder.

GoDaddy’s Website Builder is only competitive on price depending on use case.

Even though Weebly wins on overall value…but both are competitive enough that I highly recommend making a decision based on other factors.

*Reminder – these costs are all very different than if you are looking at building your own site with WordPress or a something else. Part of the point of a DIY website builder is the bundled pricing. It’s possible to get a custom website with unlimited functionality for much cheaper if you build it yourself.

Onboarding & User Experience

No matter how intuitive and simple a piece of technology is, there’s always that moment of “what am I looking at and what do I do now?”

Onboarding is how products get you past that point. It is how companies move you from being a new customer to an active customer. And since website builders have a bundled product – in theory, they should have a huge advantage on this point.

Onboarding’s close cousin is “user experience” which is software jargon for how easy something is day to day.

Weebly wins overall – given how many features they have.

But on a measure of how quickly you get from your first click to a live website – GoDaddy wins. But it has a bit of a caveat.

Weebly starts the process well with a way for you to immediately segment yourself by type of website (ie, “restaurant” or “real estate”, etc). They also offer plenty of unintrusive info buttons, pop-ups, a checklist and an email sequence to make sure you’re on track.

Weebly Onboarding Guided Alerts As You Click Through

GoDaddy’s website builder is fastest from start to finish. But part of that is due to the fact that they have far fewer features, fewer templates and fewer options in general than Weebly. Also, a lot of people have their custom domain registered in a GoDaddy account. That integration is really convenient when setting up a website.

That’s not a good or bad thing – it all depends on what you’re looking for. But GoDaddy’s setup is much more akin to setting up a Facebook or Twitter profile than designing a website. This will crop up in the next few sections, but for now, it’s actually a huge advantage.

And since so many people use GoDaddy for their domains – they make it seamless to connect your domain to your website.

GoDaddy Domain Integration

They also do plenty of segmentation and pre-filling templates.

GoDaddy Website Builder Onboarding-1

Design Features

Part of the overall value of website builders is design.

Design is hard. And it matters – a lot. A lot of people can spot a good looking website but have a harder time figuring out how to get there. Using a template for a foundation and then customizing it is a good way to get the site you want without paying for a custom design.

Like I mentioned in the onboarding section, GoDaddy not only has plenty of templates, but they do an excellent job of pre-filling the templates with solid imagery.

On the flip side – GoDaddy has very limited actual design options.

They do not have drag and drop. You can add “sections” – but the color, typography, and layouts are pretty set. Their templates are fine, but certainly not groundbreaking or beautiful.

GoDaddy Website Builder Color Options

Weebly has a diverse range of templates. They are solid, but even as a non-designer, I can tell that they are more functional than anything.

Weebly Themes

Weebly does better on design in my experience. They both have solid templates and allow for customization if that’s your thing. I like the fact that Weebly allows CSS customization. If you want to deliberately limit yourself to a pre-filled template that does the job – then GoDaddy’s route is certainly an option.

Technical Features

Technical features are all the web development best practices that don’t really matter…until they matter a lot. I’m talking about generating clean URLs, editable metadata, allowing page-level redirects, etc.

For Weebly, they have plenty of front-end tools. They automatically generate permalinks and well-coded HTML. You can edit CSS & HTML if you want. For a hosted website builder, they do very well from a professional’s perspective.

GoDaddy makes sites that work…but are very limited from a technical perspective.

With GoDaddy – what you see is what you get. It creates clean URLs and renderable HTML. It is not suitable for a long-term project where you will want to upgrade and add features.

Website builders are limited on technical features by their nature, but Weebly does surprisingly well from a professional’s perspective.

Marketing Features

In Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner’s character famously says “when you construct it, they may come.” Sadly, that isn’t true about web sites. Identical to any enterprise, it’s a must to actively promote and market your web site for anybody to indicate up.

Advertising and marketing options like customized metadata, open graph info, Schema markups, e mail signups, share buttons, touchdown pages, social media integration, and so on all make advertising and marketing your web site rather a lot simpler.

Weebly has loads of plugin / app choices together with built-in advertising and marketing options (like search engine optimisation editor) along with the power to position customized Javascript wherever, which opens loads of alternatives for customized instruments (like OptinMonster) to retargeting and conversion charge codes.

GoDaddy is, once more, what you see is what you get. It’s easy however very restricted. In reality, GoDaddy makes use of some advertising and marketing options as an upsell, whereas totally miseducating their prospects. Right here’s an instance of how they do that with “search engine optimisation” – you may learn the total context in my GoDaddy Website Builder Evaluation, however mainly they create a non-issue with search engine optimisation after which promote the “answer.”

GoDaddy Website Builder SEO

The problems listed below are that first, whereas all too widespread – the concept of “rating increased” is deceptive. Second, they put manner an excessive amount of emphasis on issues like title tag formatting that type of matter, however don’t matter practically as a lot as having a superb key phrase map with good content material that targets an achievable theme of key phrases.

Or – issues like mapping out an efficient advertising and marketing technique.

Should you merely want a web-based presence, each will work. I’d choose to work with a Weebly web site.

Help & Service

All three have knowledge-bases and buyer assist. Each do cellphone assist throughout enterprise hours, along with e mail tickets and buyer boards.

Since they each run on proprietary platforms, it’s normally simple to discover a answer (ie, they constructed the software program, to allow them to repair it). They each have anecdotal horror and success tales across the Web. Whereas I’ve by no means had a foul expertise with any, it’s additionally unfair to evaluate any primarily based on anecdotes.

They each supply good assist channels, however additionally they each view buyer assist each as an funding and as a chance to upsell. GoDaddy gives cellphone and essentially the most direct choices. However both manner, you’ll want to be direct and forthright about your downside and look ahead to upsells. However there’s no actual benefit/drawback between these three on assist.

Firm Construction

I’ve been internet providers for years now. And whereas options & advertising and marketing supplies change regularly, I’ve discovered it helpful to grasp an organization’s construction to see the place they’re going. Right here’s how every firm is structured and what meaning for you over the subsequent few years.

Weebly is a personal firm that was bought by Sq., a publicly owned funds firm. The upside as a subsidiary is that prospects can count on loads of helpful & low cost integrations. Should you use Sq. or would possibly use Sq., then that ought to give large factors to Weebly. Moreover, Weebly’s product may get backed by Sq. as they add options to the entire product suite. The chance for Weebly prospects although is that Sq. solely cares about Weebly as a lot as Weebly makes Sq. cash. If Weebly doesn’t earn cash for Sq., then it may languish in neglect (see Blogger & Google).

GoDaddy can be a publicly-traded firm. However in contrast to Weebly, their web site builder is just one of an entire suite of merchandise. The upside is that GoDaddy prospects profit from an entire slew of integrations and cross-subsidies. You get all the advantages of bigness. The chance is that GoDaddy adjustments the product or begins requiring integrations or usually begins to neglect the product. I don’t see that taking place as a result of it enhances their merchandise so nicely, but it surely may occur.

Weebly & GoDaddy Comparability Conclusion

Should you determine that utilizing an all-inclusive web site builder is best for you, then both selection could possibly be a match relying in your targets & assets.

GoDaddy Website Builder is an effective match for anybody who wants one thing quite simple, very fast and easy. Get GoDaddy’s promo right here.

Weebly is an effective match for anybody who needs a strong general web site builder at a superb value. Get Weebly’s free trial right here.

Should you’re inquisitive about constructing your personal web site with your personal internet host (together with on GoDaddy WordPress Internet hosting), try my step-by-step tutorial right here.

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