Over the last two years, it’s become fairly common practice for big-name web hosting companies to bundle drag-and-drop website building software into their shared hosting packages, a move no doubt inspired by the success of platforms like Wix and Weebly.
Indeed, it was the latter of these two well-known brands that provided the catalyst for this rise in web hosting and site builder packages with the introduction of their Weebly for Hosts platform back in 2015.
Though whilst a number of leading web hosts were quick to take advantage of Weebly’s latest product, GoDaddy were one of the few to strike out with a product of their own.
Today, customers of the world’s largest domain registrar-cum-web-hosting-provider can get their hands on an alternative to Weebly in the form of GoDaddy Website Builder.
Below, we’ll take a look at both options for building your website and weigh up how the two compare in terms of price, ease of use, and design.
First things first, I should point out here that we’ll be ignoring Weebly’s free plan, simply because -though it may be perfect for small, personal projects, the fact that you can’t connect your own domain name to a free Weebly site, coupled with the company’s branding in the footer, hardly makes it an ideal solution for professional business owners.
Instead, we’ll start with both Weebly and GoDaddy’s entry-level paid plans.
In terms of website builder price alone, it’s hard to dispute that GoDaddy offers the better value for money long-term.
Not only do you get a free one-month trial with all of the company’s web builder plans, but if you opt for the lowest priced Personal plan, you’ll be paying just £4.99 per month.
Now, if you opt for Weebly, you’re only paying £4 per month for the lowest-priced Connect plan. While that may technically be cheaper, your £4-per-month website will still contain Weebly branding on it, which is hardly ideal.
If you want to remove the branding and access other benefits, you’ll have to pay for the £9 per-month pro package.
But hey, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
What’s included for the cost?
Again, GoDaddy seems to come out on top here, offering unmetered storage and bandwidth providing you keep your site within the company’s Acceptable Use Policy.
Weebly, on the other hand, cut you off at 500MB if you opt for the £4 package, meaning you’ll have to go for the £9 option to get unlimited bandwidth and storage.
In Weebly’s favour, their lowest-cost plan does give you access to every one of their several hundred pre-designed templates, whilst GoDaddy’s Personal package limits you to just 50 ‘personal’ themes.
Again, I want to remind you that Weebly’s £4 package still comes with their branding plastered all over it, which is both unattractive and unprofessional, whereas GoDaddy has no branding.
Where both companies do compare well is the fact that you can create an unlimited number of pages with each and that they both offer a free SSL certificate even with their cheapest plans.
If you ask me, this is a very good deal as an SSL on its own can prove to be pretty pricey.
Ease of use
I’m torn here, and will call this round a draw.
Though both platforms utilise slightly different methods of editing your website, both are very easy to get used to, and employ a highly intuitive drag-and-drop interface through which it typically takes no more than a few minutes to get a good looking website in place and ready to launch.
Templates and Design
In terms of template quality and overall aesthetic appeal, I have to give the nod to Weebly here.
It’s not that GoDaddy’s templates are necessarily bad; on their own, they do look pretty good, but when you start to consider modern design trends and compare a GoDaddy Website Builder site against one designed by a professional, it’s easy to see just how dated the company’s pre-designed templates are.
With Weebly on the other hand, most of the designs are in keeping with a contemporary style and look far more up-to-date.
That isn’t the only way that Weebly wins hands down here. If you decide that you don’t like the theme you’ve chosen, or simply want to explore different options, the company will let you do that whilst retaining all of the content you’ve already included in your site.
With GoDaddy on the other hand, changing your theme results in all of your content being deleted and the need to start from scratch. Obviously, that’s hardly ideal if you’ve already invested a lot of time in creating your site before deciding to look at a different theme.
Again, both do pretty well here.
In this day and age, mobile is the primary means of accessing the web for an increasing number of users, so this isn’t an area you and your business can afford to ignore. That said, you don’t have to actually give it much thought if you opt for Weebly.
Both company’s plans come with mobile optimisation as standard, even the free one.
This means that no matter which template you choose, you can be sure that visitors will be able to view all of your content and interact with your site no matter whether they choose to visit you on a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone device.
For the most part, it seems GoDaddy more than win out in terms of value-for-money, generally offering more bang for your buck. However, if you’re prepared to pay a little extra for the Weebly package, you’re likely to find yourself with a much, much better looking website.
*All prices accurate at time of writing.