GoDaddy Review: Overview

User Rating
  • You can create a website and get it live in a matter of minutes
  • It’s super easy to use
  • Its pricing plans are very cheap in comparison to some competitors
Score
9
Ease of Use
Simple
Templates
500+

Overview

Pros:

  • Reliable and fast 24/7 free phone support.
  • Simple editor with tons of features.
  • Lots of storage and email accounts.
  • Well known brand

Cons:

  • Online support documentation incomplete.
  • Hard to customize to your businesses needs.
  • Hard to get around the site while editing and adding text.
  • Al La Carte - You have to add everything in, not all in one.

Bottom Line:

Go Daddy's builder is hard to use because it mashes together several kinds of software, each of which has a different way of doing things. It has a nice shopping cart though, and solid phone support (you'll need it!).

Price Range: $4.99 to $12.99/month + Add ons

Ease of Use

Hard to Find Your Way Around

The worst thing about Website Tonight is the navigation. You have to go to several different areas to edit a page. Although all the design and editing tools are right in front of you, you have to leave the site too often to do other things. The shopping cart is the worst offender as it is made with entirely different software with a different interface, and is even located on a different website.

Main Menu is a Maze

Go Daddy's main menu (which you have to go through to access Website Tonight) is one of the largest menus we've seen, with dozens of categories and even more links. We spent nearly as much time trying to figure out where to click as we did building the site.

The builder does however make up for the initial confusion by providing a website overview. This gives you a big picture of your site showing you how many pages you have and the amount of space available. It gives you a clear look of your site's content and design.

Editor is Confusing to Learn and Has a Few Bugs

Using the editor is not self-explanatory, nor does it have easy walk-throughs or quick-start documentation to help you learn it. Prepare for a slow learning process to start with if you go with Website Tonight.

There are also a few errors that slow things down as well. While we were building our website, there were a few java script errors and timeouts with the servers. These are minor bugs, but we did have to switch from Internet Explorer 6.0 to Mozilla Fire Fox 1.5.0.4 to use the builder bug-free. Also, the Advanced Editor has a spell check, but it didn't catch a spelling mistake we added on purpose.  We typed in "ikjudhsk" and it came up with no results or errors.

Long Processing Wait Times

Another drawback to this builder is the process of editing and previewing pages.  Every change has to be uploaded to the servers. This means whenever you make a change to your site, there's a processing period of about 10 seconds before you can see it. This slows down the editing process to a crawl.

Hard to Customize Design for a Business

There is no easy way to add a logo to the templates within Website Tonight, nor are there many ways to customize the way your content looks on the page. The only way you can incorporate your logo is to create a header using a design program like Photoshop.

There are also not very many layouts or color choices to choose from when trying to customize templates.  If you want to create different layouts or change the sizes of different design elements, prepare to learn HTML because this is not a function that's built into the system.

Skip the Online Documentation and Reach for the Phone

The online documentation within Website Tonight does not provide easy answers. The documents themselves were incomplete and unclear and don't have screenshots. This makes it so you have to call their 24/7 support line almost every time you need help. Having to call slows down the process of getting things done on your website.

Editor

Time-Consuming to Use and Learn

Website Tonight's editor interface does not make it easy to learn. And don't expect any easy walk-throughs or quick-start documenation to get you through the initial learning process. Even once you get used to the system, you'll still have to wait for processing times as each change you make on a page is uploaded to Go Daddy's server.

That being said, Go Daddy does have a great image upload and editing system. It's page titling system is also easy to use.

Two Editors, but Only One is Necessary

Website Tonight offers two different yet similar editors to choose from: Quick Editor and Advanced Editor. Quick Editor allows you to easily change page text, but is limited to simple functions. To be honest, we're not sure why they even bother with this editor. Both are online builders and it's no quicker to add text on Quick Editor than it is with the advanced one.

The editor we used most was the "Advanced Editor," which is similar to Microsoft Word. It has the standard editing options (bold, italics, links, page alignment, etc.) - nothing more, nothing less. The options and menus are cluttered, making it hard to figure out where to start.

Adding and Editing Content is Time-Consuming

Website Tonight's editor is not the easiest one to learn. There are no guides or wizards to walk you through the initial process. You have to figure out everything yourself. That would be okay if the process was self-explanatory, but that isn't the case. Then you have to suffer through the processing times (around 10 seconds) every time you make a change. It took a lot of time and experimental clicking to get the content the way we wanted.

Titling Pages is a Snap

Adding new pages, on the other hand, is simple.  The builder has a good feature that lets you name pages, add sub-titles, and even add Meta tags, keywords and descriptions all at once.  Very cool! This helped save time.

Adding Images is Easy

While editing a webpage, you can easily add images and photos with a few quick clicks. By simply clicking on the "add image" link in the top menu, you can choose from hundreds of stock images or add your own.  Adding your own image takes no skill and can be done in a few short steps.  All you have to do is browse for an image in your computer, then double click it to add it to your webpage.  If the image is too big, you can drag it down to the appropriate size.  This is great for those who don't have image editing software on their computer, or ones that have hundreds of images that need to be resized.  You will save time by just resizing the images right on the page.

The great thing is once you've added your pictures, you can drag them to any position on the page, there are no layouts that bar you from being creative with your images and the overall look of your site.

Design

Hard to Customize Design for a Business

Website Tonight doesn't have many templates, nor does it have many options to help you customize your site for your business. You can't incorporate your logo into the header design unless you know how to use a design program.

You can change the background color scheme of your website, but there are only 6 color choices. There are also few layouts to choose from. And if you want to change the sizes of different parts of your design, you'll have to learn HTML, because the builder doesn't have this option built in.

Nice Templates, but a Few More Would Be Nice

Website Tonight only has 109 templates (that we found) in 21 different categories.  When selecting a template we found some really nice ones that fit well in the categories, and some that didn,t fit at all. 

Choosing the template is easy but there's that 10-second delay to upload it.  Those with a dial up-connection would have to wait even longer. Even more frustrating was when we changed the template to another design. It removed all the text and images we had added to the previous template. There was no way for us to retrieve our work, causing us to start from scratch. We found the warning after the fact. We can,t help but think it could,ve been more obvious on the page.

No Option to Add Logo to Header

There is no easy way to add your logo into the header of a template in Website Tonight. This is a big disadvantage for people who want easy customization. The only other option is to use a design program like Photoshop to create a header that has your logo in it. This can be a lot more work if you,re unfamiliar with design programs.

Need to Know HTML for True Customization

Changing the color scheme of the template is easy and instantaneous.  There are 6 colors to choose from. The color schemes match up pretty nicely, but if you want a wider range of options, you'll have to go to HTML mode.

Can't Easily Customize Content and Design Layouts

Don't look for any tools for resizing your design's index, background, border, etc. There is no easy tool in Website Tonight to do this. The only option to make changes like this is to use HTML mode.

The 4 content layout options available are plain and only one of them is pre-designed with an image. It would be nice to have more to choose from that aren't so boxy-looking. If you want to create a different kind of layout, you,d have to choose the most basic option then spend extra time making it look the way you want or use HTML mode.

Good Image Library with Easy Resizing

There,s a good sized library of stock images to choose from (over 1700) with photos and clipart in a variety of categories. There are dozens of categories and the images are generally high quality.  They can also be resized easily within the editor by clicking and dragging.

Cool Flash Intro Feature

Website Tonight has a tool that allows you to create a flash introduction for your website. Although flash intros are less popular these days due to wait times, we still tried it out. The flash builder gives you templates to quickly build a 5-10 second intro. You can add text to the template and preview it easily too. We chose an industrial theme that matched our test site. It,s a nice bonus if you want a flash intro.

Make Your Text and Images Scroll

Website Tonight has the option to put up scrolling text or images with their "Scrolling Marquee" tool. This can add a little extra funkiness to your pages, but be careful not to overdo these kinds of effects. Visitors to your website can become visually annoyed by overuse of moving text and images.

Promotional Tools

Promotional Tool Shed Was Pretty Empty

It was hard for us to find any tools that help with promotion other than the Meta tag editor. Go Daddy does have a few promotional tools outside of the builder that we found in the main menu like a Google Adwords credit for $50, but it's not directly in the builder.

There are no other promotional tools or even articles to help you market your website. So if you need help promoting your site you're pretty much on your own.

Easy Meta Tag Editor

Website Tonight has a titling page within the editor that lets you add Meta tags, keywords and descriptions along with titles. The information you add to the Meta tags help search engines understand your site's content.

# Score Plans Main Advantage Get Started
4
Templates
75+

 

  • SSL certification;
  • Small business listings;
  • Blogging platform;
  • Quality customer support;
  • 30-day money back guarantee.
5
Templates
50+

 

  • Full freedom design.
  • Option to have more than one site.
9
Templates
500+

 

  • You can create a website and get it live in a matter of minutes
  • It’s super easy to use
  • Its pricing plans are very cheap in comparison to some competitors
6
Templates
100+

 

  • Free trial
  • Premium support included with all accounts
  • Value-added features
7.1
Templates
1750+

 

  • 25 different pre-made pages for business tools.
  • Over 1750 Business Templates
  • Over 600,000 websites built using CityMax

E-Commerce

Shopping Cart Costs Extra but Has Good Option Range

Alhough you have to pay extra and learn new software to do e-commerce with Website Tonight, the shopping cart provides a decent range of options for products and check-out.

Add-On Shopping Cart Adds onto Price

Website Tonight's e-commerce option gives you an add-on shopping cart that you link to your site from Quick Shopping Cart. Quick Shopping Cart is a feature-rich online shopping cart.  It takes patience and practice to use, but once you get comfortable with the system you can make it look really professional.

You have to pay extra for the shopping cart, ($323.04 for one year) but it's good value for what you get.

Great Features, But Initial Set-Up Takes Time

With so many features included with the shopping cart, it takes a while to add a product and set up all the options, including shipping, taxes, calculators and product options. Things got much easier after the initial product set-up. eBay integration, sales reporting, inventory control and the quick search tool were all easy to set-up and use. Website Tonight also gives you a wide variety of payment options you can set up, including PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and more.

New Set-Up System to Learn

Since Quick Shopping Cart is an entirely separate product from the website builder, we first had to learn the new system before we could get it up and running. Though it wasn't particularly hard to learn, finding our way around the new system made setting up e-commerce a lengthy process. 

Versatile Product Options

When it comes to adding products to your website store, Go Daddy has covered some serious terrain. You can create any options sets you need for the products you're selling. You can even create a manufacturer for your products to help organize your store. This allows you to sort your products by name brand. You can also add in a short description, full description, and provide discounts.

We also found a great tool that allows you to get a rain check on items. If a product is out of stock, you can request the item to be placed on hold when it becomes available.

Sales Reporting Very Descriptive

Go Daddy has an amazing reporting system with the Shopping cart. With a click of your mouse you can pull stats and run reports for pretty much anything to do with your store. We were able to run reports for gross total sales, net total sales, sales by month, sales by day, sales per product, sales by product codes, sales by state, orders per day, total shipping costs and total taxes per product sold.  These reports make keeping track of sales and products a breeze. All this information can be viewed in the Storefront summary.

Fraud Management Tool for Your Safety

We also found a nifty tool to protect yourself against fraud.  It checks the country code of the IP address of the computer from which the order is placed and then checks if that country code matches the country code for the customer's billing address.  This is a nice addition for extra security and protection. 

Tools & Features

Not Many Features That Stand Out

Website Tonight is pretty lean when it comes to business-friendly tools.  Other than the fact that it allows you to back up your work, it has a couple of typical features like a custom form builder and password-protected pages that are much the same as you'd see on any other builder.  The only features that stand out are of limited value.

Here is a list of its features:

  • RSS Feeds
  • Flash Intros 
  • Password-protected pages 
  • Text Content for different industries
  • Custom Form Builder
  • Coming Soon page
  • Hit Counter
  • Date/Time Stamp
  • Site Statistics

Backing Up Your Website

Website Tonight allows you to back up your entire website.  This can serve as protection for all your hard work or it can give you the option to switch to different versions of your site.  This is also handy if you want to take your content to another website builder down the road.  You can save up to 10 copies of your website.  There is also an auto-backup for when you change the template of your website (which causes you to lose all your previous work). 

Website Tonight allows you to add a "coming soon" page to your website.  The wizard lets you create a page for your customers to see while you're building up your site.  It has 3 templates and some pre-written text to give you an idea of what to say.  You can also add images like a company logo to customize it.  The coming soon page has a few templates to choose from with an easy wizard that walks you through it in seconds.  This feature is not a deal-breaker when it comes to choosing a builder, but it's nice to have.

Lazy Writers Can Use Industry Specific Pre-Made Text

If you're not inclined to write your own copy for your website, Website Tonight has pre-made text for various industries.  At first glance, it might seem like a good feature, but most business owners would have too much pride not to do their own.

Customer Support

Quality Phone Support, Poor Online Documentation

Go Daddy's phone support is so good you could almost overlook their poor documentation. Almost. The online documentation seems to have been half-heartedly made. It's nowhere near as reliable as phone support, making it so we eventually just turned to the phone whenever we had trouble.

Awesome 24/7 Phone Support, Friendly Service

Go Daddy has high quality phone support for their domain name services and this carried through to Website Tonight.  A support rep from their team called personally to welcome us to the company when we first signed up.  We were able to find the support number easily since it's posted throughout the site.  Response times were quick - we waited no more than 30 seconds and the reps were friendly and knowledgeable about the product.

Online Documentation is Lacking

The online documentation was incomplete and unclear.  It would point us in the right direction, but it left out many specific instructions that were necessary to complete a task. We were able to figure things out by using phone support, but it's frustrating to have to pick up the phone just to do simple tasks.  It would help if they added screenshots, but more important would be improving the instructions themselves so that a person can complete the task without outside help.

Search Tool Came Up With No Results

They have a search tool in the builder to help you around, but it's unreliable.  We tested out a few general keywords we would expect people to search.  We searched the word “ecommerce” and came up with zero results.  You'd think a word like ecommerce would come up with something.

Value

Good Overall Value but Extras Add Up

The overall value is great for Website Tonight, but we found that there are lots of extra costs and they quickly add up. You have to add on a shopping cart ($323.04 for one year), and SSL certificates (for a secure shopping cart) just to sell online.

Adding over $320.00 just for a shopping cart is a little above average.  By the time you add in  shopping cart, SSL certs and a merchant account, you're looking at over $500.00 in extras just to sell online.  If you are looking for a good shopping cart, this is the one, just be prepared to pay for it.

Three Packages to Choose From

Of Go Daddy's 3 packages, we chose the middle option, the 10-page Deluxe plan.  It includes everything needed to build a basic website and has most of the features a business would need.  At $8.99 per month, we found that most of the tools were available with this package.  If you are looking to upgrade, you might want to consider the premuim plan.  This plan gives you much more disk space and also more pages for only $12.99 per month.  If 10 pages are enough for you and your business, just stick to the 10-page deluxe plan. 

Go Daddy also offers a 5-page website, however this leaves you with no room for growth.  At $4.99 per month, this is the most affordable package.

Go Daddy has no contracts and while the extras were certainly unexpected, they weren't hidden.

No Free Trial

Go Daddy doesn't offer a free trial, from what we could see, so you have to actually pay for a month to try it out.

There are no contracts and your website comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Technical Spec Sheet

Package 5-Page Economy Plan 10-Page Deluxe Plan Unlimited Paged Premium Plan
Price / Mo. $4.99 $8.99 $12.99
Set-Up Fee No No No
Free Trial No No No
No. of Pages 5 10 Unlimited
Email Addresses 1 200 400
Domain Names

Costs Extra

Costs Extra Costs Extra
# of Products N/A 100 100
Integrated Shopping Cart

Costs Extra

Costs Extra

Costs Extra

Accepts Credit Card Yes  Yes Yes
Can Use Merchant Acct Yes Yes Yes
Transaction Fees No No No
Shipping Options Yes Yes Yes
Advertising Credits No Yes Yes
# of Templates 109 109 109
# of Images 1500 1500 1500
Free Customer Support Yes Yes Yes
Documentation Yes Yes Yes
Site Statistics Yes Yes Yes
Disk Storage 50MB 2GB 2GB
Bandwidth (monthly) 1GB 100GB 200GB