GoDaddy is one of the most popular website-building platforms, with over 21 million users and over 84 million registered domains. Along with a website builder, GoDaddy also offers web hosting, web design, secure sockets layer (SSL) security, and more, making it a convenient all-in-one option for various web services.
While creating a new website might sound overwhelming, read on for some simple tasks you can complete surprisingly quickly.
Since GoDaddy offers a nearly comprehensive suite of website management services, you can set up a new site from scratch without needing other providers. Still not convinced? Check out our full GoDaddy review to learn more about it.
What Is the GoDaddy Website Builder?
Traditional hosting is the way to go if you want to use WordPress or another content management system. It’s harder to get started but offers superior flexibility and mobility. The website builder is drag-and-drop, making it great for beginners–but you can’t move your website somewhere else without rebuilding it from scratch.
The website builder is designed to streamline creating a professional website. After starting from one of many preset templates, you can customize nearly every aspect of your site’s design. The website builder also comes with various secondary features, including search engine optimization (SEO), marketing, social media integration, and e-commerce tools for online stores.
GoDaddy website builder subscriptions start at $9.99 per month (billed annually) for the Basic tier and go up to $29.99 for Commerce Plus. You can use the platform for a free seven-day trial to see if it’s right for you before committing.
Pros and cons of the GoDaddy website builder
For example, GoDaddy only accepts payments through PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Square, Stripe, and credit cards. Those options might cover most users, but you won’t be able to include cryptocurrencies or other, more obscure payment methods. This is just one example — with so many website-building tools available, it’s impossible to offer a perfect recommendation for every use case.
What Do You Need To Do Before Building Your GoDaddy Website?
You may be ready and excited to pick a template and customize your new site, but there are a few steps to take first.
Sign up for GoDaddy
As mentioned, you can choose between the website builder and traditional hosting options. If you want to use traditional hosting, you can follow our guide on how to create a WordPress website. It shows you how to do the process with Bluehost, but it’s very similar to GoDaddy so you shouldn’t have any troubles.
For the rest of this guide, we’ll focus on the website builder. So, the next step is signing up for a website builder plan. The cheapest plan is usually more than enough for most people.
As you go through the process, you’ll be able to choose a domain name directly with GoDaddy. You’ll get the first year of domain registration for free. If you prefer to keep your domain and hosting separate, you can use a separate domain registrar.
Get an email address
While an email address isn’t strictly necessary for your new site, it can help you stay in contact with your visitors. Dedicated email addresses also make life easier for businesses by allowing them to keep their work and personal messages separate.
Custom addresses will add to your brand image — an email address @ your domain will appear more professional than one @ Gmail or another email provider.
GoDaddy’s email features integrate with Microsoft 365, and you’ll get a free year of business email access with any paid GoDaddy website builder subscription. After that, you can continue to access your website email accounts with a separate GoDaddy email subscription.
Determine Your Website Goals and Plans
Some aspects of website building are similar regardless of the kind of site you’re working on. However, it’s critical to consider your site’s goals before making any concrete design decisions. For example, if you’re creating a site for your business, you will likely use a different design philosophy than someone crafting a personal blog.
These cover everything from online stores and catalogs to lead generation. The GoDaddy website builder will automatically populate some fields based on your company’s industry, and you can edit its template as needed.
To sell products through your website, you’ll need an e-commerce subscription to access GoDaddy’s vendor tools. Product listings, payment processing, social media listings, shipping options, and promotions are just some features limited to e-commerce users.
Business and personal websites come in many forms, and it can be tough to categorize some personal sites. For example, you might create a website to host a crowdfunding project or a blog to share your thoughts online. Again, your specific intentions are the most important thing to consider in your approach to site design.
While higher subscription tiers offer deeper features, the GoDaddy Basic plan should cover most users interested in developing a personal website. The tools with more expensive plans are generally designed for business clients. If you’re not planning to sell anything, you may not be interested in SEO, payment processing, or other e-commerce features.
An announcement site generally is designed to host information about an event, product, or some other point of interest without accepting payments or taking on the functions of a business website.
Some of the most common announcement websites provide information about weddings, product launches, and media events, but you can announce almost anything on a website. Services like Squarespace are often used for these simple pages that are not updated often. The platform’s simple yet thoroughly customizable templates can be used to fit virtually any aesthetic. This can be easier than building a full site with GoDaddy.
Prepare Your Website Content
Finally, you’re ready to start developing the content for your new website. Investing some time in the content before you begin placing it in a site template is critical. When you start working with GoDaddy’s website builder, you’ll need some of your content ready.
You can always add to and edit your site later. But developing key content forms, such as contact pages, “About Us” pages, and product pages (if you’re creating a business site) will give your site a strong foundation. While you might have ideas about organizing the website, it’s best not to spend too much time on formatting or web design until later. It will be much easier to make those adjustments once you upload what you have into a GoDaddy Site Builder template.
Include some SEO in your content planning
It is important to have SEO principles in mind from the beginning of the content development process. These strategies help websites rank higher in results for relevant keywords on Google and other search engines.
For example, if you sell iPhone cases, it’s crucial to show up on the first page when someone types “iPhone cases” or another similar keyword into Google. Search result rankings play a major role in determining traffic and sales for e-commerce businesses.
First, consider what search terms you want to target. You can look for ways to work them into your copy and content from there. Google and other search engines will penalize you for spamming keywords, so keywords must fit naturally with the sentence they’ve placed in. It’s usually better to miss a few SEO opportunities than to incur search result penalties from the major engines.
If you’re creating a business website, your content should mirror the journey you expect customers to make from their initial visit until their first order. For example, you might eventually want to include a landing page, an email subscription form with a lead magnet, links to your social media pages, and a page for each product you plan to sell. A rough content plan is sufficient at this point — you can finish fine-tuning the site structure later.
Steps To Designing Your GoDaddy Website
With your basic content ready, it’s time to hop into the GoDaddy website builder and begin crafting your new site. We will walk through the process of researching other websites to help you find inspiration for both content and style. You’ll have the ideas to develop a sleek design that matches your goals for the site.
Research other sites
Looking at competitors in your niche is the easiest way to get ideas for your site. While GoDaddy makes setting up a basic design easy, its templates may not be specific enough to meet your needs. Researching other websites lets you see what worked for them, giving you a foundation for starting your site.
SEO is vital for any business website, so always monitor your competition’s practices. You’ll need a separate SEO tool for deeper analysis, but a quick search test will determine which sites rank highly for the most relevant keywords in your niche.
Build your GoDaddy website
After opening the GoDaddy website builder, select a category and enter a name for your new site. You can change the website title anytime, so don’t worry if you haven’t yet decided on the right name.
From there, GoDaddy will walk you through some of the platform’s basic features, including templates, page management, and site add-ons. Click on an element of your site to edit it as needed, then select the Preview option at the top of the screen to see how it will appear to visitors.
If you signed up for a free trial, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription to maintain access to your site after the trial period ends. A premium subscription is also required to connect your site to a custom domain, as free sites are limited to certain domains.
Once you select the Website tab on the right side of the screen, GoDaddy will display a list of pages on your site. By default, our website only contained three pages: Home, About Us, and Contact Us. To add a new page, click the plus sign in the upper-left corner next to Site Navigation.
After you select the plus sign, GoDaddy will ask whether you want to create a new page on your site, a link to an external website, or a drop-down menu. You can also name your page, make it public or private, and select other options.
Your new page will be empty at first, but you can get started quickly by clicking Add Section and browsing through the collection of templates. You can see some of the options in the screenshot below. If you select Blog, for example, you can choose between a slideshow format or a list with one or two columns.
While you can edit various aspects of these templates later, it makes it easy to get started by providing an easy foundation for different types of pages. The website builder also has a button for duplicating pages, which is extremely convenient when using the same template for multiple pages.
Click on the Help Center button in the upper-right corner if you experience technical issues or have questions about the website builder.
Publish Your GoDaddy Site
The Publish button is at the top of the website builder, and you can publish anytime. While GoDaddy allows users to publish during the free trial, your site will only stay online until the end of the trial period unless you upgrade to a paid subscription.
After upgrading, return to the Publish menu and select Choose a Domain to connect your website to a dedicated URL without GoDaddy branding.
Take advantage of the Preview function before putting your site online. Preview enables users to visualize their site on both desktops and smartphones, and a quick review will help you identify any typos or other errors.
Growing your site
Publishing your site is just the first step. You’ll need to leverage social media, email, and other marketing channels to reach an audience. All paid GoDaddy website builder subscriptions include site analytics plus social media and email marketing tools. At or above the Basic tier, you also get access to a deep SEO toolkit.
FAQs About Building a Website on GoDaddy
How much does it cost to build a website on GoDaddy?
GoDaddy’s web hosting plans range from $5.99 to $54.99 per month when paid annually. Website builder plans start at $9.99 per month if you sign up for a year in advance. The right plan for you depends on whether you want standard hosting or access to GoDaddy’s website builder.
Can I use GoDaddy to build a website?
Yes, you can use GoDaddy to build your website. Across all of its offerings, you could create any type of website, including a blog, ecommerce store, small business website, or something else entirely. Most plans also include a free domain name so you get everything you need to gets started.
Is GoDaddy free to build a website?
There’s a free trial you can use to test out the website builder, but there’s no free plan.