Nowadays, there are more web hosting platforms out there on the internet than you can count. They all vary in quality, price, and features, but at the end of the day, they all help you do the same thing: design and host a website.
In this article, we’ll compare two popular web hosting platforms: Wix and GoDaddy. Wix is one of the web’s most popular website creation platforms, while GoDaddy is one of the most straightforward website creators.
What Is Wix?
Wix is one of the worldwide web’s most well-rounded website builders. It has a little bit of everything; plentiful templates, good support, and inexpensive price tiers. The beauty behind Wix is that they keep their program incredibly simple. They do website building, and though that’s all they do, they do it well.
Wix is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) web builders on the web for a reason. It is easy for ordinary people to use — no coding knowledge required — and it can create beautiful websites, too. Wix uses the drag-and-drop style of editing to create attractive, unique websites without the user ever seeing the back-end coding aspect of it.
If you don’t have time to create a custom website, you can simply select a template and let Wix do the rest. However, note that Wix’s sites are not mobile optimized by default, so you’ll have to do this part yourself.
Wix’s landing page is incredibly simple. All you do is sign up with your email and create the pages you want for your site. As such, Wix is best for people who are comfortable creating each page of their website. However, the Wix dashboard will walk you through everything you need to do.
One of the most significant selling points of Wix is that it comes with a free subscription plan. Though your website will have ads on it (and these ads can be a bit unattractive, but such is the price you pay for a free site), you don’t need to pay any other fees. If you don’t want ads on your website, Wix has paid subscription options with other convenient features (and no ads).
Pros of Wix
Wix’s homepage claims that they are “the leader in website creation,” and it’s easy to see why. You can break down Wix’s success into three things:
- The free option makes it easy for small businesses to create an online presence
- No coding experience necessary — create your website without ever looking at the “back end”
- Attractive themes and options that let you create a professional-looking website easily
Additionally, Wix is robust enough to let you create virtually any kind of website through the platform. Are you looking to create a site that primarily functions as a blog? Wix can do that. Are you looking to build a site that is more of a business page or storefront? Wix can do this too. You can even combine the two and maintain a business page and blog in one.
New to Wix is a subscription plan called Ascend. This is separate from Wix’s usual price tiers, as the Ascend options integrate new business tools such as analytics, email marketing, chat, and more. Wix’s standard price plans give you opportunities to remove ads, add more storage, and add custom domains.
Wix has more than 500 templates to choose from, making it one of the most flexible web builders out there today. Even if you decide to pick a template and not customize it at all, not many other websites will use that template because of the sheer number of options available.
All in all, Wix has a lot of pros and not very many cons. The biggest advantages of Wix’s website builder are:
- Accessible for any level of user
- Free and paid plans available
- Business diagnostic tools available
- No coding experience required
Cons of Wix
Despite all the pros we listed above, Wix still has some cons to consider. For one, their free plan, while useful, is full of unattractive, bulky ads that can get in the way of your website. Additionally, while Wix will convert your website for mobile use, your site won’t be optimized for mobile. You’ll need to do this in a different step, and if you don’t, your website may not function properly on mobile.
One other unfortunate downside of Wix is that you can no longer switch your website’s template after the site goes live. If you want to switch the template, you’ll have to take down the site, make changes, and then set up a new one. For businesses with active, frequently-visited websites, this may cause significant problems.
Additionally, Wix takes a while to set up. While you can deploy pages and create a functional website reasonably quickly, it can take a while to get it exactly how you want. This is especially true if you expect to optimize your mobile site, too, since you’ll have to do the whole process twice.
Also, it’s unfortunate that many of the business tools are locked behind Wix’s paid plans. This makes sense, especially since many of GoDaddy’s tools are locked behind their paid subscription plans, too.
Overall, though, there aren’t many cons to be found with Wix, and you really have to search for the ones you can find. Some of the most notable include:
- Takes a while to get your site set up
- Complicated pricing structure
- The free site has distracting ads
- No template switching
- Not mobile optimized
What Is GoDaddy?
GoDaddy is a website builder that builds your website in a fundamentally different way than Wix. Instead of allowing you to choose a theme and building your own website by customizing it, GoDaddy makes your starter website for you. First, GoDaddy will ask you what your website will be for, and they’ll build your site accordingly.
From there, it’ll be up to you to fine-tune your theme with colors and pictures. GoDaddy also has thousands of themes to choose from, but they’re neither as visually distinct nor as customizable as Wix’s themes.
Instead, your theme choices will affect things like color and font more so than layout and design. You can drag and drop some of the photos and text boxes on your site, but overall, the customizability is lower than Wix.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. With GoDaddy’s ready-to-go templates, you know your result will be attractive and alluring to customers. GoDaddy has a help center for any questions you may have, too, but because their builder is so easy to use, you likely won’t need it as much as Wix’s.
Unlike Wix, GoDaddy provides a whole host of web services, from domains to website building, hosting, and more. This means you can host an old website through GoDaddy instead of creating one from scratch if you prefer, too.
Pros of GoDaddy
GoDaddy’s website builder does only a few things, but it does these things well: it’s a simple, efficient, and fast website builder. You’re unlikely to find a site builder elsewhere on the web that can get you live in less time than GoDaddy. Additionally, while GoDaddy’s website builder is relatively simple, that means you’ll spend less time tweaking the little things. Some professionals may prefer it that way.
Additionally, GoDaddy has hundreds of themes to choose from, just like Wix! While they may not be quite as eye-catching or visually distinct, you can get a respectable amount of customization out of your GoDaddy website even without Wix’s robust customization tools.
Unlike Wix, you don’t need to build a new site to change themes with GoDaddy! Because GoDaddy’s themes are so universal, you can change them on the fly, without even bringing your website down temporarily. They’re mobile-optimized for the same reason, too, while Wix’s are not.
We mentioned earlier that GoDaddy offers other services in addition to website building and hosting. While this Wix vs GoDaddy hosting review is focused on just the web creation and hosting portion, it’s worth noting that these extra features might help some customers.
Believe it or not, GoDaddy has a free website tier, too. Their free web service doesn’t require ads as Wix does, and while it restricts some features and services, you will still get a functional website for free.
All in all, the most prominent benefits of GoDaddy’s website building service are:
- Incredibly fast
- Easy for anyone to use
- Hundreds of themes
- Other web services for those who need them
- Start for free (without ads)
Cons of GoDaddy
As you might have already guessed, the only real con to using GoDaddy is the website’s lack of customizability. While GoDaddy is excellent for helping you get your website up and running quickly and efficiently, it might not necessarily be precisely the website you want.
That being said, GoDaddy’s website builder is still very similar to Wix’s, with slightly limited functionality. However, the app market and store for GoDaddy is much more limited than that of Wix.
Do note that much of the app store functionality that Wix offers can be unlocked through higher subscription tiers with GoDaddy. However, we can’t deny that the app store itself is much smaller.
That’s about all when it comes to the cons of using GoDaddy, though. The full list of cons we can find includes:
- Limited design functionality
- Smaller app store
Wix vs. GoDaddy : Head-to-Head Comparisons
User-Friendliness and Support
Both Wix and GoDaddy are incredibly user-friendly. Both website builders are drag-and-drop builders that anyone can learn to use, regardless of coding or web building knowledge. However, we’ve noticed that GoDaddy has some distinct advantages over Wix because of its simplicity.
While Wix does have more customization options, this also means that it’s easier to mess up in the process! Wix provides attractive templates for you to start from, but the more you customize it, the more you can compromise the original design’s integrity. Your result might not look as attractive as the original template!
By contrast, even though GoDaddy limits your design range slightly, you can rest assured that your result will look attractive, no matter what you do. For most individuals looking to build a website, this will be a pro, not a con, to the entire process. However, GoDaddy’s website builder may feel more restrictive for individuals who have a specific “vision” or existing design experience.
Both websites have support teams ready to help you, but we have to give the advantage to GoDaddy again here. Wix’s support team is only available on Monday through Thursday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., while GoDaddy offers 24/7 phone and chat support.
Wix does have a robust help center that you can search through for previously-asked topics, too. Wix also helps close this gap by offering an in-editor help center that can assist you if you get stuck!
All in all, Wix and GoDaddy are about equal in terms of support, though GoDaddy gets the win for user-friendliness. While Wix is excellent for those who have an eye for design, GoDaddy has the “novice-proofing” that will help beginners build a better-looking website.
Tools and Features
Wix and GoDaddy deviate rather abruptly when it comes to features and tools. Neither has an abundance of built-in tools when you just purchase the free tier, but you can access these tools in other ways.
One way to get these features with Wix is through the platform’s app store. While GoDaddy also has an app store, we mentioned earlier that it isn’t as expansive as Wix’s store. If you want additional features using GoDaddy, you’ll have to depend on getting most of them from GoDaddy’s paid tiers.
Even though GoDaddy is a simple website builder, that’s not to say that it lacks features. You can link your social media accounts, create a store page, use marketing and SEO tools, and much more with GoDaddy and Wix.
However, the place you might run into more trouble is when looking for more specialized features. If you’re looking for something that GoDaddy doesn’t offer in one of its paid tiers, you may not be able to find it in their small app store. On the other hand, because Wix has such an expansive app store, they may have the solution you’re looking for. This gives Wix an advantage when it comes to features.
One feature that GoDaddy does have that Wix does not is abandoned cart recovery. If a customer navigates away from your page with items still in your cart, GoDaddy will retain these items for them. However, a Wix website will not. GoDaddy has built-in email marketing, too, while Wix depends on outside apps for this.
When it comes to social media integration, though, Wix has the edge over GoDaddy. Both platforms can embed your social media accounts into your website, but GoDaddy can only integrate limited social media feeds — such as Instagram — into your website. On the other hand, Wix can display your message feed from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another social site on your Wix website.
As such, when it comes to features, Wix and GoDaddy are about equal. It’s essential to keep in mind that Wix has a slight advantage because of its bigger app store. However, if GoDaddy continues to build up its store, this may not be an advantage forever.
SEO, Marketing, and Analytics
While neither Wix nor GoDaddy is designed to specialize in SEO or marketing, both website builders have the functionality to offer you basic SEO and marketing tools. Both websites let you use Google Analytics, for example, to monitor who visits your site and how.
When it comes to SEO, GoDaddy again has a bit of an edge. GoDaddy’s SEO suggestions are built into the platform, while Wix depends on apps like SEO Wiz and Site Booster. GoDaddy’s SEO tools are simply more natural to use because they’re integrated into your dashboard instead of accessible through other programs and apps.
Wix does have one advantage over GoDaddy in that you can use additional analytics programs to track your website’s visitors. GoDaddy currently only supports Google Analytics, but Wix can support more through their app store.
At one time, Wix had an advantage over GoDaddy by offering you a free domain for the first year, but now GoDaddy also provides the same thing. You can use GoDaddy’s free “.godaddysites.com” domain for as long as you need to, but if you upgrade to one of their professional domains, they’ll drop the “godaddysites” from your web domain for you.
Do keep in mind that GoDaddy links to more social media websites than Wix can — Wix can’t connect to Instagram without third-party help, for example.
Can You Use GoDaddy and Wix for Ecommerce?
While Wix and GoDaddy are capable of handling a small amount of eCommerce, keep in mind that neither platform is designed to handle it exclusively. If you’re looking to run a more extensive shop, consider looking at other platforms that are designed around such things.
That being said, you can create a modest storefront with both apps, and they can both integrate with PayPal and similar programs to make your eCommerce easier. Their eCommerce apps and programs also integrate incredibly well with your main site, making it even easier to sell your product.
Wix has separate eCommerce price plans available, but they don’t give you much value for the money. Most of Wix’s higher price tiers give you more storage and higher bandwidth, which some users may find useful, but most will find them unnecessary for the price.
Both GoDaddy and Wix have the following features built-in to their eCommerce shops:
- Product imports
- Social media integrations for selling products
- Digital and physical product sales
- Sales tax calculation
Additionally, Wix allows you to sell subscriptions for whatever services you offer, while GoDaddy does not. However, GoDaddy balances this out by allowing you to sync product availability between several marketplaces.
One place where Wix stands out over GoDaddy is when it comes to blogging. While you might want to focus on other platforms designed for blogging if you intend to use your website for that (such as WordPress), both Wix and GoDaddy can integrate and publish blog posts. The main difference between the two is that Wix offers more formatting of blog posts, tagging, and layout changes.
Pricing and Tiers
GoDaddy has the advantage in pricing plans here, both because their plans are cheaper and because they’re easier to understand. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include GoDaddy’s other services, such as domains and website hosting.
GoDaddy’s price tiers are as follows:
- Starter plan: Free
- Basic plan: $10 per month
- Standard plan: $15 per month
- Premium plan: $20 per month
- Ecommerce plan: $25 per month
GoDaddy’s price tiers are easy — it just increases by $5 for each tier you go up. However, Wix’s plans are a bit more confusing. They are as follows:
- Combo plan: $13 per month
- Unlimited plan: $17 per month
- Pro plan: $22 per month
- VIP plan: $39 per month
Keep in mind that Wix also has business and Ecommerce tiers as well as “Ascend” tiers that you can upgrade to. This makes their price plans even more confusing.
If you just consider the basic plans, then Wix has smaller increments between their first few plans. However, GoDaddy’s plans start cheaper at $10 per month, and their most expensive tier is also much less costly than Wix’s VIP plan. This gives GoDaddy the edge, as they’re less expensive overall (and on average) and easier to understand.
Design is the most important thing to consider in this Wix vs GoDaddy hosting review. In almost every other respect, Wix and GoDaddy are nearly identical (or close enough that you could get by with either platform without much trouble).
As far as template design goes, both GoDaddy and Wix offer virtually the same thing; both offer attractive templates that will set you up with a functional and pleasing website. However, it all comes down to how you change those designs.
With Wix, you can change virtually every aspect of your template, regardless of which one you ultimately choose. This isn’t the case with GoDaddy, but because GoDaddy has just as many models to choose from, you can get almost as much customization out of the website editor.
Whereas GoDaddy is less flexible initially, it’s more flexible in the long run. After you choose a template on Wix, you’re stuck with it until you make another website. The good news is that, because Wix is so customizable, you can change it to virtually any form you like.
On the other hand, GoDaddy allows you to choose a new theme whenever you want, and it retains your website content and photos between those changes, too.
Wix’s themes are slightly easier to navigate through than GoDaddy’s themes. GoDaddy will help you choose an initial idea, such as Entertainment, Farming, eCommerce, or something else. In comparison, Wix lets you navigate through these categories instead of choosing something for you.
Once you’ve chosen your theme, GoDaddy’s options are to change text, add or remove sections, change pictures, add pages, or reorganize some items. You can change fonts and colors, too. However, with Wix, you can drag and move specific items and recolor individual aspects of the page. Conversely, with GoDaddy, you’re limited to changing your theme’s overall colors.
All in all, both Wix and GoDaddy have great designs, tools, and templates, and both of them should have enough for the novice web designer. However, for those with a particular site design in mind, Wix may be a better fit.
GoDaddy recently overhauled its web design platform. It feels more beautiful, newer, and more user-friendly than Wix’s interface. However, GoDaddy indeed offers a little less customizability. In exchange for that, they offer a “novice-proof” experience — it’s tough to make GoDaddy’s pre-made themes look bad.
On the other hand, if you customize too much about a Wix theme, it can end up so different that it doesn’t even resemble the original idea anymore. This is great for those who have a knack for designing attractive websites, but those who don’t have previous experience might find it difficult or unnecessary. Wix has so much customizability that you might not even notice or utilize all of it when creating your first website.
In the end, Wix and GoDaddy are both so similar that you could comfortably choose either one and be very happy with your results. They offer virtually the same things — the only difference is that GoDaddy feels “newer” than Wix does.
It’s impossible to deny that, overall, GoDaddy is cheaper than Wix. While both websites offer free plans, GoDaddy’s free tier doesn’t include the chunky ads that Wix comes with, either. As such, if you’re looking to maintain a free website, you’ll probably like GoDaddy’s free tier better than Wix’s, but both are great options if you’re looking for an inexpensive (but not free) plan.