GoDaddy and WordPress are two companies that respectively dominate the web hosting and Content Management System (CMS) market spaces. But how do they stack up against one another?
Both GoDaddy and WordPress offer useful design tools, but GoDaddy is much more suitable for first-time website creators who want a quick and easy experience. Building a website using WordPress is a far more involved process, and is better for advanced or tech-savvy users.
In this WordPress vs GoDaddy review, we'll be comparing the GoDaddy website builder to WordPress.com.
Truly, GoDaddy is an internet giant. It's the world's largest web hosting service and has nearly 18 million users. There are a wide range of GoDaddy digital services including domain registration, shared server hosting, and even WordPress hosting.
However, if you're looking for a simple way to build a website, the product you should be after is GoCentral.
GoCentral is an all-inclusive website building and hosting service. With it, you won't need a third-party server in order to host your website. It takes a drag-and-drop approach to website building, so even beginners can create a website quickly. In fact, GoCentral's main selling point is that it allows you to create a website, from start to finish, in less than 60 minutes.
WordPress.com (not to confuse with WordPress.org) is a wildly-popular website hosting provider and home to over a third of websites roaming the internet.
But first and foremost, it's an easy-to-use website builder.
While with WordPress.org you have access to the entirety of plugins and total freedom of customizability, WordPress.com offers a simple website-building experience.
WordPress vs GoDaddy: Usability
Unquestionably, GoCentral is more user-friendly than WordPress. In our GoCentral review, we found that it really was possible to create a complete GoCentral website in under an hour.
However, that's partly because GoCentral is also very limiting. You don't get much freedom to determine your site's design which keeps the creation process short.
By comparison, WordPress gives you a huge amount of control over the look and feel of your site. From the WordPress visual editor window, you can move content around and place it wherever you like on your page. You aren't limited to a pre-defined layout, like with GoCentral.
However, because WordPress doesn't use a drag-and-drop configuration, figuring out how to use it involves a steeper learning curve.
GoDaddy's website builder GoCentral is very user-friendly, but at the same time, quite limited. WordPress is slightly more difficult to figure out, but provides more customization options.
One of the biggest complaints with GoCentral is its restrictive template choice. There are only a few dozen available and there's not a lot of design variation. Although website color schemes change a lot between templates, the layout is pretty much identical for each template category.
In short, WordPress provides significantly more choice than GoCentral when it comes to template selection. Because almost anyone can design a WordPress template, an almost unlimited number are available.
However, WordPress templates aren't as consistent in terms of quality. Although there are some great WordPress templates, because of WordPress's open-source nature, there's very little quality control.
GoDaddy offers fewer templates with limited design options, while WordPress has a large theme selection. The quality of WordPress themes can be inconsistent, though.
WordPress.com has a free plan, while GoDaddy does not. Other prices range from $10 to $25/month for GoDaddy and from $5 to $45/month for WordPress. Both GoDaddy and WordPress offer 4 paid plans each.
GoDaddy is the more straightforward of the two providers. It offers four different GoCentral packages, all of which include unlimited hosting space but only the more expensive plans have SEO and eCommerce features.
With WordPress, things aren't so simple. On WordPress.com, there is a free plan, but it's very limited. There are 4 paid options which are much, much more powerful.
The plans will strongly affect the number of features that you're getting. If you wish to have access to the plugins, third-party themes, for example - you'll have to purchase a $25/month business plan.
In terms of pricing and features included in plans, GoDaddy and WordPress are similar. The exception is that WordPress offers a free plan while GoDaddy only has a free trial.
One of the reasons that GoDaddy has grown to its current size is its fully-featured customer support service. On GoDaddy's website, you'll find an enormous library of support articles. But, if they don't help you solve your issue, you can also contact GoDaddy customer support representatives 24/7 by phone, live chat or tickets. In my GoDaddy review, I found its support technicians to be responsive and helpful.
WordPress doesn't offer its own customer support service. However, you will find answers to most common WordPress questions on its support forums. And, if you absolutely need help from a technical expert, I recommend you pick a managed WordPress hosting service. The customer support department of these hosts are typically staffed exclusively by expert WordPress developers.
GoDaddy offers professional 24/7 customer support and lots of help resources. WordPress does not have customer support but relies on its huge community.
WordPress vs GoDaddy Conclusion: It's a Draw!
GoDaddy and WordPress are very different services, and neither is better overall. WordPress is an advanced tool and offers more powerful design features and a better range of themes. However, it's not a standalone hosting service like GoDaddy's GoCentral website builder.
GoDaddy is more user-friendly and provides higher-grade customer support, but doesn't offer a larger range of templates. WordPress is a highly-customizable website builder.
WordPress.org - An Interesting Alternative?
As mentioned previously, with WordPress, you're spoiled for choice. You can pick a convenient and easy-to-use option in WordPress.com.
In there, everything is simple, and the features you get are all prepared for you - but also, they're hiding behind a paywall.
So, if you're confident in your own skill, and are not afraid of coding, maybe you should enter the Wild Wild West of WordPress.org? There are some differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com - so let's see what features of the .org version are simply better.
WordPress.org Community Support
To me, the best thing about WordPress.org is the extremely active WordPress development community. As WordPress.org is open-source software, anyone can become a WordPress developer and, consequently, the WordPress plugin library contains everything from RSS tools to gallery widgets.
On top of that, there are countless third-party WordPress templates you can purchase on many independent platforms.
There's something for every niche - for example, you can find many different templates for art projects on Themeforest.
The jaw-dropping number of third-party WordPress tools makes it a very versatile platform. It's even possible to install WordPress locally on your computer so you can design sites offline.
Although the software is free to use, you'll have to purchase web hosting separately. And prices for that vary dramatically. If you check out my list of the best WordPress hosts, you'll see that some budget web hosts like Hostinger offer WordPress hosting for as little as $0.80/month.
However, prices for managed WordPress hosts such as Kinsta might start as high as $30/month. What's more, not all WordPress themes are free, so you'll need to budget for template design too. You can learn more about WordPress pricing in my write up of standard WordPress costs.
And that just about settles it. What do you think of my GoDaddy website builder vs WordPress comparison? If you've used both services before, I'd love to hear your thoughts on them. Feel free to comment below!
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