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Monday, May 23rd
With the GoDaddy free website builder, you can create a modern online store or marketing website for free. You can include support for managing appointments, social media, email marketing and more. Plus, you can make it easy for people to find you on social media channels and to grow your online presence using data-oriented advice from GoDaddy InSight™.
Choose Your Website Category
When you launch the site builder, it asks you to first choose a category such as "coming soon", "clothing store", "blog", or you can type in your own category. Then you provide a name (your brand name or descriptive title including your product or service).
Suggested Looks For Your Theme
With just that information, GoDaddy's algorithm pulls together a variety of "looks" to choose from that are oriented to the theme of the category you chose. If you typed "jewelry designer", then the images and general look and feel will match what you might see on a typical fashion or jewelry store site. From the selections GoDaddy presents, you choose the one you like best and continue to refine and then publish your design using drag and drop editing tools.
Add Customizable Widgets
Once you've built a basic site, you can add any number of helpful widgets such as a calendar, live chat form, appointment scheduler, information capture forms, photo gallery, blog, menu/price list, video, audio, gift card, and other features. Each component has its own properties you can customize for your needs.
Simpler Can Be Better
For many website owners, simpler is better. If that's your preference, then the GoDaddy website builder is perfect because it provides a basic website for the least amount of time and knowledge investment. For others who like a bit more control and flexibility, GoDaddy's offering will feel extremely limited, like designing a website by filling out forms rather than precisely positioning elements and customizing things in specific ways the tool's authors might not have considered.
Simple Also Means Limited
For example, font sizing is limited to small, medium, large, and extra-large. There's no ability to choose a numeric value in between for a more controlled size to properly fit in or near another element. Even though the text is easy to click and edit live on the design, there's no way to select and drag or resize the area the text occupies. With the exception of aligning text left, center, or to the right, you're stuck with whatever positioning and size the generated design determines for you.
Help System Is Too Basic
If you get stuck on a task, the help system is too basic to be of much help. It's essentially just a chat "bot" that tries to interpret your question and interact with you by sending you helpful tutorials. But if your question is too specific, even for a basic operation such as "how do I add a column to my site design", you are only given the option to join a chat queue or call a representative. While that may be fine for folks who like to wait in such queues, it can be frustrating for self-starting do-it-yourself-ers who just want to move on to the next design task.
Free Includes GoDaddy Ads
As is often the case with GoDaddy products and services, there is a bit of fine print involved in getting anything for no cost, including the "free" website builder service. For example, it is actually a free version of the Websites + Marketing service. It will renew on a monthly basis without charging you and will display ads for GoDaddy on the top of your site.
Pay For Premium Features
However, not all of its features are free. As soon as you add premium features and services, you will end up on a paid plan. The amount of the plan will vary according to the individual features and the quantity and cost of premium "widgets" you add to your site. The paid plan will automatically renew at the then-current renewal price until you cancel it. To stop auto-renewal, you have to go to the extra step of logging into your account and turning off the auto-renewal for the Websites + Marketing service (or contact customer service and have them do it for you).
Good For DIY Entry-level Websites
If you're looking for a simple DIY entry-level website, GoDaddy can be a good option. Just be aware that websites are never "finished". The more control and features you want, the less you'll have with the GoDaddy site builder. It's easy to quickly grow out of your site and need to start over again with another, more flexible site builder. And with the premium add-ons, your site could end up costing more per year of total cost of ownership than it would have if you had chosen a different option.
The way you build a website can directly impact the success your website has in attracting and retaining customers. So, it's important to choose a website builder that maximizes things like search engine optimization (SEO), usability, the speed at which each page loads (page speed), mobile browser compatibility, accessibility for users with disabilities, and dozens of other requirements.
Website builder software and services aim to remove the technical barriers that come with more sophisticated methods of building websites. With a website builder, not only is content easier to author, you also become a "drag and drop" designer of your home page and supporting sub-pages. This can be a blessing or it can be a burden depending on the quality of the website builder, how much time you have and your tolerance for learning curves.
Whatever you choose, remember that you may be stuck with your decision for a long time. In other words, think in the long term and visualize what your needs will be not just months from now, but years from now.
As you decide which website builder will be the best choice for your needs, there are several factors to keep in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best website builders available today. We hope this information helps you create the perfect site for your business, non-profit organization, or your own personal projects!
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