Weebly vs. GoDaddy

GoDaddy vs. Weebly is a comparison that pops up a lot in Google searches. I wouldn’t have it any other way: these two companies offer affordable hosting options and can help businesses achieve an online presence very quickly. Mind you, neither of them provides a premium service, but both GoDaddy and Weebly are ideal for starter websites and beginners.

So which should you go for, then? Does it even make sense to compare them if they are so similar to one another? Well, yes. As it turns out, one of these services may actually be slightly better for you than the other. It’s not that the difference between them in terms of performance is anything to write home about, but they each have their own strong suit, which may or may not be to your advantage.

If you want to choose GoDaddy or Weebly to better suit your specific needs, the head-to-head comparison is what counts the most.

GodaddyWeebly
PlanSharedConnect
Pricingfrom $3.99/monthfrom $7/month
Storage100GB500mb
BandwidthUnlimitedn/a
Free DomainYesNo
SSD StorageYesn/a
SSL CertificateNoYes
Uptime offer0.9940.999
RAM1GBUnmetered
Email Accounts1Unlimited
24/7 SupportYesYes
FounderBob ParsonDavid Rusenko
Year Founded19972006
Ideal forSmall to Medium EnterpriseSmall to Medium Businesses
HeadquartersUSAUSA

This comparison will be based mostly on the website building capabilities of both web solutions. Which means Weebly will be going up against GoDaddy’s website building platform called GoCentral Website Builder instead of the GoDaddy as a web host. A good website builder is expected to offer the best features as well as smooth design experience to build your desired website or online store. At the end of the day, your website should come out fully-functional, responsive and gorgeous.

If a stress-free website builder is what you are after, Weebly is for you. If you are just getting started with all these hosting business, you really need a site builder that allows you to develop with room for mistake. GoDaddy is your plug. Like we always do, we have considered their strengths and weaknesses based on our metrics, and we have analyzed our findings below.

Weebly vs. GoDaddy Overview

As far as web hosts go, we haven’t seen any that is as old as GoDaddy which was established in 1997. Ten years later, in 2007, Weebly was founded. It has helped people with zero website building knowledge to build websites they could only dream of a few years before. GoDaddy, primarily a domain registrar, could as well be called a web-host, while Weebly is, more specifically, called a Site builder.

GoDaddy is a publicly-traded company owned by a private investment group. Their customers benefit from the host being the who’s who of the hosting industry. Their customers are also concerned that their upsells will only get worse.

Weebly is a private company that was recently purchased by Square, a privately-owned payment company. This has been a cause of excitement and worry. Some customers are excited at the prospect of things getting cheaper while others are concerned that Square could refuse to improve the web builder if it ceases to make money, like in the case of Blogger & Google.

Unlike Weebly, GoDaddy is known for its notorious Superbowl adverts (GoDaddy girls), but the recent change in the status quo has promised to erase the stigma. The web hosting juggernaut was considered a Fortune 100 “Best Company to Work for” in 2012. Not bad for a small business venture that was founded in Baltimore, Maryland. GoDaddy also owns Media Temple and the affordable Host Europe Group.

Although they employ slightly different mechanisms, both web hosts help everyday people with little site developing knowledge. Where GoDaddy is a juggernaut that helps anyone, mainly beginners, to accomplish their complete web hosting needs, Weebly is a platform for entrepreneurs with little to no coding knowledge.

Popularity Comparison

Don’t judge a website builder capabilities through popularity. But if you like to compare numbers and see which is bigger, we got you covered. GoDaddy has around 2 million Facebook fans and more than 300,000 twitter followers while Weebly only has 300,000+ facebook followers and 110,000+ followers on twitter.

As the biggest domain registrar in the world, GoDaddy maintains 77 million domains. Weebly’s 40 million+ creative customers may be a lot, but GoDaddy has 77 million domains, 13 million customers, and operates 15% of all websites online.

Weebly is believed to have hundreds of employees. GoDaddy has 8,000 employees working round-the-clock to satisfy their customers. Research shows that 1 out of 5 websites in the United States is hosted on GoDaddy. The company also offers Windows and Linux dual hosting offerings while Weebly professionals do your hosting for you. We have noticed that GoDaddy seems to be searched on Google more than Weebly (way more). But whatever you do, do not let your decision be influenced by popularity.

Performance Comparison

In a world of meritocracy, all things should be selected based on performance.

Speed and Uptime are the two major metrics of performance. Weebly or GoDaddy? We set up demo websites to see which of the two keeps your website online 24/7 and which has better speed.

Speed

Our speed test isn’t three parts. Response time, full-page speed load, and load impact test. Weebly is strictly a website builder, not a web host or domain registrar, so it is not responsible for the speed of the websites it hosts.

However, the scripts that it uses to build its websites is also a big factor in site speed determination. GoDaddy, on the other hand, provides hosting services. To make this fair, we manually migrated a Weebly website to GoDaddy. This way, we can test the speed of the Weebly websites on GoDaddy servers, by comparing it with the speed of websites built with GoCentral site builder.

Response Time

Through our demo sites, we generated a response time of 452 for the Weebly site. The GoDaddy demo site is slightly slower with 518ms. As seen with Squarespace and Wix, sites built with independent site builders like Weebly tend to respond fast. The page load speed is another matter entirely.

Page Load Speed

We randomly picked three Weebly templates to test for speed while simultaneously firing up our GoDaddy subscription:

The demo website hosted on GoDaddy has average speed of 589ms, while the Weebly website posted an average speed well above a second. From the speed results, it’s clear that GoDaddy Website is faster.

It’s clear that Weebly has faster response time, but what’s the point of response time if the page takes forever to fully load? GoDaddy is not the fastest web host we have reviewed, but it is faster than 70% of most web hosts. It still trails below web hosts like SiteGround and WpEngine though.

Load Impact Test

Our test showed that GoDaddy’s speed jumped a couple of times when it gets high traffic. The website we tested on Weebly did not show such a sign. We were able to deduce that this is as a result of the e-commerce focus of Weebly websites compared to the multipurpose GoDaddy.

Uptime

We were disappointed with Weebly speed results, so we decided to check out their uptime, with optimism. Unfortunately, this didn’t do anything to alleviate our disappointment:

GoDaddy has an uptime guarantee of 99.9% and it comfortably performs above its guarantee. This means that if uptime drops below 99.9%, you get about 5% credit of the monthly hosting fee. Weebly boasts of no such guarantee as it’s not responsible for the uptime of websites it builds.

Design and Appearance

So far, it has been one defeat after another for Weebly, but that’s about to change.

Weebly comes with 100+ themes (pre-formatted into about 35 templates) for your business and e-commerce websites. GoDaddy, on the other hand, has three times as much as Weebly. Clocking in at 300+ Website Builder templates, 100+ Jimdo templates, and 300+ WordPress themes.

Have you heard the phrase: two heads are better than one?  Well, 300 templates do not make superior design and sadly, GoDaddy proves it. All of Weebly’s themes are responsive and optimized for mobile view. GoDaddy’s themes are also responsive on mobile but not as seamlessly as Weebly’s. Weebly also supports hundreds of applications and their Integrations. Conversely, GoDaddy only integrates with about 20+ apps.

Both site builder allows you to pick any of the templates, but Weebly’s templates are better structured with stylistic and professional looks. We can attest to it that, although not on the level of Wix or Squarespace, there’s something that gets you excited after building a website with Weebly.

One of the reasons that GoDaddy is faster than Weebly overall in website creation is the selection of templates. Weebly requires you to scroll through each category to find the right template for you, as opposed to searching for your category. Although this lets you see the theme before selection. This advantage is lost on mobile or tablet mode, as you won’t be able to preview what each template looks.

Aesthetic Appeal

You must have seen beautiful websites over the years. Chances are, you don’t know how to go about it. We set to help you make the right choice if aesthetic is really important to you.

GoDaddy creates an active website for you. That’s it. But their functionality is not accompanied by aesthetic allure. At least, not on the level of Weebly. Although, with GoDaddy, you can get external plugins and third party widgets to beautify your website more.

All of Weebly’s 35+ diverse templates are unique, different and beautiful in their own ways. With GoDaddy, this isn’t the case. About 10 templates may look alike, and for those that do not look alike, there isn’t much difference in aesthetic. We didn’t try all the 300+ templates, but there are complaints that some of the templates are replicas of previous templates, only different in color palette.

On the website template spectrum, if Squarespace and Wix are on the best quality templates end of the spectrum, Weebly should be close to them, but GoDaddy’s GoCentral would be below average.

Most site builders allow you to change fonts and colors, personalize texts and insert pictures into special places through their toolbars. For Weebly, the customization goes way beyond that of GoDaddy. Weebly allows video inclusion, the addition of sections and maps, amongst many others. GoDaddy also allows the creation of sections but it has predetermined color, typography and layouts. This would be fine if these templates are actually drop-dead beautiful, and of diverse variety. GoCentral also does not make use of drag-and-drop options.

GoDaddy uses a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) format.

Templates

Both GoDaddy and Weebly have diverse website templates of personal, business or e-commerce categories. Like we mentioned earlier, the site you build using either Weebly or GoDaddy is optimized for mobile. However, since you can not preview the template if you choose to build using mobile (on GoDaddy), and you can not specifically build your site with mobile in mind, GoDaddy’s responsiveness is not as smooth as that of Weebly. But web hosts basically try to fit your mobile design into a mobile mode.

You just have to hope that there will be no glitch. Most times, there isn’t, but Weebly generally succeeds in this area than GoDaddy. Both site builders allow you to see a preview of your site on mobile though, so maybe it won’t be too late before you can make changes.

Ease of Use and Friendliness

Both web hosts have an easy-to-see toolbar. Weebly uses true drag and drop interface, and GoDaddy uses WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) platform.

Weebly’s pre-formatted editing page makes the site building a breeze. GoCentral ADI ensures the shortest seconds between your first click and full website activation. Both services automatically optimize websites into a mobile-friendly interface.

With Weebly, you only need your name and email address. After sign up, you are asked to choose between an e-commerce store or a normal website. The next step is to choose between various categories of website templates or store templates. After this, all need is to pick your preferred team and begin editing.

You can choose between three domain options when signing up for Weebly:

  • A subdomain (which will be your only option if you are using their free plan
  • New domain
  • Connect your existing domain with your Weebly account

After the domain selection, you utilize drag-and-drop, matching, switch and replace options to customize your preferred website. Publishing is the final step, and just like that, your stunning website is ready.

To put it into perspective, setting up a website with GoDaddy’s GoCentral website builder is like signing up for a Facebook or Twitter account. Simple, fast, but limited. Compared to Weebly, there aren’t as many options or features as you would want.

Customization and Design Flexibility

You’ve seen their designs and templates, but which is more flexible? Which gives you more control?

Weebly provides 35 beautiful, mobile-responsive templates, which can be customized easily. GoCentral has an ADI function that helps you create websites using a questionnaire process if you sacrifice a little more control. One thing we are sure of is that the site builder that lets you build websites in seconds has not been created. Neither has the builder that lets you build your best site on the first trial. So when we say Weebly needs some getting used to, it’s not really a disadvantage.

GoDaddy selects all the nuanced elements of your website creation for you. It does this based on your choice of website type (personal or business).

Weebly allows you to change text, add and replace images, add sections, customize fonts, include videos, maps and many more with zero website design knowledge. GoDaddy also lets you some modifications like font and color scheme change, text personalization and picture insertion. But overall, there is a restriction in customization and it employs the pre-population of websites more than Weebly does.

Everything from the website editor and the SEO optimization (questionnaire-based) is optimized for convenience. With Weebly, although you may not need coding knowledge, you would adapt faster if you are used to visual and graphical software like Picasa or Photoshop.

Onboarding

If, for instance, you were to sign up for both GoDaddy and Weebly. You place two laptops with both site builders side by side, and you decide you will only proceed with the one that impresses you first. That stage of decision making is called onboarding.

Weebly also employs checklists, email, info buttons, and pop-up notifications to guide you from start to finish. Even if you abandon your site-building for some days, their emails would convince you to return to the building.

After you get on board, we can then start talking about your everyday experience using the builder. Between the aesthetic appeal, non-intrusive reminders and the control you are given, Weebly is better with onboarding.

Technical Features and Complete Toolbox

There are very few web services providers that provide advanced features for their customers on the lowest plan. GoDaddy sadly is not among them (not even in their top-tier plans), but Weebly had tons of features. Weebly also has so many more advanced apps than GoDaddy.

This is understandable since GoDaddy is after your convenience and would not want you to be crowded with apps, features, and Integrations. GoDaddy does offer a simple Facebook creation feature to create posts with its two most expensive plans, something that Weebly does not offer.

Weebly offers its Lead Capture function to all pricing tiers, which allows you to get subscribers for your newsletters and email marketing campaigns. The GoCentral site builder creates secure URLs and renderable HTML. Abundant technical features are not exactly the strong suits of Website builders. This is why we were impressed by Weebly’s outstandingly professional features.

Weebly’s “Weebly Promote”, assists the user to create email campaigns. It helps with email copies, templates as well as scheduled broadcast. There is a free trial, with a subsequent $10 per month charge. However, the Weebly Promote email marketing suite is only available on the tiers 3 and 4 plans. GoDaddy also supports its tiers 3 and 4 users with simple email marketing tools.

Technical Features

If “clean URLs”, “editable metadata”, “page-level redirects” etc. are not in your dictionary, then you may not bother about this aspect. But if you make use of them, then you really should be concerned about this category. Weebly has tons of functional blogging, marketing, and social media Integrations and features. But, the icing on the cake is its mall-sized app center.

Even when compared with Wix and Squarespace, Weebly has the highest number of apps in its market, GoDaddy’s GoCentral does not even have an app market. For every feature that Weebly has, GoDaddy either does not have an answer, or its answer is a lesser version to that of Weebly. The addition of many front-end tools is much appreciated. Professionals can employ them in the automatic creation of permalinks and neat HTML. Weebly also allows CSS and HTML editing.

Marketing Features and App Integrations

Site builder often supports hundreds of one-click installation third-party apps. You can find various apps for marketing, e-commerce, social media, to boost your site’s performance. These apps are not always free, and some can be expensive.

Weebly offers 150+ app Integrations while GoDaddy only offers a few.  GoDaddy integrates with Bitium but lacks many other apps like API, Box, Dropbox, Facebook, Google Drive, Mailchimp, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Twitter, Zapier. Although Weebly also lacks API, Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Zapier, it has many others. Some of the 100+ apps that Weebly integrates with are Bitium, Facebook, Mailchimp, Twitter.

Search Engine Optimization

After creating your website, you need it to have heavy traffic like a Jumia mall on Black Friday. That’s where marketing your website comes in, and SEO is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this. You may have heard the saying “Google likes Weebly.” Unlike the major complaint with Wix, Weebly has taken major steps to make sure your site ranks high on Google through its many features and SEO apps.

GoDaddy’s GoCentral offers basic SEO assistance in its own way, through access to keyword and topic suggestion tool, SEO checklists, as well as ranking reports. But the unavailability of SEO apps and their Integrations needs to be rectified. Weebly has Meta keywords and SEO description. It is also optimized for Google Analytics through its use of Footer code and Header code. You should know though, if you sign up for GoDaddy’s tier 1 plan, you are on your own with marketing, as it has no SEO features. Weebly, on the other hand, has SEO tools on all its plans.

E-commerce Features: Weebly provides a simple platform to start a new website/ eCommerce store and integrated marketing to create a successful online business. GoDaddy also has some pretty cool e-commerce deals. We will discuss the prices as well as suitable e-commerce plans for both web hosts later under the pricing part of this comparison.

Security

As is the case with any independent site builder, Weebly also provides a level of security. GoCentral, on the other hand, is protected by the web hosting arm of GoDaddy. Weebly comes fully installed in many top web hosts like SiteGround and BlueHost. These web hosts provide added security, but you’ll have to subscribe to their plans.

GoDaddy offers free 24/7 security monitoring and DDoS protection all plans, but only high-end plans come with SSL certificate and malware removal. In addition, it also provides shared SSL certificates (private SSL for higher-end plans) and basically lets you control how people access your content, so you can protect yourself better. GoDaddy also has SpamAssassin and BoxTrapper to filer emails. If there are not enough, GoDaddy allows you to use third-party plugins for your security. Anything to make you feel secure.

Backups and Restores

GoDaddy allows the creation of multiple backup versions of the website. GoDaddy’s backup and restore does not come for free on shared hosting. They charge a monthly fee. Daily backup and restore are, however, free on WordPress, VPS, and dedicated plans. You can’t expect backup options with Weebly since its strictly a website builder. You will have to check with your web host.

Weebly vs. GoDaddy Plans and Pricing

You’ve seen what both web hosts have to offer, but at what cost? The free plan makes it look like Weebly has the market cornered in value for money, not to mention its plans are available. GoDaddy has no free plan, but they have a free trial period and all their plans are reasonable. Excluding GoDaddy’s trial period and Weebly’s free plan, GoDaddy and Weebly have 4 plans to choose from.

Weebly’s starter plan, for personal websites, is $8 per month, followed by the Pro plan for groups and organizations, for $12 per month, the Business plan for small businesses and stores for $25 a month, and the Performance plan for big e-commerce sites, which costs $38 per month. GoDaddy’s Personal plan is $5.99 per month, while its Business plan is $9.99 per month, followed by its Business Plus plan at $14.99 per month and finally, its Online Store plan which costs $29.99 per month.

With Weebly’s smallest plan, you can sell a maximum of 10 products, 25 products on its Pro plan and there is no cap for the number of products you can sell on its 2 highest plans. As is the tradition with many site builders, if you opt for their small plans, you are charged a percentage of your transaction fee when you accept payments. This is also the same with Weebly and GoDaddy, but this can stop if you opt for higher plans.

These high-end plans allow you to sell digital products, and you are supported with the full force of Weebly’s advanced eCommerce features. These features include but are not limited to inventory management, shipping and tax calculator, coupons and SSL certificate for security. GoDaddy has an SSL certificate, PayPal integration and donation capabilities starting from its Business plan.

Weebly’s biggest plan, Performance Plan, comes with gift cards, real-time shipping rates, customizable automatic recovery emails to customers. GoDaddy’s expensive online store plan also has great features like a built-in shopping cart, credit card payment system, and product configuration, as well as automatic abandoned cart recovery email and text notifications for new orders.

Weebly vs. GoDaddy Customer Support and Reliability

Weebly provides email, live chat, a help center, and phone support, but unfortunately, it can not boast of a 24/7 support. GoDaddy has chat support and all the other kinds of support available 24/7/356. When we talked to GoDaddy’s support, we were not happy. It took close to 30 minutes for us to get through. We asked technical questions and it did seem like the guy on the other end was a human and not a bot. And he knew what he was saying. But we figured customers would be too frustrated by the time someone comes along to solve their problems.

Knowledgebase

Both web hosts have an expansive knowledge of tutorial videos and articles, but a wise man once said: “Knowledge is always a riddle until it finds a body to inhabit.” Well, we still don’t want to have to solve the riddle of the sphinx to find the knowledge. That’s why a good web host has to have accessible and properly arranged knowledgebase.

GoDaddy does not have an easily accessible or a properly arranged web host for beginners. Weebly has a small but comprehensive and detailed knowledgebase as well as forums for its customers.

Major Differences

  • GoDaddy offers an integrated domain name and complete security.
  • GoDaddy has the benefit of convenience and fast site creation speed by anyone with no prior knowledge of site creation.
  • GoDaddy does not have a free plan, unlike Weebly. The basic “Personal” plan lacks essential features like SSL, SEO, PayPal integration, etc.
  • Weebly’s smallest premium is a bit expensive even when compared with other special site builders like Wix.
  • Weebly is also set to benefit majorly from its deal with the e-commerce company Square.

Weebly vs. GoDaddy: Our Winner

There really is no question as to who has the more attractive templates and the most customization abilities. Weebly wins the template battle in a landslide, despite GoDaddy’s overall larger number of templates. Pricing comparison is tough because the tier bases differ. Weebly tiers are based on technical and eCommerce features. GoDaddy’s tier is more focused on service upgrades e.g. Speed Optimization.

GoDaddy wins this comparison for us. Why?  Well, you can get everything that Weebly offers by signing up for much faster web hosts like SiteGround and Bluehost with better uptime. These web hosts also offer other topnotch services. It just feels like a waste of money to sign up for Weebly alone, when there is that option.

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Scott Whatley Contributor & Writer
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"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader." ― Robert Frost
As a programmer and a geek, Scott always had a passion for servers. This passion has eventually led him to a deep dive into the hosting world for the past few years. Now he shares all the accumulated knowledge with all of our readers through detailed reviews, comparisons, and guides. His only purpose is to help users make the right choice for their websites, with no exceptions.
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