In this GoDaddy vs Squarespace comparison, I’ll be comparing these two website builders in terms of design, features, pricing, and much more – and help you decide, which one is a better option.
Every business needs a website. And a website builder is the best way to have a beautiful and functional website done in just a few hours.
For people and businesses, looking for a website builder, there are many options to choose from – between them, GoDaddy website builder and Squarespace shine the brightest. They’re both great website builders, with loads of happy users all around the world.
But which one is better for your business? Which builder should you use to reach your desired goals? Well – I purchased the plans, and in this article, pit GoDaddy vs Squarespace against one another.
Here’s what I found out:
They’re both inexpensive to use. While neither builder offers a free plan, the basic and mid-level packages from both providers are very well-priced. But if you’re looking for a large eCommerce platform, you’ll find that GoDaddy is more affordable.
Of course, the lower price has to come from something. And while GoDaddy now boasts an impressive range of templates, Squarespace wins here, offering a long list of flawless templates that are perfect for image-focused sites.
As for the ease of use and business features – both builders strike a good balance and include a solid lineup of features without making things too clunky. Online stores, SEO optimization, are all included straight out of the box. What’s different is the process of setting everything up and using it – which builder is better, boils down entirely to personal preference.
All in all, both Squarespace and GoDaddy deserve recognition for their impressive feature lists. If performance and SEO are your two primary concerns, GoDaddy has a slight lead. Otherwise, Squarespace has a lot going on for it when it comes to beautiful design and business features.
But let’s have a look at everything in detail. Here are the things I found out during my GoDaddy vs Squarespace comparison:
Overall, there’s not much difference between GoDaddy vs Squarespace when it comes to pricing. GoDaddy plans range from $10 to $25 a month, while Squarespace is a bit more expensive, going from $12 to $40 a month.
From the first sight, it may appear that Squarespace is more expensive (because it is). But there’s plenty of value in the mid-range and cheaper options. And in terms of features, the midrange Squarespace plan can absolutely be compared to the expensive one from GoDaddy.
Let’s talk about GoDaddy first.
GoDaddy’s pricing seems very reasonable when you compare it to industry standards – its entry price of $10 means it’s an affordable option for most potential website owners.
This ‘Basic’ plan includes free professional email for a year, all core editing tools, mobile optimization, and limited access to its email marketing platform.
If you really want to get the most out of GoDaddy, you need to subscribe to its ‘Premium’ or ‘Ecommerce’ plans. They offer unlimited social media posts, much larger marketing email allowances, and online payment acceptance. The Ecommerce plan also offers shipping integration, product listings, inventory tracking, and more. You’ll definitely need this plan to build an online store.
Now – Squarespace.
Squarespace’s plans are somewhat similar, and you can purchase the ‘Personal’ plan for just $12 per month. With this entry-level plan, you’ll gain access to full editing features, a free domain, SEO controls, unlimited storage, and basic website metrics.
If you’re planning on building an online store, you’ll need to purchase either the Basic Commerce or Advanced Commerce plans. These allow you to sell online products without any commission fees. If you want to offer gift cards, subscriptions, or abandoned account recovery, you’ll need to upgrade to Advanced Commerce.
Both Squarespace and GoDaddy are easy to use and require no coding experience in order to make a functional and beautiful website. However, the processes of getting started and setting up your website are very different.
When you first sign up for GoDaddy, you’ll be redirected to a design portal and asked to enter your industry and website title. Next, GoDaddy will automatically generate a suitable template.
On the following page, you can choose to either customize the template or select an entirely new template for your website.
During this stage of the set-up process, I had access to the ‘Add Section’ tab on the side of the page.
There, I could add sections such as blogs, menus, price lists, stores, and more. It’s a great way to customize your site before you publish it, and there is a pretty solid list of creative options to choose from.
Once you’re done customizing design and its components, it only takes a matter of seconds for GoDaddy to publish your site. You’ll then have access to the full backend editing portal.
Here you can change fonts, images, page-types, and a variety of other features. I found this backend portal to be pretty intuitive – it only takes a couple of minutes to get used to the core tools and functions.
Now – let’s talk about website editing. Many builders claim to offer “drag-and-drop” functionality – meaning that you can choose an element, then drag and drop (hence the name!) it to your desired spot on the site, and that’s where it stays.
GoDaddy does not offer that.
Instead, it claims to offer a ‘Click and Drag Reorder’ tool. This isn’t a traditional drag-and-drop tool, and you can only move large chunks of content. I didn’t feel like there was much flexibility included in the click-and-drag tool, you’ll find that it feels extremely rigid.
While there are some customization options built into the platform comparing GoDaddy vs Squarespace, GoDaddy’s lack of design freedom absolutely needs to be mentioned.
On Squarespace, you’ll have two options – either let Squarespace help you out and offer a template based on your needs, or just look at the templates and pick out the one you like most.
Whatever answer you’ll choose, in the end, you’ll have your desired theme propped up and ready to go.
After this initial set-up process, you’re ready to begin editing. All your critical controls are located on the left-hand side dashboard.
Here, you’ll be able to add new pages, upload products, view metrics, control your SEO, add contact forms, and more. Scrolling through this menu allows you to access every component of the platform.
As with GoDaddy, you don’t have access to a full drag-and-drop tool, so you need to rely on the design of your template. This being said, it’s easy to delete or add blocks within your site, and you can change your template if you feel you could benefit from a different layout. I found it easy to add contact forms, booking portals, and a host of other useful page-types. In this case, comparing Squarespace vs GoDaddy, Squarespace gets a big point.
Both GoDaddy and Squarespace have large libraries of templates. While GoDaddy offers simple designs, perfect for basic websites, Squarespace goes a step beyond that and offers templates that are more beautiful than pretty much anything available on the market.
Squarespace offers its users access to over 90 unique templates. There are various designs available for company sites, eCommerce stores, blogs, and more.
Another cool feature I discovered at Squarespace is the ability to embed HD video into the background of your template. While Squarespace won’t host the video itself, you can upload HD videos to YouTube and then embed them into the design of your site.
If you want a video instead of a still image as your primary homepage backdrop, Squarespace makes it easy to set up.
At GoDaddy, you have just over 20 unique templates to choose from. While this isn’t nearly as many as Squarespace offers, there are plenty of decent options to choose from. Like Squarespace, you can select a template based on a category or industry. While these templates are undoubtedly modern and professional, they don’t offer the same sleek appearance that you find at Squarespace.
Overall, it’s hard for GoDaddy’s website builder to match up to Squarespace’s templates. Squarespace absolutely dominates when it comes to sleek, graphic-heavy designs. Whether you’re a blogger, online store owner, or photographer, Squarespace offers modern design options you can’t find anywhere else. GoDaddy, on the other hand, plays it simple – and for some, this might also be attractive.
There are a lot of business-focused features in GoDaddy and Squarespace. And here, a common trend continues – GoDaddy focuses on making limited features as easy to master as possible, while Squarespace aims to offer as much as possible, for everybody.
Let’s see how both platforms handle eCommerce, emails, and email marketing, as well as SEO.
Both platforms made it pretty easy for anyone to build an online store. In order to make this happen, on GoDaddy, you’ll need to purchase a Premium or eCommerce plan ($20 and $25 a month respectively). On Squarespace, you’ll have to purchase one of the two eCommerce plans ($26 and $40 a month).
Some older GoDaddy vs Squarespace comparisons may have you believe that the process of making an online store with Squarespace is tricky. Well, maybe it was – but not anymore. Now, starting an online store with Squarespace is very simple.
Under the ‘Commerce’ tab on your dashboard, you’ll be able to access a full range of controls for your new eCommerce website. It’s easy to set up products, manage inventory, view current orders, send order-related emails, and more.
While most of its tools are entirely in-house, you can integrate with Stripe or PayPal if you want to accept payments via your website. You can also export order and inventory data from your control panel.
Subject to what plan you’ll choose, Squarespace is going to offer a fair amount of great features. Abandoned cart recovery to return some of the clients, gift cards, subscriptions, customer accounts, point of sale for selling in person and so much more make this platform an all-in-one solution for most things eCommerce.
GoDaddy, on the other hand, focuses purely on the basics. You know – selling the goods and services for money.
Once you create an ‘Online Store’ section on your website, you can add products by simply clicking ‘Add Product’ on the area of your website that hosts the store. You’ll then be redirected to a portal where you can upload physical and digital products. It’s easy to set prices, customize tax regions, list names, and more.
Personally, I find the Squarespace eCommerce system slightly more robust and customizable – making its slightly higher price justified. Still, both of these options offer extremely intuitive ways to get a store up and running in a matter of minutes. Both Squarespace and GoDaddy make it pretty simple to build an online store – and the real winner here is you, the user.
Looking purely at the track record, website builders aren’t a good option for SEO. Many of the modern web builders that I’ve tested lack advanced in-depth tools, allowing to fine-tune the website’s SEO – and they’re rightfully scoffed at by most professionals.
However, if you simply want your website to be seen online and look good when doing it, both Squarespace and GoDaddy are going to do a very reputable job here.
From what I’ve found while exploring its platform, Squarespace has a clear understanding of the importance of SEO.
You can find an ‘SEO Checklist’ on the company’s website that allows you to ensure each of your pages are optimized to perform well on Google and other search engines.
If you want to access the core SEO elements at Squarespace, you’ll need to head to the left-hand side of your dashboard and click on ‘Marketing.’ This is the part of your editing portal that allows you to input tags, titles, and descriptions that will help rank your website.
For those who want to explore how their sites are performing with particular keywords, you can integrate Google Search Console with your Squarespace website to view your performance. This is an excellent analytics tool, and if used correctly, it will help you adjust your SEO efforts to increase traffic.
On the other hand, GoDaddy goes above and beyond to deliver an easy-to-digest SEO system. If you head to the ‘Marketing’ tab on your dashboard and select SEO, it will begin asking a series of questions to help you construct an SEO plan.
First, you’ll select whether you’re looking at local consumers or nationwide visitors. Next, you’ll enter the types of products you’re selling or advertising. The platform will then suggest keywords and site titles, and you’ll also be prompted to write site descriptions. All of this helps you automate the entire process of optimizing your site for Google and other search engines.
While Squarespace offers you plenty of opportunities to optimize your website for leading search engines, I think GoDaddy takes the cake for SEO features. Even a complete beginner would be able to do the complete basics – and for most people, basic is all that is needed.
If you’re planning on communicating with your customers, you need an email address that’s attached to your current domain name. Many leading web builders and web hosts now offer free business email accounts as part of your subscription costs.
Both Squarespace and GoDaddy will do just that.
Both builders offer one year of free business email support. After the first year, you’ll need to start paying for this part of the service. You should factor the future cost of business email into the overall cost of each platform.
GoDaddy partners with Office365 to provide you with your professional email accounts. This means that you’ll be using Microsoft’s premium email service to access your business email platform. It will cost $8.49 a month per user.
On the other hand, Squarespace uses Google’s G Suite platform for its business email partner. This means you’ll also have access to Google Docs, Google Sheets, and the other components of G Suite. After the initial trial ends, you’ll have to pay $6 a month per user.
When it comes to business email accounts, it’s hard to distinguish between these two platforms. The winner will come down to whether you prefer the Office 365 email system or the G Suite system. Personally, I think the fact that G Suite offers access to Google Docs and Google Sheets means it’s slightly more advantageous.
Whether you’re building an online store or promoting a brick-and-mortar business, you need to be able to send emails to interested customers. This is a feature that is severely lacking in some modern web building providers. Fortunately, both Squarespace and GoDaddy offer excellent email marketing opportunities to their users.
GoDaddy makes it easy to build robust email marketing campaigns. If you head to ‘Email’ under the marketing tab in your dashboard, you’ll be prompted to choose a type of email campaign.
Next, you can use a drag-and-drop editor to design a visual email for your campaign. It’s easy to customize the email outline with your own graphics and text.
The number of marketing emails you can send to subscribers will depend on the plan that you purchase from GoDaddy. If you’re planning on building massive campaigns, you’ll clearly need to buy one of the more expensive plans.
Squarespace also offers an extensive email marketing platform. The primary benefit of using its email marketing system is that it provides you with email templates that are the same as your website’s template. If you value consistent branding, this is undoubtedly an excellent feature.
But there’s a solid selection of other templates, too – there’s a lot to choose from.
This being said, Squarespace’s email marketing does cost extra. Prices for this tool range from $5 to $48 per month. Also, to access email automation, you’ll need to purchase the more expensive plans.
If you decide you need unlimited email marketing at Squarespace, you’ll have to pay $48 per month to remove limits on campaigns. It’s undoubtedly much less affordable than GoDaddy’s offering.
This wouldn’t be a Squarespace vs GoDaddy comparison if it didn’t examine the performance of each web builder. After running speed and responsiveness tests on my GoDaddy and Squarespace sites, I was pleased to find strong performance from both. While GoDaddy performed slightly better, it was a close race.
I started by making complete new websites on both GoDaddy and Squarespace, and running them through PageSpeed (website optimization) and YSlow (server performance) tests. As you can see below, my GoDaddy site scored pretty well, ranking at an ‘A’ on both tests. However – it took over 5 seconds to load, which in today’s internet standards, is a century and a half.
My Squarespace site performed well on its YSlow test as well, but its PageSpeed score came in at a ‘B.’ While this is slightly disappointing. However, the poor-er test results didn’t result in any real-life performance issues, as the website loaded in just over 2 seconds.
Now – how do the servers hold up? The GoDaddy website had extremely solid response times (blue), regardless of how many visitors came to the site (green).
On the other hand, Squarespace exhibited fairly consistent response times (blue), even with high visitor volume (green). And while it’s maybe a little bit better, regular users won’t notice any major differences between the two.
Now then – you may have read this entire post and finally reached the end (thank you!) or just scrolled right down here to get to the dessert (no one’s blaming you!). The only thing is clear – you’re here because you want to know which option really wins the battle of GoDaddy website builder vs Squarespace.
Here’s what I think:
Both Squarespace and GoDaddy are very solid platforms – but if I had to choose which platform to use personally, I would choose Squarespace.
Squarespace has better templates than GoDaddy, and its selection of eCommerce tools satisfies everyone from a complete beginner to a seasoned pro. Squarespace also has a superior editing experience to GoDaddy, allowing you to make a truly personalized website.
Not that GoDaddy doesn’t have its strengths, mind you. GoDaddy is still relatively new in the website builder game, and already it has solid SEO, and email marketing tools, as well as it remains relatively cheaper than a lot of the competition. And for people looking to make a very simple website on a budget, this could be a very suitable option.
Choose Squarespace if you want a beautiful, functional website done quickly. It’s going to be a great tool. for you and your business for years to come. But if you’ll come to find Squarespace a bit hectic and overcrowded, then choose GoDaddy – it keeps things simple and smooth.
While our Squarespace vs GoDaddy website builder comparison pitted these two popular platforms against each other, there are still plenty of other options on the market. Take a look at these three leading alternatives:
With over 500 templates, and a fancy ADI tool that generates a website for you, Wix tries to be the best of both worlds. It’s a pixel-perfect advanced website builder for people who know what they want. But it’s also a 2-minute website generator for people who know that they simply want a website.
If this comparison gave you more questions than answers, give Wix a shot – it may just be the real answer you are looking for.
If you’re looking to save some money and neither of these sub-10 dollar builders does it for you, consider Gator. For just a few dollars, you’ll gain access to a simple to use, intuitive, but still, pretty darn beautiful website builder that is perfect for building small websites.
If you’re looking for something sweet and simple, go with the Gator.