First, a bit of background. Over the past few years, online store costs have plummeted, and the technology to get a website from idea to reality has blossomed. Whether you’re using a text editor and uploading to the Amazon cloud, hosting your own site powered by WordPress + WooCommerce or using a drag and drop online store builder, there’s never been an easier time to create an online store.
All-inclusive eCommerce builders have been particularly interesting. Companies like GoDaddy, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, Shopify, and BigCommerce – not to mention platforms like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon – have brought eCommerce to everyone regardless of their coding skills.
On the wide spectrum of eCommerce store building solutions, they all live on the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website.
That is in contrast to solutions where you buy, install, and manage all the “pieces” of your website separately. While that’s not a good or bad thing, it is something to be aware of when you’re choosing one of them as a solution since it affects your website both long and short term.
In the long-term, it affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. In the short term, it can certainly add/take away a lot of headaches. That said, just like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the right choice relative to your goals, experience, and circumstances.
Using an online store builder is like leasing and customizing an apartment in a really classy development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
Shopify, GoDaddy’s builder, and other options like Weebly as a group compete with options like WordPress (which provides the free software to build a website that you own & control – see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file.
There are three last prefaces to straighten out.
First, is that GoDaddy is an all-around hosted website builder with eCommerce capability.
Second, Shopify, in contrast, is strictly a hosted eCommerce platform. This focus puts GoDaddy Website Builder behind as an advanced tool and Shopify behind as a super-easy-to-use tool. With their respective free trials, you can quickly see the differences.
Third, GoDaddy also offers hosting without the builder where you can install WooCommerce, Magento or other self-hosted eCommerce software. In this comparison, we’ll look at GoDaddy’s Builder product specifically. You can find GoDaddy hosting alternatives here.
Make sense? Awesome – let’s dive into the comparison.
Side note – if you want this comparison in a BuzzFeed-style quiz, you can take my online store builder quiz here…
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Otherwise, we’ll look specifically at pricing, onboarding/user experience, design features, technical features, eCommerce features, marketing features, and customer support. [Read more…] about GoDaddy Website Builder vs. Shopify for Online Stores