© 2021 CyberNews - Latest tech news,
product reviews, and analyses.

If you purchase via links on our site, we may receive affiliate commissions.

GoDaddy vs Squarespace – similar, yet distinctive


Both GoDaddy or Squarespace help users build their websites and online presences. Each option offers templates, easy-to-use interfaces, and some great in-house marketing tools.

But despite doing similar things for similar people, these website builders have some differences too. So to choose the right one for your needs, you need to do a little bit of research. To make the work easier for you, I built and tested my websites with both of these platforms looking into every nook and cranny.

GoDaddy is more famous for its hosting and domains. Nevertheless, now GoDaddy has a newly updated website-building tool that goes all out for marketing. It puts business first and mixes admirable beginner-friendly business features with a very simple website editor.

Squarespace, when compared to GoDaddy, is way more flexible. Squarespace’s builder can produce all kinds of sites to charm as many possible users as possible. Squarespace offers features for social media marketing, eCommerce, blogging, and many more.

Well, if you don’t want to read the Squarespace and GoDaddy comparison to its fullest, I’ve made this helpful little chart to point you in the right direction. Or you can just click here to go straight to the conclusion.

SquarespaceGoDaddy
Rating
4.2
4.0
PricingNo free plan, premium plans from $12/monthNo free plan, premium plans start at $9.99/month
Ease of UseA business-centered interface focused on ease of useSimple website set up screen with basic editing abilities
Templates~11022
Business FeaturesMostly in-house features suitable for beginners and more advanced usersIn-house features suitable for beginners
PerformanceDecent performance all aroundExcellent performance
WebsiteSquarespace.comGoDaddy.com

Pricing – does more expensive mean better?

Knowing what is and isn’t value for your money can be a toughie.

Both Squarespace and GoDaddy offer 4 paid plans with varying tools, depending on your needs. There is no free plan option, however, both of the sites offer a free trial – Squarespace’s trial is 14 days. And you can play around and build your site in GoDaddy for 30 days without a fee.

In short, GoDaddy is cheaper. This website builder offers prices ranging from $6.99 to $17.49 a month, making their prices cheaper than the industry standard.

Squarespace, when paid annually, is similar to other alternatives on the market. Their prices range from $12 to $40 a month. I’ll be biased here, but I do enjoy seeing these rounded-up prices without feeling like I’m being played for my money.

Either way, let’s take a look at how these options compare.

GoDaddy plans

GoDaddy is rather cheap – the four options you can choose from are these:

PlanFeaturesPrice
BasicOffers a connection to your own domain, one social media platform, and to send 100 marketing emails$6.99/month
StandardAdded SEO optimization, ability to connect 3 social network platforms, and allows to send 500 marketing emails$10.49/month
PremiumAllows connection to an unlimited number of social media platforms, offers advanced appointment features, and sending up to 25,000 marketing emails$13.99/month
EcommerceOffers everything above with additional eCommerce features$17.49/month

You might be wondering, what’s the best choice here? I’ll break down all of these plans for you to choose what would be perfect for your needs.

Basic

This $6.99 plan offers you the most basic features. Personally, it seems like this plan is tailored perfectly for portfolios, either business or personal. This plan allows you to:

  • Make your own personal website (duh)
  • Connect your domain
  • Connect one social media platform for easy posting on your dashboard
  • Make 5 social network posts per month
  • Send up to 100 monthly marketing emails

This plan is quite limited when it comes to marketing, however, these features are great for a portfolio. SEO optimization and similar features needed for eCommerce are not included in the Basic plan, but it is the cheapest way to build your own website.

Standard

Forging ahead, the Standard plan costs $10.49 and suits a business website better than the Basic plan. It offers additional features, such as:

  • SEO optimization
  • Connection to 3 social media platforms
  • Allows up to 20 social network posts monthly
  • Sending up to 500 monthly marketing emails

If you don’t need eCommerce for your website, this would be great for you. Social media marketing and SEO optimization make it perfect for small businesses that aren’t planning on selling on their website.

Premium

This $13.99 plan offers more features that would greatly benefit a small business. This plan allows you to:

  • Connect an unlimited amount of social network platforms
  • Make an unlimited amount of social media posts
  • Send 25,000 monthly marketing emails

This plan still doesn’t let you sell on the website. But the ability to post unlimited amounts of content from your social network sites on your website is a huge plus.

Ecommerce

The most expensive ($17.49) plan includes everything mentioned above with extra key features. To make things short, this plan allows you to sell on your website with their full eCommerce package. Discounts, delivery options, and abandoned cart recovery – all that jazz. This is the only plan that truly allows you to sell, so if that’s what you’re looking for – the choice is clear.

Squarespace plans

Squarespace is the more expensive option with the same number of plans. But does the price mean quality? The options you can choose from are:

PlanFeaturesPrice
PersonalOffers a free custom domain, SSL security, and unlimited bandwidth and storage$12/month
BusinessAdded advanced analytics and eCommerce with a 3% transaction fee$18/month
Commerce BasicRemoves the 3% transaction fee and offers more eCommerce features along with complete HTML, CSS, and JavaScript customization$25/month
Commerce AdvancedAdditional extra options, such as advanced shipping and selling subscriptions$40/month

Now, let’s look at all the plans in greater detail.

Personal

Similar to GoDaddy’s Basic plan, this plan offers you core features for $12 a month. The features are:

  • Creation of your website (once again, duh) and full website editing
  • Free custom domain
  • SSL security
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage

This plan, just as GoDaddy’s Basic plan, is best for portfolios. Unlike the Basic plan, this plan includes the marketing features. The core features in the Personal plan are optimal for showing off your work.

Business

Moving on, this $18 a month plan offers everything as the Personal plan and a few additional ones. Simply, it markets itself as a plan focused on business, with extra features such as:

  • Advanced analytics
  • eCommerce (with a 3% transaction fee)

The Business plan might seem like a good option, however, the 3% fee definitely is a deal-breaker. Why would you pay the additional money after purchasing this plan? The advanced analytics aren’t enough of a push to choose this one. I feel like this plan is the worst of what Squarespace can offer.

Commerce Basic

This is the plan that the Business plan poses as. You know, actually useful for selling.

Commerce Basic for $26 a month offers advanced features, such as:

  • No transaction fee for eCommerce
  • Full CSS, HTML, and JavaScript customization
  • Advanced eCommerce analytics
  • Customer accounts and professional emails

I’ll be honest, if you want to sell something, definitely choose this plan instead of the Business one. Yes, it is more expensive, but you won’t have to pay additional fees for transactions. Am I hyper-focused on this? Yes, but I don’t want you to waste your money.

Commerce Advanced

After all the praise that I gave to the Commerce Basic plan, I need to introduce this one. Basically, the features that the Commerce Advanced plan offers for $40 a month are there for you to make your money back.

The additional features are:

  • Advanced shipping options
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Selling subscriptions

These features help to have returning customers. For someone starting out, it’s not the best option. This plan seems the best choice for bigger and more established businesses, so if that’s you – go ahead.

Generally speaking, both Squarespace and GoDaddy are great options. GoDaddy is cheaper and has fewer features, but if that’s not a need for you, it’s still a great pick. Squarespace offers more and the prices reflect that. In this case, the choice depends on your needs and which plan offers those necessary features.

GoDaddy vs Squarespace – case study

What could be the best way to compare two website builders? The answer is simple: build a website with both of them. And that’s what I did.

The test sites were made to compare both builders on ease of use, editing, business features, and templates. To view them, simply click on the images below.

Here’s the site we made with the GoDaddy builder:

godaddy builder test site

Aaaand here’s the one we made with the Squarespace builder:

squarespace builder test site

Now, without doing any work, you can look around the websites that I’ve made and see everything for yourself.

Ease of use – testing both platforms

  • Both builders focus heavily on ease of use – they’re extremely comfortable for beginners.
  • GoDaddy website builder offers less customization – it has a strict grid to follow. The setup process is simple with a few questions you need to answer and it has guides to point the user in the right direction.
  • Squarespace offers a variety of website building tools and also has a basic grid system that you need to follow when designing. The setup menu is simple, sleek, and just overall great.

When it comes to choosing a website builder, ease of use is definitely important. After all, a website builder has to make website building go from a complicated process to something anyone could do.

In this section, I’ll show (not only tell!) the signing up, editing, and building processes.

Let’s get it started!

Using GoDaddy

GoDaddy offers an incredibly simple and quick ‘sign up and go’ interface.

And the process is definitely fast. All you have to do is press the “Start for free” button and you’re ready to go.

After signing up with either an email or a social media account you’re presented with two steps: choosing a category from a preselected list and then naming your site.

godaddy builder setup

It’s quick, simple, and all of the decisions that you make in the beginning can be changed later on when editing.

After that, you’re thrown into your site’s editor. Only now you are able to choose your site’s template and try out the website’s editing options with the use of the menu on the right.

godaddy builder editor

The menu also lets you add and edit sections, such as restaurant reservations and showing live streams from your social media platforms.

godaddy builder sections available

As mentioned before, GoDaddy’s editor is made for beginners. It follows a simple grid pattern and you won’t be able to move your items in every way that you might want. However, the grid pattern does look pretty good and gives your site a nice, sleek look.

You can change the size of your objects and also edit your texts. Bigger objects can be moved up and down, while you can only move the smaller ones left and right.

editing sections on godaddy builder

It’s simple, a little constricting, and the limitations are great if you do not have any prior design experience – because they lead to a great looking website.

Using Squarespace

Now, Squarespace uses a different approach than GoDaddy when it comes to setting up your website.

Here you choose your template first, and only then you can sign up. Is this approach better than GoDaddy? Honestly, I’m not sure. It’s different.

Instead of asking you questions, you have to immediately choose a template suited to your needs.

squarespace template topics

After that, you’re asked to name your site and then you receive a quick tutorial, explaining how the Squarespace editor works.

Just as it was in the GoDaddy website builder, everything you choose in the beginning can be changed. You don’t need to stress about making the right choice right from the start. And that concerns both the site title and the template that you choose.

For the most part, the Squarespace editor is really focused on simplicity.

Tools regarding anything you might need are displayed on the left side of your screen. The editor highlights the possible editing options and lets quickly add and remove content on the website.

squarespace website editor dashboard

The whole concept of editing sections to me seems quite similar to GoDaddy’s editor. Here you also have to follow a grid (but it’s not as strict) and you can add sections and blocks to fill with content. GoDaddy does not offer blocks like that and using their website builder you’re left to your own devices. It is also possible to choose from several premade sections.

squarespace adding a new section

These sections fit the template of your choice pleasantly, taking overall style, fonts, and colors into consideration.

squarespace adding a new block on

I found myself enjoying that it is possible to add additional elements to those premade sections, because, you know, sometimes they don’t have everything that you might need. This really lets your creative juices flow and the customizations are almost endless.

Design-wise, Squarespace is beautiful. You don’t have to think much when designing your website and it comes out well put together.

All things considered, both GoDaddy and Squarespace are easy to use. They both follow a grid pattern, they both offer sections to add to your website. But I feel like Squarespace offers a little more creative freedom. GoDaddy’s website is a little more simple and with fewer opportunities to show off your creative abilities.

Templates – the more, the merrier?

  • GoDaddy website builder offers 22 templates that are versatile and allow using the same content with a different layout.
  • Squarespace offers over 110 templates, which are not a one-size-fits-all and are crafted specifically for different websites.
  • Both website builders offer beautiful options, however, the level of functionality between them differs.

A good template is a great starting out point for a user with no design experience.

Let’s take a look at how these website builders compare:

The major difference between GoDaddy vs Squarespace is the way templates work.

The templates on GoDaddy are pretty basic and nothing out of the ordinary. You know, they’re... there. And they get the job done. You have the opportunity to choose from 22 templates that mainly differ in the site’s layout. They will simply take your existing content, and change the way it looks and behaves.

godaddy builder template examples

I do like how easy it is to swap themes and see your content presented afresh. It's a simple way to edit the website's style and feel at a press of a button.

Moving on to Squarespace, there are 113 templates to choose from, and different from GoDaddy, they’re very visually diverse. Instead of having different layouts, you'll be given massive example sites, different in their style, visuals, and even niches.

But, Squarespace did their homework and made the user’s job easier by dividing the templates into topics to choose from: so you can find the one closest to your business.

squarespace template topics

I really like how you can add templates into a “My favorites” tab to quickly find the ones that caught your attention before.

As for the templates themselves, they’re modern-looking and polished. These templates focus heavily on visuals, making your site extremely appealing to the eye.

squarespace template selection

I feel like they’re extremely great for portfolios because they shine the best possible light on your images.

squarespace example template 1
squarespace example template 2
squarespace example template 3

All in all, I really enjoy Squarespace’s templates because of their heavy focus on visuals and overall customization. The designs are modern and very pleasing to the eye, it’s virtually impossible to mess up the site’s look.

GoDaddy’s templates are more like a guide and you have to decide what would look nice and work with your content.

Roughly, in Squarespace you have to adapt to the theme, while GoDaddy adapts the theme to you. If you love how Squarespace's themes look, it'll be a one-way ticket to a wonderful looking site.

Business features – simplify your business

  • GoDaddy’s strength is in business, and they offer a variety of tools for selling, marketing, and analytics.
  • Squarespace is well rounded for websites of any kind, from blogging to selling and marketing.
  • Both sites have great first-party tools that are fit for selling.

Both of these platforms have tools that are incredibly formulated for small businesses. If you’re comparing Squarespace vs GoDaddy to choose which is better for selling – this part is the most important.

So how do these website builders compare when it comes to business? Let's start with commerce.

eCommerce

GoDaddy’s dashboard has quite an extensive business mission control center. It combines the most needed features in one place. Impressively, the platform blends functionality with simplicity in a way that is great for beginners.

The eCommerce suite that this website builder offers is quite impressive and has a very helpful guide. It is perfect for an inexperienced user and has everything a person might need in search of profit.

godaddy builder ecommerce dashboard
godaddy builder ecommerce features

Adding and setting up an online store is also really simple – using the website editor, you just have to choose to add the “Online store” section.

godaddy builder online store section

And then, a really nice touch from GoDaddy’s perspective, the font, and colors of your online store will be adapted automatically to what you’ve chosen before. And here are two examples of that:

godaddy builder cat mug simple font
godaddy builder cat mug handwriten font

When it comes to Squarespace, the setup process is also tailored towards an inexperienced user.

This website builder’s interface is really simple and easy to learn, so after playing around you’ll be able to set up the store effortlessly. The interface offers everything you might need, from selling online to setting up shipping.

squarespace store interface

While setting up my online store, Squarespace was always there to provide help. You get asked several questions about the products you’re planning to sell and your general goals regarding eCommerce.

squarespace ecommerce survey

There was no choice of selling vinyl records on the preselected list, so as a challenge we decided to test how Squarespace would adapt. And honestly, it adapted perfectly. The test shop had preset items, and lo and behold, they had vinyl record example art!

squarespace product display

Generally speaking, both GoDaddy and Squarespace offer an admirable online selling experience. I love how Squarespace adapted to my unusual request to sell vinyl records and offered extra help. But GoDaddy also has a place in my heart with its simplicity and automatic customization.

Marketing and SEO

I’m going to be honest right off the bat – this is GoDaddy’s strong suit. Considering the fact that they call their own product “Websites+Marketing”, you have pretty high expectations, and frankly? They get fulfilled.

GoDaddy has fantastic social media posting and email marketing features.

The social media feature is great and lets you post to your social media accounts directly from your dashboard. The best part? They have visually stunning pre-made post templates, which allow the user to post unified content throughout their social networks.

godaddy social media templates

While I do have some experience with graphic design, these options simplify everything. They make your job painless and you can just sit back and admire your beautiful online presence.

GoDaddy also offers a great tool for marketing called InSight. They mention it as soon as you open the site, so it must be good, right? It is!

InSight is a tool on your dashboard which reminds you of your business goals and what you should do additionally to achieve them.

setting up godaddy insight

After selecting your goals, this tool gives you little tasks to help you out.

At first, they might seem redundant, for example, you already know that you need to connect a domain to your website. But – there’s always a but – later on it gives you serious help concerning harder tasks, such as setting up marketing campaigns or email subscriptions.

godaddy builder advanced insight steps

After completing all those little tasks, it gives you a score. This score shows how well your site compares to other sites with a similar task goal.

While my site was not doing so well, I still think this feature is really neat. But we really should stick to writing reviews rather than creating an online store.

my godaddy insight score

Did I mention that GoDaddy is trying to simplify absolutely everything? So you won’t be surprised that SEO is definitely one of those things.

GoDaddy’s SEO Wizard is available in plans above the Basic plan, but honestly, if you’re creating a business site you most likely won’t be choosing that one. Nonetheless, it’s perfect for someone inexperienced with SEO.

This SEO Wizard starts by asking several questions related to your website. For instance, I was asked to describe my website. During this process, it’s there to help you edit content and titles to improve your rank for your chosen keywords.

godaddy builder seo wizard 1

I think this part is neat – the tool gives you suggestions for the best keywords to add to your content. Personally, my brain wouldn’t come up with them quickly, so I’m incredibly thankful for this option.

godaddy builder seo wizard 2

After that, the wizard gives suggestions on how to edit your site with the keywords to make it as refined as possible.

godaddy builder seo wizard 3
godaddy builder seo wizard 4

This tool helps to cover all the basics needed and gives a chance to choose how you want to appear on search engines. It’s great for beginners, however, if you’re knowledgeable about SEO it won’t be groundbreaking.

I saved some applause towards Squarespace as well.

Squarespace tends to focus on social media and email marketing. The creation of stunning visuals for your business can be done through the Unfold tool.

While this tool is free, the premium version costs $2.99 a month. This tool gives you designer-crafted templates, fonts, and effects to make your social media presence stand out.

squarespace unfold tool

Concerning email marketing, Squarespace’s templates here are just as beautiful as their site templates. And just like it was with website building, you need to find a template that suits your needs the most.

squarespace email template examples

However, this feature is not free and will cost extra no matter what website building plan you have. Starting from $5 a month when paid annually, more expensive plans rake up to $48 a month.

squarespace email pricing

When it comes to SEO, I’ll let you down a little first so you’d be prepared. The tools aren’t as good as GoDaddy’s. But, they’re decent.

The tools for SEO are fairly basic. They allow you to change the page description, titles, and some meta-information. It’s not much, but I have a strong feeling that if you have some experience with SEO you might like this better than GoDaddy.

Here’s an example of how SEO optimization works in the settings on a specific blog post:

squarespace blog seo editing

There is also an SEO section on the Marketing menu which basically deals with site-wide matters. And I am glad to announce that they do include some helpful tools to help with that.

squarespace site wide seo editing

When comparing GoDaddy vs Squarespace in terms of business features, you can see some minor differences. Both of the website builders guide the user, but they do it differently. In this case, GoDaddy has its incredible InSight tool that is extremely beginner-friendly, and Squarespace on the other hand offers plenty of help while setting up your store.

Performance – the good and the better

  • In performance tests, GoDaddy surpasses Squarespace.
  • Both Squarespace and GoDaddy offer satisfactory performance results.

A fast website is a must for customer satisfaction – not everyone is willing to wait for ages until a website loads and I am definitely one of those people.

Now, for the last side-by-side comparison, I put both of the websites that I built through GTMetrix. If you’re unfamiliar with this platform, it measures the page’s or platform’s optimization and overall speed.

Here are the results for GoDaddy:

godaddy builder performance

Aaand here are the results for Squarespace:

squarespace performance

GoDaddy’s website builder is astonishingly fast. Full optimization to the fullest extent loads in 1.3 seconds. For Squarespace, it takes 2.8 seconds to load fully.

However, Squarespace takes only 1.3 seconds to load the biggest portion of the website: after that, your visitors can proceed to read while the rest of the site loads.

You have to agree that both website builders are actually quite snappy. GoDaddy is better, but Squarespace isn’t awful by any means. Both websites load fully in less than 3 seconds, so your visitors won’t have to sit around and get bored.

Overall, both of them are certainly fast. It’s just that GoDaddy website builder can give you whiplash from how fast it is.

GoDaddy vs Squarespace – side-by-side comparison

When choosing between Squarespace vs GoDaddy, you have to look into your preferences. Both sites are very simple to use and offer, in my opinion, quite similar website editing.

However, if you’re looking for a visually stunning website, go with Squarespace. The templates offered triumph over GoDaddy – Squarespace offers beautiful templates for various niches and leads your hand towards a beautifully designed website.

Squarespace is very well-rounded for all kinds of websites. However, their plans are more expensive, and when it comes to additional marketing on social media you need to pay a little extra to get the full package.

GoDaddy, on the other hand, offers simple layouts and you have to make design choices yourself. It isn’t as versatile and visually pleasing and focuses more on marketing. Both website builders offer great eCommerce options, but the GoDaddy InSight tool is incredible for beginners.

Coupling this tool with cheaper plan prices and alluring templates for email marketing, GoDaddy is a winner in my heart when it comes to selling online. But that is if you’re willing to be obstructed by its limitations.

Now let’s see the table comparing both platforms once again:

SquarespaceGoDaddy
Rating
4.2
4.0
PricingNo free plan, premium plans from $12/monthNo free plan, premium plans start at $9.99/month
Ease of UseA business-centered interface focused on ease of useSimple website set up screen with basic editing abilities
Templates~11022
Business FeaturesMostly in-house features suitable for beginners and more advanced usersIn-house features suitable for beginners
PerformanceDecent performance all aroundExcellent performance
WebsiteSquarespace.comGoDaddy.com

The right choice between Squarespace and GoDaddy depends entirely on your goals. While they both can be good for small business websites, GoDaddy is more suitable for beginners in eCommerce, and Squarespace is incredible for websites of any kind.


More GoDaddy comparisons you might want to read

More Squarespace comparisons for you to check out


GoDaddy vs Squarespace FAQs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked