Nov '23

Wix vs GoDaddy: Differences, Pros and Cons in 2023 – USA TODAY

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Eric Rosenberg
Alana Rudder
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Published 8:31 a.m. UTC Nov. 10, 2023
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Wix and GoDaddy are each best for certain use cases. While Wix offers an intuitive website building experience for non-technical website designers. However, GoDaddy offers more flexible capabilities for those looking for a truly customized final site. Learn how each compares on price, features, e-commerce tools and customer support.
Wix and GoDaddy offer domain registration, website hosting and website building tools. Wix is a better option for someone wanting an all-in-one platform to build and manage their website, while GoDaddy offers more tools and flexibility and the potential to get a lower cost than you would with Wix. Here’s a closer look at Wix vs. GoDaddy to help you choose the best website platform for your small business.
Wix is an all-in-one platform for creating websites. For small business owners, it offers a method of registering and building a website without advanced coding skills. Wix features drag-and-drop functionality to build your website from hundreds of templates or from scratch.
Wix includes tools for many business websites, including:
Outside of building your website, you don’t need any additional advanced technical knowledge. Wix hosts the website on its own platform, so you don’t have to worry about servers or linking your domain name through a third-party.
The two most significant drawbacks of Wix are its cost and, for those without basic website design skills, a system that makes it easy to build websites that are not great looking or easy to use. Because building a website with Wix can be challenging, it offers a premium service to connect business owners with professional Wix designers who can build or improve your site for an added fee.
Websites built with Wix are also locked into the Wix platform and can’t be exported and moved to outside website hosting. If you want to leave Wix, you must rebuild your website from scratch.
GoDaddy is a large internet company offering domain names, website hosting and website-building features. Using GoDaddy, you can pick and choose which services you need. For example, you could get your domain name from GoDaddy and choose website hosting elsewhere.
If you get your domain name and hosting from GoDaddy, you still have multiple choices. Using the website builder, you can create a website with drag-and-drop tools or hire a website designer to create a site for you. You can also use GoDaddy’s hosting for WordPress websites or other supported content management systems (CMS).
With GoDaddy, you may need more background knowledge about how websites work. Still, you can build a site with much more flexibility and the option to leave and take your domain or website elsewhere if you outgrow GoDaddy or are unhappy with the experience.
Winner: GoDaddy
GoDaddy’s a la carte pricing model gives you more flexibility over what you’ll pay for your website needs. You can get started for as little as $21.99 per year for the first year (which comes out to $1.83 per month) for a .com domain name and $4.99 per month for website hosting. A website built with the GoDaddy website builder costs $9.99 per month to $16.99 per month for the first year.
However, if you choose more advanced hosting or need more server space, you could pay up to $20.99 for the top tier Managed WordPress hosting plan or much more for a virtual private server or dedicated server.
Wix includes a domain name for free for the first year, then you have to pay annually when renewing, and Wix doesn’t share the cost unless you’re a logged-in customer with a Wix account. For the website builder and hosting package, you’ll pay $16 per month for the lowest package and up to $159 for the top-tier small business package.
While you have to be a bit more knowledgeable, building a self-hosted WordPress website with GoDaddy allows you to run a small business website for about $9 to $12 per month, while the cheapest plan from Wix costs $16 per month, plus the domain name after the first year. Overall, GoDaddy gives you more bang for your buck.
Winner: Wix
With Wix, you can sign up for a free tier plan, where your website domain includes Wix branding (yourwebsite.wixsite.com). Websites also display Wix advertisements and features are limited.
With GoDaddy, you can start a website for free but will likely need to upgrade to a paid version for added design flexibility. Free websites come with several basic features, including appointment booking and GoDaddy payments for e-commerce sales.
For most small businesses, paying for a website with your own domain name is a better option than a domain ending with another brand’s name. Getting your own .com or similar is a good investment.
Winner: GoDaddy
When comparing the website builders, Wix and GoDaddy offer similar functionality. You can start with a template and customize it to your liking. Wix offers more robust tools for different kinds of businesses, while GoDaddy offers a more streamlined website-building experience.
Wix offers an entirely freeform drag-and-drop editor, so you can move and position sections and elements of your website without restrictions. Your results may not be excellent, but it doesn’t restrict you from building a site that’s awkward or difficult to use.
GoDaddy is the winner because it offers more than a basic website builder, however. You can also use WordPress with fully managed WordPress hosting or general self-hosting. Once logged into the hosting control panel, you can install more than 125 different website applications, including WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.
Winner: GoDaddy
Wix features focus on providing small businesses with a single platform to manage their entire website without the need to know about the technical aspects of how their website works. Using the Wix ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWYG) editor, the website you see when editing is what your customers and other website visitors will see.
Wix supports a broad range of websites and lets you plug into any supported payment processor you choose. However, even with the ability to create your own apps, eventually, you may run into a restraint with Wix. The Wix platform is designed to work with Wix hosting and only does what the platform allows, and it enforces certain limitations.
With GoDaddy, you can build a website using your own dedicated server. Again, you’ll need more technical expertise and may need support for more complex websites, but you can do almost anything you want that’s legal and possible to do with a web server. That includes highly customized WordPress sites or custom websites and web apps.
If you consider yourself less tech-savvy or prefer an all-in-one platform where you don’t have to worry as much about the backend setup, Wix may be better for you. If you want nearly unlimited flexibility in building your website, GoDaddy is the better choice.
Winner: Tie
Wix features a strong e-commerce platform you can use to add product sales to your website. With e-commerce tools at Wix, you can quickly add products and process sales, again without advanced technical knowledge. Wix includes the ability to:
With the GoDaddy Site Builder, you can create a working e-commerce site, though features are less robust than Wix. But if you use GoDaddy Managed WordPress or install WordPress or another sales system on your GoDaddy hosting account, you gain access to many additional features.
For example, WordPress works with the WooCommerce plugin (a robust sales plugin) or a more specialized plugin like easy digital downloads. The WordPress directory features around 960 plugins in the e-commerce category.
For less tech-savvy users, Wix includes everything you need for e-commerce with less work to get selling. However, if you want more flexibility and functionality, GoDaddy hosting can help you get there.
Winner: GoDaddy
Wix features 24/7 phone support using a callback tool. If you want help, you need to log into your Wix account and register for a phone call. You should hear from a Wix support representative shortly.
GoDaddy features 24/7 chat support, or you can call its 24/7 support phone number.
With more options and the same 24/7 operating hours, GoDaddy has a slight edge over Wix regarding contacting customer support.
Winner: GoDaddy
Wix is a top choice for business owners who want to manage their entire website in one place and don’t want to learn a lot about building or managing websites. If you want a platform that works fairly easily and you need to get started quickly without additional technical knowledge or website-building support, Wix is the better choice for your business.
If you’re willing to learn a little more about website management and want the most flexibility, GoDaddy is a better option. GoDaddy also lets you start for around $10 per month, while you’ll pay more for the introductory level plan at Wix.
Due to its lower potential costs and higher flexibility overall, GoDaddy is our top choice when considering Wix vs. GoDaddy. But don’t count out Wix. When comparing these two platforms, there’s no universal best option for everyone. Knowing what you need from a website and website builder can guide your choice between Wix and GoDaddy.
Wix includes a free domain name for the first year. You must pay for your domain name registration after the first year.
If you own a domain name through GoDaddy, you can connect it to Wix for website building and hosting.
If you already have a domain, you must still pay for Wix hosting and the website-building platform. You can get your domain from Wix or a third party. But Wix charges a platform fee regardless.
Wix may be easier to use for many website-building small business owners. Both platforms are beginner-friendly, but the all-in-one platform from Wix makes it easier to use for the average person.
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Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg is a financial writer, speaker, and consultant based in Ventura, California. He is an expert in topics including banking, credit cards, investing, cryptocurrency, insurance, real estate, and business finance. He has professional experience as a bank manager and nearly a decade in corporate finance and accounting. His work has appeared in many online publications, including Business Insider, Nerdwallet, Investopedia, and U.S. News & World Report.
Alana Rudder
Alana is the deputy editor for USA Today Blueprint’s small business team. She has served as a technology and marketing SME for countless businesses, from startups to leading tech firms — including Adobe and Workfusion. She has zealously shared her expertise with small businesses — including via Forbes Advisor and Fit Small Business — to help them compete for market share. She covers technologies pertaining to payroll and payment processing, online security, customer relationship management, accounting, human resources, marketing, project management, resource planning, customer data management and how small businesses can use process automation, AI and ML to more easily meet their goals. Alana has an MBA from Excelsior University.
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Joker has been buying and selling domains since the late 90's. He has worked with many portfolios and investors over the past decade as well.

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