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GoDaddy vs Squarespace: Which Site Builder Is Better?

GoDaddy vs Squarespace is a comparison that many business owners and developers encounter. In the past, these brands weren’t all that similar, seeing as how GoDaddy was mainly for buying domain names and web hosting, and Squarespace offered visual website building. Yet, as time passed, GoDaddy delved into the website building space, making it a direct competitor to Squarespace.

Neither is a bad choice. Creating a website on GoDaddy has many advantages. And it’s the same with Squarespace. The site builders, however, offer unique benefits depending on what you’re trying to achieve.

GoDaddy vs Squarespace

Do you prefer the lowest possible price to launch a website? Or are you more interested in beautiful website templates? Answers to these questions will most definitely dictate whether GoDaddy or Squarespace is the right choice for you. As such, we’ve done the research and provided an in-depth comparison of GoDaddy vs Squarespace below.

An introduction to GoDaddy vs Squarespace

 

What’s interesting about GoDaddy is that you don’t have to use its website builder at all.

GoDaddy logo

Since GoDaddy sells hosting, users often pay for hosting through GoDaddy and then use the one-click installation buttons for other site builders like WordPress. So, you have the option to self-host a WordPress/WooCommerce site or you can use the GoDaddy Website Builder, which is a SaaS (software as a service) option, where you pay a monthly subscription for all site building tools, including hosting.

 

Squarespace is, and has always been, a website building software. Compared to GoDaddy, Squarespace only sells its products and services in a monthly subscription bundle.

Squarespace logo

Squarespace excels as an all-in-one site builder for everyone from beginners to developers who want a faster way to create sites.

GoDaddy is known for its affordable pricing and flexibility (pay for the website builder or self-host), while Squarespace has a reputation for being higher priced but with a wonderful interface and industry-leading website templates.

Overall, the comparison between GoDaddy vs Squarespace comes down to features, user interface, pricing, and ecommerce. Take a look at our analysis below.

Platform Features Interface/Design Pricing Ecommerce
GoDaddy ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Squarespace ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Core features: GoDaddy vs Squarespace 🎯

GoDaddy

From built-in marketing to full website management in one dashboard, GoDaddy offers a strong compilation of core features.

the GoDaddy website builder

Here are our favorites:

  • The option to create a free website
  • Hundreds of sleek websites templates from categories like music, photography, travel, online stores, and more
  • A visual page builder with pre-designed sections
  • A full online store
  • Ecommerce tools like the GoDaddy Payments processor, SSL certificate, and appointments
  • Marketplace selling
  • Custom domain connections
  • Strong social tools like Instagram management and syncing with Facebook
  • Built-in email marketing
  • Branded content creation
  • Online bookings, appointments, classes, and events
  • Business email inbox
  • Blogging interface
  • Automated site backups and restores
  • Site analytics

Squarespace

The whole idea behind Squarespace is to have everything in one dashboard. Therefore, the core features are meant to minimize any requirements for apps.

comparing GoDaddy vs Squarespace

Although it would be nice to have more apps and integrations, Squarespace does provide a healthy feature set:

  • A true drag-and-drop website builder with content blocks
  • Hundreds of customizable templates
  • Custom CSS and Javascript
  • A full online store
  • Ecommerce tools like their Commerce API, SSL certificate, payment processing, social selling, and subscriptions
  • Custom domain connections
  • Social selling and links
  • Content creation for social posts and site banners
  • Blogging interface
  • Site analytics
  • Promotional pop-ups, banners, and email list building (paid extension required to send email marketing messages)
  • Video maker to build marketing materials
  • Print-on-demand functionality (directly integrated with Printful) for selling custom merchandise
  • Paid extensions for elements like email marketing, classes, appointments, and events

🏆 Winner: GoDaddy

GoDaddy and Squarespace both perform well with their core features. You get everything from a website builder to custom templates, and custom domain names to mailing list options. However, GoDaddy excels by offering tools for marketplace selling, bookings, an email inbox, and built-in email marketing for free. Squarespace has many of these features (like email marketing, bookings, and an email inbox integration) but you must pay to use them as extensions.

Interface and design ✏️

GoDaddy

It’s easy to launch a website with GoDaddy, seeing how it asks a few questions to deliver the best design for you.

going through the startup guide from GoDaddy

The next step is choosing a website template. The themes are modern and placed into categories, like real estate, online stores, and home services. We counted 100+ themes, all of which provide sleek, responsive designs meant for high conversions.

templates from GoDaddy vs Squarespace

Inside the site builder, you’ll notice that it’s not a true drag-and-drop designer. Having said that, you can edit each page and click the Add Section button for pre-made section blocks.

click to add section

These section blocks are the core of the building process with GoDaddy. It’s clear that GoDaddy wants you to pick a theme that you don’t intend to edit much, since there aren’t any regular content blocks – just section blocks. These are pre-made sections like full image galleries, restaurant menus, and schedules, which you edit to match your brand.

adding sections in GoDaddy website builder

Squarespace

Squarespace brings you right into the design process to select from over 150 stunning themes. It offers the strongest collection of site templates on the market, as they focus on beautiful graphics and modern designs. Categories are easy to navigate, with options like online stores, photography, and fashion.

comparison of templates between GoDaddy vs Squarespace

On the main dashboard, there’s immediate access to these portals:

  • Pages
  • Design
  • Commerce
  • Marketing
  • Scheduling
  • Asset Library
  • Analytics
  • Profiles
  • Settings
  • Help
going to other pages on Squarespace

Clicking the Edit button on the site preview brings up what’s called “Fluid Engine,” a page builder with complete drag-and-drop control using a grid-based system. You can move any element or click on an item to edit basic settings. In addition, every Squarespace user can customize CSS.

the drag and drop builder from Squarespace

Besides its grid-based design portal, another advantage of Squarespace (that’s lacking in GoDaddy) is the collection of blank content blocks. From images to newsletters, and calendars to social links, you can start from scratch with your content instead of sticking with the pre-made sections from GoDaddy.

GoDaddy vs Squarespace for design process

🏆 Winner: Squarespace

There’s no question about this one. Squarespace definitely takes this round in our GoDaddy vs Squarespace matchup. The templates, although respectable from GoDaddy, are much stronger from Squarespace. And you can’t beat the grid-based designer and content blocks from them either.

Pricing 💵

GoDaddy

GoDaddy sells:

  • Domain names
  • Websites and hosting
  • Commerce tools
  • Email and marketing products
  • GoDaddy Pro, a system for web professionals

To compare as directly as possible to Squarespace, it makes sense to look at the total pricing for GoDaddy’s Website Building product, since that’s the closest solution to Squarespace.

Here are the Website Builder plans from GoDaddy:

  • Free: $0 for a basic website, social marketing, limited email marketing, one-time appointment scheduling, selling buttons, SSL certificate, and branded content creation.
  • Basic: Starting at $9.99 per month for everything in the free plan, plus a custom domain connection, web chat, analytics, point of sale, payment processing, sales tracking, SEO, limited email marketing, online business listings, social scheduling, and email list segmentation.
  • Premium: Starting at $14.99 per month for everything in the previous plan, plus recurring classes, online payments/deposits, email/text reminders for appointments, increased email marketing limits, paid search ads, social ads, and a business phone number.
  • Commerce: Starting at $16.99 per month for all features in previous plans, plus a complete online store (5k product limit), social selling, marketplace selling, channel syncing, coupons and discounts, gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, discounted shipping, real-time shipping rates, and shoppable social posts.
  • Commerce Plus: Starting at $29.99 per month for all previously listed features, plus unlimited products, automated sales tax calculations, autopopulated tax forms, and increased limits for email marketing.

Squarespace

Squarespace has four premium pricing plans. However, there’s no free plan.

Here are the monthly packages:

  • Personal: Starting at $16.00 per month for premium site templates, mobile websites, custom domain connection, SEO, video storage, 2 contributors, custom merchandise, an SSL, basic metrics, a drag-and-drop editor, Squarespace extensions, audience management, and a video maker.
  • Business: Starting at $23.00 per month for everything in the previous plan, plus a fully integrated ecommerce store with shopping cart (3% transaction fee), advanced site analytics, unlimited contributors, professional email, CSS customization, promotional pop-ups/banners, and unlimited products.
  • Commerce Basic: Starting at $27 per month for all features in previous plans, plus a 0% transaction fee, point of sale, limited availability labels, selling on Instagram and Facebook, advanced merchandising, checkout on your domain, customer accounts, and product reviews.
  • Commerce Advanced: Starting at $49 per month for everything in the previous plans, advanced shipping, discounting, commerce APIs, subscriptions, and abandoned cart recovery.

🏆 Winner: GoDaddy

For this particular category in the GoDaddy vs Squarespace battle, we have to give it to GoDaddy. They offer a free website plan, and it’s $9.99 to $14.99 per month for standard business websites. Compare that to the $16 to $23 per month you’d have to pay for a personal or business website from Squarespace. Ecommerce websites are also slightly less expensive with GoDaddy, with plans for $16.99 and $23.99 per month. The Squarespace Commerce plans range from $23 (with a 3% transaction fee) to $49 per month.

Ecommerce functionality 🛍️

GoDaddy

adding an ecommerce product in GoDaddy

You can add a GoDaddy Payments link on your website with any pricing plan, but that’s not a true ecommerce experience. Merchants must sign up for the $16.99 per month Commerce plan, or the $29.99 per month Commerce Plus plan for an online store.

With that, you’re given essential ecommerce features like:

  • Shopping cart and checkout
  • Ecommerce templates
  • Marketplace selling
  • Social selling
  • Channel syncing
  • Coupons, sales, and gift cards
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Credit card processing
  • Real-time shipping rates
  • Auto-populated tax forms
  • Online payment links
  • Point of sale
  • Appointments
  • Analytics
  • Shoppable social posts

Squarespace

The Squarespace Personal plan offers SSL security and simple payment links without a true online store. The Business plan has fully integrated ecommerce, but with a 3% transaction fee. It’s not until you get to the Commerce Basic and Commerce Advanced plans where ecommerce is included without transaction fees.

adding a product in Squarespace

Squarespace ecommerce features include:

  • Shopping cart and checkout
  • Ecommerce templates
  • Social selling (Instagram and Facebook)
  • Coupons, advanced discounts, and gift cards
  • Promo pop-ups and banners
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Credit card processing
  • Additional payment processing like PayPal and Apple Pay
  • Real-time shipping rates and discounted shipping costs
  • Point of sale
  • Analytics
  • Merchandising
  • Subscriptions
  • Limited availability labels
  • Commerce API access

🏆 Winner: Squarespace

Overall, Squarespace offers more powerful features to run an online store.

They both have full online stores with online payments, ecommerce templates, and discounts. GoDaddy makes sense if you want marketplace selling or payment processing for appointments. Squarespace, on the other hand, provides a more advanced ecommerce infrastructure with its Commerce API, advanced discounts, subscriptions, and merchandising.

Which should you choose? GoDaddy vs Squarespace 🥊

🏁 Now’s the time to decide who your personal winner is in the GoDaddy vs Squarespace showdown.

🏅 GoDaddy wins in two categories: 🏅 Squarespace wins in two categories:
Features ⚙️ Interface/Design 🎨
Pricing 💳 Ecommerce 🛒

Consider GoDaddy if…

You’d like a more affordable website builder.

Selling on multiple marketplaces is important to you.

You’d like the quickest way to build a beautiful site, using pre-made templates and sections instead of more custom options.

You’re interested in individual products like standalone hosting or domain names.

All you require is a personal website or blog.

You’d rather not pay extra for things like bookings, email marketing, and an email inbox.

Consider Squarespace if…

You want the best templates in the business.

You’d like a real drag-and-drop builder with full grid control.

You have a need for custom coding with CSS and access to an API.

It’s essential to have ecommerce functionality like subscriptions, print-on-demand, and pop-up banners.

You’re running a business website.

💬 Tell us in the comments who, in your opinion, wins the GoDaddy vs Squarespace matchup. Are there particular elements that turned you to GoDaddy or Squarespace?

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Joe Warnimont

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