GoDaddy is one of the web’s most recognizable brands, and for good reason. They’re a leader in domain sales, website development, and provide a flexible platform to sell products and services for businesses of any shape or size. In this guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about starting an online store with GoDaddy, as well as look at user reviews and answer some of small business owners’ most frequently asked questions.
If you’ve got bigger questions about how a website can help your business or are wondering what you should think about before starting a site of your own, make sure to check out our Complete Guide to Building a Small Business Website.
How to Create a GoDaddy Ecommerce Website in 5 Steps
Creating an online store on GoDaddy is easy and straightforward. The exact process for each user will vary slightly depending on what sort of products or services you sell.
Here’s how to create a GoDaddy ecommerce website in five easy steps:
1. Go to GoDaddy & Create an Account
The first step to starting an ecommerce website with GoDaddy is to start an account. This process is free and takes less than five minutes. Visit GoDaddy, click on “Websites + Marketing” in the top navigation bar, then click the “Start for Free” button in the middle of the page.
New users are asked to fill in some basic contact information, but you don’t need a credit card yet, so you aren’t committing to anything until you’ve seen what GoDaddy has to offer and had a chance to experience their tools firsthand.
2. Select an Online Store Template
After completing your registration and answering the launch questions, it’s time to choose a template that works best for your business. GoDaddy offers lots of templates for lots of different types of websites, but the ones most relevant to ecommerce entrepreneurs are the ones in the “online store” category.
Once in the “Retail & Online Store Website Templates” area, you can hover over each template to preview it with a sample site, or make a selection and start creating your new store.
3. Add Pages & Customize Your Template
After selecting your template, you’ll be prompted to answer a couple quick questions. The first one is about what category your business falls in, and second is what you want to name your site.
After answering those questions, you’ll be brought to the site editor, where you can begin customizing your template by adding pages, changing site navigation, and all the other steps necessary to bring what your customers will see in line with your brand and store initiatives.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to spend a little extra time on your site header and footer. These areas will follow users across all the pages on your site, so use this valuable real estate wisely with lead capture, easy-to-follow navigation, contact information, social links, and other directives that will bring visitors to the pages that will convert them into customers.
4. Add Products & Configure Online Store Settings
Once you’ve got your website’s basic infrastructure setup, it’s time to start putting together your specific store pages. In order to get this done, you’ll need to start by adding products.
To do this, you’ll need to add a “Shop” section. Click “Pages & Sections” from the home editor screen, then select the page you want to add products to (e.g., your “Shop” page). Next, click “Add Section” and select “Online Store” from the left-hand vertical menu options.
Don’t forget to fill in all the details you can about your products, including price, product description, sale price, and meta descriptions of any product photos. You’ll also need to set up payment options for each product so customers will know how they can pay.
It’s important to note that GoDaddy has two different product types: a digital product and a physical product. If you’re selling a physical product that will need to be shipped to someone, there is a secondary selection you’ll need to make that will allow you to also keep track of inventory and add shipping options for your customers.
5. Launch Your Online Store
Nice work—you’re almost ready to send your online store out into the world and start interacting with customers. Before you go live, here are a couple of things to double-check on your site to make sure you’re prepared to start doing business:
After you’re sure your site is ready to go, it’s time to hit “Publish” in the upper right-hand corner of your website editor. From here, you’ll be directed to “Choose a Domain,” where you can select from a suggested domain, search for a new one, or connect a domain you already own.
Once you’ve got your domain squared away, the next step is to select a GoDaddy plan and complete the checkout process to purchase that plan and launch your site.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide to building all sorts of websites with GoDaddy, we’ve got you covered. Check out our comprehensive walk-through on how to build a website with GoDaddy.
GoDaddy Ecommerce Website Pricing
GoDaddy website plans come with features that are important to operating a business online. Plans range from $15 per month (billed annually) for the Standard Plan and go up to $25 per month (billed annually) for the Ecommerce plan. All plans allow for online payment and appointment booking, but only the Ecommerce plan allows users to list and sell physical products.
GoDaddy Website Plans Compared
Accepting one-time online appointments
(e.g., salon or spa)
Accepting recurring online appointments
(e.g., tutoring or fitness center)
Selling products online
Payment Processors Available
PayPal, Stripe & Square
PayPal, Stripe & Square
PayPal, Stripe & Square
Accept Online Appointments & Bookings
Accept Recurring Appointments & Payments
Accept Online Payments
Appointment Reminders (Email & SMS)
Sell Online via Amazon, eBay & Etsy
Sync Inventory Across Channels
GoDaddy Ecommerce Pros & Cons
GoDaddy ecommerce websites offer a lot of benefits to their users, but like any tool, they have their strengths and weaknesses. After spending time putting each GoDaddy ecommerce option through its paces, here are the major pros and cons we came away with:
- No transaction fees: Especially in the early stages of starting an online store, every penny counts, which is why a zero transaction fee policy for each of the GoDaddy plans is great.
- Powerful appointment booking tools: Staying organized when booking services can be a real challenge when you’re not actually sitting at a desk and talking to customers face-to-face. The GoDaddy appointment and calendar options make this process a breeze.
- Online stores built fast: One of the promotional lines for the GoDaddy ecommerce products is “Build a website in minutes,” and honestly, they weren’t kidding. We started from scratch, populated a store with products, set up payment, and even linked our social profiles, all in under two hours.
- Affordable price: There’s no two ways about it: GoDaddy costs less money than its closest competitors. The tools in the Ecommerce plan on GoDaddy would cost at least $40 a month on Squarespace.
- Limited customization: There really isn’t much creative freedom on GoDaddy. The templates are useful but very straightforward; users can’t do much more than choose their own colors.
- Simple analytics: Unless you are getting the Ecommerce plan, the analytics for the main functions of your website (as an online store) are very limited and don’t provide much useful insight.
- Extremely basic blogging function: Content marketing is a fantastic way to promote your products and services while at the same time demonstrating your authority and expertise. The GoDaddy blogging function is very basic and doesn’t provide a great platform for this pursuit.
- Limited self-serve support and learning: Though the GoDaddy live support is pretty good, we found their Knowledge Base and Learning Library to be limited and relatively confusing. The content isn’t organized in a very helpful manner, so any questions we had, even basic ones we are used to answering ourselves, had to be answered with live support or with Google.
GoDaddy Ecommerce Reviews
Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars
We’re constantly monitoring the feedback our readers give us about tools like GoDaddy. With 18 ratings, our readers gave GoDaddy a collective 4.1 out of 5 stars, specifically mentioning mobile-optimized templates and solid integrations as positive traits and limited editing options as well as a lack of advanced ecommerce functions as negatives.
Most Helpful Positive Review
“GoDaddy Website Builder is a great tool for those who want a robust business or personal website without needing to code. The Website Builder tool interface is intuitive for beginners to use simply and achieving the look they want by customizing their selected template.”
— Rebecca Roman
Most Helpful Negative Review
“I find their sites to be very low scale and not very customizable. I have built nicer, free websites with other site builders.”
— Heather Devaney
Best GoDaddy Alternatives
If you aren’t sure that GoDaddy is the right place for your online store, you do have other options, and depending on your business type and unique needs, other platforms may or may not be a better fit. For example, while GoDaddy is a great option for those looking to accept online bookings, while those who want to use a dropshipping provider may find another platform, such as Shopify, to be a better fit given its wide range of dropshipping integrations.
Here are the best GoDaddy alternatives:
- Squarespace: Squarespace is a stylish and easy-to-use GoDaddy alternative that offers beautiful templates and more design options. Ecommerce website prices start at $18 per month and go up to $40 per month (paid annually).
- Weebly: Weebly provides a straightforward website builder that is great for very basic stores. They don’t offer much in the way of customization, but if you’re only selling a couple of products, this is a good option. Ecommerce plans start as low as $16 per month for the Professional Plan, but in order to operate an online store with the features you’ll need, we suggest the Performance Plan (starting at $29 per month, paid annually).
- Wix: Wix is an easy-to-use website builder similar to Squarespace but with fewer templates to choose from. They offer affordable monthly plans starting as low as $23 per month (paid annually), but most of the premium features are only available via paid upgrades from the Wix App Store.
- Shopify: Shopify is one of the leading ecommerce site builders given that it’s an easy-to-use site builder designed specifically for online stores. It offers a large number of ecommerce-specific features and integrations, including major dropshipping providers such as Oberlo and AliExpress. Plans are more expensive and start at $29 per month.
For more information on these products, including in-depth, side-by side comparisons and analysis, check out our complete review of the best website builders for 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you use Shopify with GoDaddy?
Technically yes, but it wouldn’t make any sense to do so. Both Shopify and GoDaddy offer ecommerce solutions for business owners looking to start an online store. There wouldn’t be any gained functionality by building your website on GoDaddy and hosting your store on Shopify, since you can build your store and host your site on either platform. Learn more about Shopify and how to use it.
Which is better: GoDaddy or WordPress?
The answer to this question really depends on how you want to use each platform. GoDaddy is a better choice in terms of ease of use and quick starts; it is great for small businesses that want an out-of-the-box ecommerce solution that they can start selling on this week. However, if you’re looking for something completely custom that you can design from scratch, WordPress is definitely the way to go. Get the complete breakdown of GoDaddy vs WordPress.
Is Squarespace better than GoDaddy for ecommerce?
The answer to this question depends on your priorities and preferences. You do get more templates and customization options with Squarespace, but it’s site editor isn’t quite as easy to use as GoDaddy’s, which is simple and straightforward. GoDaddy also has robust online appointment booking tools built in, making it a good choice for those selling services online. Those who sell products and want more design freedom will find Squarespace to be a good fit.
Bottom Line: GoDaddy Ecommerce Website Builder
Building an online store with GoDaddy is easy and can be done in just a couple of hours. Their prices are competitive among other popular website builders in the market, and with no transaction fees, they’re a great place for budding entrepreneurs to get started selling products online. Of course, there are lots of options out there for businesses that can’t find what they’re looking for on GoDaddy, but for many, it’s definitely worth considering.