This article will dissect, examine, and compare Shopify and GoDaddy – two of the biggest ecommerce platforms on the market…
Shopify is one of the biggest ecommerce platforms around. It’s got over 1.2 million registered users, and it currently powers over 600,000 online stores: impressive numbers for an impressive platform.
In the past, you’ve probably known GoDaddy as a hosting provider and website builder, but it also builds powerful ecommerce stores. Using an ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) called GoCentral, you can create online stores in a matter of minutes, just by answering a few simple questions about your ecommerce needs.
To summarize the two, Shopify is best for users who want lots of inventory control, and are looking to build a complex online store. On the other hand, GoDaddy is for users who want to create an ecommerce store quickly, and don’t mind ending up with a simpler platform.
They’re both great platforms with their own strengths and pitfalls, so we understand it’s hard to pick the best one for your ecommerce ambitions. At Website Builder Expert, we’re here to help – that’s why we’ve done our own research on each platform, to make the decision process easier for you.
For a quick glance at how the two platforms compare, check out our graphics below…
Shopify Pros and Cons
|Shopify Pros||Shopify Cons|
Shopify is the best ecommerce platform on the market – it has an intuitive inventory system, and the platform lets you sell across numerous channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. However, the trial period Shopify offers is relatively short compared to its competitors, and you’ll have to pay transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments as your payment gateway.
GoDaddy Pros and Cons
|GoDaddy Pros||GoDaddy Cons|
GoDaddy uses ADI to create online stores in the blink of an eye – it’s a quick and easy solution. It also supports a huge range of industries, making it an accessible option for almost any ecommerce ambitions. On the downside, some of GoDaddy’s features lack depth and quality, while you also can’t sell digital products.
- To compare a range of ecommerce platforms, check out our Online Store Builders Comparison Chart.
Running a business is hard. With so many invoices, client pitches, and other tasks to juggle, building an online store shouldn’t feel like another challenge to add to the pile.
Shopify wouldn’t be so popular if it was hard to use, right? The truth is that Shopify is easy to use – signing up for the free trial takes a few clicks, the drag-and-drop design makes customizing your store feel seamless, and it has plenty of visual cues to help you from start to finish. But it cannot match GoDaddy.
When it comes to ease of use, GoDaddy takes the crown. Its ADI can design a whole ecommerce store in just a few minutes – all you have to do is answer a few questions about your business and industry, then you’re offered a website that’s ready to publish.
However, it must be said that with the use of ADI, GoDaddy restricts your creative freedom. If you’re looking to embody your brand’s vision within your online store, then Shopify gives you the tools to do so.
Shopify vs GoDaddy – Ease of Use: Verdict
GoDaddy uses ADI to create your online store in a matter of minutes, and represents the quickest and easiest way to get your ecommerce store up and running. While Shopify offers intuitive drag-and-drop design, it cannot match GoDaddy’s overall ease of use.
You can’t afford to create an online store that doesn’t impress your visitors. Indeed, 75% of people base the credibility of a business on its website.
Shopify has over 60 themes to choose from, all of which are created by independent designers. Costing between $140 and $180, the paid themes are relatively expensive, but there are also 10 free options if you’re strapped for cash.
In terms of functionality, Shopify’s themes incorporate a product zoom feature, which provides visitors with a more exciting purchasing journey. They also contain a shopping cart icon in the top right corner – Shopify’s templates have all been designed with the user in mind.
GoDaddy’s ADI has the ability to create over 1,500 different types of industry-specific websites. For each industry that it caters for, there are approximately 19 theme variations, but keep in mind that you don’t have much creative freedom at all once your site is generated.
We have to admit that GoDaddy’s templates are rather simple. While this does let your products do the talking, you might want to look elsewhere for flashy website templates – we’d recommend Squarespace as your first port of call.
Last but not least, both platforms provide mobile responsive themes. This means your online store will reshuffle to fit on any sized screen, keeping your store looking fresh on all devices.
Shopify vs GoDaddy – Design Flexibility: Verdict
Shopify offers more creative freedom than GoDaddy – it has over 60 templates to choose from, all of which come with sales-focused features like product zoom and shopping cart icons. GoDaddy’s ADI generates your website on its own, which doesn’t leave much room for design flexibility.
You’ve built your online store, so now you need to get down to the really important part – selling!
Shopify is the leader of ecommerce. It should come as no surprise that it performs well in this section – it has all the ecommerce features you need to sell, ship, and return products without a fuss.
With Shopify, you can have an unlimited amount of products in your store, along with multiple product variants (like color and size). It also has a built-in abandoned cart recovery feature, which encourages customers to finalize a purchase if they’ve left your website before paying.
Refunds are part and parcel of running an ecommerce store, and Shopify has made the shipping process a breeze. It has synced up with several leading shipping providers, including USPS, DHL Express, UPS, and Canada Post, and you can print labels if you’re based in the US, allowing you to add a touch of personality to your post.
With ecommerce features, GoDaddy does just about ok. While you can add unlimited products to your GoDaddy online store, you cannot track customer engagement or your VAT spending. In terms of shipping, you can only sync your store with UPS, Shippo, and DHL.
What we do love about GoDaddy is the automatic abandoned cart recovery reminder – quite a mouthful. This is a handy feature, because you can send automated emails to remind customers to checkout, at the flick of a button.
Shopify vs GoDaddy – Ecommerce Tools and Features: Verdict
Shopify has the best ecommerce tools on the market, and therefore wins this round quite easily. GoDaddy has some decent ecommerce attributes, particularly with its easy-to-use abandoned cart recovery feature, but it cannot match Shopify in terms of inventory control, tracking tools, and shipping options.
By accepting more payment methods, you can sell to a wider audience and earn more money. As you can see, it’s important that your chosen platform has plenty of payment options, plus low transaction fees.
Shopify is very liberal with its payment options. It accepts a wide range of gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, ApplePay, and even cryptocurrency and cash on delivery.
When it comes to transaction fees, however, Shopify is less inclusive. You’re required to pay transaction fees on all payment gateways, unless you use the platform’s own gateway, Shopify Payments. This means you only pay the usual credit card rates charged by the credit company when using Shopify Payments.
This is another area where GoDaddy does just about ok. It accepts the three main payment options – PayPal, Stripe, and Square – but it cannot support digital wallet payments. However, GoDaddy redeems itself with zero transaction fees imposed on any payment gateway. Like Shopify Payments, the only fee you will pay is the usual credit card charge, which is usually around 2.2% of each sale.
Shopify vs GoDaddy – Payment Options and Transaction Fees: Verdict
It’s a draw! Shopify accepts over 14 different payment gateways, including digital wallet payments, cryptocurrency, and more. But while GoDaddy supports slightly fewer gateways, it imposes zero transaction fees on all of them, when Shopify only does so for its own payment option, Shopify Payments.
A good level of customer support keeps your online store running, the cash flowing, and the customers happy – it’s an important part of growing a successful ecommerce empire. But which platform helps the most?
Once again, Shopify pulls out all the stops. It provides 24/7 phone and live chat support, as well as email and social media help. On top of that, there’s a forum to help you with any issues you might have. Overall, you’re never left feeling clueless when using Shopify.
GoDaddy is also very helpful. Providing phone support 24/7, live chat help, and online tutorials, it’s one of the most supportive platforms on the market today. It even has a dedicated Twitter support account. However, it loses points by not providing 24/7 live chat, or any tech tickets.
Shopify vs GoDaddy – Help and Support: Verdict
Shopify’s helping hand is slightly larger than GoDaddy’s. While both platforms offer social media responses and 24/7 phone support, Shopify goes the extra mile with email help, specialized support on its higher price plans, and 24/7 live chat.
When building an ecommerce store, it’s important to think about the running costs of the platform. Do Shopify’s price plans stay within your budget? Or will GoDaddy suit your needs better? Let’s find out.
Shopify has three main price plans:
- Basic – $29/month
- Shopify – $79/month
- Advance Shopify – $299/month
Check out the table below, which details what you get on each price plan. Overall, Shopify represents good value for money, offering some of the best ecommerce tools and customer support on the market. It’s worth noting there is also a tailored plan option called ShopifyPlus, which is only available via quote.
GoDaddy is a lot more simple in the pricing department than Shopify. It has one ecommerce plan, costing $29.99 per month. While this price plan makes it easy to manage your budget, there aren’t enough sales specific features – such as mass product importation, or analytics features – to it make as good value for money as Shopify.
We’ve compared two of the biggest names in the online store universe, analysing each platform’s attributes in all the key areas needed for selling products online. But which ecommerce builder came out on top?
Before we reveal our winner, let’s quickly recap what we’ve covered…
|Ease of Use||Drag-and-drop design and visual cues make it pretty easy to build your store||ADI generates a professional-looking website within a few minutes – it couldn’t be easier||GoDaddy|
|Design||Over 60 mobile responsive themes with sales-focused features, created by independent designers||GoDaddy’s ADI creates around 19 variants of each industry’s theme, but you don’t have much flexibility as a user||Shopify|
|Ecommerce Tools & Features||Has a superb range of sales tools and features, with lots of shipping options||Covers the basics, but could offer more – particularly with its limited shipping solutions||Shopify|
|Payment Options & Transaction Fees||Supports a wide range of payment gateways, including digital wallet options and cryptocurrency, with zero transaction fees on Shopify Payments||Doesn’t support as many gateways, but there are no transaction fees for any of those it does offer, which gives your budget more freedom||Tie|
|Help & Support||Shopify provides excellent support around the clock with 24/7 phone and live chat support, among other channels like social media, email, and a forum||Offers live chat, email, and 24/7 phone support, but not much else||Shopify|
You can see from our table that Shopify wins today’s battle. It simply packs too much of punch for GoDaddy in the ecommerce department, particularly with its top quality features, customer support, and range of accepted payment gateways. GoDaddy is a very good ecommerce builder, but it doesn’t quite match Shopify in the key areas.
Shopify is the best platform on the market for a reason. It’s best for online store ambitions of any size, offering the tools you need to build an ecommerce empire.
GoDaddy is best for users who want to get an online store built quickly, and who don’t need so many complex sales tools. Essentially, if you don’t have the time to spend hours designing an online store, then GoDaddy is a good option.
That being said, we’d recommend Shopify for almost any online store. It balances simplicity with complexity in all the right areas – it’s easy to build a Shopify store, and you have access to some of the most powerful sales tools on the market.
Also, with a 14-day free trial and prices starting from $29 per month, it’s a profitable, budget-friendly platform.
Can I Connect My GoDaddy Domain With Shopify?
To connect your GoDaddy domain, click on the ‘connect existing domain’ button on the Shopify admin page, then enter the domain you want to use. Click ‘connect automatically’, and you’ll then be asked to sign into your GoDaddy account. Sign in, and your domain will connect to Shopify.
Does Shopify Provide SSL Certificates?
Shopify offers Secure Sockets Layer protection for all websites when you connect your domain. This certificate encrypts the data passed between your customers and your store, making your website safe from hackers. Having SSL will also help to improve your ranking on search engines.
Is GoDaddy better than BigCommerce?
It depends what you are looking for. GoDaddy is ideal for users looking to get an online store up and running quickly and easily, and who aren’t too fussed about having lots of inventory control. In comparison, BigCommerce is for large, fast-growing ecommerce stores, offering powerful built-in tools.
Do Shopify and GoDaddy offer free trials?
GoDaddy offers a 30-day free trial period, one of the longest of any platform on the market. Shopify offers just a 14-day free trial, but you can still test its impressive range of features without spending a dime.
Which platform has a better app market?
Shopify has one of the best app markets of any ecommerce platform. Within the marketplace, you can easily search and install plugins for almost any area of ecommerce, helping to bolster your online store. In contrast, GoDaddy doesn’t have an app market at all.