Of the two, we think that Shopify is the best choice, and our research gave it an overall score of 4.6 out of 5. It has the scalability to handle both small and large stores, and has all of the features you could need to thrive online.
That’s not to say GoDaddy is bad. If you need an online store quickly and with little fuss, GoDaddy is your friend.
For a quick glance at how the two platforms compare, take a look at our graphics below…
Shopify is better for users who want lots of inventory control, and are looking to build a complex online store.Shopify is our top choice for users aiming high, and for anyone that wants a large online store capable of handling complex inventories and lots of customers. If you want a ton of great features, such as empty-cart retrieval, or a host of others to choose from in a comprehensive app store, Shopify is the best option. When it comes to small stores, Shopify excels. And, if you ever choose to expand, you won’t need to change builders as Shopify has your back!
GoDaddy is better for users who want to create an ecommerce store quickly, and don’t mind ending up with a simpler platform.GoDaddy is our top choice for users who want a stress-free experience, and just want to get an online store up and running as quickly as possible. If you haven’t got the time to set up hundreds of features, or list all of the inventory, GoDaddy helps you create a store in a flash. It may not be the most complicated ecommerce provider out there, but it’s the easiest to use, making it perfect for people on the go.
Want a quick rundown of the two competitors? Check out this table and see for yourself how well they do in our categories…
| 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|
| 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|
| 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|
| 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 24/7 live chat and phone support, but not much else|
| Payment Options & Transaction Fees |
It's a tie!
|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 is simpler to use|
| Pricing |
It's a tie!
|Offers the most plans and the best eccomerce features, but is the more expensive option. Great for large businesses||Has less features and only two ecommerce plans, but is cheaper. Great for small business or users on a budget|
|Are You Ready?||Visit Shopify||Visit GoDaddy|
Do you wish someone would just tell you exactly which platform is best for you instead of reading this whole comparison? Well, the good news is, we have a quick and easy quiz for you! Simply answer a few questions to get a personalized recommendation…
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Shopify Pros and Cons
|Shopify Pros||Shopify Cons|
|Multi-channel selling||Limited trial period|
|Superb inventory system||Enforces transaction fees on alternative payment gateways|
Shopify is the best dedicated 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|
|Fastest and easiest way to build an ecommerce store||Some feature lack quality|
|Supports more industries than its competitors||Does not accept as wide of a range of payment options|
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, meaning it can’t match the sheer variety of Shopify.
- Online Store Builders Comparison Chart: To compare a range of ecommerce platforms, check out our chart.
GoDaddy is easier to use than Shopify
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 can’t match GoDaddy.
When it comes to ease of use, GoDaddy takes the crown with a score of 4.1 out of 5 in our research, in comparison to Shopify which only scores 3.5 out of 5. GoDaddy’s 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 has better design flexibility
Shopify has over 90 themes to choose from, all of which are created by independent designers. Costing between $200 and $350, the paid themes are relatively expensive, but there are also nine 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 – to put it simply, 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 has the best ecommerce tools and features
You’ve built your online store, so now you need to get down to the really important part – selling!
Shopify is a powerful force in the world of ecommerce. It should come as no surprise that it performs well in this section – it has all of the ecommerce features you need to sell, ship, and return products without 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. This is important seeing as 71% of US shoppers abandon their carts at checkout.
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.
There’s also Shopify’s recent acquisition of logistics startup Deliverr which promises to reduce the hassle for merchants to get their inventories from “port to porch”, making Shopify an ideal one-stop shop for all ecommerce needs.
With ecommerce features, GoDaddy’s performance is average. You can only add up to 5,000 products to your GoDaddy online store, unless you upgrade to the Commerce Plus plan, and you can’t 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 has the best help and support
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, scoring 3.3 out of 5 in our help and support testing — only slightly behind Shopify. Providing 24/7 phone and live chat support, 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 any email support or tech tickets.
It's a draw! Shopify and GoDaddy both have great payment 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 or 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 okay in. It accepts the three main payment options – PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay – as well as supporting Square in Canada, Australia, and the UK. However, GoDaddy redeems itself with some of the lowest transaction fees imposed on any payment gateway, ranging from 2.3% to 3.3% per transaction.
It's a draw! Shopify and GoDaddy's pricings are equally good value
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, and we’ve listed the monthly fees below:
- Basic: $29/month
- Shopify: $79/month
- Advance Shopify: $299/month
Overall, Shopify represents fairly good value for money, offering some of the best ecommerce tools and customer support on the market. It’s worth noting that there’s also a tailored plan option called Shopify Plus, which is only available via quote. Check out the table below, which details what you get on each price plan.
GoDaddy is a lot more simple in the pricing department than Shopify. It has two ecommerce plans:
- Commerce: $16.99/month
- Commerce Plus: $29.99/month
While these plans are considerably more affordable than Shopify’s, there aren’t enough sales specific features – such as mass product importation, or analytics features – to it make as cost-effective as Shopify. That being said, GoDaddy does offer an impressive 30-day free trial, so you can try it out for yourself first before you make a decision.
We recommend Shopify as our number one choice. It simply packs too much 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. With an overall score of 4.6 out of 5 against GoDaddy’s 3.8, we have to follow our own data and crown Shopify as the winner of this battle.
Shopify is one of the best platforms 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, on the other hand, is a better option 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 fit.
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.