Before starting a GoDaddy vs Squarespace comparison and understanding who does what, we should introduce our protagonists. In fact, the giant of Arizona (GoDaddy) and the ever-rising value of New York (Squarespace) have much in common. Both were founded in Maryland, respectively, in 1997 and 2004. Both are specialized in website building and hosting. We will already stop here because we are certainly not talking about twins for all that. Although we will still keep exploring their similarities within this article, we will also try to point out their main differences.
Let’s be a little vain and start with the looks. After all, the general appearance of a website is one of the factors contributing to its attractiveness, right? The GoDaddy vs Squarespace confrontation here gives a significant advantage to the latter over the former.
Squarespace comes up with more than 100 templates with various styles. This means that you have much more chance to find one that would reflect the spirit of your niche. Not to mention that you can also customize your CSS and 404 pages, making them more coherent with the rest. With those templates, you get a well-thought design right from the start. However, you can personalize them by applying the font styles wherever you want on your website. The photos are generally large, and the characters are bold, easy to read. Overall, the features are a perfect match for aesthetic lovers.
On the other hand, GoDaddy seems satisfied with 22 themes only. We can’t say that they are varied either. There is a repetitive combo of image – headline – action button. The styles are really sober when compared to those in Squarespace, almost boring. You have the possibility to change a few details (color, font, etc.), but all in all, you will be quite restricted. Some good news, though: you can modify your theme without losing your content. This isn’t possible in Squarespace, in which a template modification means that you have to start over and rebuild your site.
Yes, we are using the term ‘toolbox’ in a literal sense here. Indeed, one needs to know precisely what kind of tools and features a website builder has to offer. Let’s pick the ones that are used the most. The email looks like a good classical example. With Squarespace, you can get your custom email addresses. Moreover, you can get onsite email marketing campaign opportunities through Squarespace Email Campaigns. Various options are possible, thanks to the company’s extension store. This means that you can customize your Squarespace templates and content according to your recipients’ needs. Some apps like Delighted allow you to automate post-sale processes (client feedback, etc.).
GoDaddy also has a built-in email service, along with onsite email marketing possibilities. However, we have to admit that they are limited when compared to its competitors.
What about social media? Well, Squarespace is not satisfied with a simple integration plan. It also enables users to share your content easily through social shares. Additionally, you can embed your social feed directly on your site.
GoDaddy is not bad at all when it comes to social media integration. It is just a little limited: your social media accounts are embedded in your site via dedicated buttons, and that’s it. Hopefully, the company is currently working on new functionalities.
Blogging is another significant aspect to consider when running a GoDaddy vs Squarespace comparison. Here again, Squarespace seems ahead of its challenger. It offers a blogging space as intuitive as can be. Users can find older posts easily via the search feature. It may sound simple but just think about how messy those things are on so many websites… Archiving and bookmarking are among the other advantages of Squarespace.
GoDaddy keeps it more ‘old school.’ In other words, you just get basic features like blog post categorization and RSS feed.
Let’s switch to a more holistic view and understand what you globally obtain with your money. This is probably what matters the most in the GoDaddy vs Squarespace game.
Squarespace plans cover pretty much everything via 4 options: personal, business, basic commerce, and advanced commerce. The monthly fees (subject to change) go from 12 to 40 dollars. They are paid annually. You get SSL security with every plan. With the customization advantages already mentioned in the previous sections, you have the possibility to build an entire store online. You can have a taste of those opportunities via the 14-day free trial.
Plans are one of the strengths of GoDaddy as well. This company also offers 4 plans: basic, standard, premium, and eCommerce. The prices are between approximately 10 and 25 dollars per month, depending on the selected package. The approach is a non-discriminatory one since you can use similar tools (editor, themes, etc.) no matter the plan. But of course, you would get an enhanced experience with the more expensive options. Indeed, especially the eCommerce plan unlocks extra SEO tools and social sharing alternatives. There is a 1-month free trial possibility for all the plans. One downside is that unlike with Squarespace, SSL security is not automatically granted with GoDaddy.
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Let’s add that when you pay annually, both companies offer a free custom domain.
Connect GoDaddy Domain to Squarespace
What? Well, don’t be so surprised. At the end of the day, you have the ultimate possibility of using Squarespace along with GoDaddy. Yes, it sounds pretty much like a ‘get them all’ mindset. So let’s suppose that you already have a domain from GoDaddy but also want to benefit from Squarespace services. First of all, make sure that your domain is suitable for third-party connections (as stated by Squarespace). Then, deactivate the DS records you were using on GoDaddy. Indeed, record settings are slightly different from one company to the other. You can find further information directly on their websites.
Once you have completed those first steps, you can connect your domain.
- Inform the system about the new domain.
To introduce you domain, proceed as follows: select respectively ‘Home Menu’ -> ‘Settings’ -> ‘Domains’ -> ‘Use a Domain I Own’.
Type your full domain name in the ‘Enter domain’ area. Then click the arrow and ‘Connect Domain’.
- Connect GoDaddy.
Now it’s time to refine the information about your GoDaddy domain. Choose ‘GoDaddy’ in the menu and click ‘Connect Domain’.
You should see a ‘GoDaddy Sign In’ pop-up notification. Log into your GoDaddy account through there.
Click ‘Connect’. You will get one more pop-up message at this point. Click ‘Continue’.
The connection process can take up to 72 hours, so be patient and keep an eye on the progress. You can do so by going in the DNS settings located in the Domains panel. You have the possibility to watch the records in there.
In case of a problem, start by checking the default nameservers once more. You can usually see if there is any adjustment needed. If so, you may need to start over and try to connect your domain manually. Don’t forget that you can contact the support team of the companies if you fail to solve the issue on your own. Also, make use of the detailed troubleshooting guides available on their respective sites.
GoDaddy vs Squarespace Verdict
To be honest, it doesn’t seem realistic to announce any definitive winner here. Yes, Squarespace is a slightly younger and maybe more modern company in comparison to its rival. We also have to admit that it gets higher scores in many online reviews. The product range is undeniably more diversified and straight to the point, not to mention the overall attractivity for younger users. However, GoDaddy’s minimalistic features inspire some trust and a sense of simplicity. You don’t get lost in overly complicated features. So eventually, we end up once again with a matter of personal preference. Plus, for those who can really not make up their mind, there is always the final possibility to blend the two options. You remember the last section of the article, right?