When building their first website, many people turn to GoDaddy, one of the biggest web hosts in the world. It not only offers domains, email, website hosting, and marketing services in one place, but it also has one of the best website builders on the market.
In this article, we’ll outline a few of the options you have when hosting a website at GoDaddy, and we’ll take you, step by step, through how to build a website with the GoDaddy Website Builder.
How to build a website with GoDaddy: Preparation
There are a few ways to build a website with GoDaddy. The traditional route is to buy a GoDaddy web hosting package, which just gives you space on its servers to create a website using your own team. Larger companies may instead choose VPS hosting or dedicated servers, which give you more storage space and computational grunt to work with.
Another option is WordPress hosting. This is virtually the same as buying a web hosting package, but it comes pre-installed with the WordPress content management system so you can quickly get your site off the ground. If you like using WordPress, this is a straightforward choice.
Finally, GoDaddy offers its own Website Builder tool, which we’ll focus on in this article. It’s a web-based editor for websites that lets you create a website or online store in minutes. You can start by using one of the hundreds of pre-built templates and personalize your site from there. You don’t need any programming knowledge or to hire an outside website designer, so this is typically the cheapest option.
Step 1: Sign up for free
GoDaddy’s Website Builder plans cost between $9.99 and $24.99 per month, depending on features, but you can start your website for free. On the GoDaddy site, choose between a general website and an online store. You can always change your choice later.
On the sign-up page, you’ll be asked for your email address and to create a username and password. You can also sign in by using your Google or Facebook credentials.
Step 2: Set your website’s category
Your next choice is your website’s category. GoDaddy has a long list of business types that you can choose from. Selecting a business category that fits your company sets up a few default options, such as the themes that you can choose from and the template text.
In our example, we’re setting up a website for a sporting goods store, so we choose the Sporting Goods option.
Step 3: Give your website a name
The final step of the sign-up process is to give your website a name. You can change it later, but besides being the title of your website, the name is used as part of your temporary URL. For example, our sporting goods store will be available at sportysports.godaddysites.com, even before we buy a top-level domain name.
Step 4: Choose a theme
One of the most fun steps of building your website is choosing a theme. By clicking on Website and choosing Edit Site in the GoDaddy Management Console, you can begin designing your website.
On the right-hand side of the Website Builder, you will see the main editing tools. Click on Theme, and try out different colors and fonts. If you want different themes altogether, choose Try a new look. You’ll be shown several variants on the layout that you can choose from.
If you don’t like the theme at all, you can instead click on Settings, choose Site History, and press Reset Website. This way, you can choose a different category for your website so the theme options will be different.
Step 5: Replace images
For a personalized, authentic site, you need to use your own images. In the Website Editor, you can click on any image and choose Update to replace it with your own choice. You can even replace images with videos or slideshows. The image editing tool is quite powerful, allowing you to focus on particular parts of your images, zoom in and out, create blur effects, or set images to black and white, for example.
When replacing images, you can upload from your computer, use images from Facebook or Instagram, or choose from hundreds of stock images.
Step 6: Replace text
The design is populated with example text, but it’s time to put your own stamp on the website. You can replace any text simply by clicking on it to edit it. You can change font size, add links, and create bullet points.
The right-hand toolbar is context-sensitive, so the tools and options you’re offered differ depending on what you’re editing. Click on the site logo text, for example, and you’re given the option to upload a logo instead of using text. It’s quite an intuitive system to get used to.
Step 7: Edit sections and pages
Each page is subdivided into sections. You can add and remove these as you see fit. On the right-hand side toolbar is a list of all the page sections that you can drag up and down, or you can click directly on the page sections to move, duplicate, or delete them.
Each section also has several layout options, so if you don’t like how your content is being displayed, you can easily change the number of columns, include images that link to more info, or highlight services by using a different layout.
You can also add or remove pages through the menu on the right.
Step 8: Publish your website
When you are happy with your website, head to the Settings menu, and click Publish. Your website will now be available on the GoDaddy site at a URL similar to yoursite.godaddysites.com.
If you want to use your own domain name, it’s time to sign for a full GoDaddy plan. You get a free domain name for the first year, then domain name renewal costs between $17.99 and $23.99 per year. If you prefer, you can purchase your domain name from another company and transfer it to your new GoDaddy website at no cost.
GoDaddy has one of the most comprehensive and versatile website builders available today, and it’s easy for beginners to use. In our example, we were able to set up a website in a matter of minutes and begin molding it into a final product ready for customers. Also, there are other features to check out in the Settings menu that can help you optimize and personalize your website.