by Kseniia Goldovska

Last modified: September 30, 2021

Hi, I’m Kseniia and I’m here to guide you through the tools that may be helpful for your business. Having 8 years of development and start up experience I always try to find new ways of getting things done with less effort and cost. Looking forward to your comments (especially negative ones :D)!

GoDaddy vs Squarespace: which one to choose?

The main heroes of today’s article are two popular website builders: GoDaddy and Squarespace.

We will learn about their functionality, advantages, usage features, prices, target audience, and much more. 

Closer to the end of the review, you’ll understand which of them will help you showcase your services or products in the best possible way. 

It can be a tough task to choose one. Because all the builders include similar functionality and services. But at the same time—they hit a different audience.

!Spoiler for the most impatient ones!

After examining the bloggers’ reviews and trying to build my own website, I came up with an idea: 

GoDaddy is more preferable for beginners, or users who want to go online with their small off-line businesses. It’s explained by the ease of use, no need for detailed customization, and cheaper tariff plans.

Squarespace targets a wider audience. It would be a good option for digital stores, boutiques, or service companies (training, seminars, consultations, etc.), and many others who can be characterized as small and medium businesses. The platform offers significantly more options that should be customized manually and higher prices.


After every part of this comparison, I’m about to give the points from 1 to 5 to each website builder based on the characteristics. We’ll summarize them to create the overall Squarespace vs GoDaddy rating.

To expand your knowledge about Squarespace, go over similar reviews:

Squarespace comparisons:

Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace

Format vs Squarespace

Zenfolio vs Squarespace

SmugMug vs Squarespace

Strikingly vs Squarespace

Squarespace vs Webflow

Squarespace description:

Squarespace Review & Pricing [2021]

Ok, so let’s dive in.

Comparison

Website builder

GoDaddy 

The main reason why GoDaddy isn’t good enough compared to Squarespace is ADI. This technology uses machine learning to generate the website design. As a result, you get fairly generic websites. It makes life easier if you’re a beginner, as you don’t need to customize everything manually. 

Page with description of website builder tool by GoDaddy.
Website builder tool by GoDaddy. Source: GoDaddy

Besides, if you think of implementing something more specific, it’s better to go with Squarespace. 

Squarespace

Probably, the main reason why users choose this platform is the powerful builder functionality since it was created directly for this purpose. The constructor is pretty flexible and easy to manage. You can quickly create catchy websites, using a great number of the various templates, made by professional designers.

It can be one of the reasons for Squarespace’s stable popularity:

Graph with Squarespace historical trend for 2021.
Historical trend of Squarespace. Source: Squarespace

The constructor is highly adaptable, so you can customize it according to your needs. Even if none of the offered layouts are acceptable for you, you can create your own ones from scratch. 

Since customization is one of the strongest sides of the platform, it’s featured on every pricing plan.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Hosting

Now, let’s take a closer look at the different hosting types our platforms offer. 

GoDaddy

This platform provides 4 plans. It offers a large number of virtual servers based on both Windows and Linux.

Depending on the plan, the platform offers different discounts, up to 65% on your first purchase. All further costs are fixed, including renewal prices. But it’ll be after some time when you decide if its functionality fits you or not.

Detailed information about the hosting plans you can find here.

Squarespace

The platform only allows hosting the websites, created in Squarespace. So, you either get all-in-one or nothing. The price for the hosting is already included in the plans.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

WordPress Integration

GoDaddy

It has several special WordPress plans to choose from.

So, what user will get by purchasing a Basic Plan? First of all, it’s a free domain, backups (not monthly, but daily), registration forms for free, a system to monitor malware, and 10Gb of free space for your project.

Next plan called Deluxe. Here, you can additionally use SEO instruments and 15Gb of storage.

The third plan is called Ultimate and besides all functions listed above, you get a secure sockets layer and twice as much storage (30Gb).

Choosing PRO +, over and above you get a tool for tracking your site performance online, maintenance tools, and storage of 200Gb.

Page with categories of themes by WordPress.
List of WordPress themes. Source: GoDaddy

Squarespace

As I’ve mentioned above, the platform positions itself as a fully-functional. Yes, it’s convenient, but at the same time, it limits users not allowing them to use WordPress for extra tools.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

VPS Integration

If you need more power then VPS is what you have to pay attention to. 

GoDaddy

It offers 4 tariff plans that start from $20 and goes to $70.They all include unlimited bandwidth, three dedicated IPs, and, of course, a free SSL certificate for 1 year.

The system implies several management options. You can choose to do everything on your own, shift some of the responsibilities to the service, or almost completely “leave the management game”.

Squarespace

Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer this feature, unlike GoDaddy.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Dedicated Servers

Such servers are popular mainly among owners of large businesses or websites with a powerful traffic flow.

Unlike the virtual ones, you are given full control over the server, its operating system, hardware, and so on.

GoDaddy

It provides you with 4 special plans.

They start from the initial one (“Economy”) that costs $90 monthly and end with “Ultimate”. For the last one, you’ll have to pay $180 monthly. Considering the price, this option is more suitable for big companies.

Squarespace

No dedicated servers are offered. 

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Domain Registration

GoDaddy

Here, $4.88 is an initial price for a domain. It gives you the ability to use it for a year. If you want to prolong—you’ll have to pay $17.99. The platform also supports a WHOIS privacy protection system, secure socket layer certificate (but not with all hosting plans).

Squarespace

If you want to get a new domain—it’ll cost you $20. It’s a high price compared to other similar services, including GoDaddy.

Tips about how to choose a domain name on Squarespace.
How to choose a domain name. Source: Squarespace

At the time you register your own domain, you become an owner of a package that provides you with a free encryption certificate: WHOIS. 

It’s a system that provides you with all information about the domain, click for more info).

There’s also an option to get it for free, but to do it you’d get one of the annual paid plans.

Here you’ll find more detailed information about the domains of GoDaddy and Squarespace.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Domain Emails

Both platforms offer an email feature, which is added to most tariff plans. The way you can start using them is slightly different. 

GoDaddy 

You can integrate your GoDaddy website with Microsoft Office 365. It provides a similar set of tools for email communication & marketing. This option is more favorable since you can use it for free for 365 days. At the end of the period, the platform will offer you one of the paid plans.

Squarespace

If you are a user of Squarespace, you can integrate the platform to Google Workplace, because the platform is Google’s partner. G Suite is a package of specialized cloud software and collaboration tools created by Google. 

Among them are Calendar, Tablets, Gmail, Meet, Chat, and more. Accepting this, you must be ready to pay extra money for using it every month.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Backups

GoDaddy

Using GoDaddy, you can backup your site monthly and daily. Along with that, the platform allows you to do it manually.

Squarespace

Using this constructor, it becomes impossible to backup your resource manually. Instead of this, it offers automatic backups, which are stored only for thirty days.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Electronic Commerce

This feature is especially tough to base on, while choosing between these 2 platforms, because they offer a very similar number of instruments, for example:

– tools that provide marketing through email;

– SEO functionality;

– deep website metrics;

– integration with different social media resources;

– ability to recover an abandoned cart, and more.

GoDaddy

It offers to sell both digital and physical products: users are allowed to add about 5.000 products from different categories. 

Prices must be the second and also serious distinction. Only 2 last paid plans have integrated e-commerce tools. Meanwhile, all plans of Squarespace have this functionality as integrated

Also, by choosing this platform, you get 2 weeks of free use. It’s quite enough to make a decision whether it suits your needs or not. Especially if you’re not so experienced in website building.

Squarespace

If you are a user of Squarespace then you can easily sell digital services as well as products. This feature makes Squarespace a choice option along with another popular platform “Wix”.

Among all the plans you can choose there’s no gratis one. All of them include a payment processor fee. Moreover, if you’re a subscriber of the “Business” plan, you have to pay 3% for transactions.

Squarespace's page with advises about merchandising
Sell products online. Source: Squarespace

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Performance and Reliability 

For sure, having low prices and a bunch of features is wonderful. However, the technical issues are also important. Let’s take a look at two of the weightiest characteristics: Speed and Uptime.

GoDaddy

When it comes to speed, the platform has never been among providers which offer the fastest before. But, it seems, everything has changed lately. If we look at the standard page speed of loading during the last 2 years, it has been held at the level of 517 ms.

Of course, there are resources with significantly better results, nevertheless, it’s a decent speed. Apparently, the work on the technical errors was carried out successfully.

As for the uptime, GoDaddy has been able to provide 99.97% MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) for the last couple of years. This is almost the same as stated in the company’s guarantee (99.99% uptime), but still not quite true.

Squarespace 

The platform isn’t battered too, but it’s not that nimble. It can provide you with a standard page speed loading at the level of 627ms. It’s all you can hope for.

Contrarily, these parameters are not so significant. Users can barely distinguish these differences. However, it’s important if we speak about the resource’s survivability. After all, the niche of web constructors is fast growing and rivalry. That’s why every little thing counts. Users will choose the platform that will provide faster access to information.

The platform was able to provide 99.95% MTBF also for the last couple of years. Although the results are lower, Squarespace doesn’t give any guarantees.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Pricing Plans

GoDaddy

In the case of GoDaddy, the website builder service and hosting are divided, so users can combine them according to their needs.

To avoid a misunderstanding, here’s a separate link to actual GoDaddy prices as a website builder.

Squarespace

The builder offers an all-in-one option. It means that users pay the price and get a website builder and hosting service at once. 

Free trial is included, allowing the users to test any set of functions within 14 days. It’s a great advantage, especially for beginners.

The platform doesn’t provide discounts. The user has all the information about the present and further payments. If they’re absolutely sure of their choice and get an annual subscription, the system offers a loyalty program that makes it much cheaper.

More about Squarespace plans you can find clicking on the following link.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Customer Support

The reality is that regardless of your professionalism, or experience as a webmaster, there are times when you face technical troubles or have questions about the efficiency of your website.

This is the right time to ask for help. Many users underestimate the importance of the support and in vain.

However, sometimes this parameter can become a deal-breaker.

In our case, Squarespace and GoDaddy provide you with many contact methods. You can choose the most suitable one among them. For example, Squarespace provides 24/7 support using email. If your question is urgent, you can use the ability to chat with company employees in real-time. This saves a lot of time, but the option is only available from Monday to Friday. Also, it’s not possible to contact them by phone.

In the case of GoDaddy, the situation is different. Support can help you to deal with problems around the clock by telephone. But there’s no such an option as emailing.  

The support team is well versed in most of the technical subtleties and can help with any question.If you prefer to deal with your problems on your own, you can study the issue thoroughly using extensive knowledge bases. that both resources offer. Also, there are many thematic blogs, tutorials, guides, etc.

Verdict

GoDaddy:

Squarespace:

Defining the Winner

Now, it’s time to summarize our rating and find out who is the leader of this comparison.

CoreGoDaddySquarespace
Key features:
Website builder45
Hosting54
WordPress integration51
VPS integration51
Dedicated servers51
Domain registration54
Domain emails54
Backups53
Electronic commerce34
Performance and reliability44
Pricing plans45
Customer support44
In total5440

According to the results, GoDaddy became an irrefutable winner of our comparison.

FAQ

Can I refund my money on GoDaddY?

The platform can pay back 50% of the cost of your initial payment in case you decide to cancel it at least 48 hours before the withdrawal of funds. This feature works only in the case of a semi-annual or annual tariff plan.

Do I have to use the GoDaddy website builder?

The platform provides a great number of functions and hosting solutions. But you don’t have to get them all. Instead of that, you can use it as a simple registrar. These’re separate options.

Why GoDaddy cannot change my domain name?

Indeed, there can be situations when you use GoDaddy and at the same time, your domain was registered in another place. In this case, you need to notify the appropriate registrar about it with a request to update the domain name.

Is Squarespace a safe platform?

The platform offers Secure Sockets Layer certificates to encrypt all information that goes between the web resource, users, and domains. Also, it offers HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) that helps to keep your information safe during sessions. 
So, access to websites can be granted only through HTTPS.

How long should I wait for payout on Squarespace after an order?

After you add Stripe to your bank account, the platform automatically deposits funds when they become available. Usually, it takes about 7 days from the time you receive the order to the moment when payout comes to your account.

Is Squarespace difficult to use?

Using Squarespace isn’t tough. It’s pretty simple: intuitive, handy interface and toolbars which can be customized.

Conclusion

Summing up, it can be argued that both platforms are resources aimed at dissimilar groups of users. Though, they have many similar features. 

Squarespace is more of a niche platform than its competitor and can be useful for users who aren’t too experienced in launching websites. They want everything without digging into technical questions.

Squarespace is a comprehensive option that provides you with a powerful constructor. Along with this, it offers a hosting service, registration of the domain, and an advanced e-commerce system.

And for all this, you’ll need to pay significantly more than for most of the same platforms, including GoDaddy.

In the case of GoDaddy, the functionality is approximately the same, but some tools can be purchased separately.

For beginners, this can become a problem of choice. But if you’re experienced in technical issues, this may be a rational way to save money.

Also, it’s worth noting a larger quantity of hosting plans.

So, if you’re among those who’re looking for a tool to create nice looking, efficiently optimized resources you’d stop at Squarespace. And it would definitely be a winner if designer capabilities were a priority.

But in our case, a more flexible pricing policy, a variety of tariff plans, and hosting options have made GoDaddy the undisputed leader.