GoDaddy WebSite Tonight Review: An Ephemeral Task?

No matter who you are these days – elderly, twelve years old, a stay-at-home dad or a working mom – there’s a good chance you’ve thought about building your own website. Whether you want to bake cookies and sell them for a generous fee or simply need a way to broadcast your thoughts to the masses, the Internet has made go-getters of us all. It’s no surprise, then, that you have a plethora of website building products and services from which to choose.

If you fall in this demographic, there’s a good chance that speed is the name of the game. You want to build a website quickly without sacrificing any quality. You might have high standards enough to eschew the Facebook profile page or the subdomains you can find on easy site-builders like Blogger.com, but this leaves you wondering where to find the website builders who cater to someone like you.

Enter GoDaddy Website Tonight, a website builder that makes the promise – heck, it’s in its title – that you can start work on your website today and have yourself broadcasting all over the world by tonight. If you’ve been in the market for a quick turnaround, this might be the site builder of your dreams. As long as it delivers the HTML-laden goods.

A GoDaddy WebSite Tonight review with images? Now we're spoiling you.

Above: the tour preview displays the simplicity of getting started – and at least that’s a relief.

WebSite Tonight, Gone Tomorrow?

No GoDaddy WebSite Tonight review would be fair unless we actually addressed what it’s like to work with GoDaddy.com. If you’re a customer like me, there’s a good chance you’ve had up-and-down experiences. The customer service can be very effective and responsive, but it’s no fun jumping through a million hoops on their web site just to get your domain registered. Yes, GoDaddy, we get that you want to sell us additional domain names, now let us move on.

Any website builder that advertises itself in publishing your fine art tonight can’t force you through these hoops. An inexperienced Internet surfer might have some trouble simply locating things, no matter how simple GoDaddy tries to make things. For all the work GoDaddy performs in engineering its services around getting you a website quickly, it’s just not always that simple.

The good news is that GoDaddy’s bells and whistles don’t really count as part of their WebSite Tonight service. With easy setups that include the necessary bits like importing content that you’ve already created, the actual interface of WebSite Tonight does deliver on the “tonight” promise.

The question, of course, is how well it delivers on actually building a website. Although you will have a plethora of options to choose from, like templates, fonts, flash introductions and the like, there’s nothing really eye-popping about the GoDaddy WebSite Tonight designs. I can’t imagine anyone could see some of the GoDaddy templates here and shriek giddily, “I’ve got to order this right away!”

Even the sites GoDaddy WebSite Tonight uses as its “featured” sites – you know, the ones that were built using the services GoDaddy’s selling to you – are completely underwhelming. Really, GoDaddy? There weren’t any enterprising pioneers willing to manipulate your templates into works of art – or even impressive displays of HTML prowess? It’s disappointing, to say the least. Yes, you can build yourself a website “tonight,” but at what cost, people?

Building a Website in a Day: The Nitty-Gritty

Of course, there are other variables that factor into the overall equation in the GoDaddy WebSite Tonight review. If GoDaddy paid me a thousand dollars a month to host a WebSite Tonight site with their service, it would be the greatest innovation I’ve enjoyed since the invention of the drive-through window.

In other words, we have to factor in a few more ideas here. Let’s start with that thing on everyone’s mind these days: the pricing.

Understanding the Price: It’s Actually Kind of Tough

Price can be a weird issue with GoDaddy. It’s not hard to find a good bargain with their services, but the way they always try to sell you on buying more and more can feel like an added price. Even a look at the WebSite Tonight main screen shows you a zillion different pricing options including the bells and whistles like text cross-outs and red fonts telling you how exciting a certain deal is.

The pricing structure is split up into three tiers, all based on the size of the site you want to construct. “Economy” means a five-page site, “Deluxe” means a 10-page site (really? “Deluxe” means ten pages, huh?), and “Premium” will get you up to 999 pages.

Admittedly, newbies to the world of website building won’t find a ton to argue with here. Five pages is more than enough for certain people to enjoy. But once you’ve gotten some experience under your belt and want to expand your site, even the newbies will probably find that “Economy” and even “Deluxe” don’t quite cut it.

That leaves “Premium,” which can be had for anywhere from eight to twelve dollars a month depending how long you purchase the service for. Sure, that sounds cheap, but when you consider you can easily find a free, cheap service online that will provide you equally “Premium” templates, it’s eight to twelve dollars a month too much.

Customer Service

I’ve never had a beef with GoDaddy customer service. They are quick to pick up the phone (usually you only have a 5 minute wait or so to talk to a person) and generally only ask for a customer service survey or quick upsell in return for their assistance. Hopefully, the WebSite Tonight deal is easy enough that you won’t have any need to talk to the GoDaddy customer center, but should the need arise, you probably won’t find yourself stuck in any sort of website building purgatory.

A WebSite in a Day? Conclusions

There’s an old saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that saying stands here. If you want a great website, you’re not going to have one built by tonight if you start right now. GoDaddy WebSite Tonight can probably deliver one for you, but it’s not exactly going to be a work of art. And heck, even if you’re not in the market for a work of art, there are cheaper ways of building and hosting your own websites.

Rating:2 out of 5 stars

Dan Kenitz

Dan Kenitz is a former professional Search Engine Optimization specialist and current freelance writer, commentator, and all-around entrepreneur.

5 comments

  1. I have bought domains from Godaddy but not tried the website tonight from them. But I have tried the free version where you can make a website but has advertisements. Making websites on Godaddy is not that too bad. There is hour learning curve but one can easily get the hang of things.

  2. Emory Rowland

    Appreciate the feedback Shalu. So Godaddy Website Tonight lives up to its name then. I’m so used to using WordPress through cPanel shared hosting that I’ve kind of gotten stuck on that as a fast way to get a site up. I should try some of the other WordPress alternatives.

  3. CW

    I am planning to purchase a website. I am still in talks with my client negotiating the price. I think I have landed up on a great site. The tool looks promising. Let me do check with my partner and discuss how this tool can be beneficial.

  4. I am using WST and it sucks. The system is filled with buggs and editing your site is a nightmare. If you can’t edit it you have to wait 7 to 10 days just for editing to ask you whats wrong then more time to start fixing the problems. My site locks me out when I try to edit the html. Its been like that for the past 3 weeks and I am still waitng on them to fix the problem. Time is money but you have some lazy people there at GD.

  5. I started with Sitesell and their education was fantastic. The price was so bad though that I took what I learned and started a new site with Godaddy. If you know nothing, I can see your frustration. However after using and abusing Sitesell, Godaddy is a treat. My only frustrations are the editing tool and trying to get a border to work, and the inability to bring in a completely raw html page uploaded. As for the template, use code and form your own submenus, and wipe out their template pictures and use your own. Is the program garbage? Absolutely not. Is it user friendly without any clue what you are doing? Okay, I have to agree that you won’t have fun with it without any knowledge. That said, you can always pay Sitesell the 300 dollars just for a year and just use a domain name you never want to see again and learn the ropes and move on? Best $300 I spent, I will give them that for sure. Just plan to walk away once you know what they will teach you.

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