This article was written in partnership with GoDaddy, a company that offers domain name registration as well as hosting and ecommerce services to help you develop your online presence.
The phrase rings out on websites all over the Internet – if you’re a business, “you HAVE to be online!” Although most small business owners will recognize the importance of an online presence, many have held back for fear that setting up and running a website is a complex process that they can’t possibly understand or manage. It’s not true! As small business owner Fred Magnanimi said in a recent Smart Hustle interview, technology is a lot more accessible than many people assume. He set up his website and e-commerce store all by himself and with the tools available today (like GoDaddy hosting and e-commerce services), so can you.
I recently had the chance to review GoDaddy hosting and e-commerce options. My conclusion? These are the sort of tools that empower small business owners to take control of their online presence and reach a larger market. They are affordable, simple to use, and include everything a small business owner needs for success.
Want to know what I think about GoDaddy hosting & e-commerce services? Check out my personal review by clicking play on the video below, plus read on to learn more.
The Importance of Hosting and E-commerce
Before I cover the GoDaddy services and features, let’s talk about why you would need them in the first place.
Hosting (or web hosting) refers to a service where a company (in this case GoDaddy) provides access to, and storage space for, a website. It’s a lot like renting your space. Just like you pay to rent your physical location, you pay a web hosting service to rent your online location. The host gives you a certain amount of storage space (for pages, website content, files, pictures, etc.) and they store your information on a server. When someone wants to view your website, they type in your address, their computer connects to the host’s server, and your website is displayed in their browser.
There are some sites that offer free hosting, but that comes with downsides that aren’t ideal for business. For a few bucks a month (as low as $3.99 with GoDaddy hosting) self-hosting gives you perks:
- Choose your own domain name (you want to be timsbakery.com not timsbakery.wordpress.com!)
- Fully customize the design of your website
- Use plugins – tools that extend and improve the functionality of your website
- Add Google Analytics to learn about your website visitors
It’s clear that any person who is serious about their business should choose a self-hosted site over a free site. And why do you need a website? Because it’s where your customers are and where people will go to find you! Even if you are a local business, your customers (and prospective customers) will want to go online to find your location, phone number, business hours, contact information, menu, and so on.
If you have a product you could potentially sell online, having a website gets even more important. That’s where e-commerce comes in. E-commerce refers to the selling and purchasing of goods online. It takes your website to the next level – not only do you have a site that gives information about your business and your physical location, but you also have the ability to sell your products. This expands your reach and opens you up to millions of potential customers. E-commerce is a natural progression for any local product-based business that wants to expand.
GoDaddy offers WordPress hosting services for small businesses who know it’s time they set up a website. WordPress is the most popular website building tool because it’s completely customizable and user-friendly. If you don’t feel comfortable setting up your own site, there are also plenty of WordPress experts out there who can help you get set up. The GoDaddy plans allow you to choose the hosting that is right for your business:
- Basic Plan – As low as $3.99/month and $7.99/month when you renew, you’ll get hosting for one WordPress site with a capacity for 25,000 monthly visitors and 10GB SSD storage.
- Deluxe Plan – As low as $4.49/month and $9.99/month when you renew, you’ll get hosting for one WordPress website with a capacity for 100K monthly visitors and 15GB SSD storage, plus extra perks like an SEO plugin.
- Ultimate Plan – For as low as $7.99/month and $14.99/month when you renew, you’ll get hosting for two WordPress sites with a capacity of 400K monthly visitors and 30GB SSD storage, plus extra perks like malware scan and removal.
- Developer Plan – For as low as $13.99/month and $24.99/month when you renew, you’ll get hosting for five WordPress sites with a capacity of 800K monthly visitors and 50GB SSD storage, plus extra perks like a free one-year SSL certificate.
If you purchase an annual plan, you’ll also get a free domain (your chosen URL). All plans include free daily backups and one-click restore so you won’t lose your data, plus free 24/7 support for questions and issues.
If you want to sell products online, you can choose GoDaddy’s e-commerce service which includes your website, hosting, and shopping cart. Currently, you can try it for free for the first month then get a discount of $19.99/month for the first year (after that, the normal price is $29.99/month). With GoDaddy e-commerce you can:
- Easily set up your store, choosing from many customizable themes that allow you to drag and drop product images and add descriptions.
- Take payments online, with the ability to accept all major credit cards and PayPal. You are only charged a fee when you make a sale, which is 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.
- Sales are automatically transferred to your bank account.
- Enjoy 24/7 support for advice and answers to all your questions.
My Experience with GoDaddy Hosting & E-commerce
There are several things to look for when considering an e-commerce solution for your business. Of course, the specific needs of your business and your goals are most important. But in general, I look for simplicity and the ability to easily add products online. Other things, such as security and integration with other apps, are important as well.
I explored GoDaddy’s e-commerce solution by making a test store of my own. You can see my test e-commerce store here – http://smarthustlemgazine.mysimplestore.com/
In my experience, GoDaddy’s e-commerce was fast and easy to use, allowing just about any business to get up and running quickly to sell online. You can sell through QuickBooks or Stripe, for starters.
GoDaddy’s hosting solution is pretty seamless as well. When I tried out GoDaddy hosting, I wanted to see how easy it was to migrate SmallBizTechnology.com over to GoDaddy. After entering a few bits of information, GoDaddy’s migration tool took over the rest and began to automatically migrate my managed WordPress site to the GoDaddy platform. From my experience, it will be easy for anyone who currently has a website to switch from their current host to GoDaddy hosting. Doing so will allow you to lock in the low prices and features I mentioned above.
Also, if you don’t have a website yet, I’m sure you’re now amazed at how easy and affordable it is to set up your online site and store. GoDaddy hosting and e-commerce services are perfect for small business owners who are ready to embrace technology and all the perks that come with it – more leads, customers, sales, and profits. The online world is your oyster, small business owner! It’s time to set up your website or e-commerce store today.
GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar, with over 14 million users worldwide. Their services also include website creation, hosting, design, ecommerce for small business, security, marketing services, bookkeeping, and productivity tools. GoDaddy has 62 million domains currently under management and is committed to empowering small business owners to successfully start, grow and run their businesses.