GoDaddy, the website host perhaps best known by for its controversial commercials, is taking the the wraps off something a little less controversial: New website design tools. On Thursday, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company rolled out tools and integrations to GoCentral, a website design platform it launched in February.
GoCentral, for the uninitiated, is a web store designer for novices (think Wix, WordPress, or Squarespace). GoDaddy claims it lets anyone build a fully functioning, responsive ecommerce website in under an hour — even on a mobile phone. In fact, GoDaddy said that 20 percent of GoCentral websites were started, edited, or published on a mobile device — more than double the rate from its previous website-building tool.
It’s a smash hit with smartphone-wielding clients, too, according to GoDaddy. More than 65 percent of GoCentral customers complete a purchase using Apple Pay, PayPal, or a stored credit card from a mobile device. And 53 percent of all visitor traffic to GoCentral websites is from phones and tablets.
That’s in line with the broader trend. According to BI Intelligence, mobile commerce will reach $284 billion — or 45 percent of the total U.S. ecommerce market — by 2020.
It’s no coincidence then that GoCentral’s new features focus on mobile. Starting Thursday, webmasters can switch on SMS messaging, which will notify customers of new orders via text message. New payment methods are in tow as well, including PayPal One Touch, which saves customers’ credit and debit card preferences, and Apple Pay, which enables purchasing without the checkout process.
Along with the new ecommerce features, a new blogging will allow GoCentral webmasters to import feeds from other websites.
GoDaddy made much ado about GoCentral’s ease of use when the tool launched — and for good reason. An impressive combination of integrated marketing tools, smart algorithms, and machine learning help to expedite the web design process. When you type in things like “hairstylist” or “plumber,” for example, GoCentral pulls from a list of more than 1,500 images and “pre-filled” sections to put together a web page before your eyes.
GoDaddy offers four GoCentral tiers, all of which come with a one-month trial — one for personal sites, two for business sites, and one for commerce. The Personal tier starts $6 a month, and jumps to $72 annually after the first year. The enterprise-oriented Business plan costs $10 a month; the Business Plus plan starts at $15 a month; and the premium ecommerce tier costs $30 a month.
GoCentral isn’t the only mobile overture GoDaddy’s made in recent months. In May 2016, it launched Flare, a smartphone journal for “product ideas” and “quick concepts.” It’s a pitching platform, too — you can solicit feedback from a community of entrepreneurs. And if more than 10 people approve of your idea in a 24-hour period, you get to ask a broader community questions that would further improve your idea.