Although you can access many great features on the free plan, including adding a messaging system and pop-up in just a couple of clicks, much of what makes GoDaddy a great platform (namely a ton of extra marketing features) are kept under the lock and key of a premium subscription, which is fair enough. Upgrading for these extras is simple, and prices start at just $10/month.
You are mistaking the problems with WordPress as something that is inherit in PHP. That might have been true years ago, but modern php (php7 and hhvm) is a very powerful and mature language with rock solid performance, and in the case of hhvm that performance is equal to native,and in many cases faster than even C++. When written correctly and running in the right architecture it scales seemlessly and delivers low latency and high throughput. Sorry if you thought you could pay some indian 3 bucks an hour to slap together a wordpress site and be the next facebook.
Another big name when it comes to eCommerce platforms after Shopify is BigComerce. It is a hosted e-commerce solution that allows the users to set up their own online store and sell their stuff. It is flexible allowing anyone from beginners to experts to use the services and create the ideal platform. Compared to WordPress however, it is not ideal for other types of sites.
All that being said, October’s gets pretty rough the closer you look. The community isn’t deep or broad enough to support a wide enough range of prebuilt plugins or themes, and to make that worse the October crew has set up a weird cloud-based “project” validation thing, in the interest of being security conscious I believe. Regardless of the intent, it makes it super-difficult for newbies to figure out how add, update, or edit any of the plugins on their site. And heaven help you if you decide to ‘detach’ your site from a project … ::sigh::
I should highlight here that, much like all website builders, SITE123 is not without cons. It’s a simple and intuitive website builder, but it is more suited to building basic websites. If you use only the free options, you won’t be able to create anything but a simple personal website with SITE123. Meanwhile, its free plan has no duration constraints, but limits storage space to 500MB and bandwidth to 1GB.
Thanks for the comment. Yes, it is – people are always happy to get something for free. It’s right. But you need to understand that for free you always have to pay. Often not money, somehow differently, but have to. In the case of free website builders, such a fee is the availability of brand ads on the website. And in my opinion this is not a very high fee for a completely free website.
Wix vs Squarespace: What's the best website builder?