If you’re someone with very little technical expertise who wants a basic website with all the essential features, then this is a great option for you to consider. Keep reading this HostGator website builder review to learn more about the platform’s features, functionality, pros and cons, pricing, and more.
Gator Website Builder Summary
The Gator Website Builder (by HostGator) is packed with powerful tools & features, and even has some that aren’t often seen among other site builders. For starters, one of the biggest selling points is the strong uptime that guarantees your website will always be online and accessible. It also has a user-friendly interface that even beginners will have no trouble using. One unique feature of HostGator is the user’s ability to switch themes without disrupting or losing your content. Overall, you can’t go wrong here!
Lack of a Free Plan
Starts at $2.75/Month
Is the HostGator Website Builder Worth it?
HostGator is a robust website builder with amazing features offered at a competitive price. With regard to web hosting, this company is one of the largest providers in the world.
Gator is worth it for anyone who wants to create a web presence without having to learn how to code. A lot of website hosting services like Wix or Duda rely on third-party tools but Gator focuses on providing you with built-in tools for everything from SEO to email marketing, analytics, and more.
The platform offers switchable templates, strong uptime, and a variety of other useful tools. With it, you’ll be able to quickly build a beautiful, eCommerce-ready website with no coding knowledge required.
You don’t even have to start from scratch, there are dozens of beautiful templates to choose from. Regardless of the type of business or industry you’re in, you’ll be able to find a pre-made layout to suit your needs.
The platform will help you save time and money by providing you with all the website-building and management tools you need in one convenient place.
Sidenote: If you do use Gator I’d be grateful if you supported me by clicking on this link to join.
Who is Gator Website Builder Good For?
The next part of this HostGator website builder review is related to the people who’ll benefit from using this website builder.
Gator is a simple website builder aimed at users with little tech expertise who want to create a basic website without having to rely on developers.
The platform has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor and beautiful templates. Whether you want a simple blog, business website, or eCommerce store, you’ll be able to find the perfect template for you.
- Bloggers: The platform has a clean, minimalistic blogging interface with great SEO tools to ensure your blog ranks high in search.
- Small Businesses: Gator is perfect for small businesses that need to advertise a product or service. Even on the cheapest plan, you can build a business website with features like SEO, email marketing, website analytics, etc.
- eCommerce Store Owners: The site builder offers quick setup and a range of powerful eCommerce tools, including easy online payments, digital downloads, integrated shipping management, and more.
- Freelancers: Gator has dozens of beautiful portfolio website templates that you can use to showcase various types of products or services. Templates come with image galleries, audio files, video backgrounds, and more.
HostGator Website Builder Functionality
1. Ease of Use
Gator aims to make it as simple as possible to build a website with the software regardless of your level of technical expertise.
Getting Started With Gator:
Step #1: Sign up on the website. Use your email or social media account to register an account.
Step #2: Pick a plan. Gator doesn’t offer a free plan, but you can choose one of the affordable plans which include a free domain name for the first year.
Step #3: Choose a template. Once registered, you can sign into your Gator account and choose a template to start building your website.
Step #4: Customize your site. After you’ve selected your template, the platform’s builder interface creates a dummy website that you can customize to match your needs. There’s a step-by-step tour to walk you through the interface.
Choosing the platform’s traditional editor will give you access to all of Gator’s features, but you can use the Express Wizard to create your website for you. This automated editor uses AI (artificial intelligence) technology to build a website in seconds.
Note: You can link your site to your Google or Facebook account for quicker logins.
2. Template Design and Customization
Gator has over 200 modern, attractive templates to choose from in categories that include:
… and more.
It’s easy to find the template you want since all of them are categorized by industry. You can also use the search bar to hone in on specific designs.
Of course, you can start building your website from scratch, but using a pre-made website template can save you tons of time and effort.
Some of the templates feature full background images and all the designs are clean, modern, and stylish. You’ll be able to easily find the perfect template for your website thanks to the platform’s progressive-reveal strategy which means you get to see more options as you dive deep into the tools.
You’ll quickly discover that the software has a lot of power and customization underneath its deceptively simple interface.
On your dashboard, you’ll see the following options:
When you click any of these, a fly-out menu opens with a lot more sub-choices.
For instance, the “Elements” tab offers the following options:
Each of these has its own sub-choices as well, giving you vast customization control.
You can drag any element (text, images, forms, buttons, etc.) onto the page or click the + sign at the bottom of the page to add a new section.
You also have a great selection of layout options, as well. There are guide rules to help you line up the items you place on the page. One of the great things about the HostGator website builder is that it uses right-click context menus, a feature that you don’t see on many website builders.
In addition to customizing your website with elements, you can also change the overall site design.
Simply click the area you want to customize and you will be presented with a selection of background textures and matched color palettes. Make as many or as few changes as you want, and if you find that you don’t like the result, you can simply revert to the template default at the click of a button.
Other standout features of Gator include:
- Parallax Backgrounds: These backgrounds move as readers scroll through your page.
- Animations: You can add animations for text and other objects to make them bounce, fly, or fade into view as visitors move down the page.
- Undo: The platform keeps a history of your website’s state each time you save or publish, allowing you to go back and undo any mistakes you make.
- Mobile Responsive: All template designs are mobile responsive to ensure your website looks good on every device.
3. Intuitive Editor
Gator’s editor uses drag-and-drop. It allows you to drag text, images, forms, or any other elements onto a page and position it exactly where you want it.
This type of editor is the easiest way to design your website and requires zero technical knowledge.
Change fonts, resize text, switch colors, and sort out images. All of this can be done effortlessly. You can also embed cool features, such as social media posts, blogs, videos, and more. Thanks to the simplicity of the features on this intuitive platform, anyone can do this regardless of their computer skills.
The platform also provides a handy onboarding tutorial to help you discover where everything is from the get-go so you don’t have to waste time trying to figure out where to find the tools you need.
If you’re wondering why you would use the Gator builder over a regular HostGator hosting plan, it’s because the Gator builder is exceptional at getting people or some websites super fast.
It requires no coding and less work overall. It’s a great time saver and the perfect tool to make non-tech-savvy users look like pros.
However, if you are someone who wants to get into the weeds, this may not be the ideal tool for you as it limits your design and content flexibility. If you want more customization power to build a truly unique website, then you may want to consider hosting instead.
Setting up shop with Gator is easy. The eCommerce website builder comes with built-in management tools for shipping, inventory, taxes, and more.
The entry-level plan allows you to sell 3 products on your site. You can upgrade to higher-tier plans to sell more products. There is a 3% transaction fee on the lower-tier plans, but the “Store” plan has no transaction fee and you can sell an unlimited number of products.
Other eCommerce features include:
- Online payments
- Digital products/downloads
- Order and text management
- Discount and coupons
- Integrated shipping management
- Inventory management
… and much more.
As you can see, Gator website builder eCommerce comes with a great selection of features. If you want to start an online store, this platform will help you hit the ground running.
There is even a quick setup guide that covers all the main things required to begin selling online:
Once everything is set up, you can then start adding your products. You can do this manually or by inserting a CSV file to move items from another platform.
5. Email Marketing
Get all the features for automated emails, including:
- Integrated lead capture forms
- AI-driven designs
- Landing pages
- Visual analytics and campaign reporting
- Share blog posts to email
- Automated email scheduling
- Simplified opt-out management
- Powerful CRM (customer relationship management) software
… and lots of other features.
Depending on which plan you opt for, you can create between 3 and 10 email campaigns per month. Send between 250 and 1250 unique emails, and get campaign send refills (optional).
You get unlimited contacts and unlimited storage of images. All emails have mobile-friendly layouts and you can match your logo and website branding to maintain a professional look and all your emails.
6. Appointment Booking
Gator comes with a built-in scheduling and calendar tool that is perfect for service-based businesses. Your clients can easily book your services on your website for a seamless visitor experience.
Note that this feature is only available on the “Site” and “Store” plans. You get calendar management, a side-by-side view of all your staff calendars, email notifications, and more.
7. Reporting and Analytics
Gator offers easy analytics that allow you to view detailed website metrics to understand the behavior of your visitors in a simple and digestible way.
The platform includes an impressive range of website statistics. From your accounts dashboard page, you have a clear view of the metrics for the last 30 days, including:
- Page views
- Total visits
- Unique visitors
- Bounce rates
… and more.
You can open the full traffic page to view visitors’ time on site, geographic information, languages, and various other important information to enhance your traffic campaigns. You can even separate your traffic by mobile and desktop.
Stats for your online store can be viewed separately. The platform checks visitors, revenue, orders, and more.
8. Additional Features
- Free Hosting: When you sign-up for a Gator account, you get free hosting, and unlimited bandwidth and storage.
- Free Domain Name: As a Gator customer, you get a free domain, which means you’ll save time and money by not having to purchase it elsewhere.
- Free SSL Certificate: You also get a free SSL certificate to secure your website and provide visitors with a safe browsing experience.
- Image Library: You get access to millions of Unsplash images to use on your website at no extra cost.
- Logo Maker: No need to pay for a third-party tool, Gator comes with its own built-in logo maker to help you solidify your brand online.
- Social Media Integration: You can embed content from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter directly onto your website. Add social buttons, image galleries, and live feeds to connect your entire online presence.
- Contact Forms: Add forms to your website so customers can be able to quickly contact you without leaving your website.
- SEO Tools: Each Gator plan comes with free SEO tools that you can access in the SEO settings section. You get edit options for the title, description, and URL.
As you can see, this is a complete website solution. Unlike many other website builders in its category, Gator offers a truly comprehensive website-building experience for a very affordable price.
Everything is taken care of, from domain registration and hosting to social media integrations, RSS feeds, and much more.
This all-inclusive platform is perfect for beginners who don’t want to waste time dealing with technical details. The built-in tools ensure that you can have your site up and running without needing expert help.
This way, you’ll have more time for creating awesome content and perfecting your marketing strategies.
Gator Website Builder Pros and Cons
All website builders come with their own unique set of pros and cons. It’s important to know the benefits and drawbacks of each platform before you make your choice.
Here are some of Gator’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Strong Uptime: One of the biggest selling points of Gator is its top-tier uptime which ensures that your website is always online and accessible to your customers.
- User-Friendly Interface: The platform is incredibly easy to use and comes with a very short learning curve even for users who have never built a website before.
- Modern Website Templates: Gator has dozens of expertly designed templates that are just waiting for you to put your own unique spin on them.
- Ability to Switch Themes: This is a feature you don’t see with many website builders. It allows you to switch templates without losing your content.
- eCommerce Features: With Gator, you can sell all types of products and services, including digital downloads.
- Royalty-Free Images: There’s no need to search the web for photos to use on your website. Gator has a vast library of images you can use for free.
- No Free Plan: Unlike a lot of other website builders in its category, Gator does not offer a free plan.
- Limited Editing Options: The platform has limited editing options, which makes it unsuitable for building complex websites.
- Price Increase: Gator pricing increases significantly after the introductory. The price of renewal is more than double that of the initial cost.
Gator Website Builder Competitors
Gator excels when it comes to building simple websites fast. However, depending on your needs, the HostGator website builder may not be a perfect fit for you.
For example, you may be looking for a website builder with a free option – something that Gator doesn’t provide. Or, you might want more control over your website customization. In such a case, you may be better served by one of the three Gator alternatives outlined below.
Gator vs Zyro
Zyro has a pricing structure that is similar to Gator’s, but its basic plan is a bit cheaper at $2.59/month. The platform offers a free trial and comes with hundreds of beautiful, modern templates for different industries.
The grid-based drag-and-drop editor offers a more classical approach to site building, and you’ll find more robust marketing and SEO features compared to Gator.
All in all, this is a great option for anyone who wants more customization control over their website while staying on budget.
Gator vs Squarespace
Squarespace is a popular website builder that makes website creation a breeze. The platform comes with built-in eCommerce and marketing tools to help you stand out online.
There’s a wide selection of expertly built, conversion-focused themes, all of which are easy to customize. With them, you can build any type of website, including an online store, local business website, portfolio, blog, restaurant website, and more.
If you want a quick way to get online and run your small business, this is a great website builder to pick.
Gator vs Wix
It’s rare to see a list of the best website builders that doesn’t include Wix. There’s a good reason for this. The platform is designed to be simple to use, and yet provide a range of powerful tools to help you build and manage a successful website.
There are over 700 templates to choose from, and unlike Gator which only has one type of editor, Wix comes with three different types of editors to suit all types of users.
For those who want pixel-perfect editing, you can opt for the Wix Classic editor. If you want to get your website online fast, choose the Wix ADI (artificial design intelligence) editor. Expert users who want to dive into the weeds can get access to the HTML code with Wix Code.
All in all, this is a super flexible website builder that’s perfect for a wide range of creators.
Gator has a range of generous plans to suit businesses of all sizes. Plans are as follows:
- Express Start: $3.84/month: Currently, Gator has an introductory offer for 50% off its plans. The “Express Start” plan comes with an intelligent site builder, free domain, free SSL certificate, and a 3-product online store.
- Express Site: $5.99/month: This plan includes everything in “Express Start”, as well as 5 email campaigns per month, a 10-product online store, appointment booking, and priority support.
- Express Store: $9.22/month: This plan includes everything in the “Express Site” plan as well as an unlimited product online store, 10 email campaigns per month, and no transaction fees.
These prices are based on two-year plans and come with a 30-day guarantee, which means that if you’re not happy with the service, you can simply request a full refund within that period.
Gator provides 24/7/365 support. The team works when you work, and you can get help whenever you need it through the following channels:
- Live Chat: Live chat is the quickest way to get any of your questions answered. There’s always a support agent on hand 24/7.
- Phone: Call (855)514-2867 toll-free to speak with the Gator website builder rep between 11 AM and 9 PM ET.
- Email: If you prefer to write, you can shoot the support team an email at [email protected] and they will get back to you.
- Knowledge Base: The platform has an in-depth knowledge base filled with detailed how-to guides and articles to cover every conceivable website-building topic.
Gator offers a range of third-party integrations, including the following:
- Calendars: Google Calendar
- Podcasts / Music: Audioboom, Spreaker, Soundcloud
- Donations: Buy me a Coffee, Kofi
- Streaming: Twitch, Twitch Clips
Is Gator Website Builder Legit?
Gator is an easy-to-use website builder that helps you get your website online ridiculously fast. Its top features include an intelligent site builder, email marketing tools, website analytics, contact management, eCommerce features, online bookings, and more.
You get unmetered bandwidth and a free domain with each plan. All websites are fully mobile responsive, secure, and fast. Each package includes blogging, social media marketing, and SEO tools.
The SEO tools, in particular, are perfect for helping to increase your online visibility. The basic settings help beginners get acquainted with search engine optimization, while the more advanced features are designed for website owners who want to increase their ranking.
All in all, this is a great website builder with a ton of amazing features offered at an affordable price. If you want an affordable tool for simple websites, then this is a great platform to consider and I hope my Gator website builder review has helped you understand the tool’s capabilities.
Take a look at what this customer had to say about the Gator Builder:
If you’re ready to start building your website, blog, or online store in the simplest way possible, then sign up for a Gator account right now.