Deciding between Wix vs. HostGator necessitates the knowledge of certain aspects of each website builder.
These two online services have great reputations in the web development arena. One is a website builder and the other is a web hosting service, but both platforms offer powerful website-building tools.
They also have many differences which are important to understand before you make your choice.
I have spent over 11 hours researching, reviewing, and comparing the two platforms. I’ve looked at everything, including ease of use, design and customization, eCommerce capabilities, SEO functionality, pricing, support, and more.
Read the rest of this Wix vs. HostGator comparison to discover more about each platform and which one is likely to produce a better website for you depending on your needs.
1. Ease of Use
Most people who set out to build a website end up frustrated because they just can’t figure out how different tools work.
Avoid such setbacks in your own site-building journey by choosing a website builder that not only provides you with all the tools you need but also makes it as easy as possible for you to use them.
Let’s see how Wix and HostGator compare in this regard.
Wix is a site builder with tools for both beginner and pro website creators. It’s one of the easiest platforms to use since it requires no coding knowledge or technical experience. Figuring out the user interface and page builder functions doesn’t take long, even for complete beginners.
There are plenty of drag-and-drop templates to choose from in the Wix website builder, which means you won’t have to start from scratch. The platform even has an AI-powered tool, Wix ADI that can create your website for you.
All you have to do is answer a few questions about your new site, and the artificial design intelligence will do the rest. Even if you have zero design talent, you’ll find this exceptional site builder a perfect tool to help you create a full-featured website for your business.
Everything is taken care of for you, including web hosting, technical maintenance, and website security – all for a single monthly fee. Just keep in mind that this level of simplicity and ease means you won’t have as much control or customization power as you would get with a platform like HostGator.
Summary of Wix’s Ease of Use Features:
- Simple interface that is easy to navigate
- Modern templates with built-in marketing and sales features
- Unstructured editor for total design freedom
- Robust integrations with third-party tools and apps
- Mobile-optimized templates for a site that looks great on any device
Like Wix, HostGator markets its platform to both novices and seasoned users. The web hosting platform lets you add features that makes it easy to customize your experience on HostGator. The control panel is designed for easy navigation and all the tools are within reach.
Like Wix, HostGator puts simplicity at the forefront. But, where Wix provides you with a native control panel for website management, HostGator offers a proprietary dashboard that’s integrated with the platform’s cPanel.
And where Wix only offers a single hosting option, HostGator offers multiple hosting options for your website or eCommerce store.
Once you sign up, there’s an automated installation and setup process for your new website which means you don’t have to do much. You’ll be able to get your website up and running in just a few clicks by following the prompts after signing up.
Summary of HostGator’s Ease of Use Features:
- Free hosting with website building service
- Robust customer support
- Shared hosting, VPS hosting, and Dedicated server hosting services
- Simple site setup process
- Automatic WordPress installation
It’s a tight race when comparing ease-of-use between Wix and HostGator. Both platforms are extremely easy to use and offer no-fuss solutions for building websites and eCommerce stores.
But, Wix has a stronger focus on beginner-friendliness whereas HostGator (while just as simple to use), is more about offering more behind-the-scenes control.
So, if you are a total beginner, you stand a better chance of succeeding with Wix. You’ll be able to quickly launch an elegant design with full functionality for any business model. You can always graduate to a more advanced platform later.
2. Design and Customization
The second characteristic that we’ll take a look at in this Wix vs. HostGator comparison is customization/design.
Both Wix and HostGator offer a range of pre-designed high-quality templates so you don’t have to worry about website designs, structures, and layouts.
Here’s how they stack up in the design and customization department.
Wix is an undeniable leader in the website building space and with good reason. It has over 900+ premade templates, all expertly-designed for modern use. You get a wide range of customization options to create stunning projects such as websites, blogs, landing pages, eCommerce stores, and portfolios.
Add more functionality to your website pages by integrating apps from Wix’s App Marketplace. Integration is as easy as clicking a button, and all the tools will work seamlessly together to provide you with a full-featured website.
Wix takes an all-in-one approach to website building and provides you with everything you need to design, create, launch, and promote your website from a single place.
You get an outstanding web design environment suited to users of all skill levels. In addition to Wix ADI which you can use to build a website in just seconds, you can also choose between three page editors according to their technical expertise.
The first is a simple drag-and-drop editor, Wix Classic Editor, that lets you click on different elements to drag them onto a page so you can create your own unique layouts. There’s also an unstructured editor, Editor X, that allows you to place elements anywhere on the page as opposed to a pre-determined grid that sets out the layout for you.
Finally, advanced users can use the Wix Code Editor to make changes to their websites without any limitations.
Summary of Wix’s Design and Customization Features:
- Robust customization options for unique pages
- Editor X page builder for responsive websites
- 100% customizable templates and themes with built-in marketing features
- Huge library of royalty-free images, icons, and vector art
- Built-in logo creation tools
When it comes to design and flexibility, the HostGator website builder has just as much, if not more to offer as Wix. The system provides an intuitive approach to the website development process and makes it possible for you to create and customize high-quality web projects.
You also get free hosting and built-in website promotion tools. You can access multiple applications and extensions in HostGator’s marketplace. As a subscriber, you can choose different widgets to enhance the functionality of your project.
Some of the tools you can use include SSL management, Site Lock, Code Guard, Office 365, and Constant Contact. You can also integrate CMS solutions like Gator, WordPress, Weebly, Joomla, and Magenta.
Summary of HostGator’s Design and Customization Features:
- Flexible design options
- Pre-built website templates
- HostGator Marketplace for additional apps
- Free web hosting with site builder
- Access to HTML and CSS code
Wix only offers websites built with its own site builder whereas HostGator offers its own AI-powered website builder which you don’t have to use. This gives you a lot more flexibility when building your website or online store. Also, if you ever want to switch platforms, you can do so without losing your content.
3. eCommerce Capabilities
Seamless eCommerce integration allows you to provide a smooth shopping experience to your customers.
Fortunately, both Wix and HostGator have integrated eCommerce tools that you can access right inside your dashboard. However, there are some stark differences in the online selling features offered by each platform.
Let’s take a look.
Wix makes the eCommerce selling process simple and effortless. All the tools you need to sell products online come built-in which means you don’t have to worry about integrating third-party apps like Ecwid.
Some of Wix’s eCommerce features include a point-of-sale (POS) feature that lets you sell both online and in physical stores. You can sync your inventory easily and filter products on your website.
Sell digital products and services on your site. Connect multiple payment solutions and offer coupons and discounts. All these tools and more are available on your dashboard so you don’t have to jump from one app or tab to the other when managing your eCommerce business.
Summary of Wix’s eCommerce Capabilities:
- Sell digital products, physical products, subscriptions, and more
- Display both images and product videos on your product pages
- Connect multiple payment solutions to give customers more options
- Dropship products through Printful, Modalyst, Spocket, etc.
- Enterprise-grade security for maximum protection
The HostGator website builder has a range of eCommerce tools that let you create all types of eCommerce websites. You can also host an online store or website created with a different website builder or CMS.
This is a great feature that gives you more flexibility in building your online business. You’re not limited to HostGator’s tools, but you can integrate any website builder or CMS of your choosing when building your website.
Some of the stand-out eCommerce features on HostGator include the ability to create and manage product catalogs, use inventory management tools, set up reporting, add coupon issuing parameters, and pick a suitable currency for your products.
These tools make it possible for you to build a full-featured online store via Gator’s website builder or any other web design platform, including CMS.
Summary of HostGator’s eCommerce Capabilities:
- Host any type of online store
- Flexibility to build your site with any software
- Built-in inventory management tools
- Robust reporting and analytics features
- Pick suitable currencies for your products
Wix wins this one because the platform offers an all-in-one approach to creating online stores. There’s no need to integrate third-party tools, everything you need comes built into every Wix store you create.
4. Blogging Tools
In today’s digital world, every business website needs a blog. A blog can help you connect with your audience, provide them with helpful information, and drive targeted customers to your products or services.
Both HostGator and Wix come with built-in blogging tools. Let’s see how they compare.
Wix’s blogging tools allow you to create a full-featured blog so you can maximize your website’s potential. You can set up your blog in just a few clicks, and you can even use the platform’s AI, Wix ADI to do it for you.
Wix blogs are responsive and mobile-friendly. They make your content easily accessible on any device. You can create regular posts or pinned posts. You also have the ability to add featured posts to any page on your website.
You have the option of a members area which you can use to give your blog subscribers access to various features, including the ability to login and access premium content, create a public profile, comment on your blog posts, and more.
Customize the look of your posts list on your blog page by changing the thumbnail image, text alignment, spacing, and other elements to make your blog page unique.
You’ll find lots of other design and customization options that allow you to change colors, fonts, hover settings, text styles, and video settings in your Post List.
Summary of Wix’s Blogging Features:
- Fully mobile-responsive blog
- Powerful content management features
- Easily edit title tags, image attributes, and meta-descriptions
- Built-in SEO features, including automated sitemaps
- Wix App Marketplace for advanced integrations to drive more blog traffic
You can use HostGator to host a blog created with a different web design platform. The platform also comes with its own feature-rich blogging engine which includes a range of free blogging templates, as well as tools to customize each selected theme to match your brand and preferences.
You can add new posts, edit existing ones, integrate media files, and host ready-made projects on HostGator’s systems servers. You also get professional email, and up to five mailboxes on the lowest plan.
Summary of HostGator’s Blogging Tools:
- Built-in blogging feature
- Host a blog from a different platform
- Fully customizable blog templates
- Easy WordPress blog integration
- Free hosting for your blog
Wix’s blogging tools are great for beginners, but if you’re building a content-heavy site, HostGator is a better solution thanks to its integration with powerful CMS solutions like WordPress.
5. Search Engine Optimization Tools
SEO is essential for gaining visibility for your website. You need a site builder that provides you with tools for optimizing your website so visitors can find it easily.
Thankfully, neither platform has any problems performing well online. Here’s a closer look at what each one offers.
Wix has advanced SEO and marketing tools to ensure that your content is found online by your target readers. There’s also a built-in SEO wizard that tells you everything you need to know to optimize your new website for SEO.
All you have to do is follow the links to the relevant sections of your site and update each detail as advised. This feature is perfect for new users who aren’t very familiar with SEO best practices. However, the downside is that the intuitiveness of this wizard can also result in somewhat basic SEO processes.
If you are an SEO pro, you can dive deeper into the settings to modify settings at an advanced level. Edit everything from page descriptions and meta-titles to image descriptions, 301 redirects, and more.
Another great SEO feature of Wix websites is that they are all mobile-friendly. You can integrate Google Analytics into your website to get more SEO insights so you can discover areas for improvement.
Summary of Wix’s Search Engine Optimization Tools:
- Built-in SEO Wizard for simpler website optimization
- Automatic image optimization for better site performance
- Advanced settings for SEO are available
- Meta-tags for enhanced social media sharing
- Easy integration of Google Analytics
The HostGator website builder allows you to pick and integrate different SEO tools to increase website traffic and boost your general online rankings.
Once you sign-up, you will get access to an SEO dashboard where you can take control of your website position in the search engine results.
Tweak different settings to optimize your website. If you aren’t well-versed in SEO, don’t worry. The website has tons of guides and tutorials to help you make the most of the platform’s all-in-one SEO toolset based on your objectives.
Summary of HostGator’s Search Engine Optimization Tools:
- Integrate multiple tools for advanced SEO
- User-friendly SEO dashboard
- Site comments for increased engagement
- Automatic post summary and excerpt generator
- Free site review feature
Both platforms have built-in tools for search engine optimization and you can add more SEO tools from their respective app marketplaces.
6. Community and Support
Most website builders are designed for ease of use. However, they also provide multiple channels for you to get assistance whenever you need it during your website-building journey.
Let’s see how Wix and HostGator stack up in this area.
Wix has a well-stocked online help center with articles to answer any question you might have pertaining to the software.
If you need assistance from a human, you can get in touch with the support team via email, live chat, or phone.
Just keep in mind that only subscribers on the paid plans and the VIP plan get access to 24/7 priority phone support.
HostGator offers email, phone, and 24/7 live chat support. There’s also a wealth of resources on the the gator website builder, on how to get the most from the software. You’ll find lots of detailed, clear, and insightful tips and tricks to help you along your website-building journey.
Although both companies offer similar channels for customer support, HostGator’s support has a much faster response time compared to Wix, which is why the hosting company wins this one.
Pricing should never be your only consideration when choosing a website builder, but it’s still worth comparing the pricing structure of different platforms to ensure that you get the most value for your money.
Wix offers a range of plans to suit different needs. Here’s what each premium plan entails:
- Wix Free Plan: Wix has a free forever plan that lets you build a simple website. The plan includes free web hosting and a sub-domain (e.g. YourSite.wixsite.com). This is an ad-supported plan, which means Wix ads will be shown on every page and favicon in the URL. You get up to 500 MB of storage and bend with. Unfortunately, this plan doesn’t include customer support, Google Analytics, or online payments. You’ll have to upgrade to one of the premium plans to unlock these and other features.
- Combo Plan: $15/Month: This plan is ideal for personal use. It comes with a custom domain, a free SSL certificate, and 2GB of storage space and you can host up to 30 minutes of video. You can sign up for a free trial on any of the premium plans to get access to the core features before deciding whether or not this SiteBuilder is right for you.
- Unlimited Plan: $22/Month: The Unlimited plan comes with everything in the Combo plan + 5GB of storage space, one hour of video, and a visitor analytics app. This plan is ideal for entrepreneurs and freelancers and comes with a Google Ads budget to help promote your business.
- Pro Plan: $27/Month: The Pro plan is ideal for complete online branding. It comes with all the features in the Unlimited plan, as well as 50GB of storage space, two hours of video, an events calendar app, and over 40 different sizes of your logo ready to use on various social media channels.
- VIP Plan: $45/Month: This plan has everything in the Pro plan, as well as 100GB storage space, 5 video hours, and priority customer care. If you value first-priority support, then this plan is ideal for you.
HostGator has 4 growth-focused plans that let you go from an idea to a fully-functional website in no time. Here’s what they offer:
- Website Plan: $4.95/Month: This is HostGator’s introductory offer which comes with all the tools you need to build your website, including free web hosting, a DIY site builder with a built-in blog, 150+ mobile-optimized templates, and a free domain and SSL. You also get free expert design support and marketing features such as social media embeds and easy Google site verification. The plan comes with basic website analytics and an easy setup of Google Analytics and Tag Manager.
- Website + Marketing Plan: $7.95/Month: This plan has all the features in the Website plan, as well as unlimited appointments, online payments and deposits, and appointment reminders. This plan doesn’t come with eCommerce features, but it does include marketing and analytics tools, such as a logo builder, social media scheduling, email marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), and a creative design tool.
- Online Store Plan: $13.95/Month: This plan has everything in the Website + Marketing plan. It also includes powerful eCommerce reports and a wide range of eCommerce tools, including a mobile-responsive online store, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited websites, products and categories, secure online payment options, and 24/7 automated sync technology. You also get advanced shipping, QuickBooks Online/Xero integration, custom discount codes, an abandoned cart saver, and the ability to sell on Facebook and Instagram.
- Online Marketplaces: $19.95/Month: This plan has all the features in the Online Store plan + additional eCommerce features, such as marketplace selling, automated sales tax calculations, bulk editing tools, and fulfillment automation. You also get Amazon multichannel fulfillment, restock management, quick-fill listing templates, and barcode creation.
Wix wins this one by virtue of having a free plan. HostGator only offers premium plans. However, it’s important to consider that Wix’s free plan comes with the platform’s branding which may not be ideal for anyone who wants to build a professional-looking website.
In such a case, you may find value in HostGator’s basic plan which is priced much lower than Wix.
So, what’s the final verdict of this Wix vs. HostGator comparison?
Wix focuses more on beginners and making it easier to build a new website. HostGator, on the other hand, is more focused on offering web hosting, free domain name registration, and virtual private server (VPS) services to small to medium-sized businesses.
Choose Wix if: You want a website builder that provides lots of help and support as you go. You also must be willing to pay a little extra for the convenience of having a professional design environment so you don’t have to do any heavy lifting when it comes to designing your site. Wix will provide you with everything you need, including drag-and-drop design tools, built-in marketing and sales tools, automated backups, security, and maintenance at one neat monthly price.
Choose HostGator if: You want a web hosting platform with low-priced plans for someone who’s just starting out. HostGator has great customer service with helpful agents who are always available to walk you through everything from website setup to content creation, management, and other technical things.
If you still aren’t sure which platform is right for you, you may want to consider reading about other Wix Alternatives.