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2022 Gator Website Builder Review [Features & Ratings]

Pros:

  • Lightning-fast performance
  • Simple business features
  • Attractive and modern site templates
  • Very easy to build a website

Cons:

  • Limited design flexibility
  • No free plan
  • Few photo-editing options
Gator website builder review

Average Rating: 9.2

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HostGator is among the biggest names in the hosting community, and its latest endeavour is making all the right noises. The Gator website builder isn’t a company side-project but an all-in-one package for those who need a website. Hundreds of companies choose this affordable solution as it’s full of essential tools.

In my Gator website builder review, I’ll explore how user-friendly it is, different templates, and important features to make your website look professional. 

Gator Overview

HostGator is the world’s leading web hosting provider and offers an extensive range of world-class services, including Gator — the company’s premium website builder. The platform aims its builder at people who don’t have much technical knowledge and want to create a basic website. And the combination of its templates with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor helps you build a custom website in minutes.

The best part is that plenty of useful features makes the Gator ideal for any entrepreneur or small business looking to advertise their services or create a website for their blogs. Throughout this review, I’ll provide a complete breakdown of all the key features and look at the builder’s strengths and weaknesses to give you the full picture.

Who Can Benefit the Most From Gator’s Services?

All in all, the HostGator sitebuilder is among the best solutions for building websites. But let’s find out who can benefit the most from its services:

Online Stores

Gator website builder is excellent for online stores as it helps you create a website affordably and effortlessly. All the plans, including the basic one, come with ecommerce functionality and excellent marketing business tools. So beginners can visualize their goals and reach them in no time.

The basic plan has limited features, and you can only gain full access by purchasing the most expensive one. That way, you’ll also get unlimited storage and won’t have to pay any transaction fees.

Business Websites

Gator website builder comes packed with exceptional business features like SEO, social media integration, analytics, and ecommerce. They’re ideal for beginners, but people with more business experience may find the integrated features somewhat basic. 

Overall, if you want a quick and simple way to make your business website, you won’t find many better options than Gator.

Blogs

The builder ensures that you can add and manage a Gator blog easily. Its minimalistic and clean interface helps you customize your blog posts’ appearance and add media to them.

Portfolios

I’ve already highlighted how easy and simple the Gator website builder is for beginners, but you’ll have to compensate for the lack of design flexibility. Even though there are several elements you can tweak and flip around, you won’t get the same customization as with other website builders on the market. 

Ease of Use 

One of the best things about the Gator website builder is that it’s incredibly easy to use. You only have to pick a theme from the various categories or search for a specific design. Once you do that, you can enter the editor and adjust the Gator theme.

You can easily drag anything from the side panel onto the web page and place it where you want. It’s as simple as moving PowerPoint slides, and many website builders, such as Wix, use the same feature. It’s the best way to design your website without learning any technicalities. 

Apart from that, Gator website builder offers an onboarding tutorial to teach you everything you need to know. You won’t need to spend an hour figuring out where all the buttons for designing and editing are. 

You can also resize, switch colours, and effortlessly change the website’s text font. It’s the same for images. Plus, you have cool embedded features like videos, blogs, and social media posts. To sum up, HostGator site builder makes it easy and convenient for anyone to design and build their website, irrespective of their technical skills.

Setup Process 

Once you decide on a plan and add your personal details, you can choose between two options for website building — Express or Traditional.

Express Option 

After selecting the Express option, you can add more information for your future website. 

Here, the wizard will ask you to write your website’s name and choose its cover image by either uploading it or selecting a free stock photo related to your niche. Also, you can pick your preferred font and adjust other options like the navigation styles, colours, and schemes. 

Once you’re done designing your website, you must enter its business details. Here, you can edit all your website’s main facets, which is incredibly simple and easy to do. 

Traditional Builder

If you select the traditional website builder option, you’ll immediately see the Gator website builder templates. Then, you can choose the one you like from the list, which looks like this:

After that, you’ll see the editor section. Also, the startup guide will explain everything you need to know about your website.

Gator offers two editors. The Express option uses the new website-building system, while the Traditional one uses the old one. They differ a lot, and the latest version is better because you can edit more and access additional features.

While you can build a decent website with the old system, the new one gives you an advantage. Overall, getting started and setting up the Gator website builder is incredibly straightforward. It makes editing easy and ensures that you can add more information later.

Themes 

You can choose from multiple themes based on your needs. Some of the basic Gator templates for the traditional version include:

You can choose between 15 themes, but I don’t recommend the traditional option for building your website, as the options are somewhat old-school. 

In contrast, the Express option helps you find themes related to your niche and a design solution that suits your website perfectly, including free stock photos.

Once you choose a theme among 200 of them, you can easily edit the text font, the menus lineup, and the colour scheme. The Express editor doesn’t have any pre-made themes, but you can easily make one.

Gator Website Builder Pricing 

The platform doesn’t offer any free trials or plans. So the best way to test its features is to purchase the full plan and use the 45-day money-back guarantee. It may appear unusual, but it’s become standard practice. Plus, you won’t have any issues getting your money back from HostGator. 

There are three pricing plans — Express Starter, Express Site, and Express Store. 


Plan

Features

Price

Express Start

Comes with all the main features

$3.84/month

Express Site

Excellent for small businesses. It includes priority support, appointments, and bookings.

$5.99/month


Express Store

 Take advantage of the full ecommerce options for selling goods and services online.


$9.22/month

Let’s look closer at the Gator website builder pricing for each of the plans.

Express Start Plan

It contains all the main website-building features, including:

  • Full platform access
  • Free SSL certificate and domain
  • Email marketing
  • Ecommerce functionalities

The plan is suitable if you’re looking to build a personal or portfolio website, as it comes with the following features:

  • 3% transaction fee for ecommerce
  • Three online store products
  • Three campaigns with 250 monthly emails 
  • No appointments or bookings options

If you’re running a business or planning to do so, the Express Start isn’t ideal, as you won’t get any appointments or bookings. The plan is better for those who don’t want advanced features and prefer a simple but affordable website builder.

Express Site Plan 

I’d recommend this plan to personal users, but startup companies may also enjoy some features, including:

  • Priority customer support
  • 3% ecommerce transaction fee 
  • 10 online store products
  • 5 email campaigns with 500 monthly emails
  • Appointment and bookings options

The Express Site plan doesn’t improve the HostGator ecommerce and email options by a big margin, but it adds priority support, appointments, and bookings. But is that worth the extra cost? If you need your website to have booking features and don’t plan on taking direct payments, I believe it does. 

Express Store

It’s the perfect plan for small business owners and personal users. The Express Store offers all features from the previous plans, including:

  • Advanced shipping management
  • No ecommerce transaction fee
  • Unlimited online store products 
  • 10 email campaigns with 1,250 monthly emails 

If you’re planning to sell online, I’d recommend the Express Store. With no product limits, no transaction fees, and decent email marketing features, you’ll receive a solid business plan for your Gator store. 

Hidden Costs

Even though Gator website builder offers cheap pricing, there are a few details you should know about: 

  1. The low cost is only available if you buy a 24-month plan in advance. So if you purchase the Express Start plan, you’ll pay $3.84 a month if you get it for 24 months. The price will increase to $4.61 a month if you buy it for 12 months and $4.99 if you choose to pay monthly. 
  2. After your initial plan expires in 1, 12, or 24 months, you’ll have to pay double the price. 

So HostGator’s website builder is considered cheaper than the rest, but you might pay more for your plan in the long run. Still, the Gator website builder is quite affordable, even with this pricing structure. 

Overall, you can build a decent website with this platform. Plus, you’ll enjoy the ecommerce and email marketing features for under $10 a month, and the first two years have a 50% discount.

Features

More than one Gator review shows the website builder is highly rated as excellent for personal websites and small businesses. That reputation is mainly due to its amazing options and plans. Let’s look at some of the best features:

Analytics

You can easily track vital information like the number of visitors on your website and determine what content they view. 

Product Variants 

There are numerous product variants to help make your website stand out. The ease with which you can add and remove them is among the best features of this website builder.

Managing Products

Managing your online store products has never been easier. You can add all the items you want and remove those you’re not selling or marketing anymore. 

Storage Space 

You get unlimited storage space with the Express Store plan, which allows you to maximize your website’s potential. 

Hosting (Custom Domain Option) 

After signing up for the website builder, you can select a hosting plan and get a free custom Gator domain. When your billing plan is over, you can choose to keep the domain. It gives a more professional look to your business website.

Design Flexibility

The excellent design flexibility of the website builder is among the main reasons why small businesses and individuals prefer it. 

Shipping 

You can add integrated automated shipping to your website with the Express plan to provide more convenience for your customers.

Social Media 

You have many amazing social media features, with different integrations and buttons you can add to the website.

HostGator Ecommerce

Its fantastic ecommerce features make the website builder an excellent choice for anyone looking to start an online store or business. 

Mobile App

The high mobile responsiveness of the Gator builder ensures your website will adjust automatically to screens of different sizes.

Marketing 

The marketing functionalities of this website builder make it an incredible option for startups and small businesses.

Images and Videos

You can embed and add images and videos anywhere on your website using Gator’s tools. With an extensive gallery at your disposal, you won’t have any media problems.

SEO Features

The website builder offers numerous excellent SEO features and settings, which help you interchange and manage the visibility of your products and website.

Performance (Speed & Uptime)

You can also adjust your website’s performance by managing its loading speed and uptime numbers through Gator’s website builder.

SSL Certificates

The builder also helps you secure your website with an SSL certificate. The paddle icon on your URL indicates that you have a secure website, raising your visitors’ trust. 

Blogging

The Gator blog offers plenty of useful features for managing your articles and posts. It ensures you can create and change content without any hitches. 

Managing Articles and Pages

If you want to add, remove, or edit articles and pages on your website, you won’t have any problems with this website builder. It’s designed to help you manage the content effortlessly. 

Integrations

You can bring more traffic to your website by using builder integrations. You don’t have to rely on SEO tools for that, and you can add integrations automatically.

Image Gallery

There’s a fantastic selection of photos for art, portfolio, or business websites. The gallery helps you show the best facets of your services, and images make them more appealing than words.

Email Marketing 

After your website goes online and you select the custom domain, you can host an email address. Depending on your preferences, you can set up Microsoft Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbolt email, or Gmail Workspace.

Appointment Booking 

Let your customers contact you quickly or make appointments and bookings through contact forms. 

Logo Maker 

No website is complete without a logo, and you can create one with the built-in free Gator logo maker. You can browse through the images and layouts in the massive gallery to find a design that’s right for your brand. 

FeatureCommentRating
AnalyticsExcellent website analytics8/10
Product VariantsExtensive range of products7/10
Managing ProductsMake changes to your products with ease9/10
Storage SpaceUnlimited storage space10/10
HostingExcellent hosting solutions9/10
Design FlexibilityIncredible design flexibility8/10
ShippingTake advantage of automated shipping integrations9/10
Social MediaNumerous ways to embed social media buttons and integrations10/10
EcommerceExcellent ecommerce business solutions7/10
Mobile AppConvenient mobile optimization features8/10
MarketingAmong the best marketing tools10/10
Images and VideosAn impressive gallery for any niche9/10
SEO FeaturesFantastic range of SEO features8/10
Performance (Speed & Uptime)Get control over your website’s performance9/10
SSL CertificatesSecure your website with an SSL certificate10/10
BloggingGreat blogging features7/10
Managing Articles and PagesAdjust your website content with ease8/10
IntegrationsEnsure your website is highly responsive with the available integrations9/10
Image GalleryAn extensive image gallery with free stock photos10/10
Email MarketingImpressive range of email marketing features7/10
Appointment BookingLet your customers make appointments and bookings8/10
Logo makerCreate a fantastic new logo for your website9/10

Gator Customer Support 

The website builder offers plenty of ways to reach its customer support. For instance, you can contact the team via live chat, call, or email your question. As Gator provides hosting and website building solutions, it’s no surprise that HostGator complaints are hard to find. The company offers extensive support and has trained personnel for addressing all potential issues.

Still, only the live chat is available 24/7. You’ll need to speak with an agent during work hours for the other options. Email support can take up to 48 hours before you get a reply or your issue is processed, and you can call between 10 AM and 8 PM CDT. The multiple customer support options are incredibly convenient as you can choose the one you’re most comfortable with.

Gator’s Main Competitor

In this section, I’ll compare Gator to its most popular competitor.

Gator vs Wix

You can count on Wix to build an exceptional website as it’s straightforward and easy to use. With more than 700 templates to choose from, it blows Gator website builder’s options out of the water. 

Wix also has two editors. The Classic one is designed for pixel-perfect changes. The ADI editor has a questionnaire, which uses AI to build a website that suits your business. 

Gator Alternatives

After going through my Gator website builder review, you may be interested in trying out this platform. But if you’re still not convinced, it’s worth checking out the alternatives.

Squarespace 

You get some gorgeous templates with Squarespace and the platform also offers excellent marketing and ecommerce systems that are easy to master and use. If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to run an online store, you’ll find Squarespace to be a good solution.

Zyro

You get the same pricing structure as Gator with Zyro, but it’s even more affordable. Plus, you’ll get over 130 modern and gorgeous themes and a drag-and-drop, grid-based builder. That said, it’s a more traditional way of building a website, so if you’re looking for that and are on a budget, Zyro is your best option. 

If you’re still looking for options, check the top web-building tools for 2022.

Conclusion

I didn’t have high hopes for the Gator builder before reviewing it in detail. But I can’t deny that HostGator is a big name, which is why its website builder gets a lot of hype. Plus, it’s fast, affordable, and easy to use. You get two years of excellent ecommerce features for only $9.22 per month, and the premium website builder for only $3.84 per month is another outstanding deal. 

Pricing may increase after two years, but you still get excellent value for money. Comparing the two editors, the clear winner was the new system. I found the Traditional one somewhat limited and lacking in decent themes. Also, if you select the Express Editor, you’ll have an entirely custom and modern website in no time. 

If you’re interested in deep design editing, the website builder by HostGator isn’t for you. That said, it’s an excellent way to design a decent custom website. There’s no free plan, but you do get a 45-day free trial, where you can test all its features.

FAQ

How do I change my template on Gator website builder?

You can’t change your template using the Express Editor. Still, you can edit the sections, layouts, page fonts and customize your website entirely. You can change the template easily with the Traditional editor. If you want to customize your website fully, check Voog’s developer mode.

Should small businesses use the Gator website builder?

As I mentioned in this Gator website builder review, you get massive storage capacity and unlimited bandwidth, making it perfect for businesses that need a lot of media content or image galleries. That said, there’s no built-in email marketing.