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HostGator Website Builder Review 2022—Is It Right For You?

A terrific website builder at an affordable price

8.8
very good
Michael Graw

In a Nutshell

HostGator is a fantastic website builder at a competitive price. This website builder offers a flexible drag-and-drop page editor and more than 200 templates. If you want to launch your site even faster, you can use their AI-enabled site designer. Plus, email marketing and tools for Ecommerce come standard with all HostGator websites. Overall, this website builder is a great option for first-time designers and growing online businesses alike.

pros

  • Flexible, easy-to-use page editor
  • Email marketing and Ecommerce with all plans
  • Cheap introductory pricing for 2 years

cons

  • Limited number of email campaigns
  • Abandoned cart recovery is not automated

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What Is HostGator?

HostGator is a web hosting company founded in 2002 and based in Houston, Texas. The company has won numerous awards for its web hosting. In 2019, the company launched a website builder to help individuals and small businesses create their own sites.

The HostGator website builder is impressively flexible and easy to use. It’s also one of the most affordable options for small businesses, especially when you consider the range of marketing and selling tools included. While other website builders might be better for online stores looking to scale up, HostGator’s platform is ideal for new online businesses or established businesses looking to get online.

Using HostGator

We were extremely impressed with how easy it is to use HostGator’s website builder. The back-end dashboard is neatly laid out and makes it easy to move between designing your site, managing your online store, and launching marketing campaigns. The drag-and-drop site editor is also easy to use, and we loved that there’s an AI design option that can help you get online right away.

HostGator Features and Tools

Unlimited Web Hosting

All HostGator website builder plans include free hosting with unlimited storage and bandwidth. HostGator is an award-winning web host, so this service is very high quality. All sites also come with an SSL certificate and a free custom domain for 1 year.

Logo Builder

If your business doesn’t already have a logo, you can use HostGator’s logo builder to create one. Simply enter your company’s name and choose from a series of starter designs. Then you can customize your logo’s shape, colors, fonts, and more.

How to Create a Website with HostGator

HostGator offers 2 paths for creating a website. You can either go through a more traditional design process, or use an AI design tool to build a customized site for you.

With the AI designer, all you have to do is enter a few details about the site you’re trying to create. Based on that, the designer will suggest a few options to get you started and then take you to your new site.

If you choose this route, your options for customizing your site are moderately limited. You can add page sections, including text and images, but you don’t have the option to drag and drop individual elements on your pages. We were quite pleased with the selection of page sections, however, and think this editor will suffice for most basic websites.

If you want more control over your site’s design, you can choose the more traditional design process. HostGator offers more than 220 templates, all of which are mobile-responsive, to choose from.

The drag-and-drop page editor lets you add individual content elements to your site, giving you a huge amount of latitude when presenting your content. We especially liked that elements auto-align using a series of semi-transparent gridlines. This speeds up the design process and ensures that your site layout looks professional.

The only issue we ran into with HostGator’s editor is that you can’t change templates. With so many customization options, we don’t think this is a huge deal. But it can be frustrating if you get deep into the design process and decide you don’t like your template, as you’ll have to restart. It’s also worth noting that you can’t migrate your site to another platform, though that’s often the case among website builders.

Adding Multimedia to Your HostGator Website

HostGator enables you to add images, videos, audio, text files, and even Flash designs to your website. All of your files are stored in a multimedia library, which you can organize into searchable folders. 

You can upload multiple files from your computer simultaneously, which we liked, but the library doesn’t allow you to import images from social media or cloud storage. HostGator also offers thousands of free stock images from Unsplash.

Overall, we found the process of adding multimedia to be simple and seamless. Integration with cloud storage platforms and social media would also be nice, but it’s not essential.

Marketing Functionality with HostGator Websites

All HostGator websites include a very capable email marketing suite. Anytime a visitor fills out a form on your website, their information is automatically imported into a contact database. You can segment your contacts or download the database if you want to use third-party email marketing software.

HostGator’s email marketing tool lets you launch campaigns around product announcements, sales, events, and more. You’ll customize your emails using the same section-based page editor you use when building your site with the AI designer, so it’s fairly easy to build professional-looking email campaigns. Just note that the number of email campaigns you can send per month is limited to 3 with a basic subscription and 10 with HostGator’s top-tier plan.

To analyze your marketing performance, HostGator enables you to track how many people open your campaigns. However, you can’t re-segment customers based on this data or set up personalized coupon codes.

SEO Functionality and Add-Ons with HostGator Websites

The one spot HostGator falls short of the mark is SEO. You can edit the meta title and description for each of your pages, and it’s easy to set up a blog for any HostGator site. However, the platform doesn’t allow you to add alt text to images, and it doesn’t have any tools for analyzing your site’s SEO and suggesting improvements. 

That said, we were happy with HostGator’s analytics capabilities. You can connect Google Analytics to any website. Or you can use the platform’s built-in traffic analytics tool, but you need to upgrade your plan to see details like where your visitors are coming from and which pages they’re viewing.

Ecommerce

All HostGator websites support Ecommerce, and the platform works well for small or relatively new online businesses. You can sell digital downloads, accept online bookings, and easily set up coupons and sales. Plus, HostGator provides tools for managing inventory, shipping, and taxes.

However, HostGator lacks some more advanced features that growing stores will likely need. For example, you can see abandoned carts, but you can’t set up automatic emails to try to convert those abandoned carts into sales. You also can’t sell gift cards online or enable in-store pickup as a delivery option.

How Much Does HostGator Cost?

HostGator offers 3 plans: Start, Site, and Store. All plans include hosting, email marketing, analytics, and Ecommerce. However, they differ in how many campaigns you can send, what data you can analyze, and how many products you can sell.

HostGator offers introductory pricing for up to 2 years for new customers. After that, you can get a 25% discount for signing up for another 2-year plan.


Start
Site
Store

Price per month

$9.98

$12.98

$24.98

2-year introductory price per month

$3.84

$5.99

$9.22

Analytics dashboard

Basic

Advanced

Advanced

Email campaigns per month

3

5

10

Number of products

3

10

Unlimited

HostGator Help and Support

HostGator offers 24/7 customer support by phone, email, and live chat. The platform also has a detailed online knowledge base with hundreds of articles. It covers not only how to design your website, but also how to use the email marketing suite and online store tools.

How HostGator Compares to Other Website Builders


HostGator
WordPress.com
GoDaddy.
HostPapa

Pricing

$9.98-$24.98 per month

Free-$45 per month

$9.99-$24.99 per month

$2.99-$39.99 per month

Hosting included?

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Number of templates

220

118

100

230

Blogging functionality

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ecommerce functionality

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Email marketing functionality

Yes

Yes, with plugins

Yes

No

Responsive design

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Analytics & Reporting

Built-in and Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Built-in and Google Analytics

Google Analytics

HostGator vs WordPress.com

WordPress.com is one of the best website builders for bloggers because it enables you to sell ads on your blog posts. However, the WordPress.com site builder isn’t as easy to use and doesn’t offer as much flexibility as the HostGator builder. For everyone other than bloggers, we recommend HostGator.

HostGator vs GoDaddy

The HostGator and GoDaddy website builders are very comparable in price and features. We think HostGator’s website builder offers slightly more design flexibility, and we like that it has more than twice as many templates available.

HostGator vs HostPapa

HostPapa’s website builder is relatively basic and is best-suited for small websites, such as one-page portfolio sites. HostGator’s site builder offers far more in terms of design options and marketing tools, and we’d recommend it over HostPapa for most website creators.

Bottom Line

HostGator’s website builder is easy to use, flexible, and highly capable. We love that you can choose between a traditional drag-and-drop editor or a simplified AI design process depending on how much time you want to spend creating your site. We were also impressed with the overall ease of customizing a site and the simplicity of HostGator’s back-end dashboard.

What really makes HostGator stand out is its support for email marketing and Ecommerce with all plans. It’s one of the most affordable website builders for creating a fully functional online store. While HostGator has a few shortcomings that can hold back a rapidly growing business, it’s ideal for individuals and businesses that are getting online for the first time.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is HostGator’s website builder good for small businesses?
-
+
We think HostGator’s website builder is a great option for small businesses. It offers a built-in email marketing suite and lets you sell products online with any plan.
Can you build an online store with Gator?
-
+
Yes, HostGator’s website builder lets you build an online store with any plan. With the Store plan, you can sell an unlimited number of products with no transaction fees.
How much does Gator cost?
-
+
HostGator’s website builder starts at $9.98 per month, and the top-tier Store plan costs $24.98 per month. The company offers steeply discounted pricing for your first 2 years, and you can get a discount of 25% when you renew with a 2-year contract.
Michael Graw is a freelance writer and journalist based in the Pacific Northwest who writes for top10.com.

HostGator customer reviews

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6 months ago

Really good hosting service for my cyber security work. Helps make sure that no hackers get in. I strongly recommend this site. My company really likes this service as well. It's a great service.

6 months ago

I liked it. Setting up for adding menus to the website was easy. Easy how to and menu setup. Good walk through.

6 months ago

I have been with Hostgator for 2 years now and although I have yet to complete my website, I still appreciate the customer service that they have. They are always there to assist you.

6 months ago

They offer good service and friendly customer service people. They are always on time and have a professional approach. They offer a good quality of service.

6 months ago

They're cheap but provide quality service. I was able to quickly build a website that looked really cool. At least I thought so, I really liked it.

6 months ago

HostGator has been absolutely awesome to help me set up a website for my wedding planning business.

6 months ago

I need to build websites all the time and sometimes I don't have to time to write codes so it is the best service I ever used.

7 months ago

It is very unique. The service is excellent. Overall it's a great company to work with.

7 months ago

It is an ok hosting site but I prefer using Yahoo Site Builder which was not listed.

7 months ago

It is easy to use with great features, with nice service and a unique function.

7 months ago

I had very little knowledge when I started using HostGator. It took me no time at all to be able to use and navigate. I would highly recommend to anyone. The brand was easy to interface with other systems. I was completely satisfied with the system and it was a great value for the cost.

8 months ago

Everything was easy to use. The website I was able to build with hostgator was absolutely beautiful!!

8 months ago

Hostgator is a pleasure to work with. They provide a great value for the money. I had account related questions and the customer service team was easy to work with.

8 months ago

Hostgator is probably the best website builder I've ever had to use. And they really help wherever they can with their 24/7 support line, but you should almost never need to call.

8 months ago

It's a great site to create and host sites on. It's a lot cheaper than most site hosting applications. I've used it with many sites and never had any domain issues.

8 months ago

There are many features that I use, and find valuable for my business and it provides a good value.

8 months ago

It's one of the easiest platforms that I've used for hosting and it works well with my website. Customer service is also great for troubleshooting.

6 months ago

They do good things and people like when you get treated the right way. Thank you.

6 months ago

Their company is simply one of the best when it comes to their industry. Very dependable.

6 months ago

I used them the first time I needed hosting, they were pretty good but there is still better.

37 reviews