HostGator Website Builder Review - 2019
HostGator Website Builder Review – 2019
Today almost every business needs a website online to establish an online presence and get more customers. And every website needs a reliable web hosting platform that allows developers to post their content on the server. HostGator is one of the best hosting services on the internet, packed with features like cloud support, VPS and dedicated server packages. Furthermore, the company has also launched some lucrative shared packages for its clients for enhancing their website’s performance and reach.
Here is a detailed review of the HostGator website builder and its hosting services, along with reasons why it is the perfect platform for your website venture.
HostGator – An Overview
Founded sometime in 2002, HostGator is among the biggest hosting companies in the world, powering over half the websites you see online. It is currently placed in Houston, Texas and has over 8 million domains under its wing. The brand is owned by Endurance International Group (which also owns companies like Bluehost, iPage, and JustHost) and has partnerships with Cisco and Linux.
With multiple plans at its disposal, Gator caters to almost every business model- from simple shared products to powerful cloud hosting platforms with dedicated servers. Plus, users get access to some state-of-art web development tools for enhancing the look and feel of your websites.
HostGator is stuffed with features. Here, you can browse through a collection of 200+ templates to create unlimited web pages, get your domain registered for free, have access to free cloud storage and unlimited bandwidth, created password-protected platforms with bundled SSL certificates, track the performance of your site using advanced analytics tools and have round the clock customer support. The Gator website builder offers developers the best of web designing and hosting- it is an all-in-one space tailor-made for businesses that want to create a quality online presence.
What Makes HostGator A Worthy Competitor to Other Website Builders?
HostGator has quite a few perks up its sleeve, including longer and cheaper packages, a user-friendly interface and a set of excellent tools tailor-made for beginners. Here is a quick summary of all the advantages offered by Gator:
- 99.98% server uptime, which is 0.4 times better than your average hosting option available in the market. This ensures more web visibility and stable and consistent connection on the browser
- Easy web development, Gator is loaded with some effective and robust designing tools that give your complete control over the aesthetic and technical aspects of the website.
- The drag and drop interface is intuitive and optimized for mobile devices
- HostGator is versatile and flexible, with multiple blogging tools, portfolio designing options and e-commerce support at its disposal.
- Here, users can also access a wide range of free themes, stock images, readymade layouts and graphics (courtesy Unsplash). Their elements are integrated into the HostGator plans, license free and with no extra charge.
- Gator also comes with a social media productivity toolkit- My Social Suite, where you can engage customers and communicate with them seamlessly as and when you post something on your social media account
- All Gator plans are ad-free, you don’t have to worry about unwanted ads hogging up your web space, here you focus on solely your business and nothing else.
Now while HostGator has quite a few redeeming qualities that endear user, there are a few downsides to the platform as well. Here is a list of all the disadvantages of HostGator where they fall short in some important areas that can affect your business
- HostGator, though offering an impressive speed and server uptime is not really as fast as it claims to be. It has displayed mediocre page loading speeds, with an average of 984ms which is 10% lower than the industry average of 890ms.
- Gator offers free manual data backup options to users via the cPanel but demands an extra charge for auto-backups. Also, the shared servers only create backups for accounts that have a bandwidth of less than 20GB (even that is insecure). We recommend you switch to a third-party backup service to protect the core files and information.
- Customers are often lured by the lucrative plans of the platform, a closer look reveals otherwise. Here the cheapest packages are available for the longest terms, it is not a good option for people who want monthly plans.
- Also, the initial prices are but for promotional purposes, the rates often shoot up and double once your plan expires.
Reliability and Performance
Before diving headlong into the features and functionalities of HostGator, let us first gauge the reliability of the platform. Stability and security are perhaps some of the most important aspects of any website. It doesn’t matter how awesome your content it if you are not visible on the major search engines and accessible when required. Thankfully, HostGator offers a server uptime of 99.98%, which is higher than what you usually get in the market. In layman terms, the HostGator site is available almost every time you open it.
And if you do the math, a 99.9% uptime calculates to about an hour of server downtime every year. This is pretty profitable for growing start-ups and commercial ventures that want to expand globally. Users accessing the shared hosting services are at an advantage when it comes to high SEO rankings and connectivity.
HostGator is a feature-rich platform, suitable for professionals and amateurs alike. We have discussed some of the top features of this builder in detail below:
Speed and Server Response Time
Speed and server response time is crucial for the survival of your website. With hundreds of websites popping up online every day, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a high SEO rank. Even a second’s delay can cost you a major chunk of your audience. HostGator offers consistent speeds and uptime at 99.98%. This means your site will load quickly all around the world, irrespective of the kind of content you upload (i.e. images or videos or plain text). Gator performs well even during peak traffic hours, especially in the case of websites on shared servers.
The Gator website builder comes with an intuitive drag and drop interface where you can develop interactive web pages in a few simple clicks. There are over 200 themes and a dashboard full of customization options to choose from.
Also, the extensive collection of stock photos, videos, fonts, and other graphics give your website the extra oomph. The interface is also optimized for mobile devices. Furthermore, the live in-house editor allows users to preview the content before uploading it and also make real-time changes to the website without tampering with its performance.
HostGator comes with a lot of customization options that will enable you to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your website. Armed with a dashboard full of tools, a drag and drop interface, andpreset content blocks, the platform is perfect for amateur developers.
All you have to do is pick a template, add your content, customize it and publish it online. You can add icons, buttons image galleries, sliders, change the color schemes, insert text blocks and do a lot more. The free blogging feature is mobile-friendly and seamlessly integrates with the design of your website.
The Gator website builder is not just suitable for blogs and web pages. The e-commerce plan is specially curated for budding entrepreneurs who want to sell their products/services in a professionally designed e-store. Choose from the wide range of e-commerce templates and then add your content.
Here, you can build product catalogs, add multiple products, manage shopping carts, integrate multiple payment gateways and more. The inventory management feature allows you to keep track of all orders. The analytical tools provide accurate and consistent reports on the website’s performance and reach. It highlights the best-selling products of your store, the potential leads and other revenue generating information that is crucial for the success of your business.
HostGator is a secure platform. You don’t have to worry about the online threats of data hacking or any malware infestation, thanks to the SSL certifications that come in-built with the platform. SSL certifications and encryptions ensure the customer that the site is safe and that they can shop and browse freely. It protects the personal information of the visitors, such as their name and bank details and is hence mandatory for your web store. Plus, HostGator is ad-free, giving you the freedom to focus on your business and not worry about anything else.
Usability and User-friendliness
HostGator is an extremely user-friendly platform replete with all the standard and advanced features you would require for building a website and hosting it online. Once you have set up an account and registered to a plan, you will be redirected to the Gator builder. The editor is intuitive, well-organized and comes with over 200 templates. You also get a live preview option that allows you to view the content as it would appear on the user-end browser. The blogging feature is also pretty simple and straightforward, incorporating blog-specific layouts and customization options. And if you are looking for robust e-commerce support, we highly recommend the e-commerce plan.
Plans and Pricing Options
HostGator offers its clients a variety of plans and pricing options, each catering to different web development requirements and budgets. You can choose from the wide range of hosting options such as shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, and dedicated servers. The shared hosting plan shares the resources with other websites on the server. It is suitable for newcomers who want an affordable but effective space to build a website and generate moderate traffic. Cloud Hosting limits your account to a single cloud platform and is ideal for websites that generate a lot of traffic.
WordPress hosting is perfect for WordPress users, it protects your content from online threats and optimizes the site’s performance considerably. VPS (virtual private server) hosting is best for growing businesses, allowing them to manage their virtual resources on the cloud. Dedicated servers are perfect for large-scale establishments, it provides a server solely for your website. However, unlike the other hosting plans, here you have to take up the responsibility of maintaining the traffic and other requirements of the server yourself.
There are three main plans on HostGator – Hatchling, Baby and Business. Each plan incorporates unlimited bandwidth and storage capacities. However, the difference lies in the functionality and scope of the packages. While the Hatchling plan allows you to host one website, the Baby and Business plan can host unlimited websites and also include add-on like SSL certificates, dedicated IP and e-commerce support.
HostGator has one of the most comprehensive and reliable customer support teams in the industry. Clients get round the clock customer services. You can contact the experts via phone, live chat support as well as a ticket-based email system which is open 24*7.
You can find the support portal inside the hosting dashboard. The portal redirects you to a platform where you can find quick and actionable solutions to your problems. There are over 680 articles and 500+ videos that one can browse through to understand the workings of HostGator.
Also, each HostGator account is secure and guaranteed by the CEO of the company Adam Farrar himself. In case you cannot find any adequate response from the regular support, you can directly reach out to Adam via the email ticket system. He then personally responds to each ticket, helping you with your issue, technical or otherwise.
Is HostGator Worth your Money?
Finding a good hosting service and website builder is a tough task. Lucky for you we have HostGator that offers you both these services without any hassles and at surprisingly reasonable rates. With excellent web development services, an intuitive on-site editor and advanced customization options Gator Website Builder is perfect for building blogs, ecommerce websites and other kinds of web platforms. And while there are some areas that are relatively basic and could use some improvement, HostGator is all-in-all a profitable investment.