Gator Builder Overview
What is Gator Builder?
Founded in 2002 in Florida, they moved the company to Texas in 2006. They opened their first international office in Canada the same year. In 2008 they decided to become a green hosting service, making them a good choice for those who want to support companies trying to reduce their environmental impact. In the same year, they were ranked 21st in Inc Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing companies in the USA.
In 2012 founder Brent Oxley sold HostGator to Endurance International Group for $299.8 million, citing personal ambitions and technical failings with some of HostGator’s payment features as a reason for the sale.
In 2015 HostGator launched a series of tools to be used in conjunction with WordPress, and in 2019 they launched their version of a website builder called Gator. In 2021 they also added an AI builder option and kept the traditional editor so you can choose how you want to build your site.
Gator Builder is designed to be intuitive, easy to use, and the AI builder is aimed at those who don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling around with their website design. Gators website boasts that you can build a website in minutes by following five easy steps. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your site so the AI can design it for you.
Sounds simple enough, but how do they hold up in the competitive world of website design and, more importantly, are they right for you? We’ll go through the ins’ and outs’ in this Gator Builder Review to find out.
Ease of Use
How Easy is Gator Builder to Use?
Before you sign up, your first job is to choose your domain name and TLD (which stands for Top Level Domain, i.e., .com or .co.uk). You then have to select your plan and pay up before you can begin building your site, although they offer a 45-day money-back guarantee if you decide they are not for you.
Once you’re all signed up, you’ll choose between Express set up or Traditional setup. Express setup is a new option and takes you to the AI builder. You’ll be asked a series of questions about the purpose of your site.
You’ll then input your site name and choose whether to set a cover image using their stock images or upload one of your own.
You then take your pick of different fonts, colour schemes and navigation styles. Type in some details, and your site is set up. All that’s left is for you to do some minor editing, and you can go live.
When choosing your specifications, try to think about them cohesively, as it’s relatively easy to end up with a site that looks a little mismatched if you’re not careful. Traditional setup means you’ll choose your template and take more time on the editing.
Templates are categorised by industry, and you’re free to browse or use the search bar. You’re then straight into the editing. There is a helpful tutorial to help you get to grips with the editor immediately, so you don’t need to spend any time looking for specific features.
The editor is drag and drop style, and you can place what you want where you want. You can drop text and images into position without worrying about pre-positioned boxes. Changing font style, size and colour is super easy, as well as embedding videos, blogs, and social media posts.
They have created a user-friendly editor that requires little to no tech skills to use. With that being said, if you’re a bit sloppy with adding content, it can start to look messy and overlap
Tools and Features
What Are The Features Of Gator Builder?
Most of Gator Builders’ features are available even with the cheapest plan, including a domain name (with free access for one year). Also included is SSL certification to ensure your site is secure. Mobile-responsive templates ensure your site looks great on any device, as well as helpful analytics.
Their social media integration is another helpful feature. You can add links to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. They also give you email marketing tools. In contrast, the cheapest package is the most limited. However, it still gives you the ability to run three email campaigns and send 250 unique emails per month.
As for other forms of marketing, they supply contact management, lead capture forms, events sections, site stats and $200 (£141.29) in search engine marketing credit.
So far, so generous. It’s not that common for a website builder to offer so many features as standard. While all the price plans come with eCommerce features, their eCommerce plan is the only one that doesn’t charge commission.
The basic plan doesn’t offer any appointment features. Still, the other two have calendar management and email notifications. Their newest addition of an AI builder option is pretty appealing.
You still get to have a lot of input into the design process through the builder’s questions and options. Although, should you want more design control, they have still kept the traditional editor.
They offer a logomaker tool that can help you with branding if you need it, and you can access Unsplash at no extra cost should you require any stock images.
Their auto-save feature is pretty useful, as you can view and revert to older versions of your site if you want to. This is especially useful if you’d like to try something out but are unsure if or how it’s going to work. You can always go back to an earlier edition if it all goes wrong.
HostGator is already a top host provider. The best feature is that their website builder offers unlimited bandwidth and storage with any payment plan.
Plans and Pricing
How Much Does Gator Builder Cost?
HostGator offers three plans, but they currently have a 50% off sale, so if you sign up quickly, you could get yourself a bargain. I’ve used the full price for this section, so you can expect half of what I quote here if you sign up during their sale.
Hostagtor currently has a 50% Discount Sale
Their basic plan is Express Start, and the cheapest way of getting it is by paying £184.32 for two years upfront (that’s £7.68 per month if you break it down). A year’s subscription is £110.64, or you can pay £9.98 billed monthly. You can connect your domain and access it free for one year, get website statistics, phone support, bookings and three store products. However, you have to pay a 3% store transaction fee) and basic shipping management.
The mid-range plan is Express Site and charged at £287.52 for two years, £147.47 for one and £12.98 if you pay monthly. You only actually pay £24 extra over two years or £8.29, moreover one year if you choose to pay monthly. The extras you get with this plan are ten store products instead of three and priority customer support.
The Express Store is their eCommerce plan and is £442.80 for two years, £239.76 for one or £24.98 a month. Paying upfront will save you £156.72 over two years or £60 over one year. This plan gives you unlimited products with no transaction fees, as well as upgrading your shipping management from basic to advanced.
A domain for one year with Hostgator would be around $12.95 (£9.15), but they also charge a “privacy protection” fee of $14.95 (£10.56), bringing your yearly total to $27.90 (£19.72 based on current exchange rates).
Gator Builder Premium Website Plans
|Main Features||Express Start||Express Site||Express Store|
|Free Domain for 1 Year||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|Fully mobile responsive||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|Free SSL Certificate||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|Unsplash image library||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|Number of products (store)||3||10||Unlimited|
|Customer Care||24/7 chat and email||24/7 chat and email||24/7 chat and email|
Help & Support
How Good is Gator Builder Support?
It’s a given that website builders come armed with a knowledge base, so you can help yourself should you encounter a common issue. Gator builder is no different. You can search the knowledge base or browse articles that come in several different categories. They have articles that are sorted by relevance and are easy to browse. You can also filter the results to find what you need quickly and easily.
If you are unable to solve the issue yourself you all of the price plans come with telephone support, although only the Express Site and Express Store have ‘priority support’ .Gator Builder has support available all year 24/7 through the chat option.
If you cannot solve the issue yourself, all of the price plans come with telephone support. However, only the Express Site and Express Store have ‘priority support.’ Gator Builder has support available all year, 24/7 through the chat option.
This is a live chat rather than a chatbot, and you will be answered quickly by a friendly and knowledgeable team member. This is a great feature to have as you can be helped in real-time while working on your site. When I asked a question, it was answered and resolved in under a minute.
Telephone support is available, but you will have to call the USA. While it is a toll-free number in America, you will still have to pay for an international call if you’re calling from the UK. As the Live Chat feature is free and very efficient, you probably won’t need to call at all, but If you do want to speak to someone, the phone lines are operational Monday to Friday 11 am-9 pm EST (4 pm-2 am GMT)
Pros & Cons
What We Like & Dislike About Gator Builder
What Are The Alternatives To Gator Builder?
Do We Recommend Gator Builder?
This builder is great for a wide range of users. Gator Builder will cater nicely to small businesses, blogs and personal websites. While you can have an online shop with Gator Builder, some of their eCommerce features are somewhat lacking.
If you’re looking to sell online, you may want to look at a few other options before going with Gator. The templates on offer look great, but their style is pretty simple, and the range is limited.
This is fine for most users, but if you’re looking for more creativity, you might want to go elsewhere. Both the AI and traditional editor are straightforward to use and produce good, workable results reasonably quickly, making it an excellent option for a beginner.
Their Express Start package has a lot to offer, even though they market the Express Site mid-range package as their most popular. In truth, you only get to add seven more products to your store and access the appointment features by upgrading to Express Site.
This makes the cheapest option highly viable to personal users, blogs and even some small businesses. You can still take full advantage of most of the features and unlimited storage and bandwidth. While Gator Builder certainly isn’t the cheapest, it sits nicely in the middle of the market, and I would say it is still good value.
The monthly payments won’t cost you much more than paying upfront, which is a nice touch. I appreciate that they’ve kept the cheapest plan and monthly payments a feasible choice. While some builders give you these options, they usually feel like a token offering rather than a legitimate alternative.
Editor & User Ratings
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