In this post, I’m going to compare Wix vs Gator, test their ease of use and performance, check the templates and pricing – and specify which website builder is better suited for your upcoming project.
When it comes to Wix and HostGator website builders – both brands are definitely popular and have built their names in the web development industry. However, Wix is more known to be a great website builder, meanwhile, HostGator is a well-known brand in the hosting industry.
However, this post is not about comparing the hosting services. Here, I will compare an industry-leading website builder – Wix, with one of the most popular hosting provider’s offered website builder – Gator.
When it comes to design flexibility, Wix and Gator are two of the most powerful website builders available. Wix is known for its incredible customization potential and its feature-rich editing interface, but the Gator website builder actually appears quite similar for a much lower price.
The real question is how well the Gator website builder compares to Wix. Does it offer the same level of features, or is it a poor imitation?
Well, neither. Since both of these builders have their pros and cons – they are suitable for different goals. If you want a basic looking website and something cheap to start with – pick Gator. If you fancy pixel-perfect customization and detail and have more time to spend on tweaking your website – choose Wix.
Comparing Wix vs Gator is, in some ways, like comparing an industry giant with the new kid on the block. Wix has been the most powerful website builder on the market for years, but HostGator’s website builder has tried to challenge for the position by offering a very similar editor with essentially the same (yet far more limited) features.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t do a very good job. Although Wix and Gator both have drag-and-drop editors with pixel-perfect design flexibility, Wix’s is a lot more powerful. On top of this, Wix provides the option of using the Wix ADI, which is a more beginner-friendly choice for those who want to get online fast.
However, Gator does offer much cheaper subscriptions. Its low-end plans start from just over $3/month, compared to Wix’s cheapest, which is $13/month. Similarly, Gator offers much more affordable eCommerce solutions.
However, in this case, the price matters as it dictates what you’re going to get depending on how much you are willing to pay for the website you’re building. Gator being cheap is great but at the same time features offered are far less flexible and powerful compared to Wix.
So, in this Wix vs Gator comparison, I’m going to take a close look at both builders and check just how well they compare to each other. I will cover everything from ease of use to design flexibility and performance, providing enough information for you to decide which one’s a better choice for you.
At first glance, Gator appears to be a significantly cheaper option than Wix. It offers three plans going from $3.84/month to $9.22/month, compared to Wix’s eight plans ranging from $13/month to $500/month.
However, Wix does offer a Free Forever plan and Gator doesn’t. Meaning that you can use the most limited plan in Wix for free unless you decide to upgrade, however, the resources and features are barely enough for a basic website.
A closer look at Gator’s pricing structure reveals that the quoted prices are only valid for the first 24 months and only if you’re subscribing to that website builder for 2 years.
Following this, they will double, which means that they really range from $7.68/month to $18.44/month. Although Gator is still cheaper than Wix when this is taken into account, the playing field does become a lot more even.
I looked closely at Gator’s prices, and I felt that the low prices were justified. The Gator’s Starter plan costs $3.84/month (for the first year) and includes free hosting, a custom domain, and basic website analytics tools.
Upgrading to the Premium plan costs $5.99/month (for the first year) and gives you access to everything in the Starter plan plus priority support. Finally, Gator’s eCommerce plan will cost you $9.22/month for the first year, and includes basic online store features.
Meanwhile, Wix offers a much better selection of website building plans, with four dedicated website building subscriptions and four eCommerce/business-oriented subscriptions. The cheapest of Wix’s website-specific subscriptions, the Combo plan ($13/month), offers similar features to Gator’s Starter plan, but is much more expensive.
Upgrading to the Unlimited plan ($17/month) will give you access to more server resources for your website and a powerful analytics plugin. Similarly, the Pro plan ($22/month) includes even better server resources and additional marketing features.
Finally, Wix’s VIP plan costs $39/month and includes priority VIP support. In a way, this is comparable to Gator’s Premium plan – which only costs $5.99/month.
If we look at Wix’s eCommerce solutions, it immediately becomes obvious that they are more expensive. The Business Basic ($23/month), Business Unlimited ($27/month) and Business VIP ($49/month) plans include increasingly powerful eCommerce features and tools.
Finally, the Enterprise plan, which costs a huge $500/month, includes custom business solutions for large websites and eCommerce stores.
In the end, make sure you don’t choose between Gator and Wix based on price alone. Also, consider the features they offer and which is better suited to your needs.
Since Gator and Wix offer very similar website builders, I paid particular attention to how easy each was to use. Wix is known to be a little confusing for beginners due to the limitless flexibility, but I was actually impressed with the Gator’s clean and simple editing interface.
I began by signing up for a new account and building a simple website with Gator. When I clicked on the “create a new website” button I was taken directly to a template selection page, where I could choose from over 200 designs.
Following this, I was taken straight to the Gator site editor, which is where the fun really began.
At first glance, the Gator editing interface appeared tidy and intuitive. Navigating through the different editing tabs was easy, and I never really reached a point where I wasn’t sure what I was doing.
Ultimately, the thing that really stands out about the Gator builder is that it offers the same pixel-perfect customizability as Wix. Elements can be dragged and dropped anywhere you want, giving you the complete design flexibility to create the website you want.
However, this flexibility also comes with a downside. Gator offers no protection against messy designs. You have to make space for an element before adding it. Otherwise, it will simply sit on top of whatever’s already there.
As an example, the image below shows how in merely a few seconds I spammed random elements one on top of the other and Gator did nothing to prevent it.
However, I was quite happy with the general layout of the editing dashboard. It allows you to manage pretty much everything from the same place, including your blog, store, analytics, and ongoing content additions.
Although the Gator builder didn’t stand out – mainly because of its slightly messy editor and the lack of more interesting elements – it did okay. Still, it doesn’t really stack up against Wix.
All things considered, Wix offers more powerful editing, a much more advanced design interface, and better tools and features. I did build a quick site with Wix to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, and this simply should reinforce your first impressions.
Unlike Gator, Wix actually gives you two options when you’re starting a new website. The Wix ADI uses industry-leading artificial design intelligence to build a website template for you, while the Wix Editor is a drag-and-drop builder that’s very similar to Gator.
Now, Wix ADI is a great tool for those who want to get online quickly. It certainly isn’t as powerful as the Wix Editor or the Gator builder, but it’s a lot more beginner-friendly and intuitive.
Using Wix ADI involves answering a few questions about the type of website you want and the design styles that appeal to you. Once you’ve worked through the questionnaire, Wix will provide a custom-made template for you.
You won’t have the same pixel-perfect design flexibility that the Wix Editor offers, but you will be able to add your own content and customize things to some extent.
On the other hand, the Wix Editor offers arguably the most advanced website builder available. It is quite similar to the Gator builder, but any Wix vs Gator comparison will quickly show that Wix comes with many more advanced features and a much more powerful editing interface.
One of the biggest things I noticed when comparing Wix and Gator was that Wix offers many more dynamic elements. Overall, this just made it feel a bit more powerful.
I will say that the Wix Editor isn’t very beginner-friendly. Like the Gator builder, it can be confusing for those without a lot of web design experience. The sheer number of tools available can take some time to get used to, and the drag-and-drop builder can get messy if you’re not careful.
Both Wix and Gator perform quite well on the design and templates front. Both builders offer great theme libraries and use powerful drag-and-drop editing interfaces.
Gator offers over 200 fully customizable templates designed for all types of websites. However, I have to admit that I found them quite simplistic, and a lot of them looked very similar to each other and… sort of boring?
But the fact that Gator allows you to customize every aspect of your website means that you aren’t confined by its templates. As long as you can find one that represents a decent starting point, then you will be fine.
On the other hand, Wix offers a huge template library featuring over 500 professionally developed designs. This is a much greater range than Gator has, including both general website themes and niche-specific designs with built-in special features.
I particularly like the fact that Wix’s templates are grouped into very specific categories. This makes it quite easy to choose a template that’s suited for the type of website you want to build.
It’s also worth noting that Wix provides code access, allowing you to fine-tune your site’s design even further if you want to. You can even add custom code to enhance your site’s functionality.
Both Wix and Gator offer a range of features for businesses, but Wix clearly comes out on top again. Its eCommerce tools are better than Gator’s, it provides better search engine optimization (SEO), and it gives you access to a great email marketing system.
If you’re running a business website, then SEO is an important consideration. Fortunately, Wix excels on this front. For starters, websites built with Wix perform very well, which is good for native SEO. You can also integrate SEO plugins to your website and add meta data to your pages and image files.
On the other hand, Gator offers very little to be excited about in terms of SEO. Websites built with it perform terribly, in my experience, and it offers very few native SEO tools.
Similarly, Gator doesn’t provide any sort of in-house email marketing features.
On the other hand, Wix comes with a built-in email marketing system that allows you to grow your mailing list and build custom emails.
Finally, Wix also offers much more powerful eCommerce features than Gator. Really, I wouldn’t bother using Gator’s online store plan, even though it’s much cheaper than Wix’s. It only provides the most basic eCommerce features, while Wix stores are actually quite advanced.
In order to complete my Wix vs Gator comparison, I ran two industry-recognized performance tests on the websites I built. First I ran a GTmetrix load speed test, followed by a LoadImpact server response and performance test.
Although Wix isn’t known for its high performing websites, the GTmetrix test I ran on a site I built with it actually turned up quite good results. The PageSpeed score of 89% and YSlow score of 90% are well above average and point towards great performance. However, the full load time of 8.1 seconds is a little long, and this worried me a bit.
On the other hand, my Gator website performed very badly. The YSlow score of 79% is acceptable – just – but the PageSpeed score of 49% is terrible. This tells me that my website has a lot of problems with its code, content management, and server performance.
Wix also performed quite well in the LoadImpact test. When my website was subjected to 50 virtual users (green line in the image below) making well over 500 requests per second (purple line) server response times (blue line) remained constant. This tells me that my site has plenty of server resources and is equipped to cope with large visitor loads.
Overall, my Gator website didn’t perform too badly in the LoadImpact performance test either. Response times did spike to almost 500ms on one occasion during the test, but for the rest of the time, they remained constant around 25ms.
In this Wix vs Gator comparison, I looked at a range of metrics to determine which website builder is better. Wix offers an industry-leading drag-and-drop builder and a great range of design templates, while Gator is a cheap option for those with a limited budget.
Ultimately, Wix came out ahead in almost every comparison. Its editor is more powerful and comes with the added choice of using the Wix ADI for complete beginners. Similarly, its template library is larger than Gator’s, and its designs are more complex and attractive.
Wix also provides much better features for business owners. On top of this, the website I built with Wix well outperformed my Gator site.
The only area in which Gator beats Wix is pricing. It offers much cheaper subscriptions, but ultimately this is because the services it provides simply aren’t as feature-rich as Wix’s.
I’d recommend using Wix if you want to build a more complex website with the world’s most powerful drag-and-drop builder. However, if you’re aiming for a basic website and trying to budget – then Gator is a clever choice.
Although Wix and Gator are useful in certain situations, there are plenty of other website builders out there. With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of some of the best alternatives:
Shopify is a great alternative to both Wix and Gator if you’re aiming to build a powerful eCommerce store. It’s a bit more expensive solution than the later two website builders, however it’s fully packed with amazing features for building a successful online store.
GoDaddy Website Builder comes with a very beginner-friendly editing interface and is a great alternative for those who want to get online without spending too much time or money.
The design interface isn’t as flexible and pretty as Wix’s, and it’s not as cheap as Gator, but it comes as a nice middle-ground solution between the two for building a great website.
If you’re planning on focusing on blogging, then WordPress.com is a good option. It’s powerful and intuitive, and it comes with great templates, a wide choice of plugins and a great blog post editor that is really beginner-friendly.