The web hosting and site building scene is a diverse and innovative market space, full of fantastic companies. And if you're looking to make a site and go online, two big names have definitely attracted your attention: Wix and HostGator.
Which one should you choose?
I'm here to help you settle, once and for all, the battle of Wix vs HostGator. As you're about to find out, these providers actually offer very distinct services, making them suitable for different users. Let's compare the two. And if you want a more in-depth take on these businesses, check out my Wix and HostGator reviews.
What Is Wix?
Wix is probably one of the best-known site building services on the internet today, boasting over 100 million users. Its site building software comes with over 500 highly-polished templates. It uses a drag-and-drop design, letting beginners create great looking sites.
Wix takes an open-ended approach to site design. It lets you place content in any position you like. One common Wix complaint is that once you pick a template, you're stuck with it. Automatic migration of content between designs isn't possible.
But Wix isn't just a site building toolkit; all its packages include website hosting too. We'll discuss pricing and specs more below.
For now, all you need to know is that Wix offers a range of plans that include all of the standard features you'd receive with a regular website host, including SSL certificates and SEO tools.
What Is HostGator?
HostGator is first and foremost a server hosting service. It offers all manner of different packages including WordPress, VPS, Dedicated and Shared hosting architectures.
That means it's a far more open-ended service than Wix, which only allows you to manage your website through its own interface.
But, if we're looking for a direct Wix competitor, HostGator also offers its own website building software, known as the 'Gator Website Builder'.
The Gator packages will be the focus of this comparison because they're most directly comparable with Wix's service. Like the Wix website builder, Gator is easy to get to grips with. It too uses a drag-and-drop design and comes with about 500 templates.
Wix Is A Wonderful Design Toolbox, HostGator Isn't
When it comes to template quality, there's a significant difference between these hosts. Gator website builder templates aren't exactly bad, they look modern and respond well to different screen sizes, but they are quite basic.
You won't find many dynamic objects on Gator-built websites. Also, even though there are a lot of them, there's not a lot of meaningful variation between the different templates in the Gator collection.
By contrast, Wix's templates are stylish and beautifully designed. Lots include video elements and use full-bleed scrolling effects to provide an interactive user experience. What's more, no two Wix templates are identical. Each one feels extremely unique thanks to unusual color schemes and well-thought-out design.
HostGator Has The Best Customer Support
Just because Wix is the better design tool, it doesn't mean all is lost for HostGator. In the Wix vs HostGator debate, when it comes to factors like customer support, HostGator is the obvious winner.
HostGator's customer service representatives are available 24/7 by both live chat, over the phone and through a ticket messaging service. To help them solve your technical troubles quickly, HostGator even offers a 'Share Your Screen' feature. And, as if that wasn't enough, there's a very active HostGator forum on which you can interact directly with other customers.
Wix, on the other hand, doesn't have any 24/7 customer support service. You can submit a support ticket at any time of day, but there's no guaranteed response period. It's also possible to request a call back during PST working hours.
Wix vs HostGator Pricing: HostGator Offers Better Value
Paid Wix plans range between $4.50 and $24.50/month. It also has a completely free package. However, the free and $4.50/month 'Connect Domain' package only include 1GB bandwidth and 500MB storage. Therefore, they aren't suitable for most websites.
Instead, for most users, I recommend the 'Unlimited' package which costs $12.50/month. It comes with 10GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, and free domain registration.
HostGator doesn't offer a free plan. Its packages begin at $3.84/month and extend up to $9.22/month. Note that these prices represent a 50% discount on the first term of your contract.
However, even though the HostGator base package normally costs $7.68/month, its plans offer significantly more value for money than Wix's. How can that be? Because all HostGator packages include unlimited storage and bandwidth. The maximum amount of space you can get with Wix is just 20GB.
But, if you are considering building and hosting an eCommerce website with either of these services, you'll actually find that Wix is the more affordable web host and site builder. The standard price of the HostGator eCommerce plan is $18.44/month. That means its more expensive than the $16.50/month Wix eCommerce plan.
Performance: Both Are Reliable
Because these services both offer web hosting as well as site building, I was keen to see which was the most reliable by testing server uptime. I'm happy to report that you shouldn't be let down by either service. In both my Wix and HostGator reviews, the uptime rates I recorded were 100%. And both had response times hovering around half a second.
That's pretty excellent, and it means that both services are suitable for business or professional use, as readers should have no issues when trying to load your site.
The strong performances can probably be explained by the fact that these are both large companies that operate well-maintained server infrastructures.
Here is the performance data for HostGator servers:
And here's the performance from Wix. Slightly slower response times - but more stable:
Most web users will be perfectly happy with websites that load in two seconds or less. So no issues with performance here.
Wix vs HostGator Conclusion: Wix Is Best But HostGator Is Cheaper
HostGator is more affordable than Wix and has better customer support. However, because of HostGator's limited website builder, it's clear that Wix is the winner of this comparison.
It's a far better design tool which offers more control over page layout. Wix also has prettier website templates which are more interactive than HostGator's static websites. Even so, if you need a flexible and affordable service, HostGator is worth considering.
What did you think of my Wix vs HostGator comparison? I'd love to hear your comments, so post them below!