Known for its minimalist templates and intuitive website editor, Squarespace enables individuals, creative professionals, and businesses to create and manage high-quality websites with ease. HostGator, on the other hand, is a household name when it comes to easy and secure web hosting services.
As an all-in-one solution, Squarespace plans already take care of hosting. As a go-to platform in the industry, HostGator also comes with its own website builder — Gator Website Builder — for users to start an online presence. In this review, we take a look at how Squarespace and HostGator’s website builders and features fare against each other.
Squarespace vs HostGator Comparison Chart
|Price||View Squarespace Plans Here||View Gator Website Builder Plans Here|
|Best Known For||Stunning, customizable templates and drag-and-drop website builder||Beginner-friendly interface and affordable plans|
|Image Library||Unsplash, Getty Images||Unsplash|
|Mobile Responsive Templates||Yes||Yes|
|Transaction Fees||3% for the Business Plan||3% for the Start and Site plans|
|Customer Support||24/7 email support and live chat, help center, community answers||24/7 chat and email, phone support, priority support (for select plans)|
Squarespace boasts a sleek and intuitive website builder while HostGator’s puts a premium on ease-of-use and functionality.
Creating a website takes a lot of time and effort. Squarespace makes this process easier with its intuitive website editor. The interface uses a drag-and-drop functionality, similar to what other site builders like Wix and Weebly offer. Unlike the other two, however, Squarespace employs a section-based approach. This means you can only add and edit content blocks in a section you’re working on.
This shouldn’t require too much of a learning curve. Squarespace’s editor is clean and organized, so users can navigate across features and functions seamlessly. The menu of content blocks is accessible from the left-side of your editing panel as well.
HostGator’s website builder, simply called Gator, isn’t as sleek as Squarespace’s. But the user-experience shows it’s designed largely for beginners. Once you’ve set up an account, you can choose a template and start editing. Sites created using the Gator already include a few pages. You can keep, delete, or even add to these easily.
HostGator also allows users to drag, drop, and move content blocks anywhere on your page. This creative freedom is enjoyable, especially if you are gunning for a specific look. But it also means you’ll have to manually adjust the positioning or else the elements end up overlapping and covering each other. In Squarespace, content blocks snap automatically into place where they need to be.
Templates and Customization
When it comes to website templates and customizations, Squarespace has the upper hand over Gator.
Both Squarespace and HostGator offer a number of website templates to choose from. These designs are categorized by industry, so it’s easy to get a feel of what your page will look like depending on your brand, product, or service. Squarespace’s templates, however, are arguably better-looking. A quick rundown of the editor’s 60+ templates shows minimalist, stunning, and mobile-friendly designs that put a premium on visual elements.
Now, each of these themes enjoys extensive customizable settings — from fonts and colors to headers and other page configurations. The size, style, and layout of content blocks can similarly be modified. For deeper customizations, Squarespace users also have access to a built-in CSS editor.
Just like Squarespace, Gator has plenty of style options for content blocks. You can similarly personalize the color palette and background texture of your page. Animations are also available. Despite all of these cool features, Gator feels a lot more limited design-wise compared to what you can do in Squarespace.
HostGator offers a wider selection of themes compared to Squarespace. But the platform’s over 200 mobile-friendly themes vary little and finding a standout design can be hard. The themes do come with pre-built pages and sections, so you can simply use them and populate your site with the elements you need. In addition, integrating social buttons is easy.
Squarespace and Gator have most of the features you’ve come to expect from website builders.
There’s no doubt about it, Squarespace is feature-packed. The platform boasts of unlimited bandwidth and storage across all its plans, as well as access to SEO tools and basic website metrics. If you’re planning to sell online, you’ll also find an extensive list of e-commerce features to use. This includes sales analytics, inventory and order management, as well as product merchandising.
HostGator’s website builder is no pushover either. Digital products, online payments, and order management are core features of its online store functionality. Like Squarespace, you can also create discounts, have access to inventory management, and make use of an integrated e-mail marketing program.
When it comes to marketing, both Squarespace and Gator seem to be on equal footing as well. You get the standard contact management features, which in Squarespace is branded as Profiles. Promotional banners, social media integrations, and lead capture forms are also available.
Nonetheless, Squarespace feels better made for e-commerce, with unlimited products available across its Business and Commerce plans. In Gator, this feature is exclusive only to its top-tier plan aptly called Store. Squarespace has also been expanding its support for third-party extensions. While nowhere near the app integrations available in other site builders, it does boost the potential functionality of your website.
Squarespace plans are more expensive compared to Gator’s.
Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan as Wix and Weebly do. You can try out the platform for 14 days as Squarespace doesn’t require a credit card. But after the trial period, you’ll need to subscribe to any of the paid plans to access the website builder.
Currently, Squarespace has four plans: Personal ($16 a month), Business ($26 a month), Basic Commerce ($30 a month), and Advanced Commerce ($46 a month). Only the Business plan charges a 3% transaction fee. However, it’s also the plan that offers the best discount on monthly fees — 30% in fact — if you opt to pay annually.
In contrast, the basic version of HostGator’s website builder is for free for those with an existing hosting plan. But HostGator doesn’t offer a free trial period. To test out the platform, you’ll have to be on a paid subscription. We highly recommend trying out Gator’s Start plan if you want to get an idea of how the website builder works.
Gator plans are also less expensive than Squarespace. Start costs $9.98 a month, Site is $12.98, while Store comes in at $24.98. Keep in mind, however, that HostGator offers plenty of deals and discounts. A one-year subscription leaves the Start at $9.22 a month, Site at $12.28 a month, and Store at $19.98 a month. You get more savings if you sign up for 2 years. Plus, additional discounts up to 50% are available courtesy of HostGator introductory promos.
Squarespace is better for high-quality, professional websites while HostGator is worth considering if you’re on a budget.
Website builders like Squarespace and HostGator’s Gator have made it easy to start an online presence. For those with little to zero knowledge about coding, these platforms are lifesavers. But which one is better?
If you’re a creative professional or business who needs to create, manage, and maintain a website on your own, Squarespace is the more complete solution. The website builder has a great selection of modern templates that will lend your site credibility. Moreover, Squarespace is great for content-based websites. So if you plan to build a portfolio, blog, or online store, this is the solution for you.
HostGator’s website builder isn’t as sleek or visually-stunning as Squarespace but it’s more than capable of launching a website quickly. Like Squarespace, you don’t need coding knowledge, too. While design options are limited, you do get solid marketing features and reliable online store functionality. If you already have a domain and hosting plan with HostGator and want to build a website fast, try out Gator. But if you need deeper customizations, leave the hosting to HostGator and go for other website builders instead. That includes Squarespace.
Squarespace is a website builder that banks on its solid catalog of professionally-designed templates. Gator, on the other hand, is a website builder that’s designed for beginners with no coding or web development knowledge.
The platform also supports template switching, so you can test multiple designs for your page without worrying about losing your content.
Yes, Gator applies a 3% transaction fee on its Start and Site plans.
You can upload 3 products on Gator’s Start plan, 10 products with the Site plan, and unlimited products if you’re subscribed to the Store plan.