Web hosting companies are a dime a dozen. Whatever your needs, your tech expertise, or your budget, there’s something out there that is just right for you. It just takes a bit of research and figuring out who does what. We will be comparing two fairly well-known web hosts – Hostgator vs Wix.
Firstly, it’s important to note the biggest difference between the two. Hostgator is a web hosting provider that also offers a website builder, and Wix is a website builder platform that provides its own web hosting. While this may sound quite similar, the differences can be very significant.
If you’re confused about which of these two options will work best, don’t worry. We’ll do a full review below of Hostgator vs Wix, covering all the important points that you should consider before making a decision.
What Do You Need From A Web Hosting Provider?
Entrusting your website to a hosting provider is like leaving your baby with the sitter. You need to know that your kiddie is safe and being looked after, and if anything happens, the babysitter knows what to do.
Your web hosting service needs to provide that same reassurance. For many of us, our website is an important part of our business. It cannot be neglected or brushed off, and if we want it to be an effective part of our marketing strategy, we need to look after it from the start.
Your web hosting provider will ensure that your site is always up and running, bug-free, and reaching your clients. They will iron out any technical glitches that pop up, keep things updated, and make your website as secure as possible from hacking and viruses.
Let’s have a look at Hostgator vs Wix and how each of them fulfill these requirements of a good web host.
Hostgator was founded in 2002, so they have a good 17 years of hosting experience behind them. They provide shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting packages. Hostgator also features an easy-to-use drag and drop website builder, so if you are new to the game, you can get an eye-catching site up and running fairly quickly.
Wix began in 2006. They describe themselves as being “a platform that empowers anyone to create their own website.” Wix focuses more on website creation than they do hosting, but websites built through their platform need to be hosted by them as well.
Hostgator vs Wix
Now that we know the basics of each web hosting company, let’s get specific. We’ll go through some important features and compare the two – if you’re seriously considering either, though, be sure to do your own research on top of this review!
Both feature a drag-and-drop site builder that is easy to use for someone who has little or no knowledge of coding or advanced website building. Some hosts don’t offer a site builder, so this is helpful for an all-in-one experience.
Hostgator’s site builder is designed to be e-commerce friendly and easy to use, for pros and newbies alike. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to templates, and they’re categorized in such a way that it’s easy to find something suitable for any type of site, from online stores to photography or graphic design portfolios.
You will also have access to analytics and social media tools, all designed to be easy to understand. Their templates are also all mobile-friendly, meaning your newly created website will look great on any device.
Wix’s website builder is their primary feature. They were created as a user-friendly site builder for anyone and everyone, regardless of your technical knowledge.
Featuring e-commerce tools, a custom logo designer, a video maker, and SEO tools, they really cover all the things needed to create your site from scratch and through the platform alone, without any graphic design experience needed. If you do have more advanced skills, you can code to your heart’s content through their open development program, called Corvid.
Their template selection is also comprehensive and categorized into things like music, design, restaurants and food, portfolio, and blogs and forums. Even if this is your very first time creating a website, you literally can’t go wrong using their builder. Simplicity is their biggest selling point, and it’s super easy to customize things to your own specifications.
The Wix Market also offers a multitude of plugins available for download, some free and some paid. You really can build a website with every feature you need.
Hostgator uses cPanel for website administration, which is not difficult to learn. There are many tutorials available online, and many hosts use this same control panel.
Wix does not have a traditional control panel. They are focused more on web design, as opposed to web administration. This may not be a problem if you are less interested in having control of the ins and outs of your site, but if you’ve used cPanel before or are used to having a certain amount of involvement in the backend processes of your site, you might find it hard to adjust.
Hosting Plans & Prices:
Although Hostgator is the more hosting-oriented of the two, both offer a variety of packages and will have something suitable for everyone. Their pricing is competitive, but of course, you should research what you need from a plan before deciding which will suit you!
You can choose from shared, reseller, VPS, or dedicated server hosting. Their most basic shared plans all offer unmetered bandwidth and free SSL certificate and are very affordable. These are perfectly adequate for a small site with low to medium traffic.
Dedicated server hosting is going to set you back between $118.99 and $148.99 a month but offers maximum performance for high-powered, high-traffic websites. Small businesses should look at reseller or VPS hosting to begin. This will start off on a good foundation, with room to grow.
Wix is available for free, as long as you’re okay with having a website URL that looks something like username.wixsite.com/sitename. If you want your own domain names, premium support, increased storage, and better analytics, you’ll want to purchase a Wix Premium plan.
Their most basic offer on their Premium plans, at $4.50 per month, includes your own domain, 1GB bandwidth, and 500MB disk space storage. The most comprehensive of their shared website hosting plans comes in at $24.50 per month, with unlimited bandwidth and 20GB storage. You’ll also get a free logo, Site Booster and Analytics apps, and VIP support. These plans are more than sufficient for small sites with moderate amounts of traffic.
Their business plans, designed for e-commerce, start at $17 a month, and peak at $35 per month. These all include online payment methods and unlimited bandwidth, and have various other features geared towards helping your small business find online success.
Money Back Guarantee:
You’ll get a 45-day money back guarantee on any shared, reseller, or VPS plan you purchase. Be aware though, if your plan included a free domain name the cost of that domain will be deducted from your refund, so you won’t get the full amount back. Domain names are around $15, so be prepared to get back less than you originally paid.
It also seems that refunds are only available for customers who paid via PayPal or credit card, and also only for first-time users (if you have opened a second account, you may not qualify for a refund).
Wix allows you to get your money back if you aren’t satisfied with their services after 14 days. This is a shorter time period than most others, so don’t be caught out!
In short, Hostgator, yes. Wix, no. Wix will only host sites that are created on their own platform, although you can link a WordPress blog to your Wix site. Hostgator offers WordPress site hosting specifically, so if you’re an existing WordPress customer, Wix is not likely to work for you.
Speed & Uptime:
This is one of the biggest things to be aware of when it comes to a hosting provider. If your website is down, it won’t be searchable or findable online. While this may not be the biggest deal for small sites, for high-volume sites it can be a problem and end up costing them customers if they’re offline too often.
You’d think that Hostgator couldn’t possibly better their guarantee of 99.99% uptime but their stats during March 2019 take it a step up.
100% uptime means that their servers have not been offline at all. This is a great sign of the stability of their servers, and makes for happy customers.
Hostgator’s average response time is slightly slower than some, coming in at 599ms. This is the time it takes for the server to respond to a request from a browser. As shown below, their response time can be a bit up and down, but it’s still perfectly sufficient.
Wix comes in below Hostgator but only very slightly, at 99.99% uptime during March 2019. This is still a great sign of stability and reliability.
Wix’s response time is quite good at 349ms on average. It remains fairly consistent on a day to day basis, which is a good sign.
Most of us don’t even consider what security measures are going on in the background to protect our site from malicious things. A good web host has various things in place to ensure that you never have to worry about your site being compromised.
Hostgator provides security against DDoS attacks and have additional “confidential” security measures. They also perform weekly audits to identify and inform customers of weak passwords. Free SSL certificates are also helpful when it comes to security, your own and your clients’.
If you would like more security, you can subscribe to SiteLock Website Security through your Hostgator account. SiteLock scans for and removes malware. Hostgator has 3 SiteLock plans available, starting at $1.94 a month. It’s worth adding this on to your normal hosting plan for some extra peace of mind.
Wix takes a good few precautions to make site security as solid as possible. They are PCI compliant, which means they protect cardholder data for e-commerce sites. They are ISO compliant, meaning they adhere to industry best practices for managing security risks. Wix also uses TLS encryption to secure and protect online financial transactions.
More information on security, what they offer, and what their techs suggest you do from your side, you can check out their articles on security here.
If your website is an online store, you may want to go for something a bit more specific than the lowest priced plan. Both these web hosting companies have some features dedicated to e-commerce sites and online payments.
In terms of pricing, Hostgator’s e-commerce offering is more affordable than Wix, although once again you should not base your decision on this alone!
The Business plan is Hostgator’s own recommendation for online stores. It provides a free dedicated SSL, free dedicated IP address, and allows you to enable a shopping cart function. It also accepts multiple payment gateways. They do state, though, that any one of their plans would be adequate for e-commerce.
While they do not have their own e-commerce software, various third-party software apps can be installed through Hostgator’s control panel. You can find out more information about this here.
Wix has dedicated plans for e-commerce businesses. All 3 of them are able to accept online payments and offer 100% free commission.
Customer support is something that most people don’t think about until you’re in the thick of it and need help with something. Don’t neglect to research it! Customer reviews are the best way to get accurate info on how good the customer service really is.
You can use a number of options to ask for help on the Hostgator website. If you’re an existing customer, you can log in to the Customer Portal to find answers, or use the Support Portal to do a search. You’ll find a live chat option, telephone numbers (toll-free, local, and international), fax lines, and even mailing addresses. All of these are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There is also an extensive collection of video tutorials, forums, and even an option to share your screen with a tech. So if you have an issue, you can rest assured that you will be heard and helped.
One thing that Wix offers that many others don’t is that they offer phone support in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The downside is that they are not available 24/7. You can get hold of them between 5am and 5pm PST, so if you’re an international customer, you will need to do some maths before trying to call them. You can also request a callback or submit a ticket online.
The Help Center is packed full of info and all it takes is a simple search. Many answers to questions can be found here, without a need for a call. Wix also recommends using their social media channels to contact them if you have an issue.
You can view detailed customer reviews here for Hostgator, and here for Wix. Information from real people using these services is the best research, so it is advisable to go through these in some detail before making your choice!
It is also worth noting that although Wix rates higher than Hostgator in the reviews above, they are being reviewed for vastly different things. Read through the reviews very carefully – some are referring to the website builder, and some are referring to hosting. Make sure you are reading information that is relevant to you!
These two hosting providers are vastly different from one another, although they perform similar functions. The one that will work better for you depends on what you want your website to do, and what platform your website is on.
- Hostgator: WordPress users
- Wix: Beginners who are creating a site from scratch
If your main goal is to build a website, it is worth doing some research on Wix vs WordPress. As you will have seen, Wix is limiting in terms of hosting. If you already have a WordPress site, then you are not likely to be able to use Wix for hosting purposes, so Hostgator would be your best bet.
If you’re looking for a hosting provider, Hostgator vs Wix have some interesting features. They are vastly different companies, although both have good enough plans and packages for just about any type of website.
Ultimately, the choice between these two will come down to two things: if you’ve already built your website, and what functions you want your website to perform. Have a look at the Hostgator website for a more comprehensive view of what they offer, and check out the Wix site for the same.
Have you used either of these two for building a website or hosting your existing site? Let us know what you think of them in the comments!