HostGator vs Squarespace: Which is Better?

HostGator vs Squarespace: Which is Better?

Hostgator and Squarespace are two web platforms that have notable distinctions in terms of functionality, applicability, flexibility and pricing. The major difference between the systems, though, is their initial implication and the goals they are used for.

HostGator – is one of the most popular hosting providers, which is extensively used for website storage. The system offers high end hosting solutions as well as different packages to comply with the needs of its subscribers. It powers a simple DIY website builder – Gator yet it can also be used with other website builders and CMS, including WordPress.

Squarespace – is a trusted feature-rich cloud website builder, which offers the all-in-one approach to the process of website development, customization, hosting and its further promotion. The software makes it possible to set up and manage any type of project from scratch, being a nice pick for newbies and web design experts.

Both systems occupy top positions in their own niches, having much to offer to the target audience. They deserve user attention in terms of flexibility and functionality. Before you decide on the most suitable solution to launch and host your website, take your time to explore all the nuances of these platforms. It’s high time to compare them now.

HostGator vs Squarespace: General Overview

HostGator vs Squarespace: General Overview

HostGator offers top notch hosting solutions to everyone, who values reliability and functionality. The system allows picking VPS and shared hosting as well as dedicated server and even a special plan for WordPress projects. It scales from easy to expert hosting plans, guaranteeing high end credibility, 99.9% uptime rates, free SSL certificate connection, flexible pricing, professional customer support, easy WordPress installation and other advantages that make the platform stand out from the crowd.

The foundation of the software dates back to 2002, when HostGator was initially introduced to the market. Since that time, the credibility and popularity of the platform has increased – just as the number of its subscribers. According to recent stats, it currently exceeds 2,195,905 users. The system has won such an impressive reputation due to its advanced functionality and flexibility that do not compromise with affordable pricing policy.

Squarespace belongs to the list of the most trusted and feature-rich DIY website builders. It works equally great for non-techies and web experts, having much to offer to both user categories. The system allows starting quality projects for commercial and non-commercial use, including business websites, landing pages, portfolios, blogs, digital stores, restaurant and cafe websites etc.

The software entered the market in 2003 as the all-in-one web design solution. As the time went by, it evolved into one of the most popular website builders. No wonder, it is currently included in the list of the best web design systems. Recent reports tell about 4,491,882 Squarespace subscribers. This is more than impressive. The website builder adheres to contemporary web design trends, offering responsive website development approach, powerful integrated functionality, advanced customer support and reliable hosting all in one place.

HostGator and Squarespace differ from each other mainly due to their implications and the goals they serve. HostGator is a trusted host, yet it can be also applied for website development, when used in conjunction with WordPress, for example. Squarespace provides hosting and web development solutions by default, which helps save time and effort sometimes.

HostGator vs Squarespace: Which One Is Easier to Use?

HostGator vs Squarespace: Which One Is Easier to Use?

HostGator stands out from the crowd due to its powerful website hosting services as well as the opportunity of WordPress CMS integration. The software ensures enhanced security measures, trusted customer support options and high end integrations. This allows setting up, customizing and hosting quality websites, using the toolset the system has in stock.

WordPress Installation

As a popular hosting provider, HostGator allows for free website transfer, free domain name connection and use for the first year after the sign up process, unlimited bandwidth, utmost uptime guarantee, one-click WordPress installation and other advantages. What you need to get started is to register for a personal account, enter the dashboard and adjust the settings available there. You will be able to register/transfer a domain, pick the required hosting type, choose and integrate extensions from the built-in marketplace, register a custom email address for business use etc.

Possibility of WordPress integration allows creating web projects and hosting them on the system servers without the need to look for a third-party host. You can set up a feature-rich website from scratch here. If you encounter any problems, you can contact the customer support team to avail professional help. It is possible to get in touch with web experts via Live Chat and phone. To find out more about the host, you can browse the integrated Knowledge Base as well as the Blog section with multiple posts and extra resources available there.

Squarespace ensures advanced usability, trustability, smooth website browsing and hassle-free project development process. The website builder offers multiple web design solutions to beginners and web experts without requiring deep coding skills. This becomes simpler with the built-in WYSIWYG editor available by default. At the same time, it allows for code editing to let users create unique web projects from scratch.

Squarespace editor

To start working with the system, you need to sign up for a personal account first and to access the dashboard with a toolset available for web development. To upload the required files and to proceed to your project customization, you’ll have to access the Style Editor. This is where you will be able to add and customize content blocks, upload new files, adjust elements and their positions, create your project layout.

Read also: Squarespace Review.

If there is anything you would like to figure out during the web design process, you can get in touch with Squarespace support team, when required. The system offers a Live chat to interact with users, email ticketing system as well as extensive Knowledge Base. The latter includes numerous posts, video and text tutorials, manuals, guides and online resources as well as a local Community Forum.

Thus, HostGator is quite a functional solution for users, whio have the experience of working with WordPress. However, the host can hardly be called an easy software as it takes time, skills and effort to explore and master it. Squarespace, in its turn, offers a more intuitive approach to the process of website development, offering a WYSIWYG editor by default.

HostGator vs Squarespace: Design and Flexibility

HostGator vs Squarespace: Design and Flexibility

Differing in flexibility and functionality, HostGator and Squarespace also have notable distinctions in terms of usability, customizability, convenience and pricing policy. As a well-known service, HostGator unveils impressive and versatile hosting solutions, although, users can also build web projects with WordPress, Gator and other platforms here. As opposed to HostGator, Squarespace allows creating, managing and hosting websites at a time, without the need to look for a third-party host. To define the major distinctions between the platforms, it makes sense to compare the major nuances in details.

eCommerce

HostGator makes it possible to start and hsot all kinds of web projects, including ecommerce websites. Much depends upon the platform you will use for website creation. When used in conjunction with WordPress, the software allows integrating specialized eCommerce plugins. There are many of them out there, but the most well-known and popular extension is WooCommerce. This is a free shopping cart plugin, which allows starting all types of small-to-large web stores. What you can do here is creating and managing product galleries, designing show windows, using inventory management tools, choosing shipping/payment details etc.

HostGator vs Squarespace: Which is Better?

Squarespace doesn’t require any third-party plugin integration to get started with a quality web store. There is a built-in eCommerce engine here, which makes it possible to connect small/medium online stores to further update and customize them. The toolset is provided out of the box.

The website builder allows creating product catalogues, setting up product parameters, adjusting item descriptions and special details, uploading and managing multiple product variations, and assigning their major characteristics, adding videos/images, pricing etc. If needed, you can introduce discounts, loyalty programs and special offers tpo new and regular customers. An important detail is that Squarespace has a separate section of eCommerce templates to cover versatile niches.

Squarespace eCommerce

As to the eCommerce aspect, starting a web store with Squarespace is simpler and more convenient, especially for beginners. Due to the integrated eCommerce engine, you can pick and adjust special parameters for your digital store. HostGator makes it possible to set up a digital store with WordPress yet this requires extra plugin integration and customization.

Blogging

HostGator works well for blog creation, management and hosting, when used with WordPress. The thing is that CMS was initially created with a blogging focus in mind and, thus, it offers an extensive range of niche-related tools and features. Users may choose from dozens of blog templates and numerous plugins to enhance their blog design and performance. Whatever theme you will go for, you will be able to add new posts, update the existing publications, integrate media files, adjust blog promotion settings anf, finally, host the project on the system servers.

WordPress Post New Code Editor

Squarespace comes with a built-in blogging engine, which lets the system subscribers set up and customize quality blogs for personal and business use. Blog management options are quite versatile here as well. Users can add and edit new posts, customize and update the existing ones, pick and date and schedule new publications, enable the commenting feature, set up special blog configuration etc. What’s important, there is an opportunity to select a suitable blog template to create personalized blog design. Mind that if you already have a blog started with Tumblr, WordPress or any other blogging platform, you can transfer it to Squarespace servers, when required.

Squarespace Blogging

Speaking about blogging, both platforms let their subscribers create and manage feature-rich blogs. Newbies will appreciate an opportunity to use Squarespace for this purpose and the system does not require a deep learning curve to get started with a new project. Using HostGator and WordPress will be a more complicated solution as the CMS implies the necessity to learn coding basics as well as integrate niche plugins.

Third-Party Integrations and Special Features

HostGator makes it possible to browse its Marketplace as soon as you sign up for an account. You will have an opportunity to choose and integrate dozens of extensions available in stock here to boost your project functionality. Some of the most popular widgets include CodeGuard, Office 365, Constant Contact, Google Workspace, SSL Management, SiteLock etc. Apart from Gator and WordPress, users also have an opportunity to install other website builders and CMS, such as Weebly, Joomla, Magento etc. Additionally, you can integrate social media services, if you plan to promote your website content on the web.

WordPress Plugins

When used with WordPress, HostGator allows extending your website functionality by means of integrating third-party plugins. The choice depends upon your website specialization and the goal you intend to reach. The CMS allows picking from multiple free and paid integrations online to further add them to your project.

Squarespace does not imply the opportunity of external plugin integration yet there are many widgets available in stock here. Even though, you won’t find a built-in App Market here, the system still lets you choose and add some of the extensions it offers by default. Thus, you can add widgets to create appealing image galleries, social media buttons, contact forms as well as stats tracking and analytics tools.

One of the notable Squarespace highlights is its Unfold App – a high end storytelling tool applicable for the creation of stories and posts in social networks. The app is downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store for free yet there are premium advanced features you can opt for, if required. Finally, the website builder lets you work with its Logo Maker tool to create unique website logos to make your project stand out from the crowd.

In terms of integrations, HostGator unveils greater functionality and flexibility as compared to Squarespace. This is mainly achieved due to the powerful plugin integration options WordPress is known for. Likewise, the host allows choosing widgets from its built-in Marketplace. Squarespace does not have an App Market yet there is still an opportunity to use its integrated extensions as well as Logo Maker, Unfold App and other tools.

Template Editing

HostGator includes lots of themes, which are accessible in the corresponding section of the dashboard. This is the place, where you can also reach and install popular software (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Concrete5 etc.) as well as get some of the most impressive themes. Their cost constitutes $59 per sample.

The use of the system with WordPress grants access to hundreds of free and paid templates specially developed for the CMS by third-party experts. They are available on special resources and vary with regard to their parameters, cost, quality, safety etc. Whatever type of project you intend to set up and whatever niche it belongs to, you will definitely find a theme to customize here. Mind that premium templates are more secure and professional than free ones because of the reduced malware threats they may include. Before opting for a theme, you may preview it first. This is a handy solution for everyone.

WordPress Code Editor

The prevailing amount of WordPress templates available online are responsive by default. Their cost generally ranges between $29 and $200. WordPress boasts powerful HTML/CSS editing options, which require deep programming proficiency, however, yet allow creating unique website design.

Squarespace grants access to the rich template collection available in stock. It includes hundreds of responsive designs, which are free and customizable (see best Squarespace website examples). For user convenience, the designs are divided into niche categories based on the topics they belong to. A handy preview feature will help you see the design you are interested in closely to help you make the right choice.

The platform also allows exploring its collection of ready-made themes, which is a nice option for non-techies. This is where they can select and customize any template without any coding proficiency required. If you possess programming knowledge, then the system will let you work with codes to create personalized website design. Mind, though, that code editing feature is viable for Business Plan users only.

Squarespace Editor

The system also allows working with its Cover Page Builder. This is a handy tool for subscribers, who intend to design one-of-a-kind landing pages and one page websites. All in all, you can choose from over 29 pre-designed layouts here. To give the selected layout individual design, you can access and use the Page Editor. It allows picking from numerous blocks, typography tools, visual/animation effects and other elements.

As to template editing, Squarespace is a simple and more convenient solution to go for. It comes with a collection of ready-made templates as well as built-in design customization tools to give the selected theme individual design. HostGator used with WordPress implies the need to pick third-party themes, which are available online and can be customized with regard to users’ needs. This, however, is frequently impossible without deep coding proficiency.

HostGator vs Squarespace: General Pricing Comparison

HostGator vs Squarespace: General Pricing Comparison

HostGator pricing is reasonable and versatile. This makes it possible to pick a suitable plan with regard to the type of project and special requirements you have. The software offers three types of subscriptions that come at various prices and include diverse terms/services. You may go for a monthly/annual/2-year plan. The longer the duration of the plan is, the more budget you can save in the long run.

Shared Hosting

  • Hatchling Plan ($2.75/mo) – single website, free WP/cPanel website transfer, free SSL Certificate, unlimited bandwidth, one-click WP installation, free domain name;
  • Baby Plan ($3.50/mo) – unlimited websites + Hatchling Plan terms;
  • Business Plan ($5.25/mo) – Baby Plan terms + free upgrade to positive SSL, free SEO tools, free dedicated IP.

If you plan to use HostGator with WordPress, you will appreciate one of the following plans:

WordPress Hosting

  • Starter Plan ($5.95/mo) – unlimited bandwidth, 1 website, 100K visits per month, 1GB backups, free domain name, free SSL Certificate, free migration by the system web pros for 1 site, free email, 1-click WP install etc.;
  • Standard Plan ($7.95/mo) – 2 websites, 200K visits per month, 1GB backups, free domain name, free SSL Certificate, free migration by the system web pros for 2 sites etc.;
  • Business Plan ($9.95/mo) – 3 websites, 500K visits per month, 1GB backups, free domain name, free SSL Certificate, free migration by the system web pros for 3 sites etc.

Whatever plan you will go for, there is the 45-day money-back guarantee, if you are not satisfied with the selected solution for some reason.

Squarespace doesn‘t offer a completely free plan yet there is an opportunity to test the system during a free 14-day trial period. The platform does not require your credit card data yet you will have to sign up for a premium account upon the end of the trial. Have a look at them now:

  • Personal Plan ($12/mo billed annually) – up to 20 pages, 2 contributors, free custom domain, SEO features, unlimited bandwidth and storage, SSL Security, integrated website metrics, 24/7 customer support etc.;
  • Business Plan ($18/mo billed annually) – unlimited pages and AdWords Credit, premium blocks and integrations, professional email from Google, fully-integrated eCommerce, 3% transaction fees, advanced website analytics, unlimited contributors, CSS/JavaScript design customization etc.;
  • Basic Commerce ($26/mo billed annually) – unlimited products, storage and bandwidth, powerful eCommerce analytics, domain checkout feature, Instagram synchronization, customer accounts etc.
  • Advanced Commerce ($40/mo billed annually) – real-time carrier shipping, advanced shipping and discounts, limited availability labels, gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, APIs for order and inventory etc.

When it tackles the pricing policy, both systems have versatile and affordable offers. HostGator has separate plans for shared and WordPress hosting. However, the system may additionally require extra integrations, which will affect the final project cost. Squarespace offers fixed prices for its subscriptions, the choice of which is also quite extensive.

HostGator vs Squarespace: Which One Is the Best for SEO?

HostGator vs Squarespace: Which One Is the Best for SEO?

HostGator allows picking and integrating numerous SEO tools to enhance your website positions in the search engine results. Application of these tools will also have a positive impact upon your website traffic. If you are going to set up and promote a project with WordPress, you will additionally get access to numerous SEO plugins. Yoast SEO is the best solution to go for here. The plugin will let you set up a project to make it well-optimized for the search engines. Just follow the instructions and fill out corresponding fields to get started.

WordPress SEO

Squarespace comes with a set of built-in SEO tools that make it possible to correctly optimize your website for effective promotion. What you can do here is edit title and description as well as your project URL to make them SEO- and human-friendly. You can also fill out meta tags for website pages and hide them from indexing until your project is ready for publication. To simplify the SEO process for non-techies, the website builder offers a detailed checklist. There is also an opportunity to consult Squarespace experts, who can help you select a suitable SEO strategy.

Squarespace SEO Settings

Concerning the SEO aspect, both platforms guarantee quality project optimization. When using HostGator with WordPress, you can access and integrate SEO plugins to properly optimize your website. This definitely requires baseline coding proficiency. If you decide to give preference to Squarespace, the system will provide you with a set of integrated SEO tools as well as guidelines on effective project optimization.

Key Differences Between HostGator and Squarespace

HostGatorSquarespace
Ease of Use:HostGator is a popular and full-featured hosting provider. It offers versatile hosting solutions to meet a broad range of users’ needs. The platform can be used with website builders and CMS to let its subscribers design and host all types of web projects.Squarespace is a trusted cloud website builder, which offers the all-in-one approach to the website development process. It comes with a drag-and-drop editor, letting users set up and customize various types of web projects for personal and business use. No coding skills are required to work with it.
Functionality:The software grants access to specific features included into different plans. It also lets users integrate social media accounts and ensures high uptime tates, SSL Certificate connection along with the opportunity to integrate analytic tracking tools and third-party plugins.The website builder comes with a handy and convenient WYSIWYG editor, blogging and eCommerce engines, Logo Maker, social integrations etc. When starting a project with it, you can work with the advanced Cover Page Builder, stats tracking tools, Style Editor, Google Maps embedding option, Unfold App and other features.
Design:The platform allows starting and hosting websites with WordPress as well as with other website builders and CMS. Multiple themes are available in stock here and many of them can also be found online. The designs are free and paid and all of them are 100% customizable.Squarespace has a notable collection of quality templates. They are free, responsive and customizable. Everyone can reach a set of customization tools, Logo Maker to design a personalized brand logo as well as Image and Style Editors to create one-of-a-king project design here.
eCommerce:With HostGator, it is possible to launch, customize and promote online stores depending on the platform you will pick for this purpose.The system comes with a built-in eCommerce engine. It lets you run small/mid-size digital stores to offer versatile services/products for sale.
Blogging:Launching a blog with HostGator is possible as well. Just pick a website builder or a CMS like WordPress to use blogging tools/features they offer.Squarespace has a high end blogging engine, which ensures quality blog development. The system allows adding and editing posts, adjusting blog design and its parameters, scheduling new publications etc.
Small Business:HostGator works well for small business project development. Apart from advanced security features, the platform also provides reliable customer support, multiple design customization options as well as integration options. This also depends upon the system you will pick for website creation.The website builder is a nice solution for small business website design. It abounds in responsive niche-specific templates, powerful integrations, widgets, media files, stats tracking tools etc.
Pricing:HostGator is a cost-effective software. It has several pricing packages that differ in terms/services/hosting solutions included. The cost starts at $2.75/mo. There is also a separate group of WordPress hosting plans, the cost of which starts at $5.95/mo.Squarespace has a free 14-day trial and 4 premium plans. They differ in terms/services included. Their cost starts at $12/mo.
SEO:The software makes it possible to integrate SEO tools and to optimize a project you have created. You can also make use of SEO features offered by the CMS/website builder you have selected.The website builder is SEO-friendly, but it lets you adjust baseline settings only. The software also provides a checklist to control the process of SEO optimization. Opportunity to hide a website from indexing by the search engines is available here as well.
Customer Support:Live Chat, support team, Knowledge Base, international phone number, Blog section24/7 Live Chat, Community Forum, Email Support, FAQ section.

Comparison Conclusion: Which One Is Better?

It goes without saying that HostGator and Squarespace are two quite different platforms. It is all about their initial implication and goals they serve.

As a hosting provider, HostGator makes it possible to store all types of projects on its servers. When used with website builders or CMS like WordPress, it also allows building and customizing websites. This is quite a worthy solution for most users. Squarespace, in its turn, is the all-in-one website builder, which already includes hosting and web design tools in one place. There is no need to look for third-party web developers or hosts elsewhere. No deep coding proficiency is required here as well.

The question is: which software is still more preferable and which of them complies with your needs most? According to the results of the comparison, we may conclude that both platforms deserve user attention. Each of them has much to offer to the target audience, being the best in its niche.

Howard

About the Author

I'm Howard Steele, the founder and editor-in-chief of this website. With over 10 years of web building I know how complicated and tiresome this task can be for a non-IT person. Can’t decide which service to choose? Feel free to ask me for advice. Just describe your website needs, and I’ll gladly help you.

» Comparisons » HostGator vs Squarespace: Which is Better?