Building a website from scratch can be an overwhelming task, especially for those with almost no knowledge of coding and web design. While hiring a web designer is an option, it is not necessarily the cheapest choice for creating a professional looking website.
Fortunately, the best website builders out there can help any newbie to build a site with just a few clicks. If you are ready to take advantage of the popular Gator Website Builder design flexibility and user-friendly interface for beginners, here’s a step by step HostGator website building guide, with tips to help you build and customize your ideal site.
Step 1: Visit the HostGator website
When you are on the main HostGator page, hover your cursor over the âHostingâ option in the top panel. From the drop-down menu, select “Website Builder”. You will then be taken to HostGator’s pricing plan page, where you can browse its various website builder subscription options. At a glance, you will be able to easily compare the cost and functionality of each proposed plan.
Step 2: Select a pricing plan
HostGator Offers three different plansâStart, Site or Store. All three come with a free domain and a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. At $ 3.94 per month, HostGator’s Basic Starter Plan is great for beginners, with simple features like access to the Unsplash image library, email marketing, marketing tools, and basic e-commerce capabilities. The Start plan also comes with a powerful AI-powered website builder.
HostGator’s Site ($ 5.99 per month) and Store ($ 9.22 per month) plans come with all of the above and more. With the first, you benefit from additional appointment booking features. The latter is specially designed for eCommerce store users and includes enhanced features like unlimited product listings and advanced shipping management. These two plans also offer priority support.
Once you’ve decided which plan is right for you, click âBuy Nowâ to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Choose a domain name or connect an existing domain
Your domain name is basically the address of your website. If you don’t have a domain yet, HostGator offers a free one. Make sure you choose a domain address that is easy to remember and representative of your business.
After entering the name you have chosen, click on “Get domain”. The HostGator team will search the web to see if your preferred domain name is available. If so, you will see a congratulatory message. Otherwise, enter another domain name and try again.
If you have an existing domain, you can quickly connect it to your HostGator website by clicking “Connect here”.
Step 4: Create an account
You will be prompted to create a username and set a password for your new HostGator account. As with most paid platforms, you will need to enter your payment information. You can pay with Visa, Mastercard, American Express or PayPal. After selecting your preferred billing cycle, an order summary will be displayed. Enter any discount code you may have before confirming your purchase.
Step 5: Improve your site with apps
After your purchase is complete, you will be prompted to add recommended apps to your site. These apps are not included in your subscription and will incur additional monthly charges. You can skip this step if you are not interested in additional apps.
Step 6: Choose between Express or Traditional site builders
With HostGator, you will have the choice between two site creation options: Express and Traditional. The Express Site Builder is an AI powered tool. The automatic editor is easy to use and perfect for beginners who want to build a website quickly and hassle-free.
The Traditional Site Builder includes HostGator’s original drag and drop editor and is ideal for those who prefer detailed editing functionality and greater control over site design. Whichever option you choose, you will be able to add and edit your site content later.
Step 7a: Express Site Builder
If you have selected Express Site Builder, you will be asked a few questions about the website you want, so that HostGator’s AI can build your site according to your needs. You will need to provide information such as the site title, the subject of your website and the features you would like it to have.
You will also be prompted to upload a cover image and brand logo. Simple customizations can be done here like selecting your preferred font, site colors, and navigation style. Finally, you will be asked to enter your contact details and a Google Maps location. Click “Finish” to continue.
Step 7b: Traditional site builder – template selection
If you have selected the traditional site builder, you will be taken to HostGator’s template selection screen where you can choose the base template that best fits your business. With over 200 professionally designed templates included for free, you’ll likely spend some time scrolling.
You can get a full screen preview to see all the features and secondary layout options of your favorite themes. You can then quickly change the color scheme, fonts, or text style to suit your business. After selecting a template, click on “Start Editing”.
Step 8: Add content and start editing
A short step-by-step tour will teach you how to edit pages and add elements such as text blocks, images, buttons and more to your site, using the eight icons (Elements, Pages, Sections, Design, Blog , Shop, Statistics and Manage) which you will find on the left of the main dashboard.
Click on the option you want to add to your site. For example, to add a button or contact form, just drag and drop it anywhere on the page. You can also easily add a new section by clicking on the plus sign at the bottom.
On the right, you’ll find the settings for each specific feature that you can change. A preview of your site is in the center of your screen.
Step 9: Publish your site
When you’re happy, it’s time to go live. But before that, take a final review by clicking “Preview” at the top of your dashboard. If you are satisfied with the design and content, click âPublishâ.
Users subscribed to the HostGator Store plan will be prompted to add products to their site. You can choose to do this later by selecting “Publish without store”.
Congratulations, your site is now live!
With its competitive introductory price, tidy interface, and design flexibility, anyone can build a professional looking website with a HostGator website builder. Whatever type of site you want to create, you will be able to set it up and make it work by following the steps above.
If you are looking for more detailed information about the platform features and web hosting elements of HostGator services, check out our HostGator Reviews.