(Please note: The site owner may receive an affiliate commission for any purchases as a result of clicking affiliate links within this blog post.)
With many people wanting to earn an income online, most make the decision to either start a blog, consulting business, an e-commerce store, or sometimes a combination.
Hostgator hears what you want and has created the Gator Website Builder.
Gator was created for those that want easy drag and drop website building.
Within this review, I will tell you what you need to know to get started with Gator.
When you know what you want and the solution is right in front of you, it’s easy to decide.
Gator has 3 plans.
The Starter Plan for bloggers and business people.
The Premium Plan for bloggers and business people who want 24/7 Priority support.
And the E-commerce Plan for people that want to build an online store.
The Gator is drag and drop easy.
You don’t need to be a coder or install anything.
It’s done for you.
The only thing you need to do is make it yours, by adding your content.
The Starter Plan
The Starter plan offers a free domain with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate (Your website will be on a secure connection).
Note, Google now marks websites without an SSL certificate as unsafe.
An SSL certificate is essential for an online business.
You don’t have the hassle of figuring out what website hosting you need; your website comes with Hostgator’s fast Cloud Hosting.
Building your blog with Gator makes sense with the choice of 200 professionally designed website templates that are automatically mobile friendly and look good on any mobile device.
67% of the world’s population will own a mobile device by 2019 http://statista.com.
But if you advertise in Western countries, 90% of participants will be using a mobile device.
Which means that a mobile website is essential for an online business.
Whatever business model you choose whether it’s an e-commerce store, a blog, a consulting business, a design or photography business, or a technology business, Gator has a template for your business.
Don’t think because you have chosen to start an online store that you must buy another plan to incorporate a blog with your store.
All plans come with the option to add a blog to your website.
Adding images to blogs can be costly with a subscription to stock image sites but built into Gator you get access to a huge library of stock images supplied by Unsplash.
These stock images are licence free for you to add to your blog.
You may have heard about Google Analytics.
Many businesses use it to track website traffic and behaviour, but it can be another system to learn, when what you want to do is build your business.
Gator has analytics built in.
That’s right you can track your website traffic and behaviour without leaving Gator.
But if you want to use Google Analytics you can integrate it within Gator.
The Starter Plan is serviced by 24/7 Support to support and help you with any problems with Gator or website hosting.
Recommended – The Premium Plan
Customers that take up the recommended Premium Plan receive everything that Starter Plan customers get, but Premim Plan members get priority professional support.
The Premium Support option is recommended, and it should be noted that you are not paying much more than the Starter Plan for the privilege of priority service and a premium customer experience.
The E-Commerce Plan
For customers that want to build an e-commerce store it is recommended to get the E-Commerce Plan which offers e-commerce functions.
Everything that the Starter Plan and Premium Plan offers will be included with the E-Commerce Plan.
For your online store to accept payments Gator comes integrated with PayPal, giving you the ability to accept payments from banks and major credit card companies.
Registering A Domain Name
Before you get started with one of the Gator plans, you need to decide on a domain name.
You might already have a domain name in mind.
But if not think about what your business niche relates to.
Think of two or three words that describe your niche.
Write all your ideas down.
Which idea is easiest to remember and flows the best?
Which domain name doesn’t look funny when written in a string of words?
E.g Who represents.com whorepresents.com.
Pick your top 10.
Then go to http://namemesh.com to see if it’s available.
Namemesh will help you either check if your domain name is available or suggest other ideas of possible domain names.
When selecting a domain name, you want a .com domain name.
A .com domain name is what is known as a TLD – Top Level Domain name.
When it comes to Google ranking your website in the search results, your .com domain name will be ranked first.
And when most people think of a website address, they think of name.com, CocaCola.com, Pepsi.com, Cadburys.com.
As you are building a business have you considered building a brand?
People like to buy from brands and brands are memorable.
E.g microsoft.com vs bookshelfspeakers.com.
You are going to remember where you bought the software from but where did you buy the book shelf speakers from?
Don’t use shortened versions of words as these are hard to remember and can be confusing as to which word is shortened. E.g 4U, 2U
Before you decide on your domain name, consider whether a known brand has rights to it.
I remember I was going to set up an online store and I bought the domain name Rockstardeals.com, but after I bought it, I remembered that there was Rockstar Games and Rockstar Drinks.
Remember don’t buy your domain name.
You are getting the domain name for free.
If you have already bought a domain name that you want to use, after selecting your plan you can click ‘connect’ and it will be set up for you.
Choosing A Template
Depending on your business model, blog, consulting business, or e-commerce store, the next step is to select a template.
Remember if you are starting an e-commerce store or consulting business, you can add a blog to these businesses as well.
But Gator has created templates made for your business model and niche.
Scroll through the 200 professionally created templates until you find the right fit.
You can customise the template for your business and change the images, fonts, text, colour schemes and menus.
All templates are mobile friendly.
Building Your Website
After selecting your template, you can begin editing, by clicking the ‘Start Editing’ button.
With Gator, you can add text, images, videos, live feeds from your social media accounts, music, and Google Maps.
Gator has already created some pages for you, that you can either rename or delete and add your own.
But I don’t recommend that you delete them all.
Create the page you want to create and then delete one that you don’t want.
I would also advise against deleting the home page, the about me page, and the contact page.
Creating your site is easy and Gator shows you how to set up your website sections, starting with the ‘Getting Started Tour’, which can be accessed by clicking the menu icon in the top left corner.
Getting Started Building Your E-Commerce Store
If you have selected the E-commerce plan, click the store button on the left-hand side of the screen.
The store comes pre-loaded with sample products to give you an idea of how a stocked store may look.
You can replace the items with your own images. Gator will show you how.
If you want to add a blog to your site, click the ‘Start a Blog’ on the left-hand-side of your screen, and you can start building your blog.
Looking at a Gator website it is difficult to see that it has been built with a drag and drop website builder.
Gator sites look professional, and if I was to build an online store Gator would be my first choice as it is cheaper and easier to build than other options.
Gator is an intuitive website builder with a built-in tutorial to help you easily build your business.
The fact that it comes with a free domain name, free SSL certificate and is hosted on Hostgator’s fast Cloud Hosting, you know you have the right foundations to build a business.
For the priority support, I would recommend getting the Premium Plan or the E-Commerce Plan (if you are building a store), as it does not cost that much more than the Starter Plan.
The new Gator Website Builder is the best website builder I have reviewed.
Other website builders have good points, but Gator is drag-and-drop easy, and shows you how to build your website in sections.
Gator is the latest in website builders.