Tech-minded creators seeking a budget-friendly solution with extensive customization will find Hatch an excellent choice. Boasting eye-catching templates, user-friendly AI, and a free plan accessible to all, it's a superb option for beginners delving into web development. However, it may not suit business-focused sites or high-traffic e-commerce stores.
A free plan for everyone
Attractive and completely customizable templates
Handy AI tools
Surprisingly simple to use
Top choice for tech-curious creatives
Not for high-traffic, enterprise-level sites
No money-back nor uptime guarantee
No real-time customer support
No information about security measures on the site
Why you can trust TechRadar
In the dynamic realm of web development, where coding often stands as a barrier to entry, Hatch emerges as a game-changer. Although it positions itself alongside some of the best website builders, it differentiates itself by focusing on the empowerment of tech-curious creators, helping create their online projects without much effort or technical know-how.
Hatch's ecosystem encompasses a user-friendly publishing platform, intuitive design tools, and a colorful community of creators exploring the realms of interactivity, animation, and generative AI. At the core of its philosophy is the belief that a webpage is not merely a digital canvas but a limitless creative medium that should be accessible to all.
Since its creation in 2021, Hatch has been dedicated to making software for creative expression. Through drag-and-drop functionality, it opens doors for both casual and technical creators to craft websites, portfolios, interactive stories, and all sorts of creative experiments.
Enjoying the benefits of an account on Hatch, creators can set up and share pages publicly or opt for project privacy for a more intimate touch.
Hatch plans and pricing
With two plans, Hatch makes sure both casual creators and dedicated developers can find a suitable option.
The “Hatch Free” plan comes at no cost and includes hosting with a subdomain (yourname.hatch.one), a Hatch watermark, limits of three published projects, three pages per project, unlimited community projects, 2GB of media storage, and standard customer support.
For those ready to take their creative journey a step further, the “Hatch Pro” plan, priced at $9 per month, offers an array of advanced features. This includes Hatch hosting, a free custom domain name (with the option to bring your own domain), a removable Hatch watermark, expanded project and page limits with 20 published projects and unlimited pages per project, unlimited community projects, 10GB media storage, and priority customer support.
Offering a cost-free option and a pocket-friendly paid plan, it is clear that Hatch strives to make its platform accessible and appealing to a broad audience. You can also opt for either monthly or yearly billing options, although unlike the majority of website builders, there appears to be no benefit (financial or otherwise) to paying annually.
You can end your subscription whenever you want by logging into your account or reaching out to Hatch. Your cancellation will be effective after your current paid term. However, unfortunately, Hatch does not offer a money-back guarantee or a free trial for its paid plan.
As for payment methods, Hatch accepts credit/debit cards (including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express) and PayPal.
Hatch features and functionality
By combining a user-friendly approach with a dedicated web environment, Hatch can support the creation of diverse projects such as games, events, messaging platforms, maps, and various creative experiments, regardless of your technical abilities and prowess.
Within Hatch’s creative haven, designers, whether casual or seasoned, can explore interactivity, animation, physics, and generative AI using intuitive drag-and-drop kits. As part of the creator community, you can make your projects “remixable”, which means your fellow members can duplicate and modify content in any way they want.
At Hatch, kickstarting your website is as easy as it gets. You can start from one of Hatch’s pretty-looking templates or a completely blank canvas, offering you total freedom for your creative endeavor. You can also easily import your personal graphics or delve into the extensive library for inspiration. Once started, you’re free to manipulate, reposition, and modify elements effortlessly without the confines of a grid, which gives you the flexibility to design your webpage exactly how you envision it.
We must also mention Hatchbot AI, the star feature here. This generative web builder can transform your descriptions into webpage elements without any coding know-how. Perfect for AI enthusiasts, Hatchbot AI harnesses the power of GPT, allowing you to describe the design and functionality you want, and then brings it to life within your online project. The creative possibilities are impressive - you can experiment with various options like grabbing, bouncing, sinking, or floating elements across your webpage.
As the AI Hatchbot evolves, occasional unpredictability might arise in its output. While adept at fulfilling specific functional requests, Hatchbot can't craft entire web pages at once, requiring a step-by-step approach. To get the best results, you’ll have to be pretty specific, particularly when providing image sources such as Pixabay, Pexels, or Unsplash.
Additionally, Hatch enables the integration of diverse media, including thousands of gifs, stickers, photos, videos, animated text, emojis, and content from popular platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, and Spotify. With the allowance of up to 20 published projects, unlimited pages per project, and the ability to contribute to the community with unlimited community projects, Hatch provides a playground for endless creative expression.
Taking everything into account, while Hatch can be a perfect pick for a beautiful personal blog or a small business site, it's important to note that its strengths may not extend to managing high-traffic business websites.
Hatch offers only two pricing plans, both with rigorous restrictions, such as a 10GB cap on media storage. Notably absent from these plans is information on available resources or the type of hosting provided. Advanced e-commerce tools, performance enhancements like CDNs, SEO features, web analytics, robust security with SSL certificates, scalability options, server reliability details, and uptime guarantees are all missing with Hatch.
While useful for business promotion - such as creating engaging storefronts to boost online sales - it falls short when it comes to building comprehensive business websites. Hatch caters to the tech-curious creative crowd, particularly artists, rather than targeting enterprise solutions.
Also, besides blank statements about caring about your security and privacy, Hatch’s official site doesn’t share any in-depth details about the security features it utilizes to keep your site and all its precious data on the safe side. This is concerning.
Hatch interface and ease of use
To kick things off with Hatch, go to its official site and choose to sign up for a free plan or tap into the “get started for free” button, which will take you straight to the template gallery. To sign up you’ll be asked to surrender your email address and come up with a password - so, just the usual stuff.
Once you’re done, you’ll arrive at Hatch’s template gallery where you can choose from over 50 eye-catching templates (including the one Hatch’s official site is using). You can browse by category (personal, storefront, portfolio, business, surprise me, and so forth). If you find one you fancy, click on it. However, if you prefer to start from scratch, that's an option too.
Whichever option you pick, you’ll land on Hatch’s easy-to-use dashboard where you can tweak the template to your heart’s content. On the left side, you can see all the things you can add to your site (such as elements, pictures, gifs, vectors, and videos), and even check out getting-started kits for curated content. If something catches your eye, just drag and drop it onto your page and adjust it on the right panel. Here, you can apply effects to enhance interactivity and make your site more fun for your audience.
At any point, you can effortlessly preview your work and share it with the Hatch community for feedback or to inspire others. However, if you’re the one who lacks inspiration, you can check out the sites created by the Hatch community and see if something lights your creative spark.
Some of these online projects are “remixable”, which means you can duplicate and customize the content in any way you want. Likewise, you can make your own projects “remixable” for others. So, while Hatch’s builder isn’t open-source, it feels very much like it is.
Overall, Hatch’s no-code site builder is super simple to use and it’s a perfect pick for personal blogs and creative, community-centered online projects.
Hatch web hosting and performance
Hatch site builder works as a one-in-all solution for small-scale, creative online projects, which means you get domain/subdomain hosting, web hosting, and site builder. With the free plan, you can create up to three published projects (and countless community projects), but you’ll be stuck with Hatch’s subdomain which gives it a less polished look. To get custom domain hosting, you’ll have to subscribe to a paid plan.
We tested our Hatch site's performance with our trusted tool, GTmetrix, which helps us assess loading speed, page optimization, and other crucial performance metrics. The performance was rated with a rock-solid B (82%), which isn’t perfect but still a presentable performance. Although the site took some time to fully load (11 seconds in total), it didn't significantly impact our user experience.
Hatch customer support
Hatch's customer support primarily revolves around self-help guides. Of course, this isn’t bad news if you’re a do-it-yourself type of person. However, it doesn't provide direct support channels like phone lines or live chat, which is bad news for beginners who prefer real-time support options.
So, as far as support goes, there's an array of short yet handy YouTube video tutorials designed to guide you through Hatch's main features and functionalities. While there aren’t many tutorials (as we write, there are 20 of them), we find these guides great for visual learners who prefer step-by-step instructions.
If you have a question or need some basic guidance, there's a short FAQ section available on the website, covering common queries and offering quick solutions. To get more in-depth insight, you can seek advice and answers to your questions on Hatch’s community forum. This is also a superb place for creators to connect, share experiences, and exchange ideas.
The only way you can get in touch directly with Hatch's customer support staff is via contact form. There, you can choose a reason for contact (billing, sign-in, account, publishing, sharing, etc.) and add details about the questions or problems you’re having. After you submit the form, you should expect a response within a day.
It's important to note that the level of support you receive depends on your subscription plan. With the free plan, you'll have access to standard support. However, if you've opted for a paid subscription, you'll benefit from priority support, ensuring quicker assistance.
Hatch competition & alternatives
Wix, one of Hatch’s strongest competitors, stands out for its extensive customization options and user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, catering to beginners and veteran webmasters alike.
It also boasts a wider array of website templates tailored to diverse industries, which surpasses Hatch's offerings. On top of this, Wix provides multiple support channels, including live chat, phone, and email, a feature that Hatch doesn't currently offer.
However, if you're a creative spirit wanting to break out of the confines of a traditional website builder, Hatch's innovative AI-driven features could spark your creativity in unique ways.
Similarly, Weebly, another strong competitor, excels in user-friendliness, making it an excellent choice for beginners and those seeking a balanced feature set.
Similar to Hatch, Weebly presents one of the best free website builder plans but extends slightly more advanced functionalities in its paid subscriptions, serving as an ideal platform for scaling up.
While Weebly offers a more robust feature set than Hatch, it doesn't include the unique Hatchbot AI feature, which can be so much fun. For individuals looking for a departure from standard website creation methods, Hatch's AI-driven builder offers a unique creative avenue.
Squarespace boasts beautiful and customizable templates akin to Hatch, catering to all sorts of creative individuals. In fact, it boasts over 100 templates, a more extensive collection compared to Hatch.
It also stands out with stronger e-commerce capabilities, especially suited for small to medium-sized enterprises. Unlike Hatch's forever-free plan, Squarespace opts for a 14-day trial, aiming for a more professional site-building approach. Yet, if you're seeking a creative escape from conventional designs, Hatch's AI tools are a fresh alternative.
Hatch website builder review: Summary
In summary, Hatch seems like a fantastic choice for aspiring creators eager to explore web development without breaking the bank. With a solid collection of customizable templates, a charming (and helpful) Hatchbot AI, and a forever-free plan, it's an ideal starting point for those venturing into site-building.
Yet, its limitations for high-traffic sites and the absence of real-time support might not suit larger-scale businesses seeking robust performance and advanced features. For personal projects and small businesses seeking an accessible and creative platform, Hatch could be the perfect match.
Mirza Bahic is a freelance tech journalist and blogger from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the past four years, Mirza has been ghostwriting for a number of tech start-ups from various industries, including cloud, retail and B2B technology.
- Owain WilliamsB2B Editor, Website Builders