The do-it-yourself website building revolution is upon us, and one of the most popular solutions comes from the folks at WIX.
If you live in the US, you may have seen some of their creative commercials featuring big names like Terrell Owens and Brett Favre, but are endorsements like these enough to convince you that you should put the destiny of your online business in the hands of the WIX company?
After all, they’re just football players, so what do they know about a website builder?
Well, that’s kind of the point, since the WIX platform is pitched as a platform that allows you to create a professional site without knowing how to code or develop websites in general.
To start, just over 73 million website use the WIX system, so it certainly has gained popularity over the years, allowing for loads of people to launch online stores or simple informational websites for telling customers about hours, events or promotions.
Even though WIX has a solid following, we want to take a more in-depth look to figure out if the platform is ideal for those who can choose from the variety of other options on the market. Therefore, keep reading to learn about the benefits and downsides of one of the more well known website builders in the world.
What Features Can You Expect to Find With WIX?
The WIX website building platform has consistently added onto its feature set allowing for a fairly affordable website, without having to hire a developer or know how to work with HTML or CSS. What can you expect to receive if you opt for WIX, and how do these features perform?
A Drag and Drop Editor
WIX introduced a redesigned website editor which has drag and drop functionality. The dashboard is super easy to understand, allowing for a simple user experience on the backend.
As for designing your website, we’ve used several editors that claim to provide drag and drop functionality, but the WIX solution seems to actually have what it advertises.
For example, after you choose a theme you may want to completely modify where the navigational menu shows up. With other editors you’re often restricted to the top of the page, but WIX lets you drag it wherever you want, even if you’d like to place the menu at the very bottom of your page.
The left side of the editor offers quite a few tabs, such as tools for changing your background, adding elements like lists, music and social buttons, changing your blog content, accessing the app store and uploading media.
It’s very intuitive, and you don’t need any prior experience to quickly learn the interface.
Mobile Friendly Elements
The responsiveness of your website means that anyone can open up a tablet or phone and still see your content in a reasonable format.
All of the templates offered through WIX have this functionality, and the website elements seem to snap right into place when viewing on a mobile device.
Hosting and Custom Domain Names
Hosting is completely free through WIX, but let’s be serious, customers pay for it through their monthly plan. That said, the hosting is reliable and secure, seeing as how WIX needs to serve up so many sites.
You can also acquire your own custom domain name, which is ideal for serious businesses who want a real online presence. It only takes a few minutes to pick your domain, and you don’t have to go to some random third-party and transfer it over.
Access to an App Market
The WIX app market helps you implement various marketing and business tools for things like social media sharing, email marketing and form implementation. It’s similar to the WordPress plugin store except you can access it directly from the drag and drop editor and activate the apps without leaving your dashboard.
The app store is my favorite part of the WIX platform, since most of the apps are free and you only have to click one button to turn an app on for your site. The store is also organized so incredibly well that anyone can figure it out.
WIX Templates and How They Look
Although the WIX templates are easy to search through and activate, they are the weakest part of the system. Over 500 templates are offered, so you certainly don’t have a lack of choices, but many of them look outdated or overly simple to the point that your presence may not look that professional.
In addition, 500 templates is a ton to sift through. Although the filtering tools are useful, you may end up spending a significant portion of your time just finding the right template for your brand.
Blogging and Social Media Tools
This is another area where WIX excels, since you can quickly implement social sharing buttons and a blog to improve your SEO and give free content to your visitors.
All of this can be managed through your drag and drop editor, bringing the tools together in a single place.
Online Store Settings
If you’d like to sell items through your store the WIX platform is reasonable in its pricing if you don’t mind working with a rudimentary online store.
Setup payment processing for credit cards, PayPal and many other options, while tracking your orders, looking at payments and managing your shipping from one area. Once again, I would argue that this is for those inventors and entrepreneurs who are low on cash, but still want to start selling their own items. More advanced developers may crave further customization options for selling online.
What are the WIX Pricing Plans to Choose From?
Choosing a WIX pricing plan is a little tricky, because the company offers one free solution along with five premium plans, making it tough to decipher between them all. This could also be seen as a benefit, since you’re provided with more options, but for the sake of simplicity, it can take a while to figure out the plan for you.
Let’s take a look at the pricing plans you can choose from:
- Free – This is the most watered down option you can go for, and your domain looks something like this: mysite.wix.com. You still gain access to several themes and quality features, but most serious companies will want to skip this.
- Connect Domain – For $4.08 per month you gain the ability to get your own custom domain, but WIX brand ads are displayed on your site. Other features include 500MB of storage, 1GB of bandwidth, Google Analytics support, free hosting and premium support.
- Combo – Pay $9.25 per month for all features in the previous plan, 3GB storage, 2GB bandwidth, removal of WIX ads, a customized favicon and no mobile ads.
- Unlimited – Pay $12.42 per month for all features in the previous plan, 10GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, a form builder app and a site booster app. You also get a few vouchers for search engine ads.
- eCommerce – Pay $16.17 per month for all features in the previous plan, 20GB of storage, 10GB of bandwidth and an online store for selling items.
- VIP – Pay $24.92 per month for all features in the previous plan, 20GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, priority call backs, instant responses and a professional site review.
WIX Support: Is It Any Good?
Support is one of the primary areas to look at when deciding on a website builder, since it’s reasonable to assume that most people are not website designers and you will eventually run into some problems that require you to speak with an expert.
In terms of support, WIX excels rather well, with a 24/7 help center where you can call in or send an email to answer your questions. The knowledge base is also handy, considering it allows you to check out what questions have been asked in the past or submit your own ticket for people to respond to.
The WIX company also offers various videos for the visual learners out there, along with social media platforms and a blog to learn about recent updates and tips from the WIX team.
The Final Word on WIX
WIX is the place to go if you lack the skills to design a website yourself. I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t worked through content management systems like WordPress before, or even those who are finding it tedious to manage their sites with more complex platforms.
Overall, WIX has what it takes if you’d like to get a website up and running within minutes, while also providing extras through the app store for expanding as your business grows.