Product: Wix Website Builder
Overall Ranking: 75 out of 100 3.75/5stars
Price: plans ranging from free to $29.90 per month
Ease of use: easy – intermediate
Wix is one of the most popular website builders and can be used to create personal or business websites.
In this review, I will be looking at the pros and cons of the Wix website builder. We will also see if the drag and drop editor is easy to use and what the eCommerce platform has to offer.
Wix was created after the three founders Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan discovered that creating a website was not that easy and it was also expensive. They had the idea that it would be great if anyone could build a website on a platform without needing any coding know-how and no design skills. On top of this, they wanted it to be free.
In 2006 Wix was founded and originally used a Flash website builder, Flash is not recommended today as it doesn’t perform well on mobiles and is not liked by the search engines. In 2012 they launched an HTML5 site builder and now have nearly 60 million users worldwide.
If you wonder why they wanted to start something for free, the answer they give will be “That’s the way the web was meant to be”.
Wix is a website building platform where it is possible to build a website for free without knowing anything about the technical aspects. You just sign up for an account, choose a template and start editing with the drag and drop editor.
You can have a free site as long as you like, nonetheless if you want a site for your business with a proper domain name you will have to choose one of their premium plans.
Who is it for?
Wix is designed for people with little or no knowledge about creating a website. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can build their own site.
Not knowing any HTML, PHP or other coding isn’t a problem, you will still be able to make your own website. It is possible to build any sort of website (business, personal, photography, online store…)
Ease of use
Although I am used to using WordPress I had a pleasant surprise when using the Wix website editor. I found it quite easy to use and that more or less from the start. Obviously, this will only get easier with time, it really is quite intuitive.
I started making a site and it took me much less time than I was expecting. However, there were one or two things I wanted to change, but couldn’t. I chose the template quite rapidly as I was simply creating a site for this review.
The editor is drag and drop which means you drag elements (text, images, forms, etc.) to anywhere you want on the page. Also, a WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get editor) which means whatever you insert into the website editor, will show up the same way when your website is published.
There is a good selection of 529 templates. When searching for your template you can search by category and sub-category which can speed up the process of choosing your template.
Alternatively, if you don’t want a pre-designed template you can start with a blank canvas and build your site from scratch. Unless you have a lot of time and feel capable I would recommend a pre-made template.
Once you have chosen your template you cannot change when you want to redesign your site. You have to choose another template and start over again. Therefore, when choosing your template take some time and try out a few templates before you start adding your content.
The templates are fully customizable, but the design of the theme will remain the same. With the millions of people using Wix and the limited number of templates, you will probably find many people with sites that look alike.
This may not matter too much for a personal website, although for a business website this could be a handicap. With Wix, it is not possible to edit the HTML or CSS, but it is possible to add external HTML code with the HTML app.
The templates are not responsive, with Wix you have a separate mobile editor. When you have created your site in the desktop editor you can then organize your mobile site. It’s not possible to add any new content, although you are able to move, resize or hide elements of your content. This could possibly be an advantage if you want to give your mobile visitors just the important information.
Personally, I prefer a responsive design that keeps everything the same on a mobile device or desktop.
When you publish a free site you have Wix advertisements in the header and footer which can be a little distracting.
You are allowed to create the number of free sites that you need and you don’t have to pay for hosting. Wix deals with all upgrades and technical details to make sure your website is always online and working correctly.
The premium plans allow hosting for one domain. If you have several domains this will get expensive.
Exporting your site from Wix
It is not possible to move your website away from Wix. As their site building technology is adapted to their platform if you transfer your site to another host you will have some functions on your site that will no longer work and the appearance might change.
If you are interested in using Wix try the free option first to see if it matches your requirements.
Wix App Market
You can add apps to your website to improve the functionality. Wix provides more than 220 apps, including items like social media buttons, comment boxes, live chat, form builders, events calendars, shopping carts, online reservations and much more.
Many of the apps are free or have a free version and a premium version with more functions. Again, it’s always best to try the free version of an app to see if it meets your requirements.
Often this is one area where website builders lose out when compared to content management systems like WordPress at least Wix does try to provide a little extra functionality to your website.
The e-commerce feature is a premium plan, however, you can try it for free in the Wix website builder. Before you can start selling online you will need to upgrade to the Wix eCommerce plan.
It is possible to customize your store to match the rest of your site.
- galleries to promote your products
- product pages for each product to provide a detailed description and photos of each product
- easy to add products to your store with options such as color or size
- create coupons to offer discounts
- choice of 6 payment processors (including PayPal) also possible to set up offline payments (cheque, cash, bank transfer, wire transfer…)
- create shipping and tax rules then Wix will calculate the shipping and tax charges on each order even if you ship to different countries
- keep track of inventory and orders
- email notification when a sale has been made
- send a newsletter to your customers
- it is only possible to sell physical products from your online store, to sell digital products you will have to buy an app.
Wix eCommerce is good for building a small online store and is a cheaper solution than the specialized store builders like Shopify or Bigcommerce. As we saw in the Squarespace review you don’t get any internet marketing training which could help you to get more traffic.
Help and support
- The Wix Online Support Center – this is the first place to start and is the quickest way to find a solution to your problem. You will probably find your answer here, there many how-to articles and video tutorials. You type your query in the search box and search through the answers.
- Wix Support Forum – you can browse through the questions already asked by other users to see if your question is there. If not, it is possible to post your own question 24/7 and the dedicated team will help you. Normally you have a reply in 2-6 hours.
- Wix Call Center – the call center is in San-Francisco and is open from 6.00am to 5.00pm Pacific Standard Time. You schedule a call and they will call you back.
- Wix Social Channels – possible to post your problem on Facebook or in a Tweet and the community managers will help you connect to the right person.
The support is important as it can be annoying when you are building a site and there is no help when you have a problem. Like most site website builders, the support is aimed specifically at the aspect of site building.
There is no support or help for setting up a business site, getting more traffic or marketing techniques. For this, you will have to obtain training elsewhere.
Pros and Cons
- possible to have as many free sites as you like
- unlimited number of pages even on a free site
- 14-day money back guarantee with premium plans
- more than 500 templates
- intuitive drag and drop editor
- good support
- help buttons on each element in the editor – you don’t have to search their database, you get help directly on the item you are working on
- app market – you have the opportunity to add functionality to your website
- free domain name with 4 of the premium plans
- unable to transfer a Wix site to another host
- expensive if you have more than one domain
- once you have picked your template and have started editing you cannot change without starting from scratch again
- adverts on the free Wix websites and even on the cheapest premium plan
- templates not responsive
How much does Wix cost?
As a free user, you can make your website and test everything to see what to expect. With a free site you receive:
- 500MB of storage and up to 500MB bandwidth
- the free sites all display the Wix logo
- a URL like – username.wix.com/sitename.
With the premium plans in addition to the free features you have:
- a personalized domain name (.com, .org, .net, etc) you can use a domain name you already own or buy one from Wix. With the VIP, eCommerce, Unlimited and Combo plans you receive a free domain name.
- no Wix ads except for the most basic plan
- Premium Customer Support – faster replies to your questions
- Google Analytics
- an online store – available for VIP and eCommerce premium plans
- increased storage and bandwidth
- 14-day guarantee
Having publicity for Wix on a free site might be expected, but having the same advertisements on a premium plan (paying $48.06 per year or $82.80 per year if you pay monthly) for me is unacceptable. Wix obviously does this to encourage you to upgrade to a more expensive plan, so to have a site without the Wix ads it would cost $111.00 per year or $155.40 per year if you pay monthly.
If you have more than one domain Wix will start to get expensive. There are plans available online where it is possible to host an unlimited number of websites, get internet marketing training and support. The training would be especially useful if you intend building an online store or start an affiliate marketing business.
What their customers are saying
Here are a few customer reviews taken from Trustpilot. Wix scores an overall 7.9 out of 10 from 126 reviews.
Overall the majority of people seem to be happy with the Wix platform and it’s good to see that they reply to the customers that aren’t satisfied.
My final opinion
Wix is a good platform and the website builder is decent. I found it to be fairly easy to use and even though I am used to the WordPress platform it didn’t take me long to get underway with the site builder.
They have more than 500 attractive templates to choose from. This isn’t bad when comparing to other drag and drop site builders, although compared to WordPress with over 3000 free themes and many 1,000’s of premium themes this is still a limited choice.
The templates look good and that’s a positive point, nonetheless, there are a few things that I don’t like:
- if you change template you have to start building your site from the start again
- you are not able to export your site to another host
- the Wix advertisements are visible even on the sites that have upgraded to the lowest premium package which is a bad deal when you are paying
- the templates are not responsive, you have to arrange the elements manually to enable your site to look good on a mobile device
The App market is a useful feature for adding functionality to your site, but again if you compare to WordPress the choice is limited.
I would recommend Wix for a free personal site if you don’t mind the ads, otherwise, if you only have a single domain the unlimited plan ($12.42 per month) isn’t bad. By comparison, equivalent hosting would cost about $7 per month and a domain name about $10 per year. This is cheaper, but you would have to figure out everything yourself which can be quite demanding.
Whatever you do, it’s worth trying the website builder Wix, it’s fun to use. To have a comparison you can also build 2 free WordPress sites with siterubix.com
If you have a name for your site, you can start right away.
I prefer WordPress and the great advantage with the siterubix.com site builder is that you can also get a free trial with Wealthy Affiliate where they teach you about setting up an online business. You receive easy to follow step by step training that will explain in easy lessons, how to choose your niche, set up your site, add content, get traffic to your site and earn money.
I hope you enjoy using both site builders and if you have any questions, comments or experience I would love to hear from you.