A decade before building a website was a techy job. Later free hosting companies started offering drag and drop builders. This had a bigger impact on the community for the past few years. Now that anyone from a mom, a student to a business owner can have a website. Wix and Weebly are two of the most popular drag and drop website players that offer free hosting. We use Weebly and Wix for many years for building websites. In our earlier article we have seen the complete review of Weebly website builder and in this article let us review Wix website builder based on our real usage.
Related: SiteGround cloud hosting review.
Before Reading Further
Remember, we need to review the stuff within the scope of free hosting services. Platforms like Wix can support smaller websites, say up to 50 pages. If you want to go for full-length blogging with hundreds of pages and access to backend hosting server then Wix is not the place for you. We will not say these are drawbacks of Wix. Instead you need to have correct expectation and look for services like self-hosted WordPress. To give you a visual look, below is how the page management of an individual site will look on Wix. It is evident, you can’t deal with hundreds of pages within the small available space and rearrange.
Wix Website Builder
Wix is a NASDAQ listed company that claims to have 110+ millions of users. It is an online platform that helps you to build a website without any coding skill. It uses drag and drop website builder system based on templates. Wix also has an AI-based builder that provides further simplicity for users. You can choose a pre-designed template and easily populate it with unique content. AI builder is more intuitive and it asks users a series of questions, like design preferences and the type of the website. Based on your answers, the AI system will automatically create the website for you. Regardless of which builder you use, you can always tweak and fine-tune your design.
Earlier days we were away from Wix due to the fact that they were using Flash for website building. Later they have moved from Flash to HTML5 to compete with latest technologies and improve user experience.
Wix is really useful for people who want to quickly set up a simple website. However, it has lot of things to offer. Here are some of the basic features of Wix website builder.
- You don’t need to be techy and spend lots of time in configuring server or fixing issues.
- Hosting is free and security is the work of Wix. You can fully focus on creating website and marketing it.
- If you are really interested in coding then go for Wix Code.
- Hundreds of theme templates to suit any general purpose requirements.
- You can create pre-defined products for blogging, music, restaurant, ecommerce, events, etc.
- Start with free and upgrade to premium plan. If you are not happy, use 14 days money back guarantee to get your money back.
- Robust help center and SEO capabilities.
- Get hosting, domain, email, logo, live chat, etc. in one place.
Creating Your Website
The process of creating a website is seamless in Wix.
- Login to your account and create a new website. Choose the type of your website.
- After choosing website type, choose your editor.
- Let us choose ADI editor and answer all the questions.
- Pick a theme for your site and Wix will generate your site few minutes. Finally, you need to pick up a home page design.
- Now your site is ready and you can modify the content using ADI editor.
Wix Standard Vs ADI Editors
After choosing the Standard Editor, you will need to select a template. It’s very straightforward and after you are satisfied with the whole design, you may immediately fill it with content or perform additional tweaks. For beginners, Standard Editor is a better option.
With Wix ADI, you can create a website with minimal mouse clicks. The AI algorithm guides you through a step by step procedure. You need to provide input to the system, by giving details, such as type of website, design preferences, color schemes and other key elements. Wix ADI will create a complete sample page, which you can improve later.
We feel, the standard editor has more options and you can choose based on your preferences instead of starting with limited options with ADI editor.
After logging into your account, you can view and manage all sites under your account in the dashboard. you can easily choose the site and the preferred action you want to do. For example, with a single click, you can duplicate an entire site.
You can manage pages, apps and uploads of an individual site within the Wix editor.
Let us explore more on different products.
Blogging with Wix is easy. You can create a simple or highly multifunctional blog, based on your preferences. It offers many standard blogging features, such as scheduled blog posts, tag cloud, Featured posts, social media integration, templates, comment management and custom feed. When creating a blog, you can choose the standard editor or Wix ADI to speed up the development process. Experienced bloggers could access code editing options to further customize the blog design. Wix Blogging includes advanced SEO features to boost positions of your new blog posts.
Compared to other website types, eCommerce websites are more complex and can be more challenging to manage, especially when you are dealing with dozens or hundreds of transactions a day. Wix eCommerce should be ideal for any small or medium-sized online stores. However, you need paid subscription to launch a Wix based online store. Wix eCommerce comes with a store editor interface to make your online store appear well structured and visually appealing. It supports PayPal and standard offline payment options. The editor allows you to make adjustments of tax and shipping. There are also dozens of templates for your online store. These templates are mobile-optimized, which is important, because most people already do online shopping with their smartphones. With Wix eCommerce you can turn your ideas to actual business operations that bring you good profit.
With Wix ShoutOut, you may create and share professionally made newsletters from the control panel interface. You can customize the newsletters easily, so they will match the style of your website.
With Smart Actions, you may define triggers and create automatic responses for them. It uses the simple IFTT (If This, Then That) principle. As an example, if users sign up to your newsletter, you may offer them interesting deals.
Wix Mobile Editor
Wix Mobile Editor provides optimization options for mobile access. With drag and drop tools, you can optimize your websites for smartphones and tablets. You can fine tune the design of the website, until it looks acceptable for mobile devices.
Related: Review of Weebly website builder.
Wix Chat for Mobile
This feature is useful for website owners to interact with visitors from mobile devices. It’s convenient to maintain engagement with blog audience or customers of your online store.
Wix App Market
In Wix App Market, you may find apps developed by Wix or 3rd party providers. Many of them are free, while some fully-featured apps are paid. You can access the apps within Wix editor and install the apps.
Wix Forum is useful if your want to create an online forum based on certain topics. You can create a dedicated forum website or make the forum as part of your existing website.
Wix for Designers
Wix for Designers is intended for more technical users. The Wix Arena is a community for designers, so they can interact with one another. As an example, freelance web designers could join the Arena to get latest information and find new clients. WixEd is an online learning program for people who want to setup a web design business. It’s open and entirely free to anyone.
Wix Code is another technical feature. It helps you to create web application more easily. Compared to other development platforms, Wix Code is much simpler. An interface helps you to organize a logical relation that will execute certain actions. After you are certain that everything works perfectly, you can compile the customized procedure into an actual web application. Advanced users who are familiar with coding process could use Wix API to create and push codes for specific goals.
Related: Weebly Vs Wix comparison.
The most important question is whether Wix is free. Just like WordPress.com, Wix is free only if you put your website as a Wix subdomain, e.g. youraccountname.wixsite.com/sitename/pagename. In this case, you only get basic functionality with 500MB cloud storage and Wix will show ads on your website.
The cheapest premium plan is Combo for personal use. Under this Combo plan 3GB storage and 2GB bandwidth for $11 per month. If you expect to get plenty of traffic, you should choose other premium plans. More expensive plans offer you larger hosting storage, online store integration and priority responses from customer service.
All premium plans basically include features like removing Wix ads, bandwidth / storage limits, custom domain, 1 year free domain. Below are the premium plans that Wix offers for content websites and price is on per month basis.
- Combo plan for personal use – $11
- Unlimited plan for entrepreneurs & freelancers – $ 14
- Pro plan for online branding – $19
- VIP plan for first priority support – $ 29
Below are the ecommerce plans that include online payment features in addition to the content website plans.
- Basic plan (Business) for accept online payment – $20
- Unlimited plan (Business) for growing your business – $ 25
- VIP plan (Business) for get the full business suite – $ 35
Ascend By Wix
Ascend by Wix is a subscription suite for small businesses. This is a separate service other than the regular premium plans. It comes with power packed to push business customers. Ascend by Wix has the tools for chat, forms, inbox, contact manager, automations, members, price quotes, invoices, workflows, task & reminders, coupon, SEO wizard, marketing integrations, video maker, social posts and email marketing.
Ascend by Wix offers three pricing plans like below:
- Unlimited Ascend for $49 per month
- Professional Ascend for $24 per month
- Basic Ascend for $10 per month
You can get more details of the features by clicking on the ascend plan link from your Wix dashboard.
Wix is a popular brand for building website, because users don’t need to have coding and design skills to create a good-looking and well functioning website. Wix promises 100 percent convenience and allow users to customize the website from different angles. However, professional developers and designers will find that Wix severely restricts their freedom to make significant changes and improvement to the website features and designs.
- Building a usable and functional website with Wix is pretty slick and its editor is very easy to use.
- You can get a decent looking website up almost instantly.
- It’s definitely impressive for non-technical users.
- Wix templates look pretty and work quite well, though you may need to do some changes to make your website look more presentable.
- Advanced users may think differently when using Wix. They may encounter limitations and roadblocks left and right.
- There is no way for them to export data, it’s like having all your data bolted down to Wix platform.
- If you plan to quit using Wix and migrate to other platforms, you may need to start building your content from scratch.
- Some third party apps may not work as expected. Instead of adding functionality directly, an app may add an iFrame to your website instead. So, you may not get seamless integration from some apps, because these apps actually work as a separate module in your website. Technically, this will work, but it’s better if apps are well integrated.
- Too many pricing plans under website, business and ascend categories.
- Too many products confusing a person want to create a simple website.
- Wix ads on free website and the site name contains your account name.