I recently discovered and gave Wix’s website builder a shot for alternatives’s sake since I’ve been using WordPress for a number of years. In this review, I’d like to share my results, thoughts and if you too should try using this program. I’ll be showing you the pros, cons of Wix as well as my personal approache/s to building websites.
What exactly is Wix?
Wix is a website building program that takes away most of the red tape involved in making websites. This includes:
- Registering your domain name with places like Godaddy.com or Namecheap.com. Usually domains will run you about $10 a year.
- Getting hosting which can cost anywhere from $1-$6 a month.
- Figuring out how to edit and create a beautiful looking page. This is especially difficult for most people who have little/no experience in building websites.
With Wix’s website builder, most of this red tape is taken out. You can try out Wix’s program once for free without having to enter any personal information. This is a great way to “test the waters” and see exactly how it can work for you.
What you get with Wix:
- 357 different templates to choose from.
- 1 free website to test out the system (but it shows Wix ads on the page).
- Good support if you encounter any issues and/or need help.
- Video breakthroughs to simplify the process.
- The ability to choose which themes you’d like to try out based on your topic (I chose law).
When I tested the Wix website builder, I was taken to a topic page where I had to choose which subject I wanted to make my website on. Based on the subject you choose, Wix displays a number of different templates to choose from. I personally chose to try and make a website for a law firm since I’m currently involved in such a project and am using what I consider to be a better website builder to make the page.
Based on first impressions, the templates Wix provides look very professional and it’s quite easy to get set up. Most newbies will most likely encounter difficulties at first but it’s something that will vanish with practice.
The free website I built with Wix only took me about 30 minutes to do. But this was just a first draft. If I were to go into detail and full devote myself to making the site, it would take me hours.
Here is my sample site:
Overall not bad in my opinion. There’s actually people who charge you $100’s if not $1,000’s to build websites like this. Truth be told, these people are in many cases not needed when you have these types of programs to help you make the page.
But Wix does have it’s cons:
1. Wix runs ads on your website which may interfere and distract users to Wix instead of your page: Notice the “yellow boxes” in the picture above. When making a free site, Wix will run up to 3 ads on your page to advertise it’s system. Though the ads aren’t that big, they can be distracting and may take some visitors away from the page.
Note: This only applies to the free website. If you don’t want Wix to run ads on your page, you would have to upgrade your membership which can cost anywhere from $6-$30 a month (PER SITE!). Here is a website builder which gives you 2 free websites with NO ads showing up. It’s the one I personally prefer over Wix.
2. It can be annoying to play around with the editor: I personally didn’t like the fact that a few times, the drag and pull button clicked me away from the text/pictures I tried to edit. In addition some of the options to click and add things such as pages, edit content, add/remove pics, ect… can sometimes be annoying to get to. In my case some of those features made other features appear very quickly and this can very distract and get you lost.
I’m sure it’s a bug in the system that Wix will eventually fix, but it’s still something that can get frustrating since website creation is something that requires mental focus, at least in my experience.
3. Lack of customization: Yes you can make a beautiful looking website, but the ability to customize it is almost impossible. The way it looks when you choose it from the template section is most likely how it will look when it’s completed. If you’re looking to make a website for an online business, it’s much better to have a page that uniquely stands out and isn’t like the rest.
Yes you can certainly change some colors and pictures here and there, but the overall look of the website will stay the same. Most people wouldn’t really care about lack of customization, but this leads to another issue…
4. Too little templates + too many clients = too many similar/same looking websites. Even though 357 templates seems like a lot, it isn’t when you factor in the fact that there are way more people building websites with this program.
What this means is that the likelihood of someone making a website that looks almost identical to yours may very likely happen. This may diminish your site’s reputation in the eyes of the user (if they saw the other look alike page).
This is why I use this program instead (It’s WordPress). It features 1,000’s of templates with the ability to customize in many more ways than Wix offers which makes it’s very easy to make unique websites. Sure the default templates of Wix do look much better (at first), but in the long run, there is much more potential and room to experiment through WordPress.
For example, the website you’re on right now is a WordPress website which took me less than a minute to make using this program (it’s free).
5. Can get pricey. Wix offers plans ranging from $6-$30 which have added bonus features that will help your site stand out (Hosting, Google analytics, Vip Support, Shopping Cart, Extra space). Unfortunately even it’s most expensive features apply to 1 site which means if you were to make multiple sites, the price of these features would quickly add up. In addition…
6. The perks of the higher priced services can be attained for free: Services such as Google analytics, free advertising credit on Google Adwords & Bing, a shopping cart and even free hosting can all be gotten for much less and even free. Another reason why I prefer my alternative to WiX, as you can simply download (for free) all of these services and it comes with hosting.
7. Limited space for smaller priced websites. The free website will give you about 1GB of space. It’s not enough for someone whose looking to build an online business. The higher priced services increase the space from 2GB to an unlimited amount. Another reason I prefer my approach to building websites since it offers more than enough space for a website.
8. No training to monetize your website. I don’t really criticize Wix for this, but it’s an important missing piece of a website’s success. If you’re looking to run an online business from a website or trying to monetize of your page in anyway, if you don’t possess any experience in doing so, you’ll find it difficult and pricey to find out how. Again the same program I use to build websites actually offers training in how to monetize off it.
Final thoughts on Wix. Should you try it?
In spite of all the holes I found in Wix’s system, it’s still a great website builder. Is it the best? No. Is it newbie friendly? Yes & no. I believe my alternative approach is better and cheaper, but that doesn’t mean Wix should be discounted.
You can certainly make a great looking website with ease through Wix, but it’s limited and as for customization and getting the most for your money, that’s something you can also do with my preferred approach, for less and even free as well as get training to build an online business. There’s just more potential in this method than with Wix. But in the end, both approaches can work very well.