Wix needs no introduction. Given that you’re reading a post on SuperbWebsiteBuilders, I think it’s safe to assume that you know how popular this website builder is. So, I won’t need to tell you that Wix serves over 51M users worldwide. Nor will I need to tell you that it’s very easy-to-use and offers hundreds of stunning HTML5 templates. And I definitely don’t need to inform you that it raised more than $127 million in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq last November. Today we bring you something very special – an interview with Omer Gartzman, Wix Product Manager.
SWB: Hi Omer, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be at Wix.
Omer: I started my career as a developer and worked for several years in various startups. I was also always interested in cutting edge user interface and pixel perfect design and development as I sought to address increasing user expectations and to create the best possible user experiences for my products.
It was this interest that brought me to Wix a few years ago. A friend introduced me to one of the founders, and during the interview, I showed him a video game I created back in 1995. He saw that I loved graphics, my obvious attention to detail, and noticed how much I care about the stuff I do. I was offered to join the product team. It’s been my dream job ever since, and Wix continues to be a company and culture that is supportive, fun and exciting.
SWB: What do you think makes Wix such a popular web publishing platform?
Omer: Wix’s HTML5 website editor is designed to meet the needs of any user, regardless of their technical or design skills. Wix offers unmatched ease of use combined with true code-free design capabilities. Together this empowers our users to easily design professional websites that match their vision. While it’s possible to start from scratch, we also offer hundreds of designer-made templates, giving anyone a great starting point to build something beautiful. The design freedom makes Wix a great solution for professionals who require more advanced capabilities too.
SWB: Please describe the ideal customer for Wix.
Omer: I’d say that Wix is ideal for anyone in need of an online presence, whether it’s for their business, hobby, art, music or wherever their aspirations may be. The ideal customer just needs to want a website. In addition to the templates (mentioned above), we offer an extensive free image library, web apps, advanced design features, and fantastic customer support as well. We encourage our users to begin by trying out the editor and experiment with different designs, layouts, and features so that they truly immerse themselves in the platform on their way to create a website that they’re proud of and that truly represents their business or brand.
SWB: Behind the beautiful interface, Wix is a very sophisticated platform. What was the most complicated thing to implement?
Omer: You are right. While we keep the web user experience intuitive and easy, the technology behind the curtain is actually very complex. We design function-rich products that are complex to develop but easy to use. Good examples of this are Wix’ ecommerce, our dynamic 3rd party App Market, the recently launched WixHotels and more. In each case we assure that the tools – which have very specific purposes for our users – seamlessly integrate into a website, and are easy to customize, manage and scale.
One of the most complicated aspects of the Wix editor, a product in which I invest most of my time, is maintaining and further developing our ever-growing system of Website design functionality and tools. Two years ago, for example, we offered just three types of image galleries. Today we have 15. Each new gallery has its own customization options, and integrates seamlessly into a website’s design. All these gallery options and the ease of use creates a magic for our users, and is the result of amazing ongoing collaborative work of designers, developers and product managers.
SWB: Is there anything you’d like to change in Wix?
Omer: We’re all lucky, though sometimes it might be frustratingly so, to work in a rapidly changing and dynamic space. The Internet is evolving so fast with products and technologies that new trends and expectations demand we address those in our development everyday. That keeps my work exciting and challenging. Besides, it also guarantees I keep my job 🙂
Of course, there is always room to improve too. Wix was founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be online in a creative, fully functional and dynamic way. To that end, we strive to offer more and more features, customization options and integration with sophisticated products, while keeping it simple and easy to use.
Wix has really evolved into something much more than simply a web creation tool. Today we’re a true web platform where creation is only the first step. Now we’re providing tools to manage and grow your online endeavors and that presents a myriad of new opportunities and challenges. Working with 3rd party app partners, integrating new blogging capabilities, ecommerce, mobile, and countless other developments keep our team busy making sure all the moving pieces work together smoothly providing an online environment where our users feel at home, productive and inspired.
SWB: What do you feel is the most underappreciated feature of Wix?
Omer: Simply put, Our SEO. As it turns out, Wix HTML5 editor is awesome for SEO and our supporting tools to help users leverage their content for SEO are great too. This later point shouldn’t be understated and I’ll explain it more below.
First, just in terms of the HTML5 editor and sites published via Wix, if you build the same site with us or with any other high-end tool around (not only DIY tools), you will get the same or comparable results. You see a lot of Wix websites ranked on top of Google search pages. We monitor our platform and fine-tune it to meet the most up-to date standards. Add to this, Wix built sites – as well as web apps through our 3rd party app market – are optimized for mobile and unlike other services maintain a single source code mobile to desktop ensuring the best possible search results regardless of platform or browser.
Finally, we provide great SEO customization, an intuitive SEO Wizard and free and premium easy to use and understand SEO tools in our App Market. As I mentioned above, this shouldn’t be overlooked. Search engines reward sites that are updated frequently and that show interaction and relevance. Wix’s core ease of use, SEO tools and variety of apps and features mean that non-tech savvy users are more likely to update and manage their content and evolve their online presence actively, and that is something search engines will always reward.
SWB: What are your favorite Wix websites? Do you have a personal Wix-driven site?
Omer: This question is a bit unfair. Let me ask you, which one of your kids is your favorite? Over the course of a week I look at 100’s of website, and so many of them are awesome. That said, here are three to give you an example:
- As a coffee addict – http://www.ethoscoffeecafe.com/
- As a snowboarder – http://www.ipeak.biz/
- And for my little brother with his antique cars – http://www.vincisdesign.com/
To get an even deeper flavor of what I’m talking about, you can see a lot of amazing sites on our “Get inspired” page.
Obviously, I also try out every new feature we release in a real world environment. I have my own domain – www.omergar.com, but note, I use it for testing most of the times, so the content and design keeps changing.
SWB: What can we expect to see from Wix in the coming 3-5 years?
Omer: While I can’t go into lots of detail, you can look for significant advances from Wix in the next 3-5 years. As mentioned above, both the Internet and Wix are constantly evolving, shifting and innovating. Wix is more and more becoming a true online platform for design and creation, management and growth for millions and millions of people dreaming of bringing their work, endeavors and aspirations online.
In order to maintain our leadership in this space, Wix.com will continue building and bringing to market increasingly sophisticated (but easy to use) online tools that help our users do more and more. We’ll continue to integrate a wide variety of business apps while always keeping up with latest design trends and cutting edge visual abilities. Your website is, after all, your face and unique persona on the web. In the years to come, Wix will keep you looking stunning online, but we’ll also be empowering you to work more effectively, manage more smoothly, and grow more dynamically online too.
SWB: Thank you for your time today, Omer!