During the past few years we’ve seen tremendous growth in Wix; these were years of expansion and growth for the company – it has introduced a series of powerful business management apps, improved eCommerce, developed the Mobile Solution and hit over 70 million signups in over 190 countries.
Now the newest Wix Feature, which was announced in Summer 2016 – Wix ADI: Artificial Design Intelligence – a mechanism that allows to create stunning websites automatically, is available for some website templates like Blog, Business, Photography, Portfolio&CV.
For many of us, Wix has become a synonym for website builder. The question is, is it as good as it’s painted? We’ve put Wix under the microscope.
#1 Ease of Use
Wix is probably one of the most user-friendly website builders. It employs a drag-and-drop editor that supports in-line editing providing a total WYSIWYG experience. In other words, it lets you see your site as you build it, without having to preview your work in a new window.
While with many popular website builders you can drop the elements to certain areas/blocks only, with Wix you’re free to place those literally anywhere on the page.
This approach is also known as ‘absolute positioning’, and unfortunately, it makes it impossible to transfer your content to another Wix theme, since it is literally scattered all over the page and has no fixed structure.
Such method gives users full creative freedom, but may cause many inconveniences in the future.
The control panel of Wix is logically divided into two areas: the Dashboard where you can manage your site’s major settings, including contacts, newsletters, SEO etc., and the Editor itself where you can actually build your website in WYSIWYG mode.
The new full-width strips let you easily structure your website into clean, horizontal sections, and to make your life easier, Wix gives you 9 preset options: Welcome presets, Service presets, Clients presets, Team presets, and Contact presets, among others.
The new Wix Editor lets you easily apply parallax scrolling to your site – just turn on the Parallax scrolling toggle and preview your site to see this effect in action.
You may also want to try Wix’s new anchor menus and ‘pin to screen’ options, which are the perfect companions to effective long-scrolling websites.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
Wix has a lot to offer. Even their absolutely free plan has a quite advanced list of included features: hundreds of beautiful templates, blogging, a great selection of widgets and apps etc.
If you need a simple static site or a blog, the free version of Wix will certainly handle it.
Wix ADI vs Wix Editor
Since Fall 2016 you can choose the way of your website creation: with Wix ADI or with standard Wix Editor.
Let’s deeply discover the differences between these two options.
After selecting ‘Start with ADI’ option, at first you have to answer for several questions about yourself, your business or any other activities. Then Artificial Interface starts searching any information about you or your business according to given data.
If there are your profile is presented, choose it (or just skip this step to receive a default website) and go next to the color scheme adjusting:
This is the final step before your new website is being created. You just need to sit and watch how ADI’s building you main page.
And here’s the result:
You receive a complete one page with sample images and content, which can be replaced to original ones.
The structure of Wix ADI Editor differs from standard options and it became more intuitive.
After choosing ‘Start with Editor’ option, it all goes as usual – pick up a template:
And then system shows you the standard Editor screen where you may start editing your website.
The Wix ADI is in a great help for those who have a strong social accounts with a number of public information that can be collected by Wix. But for those who just begin to present themselves over Internet, the Standard Editor looks as a better option.
If you’re looking to extend your website further with things like forums, guestbooks, membership pages or online booking, it’s all possible with Wix thanks to the Wix App Market.
There are free and paid apps developed either by Wix or third-party providers. The App Market makes Wix suitable for building different types of websites, from simple portfolios to feature-heavy sites.
Some of the most popular apps include: Get Subscribers (a sign-up form), 123 Form builder, Instagram Feed, Events Calendar and Comments, among others.
Blogging. Wix makes it easy to add a simple blog to your site. Wix’s blogging engine lets you schedule your blog posts, add a Featured posts section, add a tag cloud, toggle Facebook comments, and even create a custom feed.
See what published Wix-based blogs look like.
Commerce. It’s noteworthy that Wix has its own eCommerce platform offering a decent set of customizable options (multiple payment options, coupons, tax management etc.).
Please note that Wix commerce is designed for smaller shops. International stores with a lot of products have more complex needs than Wix can offer. Luckily, there are many other more feature-rich commerce platforms to accommodate them. You may want to check out our collection of Wix-powered webstores.
Wix ShoutOut and Smart Actions. These features let you create, send and share beautifully formatted newsletters directly from your Wix control panel. Wix ShoutOut helps you create custom newsletters that match your site’s style from a ready template by giving complete access to the media you already have saved to your Wix website.
The Smart Actions feature helps you choose triggers and assign automatic responses to them. It operates on a simple ‘if this then that’ principle. For instance, you can set Smart Actions to invite new customers to redeem a coupon in your online store when a new user signs up to your newsletter.
Mobile options. Wix was among the first site builders to offer a built-in mobile optimization option. The innovative Wix Mobile View lets users easily optimize their sites for mobiles and tablets using the same drag-and-drop tools.
Simply switch to the Mobile View in the control panel and fine-tune your site’s design until it looks as planned. You can resize, relocate, show and hide different items without influencing your desktop site.
About two years Wix devs added Wix Hotels to the App Market. That app offers a complete booking mechanism developed with the needs of hotel owners in mind. It frees them from relying on third-party vendors.
This year Wix presented Wix Restaurants – an application that allows to create restaurant menus and manage orders.
All in all, Wix offers a decent selection of both in-house apps and third-party apps that you can easily integrate into your website. The versatility of the platform makes it suitable for building various websites, from portfolios and five-page business sites to small stores and blogs.
Wix for designers. Though Wix is initially intended for non-techies, it has some offerings for web professionals, too. These include Wix Arena and WixEd.
Wix Arena is a designers’ community where Wix users can connect with professional designers who know all the ins and outs of the Wix ecosystem.
By joining the Arena as a freelance designer you get the ability to find new clients, get exclusive treats from Wix including monthly rewards and premium support, get first access to new Wix features, and more.
WixEd is an education program for Wix users who would like to start their own web design business. The program is entirely free and is open to anyone – the only tuition required is your talent and commitment.
SEO: Wix keeps of most of the on-page SEO work on behalf of Wix customers. These are the main SEO features of Wix website builder:
- Page’s metatags (title, description etc);
- Alt Text (must have for website’s images);
- Heading tags (H2-H7 allow to make a readable and SEO-friendly content);
- Anchor links (yoг can add your link covered by the text you need);
- Redirecting Tools (301 redirects between domains, platforms and within Wix);
- Added Google Analytics System;
- Site verification (for another analytic systems).
An example of Wix’s engagement to search engine optimization is the mobile-friendly of Wix websites’ versions. Wix has also a SEO Wizard that guides you though the way of making a website more SEO friendly.
In our opinion, Wix offers some of the best templates in the market. Their designers constantly update the library. There are hundreds of beautiful themes in over seventy industry categories: Business and Services, Music, Entertainment, Photography, Online Shop, Personal and many more.
There are also blank templates – you can start from scratch or choose an empty layout. For small projects and temporary sites Wix designers drew a collection of amazing one-page templates.
Of course, benefits are never the full story, and you should know that there is a significant drawback about all Wix templates – you can’t switch templates midway through the editing process, so think about this carefully before you decide which template is the right one for you. This is probably one of the common Wix complaints.
The builder doesn’t let you switch templates because of the aforementioned ‘absolute positioning’ editing principle. Because they give you full control over the site’s look, it’s simply impossible to transfer your settings and content to a new template.
Website builders that allow switching templates use the ‘box model’ that lets you easily transfer your content from one template to another.
#4 Customer Support
Wix offers a very user-friendly interface, lots of direction cues and prompts. Each editable element in your design includes a question mark – just click it to get additional information and practical advice. Learn as you build.
In case you face any serious problems that you can’t fix independently, you can always go to their Support Center or Forum. Many questions have already been asked and answered there.
The knowledge base contains numerous how-to videos and step-by-step tutorials written in simple language. You can also contact a Wix expert directly via email.
#5 Pricing Policy
There’s a never-expiring free plan and five premium plans that can be billed either monthly or annually. The cheapest paid package is Connect Domain ($4.08/mo – $5.95/mo), while the most expensive is VIP ($24.92/mo).
Pay attention to the fact that the Connect Domain plan doesn’t remove the Wix advert from your website. To get rid of it, you have to go with the Combo or higher plans.
If you use a paid third-party app from the App Market, its fee is charged on top of the standard Wix fee.
All Wix Premium plans include free hosting and domain connection, storage (from 500 Mb with ‘Connect Domain’ plan to 20 Gb with ‘VIP’ plan), built-in Google Analytics and Premium Customer Support.
Although Wix offers tons of great features and hundreds of stunning templates, there are some things that may bother you. Firstly, it’s their advertisement in the Connect Domain plan which pushes you to upgrade to a higher plan.
Secondly, there’s no way to generate human-readable URLs for your pages. The URL format generated by the builder doesn’t look good.
Wix doesn’t open up the codes. You can’t tweak your site’s source code.
Comparison with Competitors
The inability to edit code and switch templates, messy URLs and other downsides may drive you towards a more flexible website builder. If you’ve tried Wix and didn’t managed with it, or want something different, you can take a look to the Wix alternatives – the main competitors among all website builders.
If mentioned above is not enough, here are some more alternatives to Wix:
Are these any better than Wix? Well, it all depends on how in-depth you want to customize your site, whether you need the ability to write human-readable URLs and switch templates, among other aspects.
Here we collected the most common frequently asking questions about Wix that may be helpful for you:
Have you any other questions about Wix? Drop us a message via comments or feedback form and we’ll try to find an answer regarding to your issue.
Wix Review: Conclusion
Wix is a robust website builder with an impeccable reputation. Its most positive sides are a great template selection, ease of use and versatility. However, there are things that can be inconvenient.
So, weigh the pros and cons for using this platform, read other Wix website builder reviews, or simply test the platform yourself to get a better idea about this web service.
You may also want to take a look at our miscellaneous collection of Wix example websites. We hope you enjoyed our review of Wix.