Wix makes it easy to build a professional looking website.
First, let me say that I have no computer skills to speak of. Like most people, I can usually navigate the internet on my computer and my phone, and I can follow simple instructions. I’m the type of guy who has never shied away from technology, but I am not a “tech guy” at all.
That said, I found building a website on Wix , both easy and enjoyable! The site builder is very intuitive. The few times I found myself stuck, the Wix Help center was there for me. I was rarely stuck long.
Wix is great if:
- You have already mastered SEO (if you don’t know what SEO is, then you definitely haven’t mastered it!), or
- You have some other plan to drive traffic to your site
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s about writing and formatting web pages and whole sites, so that Google and other search engines will rank your content as high as possible. Strong SEO can mean the difference between having a beautiful, functional and successful site that is listed on the first page of search results, or instead having a beautiful and functional site that nobody sees.
To illustrate how powerful Wix is as a website builder, I decided to go in and build my own free Wix website. I’ve been thinking about creating a new site around 3D printing. I still have a lot to learn about 3D printing, so I’m not yet ready to invest much time or money into this niche. Still, I was able to create a good looking site in less than fifteen minutes. Using Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), I was able to create an online store with just a few clicks.
The screenshot on the right is of the Wix site I just made. I think it looks pretty good. I didn’t have to really do any thinking about the site layout and design. Frankly, most of my time was spent gathering and uploading the images I needed for the site.
Before this could really be a functioning site, I would need to put in some hours adding products, their photos, descriptions and prices. I’d also need to do quite a bit of research on the products, so I know which ones will sell.
I will also need to find a source for my products. I might want to join Amazon Associates and link to some of their 3D printers and hopefully get paid affiliate commissions. Or I can do some research and find affiliate programs for some of the specific products within my niche. I should also try these products myself, so that I can write reviews for the 3D printers that I hope to sell.
Just because Wix is the easiest website builder for beginners, doesn’t make it the best for you.
Like I said, Wix makes it very easy to put together a very slick, professional looking site in minutes. The only question is: Who is going to visit your spectacular, glorious website?
I mentioned the issue of SEO (search engine optimization) above. Many people think (like I did), that SEO is just a matter of a few well placed “keywords” onto the page and “presto” the site has been optimized.
At Wix, they even offer “Apps” (what would be called plugins on another website builder) that will help you manage SEO for your site. Some of these apps are free, but most are up-gradable to paid versions with more features. These apps are definitely have their place, but you should know that there is a lot more to SEO than just plugging in a few keywords.
How Much Does Wix Cost?
- Well, for some of their services, nothing. Here are the completely free services offered by Wix:
- Access to an extensive collection of fully customizable images, clip arts and icons, free to use on any Wix website.
- All Wix websites can be easily optimized for mobile devices.
- Safe and secure website hosting for all Wix users.
- A free site including 500MB of storage and up to 500MB bandwidth.
- Free Wix users have unlimited access to all of the Wix Support step-by-step walk-throughs, articles, video tutorials, and more, via the Wix Help Center.
Each free websites published by Wix is assigned a URL made of: username.wixsite.com/sitename/page-url. All free Wix sites display Wix’s logo.
Free Wix users also have access to the Wix App Market. Users can find a selection of apps to do every thing from boosting traffic to the site to taking payments and scheduling appointments. Many apps have a free version as well as beefier paid versions (Although, if you’re a free Wix subscriber I wouldn’t recommend that you spend any money on apps).
All and All, not a bad deal considering the price! The free site is great if you want to start a personal project. Maybe an online place for family to connect, a site that you wouldn’t expect anyone outside your hometown to read, except maybe some cousins in Austin.
Choosing a Wix Premium plan gets more complicated
Here are the features available to everyone who upgrades to a premium plan:
Personalized Domain Name – Connect one you own or buy one from Wix (BTW: most premium accounts come with a free domain name for the first year). With any premium plan, you will no longer need to use the wixsite.com address and you will be free to monetize your site as you wish.
Premium Customer Support – Premium users get faster responses to their questions. Customers in the U.S and Canada who choose the VIP plan, receive priority call back with phone support service and instant support for written contact.
No Wix Ads – With the premium sites, you no longer have to settle for having Wix ads on your site. This makes for a more professional look. No offense to Wix, but I prefer to promote my own brand, not theirs!
Google Analytics – Premium Wix users can use Google Analytics to track and analyze website’s performance.
An Online Store: The eCommerce platform for online stores that allows you to sell directly on your site. With the other premium plans, you will need to pay extra for this. If your primary goal is to create an online store, you may be better off trying one these sites that are all about building online stores: Shopify, Big Commerce, or Woo Commerce.
Increased Storage and Bandwidth: Each of Wix’s premium plans come with increased site’s storage and bandwidth. Take a look below and see which plan is right for you.
To start with, I suggest the Combo Plan, you may want to increase it to the Unlimited Plan at some point, but for most sites, the data limits of the Combo Plan are more than enough.
When I first opened my Wix account I was persuaded to go with the Unlimited Plan by the allure of the free ad vouchers and the Site Booster App. This was a mistake. At that time I didn’t know anything about SEO or improving page rankings, so the Site Booster didn’t add much value to the package. The ad voucher didn’t do much more. People visited my site, but because I didn’t yet know how to effectively create a targeted ad campaign, I blew through the voucher in a month or so with nothing gained, but the knowledge that some people clicked on the ad and moved on.
Wix makes it easy for anyone with a computer and an internet connection to design and build beautiful websites. But it’s not without flaws. Here are my 2 biggest criticisms of Wix:
- The creation of my website was so easy, as was the installation of their SEO plugins. But as a newbie, I had no true idea of what it takes to bring traffic to a website. Wix provides scant information on anything other than the actual building of the website. For other help in building an online business, like how to integrate social media into a campaign, or what are SEO best practices, users will have to look elsewhere. This might be unfair to Wix. They bill themselves as a Website builder, and they do an excellent job of it.
- Nickel and diming fatigue. With their app store, you can buy all sorts of widgets and doo-hickeys to improve your site performance, ranking, or to add things to the site like a shopping cart for your online store, or a scheduling or booking function. Each of these extra features will cost either a one time fee or a monthly subscription; it adds up quick.