Wix site builder was founded in 2006 and entered its open beta phase a year later. The company claims it serves more than 65M websites worldwide, but don’t believe any numbers the builder uses in its advertising. There’s no doubt that these figures include anyone who has ever signed up to Wix website maker. In reality, it serves about one million premium users.
Because Wix is a publicly-traded company, the real numbers weren’t hard to find . Anyway, one million premium users is also a great achievement.
2013 and 2014 were years of expansion and growth for Wix – the company acquired Appixia, introduced a series of powerful business management apps, improved eCommerce, developed the Mobile Solution and hit over 65 million signups in over 190 countries. And while their devs are having a short break after all the hard work, we’re updating our Wix review.
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. This method gives users full creative freedom, but may cause many inconveniences in the future.
A few months ago Wix released a new dashboard dividing the control panel 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.
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.
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.
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.
Commerce. It’s noteworthy that Wix has its own eCommerce platform offering a decent set of customizable options (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.
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.
In August 2014 Wix devs added WixHotels to the App Market. The new app offers a complete booking mechanism developed with the needs of hotel owners in mind. It frees them from relying on third-party vendors.
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.
However, there is a significant drawback about them – 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.
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. There you will find numerous videos and will be able to contact their Team directly.
There’s a never-expiring free plan and four 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 eCommerce ($16.17/mo – $19.90/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.
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.
The inability to edit code and switch templates, messy URLs and other downsides may drive you towards a more flexible website builder. Here are some 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.
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 collection of Wix example websites. We hope you enjoyed our review of Wix .