Wix is probably the biggest online site builder there is right now.
According to their own statistics, they have reached 110 million user mark in 2017. This figure is naturally way bigger when compared to some of its competitors like Weebly (over 30 million users) or Squarespace (“millions of users”).
In this Wix review, I’ll share what I think about this platform, its main features and whether it’s a good fit for your next web platform.
Wix at Glance
- Building Your First Site: ****
- Main Features and User Interface: ****
- Integrations: ****½
- Customer Support: ***
- Plans: ***
- Pricing: Website plan 8€/$9 / month (if chosen the annual plan) ***
- Overall: 3.6
- Verdict: Please make sure to test the platform first, to see if you are satisfied in what Wix is offering. Join through this link.
- Wix App Market gives you plenty of apps to extend your site with.
- Wix ADI.
- It's being developed all the time with new features.
- Plenty of website templates to choose from.
- You can't change a theme once you. have chosen it.
- The pricing should be more transparent.
- The UI is cluttered.
- No chat support.
My Initial Expectations
As stated in the introduction of this post, Wix has some pretty impressive figures to throw to the table (especially the number of users). This means that they have done something right from the beginning when the company was founded (2006).
When I learned more about them through their blog, I found nice-looking pictures of the management. I also learned that the company is in NASDAQ, and it also had commercials on TV during the Super Bowl games.
So clearly, this company was the real deal, and I was excited to learn more about it.
Who Isn't This Sitebuilder For?
The fact is that you can’t please everyone, no matter if you are the biggest. So, here are some reasons that could leave you cold with Wix, including:
- You can’t change a template once you have chosen it during the design process.
- You may not be comfortable with the editor’s user interface.
- You’d like to have a bit more transparent pricing options.
- You’d like to use chat to contact customer support.
Then again, you can also find good things related to Wix.
For instance, if you value the constant development of the platform, ability to run various types of websites (a blog, a booking system, an eCommerce store) or the extendibility of the platform via a Wix App Market, then this platform may be very compelling to you.
Building Your First Website
There are two ways to build a website with Wix: either by using the traditional wizard-style path or by using the Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). In this section, we will cover both of those ways.
No matter which of the previous options you choose, you are prompted with the same starting view:
After this, the steps will be different, depending on whether you choose the ADI or the traditional site building route.
Using the Wix ADI
Wix ADI is an artificial intelligence way of building websites. Based on the information you give and combined with billions of potential layouts, it promises to create a unique website for you.
Creating a site with the ADI option is pretty straightforward.
First, by clicking the Start Now button, you initiate the ADI creation process. Once the button is clicked, you’ll be asked to provide further information related to your site; for instance, the type of website you want to create, what features you’d like to include in your site,
or the location for your business (which is optional):
Finally, you can then see all the information you have gathered so far:
Once all the information has been collected, the Wix ADI starts the process of building your site. As a result, ADI provides you with the templates it created:
Once you have picked your template and made any necessary changes (content, images…) so that the site reflects your brand, hit Publish:
You’ll be then asked to connect your site with a dedicated domain. If you don’t have any specific domain names in mind, you can always decide on that afterwards.
Building a Website with an Editor
You can also create a site with a regular site building editor.
First, you’ll get the option to choose between the Wix ADI and the Editor.
When you choose the latter, you’ll start the site creation process by picking a template for your website:
When you hover over a specific template (all of them are free, by the way!), you can then pick one, and it will open in the editor view.
Once I move forward, I’m ready to start editing the site in the editor, and then I can publish the site once I have done all the changes:
Building Your First Site:
No matter which option you use for creating a website, the process is well thought-out. The building process shouldn’t take that much time, and you’ll have a site up and running in minutes.
Main Features and User Interface
When you start your editor, you’ll notice that editing options are popping out everywhere:
First, there is the Editor Toolbar on the right which helps you to edit elements on your site:
Then, you have the site-wide settings at the top of the page, called the Editor Top Bar:
You also have settings on the left, the Sidebar Menu, which hides plenty of editor functionality under its buttons. For instance, when you click the Add button, you get this list of editing-related functionality:
This toolbar helps you to add and edit the elements of your site.
But I haven’t finished yet; there are still a couple of menus to explore.
One of them is the context-based tool menu, which pops up as soon as you want to edit a particular element on your page:
The most important option in this context toolbar is the Edit Text selection, which gives you this set of elements when clicked:
Please note that the Edit Text option is only available for the text element, and this option changes based on the element you have chosen.
So, if you selected a Repeater element, you would see the Manage Items link in place of the Edit Text option. This Manage Items link would then give you different options to choose from:
Finally, you also can also right-click the mouse which gives you another set of options to work with elements:
Whoaa … there is a lot going on, and you may feel dizzy after seeing all these options for the first time. Then again, when you start exploring all the menus, you will see that the editor is one of the most powerful ones when compared to other site builders.
Adding new elements to the page is just a matter of dragging and dropping:
What’s nice about this functionality is that you can drag and drop freely around the canvas to place your element. And this, my friend, makes Wix a true drag-and-drop platform when compared to its competitors. In other words, I haven’t seen this type of feature elsewhere.
If you happen to drag an element to a wrong place, Wix will tell you about it:
Ok, so there are more than enough editing options at your disposal. So, if you feel dizzy about all the menus (I did!); you can always hide them:
This may give you some temporary relief from all the clutter that the editor provides. Then again, I wasn’t quite sure why this option existed in the first place, since it basically cleared out all the important menus.
For instance, if I wanted to add another new element to the page, I had to turn the visibility back on to see the left-hand menu.
Finally, there are a couple of interesting options that you should get to know a little better.
First, when you click the magnifying glass icon, you’ll see a bird’s-eye view of your site, making it easier to see the bigger picture of it:
However, clicking the Mobile item does not just give you the static view of your website in mobile devices. It actually gives you the ability to edit your website inside this view and make a different version of the site for the mobile users:
Wix dashboard gives you access to all your sites. This view is actually stripped of details, at least when compared to the cluttered editor view:
In this view, you have a couple of options to choose from.
First, you can choose the Quick Actions menu. That is shown when you hover your mouse over a particular site you want to edit:
This menu gives you some basic functionality for managing your site.
You can also click the Select and Edit Site button:
This gives you access to various tools and documents that help you with your website-building efforts. You can also control Booking, Calendar or Blog-related services from this view.
However, the most important site-related settings can also be found through the dashboard, under Settings:
Yes, there are a lot of options to choose from on the Wix platform. Then again, once you start using Wix every day, things will become easier.
Nevertheless, Wix should definitely make some changes to the UI to clear the “editing clutter.”
You can improve your website’s visibility in the eyes of search engines through SEO. In Wix’s case, they have a tool called SEO Wiz, which helps you to optimize your site.
This tool can be accessed through a couple of routes. However, the most convenient one is by going to the Dashboard. Then, under the Settings, you can find the SEO section, where you can also access the SEO Wiz tool:
By clicking the Let’s Go button on Get Found on Google, you’ll start the SEO optimization process:
Through this tool, you can enter all the necessary information regarding your business, like what is your business name, location (if your business is an offline one) or what keywords to use.
Once you have entered your keywords, you can then analyze them:
To be frank, the graphs that Wix SEO Wiz presents here are somewhat vague. In my opinion, it would have been easier to show percentages of how strong the keywords are.
Once you have analyzed your keywords (you can enter a maximum of 5), you can then create an SEO plan for your website. In my case, I got the following results:
There are actually plenty of steps to take here and based on what I have seen, these are probably the most comprehensive SEO settings I have seen so far.
What I especially liked about the SEO in this section was Step #3:
In other words, you just can’t rise to the #1 spot on Google by doing some keyword research and injecting the keywords to your page. SEO as a topic is actually a very broad one, and that’s why Wix has created this guide in the first place, to help you see the bigger picture of SEO.
Nevertheless, the SEO Wiz helps you get started with search engine optimization and pushes you in the right direction.
Wix says it has 500+ designer-made templates available through their template directory. And when you go to the template page, you’ll notice that there is indeed an abundance of templates to choose from:
You can naturally preview a template before choosing it, or you can directly hop onto the editing mode by picking the template for your site.
The templates are categorized, but I would add more categories to this page.
For instance, if I wanted to pick a landing page template, it would be convenient to see all of them listed under one category.
So, what if you are not happy with the Wix templates? You can also create a layout for your site by using any of the multiple blank templates that Wix provides:
At the time of writing, there were six of them.
There is a mobile app for both iOS and Android.
However, this app is more or less related to managing your site, rather than building it. What you can do with it is things like creating a blog, take bookings or start discussions.
I think that this functionality is sufficient since full-blown editing functionality (like adding new elements or just building your website by using the editor) is pretty limited and user-unfriendly through a smartphone.
It is possible to create international versions of your website with Wix.
You do this by first creating the pages in your first language (like in English), then duplicating the pages, and finally translating the duplicated pages. You can also use an app called Language Menu App to help with the work.
Features and User Interface:
It’s not that Wix is not offering enough features, because believe me, there is an abundance of them. It’s just that their UI is cluttered with so many options (especially when working with the editor) that it can almost make your head hurt. Also, the fact that you can’t change your template afterwards is a minus.
However, you also have a true drag and drop editor available, allowing you to drag elements freely to the canvas. This is something I haven’t seen in any other site builder implement (at least yet).
Integrations and Extendibility
If there is one area where Wix really shines, it’s the App Market:
It currently contains over 250 apps to choose from, and they are divided into four pricing categories:
- Free trial
Free apps are obviously free to use:
The free trial is the one where you can test the app for free for a certain amount of time. After the period has passed, you’ll have to pay money to continue using it.
The hybrid one, free/premium, has some free features, while it costs some money to unlock the rest of the features:
Finally, you have the app that you’ll have to purchase in order to use it on your website:
There are many app categories to choose from:
However, it would also be nice to see apps categorized based on the price level. Hopefully, Wix will implement that at some point.
Every app shows you how many downloads it has received and a star rating (given by the downloaders):
Finally, when you click the app on the App Market front page, you’ll see more details about it:
Here, you can see various details related to your app, and you can also add it to your site.
So, everything seems to be more than perfect with App Market? Well …
In my opinion, the pricing model is a bit confusing. Sometimes, you can clearly see the monthly (!) price for the app (yes, you have to subscribe to them, at least to some of them):
On the other hand, you can also have premium apps, which just mention their starting price point:
This leaves me wondering whether you have pay for it only once, or is there a recurring fee?
To confirm this, you’ll have to contact the developer for more information by using the Developer Info tab:
Integrations & Extendibility:
Wix App Market is a place that other online site builders should take note of. It is well organized, and there are plenty of apps to choose from.
However, the pricing can be a bit confusing at times, without knowing whether the app has a monthly payment or not.
But in total, the number of apps and the variety of them really help you to extend your website with exciting features. And these new features will hopefully bring you more traffic, too.
Wix offers customer support in three ways:
- By using the knowledge base
- By phone
- By email (ticket system)
The knowledge base option is a de-facto standard with any site builder. It’s the first starting point of any request as you may find answers to your questions faster that way:
If the suggested answer did not answer your question, and you click No, you get an additional Contact Us link to contact the support:
What you’ll have to do next is to pick the category for your ticket. This is the tricky part as for the two test tickets I sent to customer support; I wasn’t able to find the right category.
Finally, if you can’t find a suitable category, you are then forced to choose the Other category (which, according to Wix, gives you the slower response time). Nevertheless, choosing a category (whether it’s Other or something else) finally gives you the way to contact the support:
Yes, this process is a bit tedious, and I have recorded a video related to it:
Like I mentioned, I submitted two test tickets to them, through a free plan and through a premium subscription.
I think that both times, the response rate was acceptable, considering that both of these requests were sent in the Other category.
The one issue I had with the customer support is the non-existence of the chat channel. Any modern site builder (at least the majority of Wix’s competitors) provide this support channel since it’s the most convenient way of getting help.
Finally, Wix also offers phone support, but I didn’t test that.
Wix has a pretty comprehensive knowledge base that can most likely answer the majority of your support questions. Also, the email support works decently with the tickets I tested.
However, Wix should definitely offer chat support. That would give this section one more star.
Please note that in this section, I’m only talking about the premium-level plans. You can also create a free account, but to truly unleash the power of Wix, you should really have a premium plan subscription.
There are currently five premium plans to choose from:
The least expensive, The Connect Domain plan is, in my opinion, the one you should skip right away. Why? Because even if it’s a paid subscription, you still have to display Wix ads on your site.
If you are running a rather static small-business website, without expecting to have a flood of visitors on your site, you’ll probably choose between the Combo and the Unlimited plans.
Both of them give you enough capacity to handle your web needs.
With Unlimited, you also get a Form Builder and a Site Booster app, to improve your site (please note that these apps are not included if you choose the monthly payment plan).
With the 123 Form Builder, you can create forms, quizzes and surveys on your site:
And with Site Booster, you can get more traffic to your website:
Next comes the eCommerce plan, which adds online store capabilities to your site:
This may not be clear at once, but there are actually more eCommerce plans to choose from than what you see on the pricing page. To see all of them, you’ll have to add the Wix Stores app to your site first. Then, when you click the My Store icon on the left,
you’ll see the plan options when you click the “get an eCommerce plan” link at the bottom of the window:
Finally, the most expensive plan, VIP, has all the same features as the eCommerce plan, but it also includes email campaigns and priority response from customer support:
Regarding the plans, the best fit for you will depend on your needs.
If you want to run an online store, the eCommerce plan is for you. However, if you’d like to have priority customer support, then this is something that only the VIP plan offers. But if you do not belong to either one of these groups, you have only two options left, Combo and Unlimited plans.
The primary difference between the Combo and Unlimited plans is the bandwidth and the available storage.
So, you could start with the Combo plan first, and if you happen to exceed the bandwidth, Wix will notify you. That’s also a sign that perhaps you should upgrade your plan to Unlimited.
Also, if you exceed the allowed storage for your current plan, you can either remove the files to free up space or move on to the higher-level plan to get more storage.
Wix offers basic functionality with any of the plans (excluding the Connect Domain) to get started with website building. However, I’d also like to see the unlimited storage option starting at least from the Unlimited plan. This is what some of Wix’s competitors (Weebly, Squarespace) are already offering.
Pricing and Billing
Currently, Wix offers five plans and price points to choose from:
However, the prices you see are not the actual monthly prices, even if the pricing table says so. The monthly pricing is actually based on whether you purchase an annual plan. And only then does the monthly pricing information that you see on Wix’s site hold true.
When you click any of the plans in the pricing table, you’ll see how the pricing actually works:
In other words, the longer you are willing to commit yourself to the platform, the less expensive it will get.
But this is not all since you should be aware of the VAT added to the price as well. In this example, I chose the monthly billing cycle for the Unlimited plan, and this was the actual price I got:
It is actually much more than what I originally thought it would be (based on the pricing table).
Finally, and something that you may not be aware, is that if you have multiple websites, you have to purchase a separate plan subscription to each of them. For instance, running three websites means purchasing three separate plans.
This practice obviously increases your costs, although it is standard practice amongst the site builders.
What’s good about pricing though, is that Wix has a 14-day money back guarantee on all of their plans. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, so make sure you are aware of them.
Traditionally, registering a domain through an online site builder platform is not worth it because the prices are more expensive that way. This is the case with Wix as well.
Sure, you can get a free domain for one year with any of the premium plans (except Connect Domain plan). However, the price after one year is 14.95€ (approximately $17).
So, considering that you can get a regular .com domain for 9.55€ per year (approximately $11), it is less expensive to purchase the domain elsewhere and then connect it to your Wix account.
However, registering a domain is just a starting point. If you want to increase the privacy settings of your domain, the price jumps quite a bit with Wix:
On the other hand, when compared to NameCheap (my favorite registrar), the price won’t jump:
So my advice? Get your domains with the necessary privacy level registered elsewhere, and then connect it to your Wix account. You’ll save money that way.
Want to get an email account with your Wix account? No problemo!
However, the issue is that since Wix doesn’t offer email accounts out of the box, you’ll have to purchase a G Suite account from Google, and that has a monthly cost ($4.5 - $6 per month):
This option works, although in an ideal situation, Wix should offer email as part of the plan subscription.
Accessing and Cancelling Subscription Information
You can access billing information by logging into the dashboard, clicking your account name at the top-right and then choosing Billing & Payments:
From there you can find all the billing-related information:
After clicking the Details button, you can cancel your subscription:
Pricing and Billing:
I have to be honest: I think that Wix should improve its pricing a bit to make it more transparent.
For instance, it would be nice to see the real costs (whether you have chosen a monthly or an annual plan) already on the pricing table page, rather than having to go to a separate page to do that.
Also, running a site is actually more expensive if you have special needs (like you want an email account for your website or use apps which have a monthly recurring fee).
On the other hand, the 14-day money back guarantee is a nice option to have. Just make sure that you fulfill the terms.
Is This the Right Tool for You?
Yes, Wix is the biggest site builder there is. But to answer my original question, is the biggest also the best? The answer depends.
First, I think that Wix should definitely improve certain of its core areas. For instance, you can’t switch a theme after initially choosing it (you should!), they don’t offer a chat support (they should!), and the UI is cluttered (they should clean it and organize it!).
Then again, their 100+ million client-base guarantees that the platform is going to develop and get bigger, and they have the necessary resources to do so.
I suggest that you at least create a free account to test out the platform. Then, you can switch over to a premium plan by testing it for 14-days.
If you find that the platform is not for you, you have the money back guarantee option available (just make sure that you fulfill the terms of the guarantee).
You might think that the grass is greener elsewhere, and you’d like to give other site builders a try. So here are some alternatives you can check out:
- Weebly: One of the easiest user interfaces I have seen with online site builders. Definitely an opposite to Wix’s cluttered user interface.
- Voog: Strong internationalization features. Also, some nice functionality to build your website in no time.
- Strikingly: Awesome, well-thought-out features. The best tool for building one-page websites.
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4 thoughts on “Wix Review: Is the Biggest Also the Best?”
I’m using Wix daily for my 2CENTS UX Design & Strategy site and blog ( https://2cents.co.il ), and I must admit that although the interface is great, and the themes are awesome, there’s something disturbing in their sales mechanics (pushing you again and again to upgrade, even though I’m already a paying customer), as well as their offering within the free tools.
It seems like they did the minimum on each feature, just to check each box, and not invest into upgrading and offer a really exciting and rich modules, while promoting 3rd parties to develop premium features, e.g. the gallery module.
I’ve monitored it for the past 2 years, and nothing changed there (no new capabilities or designs…) It comes with a lame design, very minimal, and if you need something that looks better, you need to pay for a premium feature…
That’s a shame, isn’t it?
Yes, that sure sounds like it!
Have you contact the customer support about this?
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