Wix is recognized as a great platform for creating stunning websites. For the most part, Wix.com did that with Flash, which is not good for mobile devices and a nightmare from a SEO point of view.
But recently they did a big change and rewrote the way you can build sites. Thankfully, Flash was replaced with the HMTL5 technology which is a BIG step forward and a great solution for their customers.
In this Wix review I will try to show you all the pros and cons as well as a comprehensive, step-by-step tutorial.
Topics covered in this review:
- Summary: Overall rating – Pricing – Interface – Design / Themes – Customer support – Bonuses and promotion – Step by Step Tutorial
– Write your own review and comment
* If you want to read this review and tutorial as a PDF file, you can download it HERE.
Summary – Overall review
The good things about Wix:
Easy drag & drop builder – The dashboard is clean and for the most part very intuitive, which is a great plus, especially for those with no coding skills. You can simply drop the modules you want, add the content and click publish. Easy as that !
No Hosting Costs – Everything is hosted by them and you don’t have to pay anything in order to have a functional website with no limit constraints.
Template Restraint – Meaning that once you choose your template (in the process of creating the website for the first time) you can’t change it back at a later stage.
The Ads are Visible – For the Free membership you have two, very annoying, ads. A smaller one on top and wide bar at the bottom that is fixed, which means that wherever you look on the website, this ad bar is always showing.
Not So SEO Friendly – The URL structure is weird because you end up with some cryptic looking URL’s for your pages. Example : www.example.wix.com/mycoffeeshop#!about_us/c161y
Wix is known for providing great visual websites and this why it is best used in certain areas. It’s not the best solution for a blog or an online shop (even though they provide enough eCommerce features), BUT it works great for photographers, restaurants, designers or even small businesses that want to showcase their products.
At the end of the day, the current 26 million registered users had to have a good reason for choosing Wix over the other similar providers.
- Best For Portfolio 2013 WBTUTORIAL REWARD
Wix allows you to create websites for free with no strings attached, but there are some limitations. If you want to remove these limitations, then you need to upgrade to a paid membership. This is the standard for all website builders and this is how is supposed to be, to be honest.
Wix provides you with 4 different premium packages, all of them ranging from $4/month to $16/month. I will go ahead and talk a little about each one:
Connect Domain – The smallest upgrade offers you the least features. It allows you to connect your own custom domain (Ex: www.MyDomain.com), gives you access to analytics, but it doesn’t remove the Wix ads from your website.
Combo – Besides having more storage space and bandwidth, the Combo packages comes with 3 great new features :
1) Remove Wix Ads – at last !
2) Add Favicon – good for branding.
3) Mobile ads Free – good for your visitors from mobile devices.
Unlimited – Voted as the most popular package on Wix.com, this has the same features as the Combo plan but the real difference is when we talk about the bandwidth. This package offers Unlimited bandwidth and 10 GB of storage space.
But do you really need unlimited bandwidth? The short answer will be YES ! Because if you start receiving more than 50 visitors per day, those 2GB are going to fast. So if you know that you can attract bigger numbers of visitors and your content is mostly media, then this is the package you need.
eCommerce – This package is designed for those that want to build an online shop for their business or hobby. You now have the ability to add a shopping cart to your website.
All the premium memberships except for “Connect Domain” receive a free domain and ad vouchers with a combined value of $125. This is great because you can use this free credit to start marketing your website / business.
Wix is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website builder, which means that everything you build is going to automatically show on your website.
It is an easy drag & drop builder that doesn’t have a big learning curve. You just need to spend a few minutes learning which is where and then you are ready to go. Just take a look at the Step-by-Step tutorial I’ve made for you a little down below.
But even if you are stuck at some point, there are help buttons almost everywhere on the dashboard. For every single step or process, there is a help button right next to you. This is a great feature to reduce the customer support workload.
Design / Themes
By far the strongest point for Wix is their design and the impressive collection of templates available for free; each of them with even more settings for colors, fonts or background images.
In the beginning, Wix was using Flash templates, which were great visually but had a lot of flaws. In the meantime, they switched over to HTML5, which brings a lot more power, is more SEO friendly and is compatible with mobile devices.
They have over 280 HTML5 templates (and still has a few ones using Flash) sorted in categories and sub-categories that makes it impossible not to find something that will fit perfectly.
Another great thing is the fact that you can make your own design, meaning that you start with a blank canvas and slowly build the template that suits your needs. Even though it is not very hard to do so, I recommend using a pre-made template and customize it how you want. It’s easier this way!
A big drawback is the fact that Wix doesn’t allow you to change the template on a later stage. This means that you have to be very careful when you start your website and be sure to check all of the templates before choosing one.
Unlike other website builders, Wix doesn’t allow you to make any changes in the HTML/CSS code. A great feature for the pros but something irrelevant for those with no coding skills.
Wix doesn’t provide email or live chat support. They took another approach on helping their customers.
Beside having a great knowledgebase full of tutorials, video tutorials or just straight, short answers that you can find here -> http://www.wix.com/support/main/html5, they also have a Help Forum.
You can simply go and search inside the forum to see if your question was already answered or you can post your question. It’s not going to take too long until someone will respond and help you solve your problem; they are pretty quick at it.
You might think that this is a bad form of support, but you have to understand that this type of request can be seen by everyone. And if they are clumsy and don’t get on it fast, then all of the customers and potential customers can see that the support is awful and decide to move to another provider.
So this puts extra pressure because everything is in plain sight. And the fact that no one is complaining about their bad customer support, we can conclude that you are in good hands in case you have a problem.
Bonuses and promotion
From time to time, there are some Wix coupon codes available that can help you get a discount if you decide to upgrade your membership.
Right now, the only Wix coupons that we could get our hands on is for a 30% discount for the eCommerce Yearly Package and the Unlimited Yearly Package.
Step by Step Tutorial To Create Your First Wix Website
Working with Wix is easy and pretty intuitive, but as with every website builder, there are some things that require a little more attention. I hope that this tutorial will come in handy and ease your first contact with the platform.
When you land on the Wix.com homepage, the first thing you have to do is to click the big “Start Now” button that will lead you to the log in window:
Because we want to register a new account, we will have to click the “Create New Account” button which will open a new window. This is where you will add your email address and your chosen password.
The next step is to choose the category and sub-category that suits your website the best.
After you choose it, you will be transferred to a new window where you can pick your favorite theme. Depending on what category you chose, you will receive multiple templates especially made for that niche. For this tutorial I have chosen (like always) something that will fit to a coffee shop like Restaurant & Hospitality -> Cafe & Restaurant.
When you find something you like you can preview it to see how it will look in full size. When you are sure about your theme, then you need to click the “Edit” button.
Now you are inside the dashboard. This is where all the fun starts! But before I start building my website, I will talk about each element so you can understand better what it does and what is best to use.
The most important features are located on the left side of the dashboard in the form of 5 big icons. If you mouse over them, their names will pop up, and they are : Pages, Design, Add, Settings and App Market.
Pages – This where you can manage the pages of your website. You can add pages by simply clicking the “Add page” button and the picture below will appear:
On the left side you have the “Page Layouts” area where can choose the which layout best fits your content. You can use a page for your portfolio, add a map or even list some items that you want to showcase or sell.
After you choose it you will need to name your pages and press “OK”. Now you will have a new page that appears on your “pages” menu. Besides adding the content that you want on your page, it is important that you click and enter a few more details by clicking the “Settings and SEO” button. This will bring a second page to your “pages” menu, like in the picture below:
It’s important that you complete the “SEO Page Settings” fields you want in order to rank higher in the search engines. Pick carefully your titles and descriptions, as these will become the details shown when people search for your website.
You can also make a sub-page very easily by simply dragging and dropping it a little more on the right side of the selected page, like in the image below:
Design – In this section you can choose the background design by using one if the preset backgrounds, colors, designs, textures or pictures. You can also upload your own customized image.
Another cool feature is the ability to change the set of colors that the website uses. There are a lot of sets that have only colors that go along perfectly so you don’t have to think too much about which ones go hand in hand.
And the last option is about choosing the fonts you want featured on your website.
Add – The most used section of this control panel provides everything you need in order to easily insert content in your website. You just need to drag & drop the elements needed, add the content and position them where you think they fit better.
Settings – A very important section that features like:
Site Address – Here you can choose the site name that will reflect in your website’s URL as well.
SEO (Google) – You need to enter the basic SEO details like Title, Description and Keywords. An important option that you need to check before you press “done”, is the “Allow search engines to find my site” which basically lets your website to be visible in search engines.
Mobile View – This is where you can make it easier for your visitors to surf your website and view your content in their mobile devices.
Contact Information – Because people like to know about the business you run, they need to know a bit more about the person behind the website. This is where you can add the phone number, email address, fax or the headquarters address.
Social Media Profile – If you have accounts on certain social media sites, then this is where you can add your profile or your businesses profile. Like you can see on the image below, there are a lot of social media sites incorporated with Wix.
Social Settings – A nice feature provided is the one where you can upload a picture or logo as the thumbnail, which will automatically be visible when your website is “liked” or posted in a status on Facebook.
Statistics – You can track your website’s traffic with the help of Google Analytics. Unfortunately, this feature is available only if you upgrade your membership.
Favicon – Another cool feature, but only available if you upgrade.
Wix App Market – If you want to add a professional touch to your website and boost your online presence with some cool features, then this is the place where you can choose what you need. Whether you want a social bar, a product catalog or a music playlist with a nice interface and no coding skills required, this is the place where you can find them.
I recommend that everyone starts with the free apps and then upgrade if they like it and need new features.
Another toolbar that you can see in the upper part of the dashboard offers you some more features, and most importantly, has the Preview, Save and Publish buttons.
On the left side you have the ability to go through the pages quicker than using the left control panel.
Every element on your website can be edited or removed with just a few clicks. So with very few edits you will be able to make a superb looking website without any sort of HTML/CSS knowledge. Something like the screenshot below:
Or you can see the sample site live HERE.
* If you want to listen the short version of this review, be sure to check our Wix podcast here.