There has been a lot of talk lately about WordPress competitors such as Squarespace and Wix with both of those sites seeing huge growth. Since their launch in 2006 Wix.com is now ranked globally as the 250th most visited site according to Alexa and they boast over 67 million people have created websites using their service with 45,000 new signups every day - quite remarkable statistics, you can read more on their about page here.
Wix offer an easy way for people to create their own website using pre-made templates and a number of different apps which can then be customized using a visual drag and drop builder, something that WordPress is striving for with recent updates to the Customizer and the huge popularity of themes which include visual builders - this is clearly a feature that people want.
I'm going to be taking a look at what Wix offers and see how easy it is to create a website and customize it using their site builder interface.
Wix has most of the features you would expect from this kind of service, you can visually build responsive HTML5 websites using their drag and drop site builder. You can choose from a starting point of "hundreds" of predesigned templates in a large number of categories ( see the next section for more on templates ).
You can also build online stores with full eCommerce capabilities, if you have an eCommerce plan, and accept payments via PayPal, WebMoney or Skrill via your Online store’s shopping cart. eCommerce sites also have Facebook integration which allows you to import your entire online store to your Facebook page.
Some other nice features are the 200+ apps you can use on your site for things like Contact forms, social feeds, restaurant reservations, appointment booking, Analytics, live chat and so on.
There is also 1000s of images, clipart and icons which you are able to use freely in your designs, media support for videos and audio uploads and image galleries with different skins.
Full support is included with the purchase of a paid plan which is provided via their support forum, knowledge base or support center or you can even schedule a phone call - asking them to phone you at a desired time.
You can check out the full run-down of features here.
All the templates on Wix are free to use and they have a large range to choose from. Every theme is responsive and the designs seem quite modern and well designed.
Templates are available in the following categories:
- Business & Services
- Online Store
- Hotel & Travel
- Restaurant & Hospitality
- Creative Arts
- Retail & Fashion
Wix provides a number of free and paid apps which will cover most different types of website requirements - you will need to click on each app to find out what the cost is, apps are charged on a monthly basis.
To get started with Wix, you simply click the "Sign in" button and you can register an account or login with your Facebook or Google login.
After logging in, you need to choose a category for your website from the long list of options which will then take you to the correct category to begin choosing your template.
Once you have chosen a template you'd like to start with, click the "Edit" button and it will load up the Wix HTML Editor where you can being making changes to your chosen template.
The editor is pretty simple to use, if you wish to edit an text you click on it and select "Edit Text" which bring up some options to change the size, font and typographical options which all change live as you apply them.
Selecting the "Add" button from the left hand menu will bring up a list of available modules you can add to your site such as Text, Image, Galleries, Social, Apps and so on. If you make a mistake there is an undo and redo button located in the top menu.
You can click the "App" button which will load the App marketplace, allowing you to add any of the free or paid apps to your site.
The "Settings" button is where you can define some settings for your website - Site Address, SEO, Social Settings, Analytics and a Favicon.
Once you are happy with how your site looks, you can click the "Save" button and then choose to publish it to a live address.
Your website address will be in the following format :
You can now visit that URL and your site will be live. As you are on a free plan to start with, you will notice that some advertising is added to the site - top right is a Wix button and there is also a Wix footer, to remove these you will need to upgrade to a paid plan.
To make the most of Wix you will need to upgrade to a paid plan, starting at £2.55 per month at the most basic level to connect a domain name to your site but this plan will still display the Wix advertising so really you will need at least the compbo plan which is £5 per month and includes 2GB bandwidth and 3GB storage. For larger sites the unlimited plan starts at £7 per month for unlimited bandwidth and 10GB storage. If you wish to run an eCommerce site, the plan is £10 per month and includes a free domain, 10GB bandwith and 20GB storage.
Wix is a really easy to use system for getting a good looking website up and running in no time at all. The visual editor was simple to use and provided all tools you need to edit one of their pre-designed templates and publish your site. Obviously with a system like this you won't have as much complete control over the final website, you are not able to edit the CSS or HTML - everything must be done via the visual editor.
Here are the pros and cons of using Wix:
- Easy to use visual builder
- No Coding Knowledge Needed
- Hosting Included
- Good range of templates
- Good selection of apps
- Website "Lock-in" - must continue using Wix to keep your design and content
- Can't edit source code
- Can get pricey depending on which apps you wish to use
I can recommend Wix if you need an easy to use interface to get an attractive looking website up and running quickly. If you are the type who prefers to delve into code and make tweaks to your website then Wix is not for you, you would be better off looking at a self-hosted installation of WordPress. Of course, there are extra costs to doing things that way - you have to pay for hosting, a domain name, possibly premium themes and plugins which can all add up, so the monthly cost to Wix which covers everything may seem more attractive when you calculate the total costs.