Wix Review 2018: Super Intuitive, But Can Quickly Become a Mess
Wix is one of the leading lightweight web builders out there. With its rich and intuitive user experience, Wix will literally allow you to build an operation-ready business or personal website within half an hour, without a single line of code required. It will also provide you with hosting, let you buy a domain, set up email campaigns and more - all within one platform.
How is Wix different from Wordpress?
For those who’re new to the whole website building process, the main difference between drag-and-drop builders such as Wix and more robust web builders like Wordpress is that with Wix, you’ll be able to create a professionally designed website with zero web building experience, whereas services like Wordpress will meet you with a steep-ish learning curve.
What makes Wix so easy to use? Mostly, the intuitiveness comes from the drag-and-drop feature, which more complicated builders don’t have. With Wix, you can edit the website by simply clicking an element (a box of text, a background picture, etc.) and modifying it right there, instantly.
Same goes for adding new elements - you take an element from a huge library, drag it to where you want it, and voila - you’re a web designer. If you’ve used Canva or similar services, this feels very much the same.
The tradeoff is that Wix will limit your options as you start requiring more out of your website. Whereas website builders like Wordpress can handle even the most demanding business needs (from heavy e-commerce stores with hundreds of thousands of customers to the leading online publications such as BBC America and TechCrunch), Wix is designed to create and maintain simple, light web pages and will struggle with bigger operations.
Wix is an awesome choice for those who’re looking to build a simple, lightweight website to represent their business - without having to go into the code and other technicalities.
With Wix, what you see is literally what you get. You’ll select from over 500 available themes, and you’ll be able to customize every single element of the chosen theme by simply clicking on it. Want to add a blog section? Here’s a button for that. Need an audio player? Just drag-and-drop one where you want it!
Wix is perfect for those of us who don’t want to spend thousands on web developers and designers, but also can’t afford to spend hours learning Wordpress.
As for the actual websites that you can build with Wix, you can take a look at a few examples here. As you can see, Wix is most effective in building representational websites for small/niche businesses, such as freelancing, boutique shops, blogs or apps.
Anything more than that and you’re likely to run into the platform’s limitations very soon.
Meet Wix ADI, the AI that builds websites for you
One of the most fun features that Wix offers is their Artificial Design Intelligence program. Basically, the very first thing you have to do when building a website is to choose whether you want to use the ADI or you want to stick with the standard drag-and-drop version to customize your website design.
How does it look in action? While the web builder AI is still far from reading your emotions through the laptop’s camera or deriving your personal traits from what you post on Facebook, it’s still quite impressive.
Basically, the ADI takes you through a step-by-step questionnaire-like setup process, which adjusts the website based on the options you select and the answers you give.
The verdict for Wix ADI? It works. It isn’t as powerful as Bookmark’s AiDA (Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant), but, nevertheless, it makes building a well-designed website as simple as filling out a question form, and is the perfect solution for those who don’t want to ‘get their hands dirty’ with all the editing stuff.Try Wix for Free
Quick Wix Review - Pros and Cons
- So intuitive you can have a proper website built in under 30 minutes
- 500+ themes to choose from, for most various industries and purposes
- Reliable - everything on Wix works the way you’d expect it to
- Great UX and customer support - Wix will guide you step-by-step through the whole process
- The free option isn’t really an option
- Can’t change the theme once you select one
Is Wix easy to use?
One of the best things about Wix is that it makes building well-designed websites as easy as building a Lego house. If your intuition tells you that you can do something on Wix, you probably can.
The Setup ***** (5/5)
The sense of smooth sailing begins right at the sign up window - many websites, including other site builders, will ask you to create an account (enter your personal details, think of a strong enough password, select recovery questions… Zzz.)
Not with Wix, though. Here, you can just plug in your Google+ or Facebook account and keep going, as if you’ve already been here before. A small detail, but it instantly gives you an idea on how Wix approach their users.
Once you’re in, Wix doesn’t mess around and gives you the most essential question about your website: What do you do? (a bit paraphrased.)
No premium plan pop-ups. No domain offers.
After you select your niche, Wix gives you the option to choose whether you want to build your website with the help of the ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) we previously mentioned, or using your own imagination. Note: not all offered niches have the option to use ADI. For example, you can’t use the ADI for Photography or Restaurant niche websites.
Since we’ve already covered how the ADI works earlier in this Wix review, we’re going to focus on the template approach from now on.
One of the best things about Wix is that with every website you create, there’s a strict step-by-step process that guides the user through the entire journey. Have you selected a niche yet? Great! Now choose one of the themes that fits your business, and then we’ll move forward.
For someone who doesn’t have any experience in building websites and just needs something that works - and needs it now - the sense that someone’s always standing behind my back and telling me what to do is extremely comforting. Sometimes, restrictions are a good thing.
However, these particular restrictions come at a cost. Namely, once you choose a theme, there’s no way to change it to a different one. You’ll be able to customize it unrecognizably, but if you’ll simply want to see how your content looks on a different theme, you’re going to have to re-enter it all over again.
The Editor ***** (4.5/5)
Once you’ve entered your business’s data and selected a theme, you’ll be taken to the editor where you can actually customize the element of your newly built website. That’s when all restrictions go away, and you’re free to do whatever you want.
Instantly, you’ll be greeted with a short explainer video that’ll take you through the editor’s functionality, but believe me when we say that you’ll barely need it. Wix’s web editing tool is one of the most intuitive web builders out there.
Right away, you know what’s happening. Wix takes you to a full-screen editing window where you can add, remove or shape elements real-time.
Look left - and there’s a clear, simple menu that gives easily understandable options.
Click on the Add button, and Wix gives you an ocean of various website elements you can add. You’ll probably get away with using less than 1% of them, but it’s just so reassuring to know they’re there.
Same goes for editing the elements that are already present on the site. Just click on anything you want to edit (background picture, the product section, the menu, the main heading), and Wix will give you an individualized selection of editing options for each one.
And thus, the editor on Wix is hands on one of the best there is. Not quite the Weebly’s super sharp-looking editor (that’s why we gave Wix a score of 4.5 in this category), but nevertheless an easy-to-use option that you can get stuff done with, pronto.
1. Wix ADI Review - 3.5/5.
This Wix review has already introduced the Wix design AI, and now it’s time for a critical opinion on the matter. Basically, once the ADI knows the industry you’re in and the type of website you’re looking for (the colors, the layout, the structure, etc.), it will take content (pictures, copy) from similar sites in your industry and create a pretty generic mashup - a mashup that can be quickly individualized to meet your brand’s needs with a bit of editing.
Wix’s ADI feature is one of the two currently available AI web builders (with the other one being Bookmark), and it certainly does a hell of a job creating sites for you, but we couldn’t give it the highest score simply because there’s a better option out there. Bookmark’s AiDA feature creates better designs, it writes content that’s more relevant, and it has options that Wix’s ADI doesn’t (like creating websites based on your company’s web or Facebook pages.)
What we loved about Wix’s ADI is that it really does create professionally designed websites with more or less relevant content. With a bit of editing, these websites are totally comparable to what you can do with the templates. Wix ADI will build you a professionally looking website within 10 minutes.
What we didn’t like were the technical problems. Wix’s ADI is sort of slow-ish, and the application crashed a few times, without saving the progress made.
Oh, and also, even if you choose the ADI option, you’ll have to visit the good old Editor eventually to edit the mobile version (unless you don’t care about the mobile version of your site, which you should.)
2. Wix App Market Review - 5/5.
Wix is a pretty simple service. It’ll give you the drag-and-drop interface, a bunch of themes and editing tools to play around with and that’s pretty much it. And there’s nothing wrong with that - simple and accessible is what Wix always strived to be.
However, shall you need to squeeze a bit more out of your Wix page, don’t hesitate to visit the App Market with 250+ apps available, made by both Wix themselves and third parties.
What do these apps do? They enhance a specific aspect of your website, bringing in new features and functionality - from booking forms and restaurant menus to Google Drive add-ons and analytics widgets.
All of Wix apps come with quality instructional articles/videos that will get you going within minutes and offer customer support should you need it. Also, all apps available on Wix App Market have free trial versions for you to try. And if you’re hesitant whether a certain app is the right one for you, there are tons of user reviews/rating for each one to help you make an informed choice.
3. Wix E-commerce Review - 3/5.
The story stays consistent with Wix’s e-commerce solution: simplicity over functionality. While you’ll be able to quickly drag-and-drop product pages and set up payment options, e-commerce websites built on Wix will struggle to satisfy more complex e-commerce needs.
There are a few reasons why.
Firstly, Wix’s e-commerce templates are simple and limiting. They’re all designed to accommodate small, boutique-type stores, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you want to keep the option of expanding your website as your business grows, the themes will have a hard time keeping up.
Then there’s the back-end inventory management problem. Wix will give you the basics to manage your products and orders - like showing how many units are left or including product options (color, size, etc.) - but, once again, it’ll be a bit too lightweight to manage more complex operations with many products and orders.
Lastly, there’s the question of payment security. Wix doesn’t support payment processing on their sites, which means that in order for the potential customer to pay for the goods, he/she will have to be redirected to a third-party vendor website (e.g. PayPal). It might seem like a small detail, but it will almost surely hurt your store’s conversions.
When is it a good idea to go for Wix for your e-commerce needs?
If you’re planning to open a small online store - possibly, as a side-project or as a supplement to your main business - without the intentions to scale the project as soon as possible, you’ll get away with Wix’s e-commerce integration quite easily. It’s easy to set up and even easier to run - just like any other Wix-based website.
However, if you’re looking to put a lot of effort into growing your e-commerce business, we highly suggest you either use Shopify or Bookmark. Both of these platforms offer professional tools to scale your website, from hundreds of e-commerce oriented apps and highly capable inventory management tools to online store themes that’ll meet every business’s needs.
4. Wix SEO and Marketing Review - 5/5
While Wix proclaim themselves as having ‘the best SEO’, the platform was far from ideal in this aspect not so long ago. It used to have a messy URL structure, a dependency on Flash and you couldn’t add alt text to your images.
However, the Wix of today will provide you with all the tools you need to make your simple site as search-engine-friendly as possible.
Namely, you can:
- Customize page titles for every single page to include the desired keywords
- Create unique URL’s for each page, instead of randomly generated ones
- Format your content with appropriate headings (h1, h2, h3…)
- Write meta descriptions (while they don’t directly influence your SEO rankings, a well-written description can significantly increase your click-through rate and filter out ‘bad’ visitors)
- Add SSL encryption to your sites - Google are keen on seeing all websites with SSL certificates
- Make your site mobile-friendly - another important aspect for Google
- Install Google Analytics - just to make sure you’re on top of what’s happening with your marketing efforts
- Use many more SEO-enhancing features
We gave Wix 5/5 rating for its SEO-friendliness just because it has everything you’ll need to optimize a small business page. And if you’ll be building something more than a small business page, you’ll likely not to use Wix at all.
5. Wix Hosting and Exporting Options Review - 3/5
There are two things you need to know about the ‘technical’ stuff behind running a Wix website.
The first thing is that the hosting is completely free on Wix, no matter what plan you’re using (even the free one). And you don’t have to do any additional setup work - simply build your website, buy a domain, and you’re good to go.
See, normally, you’d have to buy hosting separately from a hosting provider, then build a website on a Content Management System - like Wordpress - and then upload the website to your host’s server. Scary stuff.
The second thing you need to know about Wix is that it’s impossible to export the site from Wix to a different platform.
Say, you’ve been using Wix for some time and gotten used to it, but your business has grown and you’d like to move your site to a more functional platform that would provide for your business’s needs. Unfortunately, Wix websites are strongly bound to the platform in terms of functionality, which makes transferring them almost impossible.
6. Wix Hosting and Exporting Options Review - 3/5
There isn’t too much to say about the Wix blog feature, so we’ll keep it brief.
Long story short - building a blog with Wix is a pure joy. Just like everything else on the platform, the blog manager is super intuitive and straight up fun. Everything from styling, adding GIF’s (the same way you do on Messenger) and actually writing the posts just feels good.
While the Wix blog manager will eventually get hectic as you publish more and more posts, it will do everything you’d expect it to with lower blogging volumes. Try it. It’s awesome.
7. Wix Customer Support Review - 3/5
While in theory Wix customer support should be an undisputable five-out-of-five (you can access their customer support specialists from early morning ‘till the end of the working day, and you get additional access if you’re a Premium customer), the reality seems to be quite different.
Many of Wix users say that they couldn’t get on a call with a Wix customer support specialist when they needed help. Which isn’t a good thing if you’re not that confident in your web building ability.
Instead of investing into proper live customer support, Wix has created a tutorial library where they cover various aspects of using their service and solving most common potential problems. Additionally, there’s the Wix Community forum that you can refer to if you can’t find the solution in the tutorial library.
And, of course, you can always send a ticket directly to Wix - they’ll usually respond within a few days.
8. Wix Mobile Editor Review - 5/5
Wix mobile website editor instantly gets a 5/5. Why? Because it’s pretty much the only proper mobile page editor, as opposed to the mobile preview tools offered by closest competitors.
See, web builders like Weebly and Squarespace look awesome on mobile devices simply because their themes are mobile-responsive and extremely well-made. However, you can’t really mess around with your mobile version using these services - you can only make changes to the desktop version, and the mobile site will adapt.
With Wix, you actually have the option to create an entirely different website for mobile devices. While in the majority of cases major deviations from the desktop version won’t be necessary, changing small details like adding a phone number or hiding desktop-oriented features can dramatically improve the user experience for mobile visitors.
And it’s no secret that having a well converting mobile site is extremely important for your online performance, starting from e-commerce sales and finishing with SEO optimization.
And thus, Wix mobile editor isn’t just the winner in this aspect - it’s the only choice.
Wix Pricing Review
While, technically, Wix has a free subscription model, if you take your business at least semi-seriously, you’ll instantly upgrade to Combo or a more expensive payment plan.
Why isn’t the free option really an option?
Because of the ads. With the free version of the site or even the most basic Connect Domain subscription plan, your website will be decorated with visible Wix banners, saying “This site was created using WIX.com. Create your own for FREE.”
Which, needless to say, isn’t the best way to build your brand identity.
Truly viable options start from around $10 per month, and go all the way up to ~$25/mo. The costlier options offer more bandwidth speed, storage space for your uploaded files and a couple of essential business apps for free, including the contact form app.
Wix Review: Verdict
Despite several quirks - questionable customer support, a bit overly lightweight e-commerce management system and the fact that you’re stuck with the theme you choose initially - Wix is still hands down one of the best web builders for small businesses or individuals who’re looking for a simple, well-designed website and don’t want to spend days learning Wordpress.
Wix isn’t (and isn’t supposed to be) designed to cope with large, complex projects, but it will handle basic e-commerce, blogging and content creation needs with ease. You’ll instantly connect with the Wix editor that makes building websites fun, not work. And whatever you don’t find in the editor, you’ll most likely discover in the App Market.
From the investment point of view, Wix is definitely worth it. Basically, you save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on design and development, and even the premium plans cost less than what some companies charge just for hosting.