Is Wix really a sophisticated website platform?
Because Wix markets themselves as the solution for the everyman, making it possible for anyone to build a website, sometimes people are surprised when I say that it's the platform I use for 95% of my clients.
Should a web designer even bother with Wix when there are enormous platforms like Wordpress out there? Should companies with a reasonably sized budget even consider Wix for their new website?
YES. Yes to the yes.
Not all Wix websites are equal.
It's the same for Wordpress, Squarespace, and websites that are coded from scratch. Sure, you can work with templates and make something that looks decent, but an excellent website is made of more than that, and a unique website design that is perfectly suited to your brand and strategy is another thing altogether.
There are pros and cons to the different ways to build your website, but if you're trying to decide if Wix is an option you should consider, I want you to first consider the elements that go into making a website succeed.
A unique, thoughtfully-crafted brand
Well-defined company strategy (both overarching and specific to website)
Excellent service/product being offered
Design and layout that line up with the brand and strategy and resonate with the target audience
Clear calls to action & navigation
A comprehensive plan to drive traffic (SEO, integrated social media strategy, a long-term content plan, free downloads, etc)
Code that enables fast performance and accessibility on any device.
I am prepared to work with you on all of these elements. Wix is prepared to make all of these elements possible and successful. So with that said, here are the four things you need to know about what makes Wix such a world-class website platform.
1. Wix is absolutely perfect for most kinds of websites.
Wix isn't the be-all-end-all solution in any regard. But it's perfect for websites that are meant to achieve certain functions, such as but not limited to:
Portfolio of work
Small e-commerce store (25 or less products)
Company with a blog
Artists, musicians, videographers
There are some kinds of websites I wouldn't recommend Wix for, not necessarily because it doesn't have the capacity to do that sort of thing, but because other solutions out there are better. I wouldn't use Wix to build websites that:
Have lots of pages — Wix menus can accommodate first level and second level navigation, but not third level. If the site is complex (like some government websites need to be, for example), and requires subpage upon subpage, Wix might not be the right solution.
Are essentially a massive online store — Again, it's not that Wix can't do online sales well. It can. But at this point I would point these clients to Shopify or Wordpress because they have options that are just so fine-tuned to the needs of large online stores.
Need to run a very specific SEO strategy — Wix has made lots of improvements even since 2017 that have made their SEO offering competitive by all means, but the access to some of the ways SEO professionals would fine-tune things are limited. If your strategy relies on this, I'd suggest another platform, but Wix definitely suffices for the average user's SEO needs. Read more about Wix's SEO capabilities here. (Also, this is something that continues to be improved, so I have hope for the future in this regard!)
Need to look or perform EXACTLY like a certain mockup or other website — As flexible as Wix's design is and despite the abundance of widgets and features available, the platform doesn't allow total access to the actual site code. This means there are limits to your options, and is why some websites just need to be built on a more code-based platform.
2. Wix is easy to learn and maintain and has an incredible support site to help users find answers.
I am a web designer and consultant, not a web developer or tech support. So when I build a site for a client, I don't want to hand them something that will break every second month, is frustrating for them to learn, or requires them to come to me and spend money for every change they want to make down the road. I want them to be as empowered as possible with the site they own. Here's why Wix makes me (and my clients) happy:
Wix is rated over and over as the easiest platform to learn.
Their online support centre and forums are extensive but really easy to navigate, and provide step by step instructions on how to do practically everything.
Because site users don't have access to code, they can't break the code.
Because there is a history automatically generated with every "save" with backed up versions of your site that can be restored, if you accidentally delete a page or mess something up, it's really easy to bring it all back.
Their support centre does not offer online chat, but they are very prompt at responding to emails, and I've always been satisfied with the way they've helped me resolve any tickets I've submitted.
3. Wix has very accessible pricing tiers.
If you're a multinational corporation or an extremely well-funded start-up, that's one thing, but most people are looking for options that are going to give them great bang for their buck. And Wix really delivers on this. The website builder most often compared with Wix is Squarespace and Wix is a few dollars lower than them on all their pricing tiers. Wordpress is set up differently, so you can find your own hosting for less than Wix's plans, but you will need to maintain security of the site, and most people purchase a template to work from which can make their startup costs higher. Weebly, Jimdo, and GoDaddy are all a bit cheaper than Wix, but either don't have the design flexibility or just don't support the amount of features Wix does (and in my opinion—take it or leave it!—none of them measure up).
For absolutely free, you can create as many fully functioning Wix websites as you want, with no time limit. For USD$10/mo, you can connect a domain of your choice and remove the Wix ads from your site, making it the full professional experience, but there are actually seven Premium Plans to choose from. As you'll see below, they have plans for general websites, and three that are specific to businesses.
Another thing I love about Wix is that they have sales a LOT. I get about half of my clients started on a plan that's 50% off for their first year (which is a nice way to subsidize the cost of launching the site!).
4. Wix is constantly developing new features and upgrades.
I'm constantly impressed with Wix when it comes to how quickly they grow, provide new features, and improve their offerings. I have been personally contacted a few times regarding features I've used in order to gather my suggestions on what I'd like to see improved. And I continue to see things put into motion that I've voted for on their support site. This speaks volumes to me as a designer, and should be noted by any web user! The internet is constantly changing, and the thought of people investing time and money into building a website only to see the platform lagging behind current trends and features makes me cringe. A website should not be static, and Wix does an excellent job of keeping pace with the industry so your site can grow and evolve in effective ways.
With the recent release of Corvid, Wix's new tool (replacing Wix Code) by which apps can be built and site code can be accessed and customized, I am more confident than ever in recommending Wix to clients in diverse industries with diverse functionality needed for their websites. Wix is no longer simply a budget-friendly option for early entrepreneurs and artists—it is a future-leaning tool that we will begin to see more and more large companies using to champion their web strategies.
Wix remains my best recommendation for people who want something that's easy for them to learn so they can easily update their website themselves, can run an extremely attractive and sleek design, offers a myriad of truly useful features and app integrations, and won't break the bank. It's definitely a reasonable option for people who don't have much money to spend and need something to function until they can invest in an excellent website, but Wix is such a powerful tool that it can be trusted by organizations and individuals who want a truly excellent website and come with high expectations for its performance.