Wix.com Review – The Flexible Website Builder
The Wix website builder has become incredibly well known over the last few years, in part due to budget busting-marketing efforts like the #ItsThatEasy Super Bowl XLIX campaign. Today Wix is one of the biggest players in the website builder landscape and hosts a whopping 70 million websites.
The visually impressive layouts are designed for small businesses, restaurants, online stores and artists such as musicians and photographers. They are optimized for mobile devices and can be spiced up with one of the numerous apps available from the Wix App Market.
Wix is available for free for as long as you want, but if you require professional features like your own domain name or priority support, you can choose from one of their five premium plans ranging from “Connect Domain” to “VIP (only US)”.
Does their success really reflect the quality of their website builder? Let’s find out in detail what makes Wix so special.
Take a look inside of Wix
It’s extremely flexible: whereas other website builder limit the extent to which elements can be moved around, Wix allows your to finish your work off “pixel perfect”.
Adding animations: Wix is one of the few site builders that let you animate text and other elements. But make sure not to overdo it!
App Market: There are hundreds of third party apps that you can add to your website. There is a newsletter tool, live chat software, online booking widgets, etc. All of those can be easily integrated into your Wix website. But keep in mind: most of them are third party apps—if they get shut down you can’t complain to Wix.
Pricing: the cheapest ad-free plan with Wix is called Combo, which starts at $8.25 per month (compare Wix’s premium plans). The competition offers cheaper options: Jimdo’s cheapest plan without any advertising starts at around $6.50, for example.
Templates can’t be changed: once you’ve chosen your initial template, you are locked in with it. You can certainly change the design within the template, but you cannot pick an entirely new one.
No access to the source code: unlike a few of their competitors, Wix doesn’t let you edit the HTML or CSS of your website. For most, this won’t really be a big issue. If you only want to add certain HTML widgets to your pages, that’s not a problem as you can see in the video:
Too much flexibility (for some): while it’s great that the Wix editor is really flexible, it can also be overwhelming for some people. Wix feels very much like editing a PowerPoint slide.
Wix in Detail
|Ease of use||The editor is very easy to understand. If you are stuck, the FAQ section will help. Short introductory videos give instructions on the different functions.|
|Choice and flexibility of design (templates)||The designs look great and make a professional impression that also look good on mobile devices. You can also embed videos in the background—unfortunately not your own (yet).|
|Advertisement-free||yes||Ad-free only from the premium plan “Combo”. The free version and the Connect Domain plan show some pretty visible Wix-ads.|
|Languages||The editor supports nine languages. Multilingual sites are generally possible. More info can be found in their support pages using the search term “multilingual websites”.|
|Your own domain name (e.g. .com or .net)||yes||Free domain name for one year included from the premium plan “Combo” only. Wix supports these and other domain endings: .com, .org, .net, .co.uk and .info. Using the “Connect Domain” package (and higher) it is possible to move your existing domain to Wix or point it from another domain registrar to Wix. For more information search for "domains" on their support pages.|
|Depth of navigation||A maximum of two levels are possible. A third level would be desirable.|
|Widgets (small tools to add extra functionality)||Comprehensive app store to embed excellent image galleries, videos (YouTube), Facebook, etc. External applications can be integrated easily via the apps.|
|Monetization||yes||You can integrate Google Adsense via their App store. Another possibility is banner ads and affiliate links.|
|E-Commerce||An online store is included in the “eCommerce” package. You can also test the function in the other plans. Read our detailed review of the Wix Online Store here.|
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO)||Page titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags can be added individually. Less ideal are the cryptic URL names.|
|Blog||The blog is quite basic and not SEO-friendly. You can’t modify the URL, title or description. Visitors with a Facebook account can leave comments. It's possible to schedule blog posts.|
|Visitor statistics||In order to access statistics, Google Analytics must be integrated in advance.|
|Contact form||yes||There is a simple contact form builder.|
|Password protection||yes||Exemplary! Pages can be allocated an individual password, or users can be set up and managed with their own login.|
|Newsletter tool||yes||Wix offers an application called "ShoutOut" that allows you to send newsletters from your account. There are also app integrations with other email marketing services (e.g. CakeMail).|
|Add HTML code||yes||Embed various widgets and other tools by means of an integrated app.|
|Storage space||500 MB+||500 MB - 20 GB. Please note that there is also a monthly bandwidth limit in most plans (only relevant for very large websites).|
|Forum||yes||Can be embedded via app.|
|Support||yes||Support center, forum, phone. The documentation is very detailed and clearly explained. If you get stuck, you can submit your question to the forum. Answers are usually prompt.|
|Fun Factor||Starting up is very playful and, initially, impressive results are achieved quickly. Wix gives you a lot of freedom in the design process.|
|Smart website builder with optical delights. Easy to use and as flexible as it can get. It's the perfect website builder for photographers, bands, artists and any kind of portfolio site. Try it for free.|
Wix’s selection of highly modern layouts and impressive animations made a particularly good impression on us. The App Market is a very useful tool which makes the implementation of additional features such as photo and slider galleries into your website as easy as adding an app to your smartphone.
There is no doubt that the templates look very attractive, but they also come with some very basic flaws. If you want a good looking website on your mobile device, you need to arrange your elements manually.
Another shortcoming is that you cannot change your template once you have made your initial choice. Other website builders need only a few clicks to swap one template for another. That’s the price for Wix’s great flexibility of the editor.
Using Wix has a completely different feel than, for instance, Jimdo or Weebly—whether or not this is a good thing depends on your personal preferences. Wix offers much more creative freedom, but in turn requires you to pay more attention to detail. You will be likely to accidentally move objects or re-arrange your website if you’re not careful.
Wix is particularly good for impressive presentation scenarios. Artists, bands, photographers and other creative users will be very happy with Wix if they want a great platform on which to present themselves with style.
As mentioned before, Wix also allows you to sell your goods on your website, but if you are considering running an eCommerce shop, we encourage you to read our Wix Online Shop review first.
Wix has created a product that certainly is impressive in many ways, but you should be aware that it comes with a few minor flaws.
Wix Example Sites
A little side-note: HTML5-Websitebuilder.com is our own Wix demo website and ranks surprisingly well in Google for a pretty competitive keyword: “html5 website builder”. Usually it’s on the first page of the search results. So don’t believe those who say that you can’t rank a Wix website on search engines!
User Opinions about Wix
Alternatives to Wix
A few comments:
Weebly is a great Wix alternative as it’s extremely intuitive and easy to use. Its templates are not quite as stylish (or as numerous) as Wix’s. You have the option to work with different editor accounts on your website, which is great for teams. There are some very advanced features like a membership area and an online store, which feels more mature compared to Wix.
Jimdo is similar to Weebly and offers a nice all in one bundle—you have a domain name, email address(es) and the website builder all in one package. Although Jimdo has revamped its designs, Wix’s templates are currently second to none. Worth a try if you don’t like Wix’s web editor concept.
We picked the One.com Web Editor as an alternative as the website editor is quite similar to the one of Wix. Not nearly as sophisticated, but a viable alternative for smaller websites. Their prices can be as low as $40 per year including domain name and email accounts.
FAQ about Wix
How do I use a domain name that I already own?
After logging into your Wix Account you will see the “Domains” menu. Here you can simple enter the domain name that you want to use. If you have already registered the domain name they will show you how you can transfer it or point it to Wix (see screenshot). Simply click here and search for “transfer domain”.
Does the "Connect Domain" plan really show ads?
Yes, it does. For an example, you can check our demo site www.html5-websitebuilder.com.
Do I need my own web space to use Wix?
No, Wix is a hosted website builder. What that means is that by signing up they will provide everything you need for a complete website: the editor, the web space and a domain name. For a proper .com or .net domain you will have to purchase one of their premium plans.
If I use Wix to build my website, will they own my content?
No, Wix will not become the owner of your content. Here is what their terms of service say: “Wix does not claim any intellectual property rights over the User Content[…]” (TOS: 15. User Content D.)
The same applies if you purchase a domain name through them. They will never own it and you are free to transfer it to another domain registrar.
Does Wix run both on PC and Mac?
Wix runs in your web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge), it doesn’t matter if you are using a Mac or PC. Just make sure your browser is up to date!
This widget shows the so-called “uptime” of our Wix demo website within the last month. When a website goes down, it means that no one is able to access it. The closer the uptime is to 100%, the better it is. Anything less than 99.90% is considered relatively poor. “Outages” shows how many times it went blank and “Downtime” gives you the total amount of time it was down within the last month.
Wix Server Response Time
Here you can see the number of milliseconds it takes to get a response from Wix’s servers. A value in between 200-500ms is relatively good: more than 800ms can feel slow to the website visitor. Wix’s servers are located in the USA, which means that loading times are fastest there. All of these numbers are updated in real-time.
Wix Page Speed
|Wix||Desktop||Mobile||User Experience (mobile)|
Loading speed has become an increasingly important ranking factor for Google. That’s why we selected three random Wix templates and tested them for their page speed using Google PageSpeed Insights. Anything below 70 is relatively poor, a rating of above 80 is considered as good. The maximum is 100 points.
02 Sept 2015 – Wix introduced a multilingual app – new rating 4 stars
13 Aug 2015 – Video backgrounds and improved online store lead to a slightly higher rating.
04 Aug 2015 – Pros and cons added as well as server tests
30 Jan 2015 – General review update
13 Oct 2014 – New rating for blog, before 1,5
27 Aug 2014 – New rating for designs, now 4.5 stars
17 Jul 2014 – Wix introduced its own Newsletter tool “ShoutOut”.
30 Jan 2014 – H1 tags can be added.
09 Jan 2014 – More detailed information about domain names.
10 Dec 2013 – Review of the blog feature added.
24 Sep 2013 – More storage space.
19 Jul 2013 – Supports Google Adsense now.
08 Apr 2013 – Review of Wix’s new HTML builder. The review for the old Flash-based model can be found here.
14 Mar 2012 – Password protection information added
11 Apr 2012 – Initial review of Wix’ HTML5 website builder
22 Nov 2011 – We have tested Wix’ server performance.
07 Nov 2011 – Wix adds a blog module
20 Jul 2011 – Website builder for mobile websites reviewed reviewed, new eCommerce features added
17 Mar 2011 – General update
12 Jan 2011 – General update: support has not been reviewed this time.
Last updated: 02 Sep 2015 | Armin Pinggera