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 Super Bowl 2017 campaign (starring Hollywood actor Jonathan Statham). Today Wix is the biggest player in the website builder landscape and hosts a whopping 90 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 commercial success really reflect the quality of their website builder? Our Wix review will now tell you what’s good and what’s bad about this product.
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.
Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI): Wix offers a (relatively) smart assistant to create your website with. But this is only available for some types of projects (e.g. portfolios, yoga sites, etc). For instance, it’ll automatically connect your social media, generate a contact form for you or pick a suitable design for your audience. But don’t worry, if you don’t like something, you’ll be able to change it.
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 $7.50, 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:
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 professional and allow for pixel-perfect customizations (see examples). There's a mobile-friendly version that can be adapted individually. You are also able to embed videos in the background and even upload your own fonts to the Wix editor.|
|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.|
||The editor supports 16 languages. Multilingual sites are generally possible. More info can be found in their support pages.|
|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. Renewal prices start at $14.95 per year. 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. More information. SSL encryption (https) is always included.|
|Depth of navigation||
||A maximum of two levels are possible. A third level would be desirable.|
|Widgets (small tools to add extra functionality)||
||Wix App Market features a wide range of unique widgets and apps. We especially like Wix Music, to sell and promote music, and Wix Bookings that will let your customers book and pay for appointments and consultations. External applications can be easily integrated as well.|
|Monetization||yes||You can integrate Google Adsense via their App store. Another possibility is banner ads and affiliate links.|
||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. Wix changes images file names into something cryptic (e.g. 09a0a67abb7~mv2.jpg/). For more information, check Wix's SEO post.|
||Wix’s blog is a pretty good add-on, which is also SEO-friendly. It comes with most of the features that you’ll need (e.g. tags, categories, RSS, etc.). Visitors can leave comments via Facebook or Disqus. It's also possible to schedule blog posts. With the Wix mobile app you can edit and publish articles on the go.|
||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||You can use Wix's own "ShoutOut" newsletter service. It's very easy to use but not as powerful as specialized external providers. For alternatives take a look at this comparison of newsletter services.|
|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).|
|Backups & Restore||yes||Wix comes with a version control option that will let you restore to any previous version of you site with one click.|
|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.|
||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 attractive, but they also come with a few minor 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 pick a different theme once you have made your initial choice. Other website builders need only a few clicks to swap one theme for another. That’s the price for Wix’s unmatched editing flexibility, which gives you total control.
Using Wix has a completely different feel than, for instance, Weebly which offers a more structured approach. Moreover, their Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI), offers a unique guided process to setup and design a website; particularly convenient for beginners.
Wix is a great choice for persuasive presentations. 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.
What Wix has created here is certainly impressive in many ways – just make sure you try out the free plan before switching to a paid plan. This will allow you to find out if it’s the right choice for you.
Is Wix the right website builder for you?
- you need cutting-edge templates with ready-made designs for your industry (e.g. architecture, fashion, advertising, jewelry, restaurant, hotel etc.)
- you are a photographer and want to showcase your images in stunning galleries
- you are a musician or band and want to sell music online
- you need a lot of flexibility customizing your design.
- you want to be able to add additional apps easily (e.g. appointment scheduler for clients, event calendar, forum etc.)
- you require an integrated newsletter tool
- you want to open a large online store
- your main goal is blogging
- you need email addresses included with no extra costs
- you are going to create a complex website with more than 30 pages
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 simply 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). More information here.
Is Wix actually good for SEO?
Yes. If you are worried about SEO and want to reach the top of Google’s rankings, you can do so with Wix. We aren’t the only ones saying this, John Muller (Google employee since 2008) also thinks so. But remember that you’ll need to put together an SEO strategy.
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.
20 Apr 2017 – Alt images in post are now customizable (new rating)
03 Feb 2017 – SSL encryption available
17 Jan 2017 – The Backup & Restore section has been added
19 Oct 2016 – Wix launched ADI and improved the blog SEO features. New blog rating of 4
25 Aug 2016 – Wix allows you to use your own fonts now.
23 Jun 2016 – URLs are now clean. General rating upgraded to 4.4 and SEO rating to 4
01 Apr 2016 – Disqus integration possible
08 Mar 2016 – Update “Wix ShoutOut”
03 Feb 2016 – New Wix use case section
12 Jan 2016 – Wix Music and Wix Bookings added to the review
28 Oct 2015 – Wix allows to embed own background videos – new rating 5 stars
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: 20 Apr 2017 | Armin Pinggera