Wix is one of the most popular website builders around. It boasts of over 100 millions of users, it has a growing app marketplace and the platform is updated constantly. In this post, I will review the various aspects of the Wix website builder.
Visual Editing and Ease of use
Wix offers a feature rich visual web page editor. It lets you drag elements anywhere on the page. This is very different from editor offered by other website builders like Weebly and SquareSpace which offer block based editing. This provides great freedom and control over site design. The user can precisely place the element anywhere on the page.
1. Powerful Editor
Wix editor is arranged in 3 logical sections. It has a left sidebar, a top bar and the site canvas. Wix editor offers a vast collection of interface elements like Galleries, Buttons, Grids, Vectors , Backgrounds, Repeater Controls, Carousels, Tables and a lot more.
Its safe to say that Wix has the largest collection of interface elements among all the website builders. The elements can be easily configured from withing the editor itself. For example, you can add hover effects, alt text, add images , change font , font size , line spacing etc directly from the editor.
2. Image Manager
Wix also has a very powerful image manager. It is possible to upload ,rename, crop and store images for later use. Images can be arranged in folders and can be searched by name. Apart from uploading your own images, you can also pull images from your social network accounts. Wix also offers a huge selection of free images. Wix also integrates with Shutterstock, so you can easily buy images directly from the dashboard.
3. Site Revisions
There is one handy feature offered by Wix. It is Site Revisions. It lets you rewind your site to a previous state. This can be very helpful if you are a web designer and your client messes up the site by mistake. You can easily revert the site to a previous, working state.
There are a couple of drawbacks with Wix Editor though. It is not possible to switch a Wix theme. So if you dont like the theme you are using, you have to recreate the website. Also the sheer number of features can be confusing for a non tech savvy users. With so many options, new users might find Wix Editor a bit overwhelming.
Wix has a powerful editor which lets you create pixel perfect web pages. It supports free hand editor which lets you drag and place elements anywhere on the page. The inbuilt Image Manager, Site Backups and a vast library of interface elements makes the editor feature rich and powerful.
Wix has had a very bad reputation in the SEO community. It was due to the fact that earlier Wix created flash based websites. Its url structure was weird and not intuitive. Google could not crawl the content of flash based websites. It used to be a pain to optimize Wix for SEO.
The url structure was terrible and it lacked basic features like image alt text, title tag editing and meta description editing. There is was no way to create search engine friendly sitemaps. In short, it was a disaster.
However fast forward to today and WIX supports almost all important features required for on-site optimizations. They have done away with the flash platform. The urls are now human readable and search engine friendly. It is possible to edit title tags and meta description. You can now generate a sitemap and even exclude pages to be included in the sitemaps.
SEO Features Table
- Meta Tags and Description – You can easily edit the meta descriptions and titles on every page and blog posts.
- Custom Url’s – Short and readable url structure like (mysite.com/this-is-a-post) are recommended from SEO perspective. Wix creates readable urls from your page title. If you are not happy with the generated url, you can easily change it.
- SSL – Google recently confirmed ssl as a ranking factor. All Wix plans have SSL by default
- Redirects – If you update you website quite often, then chances are that you might modifying some of the urls on your website. In such cases, you must 301 redirect the old url to new url to preserve the seo juice need to change certain urls. WIX has a dedicated Settings panel to create redirect rules. You can easily create and update rules without digging into code.
- Image Alt Text – Adding alt text to images is quite easy. All you need to do is click on the image , edit it and enter the alt text. Adding alt text requires you to go to the site editor and add alt text to every image one by one. I would love to see a feature where you can edit the alt text of an image directly from the media library. Having said that, I think alt text with WIX works just fine.
- SiteMaps –Wix automatically create a sitemap for your website. It is updated in realtime. So whenever you make any changes to your website, the sitemap gets updated. There is no way to edit the xml sitemap . In fact no hosted website builder provides users access to the xml sitemap file. There is a feature request for this though.
- AMP– WIX provides an inbuilt AMP feature for your blog posts. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile pages and if mobile traffic is important to you, then you will find the native AMP useful.
- Canonical URL’s – You can easily setup a canonical url for any page or post on your website. You can do so by editing the page and going to the Advanced SEO Settings. A canonical url is useful when the same content is available at multiple url’s on your site or on other websites
- JSON-LD / Rich Snippets – Wix allows you to add rich snippet data to every page on your website. Currently you cannot add rich snippets to your products pages. However I believe Wix should add a feature to add json ld to products also
Wix offers a handy SEO Wiz utility which lets you quickly check for potential SEO issues with your website. You can run a quick scan and it will tell you which site pages are missing meta description and title tags. Its a very handy utility if you are an SEO beginner.
Wix is no longer the SEO minefield which gave it a bad name. Infact I would say that it is now making an effort to be one of the most SEO friendly website. And you can see the results.
Wix now supports almost all of important On Page SEO features. If you are a small / local business and plan to capture local / branded searched , then by all means go with WIX.
Wix has a VERY good collection of themes and templates. On the first look, WIX designs look amazing. The designs appear modern, clean and gorgeous. The use of fonts and color schemes give the templates a trendy look. All Wix templates are responsive, which means they will work perfectly on mobile phones and tablets.
Wix currently offers 500 templates to choose from. The templates are neatly organized into categories and sub categories. Wix Templates cover a wider variety of use cases , for example, there are more than 25 landing page templates, over 50 event-related templates, over 40 portfolio related templates etc. There is a very good chance that there is an already available wix template for your use case.
As discussed above, Wix offers a feature rich visual web page editor. It lets you drag elements anywhere on the page. There are dozens of design elements and widgets like maps, forms, sliders, gallery, buttons, carousels etc. Wix offers a huge library of professionals photos and graphics which you can use for your website design.
Even though Wix editor is powerful and feature rich, it can be overwhelming for a new user. The sheer options available in the editor is both its power and its weakness. Also it is not possible to swicth Wix Themes.
Wix App Marketplace
No Website Builder is perfect and there is a high chance that the feature you are looking for is missing. This is where Wix App Market comes into play. Wix has a thriving app and this is one thing which makes it different from other website builders. There are currently 250 Apps to choose from. The app are neatly categorized into categories. There are apps related to bookings, restaurants, analytics, maps, forms, photography, chat, video etc.
A lot of these apps are free while others are paid. The apps are tightly integrated into the Wix workflow and you can easily install and integrate them on your wix website.
Can I use Wix for Blogging?
WIX started its life as a basic website builder and then added blogging capabilities later on. So content management capabilities are are add-on and not a core. Having said that , Wix offers a decent set of blogging features.
In order to add a blog to your site, you need to install the blog app first. This blog app is the official app built by wix. Once you add the app, you can start creating blog posts. It has all basic but essential features like categories, url editor , image , gallery embed, archive pages etc.
1. Creating a Blog Post
Wix has a separate section for creating and editing blog posts. It is different as compared to other website builders like Weebly and Sqaurespace which blend the blog post creation with site editing.
You can easily embed rich media blocks like image galleries, youtube / vimeo videos in your blog posts.
There are a few quirks about how Wix handle post publishing. For example there is no way to schedule a post to be published in future. You can edit the published date to a past date but you cannot schedule it.
Once a post is published, it is not possible to change its status to draft. The workaround is to duplicate the post as a draft and delete the original post. But this is a convoluted way to achieve something which should have been a straight forward task.
The native comment feature provided by Wix is , frankly, useless. There is no way to edit / moderate comments. Also you dont get a notification when someone comments on your website. The native commenting feature by Wix requires a user to login before posting a comment.
So if you want a feature rich commenting then you will need to look at third party app. There are a few highly rated apps in the app marketplace like Comments, Comments Plus, Facebook comments etc. All apps have a free plan , you will have to install and check which works bets for you.
3. Blog Authors
Wix lets you add multiple contributors to your website. Each contributor can add a blog post and you can display author’s name under the post. However there are no workflow related to multiple authors. For example there is no way to assign a role like editor or author to the website contributor. Also I could not find a way to filter and display posts written by the author.
4. Custom Permalinks
Wix lets you customize the url of the blog posts on an individual basis. However it does not allow you to setup a custom permalink structure which will follow a user defined pattern. So if you have a large amount of blog posts, then you must remember to edit the permalinks manually every time you publish a post. This will not be an issue if you have few blog posts, but for large sites, this will be a bottle neck. Another issue is that manual editing is prone to mistakes.
5. Blog Post Display
This is the most polished blogging feature offered by Wix. You can customize the display the blog feed on your website in a variety of way. You can choose from 8 pre defined layouts. Some layouts support pagination, while some layouts load additional post on scroll. You can set the layouts of the category pages.
You can also create custom blog posts blocks and display them anywhere on your website. So for example, you can display latest three blog posts on your home page.
6. Misc Settings
- You can easily edit and customize post excerpt for every post.
- You can set a post as featured and style it differently as compared to other posts
- Wix has native AMP support for your blog posts
I must say that blogging is not a particularly strong suite for Wix. The backend blog posts management leave a lot to be desired. However Wix really shines when it comes to displaying blog posts on the front end.
If you are primarily a business site and want to add a basic blog section, then you will find blogging features offered by Wix just enough. However if you plan to take up blogging professionally, or if you plan to use blogging for content marketing then you must select WordPress.
Can I use Wix to run an Online Store?
Wix started its life as a website builder and Shopping cart functionality was added after its user started demanding a native e-commerce functionality. Wix is a website Builder First and an E-commerce Platform second.
Having said that, Wix offers a decently powerful e-commerce system. It lets you sell physical products as well as digital goods. It offers product management, order management, shipping zone setup, coupon handling, basic email marketing and a nice collection of themes and templates.
1. Adding Products
Wix has an intuitive interface for adding products. There are 2 types of product available.
- Physical – As the name suggests, Physical products have to be shipped to the customers.
- Digital – Digital products do not require shipping. They are downloaded
- Services – Wix lets you sell services like appointments and classes / workshops
While selecting a product you will need to choose the type of product you want to create. Once you do that you will be taken to product creation screen and you proceed from there
2. Selling Physical Products
When you create a physical product, you can easily add images, videos variants, pricing, inventory and additional information for the products. For example you can additional information block for return policy and shipping policy.
3. Selling Services / Appointments
Wix offers a powerful appointment / service booking module. You can create services and setup schedule. There are 2 type of services available
- One on One Sessions
- Group Sessions
All of your booking sessions appear in the calendar view. You can add multiple staff and synjc their Wix Calendar with Google calendar
4. Product Display and Organization
Products are organized into collections and you then display collections on your website. You can embed product collections on any page on your website.
Wix offers a variety of ways to display and customize the product grid. You can select from various layouts, you can set text alignments, you can define what happens on hover, you can define the pagination style and do a loots more. Wix offers very powerful features for product display and customization
5. Payment Gateway and Transaction Fees
Wix supports a variety of Payments gateways including the popular ones like Paypal, 2Checkout, Stripe etc. As of writing of this post, Wix supports a total of 17 Payment Gateways.
This is a a huge feature if you are an international user. Chances are that Wix will be supporting a payment gateway which is popular in your country.
Wix does not charge any commission / transaction fees on any of its Ecommerce plans.
Wix lets you create multiple Shipping Zones and each shipping zone in turn can have different shipping rates.
Wix offers various shipping rate calculations like Free Shipping, Shipping Calculation based on weight, prices and a flat rate. It also offer a store pickup options.
7. Marketing Tools
Wix offers a variety of modules to increase your store sales. Here are they
- Coupons – Wix lets you create coupons and setup rules like expiry, usage etc.
- Abandoned Cart Mails – Send automatic email to customers who abandon their carts.
- Email marketing Automation– Wix offers basic automation which lets you send automated email after a customers make a purchase. It can be a good starting point for stores looking to take advantage of email marketing automation
There is no native email capture popups offered by Wix. You can explore Wix app marketplace for email popups. You will find quite a wide variety of apps to choose from.
8. Dropshipping with WIX
Currently there is no way to start a dropshipping business with WIX
9. Apps and Integrations
No website builder can offer every functionality natively, hence the need for third paty apps and a marketplace.
Wix has a thriving App Marketplace. While it is still no match to the app marketplace offered by Shopify, it is still a good option.
There are apps related to loyalty, email capture, business hours, social feeds, chats , currency converter etc. Of all the website builders Wix has the best app marketplace after Shopify.
Although Wix has a decent e-commerce functionality it lacks certain advanced features like Dropshipping, Google Shopping integration, lack of multi-channel selling options. Unavailability of the above-said features matters less if you are planning to run a small/basic store.
So if you are a small business you want a great looking website with a decent online store, then go for Wix. However, you are primarily an e-commerce store and doing a high volume of sales then you should look at platforms like Shopify. Here is an in depth look at Wix Ecommerce features.
Wix offers a free plan. However I find the free plan quite useless. It wont let you connect you own domain to your website and it also inserts huge Wix ads on website on free tier.So if you want a professional online presence, you will definitely need to upgrade.
Wix Pricing Plans can be broken down into 2 categories : Website Plans and Ecommerce Plans.
The Website Plans offers Combo, Unlimited, Pro and VIP Plan. The main thing to note is that the website plans do not support online payments. Here is a list of Website Plans.
If you want to sell online, then you will need to choose one of the E commerce Plans. Ecommerce Plans offers Business Basic, Business Unlimited and Business VIP. All Ecommerce plans support selling products and services online. Wix does not charge commissions on any of their Ecommerce plans. Also there are no limits on the number of products or service which you can sell on your store . Here is a list of E commerce Plans.
Wix is the most popular website builder and its prices are competitive. Platforms like Wix have made a beautiful online presence within reach of every small business. Wix is not a cheap platform but its price is very reasonable. Here is an in-depth analysis of Wix Pricing Plans.
Wix Customer Support
Wix is a well-supported platform. It has a rich knowledge base and their user guides are detailed and easy to follow. If you require human help then you can search for a solution on forums, In case you don’t find your answer on the forums, you can raise a ticket and get in touch with WIX support team. Overall Wix has a good reputation for customer support
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding WIX
1. Does Wix Offer Free Trial
Technically speaking, Wix does not offer a free trial. What Wix offers is a 14 day money back guarantee. It means that in case you are unhappy for any reason and you end up cancelling withing first 14 days, you will get a full refund.
This is different from a free trial. Generally in free trial you get get access to premium feature without paying for them upfront. In this case, you get access to premium features only after making the payment.
This is a minor difference but worth noting. I would suggest you to visit this link to know more about Wix Money Back policy
2. Does Wix Offer a Free Plan
Yes, Wix offers a free plan with a limited set of features. The free plan is not suitable for a professional website as it does not allow you to connect a custom domain. The free plan is suitable to get a sense of Wix editor and its features.
3. Can you use Wix Offline
Wix is an Online Website Builder. It means that you require an always on internet connection to build your website. Wix does not offer any downloable software which you can install on your PC.
4. Can you export / download a Wix website
It is not possible to export a Wix website to a different platform. All Wix website are to be hosted with WIX. This is not any different from other website builders. None of the website builer allows you to export your website to a different platform.
5. Does Wix offer business email accounts
Wix does not offer native mailbox solution. It offer email accounts via integration with Google Apps.
Google apps offers business mail accounts, calendar, storage , chart etc. If you have used gmail before, then you will be at ease with Google Apps
Pls note that you will need to pay for business email accounts. G Suite is priced at $5 / month / user.
Conclusion and Summary
Wix is the most popular website builder and its prices are competitive. Platforms like Wix have made a beautiful online presence within reach of every small business. Wix is not a cheap platform but its price is very reasonable. It has a great collection of beautiful looking themes. So with Wix, it is easy to make a good looking website.
There are certain shortcomings with Wix, for example, you cannot switch templates, the e-commerce functionality is not as robust as Shopify, the blogging feature is not as robust as compared to WordPress. However, I don’t see any of this as a deal breaker if you want to create a small business or a personal website.
I would happily recommend Wix to anyone looking to build either a small business or personal website. If you want to add a blog or a simple e-commerce store on your website, Wix has you covered.
I would recommend starting with a free plan and test out the features. After all, that’s the best way to find out if it’s really the right website builder for you.