Wix website builder review: Fun and easy to use
May 1, 2015 1:28 pm
Wix is a fun and pretty powerful website builder, that will help you get your business online quickly and easily. It’s not perfect (what is?), but it’s a good choice for novice website builders.
The most basic plan is free, and the most expensive plan is currently $16.17 a month (it’s usually $24.99).
With the free plan, you don’t get your own custom domain – your site address will be something like MySite.wix.com/Example.
The free plan also comes with some pretty prominently displayed Wix ads on your website once it goes live.
Paid plans start at $4.08 per month for the Connect Domain account, which will let you transfer a domain you already own to Wix, but which will display ads for Wix on your site; to the full $16.17 e-commerce plan, which includes a free domain, a shopping cart, 20GB storage, and premium support.
You sign up using an email address, and then select the category your website will fit into.
There are multiple categories to choose from, from Music to Food to Fashion.
Once you’ve done that, you’re presented with a gallery of templates.
When you’ve decided on a template, just press ‘Edit’. You’ll be taken to the HTML editor where you can play around with your design.
Usefully, an instructional video pops up as soon as the HTML editor loads, and explains how to use it.
The interface is drag-and-drop, meaning you can drag page elements into your design, or delete elements. Each part of the design is customizable, and there are tons of settings and options for every page element as well as the overall design. For example, as well as font type, color, and size, there’s a cute ‘Add Animation’ option for text elements. Everything is extremely intuitive and easy to master.
Editing your main navigation menu is easy – just click on the menu in the HTML editor, click on ‘Navigate’, and you’ll be given the option to change the order on the menu, and add sub-menu items like pages or dropdown buttons.
Adding something like a PayPal ‘Buy Now’ button is super-easy – just drag and drop it!
The App Market adds tonnes of functionality to your site – you can add social media buttons of all kinds, forms, galleries, e-commerce tools like a Shopify store, Paypal, Etsy and so on, as well as marketing tools like pop-ups and newsletter sign-up tools. Some of the Apps are free, the rest you’ll have to pay for.
You can even select the kind of transition you’d like when someone clicks on a link to a page – you can set it to fade-out and in to a new page; for the page to ‘swipe’ across horizontally, and so on. You can also set the transition style to ‘None’.
There’s also a useful, commenting facility – this allows collaborators to comment on individual elements of your design and to offer feedback on it before it goes live.
With the e-commerce subscription, it’s very easy to create product galleries, set product variants like color and size, advertise sale items, and manage payments and shipping. The e-commerce subscription supports a pretty wide variety of payment options. Alternatively, you can integrate something like the Shopify Lite App from the App Market into your website and run an online store on your Wix website through that. (See our Shopify review here.) It should be noted that the Wix e-commerce option is better suited to smaller stores – large e-commerce businesses with lots of products and complex needs will need something more powerful.
The Wix website builder also offers a range of marketing Apps – things like testimonials, newsletter sign-ups, a Facebook store, and so on – that will help you grow your e-commerce business.
All-in-all, Wix is a great website builder. To get a feel for it, just go to Wix.com and sign up for a free account!
Wix website builder: Pros and Cons
The HTML editor is very easy to use; re-arranging elements and adding elements is a snap.
Instructional videos will guide you through every step if you get stuck.
The documentation is comprehensive, and should answer any questions you have.
The templates are handsome, and easily customizable through the HTML editor.
The App Market is really well-stocked, and will allow you to extend the functionality of your site in all sorts of different directions.
The e-commerce subscription is easy to use, and will suit many small business needs.
SEO settings for every page are available. You can set the Page Title, Page Description, and Keywords.
Once you choose a template, you’re stuck with it – unlike with, say, WordPress, you can’t just click to change the template your site uses. If you want to re-design your site, you’ll have to start from scratch.
You can only add two levels of navigation to the main navigation bar. So let’s say you want to put ‘Men’s accessories’ under ‘Clothing → Accessories → Men’s Accessories’, you can’t. More navigation levels would be welcome.
The Blog feature is pretty basic, and not very SEO-friendly.
You can’t make your URLs ‘pretty’ – in other words, they won’t be human-readable, or SEO-friendly.
If you want to edit the source code of your site, you’ll need to do it through the HTML App, which some might find limiting.