Since it’s launch in 2007, the cloud-based web development platform “Wix” has hosted over 70 million sites. Quite the accomplishment for a business yet to reach a decade old. But does it really live up to the hype?
As with just about every product or service out there, Wix has its ups and downs. Let’s take a look at four of the best and worst aspects of the web builder.
To say that Wix’s template s are merely beautiful is actually a disservice.
Their layouts are some of the most stunning web designs on the market. And, what’s even better, they don’t limit their designs to one style.
From flat designs to illustrative, they offer just about any kind of web design you could want. And with over 500 templates to choose from, Wix is sure to have several designs that catch your eye. Part of the issue is just which one to choose… luckily, for those running a business, Wix allows you to search for web designs within your specific niche (Restaurants and Food, Health and Wellness, Fashion and Beauty, etc.).
One of the best features Wix offers it’s users is flexibility. When it comes to designing a site on their platform, you have the ability to manipulate every aspect as you see fit; take parts of a template you like, throw out the ones you don’t. Add in features you love and rearrange visuals as necessary. Still not satisfied? So be it.
Wix is flexible enough to allow you to completely build a site from scratch; no template needed.
Further, with an increased emphasis on mobile web-design, Wix allows users to arrange their site independently with a mobile and desktop editor. This allows for greater freedom and control of how your site looks across all platforms.
For those of you wondering how this effects Wix as a responsive or adaptive web design, currently, Wix templates are not responsive. Some would see this as a major con, but with the flexibility they offer in regards to different devices, Wix’s users, generally, have little to worry about.
3. EASE OF USE
Stunning, modern designs that allow optimal flexibility are great, but the elephant in the room is really how difficult is the platform to use.
Rest at ease.
With Wix’s intuitive drag and drop feature, anyone with a basic understanding of technology can design a beautiful site; whether from a template or from scratch.
But, lets say you do get stuck. Wix still has you covered.
Each step of building a Wix website has its own unique help button. Not only is this convenient, but it is a HUGE time saver as you don’t have to search a database to find your question.
On top of their help buttons, Wix features a comprehensive FAQ section, video breakdowns, and support by phone or forum.
4. WIX APP MARKET
Lastly, the Wix App Market has become one of their most highlighted features. And, anyone who is involved in the tech industry knows that the App Market as a whole is going to be a big player in 2016. This makes sense given that most web builders do not offer any kind of app market. But, not only does Wix offer one, the web builder offers over 260 that can be integrated into any design.
Further, the apps they offer are not limited in their categories. You can install fully integrated applications to serve as social widgets, shopping carts, chat widgets, and various marketing tools. Most of these not only make running a site easier, but enhance the visitor’s experience as well.
1. URL CUSTOMIZATION
A complaint rampant within Wix forums is the inability to create custom, straightforward URLs. For instance, if my personal site address is, “BarrettSelf.com” and I want to feature an about page, instead of listing, “BarrettSelf.com/about” it will list something closer to:
Not exactly pretty, is it?
The reason for this is that Wix uses AJAX Crawling Solution for their search engine rankings. The HashBangs (#!’s) on each URL address represent the method through which sites based on Ajax technology are ranked in search engines.
Wix repeatedly assures its users that this is not a shortcoming and will not negatively effect their rankings. This may be the case, but, minimally, it doesn’t make for an attractive or intuitive web address.
2. TEMPLATE CHANGES
Another prominent complaint about Wix is the inability to switch templates on an existing site. Obviously, taking a site in a different direction is an option, but, if you choose to do this, you will be forced to completely start from scratch; losing all of your content and arrangements.
Most of the web builder’s competition require only a few simple steps to switch out templates (though I would argue their templates are less attractive and flexible). But I guess that’s the cost of Wix’s flexibility in your initial start-up design.
The only real way around this is to design your site on a few templates before use. But this could end up doubling or tripling your initial workload.
Another major con of the web builder is its blog feature. From the simplistic nature of its blogging platform to being less than SEO-friendly, Wix blogging leaves a lot to be desired. Something else to consider if you have a team of bloggers is the fact that only one editor can contribute content. Platforms such as WordPress, designed specifically for blogging, allow multiple parties to contribute simultaneously.
On the bright side, you can install blogging apps through the App Market, but they are all third-party. If you plan to feature a blog on your site, you will probably be better served going with the aforementioned WordPress or a platform like Blogger.
4. TECH LIMITATIONS
The biggest disadvantage of Wix for web designers would surely be the control Wix takes out of the user’s hands. The convenience the platform offers is spectacular, but with that, come several limitations. Chiefly, the fact CSS and HTML editing are not possible for Wix sites.
And, given that the platform is built with AJAX, there are unfortunately a few compatibility issues and further technical limitations.
Some of the downfalls of Wix are understandable; the more convenient you make a platform, the more control you take away. However, given the flexibility, ease of use, and access to half a thousand stunning templates, Wix is certainly a viable option for most websites.
While I wouldn’t recommend it for blogging, if you would like an engaging website at a relatively small price, Wix may be for you.
How do you personally think Wix compares to other web builders out there?