Wix Review: Beautiful, Easy-to-Use Website Builder With Many Application Add-Ons

Wix Review: Beautiful, Easy-to-Use Website Builder With Many Application Add-Ons

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This is the third installment of our website builder review series. Over the last two weeks, we reviewed Squarespace. Weebly was simple to use, and we published a nice-looking website in under 30 minutes. Squarespace’s editing tools were not as inuitive to use, but offered a lot of advanced customization and gave us a beautiful looking website. Next we will be reviewing Wix — see how Wix stacks up to Weebly and Squarespace, and stay tuned for an in-depth comparison of all three coming next week!

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Pricing

Wix’s pricing is a bit different from Squarespace and Weebly. They have five different options as opposed to the three basic ones – starter, professional, and business.

For businesses, the best plan is probably going to be the eCommerce plan for $16.17/month ($8.08 on sale if you buy now). The eCommerce plan is the least expensive plan that supports an online store. This is good news for business owners because this plan is much cheaper than the business plans offered by Squarespace and Weebly! The features that the VIP plan offers that the eCommerce plan doesn’t are unlimited bandwidth (rather than 10GB) and the premium support features: priority call back, instant response, and a professional site review.

Here is a pricing comparison of Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix (prices are per-month price):

Free Version? Starter Professional Business
Weebly Yes. $4 $8 $25
Squarespace* No. $8 $16 $24
Wix* Yes. $4.08 (with ads)
$9.25 (w/o ads)
$12.42 $16.17 or
$24.90 (w/premium support + unlimited bandwidth)

Squarespace and Wix prices are only if you purchase 12 months at a time. Month-to-month is more expensive.

Getting Started

Like the other website builders we’ve tried out, Wix offers hundreds of templates. Wix, however, divides their templates by category — if you’re looking specifically for business websites you can click on business templates, if you’re a photographer click on photography templates, etc. This is much less overwhelming than the process of choosing a template at random as we did using Squarespace and Weebly.

Upon signing into Wix, I was prompted for what I am creating a site. My business is an interior design business.

There are 5 pages of “Home & Garden” website templates that Wix suggests for my business. I love this; it saves me the hassle of going through unfiltered templates.

After selecting my template I am shown a 90-second introductory video, and I’m ready to edit my page!

Editing Tools/Features

Wix’s HTML editor allows me to view more information about every element of my page just by clicking on the element.

The Wix menu bar at the top of the editing space is intuitive because a lot of the functions are similar to Microsoft Office/Adobe Premier editing functions. You can search for items or easily navigate between pages as well.

What initially jumped out at me using the Wix HTML Editor was the amount of text editing I can do. Using the other website builders, I was unable to change font type, spacing, bold or italicize the font, etc.

Customization of web page elements — color palette, background, and font styles — is very simple to use via the left hand side menu.

To upload a new background image, I have the option to use one of Wix’s free images, buy stock images, or upload my own from my computer or social media.

Editing your images is similar to Squarespace’s editor, which has a wide array of functions, including crop, image enhancements, effects, frames, etc.

To add new elements to my page, I use the left hand side menu to locate the item I want to add.

I double click on the element in the menu to add it to my page. Wix will drop the element on the page, and I can drag the element to where ever I want it to show up.

If I wanted to add a YouTube video, it would appear like you see in the image below. I can click on the video to access settings to change the video URL, as well as the style and animation of my video.

Wix offers a ton of free apps that you can add to your web page. Some apps are for purchase but many others are free, including:

  • a “comments” app that allows website visitors to give you shout-outs on your page
  • an events calendar to give your audience an idea of what’s coming up in your business’s schedule
  • an app that allows you to add your Etsy shop directly to your website

And many, many more. I chose to add a Facebook like button to the bottom of my page.

I also added a contact form to my “Contact” page. When visitors fill out the contact form, an email will be sent to the email address I used to create my Wix account.

Here’s one last important note about the Wix editor: Wix does not auto save. This is different from the other editors we’ve tried out. As you add elements to your page and make edits, make sure you are saving often via the button in the upper right corner.

E-commerce

I used the Add menu to create an online store for my website. A new "Store" page was instantly added.

I clicked on “Add Product” and I am directed to a form to fill out information about my product. I can offer my products for sale, set a stock amount to track inventory, etc.

I can add tax and shipping options, specified by the region my customers are ordering from, and provide customers with an estimated shipping date.

The payment options available in Wix are Authorize.net and PayPal, or I can choose to accept payment offline. To connect Authorize.net or PayPal, I click the “Get Paid” button with the associated payments provider and connect my account.

Wix automatically adds a shopping bag icon to the upper right corner of each page your website visitors land on. By clicking on the shopping bag, the user’s “cart” will show up as a popup (this is specific to the template I chose).

Final Product

I’m happy with how the website turned out — I think the design is simple but clean. It’s amazing how little time it took to create something like this, at no cost to me. However the free version of Wix does have two small Wix ads, one in the upper right corner and a strip along the bottom.

In my opinion these ads are less invasive than the huge footer ad on Weebly’s free version, although if you are creating a business website you will probably want to upgrade anyway. If you are creating an ecommerce store, you will need to upgrade to the eCommerce or VIP plan.

There are two things that Wix doesn’t offer that are important to note:

  1. Wix has nothing in the way of HTML+CSS customization. Other website builders such as Squarespace have “advanced” features that allow you to quickly add your own elements with code. Wix does not offer this.

  2. Wix mobile design is "mobile friendly" instead of being "optimized for mobile" or a "responsive design". This means that it will adjust for some mobile phones, but perhaps not all, and it does not automatically respond if I change the width of my browser.

Overall, Wix is a wonderful tool for website editing for beginners. With Wix, setting up a business website is do-able in 30 minutes. They do this by steering you towards a template that will be similar to what your business’s website will be, and showcasing their editing tools in an intuitive way. Wix offers many options for text, color palettes, backgrounds, etc., and I love how many apps they offer in the Wix App Market to add elements to my page that aren’t available with many other website editors. Nav highly recommends Wix to business owners!

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About the Author — Ashley Sweren is a freelance marketing writer and editor. She owns her own small business, Firework Writing (http://www.fireworkwritingonline.com/), located in San Jose, California.

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