Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Wix is one of the largest website builders out there. They have over 73 million websites swimming around the world wide web. They were founded in 2006 on an undisclosed beach by three men. Here is the co-founder and CEO Avishai Abrahami posing in front of a cool mural.
They also have offices in a number of other cites around the globe.
Wix pricing is heavily segmented. Pretty much anyone can find a plan at their price point, but some of the most basic ones may not be worth it.
Wix has a free plan that you can avail yourself of, but it will still have their branding and a Wix domain as opposed to a custom domain. The free plan gives you 500MB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage, which is quite small.
Some of the paid plans give you a bit of a bump, but others are almost as bad as the free plan.
Wix has a Basic plan for $4.50/month that does not remove Wix branding, but does allow you to bring your own custom domain. The domain is not included. It has 500MB of bandwidth, just like the free account, and 1GB of storage. This is barely an improvement over the free plan, and it is a little surprising that Wix offers it at all.
Here is a screenshot of the Wix editor. There are some children having fun!
But those children would not be having fun if they were using the Wix editor. First of all, it is extremely unresponsive, even on newer, reasonably spec’d computers. It takes a second for menus to pop up after clicking them, and placing design elements is a nightmare. Lag abounds. The editor also takes too long to load. When you go to edit a website, a bunch of vibrantly colored cartoon website design animations play in the middle of your screen as the editor loads. Sometimes that can take a little while. Once the editor loads the design can be very confusing. It is not very intuitive at all
Okay, that said, it does have some very nice templates. The templates and the mobile site editor are its saving graces. Wix allows you to switch views and edit the appearance of your mobile site directly. The edits don’t affect how your desktop site looks at all. This is a really useful feature, and the mobile editor works slightly better than the desktop one. That is probably because there is much less processing to do for the mobile site.
Wix Frontend Features
Wix has a mobile preview, and most of their templates look pretty good on a phone. In fact, some of the templates look better on a phone than they do on a desktop.
And on Mobile:
Okay, so some of that may have a little bit to do with the bananas, but in my defense they are one of the default background options. Their mobile sites are very nice. They are completely usable, without causing any undue slowdown or other problems.
They also offer all of the basic features that you expect from a website builder. You can even embed video! Also, if you need deeper functionality then you should be able to find whatever you need through Wix’s app store.
Wix Backend Features
The Wix dashboard lets you have an overview of all of your sites. If you only have one site it looks very strange. Here is a look at the aforementioned dashboard.
The backend is pretty busy. There are a lot of options, and Wix is clearly trying to be the all in one solution for your website needs. They even try to handle your newsletters. While I understand it from Wix’s perspective, this is not wise. Wix offers a lot of features that are just half-baked, and their attempt at implementing a newsletter is one of them. This lack of focus makes Wix’s backend confusing and difficult to navigate.
Wix Hosting & Security
The free version of Wix will give you 500MB of storage and 500MB of data, but will also give you a URL that looks pretty ugly. Some of the paid options give you
Wix has a number of plans that give you a custom domain for free. Their handle hosting internally, and the various plans have different amounts of bandwidth depending on your price point.
All Wix sites have now been enabled for HTTPS.. That level of security is not usually necessary for personal sites, but there are reasons someone may want to put SSL encryption on their website. When using HTTPS sites, data is encrypted and authenticated and therefore secured, this is highly recommended for ecommerce websites.
Wix Reports & Statistics
Wix only does Reports through Google Analytics. It would be nice to see some data hosted natively on the site, they certainly have the capability to do that, but alas it is not to be. Google Analytics is a good tool and they do have a free option that has a lot of great features, but it would be nice to have Wix give at least a cursory nod to statistics and reports.
Wix’s app market has 256 different apps to choose from. That is quite a lot. Wix does a good job here. They provide a good number of apps to help your website along, including eCommerce and social media integrations. The app sore is integrated directly into the design environment, so it is easy to add apps directly to your websites.
Wix has a huge searchable knowledgebase, a support forum, and an FAQ. They have no live chat or phone support. The support options Wix provides are mostly in the form of self-help resources. They will not be very helpful if you need specific hands on customer support when setting up your website. Since Wix is a difficult platform to interact with, the lack of customer support is likely to be a problem for people setting up their first website.
Wix has a few things to recommend it. They have a pretty good set of templates, and their app market is not to be sneezed at, but they are hurt by a number of sloppy design decisions. Their editor is frustrating almost to the point of uselessness, and they have no support to speak of. Wix tries to do too much and ends up shooting itself in the foot.
Overall, their interface needs a major overhaul to compete with the other website builders.