Wix has recently become one of the most popular way on how to make a website, gaining the sort of profile that even allows for a coveted advertising spot at the 2017 NFL Super Bowl. With 90 million websites using this hosting program, its popularity far outweighs its peers, being especially popular with small businesses, eCommerce websites, photographers, musicians, and restaurants. They also made great strides in accommodating mobile devices with their Wix App Market, and their freeware version is surprisingly feature-heavy, although the professional features do require a premium membership to access. However, just because it’s the biggest, does that necessarily mean it’s the best? Let’s take a look.
Part of Wix’s popularity is the reputation it has built up for itself as a user-friendly web development platform and not without reason. Its drag-and-drop editing function supports in-line modification. What that means is that you’re allowed to monitor your website as you construct it, without the need to preview it in a separate window. With most of its competitors, you can only move page elements to specific parts of the page whereas Wix lets you lay out your page however you please. This system is known as “absolute positioning”. This allows for a lot of freedom in creating the page but could impede users’ experiences depending on what their needs are. Wix control panel is separated into two parts, the Editor itself and the Dashboard where you can control all the different functions like newsletter, contacts, and search engine optimisation. The recent addition of full-width strips allows you to segment your website into clear horizontal parts to improve the look of your interface. To improve usage, Wix offers you 9 preset configurations like Clients presets, Service presets, and Welcome presets amongst others. Recently, the Wix Editor has also introduced an option for parallax scrolling.
Wix has a lot of features going on for it, and even the free version has more than enough functions for basic page creation. Wix introduced an Artificial Design Intelligence function that effectively tries to interpret what kind of a website you want to create and then searches for the information to help you create said website. You can then choose to follow this step-by-step guide to quickly build a site. It’s very useful for collating data from different social media accounts and gathering them in one space. Bolt-ons for your website like guestbooks and membership pages can be tailored according to your requirements through the Wix App Market. This presents a welcome set of options to make your site unique and give it a fully-fledged feel.
Wix’s eCommerce function is one of the most popular for web development, offering a reasonably diverse range of customisations like vouchering and multiple payment options. However, it is designed with a smaller scale retail operation in mind. Large scale or international eCommerce businesses probably have more complicated needs that Wix might not be able to accommodate. Boutique style shops will probably find Wix satisfactory, however. Wix Smart Actions and ShoutOut let you create very professional looking newsletters to match your site’s look. Smart Actions can also be set to respond automatically and intelligently to user inquiries.
Wix got in the mobile optimisation game early and it shows. Wix Mobile View allows you to easily configure your site to look great on phones and tablets, using the same drag-and-drop mechanics as their site builder. Just swap to the Mobile View option found on the control panel and adapt your site until you’re satisfied. You can relocate, resize, and choose visibility for different options whilst keeping your original full-size layout. Wix Chat also lets you answer any inquiries send to your site from your mobile device, which is especially handy for webmasters who are away from their computers.
Wix’s diverse selection of features and ease-of-use makes it a great option for smaller scale businesses to bring their operations online. The App Market helps deepen your option set and tailor your business. The main frustration comes from the inability to switch themes once you’ve made the decision, which is something a lot of other website builders offer. However, all in all, this is a fair trade off given all the other positives on offer. You get a lot of bang for your buck (even if you’re using the free version), the templates look very professional for the most part, and the ease of use is perfect for the less tech minded people out there who just want to get their business online. Just be sure to give Wix a trial run with the free version first and check out all of its features:
- Great app support
- Simple to use
- Professional looking
- Mobile friendly
- Lack of template changing problematic