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This article is meant to be an objective overview of the Wix platform.
Wix has become one of the most popular website development platforms in recent years. It offers a flexible and easy-to-use platform, with modern templates and useful features. In this article, I'll be outlining the positive and negative aspects of creating a website with Wix.
Price: Wix's prices are very reasonable. You can get a premium plan for as little as $10/month. Technically, you can get it for $5/month, but Wix will display ads on your site so I didn't count that option. Click here for more information.
Hosting: I especially like Wix's platform because it makes web development easy. Hosting is no exception: they do all the hard work; all you have to do is publish your site. Hosting fees are factored into your monthly payment.
Features: Wix has a list of cool add-ons you can use on your website, such as a live chat feature, comment section, online bookings, forms, and more. These add-ons require very little configuration and are very simple to use.
Styling: There are plenty of examples of nice websites made in Wix. Here are a few of them. If you spend the time, and you're reasonably familiar with design principles, you can definitely make a nice website through Wix.
So far so good, now let's take a look at some of the negative aspects of Wix:
Con #1 - You're responsible for the creation and management of your site: I'm not here to discourage you from making your own website, in fact I think it's a fun and challenging endeavor. However, if you're making a website for your business, I'd suggest hiring a professional to make your website, unless you know a fair amount about web development, SEO, graphic design and marketing (and if this is the case, why would you be using Wix?). If you're an aspiring web developer without much experience, I'd suggest making a personal site for fun (on Wix or any other platform), and having your business website made professionally. Here's why this matters:
Your website probably won't look as nice. A good web designer/developer will make sure that your website looks nice and provides a pleasant viewing experience for your visitors.
SEO: unless you're prepared to do a lot of reading, you won't know how to optimize your website to rank high on Google and other search engines. For any business, this is very important. Ranking high on Google could be the difference between having a thriving business or one that simply doesn't survive. A good web developer will know how to optimize your website properly, giving you the best chance to rank high on search engines.
Faster updates: a good web developer will know more about web development than you, offering solutions that you may not be aware of. As a beginner, you're going to be limited in what you can do with your site. A seasoned web developer will be able to make almost any type of modification in a reasonable time.
Con #2 - Responsive Design: Open up a Wix website on your desktop, and try to reduce the width of the page. You'll see something like this:
See how everything is cut off? And how the logo (top left) overlaps with the navigation bar?
Most modern websites use responsive design. This means that the design adapts to the width of the screen. In a responsive design, elements (eg. buttons, text, images) that can't fit within the width of the screen will be resized or placed below other elements. Unfortunately, Wix's websites are not responsive. Truthfully, this is a huge limitation with Wix. Here's why it's a big deal:
It creates a bad user experience. Your visitors would have to use a horizontal scrollbar (at the bottom of the page) to use your site properly. This will frustrate some users and encourage them to leave your site, resulting in higher bounce rates.
It indirectly affects your performance on search engines. As a business, getting ranked high on Google is crucial. User experience is important to Google's ranking algorithm. Furthermore, Google has openly stated that they prefer responsive websites.
Con #3 - Slow/Bloated - Even simple websites created through Wix could consist of thousands of lines of code. This leads to slower loading times. Again, you may think this isn't a big deal, but studies prove otherwise. For example, imagine somebody is viewing your page on 3G (instead of a stable internet connection at home). If your page takes 10 seconds to load, they might simply close it and go to one of your competitors' sites instead.
Additionally, Google has stated that page load speed is a factor in their ranking algorithm. Therefore, the speed of your website (how fast it responds to requests) directly and indirectly affects your site's SEO.
Con #4 - You're Locked Down - If you ever decide to upgrade your site off of the Wix platform, you're going to have to start from scratch. Although Wix's websites are affordable, the tradeoff is that you're not able to move them to another hosting plan if you choose to end your service with Wix.
Wix is a nice web development platform with a wide feature set. You can create a nice website there, but ultimately you'll want to move to a custom built website for your business. If you just want a nice web builder to play around with (for a personal website, eg. a portfolio of your work), then Wix is a great option. But if you want to market your website properly and provide your visitors with a good user experience, I'd suggest hiring a web developer instead.