DESCRIPTION

As any business endeavour, starting an online shop can be a risky proposition. Establishing a meaningful online presence takes time and effort and the promise for success is slim, if existent at all. Things become even more complicated when you have no experience with web hosting, site building or generation of traffic.

The good news is that there are free website builders, which can help you learn the basics. Many Wix reviews claim that it is the most intuitive and easy to learn among them, but that’s a bit subjective.

I am going to tell you what Wix offers for free and then will urge you to go give it a try to see whether it works for you or not. Even if you dislike it, after playing with its interface and design possibilities you’d have acquired a better idea what works for you and what your site should look like.

Before we dive deeper into its ease of use, functionality, speed, SEO possibilities and the other features, I would like to point out that Wix is merely a tool. When used properly it could be very beneficial. But without concentrated effort you can hardly expect to be successful in the highly competitive world of the global network, regardless of the technology used.

 

Ease of use

Wix website builder is really easy to use. Everything begins with the selection of the appropriate theme for your future website. Once this is done, every single element you see in front of you can be clicked and edited. You can adjust size and colour, move things around, delete items and add new ones through simple drag-and-drop.

Entire sections of the page can be dragged around, freeing up space for new elements or just making the design slicker. And even if you mess things up accidentally, you can undo actions and even load a previously saved version of the site.

The creative freedom is staggering. Admittedly, this could be a bit overwhelming at first but after you spend an hour or two fooling around with the design choices you would appreciate the limitless possibilities. There are helpful videos to speed up the learning process.

To make things even easier, your design ideas are optimized automatically for cell phones. However, if you so desire, you can edit manually the mobile version of the site as well.

 

Themes and designs

As I said, choosing the best theme is the first step of the Wix website creation. What I didn’t mention previously is that this might take a while due to the simple fact that there are over 400 templates at your disposal.

They might be separated in 16 categories to streamline the process, but still, take your time and choose carefully. Each theme is highly customizable but you cannot switch between them due to the drag-and-drop freedom of the website builder.

You can insert elements absolutely anywhere, but this makes the eventual change of themes nigh impossible, technically speaking. Wix are working on it but for the time being there is no specific information when this feature will become available.

I haven’t browsed through all the themes, but the 20-odd I have seen left a memorable impression. Their good looks aside, it is the functionality that really shines.

For instance, I made a site for a burger joint. The respective theme came with an already built-in menu, the possibility for online order, a section with the location of my restaurant and a page about the way the food is prepared. Phone for orders was displayed prominently, together with the physical address.

This theme had all ground covered right off the bat and this is valid for virtually all Wix themes.

Another really awesome feature is ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). A creative bot with growing possibilities, ADI can help you flesh out your site in no time.

 

Interactivity and responsiveness

Loading speed is a weak point for practically all website builders. There are technical reasons behind it, which determine slower loading times on average, when compared to custom-built and optimized web pages.

It is worth mentioning that optimizing the performance of any website takes some effort and planning. Improving speed and performance is time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort.

Wix support centre provides insight on a handful of good optimization practices. Study them and apply them.

 

Applications

Wix App Market is the place where you can get really lost. There are hundreds of apps, both free and paid. Many apps improve the functionality of the web page, integrating a lot of cool stuff and making it more attractive. After spending a few minutes there you will start wondering how a site can do without them.

A word of advice, do not go overboard with the apps, as they can slow down your site.

 

SEO features

SEO is the most controversial subject not only in various Wix website builder reviews, but in the hosting world as a whole. How to do it best and what benefits it brings are hotly debated topics. In my opinion, SEO is absolutely necessary. The question is how much effort to put into it.

Wix provides the tools to make your site discoverable even in its free plan. Setting up all the necessary information to help search engine bots crawl and rank your site higher is very easy and simple. There is a wizard in place to take you through the process.

If you desire to learn more about SEO in general and SEO for Wix in particular, the support centre covers the basics. Also, the tools you’d have at your disposal with the premium plans would allow you to hold the ranking destiny of your page firmly in your hands.

You can have tremendous help on the way up as Google Analytics can be integrated in all Wix websites easily, helping with traffic analysis and further optimization.

 

Wix packages

When paid for a whole year, Wix hosting plans start at $4.50/mo and reach $24.50/mo. The smallest plan, same as the free plan, displays Wix ads on your website and does not include a domain name.

All plans have limited hosting space and only the Unlimited and VIP plans come with unlimited bandwidth.

eCommerce and VIP plans provide an advanced online shopping cart as well. While you can integrate shopping platform in all plans, including the free one, the advanced Wix solution comes with greater functionality and better looks.

With the 3 most expensive plans you would get SEO booster package as well.

 

Wix support

All paid plans include support over phone (via callback) and email, whereas the free one relies mostly on the help centre, which has pretty much everything covered and the Wix community, which is huge.

 

Final verdict

Wix website builder is a very comprehensive tool.

By investing a bit of time studying it and by understanding some basic web design concepts you can build amazing pages with it.

All Wix reviews praise its flexibility and functionality for a good reason. Of course, it has its flaws as well.

Wix pros:
  • Easy to use
  • Highly customizable templates
  • A huge amount of templates
  • Numerous SEO features
  • Good support centre

 

Wix cons:
  • Cannot switch between themes
  • No chat support
  • Speed optimization tools are somewhat lacking
  • Cannot export sites to other platforms

 

All in all, Wix website builder is suitable for beginners, but it can also benefit serious online businesses too. Its ease of use makes it ideal for casual sites, but if you are not afraid to invest some time in maintaining and optimizing your site with all the tools Wix provides, your site will soar.

 

Most Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Is Wix free?

A: Yes, Wix has a free plan.

 

Q: Does Wix provide a domain name?

A: It does not with the free and the Starter plans; the rest include a domain name registration.

 

Q: How to remove the Wix ads from my page?

A: By upgrading your plan. Only the Starter and the free plans feature ads.

 

Q: What technology does Wix use?

A: HTML5. The previous website builder was Flash-based but it was phased out.

 

Q: How can I use ADI to help me build my website?

A: Click the plus icon on your Wix dashboard to begin the creation of a new website, then choose the category you wish and opt for ADI.

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