Wix Website Builder Review

Wix is a unique sitebuilder that combines a revolutionary drag and drop website building tool with an easy to navigate web hosting service. Although it was launched as recently as 2006, Wix's constant technological upgrades and commitment to providing reliable uptime help it prove why it shouldn't be viewed as the new kid on the block. Wix caters to a diverse clientele and has helped build millions of websites, but its services are especially helpful for those with little technical skills and those who want to showcase their artistic endeavors on their website.

 

Pricing

Wix offers 4 packages, all of which are built upon the same website builder, but each of which comes with different features which are outlined below. With these packages, each Wix user has the opportunity to choose not only the features that they need, but the amount of storage and bandwidth they require, so that they aren't paying for services they don't truly need. Upgrading can be done at any time. Of specific note is that Wix does offer users the opportunity to build free websites, though these websites will contain Wix ads that are scattered around free Wix sites. Still, webmasters that are happy with the service can easily upgrade to a premium package to get rid of these ads.

  Free My Domain Combo Unlimited ecommerce
Hosting v_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign
Templates to choose from Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Use your own domain x_grey_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign
Wix ads removed x_grey_sign x_grey_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign
Wix logo removed x_grey_sign x_grey_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign
Shopping cart x_grey_sign x_grey_sign x_grey_sign x_grey_sign v_sign
Google Analytics v_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign
Storage 500MB 500MB 1GB 2.5GB 2.5GB
Bandwidth 500MB 500MB 1GB Unlimited 5GB
Premium support v_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign
Search engine friendly v_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign v_sign
Monthly plan price FREE $4.95/month $9.90/month $14.90/month $19.90/month
Yearly plan price FREE $4.08/month $8.25/month $12.42/month $16.17/month

Wix also offers something called the Widget Plan which is intended for widget creation only, not for Wix embedded websites. This plan includes an unlimited number of pages, 500MB of storage, 1GB of bandwidth and is ad-free. The price for this service is $5.95/month for the monthly plan and $4.92/month if you select the yearly plan.

Wix accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Both monthly and yearly plans are automatically renewed immediately before they expire unless you specifically cancel your service. Wix offers a 14 day full refund policy which you can apply for in the Manage Premium section of the Wix website.

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Features

The most predominant features offered by Wix are those relating to their website builder. Though Wix also offers standard features such as ad credits, shopping carts and multimedia integration, its easy drag and drop website builder is what draws most users to the company. Specifically, Wix offers one of the largest selections of Flash templates as well as an ample number of static designs.

Features Include:

  • RSS feeds
  • Flash templates and static templates
  • Media players
  • Comment functionalities
  • Contact forms
  • Google maps
  • Shopping carts
  • PayPal integration
  • Various photo display options including albums, slideshows, rotating carousel display and others
  • Video integration from YouTube and Metacafe
  • Clip Art, animations and icon libraries

The Combo, Unlimited and eCommerce packages which are purchased on an annual basis also come with a voucher for $75 in free Google AdWords advertising which can help attract visitors to your website and extra revenue to your business.

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Ease of Use

 

A significant downside of Wix is that its functionality is limited, and the company's clear focus is offering a top-notch website builder, rather expanding the technical features of its service. Users looking to build a database-driven website or a forum-based site will be frustrated by the lack of options. That being said, the services that are offered by Wix are relatively easy to use, and webmasters with limited technical knowledge will appreciate the convenience with which they can create and customize the design of their Wix website.

Wix users start off by choosing a template from dozens of options, all of which are organized into categories so that webmasters will be able to narrow down his or her options without having to search through the entire selection. In addition to having a fantastic range of website templates, Wix also has a stock of photos that users can use to enhance the look of their site without paying for a photographer or purchasing stock photos.

Wix _screenshot1 Template selection
 

Wix is a web-based website editor, which makes it easy for webmasters to login from anywhere and to update or edit their website. Different facets of the web editor are stored all around the screen, with the template in the middle, so that the user can view the changes to their site immediately. Photos can be added simply by uploading, clicking on them and dragging them to the desired place. They can be resized instantly in the web editor so that everything clicks quickly into place.

I tested out Wix's web design services by creating a website for a spa. I began by choosing a template for my site.

Wix _screenshot2 Original template
 

I began by changing the name of my site as well as the colors of the squares above it.

Wix _screenshot3 Adjusted template
 

What is unique about the Wix website editor is that you can adjust the colors with equalizers that can fine tune the color exactly how you want it, instead of choosing standard shades. I proceeded to remove the boxes from the top right of the design and to add sample text.

Wix _screenshot4 Completed homepage
 

Another useful element of Wix's templates is that they provide a sample for the entire website, not just a structured design that will need to be tweaked for each individual page. Flipping through the different pages of the website can be done on the tab in the middle of each page so that you can keep your thoughts in place and make changes to each page as needed.

Lastly, while I didn't choose a Flash template for my completed website, Wix offers dozens of stylish and equally user-friendly Flash templates to choose from for those who want to add a bit of action to their site. I did experiment with the Flash website templates, and found that using a Flash template was just as intuitive as using a static design.

Wix _screenshot5 Sample Flash template

 
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Customer Service

Unlike most web hosts, Wix does not provide support by phone. It does, however, have an extremely responsive staff that responds to forum posts and emails relatively quickly. The company offers a wide selection of written and video tutorials to help users find the answers they need. We found that the tutorials are also useful for users who want to read about the company's services and to learn about features that they may not have known about before.

At the top of the Help Center is a place to ask a question. Unfortunately, in the 6 times that I tested this feature, I received irrelevant responses that did not answer my question.

Wix _screenshot6 An answer from the Wix Help Center
 

Fortunately, Wix seems to be aware that their answers may not match the questions, and they allow you to email a representative if you need more help. I submitted a question via email as a free member at 8:15am EST on a Monday morning. I received an answer 6 days later.

Wix _screenshot7 My free membership question to Wix
Wix _screenshot8 Free membership response from Wix
 

I also emailed Wix using my premium membership, to see if the response would be faster. I sent the email on a Wednesday morning. I received a response about 6 hours later, but was disappointed to see that instead of providing a direct answer, the representative only sent me a link to the help section, which did not directly solve my problem.

Wix _screenshot9 My premium membership question to Wix
Wix _screenshot 10Premium membership response from Wix
 

I approached the manager of the Wix support team to discuss the problems that I encountered with the help center. She was extremely amenable and eager to correct the problems and enhance the user experience. She mentioned that the support team is expanding regularly to meet the needs of Wix's growing customer base, which is a normal process for new companies. She also pledged to research the technical problems and work quickly to resolve any lingering issues.

Lastly, Wix offers a very useful "Wixepedia" which is built in a structure that mimics Wikipedia. This section includes both a glossary of relevant hosting and web design terms, as well as some instructions about how to build your website. The most helpful part of the Wixepedia is the troubleshooting support - called "error FAQ" which shows various problems and illustrates how to fix them.

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Summary

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Positive Features

  • Easy to create custom web designs
  • Useful video tutorials
  • Unparalleled color customization
  • $75 Google AdWords credit with yearly packages
  • Multiple packages to choose from
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Negative Features

  • Help Center not reponsive enough
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