When you think “website builder,” you think Wix. That’s because it has become the biggest player in the market, with over 125 million customers in almost 200 different countries around the world.
Up till recently, I wasn’t one of them. You see, I’ve always been a bit of a web design snob. I’ve built plenty of websites over the years, and WordPress was always my go-to tool. I mean, if you know how to use WordPress, why would you ever use anything else?
I’d heard about Wix, but never really gave it much thought. I knew it was a good tool for beginners. People who had never built a website before could now easily sign up, choose a template, upload their own content, and get online in no time – no technical experience required. That’s cool, sure. But I wasn’t one of those people.
Everything changed one fine summer day, when I saw a Wix demo at a conference. I suddenly realized its true potential.
I needed a website for a personal project I was working on. I was planning on using my trusty old friend, WordPress. But then, I started thinking of what would be involved.
I’d have to find a reliable web host, install WordPress, choose the right theme, spend hours and hours figuring out how to tweak that theme to my liking, and even more hours testing different plugins to get my website to do everything I needed it to do.
Now, why would I want to do all that when I could just…you know…drag and drop?
I decided it was finally time to give Wix a serious try. And let me tell you – I’m glad I did.
In this review, I’ll share my experience and insights with you to help you decide if Wix is the right choice for you. We’ll examine the many pros Wix has to offer, but we’ll also discuss a few crucial cons you should definitely be aware of before you dive right in.
All the Templates You Could Ever Ask For
If you’ve ever seen a Wix ad (they’re pretty hard to miss), then you know that stunning is Wix’s marketing department’s favorite superlative. I get that – who wouldn’t want to create a stunning website?
But it’s easy to see Wix isn’t all talk. When you build your website, you can choose from over 500 free templates – more than any other drag-and-drop website builder has to offer.
Not only that, but the company obviously has an excellent design team.
Your typical Wix template is clean and uncluttered, featuring full-width photographs and crisp typography – everything you need for a website that’s going to look impressive on today’s wide screens.
Some templates offer more complex layouts, or even those oh-so-trendy parallax scrolling effects. (You want them. You know you do.) You can click the View button on any template to see what it will look like “live.”
Whether you want to build a one-page website that looks really cool or a multiple-page, content-rich site with easy navigation, Wix is sure to have something in store for you.
The templates are neatly organized in categories and subcategories, and they’re searchable by keyword, too. There are special templates for landing pages, e-commerce sites, portfolios, and just about any type of site you might need to build.
Each template is titled according to its intended purpose, and things get quite specific here – you’ve got everything from “Vegan Restaurant” to “Drone Store.”
Now, should you actually choose your template according to its title? Well, not necessarily. If I were going to open a vegan restaurant (hey, a girl can dream), I probably wouldn’t want to use the template titled “Vegan Restaurant,” because I wouldn’t want my website to look like hundreds of other vegan restaurant sites.
The good news is that these titles are just suggestions. All Wix templates are completely customizable, and it’s easy to change just about anything – from colors and fonts to the entire site structure.
You’ll probably also want to use your own images instead of the default ones that come with the template. If you don’t have your own, no worries – Wix also offers a huge collection of free, high-quality stock photos and videos you can choose from.
I’d recommend choosing a general layout you like and taking it from there. For instance, if the “Drone Store” template appeals to you, don’t let the fact that you’re building a website for your art supply store hold you back.
If you’re like me and premade templates aren’t your thing, you can also choose from several blank templates – some have built-in layouts to get started with, and one is completely blank, allowing you to start from scratch.
If you’re a web designer and you’re thinking, “This could be an easy way to build websites for my clients without having to sacrifice my own personal style,” then you are very wise, my friend. (Besides, the Wix template library can always be a nice source of inspiration.)
Now, before you choose your template, there are a couple of things you should be aware of:
- Once you select a template and start editing your website, there’s no going back. If you change your mind and decide to switch templates, your content will be lost and you’ll have to start from scratch. This can be a royal pain, so be sure to choose wisely.
- Wix templates are mobile-friendly, but not automatically mobile-responsive. This means that if you make significant changes to the initial template, you’ll have to use the separate mobile view editor to make adjustments, to be sure your site doesn’t look like a mess on smaller screens.
Both these cons are understandable, as the Wix editor is so flexible. You can add your own elements, remove existing elements, and change just about anything in your template, so it would be near-impossible to automatically fit everything into a new template or a smaller, vertical screen. At the end of the day, it’s a small price to pay for complete customization freedom.
That said, publishing your stunning site before you’ve made sure the mobile version is equally stunning is a really bad idea. Don’t ask me how I know.
Can Wix Really Do Anything?
Over the past few years, we’ve seen countless Wix-lookalikes pop up all over the internet. I’m not worried about Wix, though – the company is obviously working hard to stay ahead of the competition.
It’s difficult to compete with the extensive functionality Wix offers. There’s really not much you can’t do with the platform. Some of it may require a bit of a learning curve, sure, but most features are so easy to use, who knows…if you’re like me, you just might find yourself wondering why you even bothered with WordPress all these years.
Let’s take a closer look at some of my personal favorites.
Pixel-Perfect Drag-and-Drop Editor
Whether you’re building your first website or you’ve been around since the less-than-glorious days of Geocities, you’re in for a treat. The Wix editor is not only easy to use – it’s actually so much fun, it doesn’t even feel like work.
You can move elements around and place them wherever you like on the page. There are handy guides that pop up as you’re dragging, making it easy to align elements with other ones. This keeps your design nice and neat.
You can modify anything you like – and I mean anything – with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Fonts? Just choose from the drop-down list (or upload your own). Colors? Clickety-click. Want to add buttons? Select your favorite style from the gallery and drag and drop. You can also easily add animation effects to any element.
Need to add a page? Just go to Manage Pages and click the button. Your new pages will be automatically added to the navigation menu.
Now, want to add some really cool stuff? Let’s move on to the next feature.
Wix App Market
In the Wix App Market, you can find over 300 apps – many free, some paid – to enhance your website with almost any feature you can think of.
You can add important functions that no site should be without, like a mailing list and a contact form. Then, there are integrations with social media platforms, such as Instagram Feed or Facebook Messenger. And then you’ve got image galleries, business tools, and even a special app to embed HTML code in your site. Just take your pick.
My favorite thing about the App Market is how easy it is to use. You don’t need to hire a web developer to get extended functionality on your website. And gone are the days of scrolling through endless lists of plugins, finally choosing one, and praying to the WordPress gods that it doesn’t mess up your entire site.
On Wix, all you have to do to add an app to your website is click a button. Then, just like any other site element, you can drag-and-drop it to the right place on your page and customize it however you like. It’s literally a matter of minutes.
I’m starting to feel like a broken record here, but it’s true – building an online store with Wix is incredibly easy. You can either choose a template from the Online Store category, or just click a button to add a store to an existing Wix site.
You do need to upgrade to a paid plan to accept payments, but unlike other e-commerce solutions, Wix doesn’t charge any commission for the sales you make.
From your store dashboard, you can set up your business info and payment methods, set up shipping fees, and add products. There’s no limit to the number of products you can sell. You can sell both physical and digital items, with up to 300 variants for each product. You can also offer special sales and coupon codes.
I used the Wix Store on my site to sell a couple of different products, and things went very smoothly. I like how you get email notifications of new sales, and how you can track your inventory and all your orders right from the dashboard.
While in the past, I wouldn’t have recommended Wix for larger-scale e-commerce businesses, I think today it is certainly up for the challenge. Wix has recently added some cool e-commerce features, such as abandoned cart recovery, store analytics, printable shipping labels, and more.
Wix SEO Wiz
Wix has had its SEO issues in the past, making many web developers and designers turn to other solutions. After all, nobody wants a stunning website that doesn’t show up in Google search results.
In recent years, however, this has no longer been the case. Google doesn’t hate Wix anymore, and Wix offers plenty of handy SEO tools to make sure your site gets noticed.
If you’ve only heard of Search Engine Optimization but you really have no idea what you’re doing, that’s not going to be a problem. The free SEO Wiz will ask you a few questions about your website, and then come up with a personalized SEO plan for you, guiding you through every step of the way.
You can get keyword recommendations and track your success on search engines, all through the SEO Wiz dashboard.
If you upgrade to a paid plan, you can also connect your site to Google Analytics for in-depth information about your visitors.
If you’re still thinking Wix might be nice for those small, brochure-like sites but not for websites that take themselves seriously, let me introduce Wix Corvid. Corvid is the next generation of Wix Code, and it allows developers to build powerful web applications, all through the Wix platform.
Now, I can tell you I’m no web developer. I have a basic knowledge of HTML and I can do some CSS if someone’s holding my hand, but that’s about it. However, I was able to use Corvid to build a basic database and add dynamic pages to my site. (Hey, it was worth doing just for the bragging rights.)
If you’re not technology-shy and you’re up for a little challenge, you can play around with Corvid and see what it can do. You’ll find tons of helpful guides and video tutorials on the Wix Corvid website.
For more complex applications, though, you’ll need to either be a developer or hire one.
If you are one and you’d like to learn more, don’t miss our in-depth Wix Corvid review. You’ll be glad to know it was written by someone way more tech-savvy than me.
Ease of use
It Doesn’t Get Much Easier Than This
These days, there are many professional Wix designers out there, offering their services for a wide range of prices. If you’ve never built a website before, you could just pay to have someone build your Wix site for you. You can even hire an expert through the Wix website. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to.
To check how easy Wix would be for someone who’s really never built a site before, I asked a coworker to build his very first website and tell me all about his experience.
In less than 40 minutes, this complete newbie was able to build a seven-page website, including an image gallery, an event calendar, and a blog.
Needless to say, he is now Wix’s biggest fan, and he recommends it for any beginner – and just about anyone else. These are some of the features he loved:
While the standard Wix editor is very intuitive and quite easy to learn to use, Wix offers another option. It’s known as Wix ADI, which stands for Artificial Design Intelligence.
Here, all you have to do is answer a few questions about your website, choose the extra features you want to have (like an event calendar or a blog), pick a theme (including fonts and colors), and sit back and wait.
You won’t be waiting for long. Within a minute or two, Wix ADI will suggest three different homepage designs you can choose from. Click on your favorite one, and you’ve got a website! All that’s left to do is add your own content and images. You can even customize parts of your site.
If you find the ADI editor too limiting, you can choose to convert your site to the standard editor further on down the line, once you feel comfortable with Wix’s editing tools.
If you’re not a beginner, you’ll probably prefer to choose your own template and take advantage of the advanced customization options the standard editor offers – but Wix ADI can still be a fun toy to play around with.
As you edit your Wix site, you’ll get friendly little pop-up windows to guide you through the process. These are divided into two tabs:
- The What’s Next tab lists the steps you need to take to complete your site. These are usually basic tasks, like adding content and previewing your site. When you click on a task, you’ll be guided through the process step-by-step.
- Smart Tips tell you when something on your site needs to be updated.
You’ll never find yourself scratching your head, wondering what you’re supposed to do or where you’re supposed to click next. If you do need extra help with anything, you can always click the little question mark icon in the top-right hand corner of any window in the editor.
Building a website can be a complex task. Normally, you’d have to choose a web host, purchase a domain name, and hire your own experts – a designer, a developer, an SEO specialist and more.
Wix plans include everything you could possibly need for your website, from server space and a free domain to free templates, apps, and ad vouchers. This one-stop-shop approach saves you all the headaches of hunting down the right providers for your needs.
You can even build your website for free, although the free plan comes with a few limitations. More about that in a bit.
The Never-Ending Quest for Customer Support
The Wix Help Center is huge, covering just about any topic you can think of. It’s easy to search for the information you’re looking for.
Sometimes, however, you might run into an issue that isn’t covered in the knowledge base. Support isn’t easy to find on the Wix website. You’d think clicking on the Support Center link in the Help Center would take you there, but that just takes you to the Help Center’s main page. In other words, the same page you were on. Ugh.
The Contact Us link? Nope. That takes you to a page with various links, but none of them will let you actually contact customer support. But I’m sure you’ll be happy to know there is yet another link back to the Help Center.
Feeling quite frustrated, I went to Google and performed a search for ‘Wix customer service’. The first result was a link to this article, posted in 2015. Seriously, Wix?
In the article above, I finally found a link to the Contact Wix page. Here, you can select the topic you need help with, and Wix will suggest relevant articles and/or videos (in case you somehow managed to miss those in the Help Center).
At the very bottom of the page, if you look carefully, you will find that oh-so-elusive Click to Contact link. Once you click that, you can either finally open a support ticket or schedule a callback.
I submitted a ticket asking if a site I’d built with Wix ADI was going to be mobile responsive.
They got back to me about 15 minutes later, with a very long, obviously canned response that did not include the answer to my question. They didn’t even add my name – just a generic “Greetings.” I can’t say this made me feel like the company really cared about my question.
The support article on Wix’s website encourages you to use the Call Center, where 24/7 live support is allegedly offered.
As someone who hates talking on the phone, this does not make me happy. I’d much rather use live chat, but unfortunately, Wix does not offer this option. So, sighing loudly and rolling my eyes, I picked up my phone and called the number.
I was greeted by a recorded message. Can you guess what it said?
Right! Go back to the Help Center and schedule a callback. Seriously, Wix? Seriously?
Seriously. It’s 2019 and this is the internet. I want to schedule a callback just about as much as I want to send customer support my question with a carrier pigeon.
The biggest irony in all of this is that Wix offers a free Chat Box app in the App Market. It’s really easy to install on your site, too. You can only wonder why they don’t make use of it themselves.
Still rolling my eyes, I decided to move on to the next option.
Finally, I contacted Wix through the company’s Facebook page, as it was the closest thing to live chat I was going to get. (You can also try to contact them through Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.)
Once again, I asked if my Wix ADI site would be mobile responsive. Again, I received a response about 15 minutes later. This time they actually used my name, which was nice, but the response was nothing but a link to an article which – yet again – did not include the answer to my simple question.
I kept trying to clarify, but it was a waste of my time. The support representative on Facebook obviously had no idea what “mobile responsive” means.
After this went on for a while, I gave up. In 2019, I’d expect a support agent from a company as large as Wix to know the difference between mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive.
Affordable Plans for Every Type of Website
Wix offers six or seven different pricing plans, depending on your location. This can get a bit confusing, which I why I recommend reading our Complete Guide to Wix Pricing.
The free plan isn’t bad if you’re just starting out. There are storage and bandwidth limitations, which shouldn’t be a big deal unless you’re planning on building a media-heavy site.
However, you’ll have to use a Wix subdomain instead of your own domain (i.e. yoursite.wix.com), and Wix branding will be displayed on your site. Also, if you’re planning on building a Wix Store, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan so you can accept payments.
The premium plans are reasonably priced, and they come with a lot of other perks – a free domain, more storage space and bandwidth, free ad vouchers, and more. With the higher-tier plans, you get a bunch of premium apps, such as Site Booster to drive more traffic to your site, and Visitor Analytics.
When you’re ready to upgrade to a paid plan, you can pay with any major credit or debit card. Wix doesn’t accept PayPal, cryptocurrency, or any other payment method.
You can pay for one or two years in advance, or opt for a monthly plan. Just keep in mind that the monthly plans are considerably more expensive than the long-term ones, and with a monthly plan, you don’t get the free domain, the premium apps, or the ad vouchers.
Before you commit to a long-term plan, one very important thing to keep in mind is that when you build a Wix website, your site will be locked into the Wix platform. You can’t transfer it to your own hosting server or to a different website builder. If you want to leave Wix at some point in the future, you’ll have to rebuild your site from scratch.
Wix often offers tempting promotional prices. Just keep in mind that in a year or two years’ time, you’re going to have to pay full price to renew your plan.
If you’re a designer or developer, you can transfer ownership of your customer’s site (including the paid plan) to your customer once you’re done working on it. All you have to do is enter their email address in the Transfer Site Ownership page in the dashboard.
Cancellations and Refunds
All Wix plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee. Canceling your account is easy – just go to the Billing and Payments page in your dashboard and click the Cancel Plan link.
You’ll get a pop-up window asking if you’re sure you want to cancel. After you confirm, the next window will ask you for a reason. This is required, but as you can see, I didn’t put much effort into it.
Once you click Cancel Now, you should receive your refund within 20 business days.
On one hand, this is a very long wait time, which is kind of annoying. On the other hand, Wix’s efforts to avoid having to provide customer support really work in your favor here, because you don’t have to talk to a service representative to cancel your plan or to get the refund.
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Great Web Builder with two provisos
Not currently offering support for Ipad type display so the main site needs to be tweaked to ensure everything displays on the pad. Form templates (e.g. Contact) are not customisable so can be a pain to fit in if space is tight on your site, which is a pity because everything else on offer is excellent.
Looks good until you start using it
It does a lot, but it doesn't build true responsive websites. You have to edit the desktop and mobile layouts separately, and there are weird incongruencies between the two. The cloud-based builder is laggy, and you can forget about touching the code.Honestly, it's geared more towards people looking to build simple sites without any coding knowledge. Definitely not for professional website builders.Oh, and it's not cheap.
Perfect for beginners website builder
Wix offers a drag-and-drop website builder perfect for beginners. Features such as robust e-commerce tools, email marketing, and a library of over 500+ professionally designed templates set the website builder apart from most others.
wix - great for start ups
I've currently got three websites with Wix each looking very great running on a budget but my websites cost very little per month.Also, great for the seo options.
ONE FATAL FLAW: their rigid attitude on Shutterstock Images
I am trying to construct a web site from scratch starting with a blank page. I have chosen to use the Shutterstock images rather than those that are free of charge, because of the much wider range and better quality. As I am likely to end up using considerably more than the average person, it came as quite a shock to discover that they will not let me experiment with them before making a non-refundable purchase of every one I take an interest in. Obviously, once my site is finished and I have made my final choice, I will then pay for the images included on it. I have raised the issue with them but they refuse to budge an inch, just insisting that I must pay for every one I 'play' with without any prospect of a refund (or an exchange with another image for that matter). You can understand my anger and disappointment!!! Shame, as I had been impressed with other aspects of the site.
Wix - good and bad
I upgraded to WIX Business Unlimited Annual Plan (e-commerce plan) at 50% discount, only to figure out I needed further upgrades ($44/month) to enable e-commerce on the 123Forms. 123Forms is advertised as a benefit of Business Unlimited Annual Plan. I spent 4 days trying to figure out how to make e-commerce work with their e-commerce plan, and then gave up. I wrote to WIX asking them to downgrade me to Entrepreneur Unlimited Plan at the same 50% discount at which it was available 5 days ago (which is when I had purchased the Business Unlimited plan).They plainly refused saying that discount does not exist anymore. In my opinion their Business Unlimited plan is an eye wash to get users to buy further upgrades. Also, WIX don't show me the $5/month (most basic plan) to downgrade to when I am signed in. I see this plan when I sign out. I did not expect this from WIX and am planning to move to their competitor.