Part 2: Which website platform is right for your business. Wix
This is part two of a three-part series where I look at how to choose the right website platform for your business. In this post, I'll discuss the pros and cons of choosing Wix. You can also read Part 1 on Wordpress. here and Part 3 on Squarespace here.
If Wix wasn’t valued at almost $15 billion, I would almost feel sorry for them.
They made some technical choices at the beginning that made their platform less than ideal and gave them a bad reputation. Now they are the platform most web developers love to hate. And making changes to their software hasn’t changed these developer’s opinions.
I came across Wix before I started my business when my husband and I were looking for a platform for his photography business. It checked a lot of boxes for us at the time: It was a drag and drop platform so we wouldn’t need to hire a developer, it had a store we could easily integrate, and the security and support were taken care of for us.
When I started my own business and read a lot about the criticism circling the web, I got nervous. I didn’t want to steer my clients wrong, so I did a lot of research before I began to suggest it to them. Among other things, people were saying that search engines don't read Wix sites well, that you can’t customize URLS ( web page addresses), and that Wix sites were slow.
The vast majority of these issues designers or developers raise over Wix are no longer problems.
To Wix’s credit, they have done a great job responding to the critiques and updating their technology. They now have a great Search Engine Optimization tools available from basic to higher-level features. (Wix even got Google’s John Mueller to make a public statement that Wix sites work fine for search engines). The URLS are just as customizable as any other site. And they boosted their load times.
In full disclosure, Wix is what I built my site on (because I am a web designer, not a developer and didn't have the funds to hire one when when I was starting out). But honestly, I wouldn't change my decision now. I love working on Wix and not having to rely on code to make changes to my site. And I just don't have to deal with a lot of the headaches that all my biz friends on Wordpress do.
Wix is not perfect. They are trying to be everything to everyone and make something that on the backend is complex, simple for the user. There are some sacrifices made in the process.
Wix is a great option for a business owner that doesn’t have a tech team and often has to manage their website on their own.
Purely technically speaking, Wordpress is the superior platform without a doubt. But what good is the best technology in the world if you can’t use it?
Like I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, I have come across many business owners who can’t make even simple changes to their site, so their websites languish on the web as is for years. Or their site gets hacked. This isn’t due to a weakness in Wordpress, necessarily, but a lot of people don’t have the time or understanding to update their security plugins. Outdated plugins cause weaknesses in your site.
Wix bridges the gap with a user interface that is simple, easy to use and is almost like Canva for websites. You can trade out photos, arrange elements, add new text, all without knowing how to code.
It also has other add ons available, such as booking software, a storefront, a membership portal, etc. Though I wouldn’t recommend this, you can even use it as your email platform.
There are two options for an editor. One is their ADI editor, which stands for Artificial Design Intelligence This is an option if you are coming in and want to use one of their templates without many changes. You simply go through a quiz-style process to set up your site.
To be honest, this is not my favorite way to use Wix. I prefer the traditional Wix Editor, which has much more flexibility. I can basically create a site from scratch and add or take away any element.
Wix also has the option to use code using their Corvid application. This gives you the power to custom code aspects of your site’s design.
Many people have said one of Wix’s limitations is that you can’t trade out themes once you've got an established site. This is not completely true. If you have a theme that you want to completely trade out for a new Wix-built theme, then no, you can’t hit a button and get an all-new template. However, there are ways around this.
First, you can pretty much change your existing theme any way you want. So you could theoretically start with one look and end up with something entirely different.
The other option is to start a new site in your account, customize it by copying over any content you had, and then moving your domain to the new site.
Another thing people often say is many of the sites on Wix don’t look professional. This is largely because a lot of people are DIYing them, so of course, there are going to be sites that don’t turn out well. Just because you can drag and drop a site into existence, doesn’t mean it is going to look like a pro made it. There is a lot that goes into the strategy and design of a website. That’s why I still recommend people hire a designer for the initial install. Then you can manage the site from there.
Give me almost any Wordpress page design, and I can build it on Wix.
Verdict on Wix
Easy to use.
Contains a mobile editor so you can be sure your site looks good on cell phones.
Flexible to create what you want.
Blogging platform available.
Security is built in.
Many features available to add on to your site.
Variety of editors available to meet your tastes and abilities.
All-in-one, so you don’t need to cobble together a bunch of third party applications.
Great support available.
Automatic site backup.
The ongoing hosting cost is more expensive on a monthly basis than many platforms (unless you count not having to hire a developer)
There are quarks in the editor that can cause large gaps in your pages if you aren’t paying attention
The templates available aren’t as slick as Squarespace. (But this isn’t an issue for those who hire a designer).
You will probably be Internet shamed for using Wix if you choose to reveal it.
I’m not a huge fan of the way Wix sites work on tablets. Instead of the mobile view, it simple crops off the sides of the site.
It’s blogging platform is somewhat limited.
Great for: Soloprenuers or small business owners who don’t have a contracted developer to take care of their site but still want the flexibility to make ongoing changes. Restaurants, photographers, musicians or other businesses needing a portfolio and looking for ready-made sites.
Not great for: Larger or rapidly growing businesses who need specialized features and custom applications or have a very large site with dozens of pages requiring multiple levels of navigation. Someone whose site is dedicated to blogging,
Are you thinking about a website but curious if your business is ready? Take my quiz.