Wix is a popular website builder because it's free and easy to use by people without technical skills.
There are good reasons to use it but also some reasons to not use it.
Think of Wix like an apartment: You can paint the walls and decorate however you'd like, but you can't remodel the kitchen.
Read on to learn more…
Wix has nice layouts that would be fine for some small businesses, restaurants, online stores, and artists. If that's you, give it a shot!
If you do not have a website and need one quickly, Wix might be a good solution (at least to get you online fast).
Wix may also be a good choice if you don't want to commit to a long-term web hosting contract since Wix has a month-to-month hosting option.
Finally, if your website budget is small, the free version of Wix could be a good way to get started.
There are reasons why the downsides of Wix outweigh its benefits.
We'll highlight a few here…
This may seem counterintuitive, but when something is easy to do, it's easy to do it badly. Building good websites is hard! By Wix pretending that it's not, it's shortchanging its users.
A good web developer has web design skills, knowledge of how people navigate websites, and understanding of things like search engine optimization and mobile responsiveness.
By not requiring its users to know those things, Wix allows people to build sites with underlying problems that ultimately will not serve them well.
If you gave me paint, brushes, and a canvas, I would still not be able to make art! I might have the tools, but not the skills.
If you want to make a website for fun, play around with Wix. But if your website is important to your business, you probably want to get more serious about how it's built.
When it comes to websites, Google is the 8 million pound gorilla. If Google doesn't see your website and understand its structure and content, you might as well not have a site.
Google's automated site scanning software does not see websites the same way that humans do, but Wix doesn't seem to know this.
Wix sites are visually attractive, but the underlying code can be confusing to Google.
Factors that Google looks for in the underlying code to boost a site's placement in search results are not optimized in Wix sites. If you're not concerned about search results placement, Wix is fine. But if you are concerned, be careful with Wix.
If a website is like a house, web hosting is the property it sits on. With non-Wix sites, you can choose from hundreds of competing web hosting companies that offer various features and different price plans.
Unfortunately, with a Wix website, you only have one choice for hosting - Wix itself.
As you probably know, having good, solid, robust, and reliable web hosting is critical for business websites.
Some data has shown that Wix sites don't load very quickly, especially on mobile devices. Google can detect load speed and penalizes sites that don't load fast, pushing them further down in search results.
Wix sites are hosted by Wix, so you have to hope performance isn't a problem for your site because you can't move it to a more reliable hosting company.
Speaking of moving your site, with Wix, you can't.
Wix is not an “open source” platform - it's proprietary and unique to Wix.
If performance of your Wix site becomes a problem or you want to add a feature to your website that Wix doesn't support, you're out of luck.
There's no way to migrate your Wix site to a different platform.
With “open source” platforms like WordPress, you can change your design theme for a totally new look without affecting your content.
And you can even export / import the site to a different hosting company without any noticeable change to the site.
The free Wix plan requires your site to display their logo and branding. And the little icon in visitors' web browsers is that of Wix, not your company.
You can't add the Google Analytics tracking code in the free Wix plan, so you're blind to website visitor data and behavior.
But the biggest cost of a “free” Wix site might be having a site that doesn't work well, doesn't show up in Google search results, or lacks important functionality
First, keep in mind the saying about “penny-wise and pound foolish” — meaning that sometimes spending as little as possible ends up costing more in the long run.
That said, an entry-level or offshore web developer can probably use a common, well-known platform like WordPress to build you a site for a small, reasonable price. Check a site like UpWork.com to find reliable freelancers.
You could also see if you have someone on staff willing to learn how to build a basic website. There are many good tutorial videos on YouTube that explain the steps.
If you run a non-profit organization, you might be able to find a volunteer to build a site.
If you really get stuck, and can't find anyone to do it at a price you can afford, get in touch and we'll try to recommend a solution.
Wix is a good choice for some people in some situations.
But it's important to understand its limitations and impact on search engine optimization and mobile responsiveness.
Sometimes spending less (or nothing) actually ends up costing much more than expected.
Have you used Wix before? What was your experience like? Let us know!