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Wix claims to provide a website building platform to as many as 110 million users in about 190 countries (with offices in Tel Aviv, Dnipro, San Francisco and New York). This is owing to the fact that Wix provides tools to create your online presence through a website by providing online tools that are free to build and use, code-free and fun to play around with. They provide virtually thousands of templates, hosting, apps and drag-and-drop functionality, all for free if you don’t mind the “.wix.com” suffix at the end (for example www.builtmyownsite.wix.com).
Wix is cloud based, which means that it runs through your browser, without having to install any third-party software and provides its own hosting. Starting up is pretty simple — you sign up (or you can use your Google or Facebook account to sign in) and Wix takes you through instructional screens on what you want to do with your website. The process is quite simple.
You start by choosing who the website is for — you, someone else or a client. You choose the nature of the website, whether it is a portfolio, a business, a photography, a blog or a music website, among the many other options they have. Next, you choose your expertise level — if you build websites professionally, have moderate expertise or you are a complete novice.
Either way, you are presented with two choices, whether to build your website using the thousands of templates provided by Wix or make your own with the Wix Editor the old-fashioned way. If you go the automatic way, the website/blog will be up and running in no time! The manual way will naturally take as long as you want it to.
As we mentioned earlier, Wix remains free, as long as you don’t mind having a sub-domain on the Wix website. But, if you want access to other “premium” features such as support or have your own domain name then Wix has 5 plans designed to suit your needs — Connect Domain, Combo, Unlimited, eCommerce and VIP.
As the name suggests, this connects your domain with the Wix website for $7 monthly. Your website will still show Wix ads and there is no way to stop that, unless you upgrade to a higher plan. You are given access to all the templates, the number of pages on the website are unlimited, but the bandwidth and storage are limited to 1GB and 500MB respectively. Premium support is included in this plan. The annual price is $5 and decreases as you increase the number of years.
For $10 (monthly), Wix will take off the advertisements off your website and give you an unlimited number of pages and provide you with 2GB of bandwidth. You have access to all templates and have premium support. This plan is ideal if you operate a small professional website. The domain name is provided free for the first year and charged $14.95 thereafter.
This plan is $14 (monthly) and is perfect for you if you need a lot of web storage (10GB is provided). This offer contains certain vouchers that you can use to promote your website on portals such as Google and Bing and a site builder and a form builder app.
If you are looking to build an online store, for $17 a month, this is a great option. It offers 20GB of storage and contains the same vouchers as the Unlimited plan.
Wix is such a feature-rich website that it would probably need a separate article on its features. When you start designing your website, you will be presented with two options — whether to let the Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) feature build your website for you or use the editor to create it yourself.
Designing through this option is pretty straightforward. Once you select the ADI tool, you will be asked the type of site you want to create and even a few suggestions. You can take one of the suggestions or specify one yourself. Once you have done that, you will be given a list of features that you may want on your page, such as selling online, taking bookings and appointments and getting subscribers.
You will be asked to name your website and then asked to choose a “style”, such as Minimal, Elegant, Luxury, Clean, Grand and Sky High. The Wix ADI then creates a color palette that you can either use or skip. The API will create a few samples of how your website will look and present you with three options, you can either select one or skip them. Within seconds, you will see your website. It’s that simple!
Once this is done, you will have an option to explore, complete your site and check out site how-to’s, such as:
- Previewing your website
- Publishing it
- Managing your blog
- Changing your website design
- Changing website colors
- Changing website fonts
- Connecting your domain
- Editing section content
- Connecting your domain
- Improving SEO for your page
Please note that any changes that you make in the ADI will not be transferred to the Wix Editor and vice-versa.
You get complete control of the layout. You can place the objects wherever you please, as opposed to the automatic ADI placement. The interface itself is very clean and minimalistic. All you will see at any point of time while building your website is a menu bar (with three options, namely ‘Add’, ‘Site Design’ and ‘Manage Apps’) and no more than two or three buttons — that’s about it.
You can add apps to your website such as a chat feature, an online store, a blog and even a bookings menu. Each of these apps can also be modified further for their look, their placement and so on.
One great thing about this editor is the previews. No matter what component you add to your website, the editor will show you thumbnail previews that give you a clear idea of what it would look like.
The editor also allows for keyboard shortcuts and are the same standard shortcuts that you use across other applications. Also, right clicking works the same way as it would in other applications.
Though the Wix website is very quick, it takes a bit to load, especially if you are on an older computer. For the same reason, the website can be a memory hogger if you are running too many tabs and has a tendency to stall your browser sometimes. This also leads to losing your data if you were in the middle of configuring your website and the website crashes.
Wix is serious about user security and perform regular security audits and encrypt the databases containing sensitive information. They claim to have a multiple-layer security architecture that protects against 0-day security issues and the sign-up process is secured via SSL/HTTPS communication. Cryptography hash functions are used to protect your information and claim that the passwords cannot be recovered from their servers.
Even though you might not think of it, Wix does have a lot of support floating around you. For example, left-clicking anywhere on an object will display a help icon and it is also available in the menu bar. By clicking on any help icon you would not be taken away from the editor, rather, the solutions will be displayed in pop-ups which can be closed without disturbing the work area.
If you want help otherwise, you can head to their support pages, which cover nearly everything from getting started or the Wix editor, billing, premium plans, domains, technical difficulties and are broken down into tutorials and FAQs. Tutorials are very detailed, with step-by-step instructions on how to’s.
If you do not have the patience to go through the help section or tutorials, there is email and phone support. This is done through a ticket system that is well maintained — someone will get back to you in a matter of minutes. So all in all, the support provided by Wix is quite satisfactory if you compare it with other services in the same category.
Wix has been around for a while and they have mostly kept up with the times, so it’s no wonder that they are still relevant in the web-design market. Their website builder deserves an article all by itself and offers tons of features with hundreds of templates to play with and is equipped with powerful tools. If you are looking for a place to start and for a foothold in the web space and do not want to spend a lot of money doing it, Wix is for you.