I know, that’s a bold statement but it is one I can make because I’ve personally used it to build websites. Wix provides a very shiny and appealing prize to consumers. That is one of convenience and the illusion that anyone can easily make a high end and successful website.
What I’ve Learned
After using Wix to build several websites here is what I have learned. The Wix user interface is simple to follow and they do easily allow you to create a website and get your brand online. There is no question on that front. The problem is that once you sign up with Wix or any other online site builder for that matter (Square Space for example) you are now handcuffed by them. You are limited to the small sandbox that they allow you to play in. They provide you only with their limited set of templates and a limited amount of customization options. Sure, you can drag images and text around the screen and place them where you think they will look good. But these online tools are built directly to target users with little or no design expertise. They are created to convince them that this is their best option. Any professional designer will cringe at the mere utterance of the words “Wix” or “Square Space”.
Here is my big problem with these online site builders. Quite frankly, the design templates they provide you with are in a word, terrible. They are cookie cutter designs that thousands of other Wix users will also be presented with. You can almost immediately tell a Wix site from a professionally designed site. My next beef is the lack of options for these websites. Yes, you can sell online with Wix and many of these other online site builders but you are very limited in what you can do. There are a very limited amount of plugins with limited support. This is what I mean by being “handcuffed” by them.
What really hooks people on these systems is the price. Business owners think to themselves that they have a limited budget and there is no way they can afford to pay a professional designer to make their website. I think often times people just assume the price is going to be some astronomical number so they turn to options like Wix. I get it, I really do. You see the $5/month USD price tag and think that’s a pretty great option to get a website and be all setup. The problem with that is you need to think long term as a business owner. You also need to know what you’re paying for.
For the reasons I’ve stated above and more, you are not getting what you pay for. Let’s do a comparison between the current Wix price options and my own web hosting services. As of the current date, March 23, 2018 these are the prices for each Wix Premium Plan:
As you can see, $5/month USD is the cheapest option. For this you get 1GB of Bandwidth and 500MB of storage. Sounds good right? Wrong. If you plan on running a successful and busy website that 1GB of Bandwidth will be eaten up fairly quickly. Bandwidth is used up every time someone visits your site. The more people viewing your site the more bandwidth you use. Wix claims their $14/month USD plan is the most popular. That’s $168/year USD. That’s $215 CAD for my fellow Canadians. To top it off, on the lower tiered plans you also have Wix ads plastered all over your website further detracting from the professional appearance of your business. It’s not until you upgrade to the $10/month USD plan that you can remove the ads.
What is the Alternative?
Now, if we compare all of this to my own hosting options you’ll see that we have a $3.95/month USD plan. For that you get unmetered bandwidth and 10GB of storage. Unmetered means your bandwidth has no limit. And for less money per month you are getting 20 times the storage space.
I know what you’re thinking; “I still have to pay to have my website built on top of that”. Yes, but after discussing your project and providing you with a detailed quote I think you’ll be very surprised at what it actually costs. If you plan on running your business long term the cost of building your site will pay for itself within the first year and maybe even the first few months. This is because every website we build is Search Engine Optimized and built with the user experience in mind. Every site is unique and will make your brand standout. Nobody will go to your website and think, “Oh look, another Wix site”.
A professionally designed website represents your brand and instills confidence in your customers. The goal of your website is to get more customers, and we keep that as our focus throughout every design. The goal of a Wix website is just to convince people to sign up for more Wix websites. By choosing Wix you spend less in the short term, but more in the long term and for drastically inferior results.
I know part of the draw to online tools like Wix is the ease of use. For customers wanting a simple to use interface I present WordPress as a much more robust alternative. WordPress presents all of the benefits of Wix without the drawbacks. It is easy to use and simple to maintain. But your “sandbox” with WordPress versus Wix is like comparing the Sahara Desert to the little sand pit you put in your backyard for your toddler.
WordPress has literally thousands upon thousands of plugins and add-ons that can let you do virtually anything with your website. You can track inventory for your online store, run a Learning Management System to have online paid courses and so much more. The best part is, WordPress is 100% free and most of the plugins available for it are also free. Any time I develop a WordPress site for a customer I sit down with them afterwards and walk them through how to use and maintain their site. You don’t need to be a computer guru to use WordPress.
You might be thinking my “Wix Sucks” rant is just a self-serving ad campaign for my own business. Here is the truth of it. Do I want your business? Of course I do. Do I think I can build you something far superior to Wix or any other online site builder? I know I can. Will your business be more successful with a professionally designed site versus one of these cookie cutter designs that Wix presents? I guarantee it.
Ultimately the choice is yours as the consumer. I think Wix serves a purpose and is good in some applications. But I would never recommend it to any serious business owner who wants to find new customers and grow their empire.