Recently, I decided to test-drive a website builder called Wix.com.
Now, why would a web developer like myself want to try out a service made for non-developers? Two reasons. One, I love to be up on what other web products are out there. And, two, before WordPress became the preeminent platform for building websites, I’m sure the seasoned developers with coding experience wrote it off because of how simple it was. Today, everyone uses WordPress to build their sites, but maybe a simpler platform like Wix will rise to take its place eventually. I wanted to find out for myself.
Perhaps you’re not a web developer, and you want to know whether or not you should attempt to build a website yourself or just go ahead hire a developer. This analysis will help you!
I am going to judge the quality of the Wix service by asking 5 important questions.
1. Does it implement good design?
This was actually not my first time trying out Wix. I had attempted to build a site with it about four years ago, so the first thing I noticed immediately was that they really have stayed up to date with their design templates. I was very impressed with them, and I think they have some really progressive designs. These pre-made templates are so important because you, as the user, don’t have to make all the design choices—someone has gone before to make them for you. Based on this, I believe you have the potential to come away with a very sleek site.
2. Is it user-friendly?
In my opinion, No. To be fair, they have developed an incredible platform for designing a website with tons of design options, but implementing those options in a good, consistent way may be very difficult for the average user. The platform reminds me a little of Photoshop, but a very laggy, less powerful version of Photoshop. I design in Photoshop all the time, but Wix’s site creator left me very frustrated.
Another reason I don’t believe it is user-friendly is because it has too many options. These options are overwhelming, and there is a larger learning curve to it.
Lastly, though I love the templates, once you start editing them, your chances of messing up the design layout of original template are very high. To make the templates fit your needs, you are going to want to change things around, but once you do, it’s difficult to keep things consistent.
3. Is it customizable?
Yes, very. But in my opinion, it allows you to customize it too much.
I believe a service like this should give you a lot of options, but I don’t believe those options should allow for you to mess up the uniformity and overall layout. Change colors, background, fonts, ad-ons—yes. But being able to change text box and background sizes and positions is unnecessary.
4. Is it affordable?
I believe Wix is affordable, especially in comparison to services like Squarespace. It’s free to get started with a yourname.WIX.COM domain, which is nice. It’s right around $4.50/month just to connect a domain name, but this still will have ads on it. So, if you’re serious about your small business or blog, you’ll need at least the Combo Plan ($8.50/month) or Unlimited Plan (12.50/month). Those prices aren’t bad when you consider that you’re not paying for web hosting, a domain, or for a developer.
5. Is it fast?
It depends. Wix does have a fairly new feature that is pretty cool called Artificial Design Intelligence. With this, you input some basic information, and the system creates a site for you based on what you put in. This is fast, and it is just be a matter of you putting in your own text and pictures to finish the site. But if you don’t like what the ADI creates for you, then you still have to go back and create it yourself.
Because of how complicated the interface is, I think you could end up spending way more time on it than you wanted to. In addition (for me, at least) the Wix site builder pages were very slow and laggy, most likely due to how much is going on at once.
Overall, I would not recommend Wix for the average user because it is a bit complicated and does not force you to make good design choices when editing it yourself. It is made for the Do-it-yourself kind of person with some design sense. But even for those people, I believe the amount of time you would spend trying to produce a sub-par end product, is not worth it.
But for those who have used Wix.com, what do you think? Let us know by commenting below!