On a scale of 1 to MySpace pages, I think Wix websites are at an 8 (aka modern day Geocities). What does this means? It means I think they’re pretty terrible to use even though they’re easy to set up. In fact, the only good thing about Wix websites are that they are so easy that even the most technologically-challenged person can have a site up and running within an hour.
I get it, though. I know why people use Wix sites (or Weebly). Folks are a bit intimidated about setting up their websites but this is one shortcut that is not worth it. I have receipts too (reasons).
I’m here to let you know why you should not use Wix for your website or blog, no matter how tempting it is.
EDIT (September 15, 2015): The reps at Wix contacted me to vehemently disagree with my post and say I have outdated information. In the spirit of fairness and accuracy, I asked them to write a rebuttal and I am including that below in red font. I was not compensated for this.
1. Flash technology
A lot of Wix websites are built on Flash technology (they’re trying to push HTML5 now so they do have that capability now), which is the enemy of web prosperity. Flash is so frowned upon that many phones don’t even display it, and some tablets don’t either. This means you’re already excluding a portion of people who might want to see your website. People who are perusing the web on their phones will have a hard time with your site.
Since March 2012 Wix stopped using Flash technology. As new technologies are introduced and Internet consumption evolves, Wix was able to build a HTML5 product that uses the full capabilities of current web browsers. We empowered our users with the ability to create content that they want and infuse their personality into their online presence, while maintaining the same easy-to-use, high quality and visually stunning aspect users have grown accustomed to with Wix.com.
We created the HTML5 editor with thought of giving Wix users an ultimate website-building experience with full control over every design element. Tool that will enable users to create amazing websites that are functional, usable, and fully accessible for everyone on every device. This change made Wix much more social-friendly with more tools for sharing your content; full accessibility on all devices – desktops, tablets & smartphones; Add beautiful backgrounds with the new Full-Screen mode; Enhance SEO by optimizing each page individually; Edit layouts with ease by simultaneously working on several items; Apply changes to fonts and colors on the entire site and save loads of time And there’s so much more that changed since your last piece.
2. Google does NOT like Wix
Even more important though, Google is not a fan of Wix. Like at all. Part of it is because of that Flash it uses. Your website will not rank well, which makes it harder for people to find. This will affect how much traffic you can potentially get because your site will not be search engine optimized. In 2014, that’s an expensive mistake.
Also, you can’t verify Wix sites in Google Webmaster, which matters considerably. Especially if you ever get hacked. Don’t know about Webmaster and why you need it? I wrote about it so click that link.
I don’t think Wix websites get hacked though because there’s no need to. SHADE.
Google does like Wix! We provide all of the tools and features necessary to optimize site content for SEO purposes. Wix closely follows the guidelines set out by search engines (including Google and Bing) to ensure that your site content is properly recognized, crawled and indexed. In terms of being indexed by search engines, the content of the site itself is the most important factor. The platform on which your site is built is not as significant with regards to indexation, as long as your content is visible. Wix sites have been built so as to ensure that all site content is visible and easily extracted by search engines. Wix sites are built in accordance with Google’s specifications./span>
Wix also offers many SEO apps threw our growing App market (over 250 apps and we’re adding more each week). You do not need to upgrade to a premium plan for your site to be found by search engines. Wix is search engine friendly and your free Wix site will indeed be indexed. It can take between 1 to 3 months for your site to appear in search engine results. Also, you wrote that “you can’t verify Wix sites in Google Webmaster”. That’s not true. Site verification involves receiving a meta tag from Google Webmaster Tools and placing it on your Wix site.
3. Loads slow
Wix websites load slower than those built on HTML (like WordPress) and this will lose people who do want to read about you. Why? We have very little patience and having to wait 10 seconds to see a website is something we’re not used to. We will just click off. Slow loading sites will turn visitors off, and first impressions on the web can be everything. It can keep someone from visiting your site again.
AND with a slow loading website, you will be further penalized by search engines because they know that your site provides poor user experience and they won’t want to vouch for it. That goes back to Google not liking it. See? It’s a cycle of meh.
We at Wix are totally aware to the fact that site’s loading time is one of the most important factors affecting your visitor’s user experience. High bounce rate, leading to a lower ranking in Google is not an option in our platform.
Site performance is very important to us at Wix. We have recently made many changes that should improve the performance and loading time of your site, including: 1. Automatically optimizing images for optimal quality and site loading time; 2. Using progressive images, i.e., images that initially display in lower quality and are rendered progressively as your site loads; 3. Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) which is an interconnected system of cache servers in different locations, allowing your site content to be loaded from the closest server.
Wix offers many features (images, animations, external applications, videos, slideshows, etc.) and encourages her users to use them to create a top-notch site. However, they should be use correctly and in moderation. If a user built his site according to Wix guidelines, there’s no reason his site will experience slow loading of some sort (except because of other objective reasons like connection problems).
If Wix users aren’t satisfied with their sites loading time, we’re suggesting them to take a speed test on Webpagetest.org and send us a link with his results, as well as their site URL. We investigate the results and review their sites. If there is indeed an issue on our end, we will do our best to investigate it and fix it ASAP.
4. It doesn’t look as good.
I have never seen a Wix website that looked highly professional and really nice. Wix sites do not look great or modern, in my opinion. They look like Web 2.0 circa 2004 and in a world where innovation and staying on top of what’s happening matters, this is a mistake.
Well, there is no accounted for taste. But i really think that design is the last problem with Wix platform, and that every person can find a template that he loves from the rich variety we suggest (above 500 templates) I can agree that in some cases, the freedom of design can cause some bad decisions, But that’s the drag and drop editor character and his simplicity is our biggest advantage.
Of course that Wix and Wordpress are different, but that’s because in many cases we’re addressing different audiences that are less tech-savvy (i read your previous posts about that manner and I’m sure we got our differences, but you must understand why some people are threatened with any kind of programming). If you’ll compare us to other free website builder platforms, i really think that we’re suggesting a great solution for small and medium businesses and for people that trying to create a stunning web presence.
In addition, if you need help creating your website from scratch or even just refreshing an existing website, we offer Wix arena – a community which includes a directory of experienced web designers, Wix Pros, that offer their design services to other users who feel their websites could benefit from a professional designer’s touch. In a nutshell, it’s a professional web design service at an affordable price.
5. It’s expensive.
To add insult to injury, Wix websites are not cheap. You’re supposed to get what you pay for but what you pay isn’t matching the value you get.
WordPress (.org) software itself is free. What you pay for is server space for hosting, which holds the content of your site. You can get hosting for as cheap as $4 a month for your WordPress site. That’s $48 for the entire year. And you have full website capability and the ability to customize your heart out. You typically have all the space you can need, and you have a site that can be without ads if you like.
Meanwhile, Wix sites are starting at $4.08 a month and that’s the most basic plan.
Basic is truly right here. Your site has the “THIS SITE WAS CREATED WITH WIX.COM!” ad on it, mobile ads and small amount of storage space. NAWL! Not worth it. You might as well just go with a platform that gives you more freedom.
Again, I’m not sure if the WP comparison is always fair. They got a great product, but so are we. It’s just different. For example, we’re not charging any fee for our templates and WP do for their premium themes. We have differences, and that just one of them. . I’m certain that if you’ll compare us to other free website builder platforms, you’ll see that our price is really fair and attractive.
About the Wix ads on the free sites: Wix’s business model is Freemium, meaning users can use every feature of our product completely free. Wix offers valuable premium services (hey, we need to make money too), but our business model allows us to provide everyone a professional website for free. Users that wish to upgrade their site will have the ads removed and receive a free yearly domain name (in case they don’t already have a domain they would like to transfer), as well as free 125$ coupons worth for advertising on Google/Bing. We’re offering number of premium plans that enables our users to get more storage and bandwidth, remove the Wix ads, and the connect their Wix site to their own domain name. Payment for a premium service is still a much cheaper solution for a website creation than other tools out there (whether other online web development platforms or hiring designers).
Update: You can have a FREE Wix website now.
If you want to create a website that looks professional, gives great user experience and plays well with Google, a Wix site is not for you. AT ALL. Not right now, anyway. They would need to overhaul the platform for this to change. It’s a shortcut that won’t present you as the awesome person/business/entity that you are.
People are afraid of WordPress because they think they have to be techies to use it. NOT TRUE! I’ll debunk that myth another day with a tutorial on how to set up WordPress. I know Wix sites are easy to set up but I don’t think the ease should trump the usability. If you’re currently on there, consider migrating your site to somewhere else. Even if not WordPress, look up SquareSpace as an option.
The moral of this story is: don’t use Wix!