Do you want to create a dynamic, professional-looking website, but you’re not a designer and you don’t know a thing about code? There are plenty of simple website builders on the market, but one that comes up a lot online is Wix.
Known for its ease of use, even for beginners, Wix is a popular choice for small businesses and creatives who want customizable, out-of-the-box templates with all the bells and whistles.
Is Wix right for your business?
The website design experts at B12 have done the homework to help you decide so you don’t have to comb the internet for answers. Everything you need to know about Wix is right here.
What is Wix?
Wix is a cloud-based website builder that allows anyone to “create a personalized, professional web presence.”
The site builder was launched in 2006 after its three founders struggled to create a website for their start-up. They envisioned an out-of-the-box solution that would allow users to build a simple website based on design and development templates. It worked. In 2009, 1 million people used Wix to create their own websites. By 2014, that number had skyrocketed to 50 million users. In 2021, the company reported 200 million users in 190 countries.
Today, Wix is a publicly traded company with more than 5,000 employees located around the world.
Over the years, the basic software has been enhanced with new features that not only provide entrepreneurs like developers, event planners, and restaurant owners an online presence, but a way to manage their business. These include capabilities like:
- Customer relationship management and automated workflow
- Customized logos
- Mobile site
- Online scheduling
While all of these features are impressive, the popularity of Wix still seems to stem from its original premise: it’s easy to build a website—no coding or design skills required. The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create a website using any of the 800+ professionally pre-designed templates.
However, Wix’s critics say that it doesn’t quite hit the mark for businesses that require more customization and complexity to tailor a website for their industry and target audience. For example, those in professional services like mortgage brokers, insurance brokers, lawyers, and accountants often find Wix sites to be too bare bones, without the necessary contact management, document organization, and marketing tools they need to interact with and engage clients.
Wix can also be overwhelming and time-consuming for people who are not website designers or developers. While Wix offers guided onboarding in the program, it’s hard to know where to start. Business owners are on their own when it comes to creating and maintaining their website, which can be beyond their skills. The expectation is that the owner has the time, comfort, and confidence in building a DIY site using a website builder.
One of the other major pain points is that once you’ve chosen a Wix template, it seems that you’re locked in. It’s not possible to change the look without redoing the content from scratch.
What features does Wix website builder include?
Over the years, Wix has expanded their site builder services and offers functionality that goes beyond hosting a simple website. Their many features include:
- Wix ADI—provides an out-of-the-box solution that fits users’ needs based on questions they answer at the outset
- Wix Editor—offers more creative control; users can reposition anything in a template using drag-and-drop functionality
- Wix Editor X—for advanced designers and developers who want to customize in creative ways
- More than 800 designer templates categorized by type of business
- Velo by Wix—open development platform for more advanced users to build web applications, including unified database management, business and marketing tools, and production-grade runtime
Professional business website basics
- Custom domain name
- Personalized email with your business name
- Free hosting
- Contact management
- Password-protected pages for a business’s members only
- Social tools
- Live chat
- Storefront designs
- Store Manager to track orders and manage inventory
- Product pages to showcase products
- Multiple payment methods
- Ability to offer coupons and discounts
- Set customized tax and shipping rules
- Clients can book services through website and mobile app
- Accept payment online
- Offer group or private services
- Google Calendar sync
- Auto-email reminders to clients
Blog, video, photography, music
Users can create and manage creative elements on their websites to help promote and sell their products/services
Restaurants and events
Templates and functionality designed specifically for restaurants (menus, online ordering, reservations) and events (invitations, RSVPs, ticket sales)
Tools to promote a website
- SEO plan and tools
- Email marketing
- Visitor analytics
- Subscriber capability
How much does a Wix site cost?
What you pay to use Wix will depend on how you use it. Although it’s possible for hobbyists to access templates and hosting for free (with Wix ads on their pages), Wix website builder offers three main premium plans.
The most simple plans are for hobbyists, creatives, solo entrepreneurs and freelancers. They’re priced between $7.50/month and $44/month and include a custom domain, varying amounts of bandwidth, storage space, and video. The lower-priced plan features Wix ads that figure quite prominently on the page and can interfere with the user experience. The higher-priced plans include ad vouchers, access to a visitor analytics app for a limited time, professional logos and priority customer care.
Wix has also introduced Editor X, an advanced creation platform for designers and web professionals. It offers more functionality and collaboration tools than the standard Wix product. Premium plans for Editor X are similar to the plans above and start at $22.50/month and run to $50/month.
In contrast, other solutions like B12, which provides more custom service and customer service, offers ongoing visitor analytics and unlimited storage space, which is important for service professionals who often need to send and keep documents.
Business and ecommerce plans
Wix’s business plans range from $28/month to $49/month. They build on the website plans by offering video, unlimited bandwidth, and more storage space and video hours. They also offer things like customer accounts for faster checkouts and the ability to offer pricing plans, subscriptions, and recurring payments, all important for ecommerce businesses. The higher-priced business plans also offer customized reports.
These business plans appear to be tailored for businesses that are managing inventory, events, or online subscriptions. They may not be ideal for service providers or other businesses because they don’t offer things like contact management capabilities, contract and e-signature functions, and email marketing as part of their basic package. These are important features for many businesses who want to be able to manage all of the moving parts of their business in one place.
Enterprise plans with custom solutions for bigger brands
Wix Enterprise plans start at $550/month and offer a dedicated support team. Users must reach out to Wix to work one-on-one with a sales rep to get a custom price and package.
Who is Wix best suited for?
Wix is an ideal solution for hobbyists and solopreneurs looking to create a basic online presence. It’s fast, easy, and cheap to get a basic website up and running with Wix. The templates are geared toward small businesses like artists, restaurants, and modest e-commerce operations.
For moderately larger businesses and those in professional service industries, Wix is limited in its design functions and capabilities. This is because Wix isn’t purpose built for professional services; it’s more of a catch-all website builder that offers a dizzying array of advanced features and tools that, when you add them all up, can make its use expensive and overwhelming. There’s not a lot of opportunity for true customization in the design and development and businesses may find themselves contorting the way they present and conduct their business online to Wix’s limitations rather than designing solutions that ideally suit their company’s needs.
Some users also complain that they are presented with a huge challenge if they “outgrow” their Wix website. It’s not easy (some say impossible) to port a website’s content over to a new domain or service provider.
What are the pros and cons of using Wix?
How easy is it to delete or transfer a Wix account?
According to Wix Support, it’s relatively simple to delete your Wix account and/or transfer it to another domain. But those who use Wix indicate it’s not as straightforward as they claim it is.
Cancelling and deleting your Wix account
The first step is to cancel any premium plans, domains, mailboxes, and app subscriptions you have amassed along your Wix journey. Log in to your premium plan and look for the prompt beside each subscription to cancel.
When you’ve cancelled your premium services and deleted all of your sites and domains, you can officially close your Wix account using the big blue “Close Your Account” button off your dashboard.
You can then move any remaining sites in your account to the trash via your Wix dashboard. Follow the same procedure for deleting domains.
Transferring your Wix services and domain
If you want to move your Wix services to another service provider, you’ll log in to your Wix account and find Site Actions on your dashboard. From there, you can follow the prompt to Transfer Site, enter the recipient’s email address and fill out the Transfer Ownership form—where you’ll also be able to select any other services you wish to transfer.
To transfer your domain to another provider, go to Domains in your Wix account. When you hit the More Actions icons next to the right domain, you’ll see an option to transfer away from Wix or transfer to another Wix account OR Remove from Wix (if your domain is managed elsewhere). Choose Remove domain or Transfer domain. You can do this for all domains that are connected to your Wix account.
Before skedaddling from Wix, it’s a good idea to move your sites and domains to the trash (following the steps in cancelling and deleting your Wix account, above). Then, close your account and you’re done with Wix.
Although the procedure for transferring your Wix account seems straightforward, many users complain that it’s not quite as seamless as it seems.
Are Wix sites securely hosted?
Like most reputable website builders, Wix advertises that they take security seriously. They boast, “enterprise-grade security with every Wix site.”
And for anyone who speaks the language, Wix is a PCI Level 1 Merchant & Service Provider and is certified as ISO 27001 and ISO 27018 compliant.
What does this look like? They follow industry best practices with:
- A secure software development lifecycle, including design and code reviews, threat modeling and penetration tests
- Sign-up and log in services are conducted through a secure server
- Safe data encryption using HTTPS, TLS 1.2+ and automatic SSL; data at rest uses AES-256, which is the strongest encryption standard commercially available
- Secure payments and anti-fraud—every Wix site is compliant with the highest Payment Card Industry Data Standards and include anti-fraud protection to protect payment information
- Strict TPRM program to ensure third-party vendors align with Wix’s security standards
- Anti-DDoS protection which detects and responds to denial of service attacks
- A 24/7/365 security operations center work with advanced system information and events monitoring to detect and respond to threats
- A machine learning approach to detect pattern changes and suspicious activity to block any attempted misuse of accounts, data or websites
- A Bug Bounty Program invites third-party security researchers to hack the Wix platform to identify any threats
How good are Wix pre-built website templates?
For many users, Wix’s website templates work well. With more than 800 to choose from, users can pick from categories like:
- Business and services
Each category comes with multiple types of designs suited for specific businesses like restaurants, hair salons, photography, retail stores, and others. Each aligns well to the principles of modern web design and has high-quality layouts, and color palettes. Even better, for these types of businesses the developers have anticipated the features that many of their users would need, i.e. the restaurant designs come with an optional reservations feature.
It's very easy to customize a template with the drag-and-drop interface and access the app market to integrate third-party integrations and upload content. There are plenty of built-in guides to help you as you move things around, resize, and align the design elements. The more advanced Editor X product allows even more creativity and design-centric templates for creative types.
But with so much choice, the most common critique of Wix’s templates is that they can feel overwhelming, and the array of optional features can quickly become dizzying (and expensive). And, although there are so many templates to choose from, the designs are distinctive so it’s very possible that a competing business may select the same template. This could potentially be confusing for customers and embarrassing for entrepreneurs.
Additionally, some users report slow loading times if they customize their Wix website with large images, videos, or animations on multiple pages. These are things to keep in mind when choosing a template that’s right for your business. Although Wix boasts an extremely user-friendly experience, it can quickly become challenging if the user wants to actually use all the bells and whistles available. Without guidance for website design and launch experts, business owners are left to their own devices. This means they could find themselves making choices that may hurt their online presence rather than helping it.
Does Wix offer copywriting, design, or technical support?
Beyond the user-friendly features of Wix’s templates and a large library of step-by-step guides and articles, users are mostly on their own when it comes to copywriting, design, and technical support. There are no tailor-made solutions, advice, or support that users can access as they work their way through the creation of their professional website.
Wix offers a few articles on the Wix blog on how to create compelling copy for a website or for marketing materials. These support materials may help guide the copywriting process, but they don’t provide best practices for specific industries or recommendations for individual businesses who are trying to reach a target demographic.
When it comes to copywriting, a tailored message that reaches the intended audience in precisely the right way is critical for any professional website. Even the best design and SEO can’t help companies with conversions unless the message is exactly right.
Wix provides an abundance of design options—in fact, users can customize their website in myriad ways with unique color palettes, images, video, animations, and other design features. Wix’s basic templates and design editors make this process very intuitive for users so it’s less likely that they would need help.
However, not all users are confident with design, so a good support system is important. The Wix help center has The Wix Editor section which may help users troubleshoot any issues they may have. It shows them how to use the editor and its features and walks them through all elements, including page structure, background, text, images, shapes and lines, and more. This self-service support is a reasonably comprehensive facsimile of an actual designer but certainly doesn’t take the load off someone who is not confident with design.
No matter what kind of technology you’re using, something will invariably go wrong along the way. How does Wix technical support help users?
Wix appears to want users to help themselves before calling, emailing, or live chatting with a customer care representative. They have established a large library of articles, guides, FAQs, and technical support help so the user can solve their challenges independently.
When users do need to speak to a real, live person, there are options. Users who speak English, Portugese, French, or Spanish can get a customer care agent on the phone 24/7. Support in eight other languages is available during varying business hours. Email support is available in Russian.
Only Wix Enterprise customers have the dedicated support of a customer service team.
What are some Wix alternatives?
If you’re not sold on Wix, there are lots of alternatives to get a professional website that also get high ratings, including:
But out-of-the-box solutions aren’t right for all businesses, especially professional service providers that could use more customization, including things like a professional logo. Many of these businesses work with an agency to get a custom-designed website ideally suited for their industry, their customers, and the precise nature of the work they do. This is often a pricey proposition and it can take some time to accomplish the final product.
Another option professional service providers find success with is finding a solution that offers agency quality sites at do-it-yourself costs. Companies like B12 build search-optimized websites for professional service providers efficiently—often in 30 days—with payments, scheduling, chat, and other tools their customers need. The secret is using artificial intelligence (AI) to generate a website draft that serves as a solid starting point for design and copywriting experts to enhance. This provides a solid foundation for websites to be further tailored with copy and imagery that align to each businesses’ unique brand, while still adhere to modern web design principles and efficient timelines. This business model also means that copywriting and design support can be purchased on an ongoing basis.
Wix review summary
Overall, Wix is a good-quality website builder that offers almost every kind of website feature available today—or at least integrations with third-party apps that can get the job done. Its templates are easy to use, look modern, and if you know what you’re doing you can create a new site in no time flat.
However, Wix is not for everyone. Slower loading times, confusing premium plans, and an overwhelming number of features can take an “easy” process and make it hard real fast. It can also be limiting if a business is looking for specific features and capabilities—or wants to grow their website along with their business.
If you’re thinking about starting a new website, or redesigning an existing one, be sure to explore all your options. That includes testing out other website builders, looking at agencies, but also considering a hybrid solution like B12 that can potentially offer the best of both worlds. You may find that a slightly larger investment at the outset delivers much better return as your business grows, particularly if you want the option of stand-by customer service to help you through.
Other Wix FAQs
- How do I talk to a live person at Wix?If you want to speak to a customer care representative at Wix, you will need to first go through a labyrinthine process online through which their algorithm can determine the root of your question and where best your call should be directed. It is possible to reach someone 24/7 (in a limited number of languages), but it takes some effort to get there.
- Who owns Wix?Wix has three founders: Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan. Its headquarters are in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- How can I change my Wix template?It’s not possible to switch a template once you’ve already created a site. However, there is no limit to the number of sites you can have in your account. If you want to change the design of your template, you’ll need to start over with a new site.
- Does Wix ever have sales – like for 50% off?Yes, like many website builders and other online subscription services, Wix often has 50% off sales. (In fact, a quick Google search will probably unearth one that’s available right now.) It’s important to be wary of businesses that are constantly offering deep discounts. It begs the question – what’s the real, authentic price? Will the premium plan go up once you’re locked in? Why so many discounts?
- How easy is it to change my domain name with Wix?According to Wix Support, it’s not possible to change name servers for a Wix domain. However, you can point your Wix domain to an external site. If you don’t want to do that, you can transfer your domain away from Wix (see Transferring your Wix services and domain).
- How much does Wix Payments charge per transaction?Wix Payments is a free, in-house payment gateway that allows users on its business plans to accept payment from their customers through their website. The processing fee for credit and debit cards is 2.9% of the transaction, plus $0.30.