From time to time we encounter small business clients who have either already built their company website using Wix or are comparing our Website-as-a-Service plan to Wix. While Wix is sufficient for building personal or hobby websites, we always strongly recommend against using it for business websites.
The main problem with Wix (and others like it, including Squarespace and Weebly), is that they set the expectation that anyone can design and develop a great website, which accomplishes your business goals. Which is false. They also set the expectation that websites are very inexpensive to build and maintain, at around $25 per month. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when the long term is considered.
You’ve probably seen an ad or two for one (or several) of these services. Typically the ads promise that the website builder is so easy to use that even the most technically-challenged people can get a site up and running within just a couple of hours. And they’re not wrong—most of these tools are fairly simple to use, however, they often come with a lot of drawbacks, as well.
Building a website is like building a house. It takes a team of people (all with specialty skills) to come together and build it. You need an engineer, designer, and structural builders. When you build your website with platforms like Wix, you’re trying to build a house all by yourself and it may end up looking decent but it’s going to have a lot of structural issues. It’s going to end up costing you more in the end than hiring a professional to get the job done.
I’m going to focus on Wix in particular, since it seems to have such a strong advertising presence in the online entrepreneurial space. While Wix is a good tool for quickly setting up a personal blog or brochure-style website, the number of shortcomings associated with the tool make it unsuitable for a business. Here’s why.
You Know Your Business, But You’re Not a Website Designer
The #1 reason you should not use Wix to create your website is that you are not a professional web designer. There is a detailed process in creating an effective website, including building out user flows, CTAs, knowing how to effectively communicate a concept, what to say and what not to say, etc.
Professional web designers will use objective-based designs that are much more likely to increase engagement with visitors. Professional designs funnel them through a user flow to a target objective, increasing your conversions and customers.
Professional design is both art but a real scientific process. A series of questions need to be asked, goals need to be established, and the design needs to meet these goals, be intuitive, and have a great user experience. But when using Wix, the site just looks good (but not unique).
It’ll Probably Cost a Lot More Than You Think
While Wix offers a free plan, it’s definitely not suited for anything professional. For one thing, you’ll need to use a Wix.com subdomain (like www.yourbusiness.wix.com)…and this screams “unprofessional”. You need to have your own domain that matches your brand, not Wix’s. You’ll also be required to display Wix ads on your website, and you’ll be stuck with limited functionality.
In order to remove this branding, use a custom domain name, and unlock the full functionality of the platform, you’ll have to pay for a premium plan.
For $5/month you can connect your own domain and be free of the Wix branding (for those who haven’t seen your website yet). You’ll still need to display Wix advertising on your website, there’s very limited storage space for images or other data, and it can only handle a handful of visitors per month (25 – 75 is the typical maximum).
Move up to the $10 a month plan and you can display video—which is one of the most effective and cost-efficient means of marketing—although with fairly limited bandwidth (only up to 50 people based on a typical 2-minute video will be able to play it).
Most people step up to the $14/month or $29/month plans (or $20 to $35/month if they want to sell things online). You even get 24/7 customer support! Not that you’ll want to speak with them, like, EVER.
Although you certainly can run a website with just tools that come in the monthly packages, you’ll probably need some add-ons to run a functional business website. Things like performance analytics, lead generation forms, testimonials, online payment options, a blog, etc. Depending on your industry and the kind of business you’re running, you might also need:
- appointment scheduling
- live chat
- social media feeds
- customer rewards
- dynamic product displays
- reservation booking
- music and/or video streaming
- online learning
- virtual tours
For things like this, you’ll need an add-on. Some have free trials, but most advertise as “free to install” or “with plans starting from $20/month.” It’s not difficult to add an additional $150 to $200 per month on required add-ons. There isn’t a tonne of competition so rates are higher than with for a Wordpress site.
But the largest cost of using Wix for many people is a hidden one. It’s the cost of websites built by users who may not know what makes a website really work, therefore it doesn’t get found, or it doesn’t function well. That lack of functionality is probably costing you business.
Don’t Expect Good Service
Imagine being able to contact a Wix support technician at any time of the day or night! Not that you’ll enjoy dealing with them, as generally they can’t help outside of basic solutions for the most common problems (like how to reset your password). First-level technicians are not website or marketing professionals (they’re often recent graduates or recent immigrants because no experience is required).
For that you’ll need to demand to speak to a level-two supervisor (and wait on hold again). You know the routine.
Wix currently has a 1.6-star rating from 2,721 customers on trustpilot.com. Even they classify that as “bad.” They aren’t the only place that you can find reviews on Wix, but in our research, the only sites that offered a rating above 3 stars were affiliates.
Wix’s Dirty Tricks
Wix is only website builder that I’m aware of that doesn’t allow you to export your content. As Matt Mullenweg says, “they’re like a roach motel where you can check in but never check out. Once you buy into their proprietary stack you’re locked in”, and even their support documentation admits it.
This means that you’ll either need to re-build your entire website from scratch or pay a developer big bucks to do it for you (unless you take advantage of our Website-as-a-Service plan and continue to pay monthly like you were doing with Wix).
You Don’t Own Your Wix Site. Wix does.
So unless you are really, really in love with Wix and have no desire to ever expand your website or explore other solutions, I’d better look elsewhere for your website needs.
It’s Not Good for SEO
Most believe that WordPress is not only superior but also that Wix is inferior to, well, pretty much any other CMS out there.