All the reasons why you shouldn't use Wix for your business website

April 12, 2021

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.

When you create a website using a DIY site builder, you are likely not designing it with a good user experience, which will result in not accomplishing the goals that the website is intended to accomplish (usually resulting in lost customers and revenue). You'll also tarnish your brand (or associate your brand with attributes that you'd rather not be associated with). In addition, you'll lose brand recognition and uniqueness because there are a lot of other customers all using the same website templates.

Speaking of templates, once you’ve chosen a template, you’re locked to it. You cannot move your work or content into another template, or combine multiple templates into one site. If you decide on a different template, you’ll have to create a “new” site and start from scratch!

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.

Wix also doesn’t make it clear that all the prices are yearly until you scroll down and read the fine print that states, “Displayed prices are for yearly subscriptions, paid in full at the time of purchase.” Very sneaky.

Just make sure you don't mind committing to Wix for the life of your business because you may married to them in more ways than one. For instance, you might still be paying long after you split.

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
  • animations

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 a website or a 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).

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

Wix has always had a negative reputation among the professional SEO community. And to its credit, Wix has come a long way in the past few years, although it’s still not quite quite where it needs to be for most small businesses. A number of significant problems still remain, including site speed and code bloat.

Implementing an SEO strategy with a Wix site is nearly impossible. You do'nt have the ability to download an SEO boosting plugin. Instead, you simply have the on-page SEO that Wix offers. It's possible to get the basics done here, but it doesn't offer Search Engine previews or any help along the way like one of our favorite SEO plugins, Rank Math, does. For a tool that caters to beginners, Wix is really missing the mark.

Most troubling is the link structure that Wix employs. In every single Wix.com site URL, you will notice a # or "hashbang" which is being served through javascript, and in turn is not readable by search engines. It also slows down the site. Wix relies in client-side JS to show content & links in most cases. No JS = no indexable content & no crawlable links. Which is terrible for SEO on multiple levels and further slows down a page.

Ahrefs wanted to find out if this negative reputation was warranted so they studied 3.2 million Wix websites and 3.2 million Wordpress websites to find out. Among their findings:

  • 46.1% of WordPress websites got at least some monthly search traffic, compared with only 1.4% of Wix sites.
  • 8.26% of the WordPress sample had than 100 monthly search visits, whereas the Wix sample was 0.06%.
  • The average domain rating for WordPress sites is nearly 3x higher than for Wix sites.
  • The average monthly organic traffic is around 49x higher for WordPress sites.

Most believe that WordPress is not only superior but also that Wix is inferior to, well, pretty much any other CMS out there.

You Don't Own Your Wix Site. Wix does.

Site ownership is essential for every small business. Every business owner should own their own web property and they should have a good relationship with their web host company. A company website is just as valuable as any other business asset, perhaps more.

Wix.com states:

"Wix does not claim any intellectual property rights over the User Submissions. However, under the Wix.com Terms of Use, you grant Wix worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such User Submissions."

That is scary. By signing up with Wix, you're allowing Wix to modify your site and your site's content simply by agreeing to the Terms of Use. These terms of use also state:

Wix reserves the right to change, suspend or terminate any of the Wix Services (or any features thereof, or prices applicable thereto), and/or cancel your access to any of the Wix Services (including removal of any materials created by you in connection with the Wix Services) for any reason and/or change any of the Wix Terms with or without prior notice - at any time and in any manner.

And since you can't migrate your website when you decide you've had enough of Wix, you're trapped—either pay Wix forever or start from scratch.

Always maintain control over your website and your content.

Wix Sites are Slow

One of the most important aspects of a website is speed. A fast website increases user engagement and search engine optimization.

There are some forum threads where Wix users complain about their sites being slow, especially on mobile versions. You can find more threads herehere, and here.

Wix makes too many server calls to load a website. That means that Wix generates too many files to load a website. So it has to retrieve each file from the server, and every call takes time. Think of it as a checkout line. It’s faster to checkout (load) one big item, instead of ten small items.

Wix also loads a huge amount of JavaScript, on-page CSS and a messy <DIV> structure. All of these increase page loading times. 

Check out this Sept. 2018 infographic from Search Engine Journal, which ranks four of the major website platforms in terms of “first contentful paint” (FCP) — or how fast a site loads usable content to visitors.

In Conclusion

Your website is the cornerstone of your digital marketing effort. 

Hiring a professional web agency means getting a personalized consultation before, during, and after the web development process. We can’t even begin to count how many awful websites we’ve come across in terms of structure and content. A website isn’t just about uploading a bunch of pretty pictures and copy into a machine! Careful thought and consideration need to be put into messaging and presentation.

Trying to do everything yourself is stressful. Focus on running your business, and leave the website to us. Our innovative Website-as-a-service plan bundles everything required to design, develop and maintain a premium custom-made website in a single monthly payment that doesn't require a large capital expenditure upfront and scales with your business as you grow. Plus, it comes with impeccable, old-fashioned customer service (which is NOT 24/7...you do not want to talk to me at 4:00 in the morning, trust me!)

Author: Eric Embacher

Hi, I'm Eric. I used to be a marketing director in several larger corporations (including my own which I took public in 2004). These days I love to help small businesses communicate their value and develop unique and powerful brands. My team and I enjoy creating custom websites and influential videos to tell your story.