My personal journey of running a website has taken me through many services online. While it wasn’t quite OxGadgets, the website was first born on Google’s Blogger. Back then, WordPress was very new, and the dot com offer had similar advantages to Blogger. Other services existed but didn’t really have a lot of kudos or support behind them. As both I and the website grew, we eventually made our way to WordPress, with our own domain and hosting account. Back then, nothing offered the kind of control WordPress did.
Things have changed since then. Wix was a relatively new player back then. Now, it has built upon its extremely easy to use UI to give users extreme flexibility.
For the purpose of this article, we went and had a good play on Wix.com, and learn how easy it was to build a website.
To begin, you simply head to the Wix.com website. As is obvious, click on the ‘Start Now’ button.
This leads to a login page that lets you create your own user name on the website. The option to sign in using your Google or Facebook account also exists. Personally, Google sign in worked for me, so I went with that.
Creating your website
So far so good. Now you get to create your own website. At this moment, a bunch of options helps you choose the best design possible. Some of this you can change at a later stage.
There was no option for ‘News’, so we went with Blog.
Next option you have is to choose between ADI or setting up your website manually via drag and drop.
Life is too short to drag and drop things, and who could resist the option to use ADI, so we clicked on that.
Next, you select your kind of blog. I typed in ‘Tech blog’ in the search section, and click on the ‘tech blog’ option below:
You then have the option to add things like shops, subscribers, etc to your website. We chose to add just subscribers to our website.
Now the real magic begins.
You type in the name of your website, and the ADI kicks in. It goes and finds out as much as it can about you and tries to fill in everything.
You have the ability to check and edit items before they get published.
Of course, it is! So you click on it.
Looking at the internet, it automatically finds out as much as it can about you, including your social media. It also lets you enter info manually for yourself.
The ADI is about to do some stuff.
You hit Start, and it lets you choose a THEME.
Annoyingly, apart from a colour scheme and a name, you don’t really get to know much at this stage. I chose Black Ice.
Are you ready?
And then voila, it is all ready for you:
Including a bunch of instructions and options as well as a HOW TO help that can be accessed via the PLAY button in the bottom right corner.
Hit that and you can decide to get help on pretty much everything to do with your website:
When you click on each, it points you via video on how to do various things.
In fact, if you scroll down on your website, it has even added example ‘tech blog’ articles for you:
You go ahead and make changes, hit publish, and voila, all good!
For your own perusal, you can check out the website. Of course, it is just a dummy website with no actual content.
And all this is for free?
If you don’t need your own domain and you are okay with WIX telling the whole world that you used them to build your website, then sure. It is free. How many professionals websites do you visit that work like that though? Probably none.
However, fret not. You can use all the flexibility and ease of use of WIX and still have your own domain with no adverts. Yes, this is a paid for option. In fact, following are the subscription rates in the UK:
All plans come with free setup, free hosting, domain connection and most importantly, full support.
How does Wix compare to a regular website in terms of cost?
Now that you know what Wix costs, it is only fair to present the regular cost of having a website on the internet. Note that this is regardless of you using WordPress or any other service.
You will need a domain. This will be the yourwebsite.com address people will type in to get you to your website. Domains cost different based on what comes after the DOT. You’re looking at paying something between £6 to £10 a year for that.
You will also, as an absolute minimum, need somewhere to host your website. Think of it as a hard drive where your website is stored. Since it is accessible via the internet, it needs to live on the internet. To do so, you need to have a hosting account. They vary, based on what you get, but you really do get what you pay for. An average website will pay around £100 GBP per year, while busy websites will pay a lot more. Factors such as storage (how much you put on the web page) and bandwidth (how fast your website loads, how many users it can hold) really matter.
If you use something like WordPress, you will either need the skillset to be able to code and implement it, or you will need to hire somebody to do so. Sometimes your hosting account may do you a one time favour and throw this in within the setup. However, if your website has issues, and they definitely do, you will probably need somebody who is willing to sort things out as soon as you ask them too. Such kind of a service costs money or cake.
Another thing to throw in, just for completion, is a theme. A lot of themes are free, but they often come with a ‘made by XYZ’ or something in return. Once again, not something you normally see on a professional website.
So in summary, if you need a professional website, you’ll have to pay. Regardless of whether you use WIX or not.
In fact, depending on your needs and usage, you may end up paying less to WIX.
There is no mailbox though
One thing that Wix surprisingly lacks is a mailbox included in the service. It works in partnership with Google/G Suite, which means you need to pay an extra £3.30 per user. If you have a lot of writers on your website, the costs could easily go up.
A way out could be you using a different company to buy a domain, who may offer you a mailbox as part of the service.
Other PROs of using WIX
- We have already looked at the ease of setup, ease of change, and ease of making a website above.
- Wix allows you to easily add and change users/authors on the website.
- Password protection for certain pages.
- SEO is built into WIX.
- Controlled APPS fulfil the same purpose as plugins on WordPress. However, each App is tested and implemented via WIX, making it fully secure and safe to use.
- Paid for packages include free advertising budget.
- You can set up automatic emails as well as newsletters.
- You can set up e-commerce solutions via WIX.
- Your website is automatically optimised for mobile, and this can be managed separately from your desktop site.
- You can monetize your website by adding adverts.
- You can throw in animations!
Cons of using Wix
For the sake of completeness, we also offer the cons of using WIX:
- No mailbox, as already mentioned above.
- No access to the code. If you do know how to code, you have no way of going in and messing around with things.
In conclusion, Wix offers an easy to use and flexible solution for anybody who is a beginner in the world of website building. A simple look at the cons also highlights that Wix is more focused towards people who want simpler things in life. Using tools such as ADI, Wix makes it possible for anybody and everybody to have a personal or professional website of their own.