Sure, it’s simple — but the wildly-popular website creation platform might not be the best tool for your online business.
Building a website for your business can be overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to do it yourself.
In recent years, a lot of tools have sprung up to address that overwhelm so many budding entrepreneurs feel when it comes to the technical component of setting up an online business.
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the online business world, I’m sure you’ve at least seen an ad or two for one (or several) of these services.
Typically these ads promise that their services are 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.
All of these tools are incredibly simple to use — however, they often come with a lot of drawbacks, as well.
In this blog post, I’ll be looking at Wix in particular, since it seems to have such a strong advertising presence in the online entrepreneurial space.
It’s also one of the best-known brands of DIY drag-and-drop website builders. Wix has been around since 2006 and has built quite a following during that time.
While Wix is a fantastic 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.
It Might Cost 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 (e.g. www.example.wix.com). 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.
These premium plans begin at $11 per month, and the most expensive plan costs $29 per month.
This is not expensive by any means. However, it’s still considerably more than what you would pay for a typical shared hosting plan with a provider like HostGator or static-site hosting with Netlify or GitHub Pages.
This can add up to quite a significant investment over time.
It’s Not Optimized for Search Engines
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 up to snuff for most business’s SEO needs.
Three years ago, Wix was a total joke.
It included strange and unnecessary characters in its URL addresses and did not allow users to add ALT tags to images or meta data to blog posts. And it used to run on Flash!
While Wix has greatly improved upon all of these shortcomings, a number of significant problems still remain, including site speed and code bloat.
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.
These figures are for desktop sites, though SEJ’s mobile stats reveal similar findings.
What’s more: This study looked at the performance of 25 different content management systems — including Weebly, SquareSpace, and others — and found that Wix fared worst of all.
Why is this the case?
<div> structure — all of which will increase loading times and result in deceased search engine rankings.
You’ll Be Stuck With It
Ifyou ever find that your business has outgrown the Wix platform, or should you decide to move platforms for whatever reason, you might be out of luck.
While other platforms like Webflow allow for easy HTML export on their paid plans, with Wix there is currently no way to export your data to another platform.
According to the Wix Help Center:
Your Wix site and all of its content is hosted exclusively on Wix’s servers, and cannot be exported elsewhere.
Specifically, it is not possible to export or embed files, pages or sites, created using the Wix Editor or ADI to another external destination or host.
If you embed a site into an external location, Wix is no longer in control of the way that your site appears or functions, and therefore, cannot provide support. In addition, Google Analytics and search engine crawlers are not able to work properly with an embedded site.
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.
This is kind of ridiculous.
To borrow Nate Shivar’s useful analogy: It’s like trying to move into a new house with the provision that you’re not allowed to take any of your furniture with you. Either you stay put, or you move into an empty house.
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 suggest looking elsewhere for your development needs.
You Won’t Own Your Website
This is huge, and probably the #1 most important reason to look for another solution when developing a website for your business.
When creating a site with Wix, you won’t own our website. You won’t own your design. You’re simply one of thousands of subscribers to the Wix platform, which you are granted a revocable license to you.
In fact, Wix makes you agree to all of this upon signing up for its services.
If Wix ever goes bankrupt, decides to take down their platform, or remove certain templates/features/functionalities, you’ll have no recourse except to move onto whatever Wix has decided to do instead.
Or you’ll be left in the lurch with nowhere else to go.
As a business, you never want to be this reliant upon some external company over which you have no control.
Undoubtedly, the web has come a long way in the past few years.
The rise of all-in-one website builders like Wix has allowed more and more users (often with limited technical experience) to easily create websites in just a few hours.
Yet while these tools are perfectly acceptable for bloggers and casual hobbyists, they still suffer from a number of flaws that make them unsuitable for business needs.
Wix, in particular, does not meet the cost, SEO, flexibility, and ownership requirements that most modern-day business owners require. And for that reason, most of them would be better suited to alternative solutions.
If you are a small- to medium-sized business owner looking for a more robust, performative, and custom solution for your web presence, head on over to https://en.zaferhammour.com/ to request a free quote for your next design project.