Wix is a website builder, a tool for designing, creating, and publishing a website with minimal coding. Wix’s intuitive browser-based wizards make building a gorgeous, vibrant, and professional website simple, even if you’ve never created one before.
In our comprehensive Wix review, we look at its features, performance, pricing, and support to see why it’s considered one of the best website builders, the best ecommerce website builders, the best small business website builders, and even one of the best web hosting services available today.
Wix: Plans and pricing
Wix has significantly different plans and pricing depending on your country. We’ll focus on US pricing here, but note that Wix plans are often a lot cheaper if you’re not in the US.
There’s a free plan that’s great for checking out the service, but it also has some severe limitations. Notably, you can’t use your own domain name, and advertisements will be shown prominently on your website. When it’s time to upgrade, there are no fewer than four plans for personal use and three for business. Many of the plans include a 50% discount for the first term.
The Combo plan ($14 a month) is the cheapest plan designed for personal use. You get an ad-free website, a free domain for a year, and support for up to 30 minutes of video.
The sweet spot for most people is the Unlimited plan ($18 a month). This plan includes unlimited bandwidth, 10GB of storage space, and support for one hour of video. You also get search engine optimization and visitor analytics tools free for the first year.
Next is the Pro plan ($23 a month). It adds a logo design tool and an events calendar app for free for the first year. Or you can choose the VIP plan ($39 a month), the most notable added feature of which is priority customer care.
If you want to sell goods through Wix, you’ll need a Business plan. Despite its name, the Business Basic Plan ($23 a month) includes enough features for most small businesses looking to sell online. You get secure online payments, recurring payments, customer accounts, and a complete ecommerce platform.
The Business Unlimited plan ($25 a month) adds automated sales tax, drop-shipping by Modalyst, and product reviews by KudoBuzz. In addition, storage space is bumped up to 35GB. The Business VIP plan ($35 a month) has priority customer support and customized analytics.
Wix’s pricing, therefore, is pretty good, and is comparable to that of its closest competitors, Weebly and Squarespace. The former’s personal plans are slightly cheaper than Wix’s, but its ecommerce plans are more expensive. Squarespace, on the other hand, is slightly more expensive than Wix, but doesn't have as many features.
Building a website with Wix
Wix’s onboarding experience includes the option to use its Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) system or jump straight to creating a template-based website in the editor.
Wix ADI is a wizard that asks you some questions about the type of website you envision. Based on your answers, Wix will create a template website for you with all the features you need. For example, if you specify your plan to sell products through a subscription model, your website will start with an online shop set up to sell subscriptions, saving you precious time.
While other website builders have similar wizards, we feel that Wix ADI is the slickest, with some intelligent design choices that quickly help you get the website you want. You can use it to add social media accounts to your site, and it can search the internet for content related to your business and niche.
Your Wix website will start as a template design that you mold into your own unique, individual website by changing text, images, layouts, pages, and on-site elements.
You can check out a full demo of all templates to see how they look on desktop and mobile before you choose one. However, it isn’t easy to change your template after you’ve chosen one, unlike with other website builders. Instead, you need to build a new Wix website and transfer your files across to it.
Wix has just under 1,000 professional templates covering a vast array of genres, so you’re bound to find something close to your intended vision. This is vastly more than Weebly and Squarespace. And if you prefer, you can choose a blank website template and build your own site from the ground up.
Now it’s time to edit your website using the Wix Editor. With all its toolbars and buttons, it’s a more intimidating interface than those of most other website builders, but it doesn’t take long to learn how to use it.
When you click on any button, text, image, link, or other page element, a context menu will pop up with options for editing it. Click on a text box, for example, and you can change the formatting, colors, and text effects. You can drag the text to another location, rotate it, or set it to animate. Every contextual menu has a Help button that answers common questions about the particular tool.
You can drag and drop elements wherever you want on the page. This makes for a highly versatile tool, but if you make extensive changes to layout, you need to keep checking that your site still displays well on mobile devices.
The buttons down the left side of the interface are used to edit your website navigation menu, add pages, change the background, and add elements to the page. You’ll find all the usual options here, including buttons, text, photos, videos, and social media widgets. There’s also the option to add apps, which change how your website works.
You can choose from up to 300 apps in the Wix App Market, either made by Wix or by third parties. Depending on your needs, you could add email marketing, social media posting, accounting, or map apps to your site. There are also apps for collecting leads, analyzing traffic, and interacting with visitors.
Some specialized apps can make running a particular type of online business a breeze. For example, Wix Hotels creates a smooth online booking experience, and Wix Restaurants allows for online bookings through the platform.
Apps have their own pricing plans. Most are free to get started with, but additional features may require an ongoing subscription.
Worth noting is Wix’s excellent photo editor, which is sufficiently powerful to avoid the need for an external editor like Photoshop. You can upload an image from your computer or pull one directly from online resources like Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram. You also have the option to use Wix’s free images or buy images from Shutterstock, all from within the interface.
Once you’ve uploaded an image to your Wix web space, you can use Photo Studio to crop, resize, enhance, and adjust it. You can also add text, overlays, backgrounds, and color filters.
Similar to Photo Studio, Wix includes a tool for editing your videos. While you won’t be giving Stanley Kubrick a run for his money anytime soon, the video editor does offer more features than you typically get from a website builder.
You can add text to your videos, merge videos together, and apply styles that give your video a unique look. You can even choose from hundreds of backing tracks, all for free.
Advanced editing with Wix's Velo Dev Mode
When you want to do something different with your Wix website that doesn’t fit the template model, you have a few options. You can find an app that does it for you, add HTML code to your site, or use Velo Dev Mode.
Velo allows site owners to add features to their site that previously required a website developer to program. These features include custom forms, dynamic pages, and databases.
For example, with Velo, you could take user input from a form, store it in a simple database akin to a spreadsheet, and display pages dynamically using this data.
Selling online with Wix
Wix has excellent ecommerce features when you choose a business plan. Add the Store element to your website, and you’ll instantly have a template store populated with goods that you can replace with your own.
You can edit the product pages, shopping cart, and thank you pages, and there are extensive options for setting up shipping, taxes, subscription payments, coupons, and product variations.
The Wix App Store has a long list of third-party apps you can use to sell niche products. You can add your Etsy shop to Wix, sell digital downloads, offer gift cards, showcase Amazon products, run a drop-shipping company, or run an eBay store—the list goes on.
You can accept all the usual payment processing options, like credit cards, PayPal, Square, and Stripe. The fee for Wix Payments differs depending on the international region. In the US, you are charged 2.9% of the transaction amount plus $0.30 per transaction.
Wix has its own app for sending email blasts called ShoutOut, and there are third-party apps for popular email marketing tools like Mailchimp. Similarly, you’ll find third-party apps for social media marketing and pay-per-click advertising.
Wix doesn’t have great site-traffic reporting built in. There are a few third-party apps in the Wix App Store that address this, and you can use Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel if you have a paid account, but it feels like an oversight.
If these tools sound basic, it's because marketing from Wix is a separate product called Ascend. Email marketing, forms, chat boxes, and social media posts are bundled into Ascend, and it costs $10 a month for a plan that includes five email campaigns and five social media posts per month. For an unlimited plan, you’ll pay $49 a month.
Wix has a well-stocked help center available from within its interface. More complex tools like Velo Dev Mode have their own dedicated help sites, with getting started guides, video tutorials, API (application programming interface) references, and step-by-step exercises.
If you need customer support, your first port of call is a support ticket. You can request a phone call back, too. This is available 24/7, even for free accounts. During our testing, we contacted support several times and always got a call back within five minutes, which is impressive.
Alternatives to Wix
Wix’s most direct competitor is Squarespace, another all-in-one website editor. Squarespace’s interface is easier to use, especially for less technically-minded site owners who don’t need Wix’s more advanced tools. Squarespace also arguably has better quality template designs than Wix, even if it has far fewer.
Using WordPress for your website instead of Wix is another option. WordPress offers you even more versatility than Wix, with thousands of templates, themes, and plugins. It’s the most established content management system available today, and you can build just about any type of website with it.
But generally, it takes more effort to build and manage a WordPress website than a Wix site, as there are many more moving parts you're in charge of.
Wix: Final verdict
Wix offers you the perfect mix of streamlined website design and creative freedom. It’s a multi-faceted tool that’s a paradigm shift in how professional websites can be created and managed.
The problems we found with the service were minor and seem to be addressed with the introduction of Editor X, the upcoming new Wix interface. We’d like to see better visitor monitoring built into the app and designs that work perfectly on mobile without requiring tweaking, but Wix stands tall as the most well-thought-out and versatile website builder available today.