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Monday, February 2, 2015

Website Review: Wix.com


Wix.com is a cloud based website development platform with over 54 million worldwide users. It is extremely easy to use with no coding skills necessary to build a beautiful personal website or a professional looking ecommerce business website fully loaded with shopping cart and credit card checkout capabilities if you choose to upgrade to a premium package. Wix utilizes fully customizable HTML5 templates that are pretty much drag and drop options.  
 
Wix.com is the only website builder that allows you to build and keep a website with completely free hosting. However, if you decide not to upgrade to a premium monthly package, then Wix ads will appear on your site in small print at the top and at the bottom of your pages. If you do decide to upgrade, Wix.com’s packages are definitely some of the lowest prices in the industry. 


Plans start at $4.08 month, but with this price, you and your viewers will still see the Wix ads, but you are allowed to connect your own domain name. Otherwise, with the free hosting, Wix will assign you a sub-domain name based on your account setup information. With the $4 monthly package, you only receive 500 MB of storage and 1 GB of bandwidth. Social plug-ins for your website are available in all plans.

The next plan is $9.25 a month and this package is best for a personal website like a blog or a family website. This one comes with 3 GB of storage and 2 GB of bandwidth. If you are an entrepreneur or you work as a freelancer and your business needs a website to establish credibility or a look of success, then you might consider the $12.42 a month plan that comes with 10 GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth.

This $12 a month plan comes with 2 business applications, Site Booster (a traffic builder application) and Form Builder (an application that helps you build forms to collect customer contact info, collect leads or offer customer support). With all of these plans, you have the option to pay monthly or yearly. Paying yearly for the $12 and up plans, brings you some extras like $350 in ad vouchers for Bing, Google, Facebook and local listings. Paying monthly adds a couple of dollars to your monthly price.

If your website needs to be an ecommerce store, then the $16.17 a month package allows you to enter products and collect payments via PayPal, WebMoney or Skrill. This comes with 20 GB storage and 10 GB of bandwidth. If you need VIP priority support for building your ecommerce website, then the highest package will cost you $24.90 a month. Choosing a theme for your ecommerce website is easy with over 425 free templates and an additional 112 templates designed for use with ecommerce stores. They are free, but you must upgrade to an ecommerce package to use those templates.


When you first land on Wix.com, you will immediately notice that everything looks easy and free. You are invited to browse through the templates for your website category or theme and encouraged to get started. Once you choose a template that you like the look of, hovering over that template invites you to get a closer look at it. 

Clicking that button brings you to the Wix editor page. Now it feels personal. If you click on the bright orange Edit button at the top of the page to start building this website into your personal website this will open up an account setup popup box. Once you enter an email address and password, you are on your way to building your ecommerce or personal website. The Wix editor is clean and easy to navigate. Each page also has a slide out box to enter SEO information so your website will be seen in the search engines.

Wix uses CDN (content delivery network) cloud technology to assure that your ecommerce website will be up and running 99.7% of the time. Basically this means that instead of just one server distributing your website data throughout the internet, CDN uses multiple servers in multiple data centers across the internet. So it’s less likely that your website will be down, keeping business losses at a minimum. 

One thing that you will notice when scouring the website for information on secure checkouts in your ecommerce website’s shopping cart is that there doesn’t seem to be any. When you go through all the FAQ’s, you won’t find any questions about this subject nor in the training videos. Wix’s site has SSL in the https address when you check out for purchases, but it doesn’t appear that this is offered for your ecommerce website.


When it comes to your ecommerce website, it seems that you will only be receiving payments through safe sources like PayPal, etc., so maybe this isn’t a concern for your customers. Some customers like PayPal and others don’t. Even if your customers don’t have an account with PayPal, this merchant account provider accepts all major credit cards.


Wix was founded in 2006 by Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan. Avishai Abrahami is a technology entrepreneur that has founded a couple of successful startups including AIT and Sphera software companies and then sold them. Avishai’s brother Nadav is a senior programmer, software designer and game developer. Giora brought with him to the company extensive experience in the digital publishing field.

The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel. Wix also has two offices in the US (San Francisco, New York City) as well as an office in the Ukraine and in Lithuania. The original platform was based on Adobe Flash and by 2010, the company boasted of 3.5 million users. 

In 2012, the Adobe Flash technology was replaced by a new HTML5 editor. The popularity of Wix grew to over 54 million users with over 45,000 new users signing up every day. In November of 2013, Wix officially had a public offering on NASDAQ and raised $127 million for the company and its share holders.

The most notable thing about Wix.com website builder is its ease of use and low cost of premium packages. This website builder caters mostly to the small business person and the individual simply wanting to have an online presence.

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