In the early 90s, websites were extremely basic.
And people browsing the internet didn’t understand the idea of scrolling down a page or using the navigation in a website’s header. But today, people know they’re supposed to scroll, and navigating to different pages within a site is second nature.
With this advancement comes more visually appealing (read: complicated) websites designed to immediately capture attention and stand out in a saturated online space. And as a business owner, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed at the idea of designing your own website.
But, visual page builders (like Wix) help reduce overwhelm and get your site launched… ASAP.
In this article, I cover the pros and cons of using Wix to build your website, their pricing plans (and who they’re best suited for), and a deep dive into Wix’s online reputation (hint: it’s not good).
So, if you’re ready to learn once and for all if Wix is the right page-builder for your first (or next) website, you’re in the right place.
Let’s get started!
Building a Website with Wix
Summary: High-Level Pros and Cons of Using Wix
I built a free website with Wix to see exactly how it works. During the process, I noted the things I enjoyed and the things I didn’t enjoy about building a website with their site builder.
Here’s my experience wrapped up in a list of pros and cons (in case you don’t want to read the full review – I know you’re busy, so no judgment, here!).
What I like (AKA the good stuff):
- Their ADI option uses artificial design intelligence to build a custom website in minutes
- It’s a truly drag-and-drop interface with unlimited possibilities
- You can test it out as long as you’d like for free
- They have a tool dedicated to getting found on Google
- Free domain name for a year with paid plans
- Hundreds of base templates and layouts to choose from
What I don’t like (AKA the not-so-good stuff):
- Their less-than-great industry reputation
- No free domain email address
- The site editor takes some getting used to
- You can’t change templates after you pick one
- Site editor can get bogged down when you have a lot of pages
Overall, Wix is an excellent website builder that’s easy to use with tons of cool features and templates to start with. With that being said, it’s not perfect (or suitable for large websites). Wix has slower site speeds than other competitors, and their editor takes a bit of getting used to.
However, they provide helpful tips and information to help you get comfortable using their page builder. And they have a dedicated tool you can use to help your readers find you on Google (pretty sweet, right?).
What I Like About Wix
While walking through the process of building my free website, 95% of my experience was great! I was pleasantly surprised by the level of customization capabilities within the website builder. Furthermore, I found numerous other things I enjoyed.
So, I want to walk through each of my favorite features and talk about why they matter for small business owners interested in DIYing their first (or next) website.
1. ADI: Using Artificial Design Intelligence to Build a Custom Website
Building a website from scratch can feel overwhelming (blinking cursor syndrome is a real thing). To help combat this, Wix developed an artificial design intelligence tool that helps you create a custom website from scratch… in just a few clicks.
From there, you can make changes, move things around, and get everything just where you want it without having to start with a blank (and intimidating) screen.
Note: You have less flexibility and fewer customization options if you choose this option rather than starting from a template.
2. Truly Drag-and-Drop Interface with Unlimited Possibilities
There are a lot of page builders out there claiming to offer drag-and-drop website design. But, many of them fall short of being truly drag-and-drop. They’re limited in where you can place things and the amount of customization you can do.
So, every website built on the platform ends up looking the same (or nearly the same).
But that’s not the case with Wix. You can actually move anything you want wherever you want to put it. And they have visual guides to help you line things up with one another (or not if you don’t want things lined up).
You can choose from hundreds of fonts or upload your own. You have complete control over colors, images, sizes, spacing, and alignment. The possibilities are truly limitless, and you can create anything you can imagine.
Furthermore, you can choose from hundreds of different premade section designs as well. Or you can edit the design you’re currently using to make it 100% yours.
These customization options and templates truly make Wix a great website builder (especially for the price).
3. Test it out as Long as You Want for Free
One of the great things about Wix is you can try it free… forever.
It’s as easy as signing up for an account. From there, you can play around with every feature and design your entire website without forking over a single penny.
So, what’s the catch with their free plan? You can’t connect to a custom domain (you’re stuck with a wix.com/yourdomainname), and you won’t be able to sell products online or accept online payments. Oh, and they attach their own ads to your website.
All of which are totally fine while you’re still working on building your new website. So, I recommend signing up for a free account and taking their page builder for a test drive to see if you like it.
If you like it, learn the platform and design your website as far as you can on the free plan. Then when you’re ready, upgrade to the paid plan that fits your needs (more about plans later!) and connect your custom domain.
4. Dedicated SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Tool
Out of the box, Wix offers several simple SEO optimizations on every website. Some of these optimizations include:
- Adapting to mobile screens
- Instant Google indexing
- Secure hosting services
- Structured data capabilities
- XML sitemaps
Google considers all of these factors when deciding which websites to rank in search results. So, it’s great to know these features are all built into every website you create without you having to do any heavy lifting.
Going further, you can also create a custom SEO plan for specific pages and articles within your website. All you have to do is answer a few questions and follow the steps Wix gives you. So, if you’re not SEO savvy or aren’t really sure what it is, you don’t have to worry.
Wix has you covered.
If you’re an SEO guru, they also have advanced features like setting canonical URLs, setting up structured schema data, and redirects along with a suite of other marketing tools and apps. Plus, you can request features if they don’t already offer what you need.
So, regardless of your knowledge of SEO, you can rest easy knowing your Wix site is indexed with Google and taking advantage of everything you need to rank well in search engine results.
5. Free Domain Name for a Year with Annual Plans
As a new business owner, you know small (and oftentimes unexpected) expenses add up quickly. But with Wix, you get a free domain name for an entire year when you upgrade to a yearly premium plan.
And you don’t even have to choose a domain name right away to take advantage of this offer. Wix gives you a voucher you can use at checkout whenever you’re ready to lock down your new domain name.
Most domain providers charge between $10 – $40/year for this.
While it’s not a TON of money, you know every little bit makes a difference. Plus, this helps reduce the amount of work you have to do since you don’t have to worry about connecting your custom domain to your Wix website.
It can be a real pain, especially if you’ve never done anything like that before. But the good news is… Wix handles it all for you if you get your domain name through them rather than buying it from a third-party.
So, yes. This feature saves you a little bit of money. BUT it also saves you a ton of time, hassle, and potential headaches down the road.
6. Hundreds of Professional Templates to Choose From
As we talked about earlier, staring at a blank screen is intimidating. Building a website from scratch is hard, especially if you’ve never built one before.
Thankfully, you don’t have to!
Wix has hundreds of professionally designed templates you can use as a basis for your new website. From there, you can move things around and change things up as much (or as little) as you want.
This makes it so much easier to get your new website out there without pulling your hair out and yelling at your computer for hours on end. Plus, you can browse through their templates by category and the type of website you’re trying to build.
Every single one is different, yet they’re beautifully designed with entrepreneurs like you in mind.
What I Don’t Like About Wix
With all great things come the not-so-great things, although I wouldn’t consider any of these complete deal-breakers (as long as you’re not trying to build a massive website). But they’re still important to point out.
So, let’s walk through what I don’t like about Wix and what it means for you.
1. They Have a Terrible Online Reputation
As much as I wanted to love this platform, I couldn’t ignore the massive number of negative reviews and complaints I found online. They have an average of 1.16 stars (of 169 reviews) on BBB and an average of 1.7 stars (of 3,412 reviews) on TrustPilot.
Going further, 60% of their reviews on TrustPilot are one-star reviews. Yikes.
I found this really alarming, actually. Many of these bad reviews mention Wix holding onto money from product sales AND affiliate sales and refusing to provide refunds to unhappy customers. Furthermore, there are countless reports of terrible/non-existent customer support.
There are literally thousands of reviews saying to avoid Wix at all costs spanning back several years. And to make matters worse, Wix doesn’t respond to these reviews whatsoever.
In a world where 91% of consumers read online reviews… this is unacceptable. You would think that after years of reading such terrible reviews, Wix would change the way they do business. But unfortunately, they haven’t.
However, if you plan to build a simple website (without selling products) and don’t require a lot of support, you’ll probably be fine using the Wix platform.
2. No Free Domain Email Address
A domain email address (i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org) looks professional and gives your business a true business feel. While it’s possible to operate without one, I don’t recommend it.
Many hosting providers offer access to email services and a domain email address for free. But Wix doesn’t offer this for free (you have to purchase a Mailbox). However, they are partnered with Google, so you do get an easy-to-use domain Gmail account, which isn’t a bad deal at all.
Plus, many entrepreneurs choose to use G Suite by Google for their email communication needs anyway (because of how easy it is to use). And you also get a hefty amount of cloud storage as well as access to Google Drive to share documents and collaborate with your team.
3. The Wix Editor Isn’t as Intuitive as Others
With the incredible level of customization comes complications. Because you can create nearly anything you can imagine, the page-builder itself isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to use.
It’s a completely new interface you’ll have to spend some time getting used to. With that being said, it isn’t hard to learn, and Wix offers a ton of training materials + videos to help you figure everything out.
All you have to do is click the blue question mark in the lower right corner to search their knowledge base of tutorials, training, and virtual tours of the platform. Here, you’ll find information on editing your site, publishing your site, getting found on Google, and more.
Plus, you can easily shoot them a message via email or give them a call for 1-1 help if you’re particularly stuck on something.
I recommend spending some time on their free plan getting used to how the page-builder works before upgrading to a paid plan. This way, you can design your entire website before paying anything and decide if it’s the right platform for you.
4. You Can’t Pick a New Template After Getting Started
Once you find a template you like and apply it to your website, unfortunately, you can’t switch to a new one. You can edit the template you chose, but you can’t start fresh with a different template if you end up not liking the one you picked.
There are workarounds, but this can get pretty frustrating if you’re just testing the waters and learning how everything on the Wix platform works. Especially if you scour through the 55+ pages of templates and find several you want to try out.
With that being said, you can change the design of different sections on your site. But this can take a lot of time rather than updating the entire page to a new template in one click.
However, I’ve seen several different entrepreneurs mention that they reached out to Wix to fix this, so hopefully, it gets taken care of in future updates!
5. Editor Gets Bogged Down if You Have a lot of Pages
I added 35 pages to my site to see if the platform can handle large websites. And I wasn’t really surprised to find out it slows down and has pretty poor performance due to the overload of information constantly being loaded by the editor.
This isn’t a problem for most websites since they tend to have only a handful of static pages. But if you’re interested in building a massive site with 30+ pages, you’ll probably want to look into a different website builder.
Wix Plans & Pricing
Wix offers several different pricing plans depending on the type of website you want to build. This is great because you don’t have to pay for a ton of features you’re never going to use if all you need is something simple.
So, let’s walk through each plan and talk about who each one is best suited for.
Basic Website Plans – No Online Store or Online Payments
For simple websites, you have four different choices to choose from depending on how much storage you need and any extras you’d like your plan to include. They’re all affordable, but it’s important to choose the right one for your business.
These plans won’t work if you’re interested in adding an online shop or accepting online payments of any kind. You also won’t be able to host more than 2 hours of video content or more than 20GB of storage with any of these plans.
Tier 4: The Combo Plan — $16/month
This plan is perfect for small websites for personal websites and businesses like restaurants (without online ordering), brick and mortar shops, local businesses, and other companies marketing a physical location.
With that being said, 2 GB of bandwidth isn’t a lot, especially if you expect (or desire) a lot of traffic to your website. However, you can always start with this plan and upgrade later if you max out your allotted bandwidth.
This plan includes:
- 2 GB bandwidth
- 3 GB of storage space
- Connection a custom domain
- Removing those pesky Wix ads
- Uploading 30 minutes of video
- Free domain for 1 year
Tier 3: The Unlimited Plan — $22/month
With this plan, you get unlimited bandwidth, so you don’t have to worry about maxing out your allotted space. This is great for small businesses who grow past the storage and bandwidth limits of The Combo Plan, as well as freelancers or bloggers looking to showcase their portfolios.
With that being said, as your business grows, you can upgrade to a higher plan when you need to. This plan includes everything in The Combo Plan plus:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 10 GB of storage
- 1 hour of video
- $300 in ads for either Google Ads, Bing Ads, or Local Listings
- Site Booster App – claims to help drive more traffic and get your business listed in directories (not sure how this works, though, or if it’s actually worth it)
- Visitor Analytics App – this sounds similar to Google Analytics
Tier 2: The Pro Plan — $27/month
This plan offers twice as much storage space and some extra branding elements not available in any of the lower tiers, including 40+ different sizes of your logo optimized for different social media platforms.
In my opinion, the extra branding element (a logo in different sizes) and the events calendar that come with this tier aren’t enough alone to warrant choosing this plan.
But it may be useful if you run out of storage space on The Unlimited Plan or have a specific need to display a calendar on your website.
This plan includes everything in The Unlimited Plan plus:
- 20 GB of storage
- 2 hours of video
- Events calendar – allows you to display an events calendar
- Professional logo using the Wix logo maker
- Your logo in 40+ different sizes
Tier 1: VIP — $45/month
This plan is exactly like The Pro Plan, except your support tickets get answered first, and you get first priority phone support Monday through Thursday from 6 am to 5 pm PST.
To be honest, unless you’re trying to do something complicated with your website, this plan doesn’t have any added value, and I wouldn’t recommend paying extra for first priority support.
Odds are, you aren’t going to use it much anyway.
Business and E-Commerce Website Plans
These plans are for larger businesses and anyone looking to sell products online or accept online payments. The biggest difference between these and the simple website plans is the ability to accept payments online, and they have Google Analytics included.
Between the four plans here, the main differences are the amount of storage and the hours of video you’re allowed to upload. But I suggest starting with the basic plan and upgrading if/when you need to.
Tier 4: Business Basic — $27/month
This is the cheapest e-commerce option and is great for small online shops or bloggers hoping to upload videos to their website and sell digital products (although there are far better website builders specifically for bloggers).
This plan includes:
- Accepting online payments
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 20 GB of storage
- Connecting your domain
- No Wix ads
- 5 hours of video
- Google Analytics
- Free domain for 1 year
- $300 ad voucher for Google Ads, Bing Ads, or Local Listings
- Site Booster App – claims to help drive more traffic to your website (but I’m not sure how or if it works)
- Visitor Analytics (although I’m not sure why you’d need this AND Google Analytics)
Tier 3: Business Unlimited — $32/month
This plan is great if you run out of storage space on the basic plan or need to upload more videos to your website. It also includes a professional logo in 40+ different sizes if you’re in need of one for your business.
With that being said, there are other alternatives for creating a logo, so don’t feel like you have to choose this plan just because you don’t have one yet. Also, it doesn’t make much sense to pay extra every month for a one-time benefit.
Example: You pay a graphic designer once to create a logo for you rather than paying them month after month to use it.
This plan includes everything in Business Basic plus:
- 35 GB of storage
- 10 hours of video
- Professional logo
- Your logo in 40+ different sizes
Tier 2: Business VIP — $59/month
The VIP plan makes sense if you exceed your storage or video limits on the Business Unlimited plan. Plus, you get VIP first priority support as well. As I mentioned before, priority support isn’t much of a value-added. Especially if you’re not going to contact support very often.
So, I suggest only choosing this plan if you need additional storage or unlimited hours of video. This plan includes everything in Business Unlimited plus:
- 50 GB of storage
- Unlimited hours of video
- Priority support ticket response
- VIP phone support Monday – Thursday from 6 am to 5 pm PST
Tier 1: Enterprise — $500+/month
This plan is for large businesses looking to scale and grow as fast as possible. It includes consultations with industry professionals and a direct line of communication with Wix experts to help you plan and execute your website.
I don’t recommend this plan unless the $500 monthly price tag isn’t an issue and you’re looking for extra help growing and scaling your business. This plan exists for large shops and other enterprises, so it isn’t suitable for most small business owners.
This plan includes everything in Business VIP plus:
- Onboarding and scaling with the help of Wix experts
- Continuous site monitoring and advanced analytics
- Professional SEO, design, and marketing consultations
- Custom security monitoring and planning
- 24/7 priority support with a personal VIP phone number
Is Using Wix as Easy as it Sounds?
Wix is one of the easiest ways to get your website up and running quickly. But I recommend spending a few hours getting comfortable with their page-builder and walking through their tutorials before diving into building your site.
After that, it’ll be much easier to design the perfect website for your business. With that being said, the page-builder isn’t as intuitive as other site-builders out there, but once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy to use.
And you can design nearly anything you can imagine because it truly is drag-and-drop.
The best part is you can start from one of the hundreds of professionally designed templates, so you’re not stuck staring at a blank screen for hours on end, wondering what to write and where to put it.
Exploring Wix’s Reputation
Wix has been around since 2010, but they’ve been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2015, and they have an A+ rating (despite having a review average of one star…). Furthermore, they’ve had 612 customer complaints filed against them.
Most of these customer complaints mention being unable to cancel their subscription and being charged for services they didn’t agree to. You can read a full list of Wix customer complaints.
While my experience with Wix has been positive, it’s important to note I never paid them anything or gave them my credit card information. So, I can’t answer any of these situations with my own experiences.
With that being said, it’s hard to ignore the massive number of negative reviews and complaints filed against Wix. As with any business you work with, it’s important to thoroughly read and understand the fine print before giving them your payment information.
And as always, double (or triple) check the settings in your account to ensure you’re not charged for things you don’t need.
Wix Reviews: BBB
Wix has an average review rating of one star out of 131 reviews with the Better Business Bureau. After scouring through all of them, I found three positive reviews. This is rather alarming since my experience with Wix was a positive one.
I found various reasons for these poor reviews, including:
- Wix holding funds from online sales longer than they should
- Refusing to refund the money paid during a free trial
- Poor/non-existent customer support for lower-tiered plans
- Bad coding and terrible for SEO
Furthermore, Wix hasn’t responded to any of these negative reviews. You can read the full list of BBB reviews here or take a look at what this (recent) unhappy customer has to say:
“$3500 worth of orders gone. They decided a week after these orders to review my account and freeze the money. I am an established business, registered in two states since 2008. I gave them all the info they wanted. They decide to cancel my Wix payment account with no explanation even after multiple phone calls and emails. My customers don’t have their items, WIX has their money and I cannot issue refunds to my customers! I have to wait some unknown time frame for them to issue the refunds. Up to 90 days. If they are refunding the orders, why do they need to hold onto the money for 90 days????” – David J (May 12, 2020)
Wix Reviews: TrustPilot
Out of 2,635 reviews on TrustPilot, 73% rate Wix below average, and 66% rated them as bad. But 17% of their reviews are five stars, so there’s a bit more Wix positivity on TrustPilot than BBB.
Most of the negative reviews talk about being unable to contact support and waiting long periods of time to receive money AND refunds. So if you plan to sell products or sign up for their affiliate program, be aware you’ll probably have to wait a while to get paid.
You can see a full list of TrustPilot reviews here or take a look at what these customers have to say about their experiences with Wix:
“I would leave a 0 star review if I could! I have been trying to delete an account for two years. It was originally set to “auto renew”. I took it off this feature because the service has to expire before they let you delete your account. Each year the auto renew feature somehow “magically” gets switched back on and then a 60$ fee gets charged and I am told that I have to wait another year before I can delete my account… so I turned the auto renew back off and waited again. Then in the spring I see another $60 charge and get told to have to wait another year to close out the account. I’m disgusted by this entire process and this company.” – Anna Trier (June 13, 2020)
“After reading the reviews on here, I was worried about raising a billing issue with the support team. However, I was called back very promptly and my issue was dealt with speedily and I was very pleased with their customer service and support with my issue. I have used Wix for 7 years and I will continue to use them as I am very happy with the service and facilities that their hosting and website design platform provide. Thank you for your help today.” – Laura (May 21, 2020)
TLDR: Wix Review Overview
Most of the Wix reviews online are negative. However, there are a handful of positive ones here and there. But, if you’re planning on building a simple website without a shop and don’t plan on contacting customer support often, you’ll likely find Wix a great fit for what you need.
While my experience with Wix was a positive one, it’s important to remember I didn’t give them my credit card information and did not sell products through their services (these are what most of the negative reviews are about).
As always, don’t forget to review and understand the fine print before giving over your payment information or signing up to sell products using Wix.
The Final Word on Wix
As much as I wanted to recommend Wix whole-heartedly, the alarming number of negative online reviews makes me hesitate. Aside from that, the Wix ADI technology, truly drag-and-drop interface, and hundreds of professional templates make it easy for business owners to quickly design and launch their websites.
However, it’s important to remember that a professional domain email is not included in your package. You have to sign up for an annual subscription to receive a free domain name. Furthermore, it’s hard to look past years of awful one-star reviews with no response from Wix.
But if you’re looking for a quick, affordable, and easy way to launch a simple website (i.e., no e-commerce and only a handful of pages), Wix may be the perfect fit for you and your business.
Click here to sign up for your free Wix account today!