We’ve seen a lot of business pages springing up on various free site builder platforms recently, on the face of things they offer a really cost effective way to get your business online. Some are better than others but the common theme is how easy they make it for the owner to make critically important design mistakes which could really hold back the site. Today, we’re going to pick on Wix. This is one of the biggest low cost self-service page builders around at the moment.
Your branding is what all other business media, materials, print etc is based on. It can be seen as the building blocks of your brand and it’s critically important to get right. By using a free page builder at it’s simplest level, you are uploading a logo of your choosing to a predesigned template. This might (hopefully!) be a logo you’ve had professionally designed, or it could be clipart from Microsoft word. The logo is if critical importance and the rest of the site layout, colouring, animations, text etc should tie in with this in a cohesive fashion. By using a one-size fits all template it’s unlikely you’ll get this one right.
Search engine optimisation is a dark art for sure; the landscape is always changing the goalposts ever-moving. That said, there are basic fundamentals that should be in place on every site, basics that any professional agency will be aware of. Using a free page builder makes it a near certainty that you’ll gloss over these and give your shiny new website a handicap from the outset. Of course, if you really know what you’re doing you can address these, however Wix in particular is great at allowing sites with incomplete metadata, image optimisation, improper heading structure etc out of the gates.
Slow loading speeds
Tied to one theme
Once you choose a theme, you’re stuck with it! You cannot easily transition to another theme from Wix once you start building, not without starting again from scratch. Bear this in mind if you’re undecided about which theme to choose.
The site is a rental, you don’t own it. It actually used to be a lot worse, any content you published on Wix was actually their property too. This however changed a few years ago. The site itself however cannot be moved elsewhere to another host. You’re stuck with Wix unless you want to start a site from scratch. They’re not portable and Wix doesn’t make it very easy to export your information either; why would they, they don’t want you going anywhere!
I saved this one for last as it’s a common misconception that Wix is free, that’s the way it’s advertised. In actual fact it’s only free if you want to use a domain name that ends in “wix.com” and are ok with having advertising on your site. To a business, both of these are big no-no’s.
It can be a cheap website, short term. However bear in mind that the monthly cost is a rental cost; it is forever recurring. £30 per month over 3 years is over £1000. With that money you’re into the territory of being able to get an agency to build you a full bespoke website. You’d end up with a more professional product, you’d own the website, not to mention the benefits of having a professional agency to support your marketing activities.
Additionally, as soon as you start adding functionality (bookings system for example), these are all separately chargeable and again accrue a monthly cost. Suddenly the free website promise doesn’t look so free anymore.
This is a rather critical overview of course, if it’s the choice between a Wix website and no website, then it’s a no brainer. However often customers using Wix in a professional business sense would be better served by having a website created by a specialist designer.
We specialise in bespoke designed websites, rebrands and refreshes. If you’ve got a Wix site and are now looking at it with a rather critical eye; get in touch and see what we can do for you.