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Easy and free professional website. What you really buy with a service like Wix.

(overview(): 2 min – reading time 8 min)

INTRO

This post has just a simple purpose, helping non-developers understand what a service like Wix truly gives you.
I am a web developer, so I can see that a website made with Wix, 1and1 etc. is everything but professional and why.
If I am looking for a business on the web and I land on that type of website, the message I get is “we don’t really care about quality and professionality”, so I go over.
But I am aware that not everybody can see what I see and understand what exactly is wrong with those websites.

Here’s what I found on the internet and not only there, concerning the reasons which are easier to understand for non-developers as well.
Wix is one of the most famous, so I focused on it.
This is an attempt to make this topic clearer, in a easy way, for everybody and also for those who were maybe thinking to buy a service like that. Buy? Is it not for free?.. No! Ok, we can go straight to the first point I guess.

HIGHLIGHTS

It’s gonna be brief and easy, the purpose here is to give you a quick yet useful overview.
Titles () summarize the concept so you can have an overview at a glance.

1. For free!.. but, well… actually it is not!

The cheapest plan shows their ads on “your” website and while you are paying to have a good hosting service, you actually get something worse, with a low quality website with no future (everything will become clearer with the next points).
“You also can’t add in Google Analytics tracking until you get onto a premium plan.” So you cannot either be aware if your website is useful and what to do to improve it.
http://www.wix.com/upgrade/premium-plans

2. It’s not even a “hosting service”.

You cannot manage and use your web space to do whatever you want, because the only thing you can do there is keep what you made with their website service.

3. “Your” website is not even yours, you just rent it.

When you “develop” your website with Wix, you have no other place to go, you cannot move your site.
If your website starts performing slower than normal, optimization and switching to a decent web host are a good place to start. With Wix you can’t do either of those.

4. You don’t own your website data. You cannot migrate your Wix data elsewhere easily.

Which means once you have created meaningful and quality content for your website, they are locked there. If you’ll ever need to move to another service or just to another graphic template, you can’t easily do it.

5. Once you are committed to a template, you can’t switch it.

Another drawback is that once you choose your graphic template, you can’t switch it, for the same website.
So if you thought that there were no problems as long as you just keep using their service, you were wrong.
So it’s clear now, I guess, what’s the meaning of having no future for your website.
https://support.wix.com/en/article/request-switching-your-existing-site-template-design

6. The availability amount of template you can choose is very low.

The graphic template amount seems to be around 500, which is a very ridiculous number compared to other solutions like WordPress. Which means that the internet will easily be full of clones of your website.

7. You cannot customize your website for real.

You actually have just “standard” and low level ways to give some sort of personality and uniqueness to your template (so your business face on the web). You can’t start from one graphic and have a different result. You can’t even think to pay a professional to do it later.
This makes the previous point even stronger.
https://support.wix.com/en/article/request-customizing-the-spacing-between-paragraphs

8. Your site is not designed for every device.

With Wix you can also arrange a mobile version of your website. But everything between mobile and “standard” is out of control.
The present of the web is responsive. Which means your site graphic and usability have to react and adapt to every browser (your internet navigator software) and device. Wix websites often loose themselves in it and your site will not always be usable.

CONCLUSION

Actually there is a bunch of other relevant aspects to mention, like it’s not easy to have a good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or quality and performance of code for this kind of websites, but as I said, this is not a technical post.

As usual, there is not an easy and “for free” way to have a quality product.
The result of this approach reflects your investment and this reflection becomes the presence of your business online (among competitors). I think it worth to think carefully about it.
Also it’s not nice to start with the fake promise of a professional website for free, but this is just my opinion.

Today we have a lot of tools that enable us to cover and satisfy all kinds of needs in a very scalable way. You can start with a low profile but if you want a truly professional presence on the internet I’d say this is not a useful solution.
You can begin basic, but at the same time with something professional that can or will be later developed, but this way you start with a solid base that has a future. I think this is a good point to consider.
A website is not like a printed product. It never ends and in a certain way has to have a “life” to be effective.
Otherwise maybe it would be more useful to ask yourself why you need a website, what is its real purpose.

I hope I gave you new tools to be more aware and take the right decision. Good luck!


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