First of all, full disclosure: I have never been a fan of Wix as a content management system. What I dislike about it is the false promises it makes to people wanting to start their online business. Its adverts (which are EVERYWHERE) will lead you to believe that you can start a website for next to nothing, without the help of a designer and make money from it right away.
Well, 2 of those things are nearly true.
First of all, Wix is by far not the cheapest option to build a website. 100% of the people I spoke to who were planning to build their website on Wix believed that it was free. Is that true? Well, kinda… It’s free if you don’t plan on using it as a business website. If you want to use your own domain name (e.g. www.yourname.com), have your logo on the site or to be able to do pretty much anything with your website – you do have to pay.
And here’s where Wix really annoys me. Their pricing structure is intentionally complex and misleading. Firstly, their advertised prices relate to annual plans. If you want to pay for your website monthly (you know, to keep your cost down or to see if this business is worth committing to for a year) – it will cost you at least 30% more. Secondly, they offer nine different plans and tiers, making it really hard to work out what level of service you actually need.
And thirdly – what I find grossly unfair about Wix – is the number of hidden charges and extra payments you really need, if you want to run a proper business website, makes it probably one of the most expensive website builders in the market.
To compare, extra features, which on Wix are only available with additional apps (mostly paid ones) – are included for free with WordPress, Squarespace or Shopify. We’re talking decent form builders, SEO optimisation and most of the standard ecommerce features, which are pretty basic things for any website worth the binary code it’s written on.
Wix is not a DIY tool
And on to my second reason why I hate Wix – their promise of a stunning website which anyone can create without the help of a web designer. I know what you’re thinking – I’m a designer so of course I’d say you have to hire a designer to have a good website.
But that’s not where I’m coming from at all.
I have spoken to many people who couldn’t afford my services and I always recommend Squarespace over Wix if they wanted to design their own website.
And I have had many clients coming to me and asking me to improve their Wix websites – and I politely declined.
And I can tell you with complete certainty – I have never seen a good Wix website which was DIY-ed. I have seen countless horrible Wix sites which were beyond saving and I have seen some really pretty Wix sites, which were professionally designed (like the ones by my friend from Fresh Leaf Creative).
So – can you have a well designed Wix site? Probably, but you will have to hire someone to do it for you.
Is Wix good for an online store?
It’s hard to imagine what makes a truly successful ecommerce store if you’ve never set one up before. A store is a store, right? You just need to make your product pictures look pretty and have the ability to charge people money… If this is the way you look at ecommerce, Wix can indeed look like a decent option.
But there is so much more to a good online store than that.
Let me tell you about an online fashion boutique I worked with, set up on – you guessed it – Wix!
The owner built the site herself and was very pleased with it. She had a good eye for design, having designed her entire clothesline and the site was really quite attractive.
But it wasn’t making any money.
She didn’t understand where she was going wrong. The brand was doing really well on Instagram, the photos of her clothes were being shared, followers were in their thousands and everyone was saying they loved the product.
But a quick look at her Analytics revealed a whole host of problems with the website.
Hundreds of people were visiting the site every day, mostly from Instagram. But the conversion rate (the number of site visitors who were converting into paying customers) was below 0.5%. In other words, for every thousand people visiting her website, only about 5 people were actually buying anything.
When I looked into the website it became obvious why that was the case. The path from homepage to actual product was complex and unclear, the product page was missing crucial information, the checkout was confusing and there seemed to be no email integration. Forget anything more fancy like currency conversion, product upsell or custom collections.
The worst part? She was already deep in debt and paying hefty Wix fees for a website which wasn’t bringing her any money.
Fortunately, I was able to convince her to ditch Wix and start a high end fashion online store on Shopify. I transferred her domain (so she kept her web address) and redirected all site visitors to her new fully optimised online fashion boutique.
What happened next was pure ecommerce magic.
Her online conversion rates went up immediately. Not only that, but her new email integration, which I created from scratch, started generating 40% of her revenue – that’s money which simply didn’t exist before in her business as she wasn’t using email other than for her monthly newsletter.
Both her old online store and the new one were using the same images, her advertising didn’t change – but the results were like night and day.
Was the move worth it? You betcha!
So, are you thinking of starting an online store with Wix?
Essentially, Wix is a website builder, with the ecommerce function added to it. It wasn’t created for selling online and will never be as good as the other systems out there which were created specifically with ecommerce in mind.
Having said that, there may be cases where a online store on Wix is in fact all you need – if you’re not planning to grow for example, or just want to sell a digital product on your existing Wix site. It can work well and the drag and drop builder is as easy as it gets.
But – if you are serious about selling online and want this thing to actually make you money – start as you mean to go on and get yourself a good ecommerce store on WordPress or Shopify.
I created a free eBook to let you quickly check if you’re ready to open your online store.
Drop your email here and I’ll send it to you!
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