Is a Free WIX Web Site Really Free?

With 19 years of web design experience, I have learned to be objective... so I will say that based on research; WIX designs seem to be of the OK variety. If you like drag and drop, then there is a possibility that someone could create a passable website from a design standpoint. This, however is where the good ends and Wix goes spinning down the drain. I could go on until my fingers go numb from typing, but here are 5 MAJOR issues.

1. Implementing an SEO Strategy is Nearly Impossible
This is very technical but please trust me, SEO is not going to happen on a Wix.com website. You are not able to fully manage how your website will appear on any search engines; javascript is difficult to crawl by Google; customization is extremely limited to the WIX website builder and 3rd party plugins are non-existent; load time is at a snail's pace which is a HUGE ranking factor in Google; it is difficult - if not impossible to integrate Google authorship; there are no controls of the robots.txt or XML sitemap files. Lastly, only their premium websites have do-follow links and free websites are set to no-follow.

The WIX page builder produces extra lines of “dirty code” that is filled with wix.com links and other wix elements that would never be present on a platform such as Joomla or Wordpress. Finally, the URL structure is so NON SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY and garbled in the free version that it should not be something that you'd want to include in your marketing materials. The “Free” URLs usually look like this: www.s82369883.wix.com/mysitenamehere.

2. Terrible Tech Support – Examples are quite prevalent but these are just a few that grabbed my attention:

My site has not worked for over a week. All the support lines lead to dead ends.It won’t let me add my phone number for a call back and there is no email to contact customer support. Read More: Kate Parkin

I have spent days perfecting my website, I have transferred my own domain name and purchased one from wix. now my old and wix site are offline. Read More: Ch’i Eco-organic Hair

Wix offer a simple service, but having now had a problem – my email being cancelled for no apparent reason, I can’t get a straight answer out of them. I tried to schedule a phone call and sent all my details – they didn’t ring.

This has to be the worst company for TECH support I have ever come across. They send you some call back that never recognises any numbers and then make u submit tickets that never ever get answered they just take money and do not offer the service they promise…Do not waste ur time.. or ur money…. on these chumps!

Friendly Disclaimer: Keep in mind that many reviews online are manipulated, so if you see a lot of negative reviews and some odd placed  positive reviews, chances are that those positive reviews have been placed there to offset the troubling amount of negative threads appearing on a given review site.

3. Major Functionality Flaws

There are a high number of Wix users who can’t even see their site online anymore... and customer service has done little to assist these people.

Many users report that after they have worked on their web site for hours and hours only to think they have saved their time consuming work just to find out that all of their work has been lost forever!

Working with files within presumably “your” website is downright a near impossibility. Forget about transferring files from one folder to another withing the existing file structure.

4. Multiple Servers & Directories to Host One Website

Sounds like a good thing?  Actually, it is quite harmful to your site. The main problem is that each server has its own load time and that causes your site to load individual pieces at different speeds. For example, your homepage image may load first and quickly, but your logo and the other images on your homepage will not load at the same rate... and may take a bit more time to actually appear. This causes your website to appear unprofessional at best.  At worst, your potential customers get frustrated and move on the your competition.

5. Wix Owns Your Domain and Your Website

Not much more needs to be said here but with Joomla or WordPress (*or one of the other mainstream content management systems), your site can be transferred as you wish to other hosting companies as you see fit. This is NOT the case with WIX. Once you build your site, they host it and they legally control it (read the fine print).  Someone else controlling “your” website is not the position you want to have as a business owner.

The Verdict:

The cost of a "free" WIX web site is:  Your Sanity.  Your Time.  Lost revenue and future business.  It has been 18 years since  commercial websites began, and now more than ever, there is no point in creating a website for ANY business purpose unless it is optimized for these factors: Well organized content, Conversion to Sale or Lead, SEO, Social, and Analytics. Merely looking like a pretty picture is not sufficient. No single tool can accomplish all of this, but unfortunately, many tools have the ability to optimize only one factor and in the process end up sabotaging the other important factors. Wix appears to be one of these tools.

If you should even have an inkling about needing a website, please click here to get a custom quote from Rhino Web and I would be happy to go into more detail as to why it’s worth the extra financial commitment to use  Joomla or WordPress for the the good of your sanity and your business.  Thanks again to Trust Pilot for providing the many sobering recounts of disgruntled Wix users.