Wix touts itself as a free website builder, that allows anyone to create a website their proud of. But is it really free or is there a catch?
Today, in this Wix Australia review, I'll be looking into the platform, what you get, how much it really costs and ultimately whether it's any good or not.
Over the last four weeks I've been testing Wix.com, to give you a fair review on this platform.
We are not an affiliate for Wix, like 99.9% of the reviews out there.
Overview of Wix Australia
Wix is a free website builder that allows anyone to create a website or blog within minutes. Using their visual editor, you can change their templates to create a sophisticated website.
Wix claims to offer fast speeds, great uptime, a wide range of templates and the ability to sell your own products online.
Is Wix the best website builder in Australia? For some it might well be, for others it might be limiting in features and speeds.
What is Wix.com?
Wix is a website builder which allows anyone to quickly create a fully functioning website via it's industry leading drag and drop builder. It allows anyone with a non technical web development background to create a technical website fast.
It's aimed at beginners and intermediates, and offers a wide variety of templates to suit a wide range of niches. As they host the website for you, they ensure your website is always online, loads reasonably fast and can be monitoring with analytics and SEO rankings.
Who Is Wix Suitable For?
Wix claims to be designed with beginners in mind, and if you've watched Youtube and seen their latest ads, you'd probably agree. They use actors and well known public figures to promote their service to the masses.
The range of free and premium templates they offer, shows that the Wix platform is designed for those thinking of starting a website in these industries:
Is Wix Really Free?
It's the question that everyone asks. Why would Wix.com offer a free account? After all this is how they market their services.
Ultimately Wix offers a free plan, but for most users this is insufficient to their needs, and they end up having to choose a subscription service.
Wix free gives you limited bandwidth, space and the inability to connect a domain name to your site. You also have to allow them to advertise on your website.
Wix Premium isn't too expensive, but it can still add up. Starting at $10 per month, it's perfect for a personal blog. If you're a business you'll need to choose the $14 per month option.
So yes Wix is free for personal sites, but for businesses it definitely costs money.
Are Wix Templates Any Good?
Naturally when I signed up to Wix, I was able to use the free account and you get a fair chunk of free templates here. There's 100's of templates to choose from.
I'd say Wix offers some of the most modern, responsive, business like templates of any template builder I've seen online. With 1 click, they are installed and a further few clicks can be customised to however you'd like.
The premium plan offers the same templates, but I did notice that you can't actually change your template once the site is live, you have to unpublish the site, make changes and then republish.
Wix Design Customisation
Wix offers ready-made website templates, which means you'll likely need to edit them to suit your own needs. They also offer a one click website builder.
Basic tweaks are really easy such as the ability to edit text, change sizes and add or remove images. It's a matter of moving a slider at times.
The interface is pretty smooth and you can upload your own images pretty fast. As you learn how to use the platform, you can do some really cool things such as animations.
You can also add blog content, menus, contact forms, maps, slideshows, video backgrounds, restaurant menu's and music players.
You definitely can't use someone else's royalty photos, but Wix offers a huge library of professional photos and graphics that you can use on your website without cost.
Does Wix Offer eCommerce Support?
Wix does offer eCommerce functionality, so if you were considering Shopify or Woocommerce, you could always use this platform. It is a little basic though.
If you're running a six figure store, Wix definitely isn't for you. However if you're selling something small, then Wix eCommerce is a good option for creating and running your store.
Wix lets you sell an unlimited number of physical and digital products or services. You can create discount codes, promotional codes and coupon codes.
Additionally you can control shipping rates, add taxes and anything else your store needs. Ecwid is Wix's advanced eCommerce service which allows you to change checkouts, add inventory tracking and even integrate social commerce.
Wix Performance Speeds & Uptime
This is definitely the most talked about feature online. Some say that Wix has slow page loading times, while others swear that Wix is the fastest blog they've ever owned.
Wix uses servers in the United States which means those of us located in Australia will always get a slower page load time than if we were in North America.
However, to really understand this, I had to do my own research. I decided to use Pingdom and GTMetrix, to test the speeds to a Wix site within Australia.
Other reviewers look at the Uptime of Wix, which runs around 99.9% uptime per month, basically your website might be down for a few minutes a month when Wix does an update.
This is pretty normal as no one can offer 100% uptime in reality.
To do this test, I had to find a website using Wix, as a starter site I created would be an unfair test. Also there's no point testing the Wix.com homepage, as this is most likely hosted outside the Wix infrastructure.
To protect the website owner I tested, I've omitted their website URL.
This Pingdom test was pretty good. However there's a lot of requests being made. The page size is also quite high, although this website had a large image on the homepage.
GTmetrix actually returned a much lower page load time of 12.1 seconds on the first test and 13.4 seconds on the second attempt.
It's important to note that these tools are only indicators and can't really be used to say how good or bad a web hosting provider is. Also I only tested one genuine Wix site.
A quick look online about 'Wix Loading Times' did bring up some articles about slow page loading times. After following the advice on some of these to check 10 of the most popular website testers, the average page load time for a popular Wix website was around 3-13 seconds.
My advice is to run through these 10 tools using your free Wix account and see what speeds you get before upgrading to a premium subscription.
Ultimately unless you're getting a lot of traffic, most visitors won't even notice the higher than normal page load times (if yours is the same).
Plus if you need further help, Wix has created this guide on how to test, plus they have their own page load time checker.
Wix Customer Support
It's probably a good idea to move on to the customer support that Wix provides. When you're on a free account, your support will be very limiting.
All users can take advantage of the Wix help center which is pretty much a knowledgebase with everything you need to fix or get help with most issues.
If you do need to call or contact Wix support then you'll see a range of options. For faster VIP support you actually need to be on the $27 USD per month plan.
However all paid users get access to premium support. You must be logged in from a computer into your Wix account and start a contact request. They offer a call back request in English (24/7), Russian, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese during various times.
To be honest, we didn't try the support, so I have no idea how long it takes to receive the callback.
Wix is free initially (ad supported, no custom domain name) but most Australian users will definitely need to go premium to get the most out of this platform. Pricing is split up into website and business & eCommerce.
In total there are 8 different plans, which can be pretty confusing to beginners. Ultimately if you want to accept credit card payments online you will be looking at $18 USD per month.
Business Unlimited is $28 USD per month and VIP is $38 USD per month. Given the weak AUD dollar, that is surprisingly expensive in my opinion.
Website only and you're looking at $10 USD per month for the personal blogger plan, and then $14, $19 and $27 per month respectively.
But which plan do you need if you're just creating a website?
In my opinion the Unlimited Website plan is sufficient as you get unlimited website traffic and 10GB of storage. The average 5 page website these days should be less than 0.2GB so that's plenty of storage space.
If you're hosting large files and images the Pro offers 20GB of storage. The more advanced plans come with addons such as:
- Site Booster
- Visitor Analytics
- Events Calendar
- Professional Logo
- Social Media Logo files.
These extra's are great but definitely not needed. Google Analytics for example can offer the same functionality as Wix Visitor Analytics but is a free service from Google.
All of Wix plans come with a 14 day 100% money back guarantee. You can test your upgrade from free to premium and if it's not for you, you can cancel and get your money refunded.
Wix offers payments via credit card only, no Paypal. They do however take Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Union Pay and Diners.
Can I Get My Own Business Email With Wix?
Wix don't offer email hosting themselves, but once you buy and host your domain name with Wix, you can purchase a Google Suite Mailbox service which allows you to connect your domain and use a custom email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the information I could see online, Wix has partnered with Google Cloud to give you a free 30GB inbox and drive storage account, which also gives you access to use Google docs, sheets and slides without hitting the free users limit.
Does Wix Offer Free Google Ads Credit?
Depending on your region you may be able to get $75 of free ad credits. These are usually only available on the $14 per month plan and over.
These may be either Google or Bing and it's not clear which you actually get. At the time of publish I was given a Google Ads credit to use. This means your first $75USD of ads on Google are complimentary (new users only).
Should You Use Wix?
Wix promotes itself as a free website builder, but in reality it's highly likely you'll need a premium account early on. The main thing that concerns a lot of individuals is that you're locked in to the Wix platform and if their prices rise, you have to pay them.
If you start a blog using WordPress and your web host turns out to be slow, you can relocate your website elsewhere. That can't happen with Wix.
Additionally If your website starts to grow or you need eCommerce functionality your monthly fee could become pretty high. However, for those of you that want a hands-off approach, knowing that your website is always online, that might have to come at a cost.
Wix is definitely not for big websites or those doing huge numbers on eCom, but their developers are constantly changing and improving the platform so it offers the latest features.
If you want a free blog and don't mind Wix advertising on your website, then it's definitely the best free website builder out there.
Best Wix Alternative
There's many website builders out there, but the best alternative might be to just do it yourself. WordPress.org is a free content management solution that allows anyone to build an open-source website using templates and plugins.
Web hosts all over the world offer WordPress hosting and you can use free or premium themes. You can actually host a website for as low as $2.95 per month.
While you definitely can't start a website as fast as you can with Wix, you will probably learn how to create a website from scratch, and the real benefit is that you own your own website, and aren't locked into someone else's platform.
Do We Recommend Wix In Australia?
As you can see from our Wix Review Australia, there's a few pros and cons for the service. Ultimately if you are going to use this platform to create a small website, blog, eCommerce store or business website, it's a good platform.
Larger business sites may outgrow their plan and require an upgrade, while others will be concerned about the lack of ownership of their website and may need to use a WordPress hosting provider instead.