Why Web Developers Won’t Touch Wix
And why professional websites don’t use it
Lots of people love Wix. It hearkens back to happy childhood memories of playing with Lego or Barbie sets, bringing your imaginary scenes to life with all of the provided pieces. As long you were happy with the pieces that you had, life was good. However, should you want to take your website, and your business to the next level, there are some major hurdles to consider:
Wix is designed for people that aren’t familiar with the web
Wix’s greatest advantage turns into a major disadvantage as your website needs evolve. Wix works by greatly simplifying the web design process, which means that it also ignores many of the best practices that have been developed in the last 15 years. From a web developer’s perspective, Wix websites are equivalent to websites built in the year 2000. They almost entirely ignore essential concepts like keeping design separate from functionality and maintaining layout consistency. These things are important because they make your website easier to maintain and create a better user experience for your website visitors. And happy visitors means more clients.
Wix puts you in the role of graphic designer and web designer, which is a lot of power!
A graphic designer is an expert in the “planning and projecting [of] ideas and experiences with visual and textual content” (AIGA.org). Web designers determine how website content looks and functions, taking into account best practices, usability, mobile accessibility and clearly defined website goals. Because Wix rolls all of these roles into one, it’s easy to make a real mess of a website that doesn’t serve your business effectively. Just like with your legos when you were a kid, you can build a mansion with 52 rooms that each have a toilet and a sofa and a kitchen sink, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, especially when your income depends on it.
To be effective, a website must have:
- clear, concise branding and design that is compelling
- consistent layout from page to page
- great user experience
- minimum number of pages and content
- no non-essential elements (i.e. things that are added because it looks “cool” but serve no purpose)
- clear understanding of how it is capturing new business
It can take a lot of experience and knowledge to really pull off that list above and Wix doesn’t make it any easier.
You can’t do deep customizations in Wix
Want to change the way something works? Or have precise control over a visual component? Well, you can forget about it with Wix. There’s no getting behind the scenes to tinker. No tweaking. No custom programming. What You See Is What You Get. Period.
Wix admin panel is inefficient and hard to use
In terms of usability, the user interface in the admin panel could be much friendlier. It’s not just the learning curve but the all of the clicking required to get things done. Menus are squirrely, you can’t save content chunks and making consistent page layouts is mostly guesswork. All of this combines to make getting work done very inefficient. For web professionals, working in Wix websites is a hair-pulling experience. And if you’re billing the client for the work, well… you had better prepare her for a hefty invoice.
You can’t move your Wix site
That’s right folks. Once you build your beautiful Wix site, you are beholden to Wix for the entire life of the site. Not only that, but you can’t even move pages or content between Wix sites. You can duplicate a site and that’s it. The one bright spot here is that 3rd party tools exist that will pull the text and photos from your Wix site and move them to somewhere else. From there, you can build a new site from scratch.
99% of Wix websites look amateur
I’ll be blunt here: from a professional perspective, most sites built with Wix are clearly DIY amateur websites. People who know about these things can see it in an instance. Decision makers who are comparing two companies based on the quality of their websites will be able to tell. And that means that your bottom line will be able to tell.
If you want to communicate that you and your business are professional, you will eventually need to say goodbye to your Wix website and hello to the world of professional graphic design and web development. By enlisting the help of experts, you can create a website that has clear intention, excellent user experience and measurable results. Combine that with a stellar business model and great customer service and you have yourself a successful business!
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