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Wix - first hand experience

Wix is a do-it-yourself website builder site that enables even beginners to create eye-catching, functional websites. The site offers a wide range of free templates, stock images and an easy to use drag and drop tool, making creating a website quick, easy and – if you are happy to have a Wix domain name – completely free! The editor also gives the option of optimising your website for mobile devises, and provides a variety of useful features to help improve your new site’s SEO.

Signing Up


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I chose to try Wix’s free package, which allows you to create and host your website with a domain name ending .wix.com. The sign up process was very quick; I simply clicked on “start here” on the home page, entered my email address, password and followed the subsequent verification email I received, and I was ready to get started!

The free package can be upgraded to a Premium package at any time, which carries the benefits of no Wix adverts, additional storage, increased bandwidth, free vouchers for Google AdWords and Facebook Ad and a unique domain name. Depending on your package, you may also transfer across an existing domain name, if you have one.

Editing the website

I was very impressed with Wix’s website editor. Although they offer a comprehensive “help” section – complete with FAQs, videos, screen shots and step-by-step instructions – I found the editor very intuitive to use. I began by searching through their extensive list of templates, which all look very professional and different. Wix also allows users to search by topic, which made finding a good starting point for my counselling website much quicker. I chose one called “Life Coach”.

The layout of the editor makes navigating very straight forward. The simple tool bar down the left-hand side allowed me to choose to add a range of elements including text, images, apps, pages, buttons, e-commerce and social media links. The drag and drop system made placing and editing elements very easy and allowed me to play around with the layout until I was happy with it.

The existing text boxes on the template were easily edited by double clicking, and deleting and typing as you would in Microsoft Word. The options for editing text including size, font, colour, bold, underlined etc. were also very similar to those found on Word, making using the system very familiar and intuitive. Selecting any item and hitting “delete” on the keyboard allowed me to remove unwanted items.

Despite using a template, it didn’t take long for me to create something far more personalised. I was also able to add blank pages to edit, using the rest of the site for inspiration.

Renaming and re-ordering pages was simple by clicking on the “Pages” button along the left-hand side, producing a handy editing box. Clicking on the cog icon beside each page brought up an additional SEO box, which allowed me to insert extra information, page addresses and keywords and phrases, making improving my website’s SEO very simple. I felt this particular feature was very well considered, as it made search engine optimisation easy, even for users with limited technical knowledge. The help section also has a lot of useful tips and explanations in terms of SEO.

Another useful featured that I really liked was the guide lines that appeared when I moved text boxes and images, making it easy to ensure that everything was lined up accurately, giving my website a more professional, polished finish.

Perhaps one of the most distinguishing features Wix has to offer is their large database of free images. They were all very high quality and professional, and the useful editing tool allowed me to add filters, resize and crop images in very little time. I was able to search for images by categories, making finding the right pictures very quick. Wix also provides the option of uploading your own images, which could be particularly useful for therapists if they wish to upload a picture of themselves, their team or their practice.

Additional Features

Wix offers a wide range of additional features including video uploads – great for therapists wanting to make a more personal first impression – e-commerce, which may be useful to some therapists, blogs, links to social media and over 200 Wix apps, which can be searched for by subject, or by typing key words into the useful search bar. The Wix App Market allowed me to search and read up on a wide range of additional apps, some of which may be more or less useful depending on the needs of your particular branch of therapy. I chose to add a blog, which is very useful for keeping a website up to date and providing potential clients with additional information. For therapists keen on social media, the app market also allows you to choose the addition of Facebook or Twitter feeds, which appear in a box on your website and update automatically when you make a post on your social media pages.

I was very impressed with Wix’s additional features, which I felt really would allow therapists to get the most from their websites. The Wix App Market is similar to the App Store, which made it very familiar and easy to use. Many of the apps are also free, which made putting together a very useful website extremely cost effective. Even with the premium packages, with no set-up fee and all the free features, Wix provides brilliant value for money.

The addition of shapes, text and clip art also mean that therapists could quite easily put together their own logo.

Summary

I was extremely impressed with Wix. The website provides great value for money and is very easy to use. The drag and drop system and variety of templates mean that no detailed knowledge of processes such as HTML is required. The wide range of additional apps mean that creating a personalised website optimised for every type of therapy would be easy and straight forward. Despite the use of templates, it is very easy to customise websites in order to create something unique.

The additional free resources, including images and clip art are infinitely valuable and the simple tools for improving SEO and optimisation for mobile devices means that even beginners can have a professional, highly functioning website. Finally, the easy-to-use tool bars make editing, shaping and organising the navigation of a new website very quick, which is great for busy therapists!

Price:

Wix offer the option to create and host a website completely free, although the website’s domain name will appear as user.wix.xom/websitename.

Premium packages can be chosen on a monthly basis, or Wix offer the option of a year’s sign-up, which reduces the monthly cost. The amounts of data and bandwidth allowances vary depending on your package.  With prices ranging from £2.55 to £12.44 a month, Wix is brilliant value for money.

Full details of Wix’s pricing and features can be found here: http://www.wix.com/upgrade/website