Getting Started With Wix

The only thing Wix requires for you to get started is an email address. If you want a site with a custom URL, no Wix promotions, a custom favicon, and a web store, you must upgrade to a paid account. These range from the $5-per-month Connect Domain account, which merely lets you use a site address you already own, to the full $25-per-month VIP plan, which includes a shopping cart, 20GB of storage, domain name, unlimited bandwidth, professional site review, and priority support. For a full rundown of account types, see Wix's premium account grid.

That pricing is reasonable compared with DudaFree at Duda, whose paid plans start at $14.25 per month, and Squarespace and Weebly, which both start at $8 per month. Their top business plans are $22.50, $40, and $25 per month, respectively.

After creating an account, you choose whether you want Wix to automatically create a site for you using ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) or to use a site template. More in ADI in a bit. Wix users can choose from 15 top levels, each with several subcategories to choose from. For instance, there's a Restaurant choice with subcategories for bar, café, catering, and more. For my first Wix test site, I used Photography > Travel Photographer. Clicking a big Go button opens a generous choice of templates. There are 15 beautiful template options just for that narrow field, including those for landscape, street, and portrait photographers.

In all, wix review offers hundreds of template choices, more than Squarespace$12.00 at Squarespace Personal Plan or Weebly. The vast majority of these are free, though some require a subscription at the eCommerce level ($17 per month). Each template preview helpfully shows you how your site will look on a smartphone screen, too.

Web Design in Wix

After you've chosen a template and started editing your site, you're treated to a one-minute introductory video. Templates are modern and attractive, many pinning your navigation to the top as the site viewer scrolls down. Five round buttons that expand when you hover the mouse over them let you add elements, change the background, access the App Market (from which you get third-party site widgets), see your uploads, and start blogging. You can easily hide these controls if you need to edit the area under them.

Elements you can add include everything we've become used to on webpages. All the usual options for text, media, social media widgets, buttons, shapes, and so on are available, and you can find anything not in Wix's default selection in its App Market. You can also embed HTML and Flash code. You can easily add SoundCloud and Spotify playlists to treat your site visitors' ears, too.