This appears to be a common recurring question I’ve noticed within some Entrepreneurial (facebook) groups I’m a part of so I’ll give an analogy that hopefully, everyone can understand so that it serves as a reference.

Note: I’m not singling out Wix specifically because “they’re bad”. I’m using them as the easy example because they are the leader in the DIY Website builder realm. If this was an article about search, it would be Google.

Being a freelance developer for 11 years now Wix, and similar DIY website builders, are akin, in my opinion, to riding a training bike. You use it to ride short distances from A to B, but we all know it’s a training bike and people who see you riding it know your just learning. There is nothing wrong with this in, and of itself but, as a consumer, if I see a business with a Wix/Squarespace/Weebly/ site that tells me they are new to the web. It makes the business look amateur.

From a professional perspective, DIY builders can suffer from some common flaws that aren’t of concern when using more mature platforms or typically custom web development.

Your first bike with training wheels. It teaches you how bikes work and how to ride one but you won’t be going off any sweet jumps with this anytime soon.

Squarespace is the rich kid of beginner bikes. It’s your first bike but it’s a sweet ride with a few more gears, bells, and breaks than you’re accustomed too. Still great to learn with and will let you grow a little more before needing to move on.

This is like your first bike, but it came shipped disassembled in the box so you also build it yourself too. Unless the first two, this bike plays nicely with 3rd party after-market parts (plugins).

Once you get a bit better with web content, website administration and running your business in tandem with being a webmaster you’ll eventually outgrow your training wheels and look for a better bike, and that would be (WordPress that’s self-hosted) or a similar free, open source platform (ProcessWire, GRAV, Drupal, etc) making these the “Canadian Tire of bicycles”.
They work, their cheap, and the base model you can upgrade with any parts (plugins) so theirs a reason why WordPress is 59.4% of the market and 29.9% of all Content Management Systems. They will get you pretty far. It takes some work and investing some time with Youtube University (tutorial videos) but getting here is awesome because now you have full control of your website and all aspects of it. No more training wheels.

Hello SEO.

After tinkering with Google Analytics for a while now we come to the road bikes, and fancy custom fit bike builds that someone could spend thousands of dollars on just to shave off a few more grams of weight off the bike. The Tour de France level of road-bike.

These are your enterprise level sites (Magento, Shopify Enterprise, Sitecore, Drupal, Heavily Customized WooCommerce WordPress builds) etc. These are the most expensive but provide the most features and return on investment as this is now a key critical system for your daily business operations. You care about customer data and using analysis and reporting to drive business decisions. This also shows your serious about your web presence as you need the full kit to ride a bike like this, clip in shoes, a great helmet, exceptional fitness and usually some skin-tight suit.

A $25k road bike ride is so light you can pick it up with two fingers, or a strong pinky finger. At this level your website is extremely optimized; it should be running like a well cared for machine.

So, TL;DR, “is Wix any good”?

This depends on how much time, money and effort you have to put into your web presence and if your spending the time and effort to save money, or if your spending money to save time and effort.

Theirs a reason why their niche is small, pre-built websites because businesses typically outgrow Wix and their feature-sets quickly and for its price, you don’t do yourself any SEO favors so that’s time and money you’ll never get back.

If you have the money save yourself time and effort, don’t go with Wix because you don’t need training wheels from the get-go. That’s more of a hindrance than is helpful. If you have a little money but have more time and effort, then slap on those training wheels and get ready to learn because you can start with Wix to get the basics of running a simple website down.

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