I use to worry about Elementor & Wix type page builders destroying the web design industry. I’m not so concerned anymore, for now… I got a client who wanted some simple help with his website. I checked out his SEO competition and it’s a pretty niche, low competition industry, so I figured we could stay on Wix.
I was wrong, and in this Wix review I’m going to show you why Wix is terrible for just about everyone.
After playing around with Wix for a few hours, I found there’s only ONE thing Wix has going for it. Maybe one and a half.
The only benefit of Wix: WebP images.
I applaud Wix for forcing the use of modern image formats like WebP. It automatically converts any PNG or JPEG images into WebP and displays those images, resulting in compressed, quality, and faster loading images.
The HALF benefit: Wix is “Easy”
Kind of… It’s only slightly easier than using something like Elementor on WordPress, and even that is being generous. I’d say a WordPress + Elementor combination is just about equal in terms of difficulty.
Wix Review: Cons
Wix has No Option for Mobile responsive images?
Website speed matters, and your tiny little phone processor can’t handle images as fast as desktops or laptops. An easy way to optimize for this is to create mobile versions of an image, and display those images when a screen is below a certain size.
You don’t need to load a 1900px image on a 480px mobile screen. That’s almost 4x the amount of image that actually needs to be loaded, which is why the average mobile site takes like 7+ seconds to load.
In GeneratePress and Elementor, and just about any decent WordPress setup, you’ll have the option to load a mobile friendly image for mobile devices.
Here’s a screenshot of me adjusting a background image in Elementor:
You just pick the screen and then select an image to display for that breakpoint. In GeneratePress it’s equally easy.
If you want to change a non-background image responsively, you’d probably have to write CSS, but still, even GeneratePress is more user friendly than Wix, and GeneratePress is for coders!
Maybe there’s a way to add responsive images? If there is, I haven’t found it yet. So far in this Wix review, Wix is performing pretty poorly.
Wix has Serious Performance Issues
The SEO issues were the reason that prompted this Wix Review. I didn’t realize how difficult it was to optimize your wix site to be seo friendly. Here’s a lighthouse speed review:
With WordPress, you can also use a plugin that can do most of the cleanup for you. Things like wp-rocket help non-developers optimize for performance issues like these.
Something about black box and making excuses and shrugging off the terrible performance of a Wix site it sounds like. No other website platform or programming language makes excuses like this.
Google’s Lighthouse estimates the savings at about 2.2 seconds. Now to be completely fair, sometimes I ran this test and that improvement wasn’t listed. Not sure why exactly. But the point is this is an important thing as your site grows. You’re out of luck on Wix.
Minimize main-thread work – 6.4-7.6 seconds: No again. A quick Google search turns up nothing. No advice other than to “keep images to a minimum and keep the features off the site”.
The only thing we could do was properly size the images, which amounted to 0.6 seconds. The least impactful correction was the only thing we were able to do.
Wix is Harder Than WordPress Page Builders
I thought in this Wix review that I’d discover Wix was at least easier to use than the WordPress page builders, but that’s not even true. I’ve clicked around and I can’t find a way to add background images to sections like “contact”.
With Elementor & other WordPress page builders, it’s so straightforward I don’t even need to Google it. So far in this Wix review it’s performed poorly on everything except optimized image formats.
Migrating off Wix Sucks
You can migrate your blog posts via an RSS feed, but all of your pages will have to be manually re-created from scratch when you decide to ditch Wix. The longer you’re on Wix, the more expensive and frustrating it’s going to be.
WordPress Page builders are not recommended either, but the benefit they have over Wix is that you can incrementally migrate your website.
On WordPress, you can convert your “page builder” drag-and-drop style pages to code one at a time. So you can hire a developer to optimize the most critical pages as your budget allows, rather than having to migrate the whole thing at once.
Is Wix for Anybody then?
I don’t mean to completely trash the site builder in this Wix review. If you’re in a low-competition niche, and you find Wix easier to use than a WordPress page builder for some reason, or have a friend that uses Wix who’s willing to help, then I guess I’d say it’s fine, temporarily… But other than that, I honestly can’t think of a single good reason to use Wix.
What about SquareSpace or WebFlow?
SquareSpace looks like you can’t optimize either. I’m not sure about Webflow as I haven’t tested it yet. The problem with these “closed source” platforms is that you’re extremely limited, and as soon as you need a custom feature you’ll need to migrate away from that platform. Open Source is a far better choice, even for beginners.
What are Your Options for Building a Website?
In this Wix review I’ve hopefully pounded it in that Wix is a terrible idea. SquareSpace and Webflow are also bad (maybe slightly less bad?). So what should you do?
Assuming you’re not a programmer, since you’re reading this post, I would almost always recommend WordPress.ORG.
Benefits of WordPress over Wix:
- Open Source
- Fully Customizable
- Still just as easy, if not easier to use
- performance plugins available
- You can choose higher quality hosting for better performance.
- If you use a page builder you can incrementally migrate off it when you need SEO optimizations.
- WordPress is popular. Millions of developers are able to help.
- You can grow with WordPress from a 1 person hobby to fortune 500
How to Get Started:
If you’re not a programmer then start with a page builder. There’s plenty of them around, so take your pick. I’ve got tutorials on how to get started with WordPress over on our WordPress Tutorials page.
As your business grows, you’ll want to migrate away from the page builders and use a more lightweight theme like GeneratePress, or even a theme made from scratch.
In this Wix review we determined that Wix is terrible and that you should almost never use it, unless you’re in a very low competition industry, or if you’re not even going to bother to try and rank in the search engines. If you’re just using your website as an “online brochure” then be my guest. Use Wix.