Wix.com Review

I’ve been hearing a number of people talking about the easy build system called wix.com over the last few years.

wix-com

With around 62 million users at present, they’re clearly making great progression in offering websites that are comparatively easy to build for the novice

What surprised me however, in some recent technical support for a client, was the cost of the various ‘optional add-ons’ available through their system, and also their comparative ineffectiveness.

What Wix currently offers:

  • For around $45, you get to display the ‘built by wix’ advertising on every one of your webpages (at the top right, and the base)
    • You can upgrade to their next package at around twice the price, to remove that advertising (but it still seems to appear on mobile phone and tablet browsers)
  • You can have your own domain name for around $15 a year, but to have email addresses hosted by Gmail at your domain (ie info@mydomain.com, sales@mydomain.com, etc.), are $5 per email address per month!  (this kind of email forwarding from your domain to Google should not incur such high prices, particularly when the set-up is a simple one-off automated digital process, and there’s no actual hosting of email bandwidth by Wix.com).
  • They offer a ‘Shout Out’ option to send newsletters to your subscribers.  This is limited to 5,000 emails per month (which is reasonable).  However, as part of the email tracking, the email appears in the recipients inbox as a remotely hosting image of your email text (effectively a screen grab of an html email).  Thus your email is not accessible to people with various visual impairments (the actual text cannot be easily extracted by character screen readers), the text itself is not scalable for different browsers (for your small mobile phone screen, your tablet, or your desktop, etc.).
  • You can of course ‘design your own website’ (although if you’re not a skilled designer, experienced with usability and accessibility, etc. this is fraught with likely errors).
  • Worst of all, is the way your website is displayed within your browser source code.  They claim Search Engine Optimisation using an AJAX method.  However, if you click on ‘view source’ of any page of a wix.com website, you’ll see a mass of code loading remote areas of content, but effectively no real text content within your browser.  This does make it more difficult for search engines to naturally ‘crawl’ your website pages.  In fact, the only ‘real’ content of your website kept in plain text (hidden deep in all the superfluous code) links purely to the hosting of wix.com.
    • In essence, if you have regular text on your website, for easier accessibility by all, you want to display this in as little superfluous code as possible.  The more code you hide your content behind, the longer the page will take to load (bad for limited bandwidth on mobile phones), the harder it will be for search engines to index (thus lower search rankings), and the harder it will be for people with some disabilities to use your website (which can be a breach of the Disability Discrimination Act amongst others).

So what can be done instead?

  • With very limited experience, you can build a free website in WordPress instead, using a free OpenSource ‘theme’ design which can also be modified easily to your preferred colours and layout.  Or you can buy more customised themes ‘off the shelf’ from various developers, or even have your own unique design commissioned.
  • You can have your own domain hosted with a reputable reseller, with as many email accounts as you want, for a fraction of the Wix.com prices (often free with many standard hosting packages)
  • You can send newsletters via MailChimp more effectively (which is also free for up to 12,000 emails with up to 2,000 subscribers)
  • And your website content will be more accessible, across multiple device options, with cleaner code, which should also appear higher on Google natural search results, with faster load times, and fewer errors.

Please do get in contact if you have any queries.

.co domain names are nearly ready for purchase

If you’re not a regular purchaser of domain names, you may have missed that .co domain names are about to go on to public release, so anyone will soon be able to buy their own .co domain name (ie www.my-new-domain.co).

.co is the new domain extension, that’s been released from Columbia.Columbian nationals have the rights to www.my-domain.com.co however, you’ll soon be able to purchase your own domain, ending in .co

There are of course many other domain extensions you can buy, such as the most famous .com, and .co.uk, as well as .net, .org, and slightly more recently .info and .biz.  This newer range of domain extensions (such as .me, .tv, .us) are related to countries that have decided to allow open purchase of their second level domain names (ie the bit, just before their country abbreviation).

There have been four phases to the launch of .co:

  1. The first round that allowed registered Columbian brands to buy their name in the first round ,
  2. The second round allowed national trademarks to buy their domain,
  3. The third round was an auction style landrush (ie customers interested in domains with a high global value, to bid against each other)
  4. And now the fourth round, where any person or company, anywhere in the world, can purchase their own domain on a first-come first-served basis, from 7pm British Summer Time (6pm GMT).
We’ve had a number of pre-purchase requests made with our domain registrars, so hopefully we may be successful in purchasing a few domains.

According to the official .co website www.cointernet.co, 87,489 domains were registered in the first 15 minutes of the domain name extension going live on the public market!

Buying your own domain name

Buying your own domain names without us!

We’ve spent a very long time searching the web for the best, cheapest, and most suitable places to buy things on the web for domain names, and are always amazed to find how many people are getting ripped off by severe over charging. If you’re new to web design (like we were a few years ago) then you may not understand all the technical information given. So please take a quick look at the technical description pages on our site. Plus if you have any questions (technical or other) then do contact us by phone or email before spending any money, it’s a normal rate call, and we don’t charge for our answers (unless you ask too many questions)!

Heart Internet A relatively new company on the market as such, set up by the guys responsible for pushing forward 123-reg apparently! So far, I’ve been pretty impressed by their customer service, support, and hosting options. I also now hold a reseller account, so have plenty of storage and bandwidth to be able to offer on at very reasonable prices. Further details will of course be on this website as and when.
1 & 1 These guys also seem to be pretty competive with 123-reg, also offering similar packages.
123-reg I’d been using these guys for a number of years, although their technology and customer services is unfortunately becoming increasingly lacking. They’re still better than most though.

If you wish, you can of course contact us, we can then buy the domain name on your behalf for the same price as advertised, set up an new account for you in your name (it will still be your name as the registered owner) then for an additional agreement, do all the updates, ftp file transfers, design, email accounts, technical support etc. for you, to another site, or at the site you have hosted with either of the suppliers shown above!

Domain Registrars to avoid:

(This is where I rant a little about some of the companies I’ve used before and been let down by in the past)
AVOID: UK2.net – They claim to be cheap and great, ‘the UKs biggest host’, and claim to offer great offers like domains for just 1p, or at cost price etc. for a limited time … But THIS IS NOT THE FULL PRICE! Unfortunately you have to input virtually all your name, address, credit card information etc. before you find out the real cost (even then you have to total up the various monthly charges to calculate the real price), and even then, unless you use them to host your website (with the price of hosting increasing disproportionately every year), if anyone types your domain name, they will be inundated with around 6 new popup windows advertising the UK2 site, as well as a UK2 banner across the top of ALL your web pages! I’m amazed they have done as well as they claim, but judging by the amount of forced advertising they do, it’s not really that surprising a lot of people know about them! If you’re looking to buy any domain names, I would heavily recommend that you DO NOT USE THEM!
AVOID: Easyspace – The prices aren’t bad (although they are still higher than my two recommendations shown above), but these are another company who just love banner advertising on your website, unless you pay large additional premiums almost doubling the cost of your domain name to have it removed!
AVOID: Netbenefit – Here’s an interesting one .. there are no prices advertised on the website! .. All you need to do is give them a call, and a sales person will convince you why they are so great! Unfortunately, for about £40 a year (depending) buying a domain name will only give you web forwarding and virtually nothing else (but at least there are no banners!) If you want the emails people send to you domain name, that will cost extra (such as myname@ yourdomainname.biz) but if you don’t pay the premium, any emails just disappear into an abyss and no one will know the better, they don’t even get returned to sender! Also, if you want to update a domain name, and you have more than one that you’ve purchased from them, you have to go through a very technical password system for each domain you own through themselves, which you have no hope of remembering without referencing your sales receipt!
AVOID: Great Domains – So you have what you think is a great domain name you want to sell?
For around £50 to £200 you can get them to tell you how much they think it’s worth, they’ll then advertise it for you (by taking ownership of the name), and offer the price for more than a couple of thousand dollars. If they do sell it, then they also take a nice large percentage cut! Thankfully their prices have reduced by about 60% in the last couple of years, but I’d certainly recommend not to buy any domain names from them from fresh.
Other Companies There are far more companies I’ve found and often tried who charge far more than these companies (too many to list here), many will offer your a free domain name when you sign up for an ISP (internet Service Provider), but will charge you lots, or make it very difficult for you to transfer that domain name elsewhere later (for example if your business succeeds, and you decide to get you dial up or internet connection with someone else). However, if you know of anyone else who you think sounds too good to be true, (or just better or far worse than the guys I’ve shown above), then please do tell me, I would be very interested to know. I’ll even check them out for you, and then let you know all I can find out (after all, I’m also looking to save money where I can and expect to continue buying some great domains at superb prices for my clients).

How to Reduce Spam – as an individual

  • Get yourself a number of email addresses that you can use for different purposes, thus is it can be easier to delete one email address, without needing to tell your entire address book that you’ve changed.
    For Example:

    • Use one email address for your very close friends and family, that you never give out to strangers, and never put into any online contact forms, etc
    • Use a unique email address for signing up to online newsletters etc
    • Never use the ‘unsubscribe’ option of unsolicited emails (this will only make the email address more valuable as it shows you read the email all the way through). Only ever use the unsubscribe option of opt-in email newsletters and similar, you’ve actually requested getting initially, and know precisely who that person/company is.

    One of the easiest ways to get lots and lots of email addresses, you can change at will, is to actually buy yourself a .co.uk domain name or similar from somewhere like 123-reg where for around £7 for two years, you can have your own personal domain name, and all the email addresses associated with it.
    You can then get virtually as many email address as you like, forwarding through to any other email address you like (ie so you can have jason@mynewdomain.co.uk forwarding through to the email address provided by your internet service provider, that way, when you change internet providers (ie from BT to NTL or similar), you don’t need to go through your entire address book to tell everyone).
    To describe any part of the above in more detail, please do contact us.

  • For the types of emails you may want or need to publish somewhere on the web, use one of the free email service providers such as hotmail, GoogleMail, yahoo, etc. which tend to have free spam filters as part of the service (as without it, they’d be processing billions more emails everyday!)
  • Never send bulk emails to your friends using the To: or Cc: field. This then displays everyone’s email address to everyone else in the list. Firstly that’s like sending a photocopy of your little black book of addresses to everyone else in it, every time you do it. Secondly, once an email address is listed in this way on someone else’s computer, when their computer gets infected by a particular type of virus, it will scan the entire computer for anything that resembles anything like an email address (whether there’s been direct communication between the two people or not), and then store all these email addresses on a big database, to be sold on for fractions of a pence each, many times in the future.
    Whenever you send bulk emails, use the Bcc: field instead (Blind Carbon Copy), as this will only show to the recipient, the name and address of the sender, those in the To: or Cc: field, the actual recipient, but no-one else in the Bcc: field (it actually gets sent in such a way, the big list of email addresses don’t even appear in the source code of the email.
  • Never forward on chain emails.
    • Chain Email Petitions
      There is no such thing as valid email petitions (where everyone adds their name to the bottom of the list, and then forwards it through to another 10 people). The only petitions actually mean something are those completed in one central location, on a highly regarded website (such as http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ ). Even if you do find yourself at the 100th person and are then supposed to forward this on to some listed email address, you will most definitely find that the email address listed is no longer valid (and the domain it’s associated with, is now probably swamped with email addresses that aren’t valid).
    • Email Tracking Software, to win a prize/gift
      There is no such thing as email tracking software that automatically monitors how many people you send an email onto, and then rewards you with some cash prize / vouchers from Disney, Microsoft, Marks & Spencer’s, etc.
      Yes it’s true that all emails can be monitored by the Internet Service Provider for their own legal responsibilities, the Government (looking out for key words within the content of emails, or monitoring the activities of certain individuals they consider terrorist suspects, etc.).
      However, just think about it.. How likely do you think some company will actually pay a lot of money to every single person that forwards on an email, with the huge number of other very cheap ways to market their business (at fractions of a pence per message view, rather than tens or thousands of pounds!)
    • Forward this email on to 10 people and good things will happen…
      These types of emails are normally interspersed with some ‘quotes’ from someone who forwarded it on, and great things happened to them.. or those who didn’t and bad things… The only way these types of emails will make a difference to what happens in your life, is what difference it makes to how you feel about life. If you think positively (being an optimist), positive things will happen around you. Think negatively (as a pessimist) and yes, negative things will happen. These types of emails may have some sort of moving poem or story apparently written by some 8 year old somewhere, who’s ‘dying wish… ‘. However, some of these emails (even if the original story may have in part been based on some sort of truth) have been doing the rounds for years and years and years!
    • The person who sent you this email loves you.. send it back, and to ten other people to show them you love them too
      If you want to share your good thoughts with a friend.. then contact them directly anyway, and give some specific complement about why you like them so much. Don’t just forward on something from someone else. Specific complements, such as “You’ve really inspired me by how much you give in your time and energy to the youth service you’ve been volunteering at for the past 10 years, I know everyone you’ve reached has been helped in a massive way, and their lives have all been changed for the better, as I was one of them...” is much more meaningful than forwarding on some sort of tacky poem you received from someone you hardly know!

    www.BreaktheChain.org has got a massive resource (far greater than anything I can list above) describing all about chain mails. It even has an ongoing resource of current emails doing the rounds.. so before you forward on anything that looks too good to be true (as it almost certainly will be untrue), then just paste some part of the email into any search engine and you’ll see a little of its history, or just check a website like the one above.