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.

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.