Tops 5 Me-Site Platforms, Part 4: Wix
Welcome to Me-Site platform contender #4: the awe-inspiring, drool-inducing, website-making Wix!
Having covered the ups and downs of Flavors.me, About.me, and Re-vu, I’m sure those neurons must be firing — axons pumping, nerves singing, synapses… synapsing. If you’ve decided upon your “Me-Site” platform, that’s great! Happy Me-Site making to you, sir.
But it’s certainly worth sticking around to learn about more Me Site alternatives … just in case. If you’re still undecided, never fear, we’ve got two more Me-Site makers for your viewing pleasure. You never know… Wix might be the one for you!
Re.vu’s beautiful graphics, quantifiable achievements, and unique services stood out with us, though the brilliance was slightly dampened by our inability to make it our own. It was, never-the-less, quite a stunner. Here’s our little, handy-dandy review before we begin our next dissection:
Our options so far have been one-page wonders but with Wix, we’re shaking things up a bit. Instead of providing you with a single page, Wix offers its users an entire website to work with. And according to the site’s home page, more than 31 million people have decided to take advantage of their service. And why not? With easy customization, HTML 5 Technology, and no coding necessary, what’s not to like? Well, we’re hoping nothing but let’s find out!
Like all the other Me-Site platforms we’ve taken apart, the Wix registration is simple — we’re set up with an account in no time and ready to roll. The offers 10 categories ranging from Business & Services to Creative Arts to Personal. Each of these categories is further divided into subcategories, all to help you choose a template that best suits your needs. Since I’m a graphic designer, I naturally made a beeline for the Design tab and selected the Designer as well as Portfolio subcategories.
The options that appear are superb- there are pages and pages of beautiful, professionally designed website templates at your fingertips, ready to view or edit. If you (somehow) don’t like what you’re seeing under the categories you initially selected, you can explore other tabs via the navigation bar on the left of the screen. Don’t feel wedded to a category, simply because it applies to your career field. For our purposes, any and all of these templates can work Me-Site magic. Since we’re into great background photos, the photography-related templates may worth a look.
When a template strikes your fancy, be sure to click on the “View” button before you make any drastic moves! Do a bit of exploration — note the location of the navigation bar, how the pages transition, hover your mouse over elements to see effects, and click on all the pages to view the different layouts. Ultimately, be certain you’re fond of your chosen template because once you’ve begun to edit your Me-Site, template changes cannot be made. You’d have to start from scratch with a different option which is no bueno!
All set? Good! Let the editing begin. Clicking “edit this site” sends us off to where all the magic happens. You’ll be faced with your layout as it was in the preview, images, text and all. At the top of the screen is a toolbar where you can switch between the site’s pages, undo edits, preview your layout, save and publish.
The chief toolbar in the editing mode is on the left-hand side of the screen. It’s made of five buttons:
- Pages, where you can edit page settings such as the title, incorporate keywords for SEO, and alter page transitions,
- Design, where you can change background images, colors schemes, and font styles,
- Add, where you can incorporate a number of elements such as text, images, image galleries, social media icons, and apps,
- Settings, where you can optimize your site for sharing on social media sites and SEO
- App Market, where Wix provides users with a number of applications that can add fantastic features like social media feeds, custom forms, QR codes, polls — the fun seems endless
In these five buttons is a world of power. As you begin to edit, you’ll find there is nothing you cannot alter. The customization options, even within a template, are almost limitless! And what’s more is that it’s all incredibly intuitive. Drag, drop, double-click, ta da!
To edit text or images that are already on the page, simply click on the element in question and a toolbar will appear, allowing you to edit or go into other settings. For certain elements, there’s even a “Change Style” option in which different pre-established and beautifully designed styles of say, navigations bars, are available to choose from.
If you wish to add more images, text boxes, galleries or other types of media, simply click the “Add” button on the left, select your element of choice, and click.
What is astounding is that you don’t really have to lift a single finger throughout the making of your site. It’s all there at your fingertips from social media icons to optimal font combos. Wix has done all the dirty work for you!
If you can’t figure something out, click the question mark button in the corner of your site or one of the menus, and you’ll find the answers to all your questions. For some questions, there are even comprehensive video tutorials to help you along the way. Talk about support!
Once you’ve completed your Me-Site, you’re ready to go public. Again, it’s easy as pie — with a click of the “Publish” button and a few seconds, you’re as good as gold.
Your debut comes with a bit of bad news, however, because right beneath the “CONGRATULATIONS!” message is an “UPGRADE” button, letting you know you can have Wix ads removed if you simply click on the button and sign up for an account with a monthly fee.
Sure enough, when you click through to your brand new Me-Site, that gorgeous page is surrounded by not-so-gorgeous advertisements endorsing Wix. Though Wix tries it’s best to keep these advertisements on the edges of your Me Site, they do some serious damage to the vibe. You get what you pay for, right? In this case, forking over $8.25/month on the yearly plan or $10.95/month on the month-by-month plan will ensure your vibe remains unblemished. It’s not an impossible price and after admiring the beauty of a Wix website, it is rather difficult to accept those advertising banners wrecking your awesome work.
Yet another, and perhaps more significant disappointing discovery was made when loading the site on my mobile phone. With HTML 5 technology and, by extension, responsive web design, I expected the site to adapt its appearance to suit my phone’s screen. But it didn’t. In fact, it looked quite horrendous! I found that the mobile version of my website must be made separately and from scratch, by going into My Accounts > Manage and Edit Site > Add Mobile Site. It’s a four-step process and it’s quite simple, though the editing process isn’t as smooth or as thorough as it is with the actual website.
The mobile version of the site is also not very impressive. Images appear pixelated, spacing between elements is awkward and it is rather poorly designed. Do you have to make a mobile version of your Me-Site? It’s up to you. In this day and age, though, you must assume that potential employers will try to look at your Me-Site on their phone, so choose wisely. But which one looks better? That’s anyone’s guess.
It seems that in order to truly experience to advantages of Wix (and there are many), you will have to lighten your wallet’s load a bit. But $8.25/month seems like a pretty good deal to me, even with the site’s limitations, especially the less-than-perfect mobile version (but between you and me, ladies and gentlemen, but I’ve bought drug store nail polish for more!)
To summarize, here, presented graphically, are the pros and cons of Wix as a Me Site platform:
So, if Wix sounds like the Me Site platform you’ve been waiting for, go for it!
CHECK OUT OUR EARLIER REVIEWS OF ME SITE PLATFORMS:
- Me Site Platform #1: Flavors.me
- Me Site Platform #2: About.me
- Me Site Platform #3: Re-vu