Introduce your business and what you do there.
We are a web development firm. We're pros on most platforms across everything whether it be Squarespace, Shopify, WordPress, Jimdo, or Wix. We have a lot of knowledge. We’re the number 2 professional out of 700 on Wix currently.
How long have you been working with Wix?
We’ve been working with them since 2006.
Can you describe briefly the typical situation that a person or company may be facing that would encourage them to use a website builder tool?
Right now there’s a lot of stigma being thrown out there. I think it’s being thrown out by web masters. There’s a little bit of a scare in the market right now from a developer’s point of view, due to a lot of these drag and drop platforms. I read negative reviews on most every platform, and it tends to be the ones that are easier for the laymen to use that get the hardest hits. I think that’s because it could put firms out of work, which won’t happen if people look at the bigger picture.
My opinion - out of all the platforms that we’re pros on currently, Wix tends to be the most intuitive, the most user friendly, and it’s gearing towards what the trend is today and that’s that clientele don't want to rely on a firm to build their site or further manage their sites. It enables inexperienced people to go in there and wing it, in a way that people that don’t do it every day couldn’t tell whether it was done by a guy at home or a firm like ours.
When looking at the market as a whole, what are some of the key differentiators among website builder platforms that customers should be aware of?
Ease of use. That’s the biggest thing. When it comes to Wix, out of all the platforms, the user experience within the CMS [content management system] tends to be easiest to use out of all the platforms. And the results are much better than most platforms.
What type of client is an ideal candidate for Wix?
Our firm has transferred Fortune 1000s over. There are not many out there, but some very large global firms have switched to the Wix platform and lost departments that they used to have with their companies with which they were spending millions a year just to keep their site up. Now they spend under hundreds a month. It's not just the fruit stand guy. You’d be shocked to know how many big guys are transferring over. The platform is extremely robust.
Who should possibly avoid Wix?
Every day we hit a speed bump. Wix happens to pop out 20 solutions. So out of all the platforms that we’re on as pros, Wix tends to really listen to its users as to where they bust the seams on the Wix platform, and they tend to come up with solutions quick. I might answer this question differently tomorrow. I’ll answer it as right now. Just before I got on the phone, I heard they dropped a solution. So it changes quickly. Right now, I would say that people that need the store element should avoid Wix. The reason is - let’s say our client is Macy’s for example, and they contacted us and have 3 million SKUs [stock keeping unit], and need a platform that’s fast and that can handle the variables that the store items can offer. With Wix the only speed bump at this time - and I know they’re working on it - is versatility that the store plug in offers to its users. I would turn them onto Shopify.
What types of clients go to you or others for help with this website builder? How do they find/choose you?
It’s all over the place. We get clients directly through the Wix platform. You can get clients that locate you online - Yelp, word of mouth. Online you can see who has developed a website. We’ll get clients that see somebody else’s site, like the way it looks, and click our link.
What that Fortune 1000 company I referenced earlier needed wasn’t an external web based service. We built an internal procurement e-commerce site, for when the company was making purchases within the company. An analogy would be Apple: if one Apple store needed more phones delivered to them, they have to order that. Even though it’s Apple to Apple, the order needs to be made. So the internal procurement platform, which is now a Wix based platform, was set up for all their internal ordering.
The clientele that we get the most would probably be small brick and mortar and service oriented people that have virtual offices, like attorneys, wellness websites, and e-commerce. There’s slight limitations to Wix on e-commerce though.
What cost factors should clients keep in mind when considering this tool?
I think the platform is competitive. Let’s compare Shopify and Wix. Say you were a smaller e-commerce setup with 500 – 2,000 items: you would need a highly experienced web master in order to build it on Shopify because it’s difficult to navigate. The cost to build on that platform if you don’t know coding may be up to three to five times more in development costs than it would be on Wix. Also, the hosting fees on Shopify are several hundred dollars each month whereas Wix is $19 for a comparable hosting plan.
What are the features or tools of the platform that have most impressed you?
There are so many. All the features and tools impress me. Shopify has its limitations in design. You have to be within the box. On Wix, the sky is the limit. The actual tools and versatility of the tools can allow somebody to invent things that the platform doesn’t even know it can do. For example, we got contacted by Wix once asking us to remove one of the sites that we had in our portfolio with them. We’re not supposed to list sites that don’t belong to Wix. It was a Wix site. A lot of people say the limitations are there because you don’t have the coding ability. That’s not the case though. We use elements in Wix that weren’t intended to be used that way. They may have a section that doesn’t allow for certain functionality. If you use certain tools, you can manipulate them. You can make them work in new ways. It’s endless. The only thing we have hit a speed bump with to date is the store.
What would you say this website builder is best known for?
Ease of use. The setup process is easy. They have this new thing - Artificial [Design] Intelligence. It asks you a survey of questions when you first sign in. It will auto design a site for you to start out with based on words you put in.
How would you rate Wix for it's performance, including hosting and SEO?
Absolutely great. Everyone knows they’ve been in the Super Bowl the last couple of years. Advertising is the element that makes SEO truly what stands out. If you were to type the word pro-designers into Google, you would see our site come in the first two results anywhere in the world out of 50 million. We’re above Wix itself on their own platform. As far as performance, we’ve only been down one time in 10 years. WordPress can be down multiple times a week. We had a glitch once though that was just before the first Super Bowl Wix was in, two or three years ago. They were switching servers over of 50 million users from one big server block to another server block. When that information was changing, everybody went down.
Can you speak to the support of Wix? In what ways do they excel at support offerings, and where could they improve?
Their customer service is second to none. With a lot of other companies, it’s almost impossible to get someone on the phone. They answer and they do their best to help - they’ll do a live session with you. They offer a premium help line where you pay for hosting, but anytime we’ve made phone calls even acting as a client, they have never required payment. They’re always there. If they can’t help, they will instantly come up with some solution that may help outside of that. For example, we called the other day and asked a question. We knew the answer but we wanted to see if they knew. We called acting as the client. They put us on hold. They asked their tech department, which is something a lot of companies won’t do. Their tech department said they’re able to recreate that functionality and then they referred us, thinking we were a client, to pros. They said pros usually come up with solutions that are outside of what we built these functionalities to be.
We tested them because we were curious. We get a lot of clients that ask, “if we use you as a pro, what support do we get on the outside when you're done with the site?” We can tell them that the support through Wix is second to none. It’s 24 hours. You get your questions answered and is free. We get paid for management. If you need to come back to us to further manage the site, you can pay us.
How would you compare Wix in terms of integrations available and their performance?
The only way I can truly compare Wix to make people understand is by saying that Wix reminds me of Steve Jobs. When he built the Mac, he said he wasn’t going to allow anybody into his computers. They require a special tool. This was so it wouldn’t break because the only things that would go inside it were parts and software that he knew wouldn’t fail. Wix has the same idea. Wix doesn’t really want anybody in the backend of their software. They don’t want you to break it. That way the actual platform remains stable. With WordPress, if a plug-in that you put in your site is going through an update, the plug-in may break the site. With Wix, they ensure that when your site is up, whatever you plugged into it that belongs to the Wix platform will stay stable. The only things you can put in functionality are what Wix have built and what they’ve approved. They have the HTML boxes to allow you to iframe something in, but that gets them out of being responsible if something breaks. The biggest thing is its stability and performance.
What should customers be thinking about when it comes to more advanced features? And how does Wix compare to its competitors in this area?
Design and SEO [search engine optimization] are strong points they offer. The actual tools within the Wix platform are very robust. The tools that are used to set SEO up, if done properly, would require an MIT degree to do the same thing on WordPress. You don’t need the coding degree on Wix if you're using the tools the way you’re supposed to use them.