The design brilliance of a website is a pretty deceptive indicator of the time that would have been invested into it. Thanks to the remarkable services offered by free website building tools, creating stunning websites is actually a matter of minutes these days. No longer does a person have to soak in basic HTML classes in order to be able to have a functional and worth publishing website ready to roll. Free website builders are not just limited to providing easy means for experimenters and enthusiastic businessmen, bloggers, and hobbyists to create their very own websites, but also pack in some interesting supplementary services such as SEO, eCommerce, forums, etc into the mix, so that users have a rich experience of contemporary website building. Wix is a popular name in the free website builder market, and offers some pretty impressive and differentiated features that are particularly attuned to the interests and expectations of first time users.
Despite the fact that there are many other free website building tools out there that let you create free websites without requiring any HTML expertise on your part, at least the top few of them manage to express a personality of their own, and in those terms, Wix focuses on providing a pretty fulfilling design experience to users. The availability of several configuration items in terms of the design elements of your website, coupled with the mesmerizing range of designer templates that look straight out from the most coveted design labs of the world is easily a differentiator for Wix. Add to it the availability of some cool and functionally rich apps from the Wix app store, and you will have a solid playground where you could try out all the possibilities of website creation. However, this also means that the learning curve you face upfront will be steeper than what would be the case with some of the other website builders. So, for all those who wish to savor the flavors of simple yet effective website developing, Wix is a winner all the way.
WIX Free Website Builder
Signing up for the Wix free website builder service is just a minute away, as all you have to do is to specify your email id and password to begin.
You are then taken to a screen where you need to specify the kind of website you want to create.
Once the category is selected, you are taken to the template selection screen. The templates offered by Wix are truly special, and are enough to win your heart on the very sight.Just select the template you like, and get on with the designing part.
The most integral part of any website builder is the ease with which users can create websites. Wix offers a killer drag and drop styled editor for you to build your web pages with. Here are two amazing and differentiated features of the Wix website editor that make it stand apart from competitor products.
- Among the several smart and effective tricks that the Wix drag and drop builder employs is the ‘snap to grid’ button that accurately guesses the alignment that you want for your website’s content elements. So, you will not need to pull out your rulers to get the layout right, and will just love the Wix editor smartly take care of the element lining tasks.
- Drag and drop editors always pose modification problems. For instance, once you have your page design ready, and then need to add a sentence or two of text somewhere in the middle of the page, you’d have to adjust all the trailing elements, which would otherwise have the text overlap on them. Wix, however, automatically moves and shifts the elements to accommodate modifications, thus making your website building tasks much easier.
Most of the activity in the editor is managed through a menu bar of buttons on the top, and a sidebar of buttons to the left of the screen.
Undo and Redo buttons – pretty obvious, these buttons let you revert changes and do them again with a click.
Copy and Paste buttons – Again, pretty obvious. These buttons let you conveniently copy and paste content elements from the page. Gridlines – To make the indicative gridlines on the page disappear/appear.
Snap to Object – To automatically make content elements get aligned.
Rulers and Guides – For a ruler to appear on the top, helping you make better use of space.
Preview, Save, Publish – To have a look at the output, save it without publishing, and making it visible to the public, respective.
The Pages button is what you need to effortlessly manipulate everything related to the pages of your website. Right from the ordering of the pages to the addition of sub-pages under a specific node, from specifying SEO related details such as Page Title, Descriptions, and Keywords, to modifying the style of the pages in terms of colors, borders, corners and frames – everything is a matter of a few clicks with the sidebar. You can also change the way a page leads to the other.
The Design button is where all your customizing activity in terms of the design of the website takes place. Here is a quick look at what all the Design button lets you do.
Background – You can make your web pages look remarkably different from the ones created by others using the same template by using different backgrounds. You can either select from some preset background options, or upload your very own images as background for the page.
Colors – There are some pretty funky color palettes available with Wix. You can also customize the color palettes and make the web pages look precisely the way you want.
Fonts – Changing the look of your text heavy web pages is a matter of a click with the Fonts option. You can select from some pretty cool pre loaded fonts, or even customize them for the best results.
This is where you are bound to fall in love with Wix.
It is easily among the best in the business in terms of exposing you to all the peripheral web development elements without charging anything. Using the Add button, you can add the following elements into your web pages.
- Text, Images, Gallery, Media such as documents, videos, audio files, SoundCloud audios, iTunes button, Spotify Player, all sorts of shapes and lines, different kinds of buttons and menus to make the website look fully loaded
- Blog Elements, such as Posts Gallery, Tag Cloud, Custom Feed, Ticker and Posts List. The blog gets added to the website, and allows you to engage in better conversations with your website’s visitors.
- An online store, that lets you add products to your website for selling them off! You can add a Product Gallery, a Shopping Cart element, a button to View Cart, and an Add to Cart Button. This is a pretty exposure for users to the elements of eCommerce, which can be explored in their entirety using the premium eCommerce plan offered by Wix.
- Social Media related elements, such as Facebook Like and Share buttons, Twitter Follow and Tweet buttons, and Google +1 button. Also, Pinterest Pin It, and YouTube Subscribe buttons can be added to your content to make it easier for viewers to share your content, which in turn is likely to bring in more traffic for your website.
- You can add multiple apps to the page, which will make it functionally richer. Right from contact forms to Google Maps, from HTML elements to Flash content, you can add multiple content elements with just a click. Then, you have the option of adding a PayPal button, a Skype button, and Flickr Gallery button in your pages.
Here’s another power packed button that helps you decide upon important site-wide settings. The Site Address option shows you the link generate for your free website. You will need to upgrade to paid Wix plans to be able to use your own domain. SEO (Google) option is a convenient way to specify SEO relevant information for your website. Also, Wix offers you a switch option to automatically make your website visible for searching for search engines. In the Social Settings option, you can specify how the thumbnail of your website looks when it is posted in a status in Facebook.
Wix App Market
This is your one click connection to a world of come cool and trendy apps developed exclusively for Wix, using which you can make out most from your website built using this website builder.
Premium website builder packs from WIX
The paid versions of the Wix website builder focus on specific need brackets, and come with corresponding features, adding on to the capabilities of the free builder. At present, you have 4 premium plans to choose from – Connect Domain, Combo, Unlimited, eCommerce. Here’s a quick run through the features of all these premium packages.
All of these premium services come with the advantage of using your own domain to create the website. This makes the website a lot more useful for commercial purposes. In addition to this, there is Google Analytics service included in the mix. Also, users get Premium Support through all these packs, ensuring that they are never stuck using any feature of the Wix website builder.
The Unlimited, Combo, and eCommerce plans take it a step further, and add a mobile ready website to the package. Moreover, the mobile website will be completely free of the Wix service ads that could otherwise distract visitors from the main content. In addition to this, you also get Favicon support, using which you can show a logo for the website to be visible to the left of the URL of the website in the address bar of the viewer’s browser screen. The websites you create using these plans are free from Wix ads.
Whereas the Connect Domain and Combo plans are somewhat limited in terms of the bandwidth and storage space they allow, the Unlimited and eCommerce plans overcome such restrictions pretty comprehensively. If you are looking for a multimedia rich website, you might want to consider the unlimited plan with 10 GB storage and unlimited bandwidth. The eCommerce pack gives you 20 GB storage along with 10 GB bandwidth. This plan also comes with a shopping cart.
Purely on the basis of the ease with which laggards can create their first websites using Wix, it deserves a good rating. Also, the fact that one can create a dashing website with very little investment of time adds a shiny feather in the hat of Wix. The hundreds of designer templates offered free of cost for users to base their websites on ensure that users have a satisfactory outcome with all their efforts. In fact, you can safely expect any website created using Wix designer templates to look like the ones for which web designers don’t mind charging thousands of dollars. Also, the fact that you have a dependable support center for even the free users, as well as access to a highly active community forum wherein users share and discuss their experiences, problems, successes and opinions about Wix’s features means that any roadblocks you face while designing your websites will have a ready solution within easy reach. The designing phase is itself fairly breezy, courtesy the intuitive drag and drop styled website editor interface with all its neatly laid out menus and buttons. Images, slideshows, text elements – all can be easily dragged and positioned precisely on the screen part where you want it to come. Niche business owners and bloggers have a good free platform for creating useful media rich websites through Wix.
On the flip side, there are certain elements that might leave a bad taste in the mouths of discerning web enthusiasts looking for a more limitless experience. For starters, the eCommerce flavors of the free website building service offered by Wix are pretty humble, and hardly result in any practical opportunity for experimenters to open up their fully functional web stores. Moreover, Wix would do well to let users switch between templates at a later stage, rather than forcing them to stick to one throughout. This is, actually, just one problem that occurs because of the lack of a common structure to Wix templates, the direct result of which is that there is no inter-template transfer capability with the platform. Then, the prominent visibility of Wix advertisements to the sides and the bottom of the pages you create renders your free website practically insufficient for business purposes. To conclude, it is a fair assessment of Wix to tag it as a suggested experiment for all those who are absolutely new to the world of website building, and are looking for a free ride through all the contemporary website building aspects.