We searched a long time for a good Website Builder. It's a serious connection you make by doing all your content, work, optimizations within a system that isn't yours.
A website builder, with all your valuable content, can move in directions that are not conducive to your content and business. It can become slow, corrupted, or gather dust in a corner. It may not keep up with the times, or you may be financially milked because you are locked in. Or it may start to squeak in parts, such as payments, or they may take away a local payment system that is important to me. So there are a lot of bears on the road.
We were also looking for a system that could cope with a certain growth of the company so that we would not run into any boundaries too quickly. A system that feels more as a partner than a provider. Another important aspect was search engine optimization, because we rely heavily on content as a form of marketing.
I tell you how and why we ended up with Wix.
As a hobby, my wife makes artistic Christmas balls, and we were looking for e-commerce software. At the end of November, we chose Wix and started to work like crazy. Within a few days, the shop was already taking shape, and we took the plunge by subscribing to Wix for a year. Everything we needed was there and it worked intuitively. Taking pictures of the products, making up names, writing texts, making up a logo, coming up with a domain and working on a template and style. Optimizing the content by adding meta-information, titles, descriptions etcetera.
It was a steep learning curve, because Wix doesn't work in the same way as Squarespace, WordPress or Shopify. Especially, designing in the editor is so powerful that it reminded me of those very expensive sports cars that are driven into the crash barrier by inexperienced drivers. But the shop was ready on time, payments came in, and we soon learned that the postal handling could be linked to partners (Sendcloud). We also quickly succeeded in creating a link to Instagram and setting up a shop there. The website soon turned out to be well optimized and the SEO talk lists helped us.
For our company, a full-service web content agency, we were working on an architecture that consisted of multiple systems. The best of what was available (and not the cheapest either). The idea was to offer online courses, and we looked at Kajabi. And because Kajabi doesn't support the local payment system (iDeal) we needed a separate payment system. To connect Kajabi and payment system, we used Zapier. For managing clients Hubspot and emailing leads and clients ConvertKit. A website we build in Squarespace and later in Leadpages. And a blog in Ghost. That was already adding up, becoming complex and hindering us in quickly executing new plans. But we still saw this as the best way to build scale. And online courses are a discipline in themselves.
Change of course
We started our own company in June 2021 and the idea had yet to crystallize, but the solution we had in place proved complex and expensive. So we kept looking and changing. We actually wanted to bundle our blogs and share the courses and workshops at the lowest possible price or even better for free. But then the fixed costs would have to come down. The content is a flywheel, we do what we preach about, we learn by writing, and we get the audience and the attention we seek.
Giving it away is a much more stimulating set-up. And then we discovered the possibility in Wix that we didn't know yet: online programs. That turned out to be a perfect fit with the idea of pouring in online courses and making use of the powerful member application. Creating and managing a user account is a strong part of Wix. So through those accounts we could welcome visitors and offer the courses. For free or for a fee.
And the other good news was that the blog of Wix, a well-thought-out and powerful solution, also offers the possibility to give multiple authors a stage next to each other. We had been looking for this for some time, but it turned out not to be that easy.
The solution was Wix
So now we had:
- A blog for multiple authors
- An environment to build a website
- A system for members
- Payment methods including iDeal and Apple Pay
And all these features turned out to be well suited for search engine optimization, an important source of traffic. As icing on the cake, there also turned out to be a complete Site Search in Wix.
We took a two-year contract and paid in advance to keep costs down. We cancelled or scaled back all other systems. And then a few weeks, we worked on a digital move.
Strengths of Wix
We have been working with content and content management systems for over 25 years. We have also developed them ourselves for large companies, and at some point you recognize a well-made product. Just like with brands like Apple or BMW. You notice that there is a solid plan, a philosophy behind it and even more important that they have thought about the details. Not just functionally, but to make things pleasant to work with.
"In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer," Jobs told Fortune shortly after retaking the reins at Apple.
"But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers."
So the strong points in our view are:
- Versatile and generous
- App for creators
- App for customers/members
- Ample possibilities for search engine optimization
- Services to set up
- Possibility for subscriptions
- Excellent helpdesk
- Integrated stock photos
Weaknesses of Wix
Minor issue, but annoying when you use it a lot:
- Complex and sometimes slow editor
- Only five forms and two automations
We have gained so much experience with Wix that we have become specialists as well and therefore also offer Wix as a solution for our customers, next to Squarespace and Ghost.