What is the page builder like to use?
Wix uses a page layout style website builder. Building and designing your pages with Wix is very similar to using a page layout program like Adobe indesign or Microsoft publisher. If you have used these kinds of software programs you will find the Wix page building experience to be very familiar.
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Adding content to your pages
To design pages with wix you add content using the plus icon on the left side of the editor. Here you will find all of the different types of content that you can add to your pages. Everything from text, buttons and images to more complex content types like video, interactive elements and even more advanced app based content.
To place content on your page simply drag it, drop it and place it where you want it. Then resize it. It’s very intuitive and in that sense it is easy.
The page builder could be designed to help you more quickly build your pages by adding a plus icon bellow content that you have already added so that you don’t need to continually go back to the plus icon to grab new content parts.
Adding sections to your pages
Wix doesn’t use traditional page sections like most website page builders use. Wix has what they call strips. Strips are similar to page sections, but they work a little bit differently as I’ll talk about later.
You can add a strip to your page in the same way that you would add any other content using the plus icon on the left side of the builder. There are predesigned strips that you can choose from, or you can use one of the classic strips which are just empty with no content added to them.
I do like having some pre-made design options like the strips that Wix offers. These pre-made layouts help to give you ideas or great starting points.
Once you have added your strip you can change the background or add content.
Where strips work differently then most other website builder page sections is how you can adjust the size of them. With typical page sections when you adjustments the hight of it it moves the sections above or below to make room for your adjustments.
With Wix strips strips can overlap or leave gaps between other sections on your page. This can be a powerful tool for creative designs, but I found it to be a bit annoying when I just wanted to make a strip larger or smaller.
Adding Columns to sections
With Wix you don’t need to add columns to your page sections, as you can simply place text next to each other. You can however choose to add columns to a strip by clicking on the layout button in the strip tool bar.
I think adding columns this way will make it easier for Wix to produce the mobile friendly view of your page. It will also allow you to create different background for each column.
The Wix builder features all of the typical keyboard shortcuts that you would expect like Ctrl+C for copy, Ctrl+V for past and most importantly Ctrl+Z for undo. There are also many more keyboard shortcuts available for power users.
Creating a unified look on your website with default fonts and colors
One of the strategies that I think is really important to help keep the design of your website looking good is having consistent colors and fonts through out your entire website.
If you’re like me and not really a designer check out my tutorial on how to easily create a color pallet for your website.
Webpage builders that give you the tools to manage the fonts and colors across your entire website in one place, not only help you to build your website faster, but also help you make your website look more professional.
Wix doesn’t have a dashboard where you can manage your site fonts and colors in one place. You can however just use the text tool and the color picker tool to set your site wide preferences.
With the fonts when you select a font or modify a font on your website and you open up the font inspector. You can modify the font styling then choose the save to theme button. This will save the modifications you have made to this font type to all instances of this on your website. It will also use these preferences next time you choose that font type.
For colors if you adjust for example the background color of a strip when you open the color picker it displays your current site colors. By clicking the change button next to site colors you can see the Wix suggested color pallets, as well as manually change your current site colors.
Editing the mobile view of your website.
Creating a great mobile experience for your website is becoming increasingly more important. The Wix builder gives you a lot of control over the look of the mobile styling of your website.
From the mobile view editor you can move content elements, adjust their sizes and even choose to hide certain sections from the mobile view.
There are lots of controls here to manage the look of your site on mobile. In my testing I found that you really needed to use these tools.
Here is a great article on how to use Wix to get the best experience on both desktop and mobile.
The Wix builder would often overlap sections or text with the default styling it created for mobile. So you get a lot of control, but it’s also really important that you look at the mobile view and adjust it for the best user experience.
Creating a one page website with Wix
If you want to build a one page website or create links with in a page you can do that with Wix. One of the content options that you can add under menu is either an anchor or anchor menu item. These can be used to link with in a page.
Here a tutorial on how to create a one page Wix website.
Speed of building pages
Wix offers a lot of design controls….. A lot…. because of this it is not the fastest tool for building pages. Most of the tools are well thought out and intuitive with just a little bit of time getting to know the builder.
This makes building your pages easy, but with all of the options, content types, placement and sizing for each content type getting it laid out on your page can take more time then with other website builders.
The good news is you get more design control over the look of your pages. The bad news is it will take you a little bit longer to build and design your pages with Wix then some other website page builders.
Managing Media and Images
Wix gives you a lot of controls for managing your uploaded media. You can create folders to organize your media as well as boards which can be shared as a resource across all of your Wix webpages.
Wix also does a very good job of optimizing your images. You can upload fairly large images, up to 15mb, place them on your site and Wix will automatically compress and reduce the file size of your images to help your website load quickly.
Responsive and Mobile Friendly Design
Wix doesn’t use responsive design for most of the page layout features that if offers. Preferring instead to create a page layout and style for desktop and a style for mobile devices. Many designers will prefer this because it keeps the page design from moving around, but there are several things that you can do that will help your page designs work well on both mobile and desktop.
Pagespeed insignts and page loading.
The page speed and page loading for Wix websites can very greatly. In my testing it really seemed to depend on how many of the add-ons you had running on your page.
If you have any of the add-ons like, the on page chat or social bar active, it could really effect the page loading time.
I found though that if I turned off any of these excess items and just kept my page with typical page elements that your pages will load as fast as other website builders like Squarespace.
If you are looking to create a blog as part of your website Wix offers good blogging functionality. You will find lots of options for the layout of your blog feed.
Creating a new blog post is easy. The controls are basic and limited to adding text images dividers video, but blog posts are supposed to be simple.
You also get control over the main image of your blog post that will appear on your websites feed as well as when you share the post on social media.
You also have the option to create blog categories. These categories have their own actual page.
Many website building platforms use a filter to just display the posts of that category rather then actually having a specific page for the category.
As long as blogging isn’t the main purpose of your website you will find the blogging tools offered as part of Wix to be some of the best in the easy to use website builder category.
With a lot of design controls, good media management tools and plenty of opportunities to add additional functionality to your website, Wix can be a solid choice for helping you build a website.
Building and designing your pages can be more time consuming with Wix then other website builders. This is because of all of the design options and controls that the page builder offers. It is also really important with Wix that you look at and edit the mobile view of your site for each page that you create.
Wix is also a good option if you want to add a blog to your website. Just don’t expect to use Wix if you are planning on creating an extensive blog website. It just doesn’t offer anywhere near the options and flexibility for blogging as platforms like WordPress, but in the all in one website builder category is a solid performer.
If you find too many controls and options daunting you may find Wix to be overwhelming and might prefer some of the easier to use website building platforms that I have tested.