Whether you’re an aspiring online influencerin need of a homebase for your brand, a professional who needs a portfolio toshow off your work, or a small business trying to spread word of your productsand services beyond the town you set up shop in, building an awesome website iscrucial to your success.
Benefits range from improving your likelihoodof being discovered in today’s digital-oriented society to boosting yourcredibility as someone who cares enough to not only build an online presencebut also take time to create an aesthetically pleasing portal into what you’reoffering others.
The beauty of a cloud-based web development platform like Wix is that it gives you the ability to accomplish all of this and more with incredible ease at an affordable price. While other platforms are similar, they aren’t necessarily as intuitive.
Others may offer more potential, but they also require more skill, i.e., coding knowledge. Often, platforms on both ends of the spectrum can end up costing more while offering relatively fewer benefits to those who aren’t programmers yet want a site that looks like a programmer built it.
After trying multiple web platforms to buildmy own portfoliosite , here’s why I’ve come to love Wix and how you too can leverageits technology to build an awesome website for you or your business.
Free or Freedom
First thing’s first: what are you looking forin your website? The answer could depend on how comfortable you are withdesigning and organizing a site.
If you’re not at all comfortable or are shorton time, Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) can build a free website foryou. But if you have the skills or want to build them and have the time, Wixalso gives you the option to have full control over design with the Wix Editor.
Wix ADI doesn’t just give generalizedtemplates to choose from; it gathers information about you and your needs andlegitimately builds a customized space based on what you tell it to create.Once the skeleton of the site is produced, with some additional input from youon thematic choices, Wix hands over control to you to start adding additionalpages and making changes to themes, fonts, colors, and more.
The upside is you get everything you need in abasic website that requires zero effort on your end to actually set up–andit’s free. All you need to worry about is providing the content for your siteand making sure it looks how you want it to.
The downside is you might find yourselfwishing for functionality or options you don’t get with Wix ADI, such as theability to use your own domain. This and other advanced features require apremium plan. Here’s where you can really experience design freedom.
Drag and Drop Editor
If you decide to pay for a site you build withWix Editor, like I did, your options expand considerably. There are severalpremium options available, ranging from just $5/month to $25/month, with eachoffering additional services. However, each premium plan includes:
- Free hosting
- Domain connection
- 500MB+ storage
- Google Analytics
- Premium support
- No setup fee
To begin with, there are several Wix templatesother users have created that you can leverage for your own design. The site Ibuilt, for instance, was originally a layout from someone else who hadpublished their design for others to use. Now, it looks nothing like theoriginal, as I’ve made several changes both aesthetically and to the flow.
Once you have the layout you’re looking for ina website, whether you start from scratch or build off someone else’s availabledesign, you can really start transforming your site into something unique withthe drag and drop editor Wix offers.
Move text and design elements around on the page. Create new pages and menus with a couple clicks. Add a slew of creative elements to make any page more than just text, from vector art to call-to-action buttons and music to an online store.
There’s way more to choose from, and Wix helps you identify whether something might be of good use for your site by providing detailed information about each element when you hover over/select it.
Almost anything you can imagine a legitimate site requiring to be both aesthetically appealing and highly professional, Wix makes it available to simply select, drop in and move around.
This process is so intuitive and iterative, it’s easy to experiment with different design or logistical elements on your site, preview them, then decide to keep or delete with practically no work on your end other than deciding where to put something.
Another great feature of the the Wix Editor isthe ability to add apps, several of which are fre. There are over 300 to choosefrom–Wix itself offers over 100 apps developed in-house–from social tools tochat apps to business tools.
Adding these apps to your site is as easy asadding any other design element you drag and drop in. There an easy way to makeyour site less static, more dynamic, more interactive to really capture theattention of visitors–and make you look like a total web dev pro.
Make It Mobile Friendly
Once you’ve made finishing touches to yourwebsite, check to make sure it’s displaying properly on a mobile interfaceusing Wix’s mobile editor. This is of growing importance, as most people todayaccess websites and services via their mobile phones more than any otherdevice.
Ensuring you provide an elegant user experience (UX) that transitions seamlessly from a ~13” to a ~5” display is critical. Bad UX can ruin your chances at securing confidence from a site visitor.
You will lose their attention or their business and end up increasing your bounce rate, a metric that measures how quickly someone visits and leaves your site. The higher the bounce rate, the less likely you are to appear in Google searches.
Once you’re in the Wix mobile editor, you canrearrange images and text and hide elements you don’t want to display to ensureyour site’s user experience is as elegant in the palm of a hand as it is ontablet or monitor. It only takes a few minutes to clean things up beforehitting publish.
One of the coolest extras Wix offers is emailmarketing. Once you’ve built your site, you might want to promoteit–especially if you’re an aspiring influencer trying to garner followers; acreative professional trying to land a new job or freelance gigs with a sharpnew portfolio; or a business trying to attract new customers.
As with everything, Wix makes this super easy, providing you with a flashy email template that only requires you inputting information and tweaking it to fit your brand. Besides that, your biggest job is providing a contacts list to which you send the email.
It’s possible you already have hundreds of contacts you could promote your new site to. If not, there are data-collection companies out there whom you can purchase email lists from (it sounds sketchy, but this is how the world works today).
That’s it. Click send and watch your sitestats spike over the next few days. By the way, make sure you have a submissionform somewhere on your site that visitors can use to contact you. You’lldefinitely want to provide a way for visitors to communicate with you if you’reputting yourself out there like this.
Wix also offers an app that can help you growyour subscribers list if that makes sense for your site. This is a great way tokeep yourself or your business in the spotlight with a growing list of contacts,increasing your visibility and potentially your profit or status.
View Stats and Build SEO
We’ve talked a little about the importance ofmaking your brand–whether it’s personal or business–more visible to theonline world with a stellar website. But building a great site can only takeyou so far.
A lot of the hard work involves playing thegame of search engine optimization (SEO). Google and other search engines usealgorithms to decide what results appear first in a search. There are specificbest practices to follow if you want Google and other search engines to putyour site higher in its search index.
Learning these best practices andunderstanding how to effectively apply them takes time and trial and error.Fortunately for Wix users, Wix SEO Wiz makes this much easier. It gives you astep-by-step process to follow to ensure your site is optimized correctlybefore even allowing you to connect it to Google in order to be indexed andranked in searches–talk about due diligence!
Once you’re connected to Google, Wix will takeyou to your SEO plan where you can continue to optimize the rest of your site.You’re never alone in this; Wix SEO Wiz continues to give you a checklist ofitems to complete to help your site perform better.
When you’re ready to see how well your site isperforming, you can connect it to Google Analytics, the most powerful analyticsplatform available for measuring organic and paid SEO, and start monitoringthings like on-page time, click-through rate and site traffic amongst manyother metrics.
End Your Site Search
If you’re looking for an all-inclusivecloud-based web development platform, Wix offers quite possible everything youneed without the burden of mastering technical skills to derive the utmostvalue from it. Whether you need a lot or a little for your personal or businesssite, Wix is definitely what you’re looking for.