Wix.com: Host & Builder for Starting Your Blog
If you want to start a blog but aren’t sure where to start, Wix just might be your best buddy. You can start with a simple blog and then expand out into a full-fledged website or an online store later.
Although Wix appears focused on business websites, blogs are well-supported with lots of wizards and built-in help for even the newest of newbies.
A Blogger’s Site Builder
Wix is a drag-and-drop site builder that’s easy to use and blogger-friendly. It lets you create exactly what you want, so don’t worry that you’ll be required to create, say, an online store, just in order to get a blog.
Founded in 2006 and now hosting hundreds of thousands of websites in 190+ countries around the world, Wix is a great example of internet success. They boast of keeping the “techy processes behind the curtain” so your blogging process remains simple. Everything on your blog is created via a drag-and-drop builder, with mockups showing you exactly how updates will look when published.
Bloggers who are interested in the techy stuff should be pleased that Wix has data centers located across the globe. Servers boast 99.8 percent uptime and are located in the US, Germany, Lithuania, Ukraine, Israel, and Brazil, helping contribute to the best load time possible for your blog. Wix’s support and corporate offices are in Tel Aviv, New York, San Francisco, and Dnipro.
Wix doesn’t go into detail about their backup systems and processes except to say that servers are duplicated and protected against corruption. They do, however, offer two ways of retrieving previous versions of your blog:
- If you’re planning a big overhaul, you can create a duplicate of your blog manually. It only takes one click.
- If you accidentally make a mistake, you can roll back to a saved version of your blog from your “site history” panel. A new version of your site is created whenever you hit “save.”
Starting a Wix Blog
Bloggers should try out Wix’s “Artificial Design Intelligence” (ADI), an advanced wizard that asks you about your personal style, colors you like, and other questions that inform the design it creates, all the way down to font choices.
You don’t have to worry about getting stuck with the design ADI creates for you because you can always start ADI over, or just jump in and handle all the design features yourself from scratch.
What’s more, if you use ADI, you can forego setting up a website and just stick to creating a standalone blog. Just make sure you choose “blog” in the ADI wizard.
Wix SEO Wiz
New bloggers need to understand search engine optimization (SEO). There’s a deluge of information online about SEO. Where do you start? How can you, as a newbie, determine what SEO tactics are most important to you? How can you tell whether the information you’re reading online is up-to-date and relevant to your venture?
There’s a “Wix fix” for this: their SEO Wizard
All you need to do is fill in the blanks on Wix’s SEO Wizard and then follow the step-by-step plan created for your site. There’s plenty of help along the way, including how to choose the best keywords for your site.
Wix also helps you with SEO for your individual blog posts. Inside the Wix app, whenever you add a post to your blog you can fill out metadata and see how the post’s snippet will look in Google search results. The SEO Wiz also automatically creates an XML sitemap for search engines.
Wix Features for Bloggers
In addition to the ADI design wizard and the SEO Wiz, Wix offers many features of interest to bloggers:
- All plans come with access to free stock photos, icons, and buttons.
- Every theme’s design is responsive.
- You can let your visitors comment on your blog posts and share with social media buttons.
- You can schedule posts to publish in the future and create multiple authors for your blog.
- Wix allows you to add blog posts and do other editing on-the-go from its mobile app.
- If you use Mac’s iCloud with Photos and you’re running High Sierra on your desktop, Wix allows for gallery integration with your photo albums.
- Adding a Wix Art Store lets you sell products like mugs and t-shirts with your blog’s logo on them, similar to a CafePress shop.
- You’re free to add HTML widgets and snippets to add functionality that doesn’t come out of the box from Wix.
- You can use Wix ShoutOut for sending email campaigns or newsletters to your readers.
Plug-ins via Wix App Market
If you’ve been a blogger (or an aspiring blogger) for any length of time, you’ll no doubt have heard of “plug-ins.” Plug-ins on platforms like WordPress add functionality. The same is true for Wix except that Wix calls them “apps.” Many apps are free, but some require one-time or subscription fees.
Some of Wix’s apps:
- In-depth site analytics
- Display your latest Twitter or Instagram posts
- Chat with site visitors
- Create an online forum for your readers
- And over 500 more.
Wix Hosting Plans
There’s a Wix plan for any blogger’s budget. You can try premium plans for two weeks, and you can continue on with a free plan for as long as you like afterward.
The more you pay for Wix paid plans, the more storage and bandwidth you get. Paid plans can also get you an online store, ad credits, and some performance boosts. The Wix free plan displays ads on your blog. After 14 days paying on a premium plan, you can ask for your money back if you’re not satisfied.
You’ve got three fairly standard domain hosting options:
- Start a free blog under a Wix.com subdomain (e.g., yoursite.wix.com)
- Transfer a domain you already own to Wix
- Buy a new domain directly from Wix, straight from your blog’s dashboard.
You can also purchase a domain from Wix.
Should Bloggers Upgrade?
If you’re a new blogger, it’s probably best to start with the free plan to see if it’s workable for you. More experienced or entrepreneurial bloggers might want to purchase a paid plan if you’re expecting heavy storage or bandwidth usage, or if you want to add an extensive store alongside your blog. Most bloggers will probably want to upgrade at some point in order to get rid of ads.
All of Wix’s plans — including the free plan — come with premier support. You can email support or call them during business hours (Pacific Time).
If you prefer self-educating, there are also plenty of wizards and guidance within the dashboard and the blogging areas, accessible as you move from task to task. Wix also has a large repository of video tutorials and walkthroughs and a helpful user community.
Final Thoughts on Wix.com for Bloggers
Starting a blog doesn’t have to be an eye-glazing chore filled with code. Wix is a site builder that caters to bloggers and provides an easy and economical way for newbies to get blogging quickly. Since it’s free to start, give Wix a shot and let us know how it goes!