It’s the most common problem with new businesses; you have a product or service and you need a website to promote yourself online, but you can’t create it and to get a professional looking one you need someone to design it for you. Trouble is, even if you have hundreds of pounds to get designer to make one for you, getting any changes to site can take time and you won’t always end up with exactly the style and look that you want. Do it yourself websites have cropped up to solve this problem, but they too can be costly, so is there an alternative?
Israeli company Wix.com is a do it yourself website building company with a difference, they are free to use. Established in 2006, they started up as a ‘freemium’ product, which means the product is free to the user but if you can upgrade if you like. When you register with Wix.com you then create your own account and can start building your website. There are more than 100 templates to choose from, or you can design your own. The site allows you to add your own photographs and text and there are even apps to put on the page. The websites can be built with Flash or HTML5, depending on what different businesses want and whether their customers use PCs or Apple devices.
The reason it is free to use the site is because you have to have the ‘Wix’ name in your domain name. If you do not want this you can then upgrade and it will be removed, this costs £6 a month for the premium model, which is how Wix makes its money. There is also the ‘eCommerce cart’ feature which allows potential customers to buy goods or services through the site. Wix so far has an estimated 27 million users worldwide, and they are growing by 300,000 a month, with 1.3 million registering in the UK. Wix have hundreds of templates which are industry related, a few examples are: Computing , Finance & Law, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Maintenance Services, Real Estate & Property, Vet & Pets, Weddings & Events, Restaurant & Hospitality, Catering & Entertaining, Food & Drink, Hotel & Travel, Musician, Accessories & Jewelry, Clothing, & much more.
And 44 year old florist Rachel Wardley loves the site. She owned a florist in Bath, Somerset but failing trade forced her to close. She since set up the Tallulah Rose Flower School, which is a flower arranging business. Like many small business owners, she knew she needed a smart website to promote her company online, but did not know how to create one herself. She used Wix to build a site in Flash, which took her ‘two to three weeks’. She has now upgraded her site to HTML5 which has replaced the old Flash one so that her customers could access it on Apple devices such as iPhones or iPads. She says: “The first site took me a couple of weeks but it is possible to do it in a couple of hours if you keep it basic. It is fantastic, you can personalise the website and use it as a shop window. I am obsessed with it.”
Omer Shai, vice-president of marketing at Wix, says: “There is a growing trend towards ‘freemium’ businesses. Our platform is growing so rapidly because it offers firms the chance to set up a website at no cost at all.”
For more information visit the Wix.com website.