When having a website is one of the defining moments of a business venture, there is no option not to have one. A website easily becomes the biggest marketing tool of any business, as well as a store and communication platform that can attract millions of potential customers.
Setting up a website used to be a complicated process where you needed to hire an expert web developer, costing thousands of dollars and needing a lot of time to finish. Easy-to-use website builders make all the aforementioned hassles go away in an instant. With these website builders, you can have a full-featured site running and functional in no time to get you started on your digital presence.
One of the biggest names and most trusted website builders is Wix. The service lets you build, customize and launch your very own website in six easy steps. Let’s take a quick look at who Wix is before exploring these steps.
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Wix introduced the drag-and-drop website builder that allows anyone to create websites that will “knock your socks off.” As such, the service offers hundreds of template options that make it easier to start designing websites. The platform is free and very user-friendly, eliminating any need for expert technical skills to come up with a powerful website where you can showcase your work or products.
The fact that it’s easy to create a website with Wix does not compromise site quality. Sites made with Wix are usually just as visually remarkable whatever the niche may be. It's the perfect tool to create websites for simple businesses, photo/art galleries, and online stores, among others. In fact, Wix is reported to be hosting 160 million websites at the time of writing.
What makes Wix stand out?
TechRadar named Wix as the top free website builder, and for good reason. As Wix promises to take your website to the next level, it offers tons of intuitive features starting with sophisticated design effects, reliable (not to mention free) hosting, and even an image editor. As a result, stunning websites that can achieve a professional look, even when created by a total beginner in web design.
That being said, here’s a step by step guide you can follow through to create a stunning Wix website.
1. Sign up
As you would when using any service online, the first step in creating a Wix website is setting up an account with Wix. And just like most of the websites you’ve been required to sign up for (think Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Apple), it’s super easy and takes no more than a few minutes.
Signing up with Wix gives you access to tons of free features you can use in creating your website (and tons more if you decide to sign up for premium. More of that later.)
Once you’re logged on to the Wix website, click on ‘Get Started’. It’s easy to find, right smack in the middle of the screen. As soon as you click on this button, Wix will ask for your email address and password. That’s it.
Depending where you are within the website, you can easily spot a similar button without having to go back. It might be labeled differently, but will have the same context. Some examples are “Sign up now” or “Explore,” but it might be different. If you think you’ve signed up before but never got to open it, you can try signing in instead.
After signing up, i.e., putting in your email address (twice) and your password (twice), Wix will welcome you to its platform. You will be prompted to click on the “Let’s Do It” button and what follows are a list of questions to help Wix determine how it can help you further.
Tip: You can also skip this part by clicking on Skip on the bottom right of the screen.
Wix then asks you whom you’re creating a site for. You can ask yourself these questions:
- Are you creating a site for yourself?
- Are you creating a site for a client?
- Are you an employee who has been tasked to create a website for the company?
- Are you simply creating a website for someone you know?
Depending on which one you click, Wix will give you a list of options of what kind of website you will be setting up. These options include business, blog, photography, online store, beauty and wellness, restaurant, music, portfolio, fitness, designer and events. Wix also lets you add if you’ve built sites professionally before or not at all. This lets the service know the level of your knowledge when it comes to building websites and your potential needs.
2. Start designing
This is when Wix lets you decide whether or not you want its Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to create your website for you using custom text and images, or if you want to use a template (you can choose from hundreds) in the Editor.
For this tutorial, we’re going to go ahead and choose to create the website using the available templates. Going with the ADI choice is especially helpful if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to look into designs and whatnot for your website.
As soon as you click on Choose a Template, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can choose any template for your blog. There is also an option for a blank template, should you want to personalize your website even more and put your skills to practice.
Templates are grouped by popularity, and you can also see the newest ones in the library. Alternatively, you can choose from categories: business, online store, photography, video, music, design, restaurants, travel and tourism, events, portfolio and CV, blog, health and wellness, beauty and hair, fashion and style, education and communities.
These categories are further divided to make your choice even more specific. For example, blog templates are categorized into personal, food and travel, news & business, art, fashion and beauty, sports and wellness, and podcasts.
Tip: Every template you can find on Wix has its own built-in color palette.
For this article, we’re going to choose Travelling Blog as our template of choice. When you click on a template, you’ll have the options to edit or view the template. Clicking on view gives you a glimpse of the desktop and mobile appearance of the template, or what your site will look like. Once you click on Edit, you can use your template of choice as your starting point.
Note: As you create your site, it is recommended that you save your work regularly to avoid losing any progress. Wix will also give you a quick video guide to help you as you go along.
3. Choose a domain
You may or may not have already chosen a domain name before you started creating your website, but now that Wix is prompting you to choose a domain for your site, you’re going to have to come up with one. There are tips for choosing the best domain name here that can help you if you’re having a hard time picking one out.
You have the option to get a free Wix.com domain or connect your own customized domain. Your changes will be saved in your site’s address, so it is mandatory that you have one. You can, however, choose to set up a domain name later and continue editing.
Once you’ve chosen your domain, click on Save and Continue. By default, Wix gives you the website domain yourusername.wixsite.com/mysite. The only part you can change here is mysite, but you can buy a domain name with Wix or connect your existing domain name.
4. Start building
By now, you can get your logo, branding, slogan, and marketing ideas all lined up and in place. It’s also okay not to have any of those yet, as Wix allows you to save any progress you’ve made and go back from wherever, in case an idea crosses your mind.
For now, you can focus on the different tools Wix provides you as soon as you start the building process:
- Pages - You can set your main pages and blog pages here, as well as set how you want the transitions to every page to look like. Main pages include your home page, blog page, about me page and work with me page. These are all customizable, depending on your preferences.
- Page background - Because pages look better with the right background. Wix lets you set different backgrounds for every page, or you can have the same one for multiple pages. It’s up to you. Here you can also select a color, an image, or a video for a background.
- Add - This is where you can add text, an image, a button, your gallery, videos and music, lists and grids, and all other helpful tools. You can also upload your own images should you want to use them for your site.
- Apps - You can add apps and view the available options here. Clicking on this option will take you to the Wix App Market where you can basically shop for apps you can use to power your website. Here, you can search for apps and check out the ones Wix recommends. These apps include scheduling platforms, ordering platforms, professional blog, online booking for hotels and restaurants, integrating QuickBooks, Mailchimp, and a whole lot more.
- Media - You can upload your media for your website from your computer or from social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, or straight from your Google Drive. This tool also lets you edit your images and videos without having to download and install external editors. Wix also offers free Wix images and videos and lets you choose from Shutterstock photos.
- Blog Manager - If you’re thinking of making your site big on blogs, this is a very helpful tool. The Blog Manager lets you manage your blog pages and add blog elements. Here you can create and manage blog posts easily. This is also where you can customize how you want your blog page/s to appear.
When every site is expected to be mobile-friendly, optimizing it is not an option. Your website has to be smartphone and tablet-friendly, unless you’re willing to lose customers, because 5.15 billion people around the world use mobile phones.
Wix lets you customize your mobile site easily. To do that, simply click on the mobile icon at the top left to make changes. When you click on this icon, you will be shown how your site will look on mobile, and apply any changes you want to make manually. Keep in mind that Wix already has your mobile site optimized, but making changes is still an option.
Although Wix lets you create your website for free, you’ll soon find the need to upgrade to their premium plans between $4.50 per month to $35 per month to get access to a free domain for a year, unlimited bandwidth, up to 50GB of storage, premium support, removing Wix ads and a lot more perks. You can choose between Website Plans and Business & eCommerce Plans for Wix premium.
Wix is a powerful website builder that gives a lot of fresh entrepreneurs a chance to improve their online presence and increase their traffic with an easy-to-build but powerful website. By simply answering a few questions, Wix can have your website automatically designed for you, or you can opt to apply your web design skills and choose your own style from thousands of design features made available for you even with a free account.
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