You are trying to start a website or an online store and someone suggested to use Wix websites because they are “free”?
But it is great to ask before you start: is Wix completely free to use?
Or are there hidden costs that are associated with it?
If so, then what should you do? And on which platform should you build your site?
These questions and more I will be answering in this short article, so, bear with me till the end.
Is Wix Completely Free to Use?
No, Wix is not free to use and it will never be, because there are many hidden costs associated with using “free” Wix websites that others hide from you, which I will explain here in order to help you save your time and effort.
7 Reasons Why a Free Wix Website Is Not Free
1 – You Don’t Own Your “Free” Wix Website
If you try to build a website with the free Wix plan, you can only build it on a subdomain that is owned by Wix itself, such as: MaryWardrobe.Wix.com.
You can’t build it on a domain that you own such as MaryWardrobe.com.
This means that you don’t own it!
At any moment Wix decides to discontinue the free plan, your website is gone! Unless you go with one of the paid Wix plans, which are expensive compared to other platforms or CMS hosting providers such as WordPress hosting services.
Or worse, if you decide to move to WordPress with a domain name that you own, you need to redirect all the pages from the free Wix website to the new website on your domain name, but Wix doesn’t guarantee you that.
This means that you lose any rankings on Google, and you lose the backlinks you have on others’ websites or on social media.
In a nutshell, if you use the “free” Wix websites, and you decide to move to another CMS or website builder, you need to start over.
This is a hefty cost of using what is claimed to be free.
Think long term.
2 – You Don’t Build a Long Term Brand & Business
People don’t really trust free websites that are built on sub-domains like example.Wix.com, or example.Weebly.com.
They think that people behind these websites are not serious about building a long-term, trustworthy business.
And that’s why, people who land on these websites don’t take them seriously, and don’t tend to take the actions they are told to take such as clicking on affiliate links to buy stuff, downloading something, subscribing to an email list, …etc.
This means that after you waste your time creating all the pages and adding the content to them, start driving traffic through ads or through free methods, you don’t get the desired results.
After a while, you might give up completely on your online business because of this situation, because you though that you are saving few bucks every months by using the free Wix plan.
While if you build your website on a domain name that you own, you are more likely to get better results.
But this doesn’t mean that you should buy one of the Wix paid plans, because there are many risks associated with using Wix for your website, such as the ones I mentioned in my article about using Wix for blogging.
3 – Wix Ads on Free Plans
When you use a “completely free” Wix website, Wix takes some spaces to show ads on YOUR website to YOUR audience!
And guess what, they don’t pay you a dime for those ads!
Does that make Wix look really free to you?!
You might say what is the problem with that, and I will tell you.
The problem with Wix ads on your free site is that they distract your audience from reading your content, and from taking the actions that you want them to take in order for you to make money.
For example, if you promote a product as an affiliate on your Wix free site, and your commission for every purchase is $10, if one of your site’s visitors was willing to purchase that product through your link, but he or she got distracted by the ads shown to them by Wix and clicked on it to go somewhere else, you have just lost the $10.
Imagine if this happens once a day, you will lose around $300 in commissions per month.
All of that because you wanted to save $5/month on a hosting plan that would allow you build your site on your domain name using WordPress where no one can show ads other than you.
And again, don’t use the paid Wix plans because even the basic one shows Wix ads on your site, and to get rid of them, you need the bigger plan that costs $8.5/month, which is expensive compared to WordPress sites.
4 – Limitations
Wix free plan, and even the paid plans, don’t allow you to do a lot of the stuff that you can do with other site builders and CMS softwares.
And this leads to lots of limitations and missed opportunities with your business.
For example, if you want to collect your site’s visitors’ emails in order to send them promotions in the future, you need to connect your website with an email autoresponder tool, but Wix free plan doesn’t allow that.
In addition, if you want to show pop-ups in order to ask people to take some action, you can’t do that.
And if you want to sell your own products on your Wix free site, you can’t add products or receive payments.
You need an expensive business plan to do so.
That’s a huge problem.
Loss of opportunities means that Wix is never free to use.
5 – You Get Locked-in
As I mentioned earlier, if you want to transfer a free Wix website to a domain name that you own, you need to use one of the Wix paid plans, which are relatively expensive.
And if you want to move your site completely outside Wix, you need to start all over again, because there’s no easy way to move a website from Wix that uses a closed CMS program, to WordPress, the best open source CMS for websites.
Add to that, you can’t redirect from your subdomain on Wix to the new website on WordPress.
This means that you are stuck with Wix and you need to use their paid plans, which are expensive, and that’s against the intention of saving money in the first place.
That’s why I recommend start with a domain name that you own on an open source platform like WordPress, which is easy to use for non-technical people.
6 – Unrealiable
Just check out the customer reviews about Wix on Trustpilot and you will see that people who use the paid Wix plans are facing all sorts of the problems with the company, such as website loading speed, website dead time, problems with receiving payments when using the professional plans that are even more expensive, and many more issues.
Having an unreliable website hosting platform like Wix free or paid plans is a serious issue that businesses face because a dead website or one that comes with lots of issues means that you lose customers who don’t like the experience they find on your website if you are using Wix to host it.
All of this just to save few bucks on a reliable WordPress hosting from A2 Hosting for example, the best alternative to Wix free and paid plans?
7 – Bad Support
What is worse than an unreliable platform?
It’s a bad support.
And again, Wix seem to be really bad when treating even paying customers, then how about those who use the free Wix plan?
The very low rating of around 1.5 of 5 stars is more than enough to show you how expensive it is actually to use Wix to build your business.
And worse, many of the angry customers are still using Wix paid and expensive plans just because they feel stuck now and don’t know how to move there website outside Wix.
Don’t put your business in the hands of others.
Conclusion – Wix Is Never Really Free
As you saw above, Wix is not really free to use and the negative effects of using it to build and host your site are way bigger than the benefit of “saving” few bucks a month on a reliable WordPress hosting from a reputable company like A2 Hosting (lowest price) or SiteGround.
The nice thing about WordPress is that there are many companies that allow you to host your site, and if the one you are using gets bad in terms of reliability and support, you can easily migrate your site to another company and still use WordPress.
While with Wix free or paid sites, it’s really a hassle to move your site to another hosting platform and CMS.
That’s why I say that Wix is never really completely free to use for your website or business.
My final recommendation for starting your website is to go to A2 Hosting, which offers hosting for WordPress sites at the lowest possible cost, with guru support and reliable servers.
4 thoughts on “Is Wix Completely Free to Use? (A Brutally Honest Answer)”
Thank you. I was going to TRY to make my own small site for Architecture. In the moment I only have 12 pics of an international contest and a 7 min video showing 90 more views.
I do own visualsenses.com BUT that was made in 1995 when I learned the basic HTML.
Since the life took over and I am not into designing sites.
Which REALLY free site would you recommend where I can try looks etc and then have it move to my site?
Thanks for your article stopped me from something doing something foolish.
Hello and thank you for your question!
You have two options in this case:
1 – If you plan to create content in the form of articles like I do on this very website you are visiting, then the best solution out there is to build it on the WordPress software (content management system), and there are many hosting companies that sell you this service, only paid, but some of them like A2 Hosting give a partial money back guarantee, and it is one of the most reputable companies that offer WordPress hosting for a relatively low price.
It is still much easier than coding with HTML from scratch, and there are lots of free tutorials on YouTube.
2 – If you don’t want to create many articles like on my website, but you mainly want to show case designs, and probably sell them and get paid, then the easiest and most robust platform is Shopify, and they offer a 14-day free trial that you can get here. It is very easy to use and the dashboard is super-intuitive, you will like it. You can try it for 14 days before you pay anything, and you can cancel if you don’t like it. If you wish to keep using it, it is $29/month, but it is worth much more thanks to its ease of use, reliability, and support.
Both options come with free layouts/templates/themes, and both come with paid ones as well.
Honestly, if you want something easy to learn, and something that doesn’t take lots of maintenance, then Shopify is the way to go.
I hope that was helpful. Please, let me know if you still have other questions!
I totally agree.
Thanks Lia for your comment!
I’m glad that you agree with me that everything comes with a price, and that includes Wix’s “Free Plan”, which locks in the users and makes them pay way more than what they should in the future.
Starting an ecom store on Shopify as in my Wix vs. Shopify comparison, or a website on WordPress is way better and much cheaper when taking everything into account.