Update: Found this article which says Wix fix their SEO issues. You can read it here So if you wanna go with a Wix website it may now be a good choice.
You're ready to put some roots down online and create your interior design website. You've wondered about Wix vs Squarespace. Which is right for your business?
Lots of designers see Wix as the perfect solution as they tout it as the easy solution compared to creating a self-hosted Wordpress or Squarespace website. Wix provides nice looking templates and makes it easy to customize.
Wix Interior Design Website Issue #1: Their URLs
From what I can gather (and I'm no super tech geek), Wix uses AJAX Technology & HTML5. This allows them to provide a service to the end user to be able to make a purty website easily (but I'm not sure if an AJAX website can be seen by everyone).
That also means they add some extra characters to each of your page URLs. They are using something called a "Hashbang" where '#' and '!' (and some other random letters and numbers) are showing up in the URLs on the pages and posts of the websites. And there are tons of debates on how well it works on individual pages ranking well within Google with URLs.
Here's what that looks like:
Instead of what other website site structures offering which looks like:
My problem with it is that is a weird looking URL and if there was a specific page you were trying to send a client to they'd probably be confused.
Wix users and Wix itself seem to go back and forth on the hashbang and if Google will crawl the website. Wix says Google will crawl it, users hate the hashbang, online gurus argue over Google's ability to crawl it. Who knows. And after reading all the discussions frankly I'm confused and tired of trying to get to the bottom of it.
Wix Interior Design Website Issue #2: Their Templates
You can't change your template. You have to create a new site with a new template. From scratch. I don't like that because there are times I have used a theme for a few months and found something I needed to change. Making a change to a new theme required a few changes, but not an entire site rebuild.
Wix Interior Design Website Issue #3: The Mobile Responsive Issue
From what I can tell, your Wix websites aren't mobile responsive automatically, but you can edit them in their Mobile Editor.
Which means the website will not resize and adjust automatically to the screen size of the person viewing your website. It sounds like you need to create a mobile version of your website with their Mobile Editor. Ugh.
Wix Interior Design Website Issue #4: Moving Your Content In The Future
You can't export your content and take it to another option like Squarespace or Wordpress later on. That's YOUR content. Your blood, sweat and tears. And no you cannot take it anywhere. Whatever effort you put there will have to stay there forever or involve Copy/Pasting Hell for moving your content later to another website solution.
Not to mention that you will have to use some secret agent maneuvers to redirect your old blog posts and page URLs to your new digs on the website because of that pesky hashbang issue. And by secret agent, I mean hiring a tech geek so you don't lose your traffic, your website authority, Google rankings, and all the fans you have already built up.
Wix Interior Design Website Issue #5: Bandwidth
Wix will give you unlimited bandwidth on certain plans. (Squarespace gives you unlimited bandwidth on all plans). This is kind of like how much power it takes to serve your website up to your visitors. So if you got lots of pictures (like designers tend to), video, text, etc... if you don't have a premium plan, your visitors may not get to see it. So you definitely need to select one of their unlimited bandwidth plans.
Wix Interior Design Website Issue #6: Their Functionality
If you want to add a design questionnaire form to your website, you may have to buy an app from Wix if it's not included in your plan. One I found that started from $3.99. Squarespace has that built in without an additional fee.
Some of the Wix apps are free and some cost money - either a flat fee or monthly fee. At least, from what I've read, their apps are like Apple apps and not like Wordpress plugins... meaning that you shouldn't have an issue of them conflicting on your website because they check them out.
Would I use Wix?
No. I've been creating websites since the late 90s. Yes, their builder has drap and drop functionality that makes it easy to use. That's why so many interior designers choose it.
My BIGGEST issue here is that with every website I have ever created in Wordpress, and now Squarespace... my content has been mine to take. Wix currently has no option to allow you to take your website's contents anywhere else.
Seriously. If you're going to look out long term into your future and if you ever wanna consider moving your website... you're gonna be hating life. I'm not sure I'd want to build my business foundation online with a platform that won't allow me an exit strategy.
When you're ready to create a website that will grow with you, consider getting a Squarespace website. I've got a course to help you create your own interior design website in a weekend.