Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wix - The Ultimate Website Design Tool

I am an independent portrait and wedding photographer in Madison, Wisconsin.  Until recently, I had been hosting my site with Zenfolio.  For approximately $60/year, I had a decent amount of features, was able to use my own domain, and it was quite SEO friendly.  I ranked within pages 2-3 for Madison, Wisconsin Portrait Photographer. 

However, I am now expanding my business from more of a hobby to an actual business.  And while my page rankings with Zenfolio were great, that was about the only advantage.  The negatives: lackluster layouts, sloppy looking pages, Zenfolio branding all over, and not very user-friendly. Sure, I could have upgraded to the $120/year package, but the only advantage for me was removal of the Zenfolio branding.  The rest of the options were mainly e-commerce focused, which I am not needing. So, the hunt for a new website builder began. 

I set up trials and started building pages with more of them that I can even remember...Weebly, Moonfruit, SmugMug, Webs, Squarespace, etc.  But for one reason or another - be it lack of customization, not user friendly, overpriced, lack of SEO customization - I would give up and search again.  I kept seeing Wix pop up in searches and wish I would have tried it first.

I love Wix.  This is the simplest, cheapest, SEO-friendliest, website builder I have found.  There are numerous templates to choose from to build basically any website you need.  All are professional looking and some are down right stunning.  Once you have your basic design created, there are multiple features you can add with a simple drag and drop. PayPal, Social Media Links, Media Players - and Wix has its own Beta App shop.  There are easy to use SEO options - I easily linked my custom domain, set up Google WebMaster Tools and Google Analytics.  But the part that I was most excited about? The incredibly easy to configure Mobile App link.  It looks awesome. (See photo below).  And on top of everything, the site is performing quite well in Google and Bing rankings.  I couldn't be happier.

What does all this cost? A mere $15.95 per month.  This package includes removal of Wix branding and ads, 2.5GB storage, unlimited bandwith, a Favicon (!), custom domain, free hosting and fully customizable templates.  The only higher priced package is $19.90/month and includes all this plus a shopping cart.  I cannot speak for how their e-commerce site would work, as I have not used it. However, based on how impressive the rest of what Wix offers, I would imagine it's just as great!

My Wix site has been up and running for about a week now.  I still make little tweaks here and there, and am still impressed at how amazing it looks.  It's perfect for my business needs.  

You can view my site here: Vejvoda Photographics 

For anyone looking for the best website builder out there - I hope you have stumbled upon my blog and will try out Wix!

Jennifer Johnson
Vejvoda Photographics
Madison Wisconsin