If you are looking to setup a personal webpage or blog without spending big, free hosting might prove to be an attractive option. While there are various drawbacks to hosting your site with a free provider, one of the best options out there when it comes to site building and free hosting is Wix, the smoothest service of its kind around today.
Signing up for free hosting has plenty of drawbacks, with forced advertisements on your site, heavy restrictions on resources, and very questionable reliability. It is also true, however, that free hosting might also be a good option if your looking to host a minimalist site with mainly static content.
So, do you fall into the right group when it comes to looking for free hosting? If yes, keep reading our Wix review to see if they might be the right fit for you!
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 20 GB storage
- No 3rd party advertisements
- Setup your site in under 10 minutes!
- E-mail not included
- 15 MB file size limit for uploads
Wix was founded in 2006 in Tel Aviv, Israel with the hopes of launching a fully interactive, browser-based site building service at a time when most other alternatives were either spammy or grossly inadequate. Wix is very proud of their quick setup times and with good reason, as we were able to sign up, design, and publish our test blog in under 10 minutes!
Although Wix does offer free hosting as part of their service, their primary focus is on their simple drag and drop site builder, which comes loaded with dozens of site templates you can start off with and customize based on your specific needs. The browser based tool also comes with the option to install numerous apps on your site, from social sharing buttons to form builders. We setup a Facebook like popup on our test blog, which was installed instantly!
When it comes to hosting your site, Wix offers free hosting, albeit with a few notable differences from what paid hosting typically provides. For starters, there are Wix banners that will run across the entirety of the bottom of the page, in addition to mobile advertisements if someone is viewing your site on mobile. Secondly, if you don’t own your own domain name, you’ll be forced to use the default site URL format, which comes in the form of “username.wix.com/sitename”.
As far as resources go, all Wix free sites come with 500 MB of storage and 500 MB of bandwidth, which while not excessive, should prove acceptable for a low traffic, mostly static site. You can double this bandwidth to 1 TB, remove the ad banners, and enjoy additional benefits for $4.08 a month, which is their “basic” premium plan. Higher tier plans come with increased limits, along with a free domain name and Google advertisement credits.
Wix Video Review
Check out this video about just how easy it is to get started using Wix!
Of course one of the biggest drawbacks to choosing a free hosting provider is the inevitable drop off in performance when compared to paid hosting services. As free hosting providers tend to provide shared hosting environments, this means that you are also sharing servers with thousands (or more!) of other people. Backups are created of your site on servers all around the world, which allows visitors to view a version of your site that is best suited for their geographical location.
While we didn’t expect Wix to come close to offering the same page load times and reliability that comes with a premium hosting provider, we gave our test page a speed test using Pingdom’s Website Speed Test tool to see how they stack up. To our surprise, we got some really impressive load times for our four MB test page, with a 1.57s load time from Pingdom’s Amsterdam test server, while we got an even more impressive 1.36s load time from their NYC location.
Let us stress once again that while this “freemium” business model does provide you with free hosting in addition to their site building service, this will not replace the value and benefits of hosting with one of our recommended providers, such as Site5 or Fastcomet.
Wix Interface & Security
Wix’s control panel is all inclusive, as you can modify your site, handle billing and other account-related tasks including managing e-mail from the comfort of the main interface.
As the main focus is on easy site building, it makes sense that their site builder is both highly intuitive and full of options such as various multimedia apps, customized buttons, and multiple menu styles. In addition to this, you can also right-click on any part of your site to modify it with the site editor, a function that is both highly appreciated and mostly uncommon among other site building services.
Wix also automatically customizes sites for mobile viewing, although you can still manually edit the mobile version of your site through their mobile site editor. It’s important to keep in mind that while sites hosted with Wix will include brand advertisements, mobile versions of your site will continue to display ad banners unless you sign up for a “Combo” plan that starts at $8.25 a month.
Wix’s security has recently made headlines, as they were part of an attempted attack by the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers who have had success with attacks against the likes of The Onion, Reuters, and many others. Luckily, Wix was able to detect and neutralize the attack before it compromised their servers with millions of Wix user accounts.
In addition to a standard firewall and malware scanner protecting your data, they are also PCI Data Security Standards (DSS) compliant as well as being accredited as a level 1 service provider and merchant.
Wix Customer Service
Customer service is offered in the form of a help desk that allows you to view and create public support tickets regarding non-urgent issues. They also have offer telephone support, although you do have to schedule a phone call in order to get a time slot, as their phone support is only available Monday-Friday between 7 AM and 4 PM PST.
While we are focusing on Wix’s free service, if you do end up enjoying what they provide you can purchase their premium packages which include a 14 day money back guarantee to help alleviate any potential fears you may have.
Wix Review Conclusion
- Default mobile responsive
- Quick setup time
- Hundreds of apps available
I wasn’t so sure about
- No dedicated 24/7 phone support
- 15 MB file size limit
- No e-mail options
Once again, we can’t stress the importance of finding reliable hosting if you want your website to be successful in the long run. While Wix is a nice free hosting alternative and their site builder is a treat to use, they cannot overcome the multitude of benefits when it comes to paid hosting, especially if you have a high traffic or e-commerce site.
That being said, Wix is certainly an attractive choice due to it’s user friendly and simple approach. Signing up is quick and easy, while setting up and launching a website can be done in less than 10 minutes. Give Wix a try today and let us know your thoughts!