If you were looking for one of the most popular platforms for building a website from scratch, you’ve found it in Wix.
Wix has quickly gained a reputation for being extremely beginner-friendly, flexible and easy-to-use. If you’re a small business owner or a budding artist, Wix has several hundred attractive, professionally designed templates that can be customized to fit your unique brand.
Like Squarespace and WordPress.com, Wix is an “all-in-one” website building platform. That means they do all the heavy lifting from a content hosting, design and coding perspective. All you need to do pick a template, add your content and customize the overall look and feel to your heart’s content. Of course, you do sacrifice some freedom in terms of being able to design a website from the ground up, but Wix allows you to get online with a professional-looking website in minutes.
Here, we’ll cover step-by-step how to get started building a Wix website from scratch.
Wix Editor or Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI)?
You can create a Wix website from scratch two different ways.
First up is the Wix Editor, the main web-building platform. Wix Editor lets you choose from and customize from dozens of templates. It uses a very beginner-friendly drag-and-drop functionality that lets you position images and content exactly how you like.
The second editing method is through Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI). Rather than design your website yourself, Wix lets you hand over the keys to its artificial intelligence. This route is a great option if you aren’t super web-savvy yet or are just pressed for time and want to get online fast.
Here’s how it works: ADI will get started by prompting you with a few simple questions about the website you’re trying to create for your personal or business needs. Based on what you tell it, ADI will choose from billions of design elements and combinations to create a fully custom, professional-looking website for you in minutes. If you have social media or another website kicking around, you can provide that info to ADI and it will incorporate content from that into your new Wix website.
Once ADI has completed your design, you can still go in and make changes until you’re fully happy with how things are looking.
Use Wix apps to your advantage
The Wix App Market contains a robust selection of web apps that can be installed at any time to add specific features or functionality to your site.
For example, if you need a blog section, a photo gallery or a fillable form tool for booking appointments, simply install the corresponding apps and you’re set.
Building an e-commerce site and have products to sell? Adding the Wix “Online Store” app allows you to integrate with major online retailers like Amazon, accept payments and more.
Keep in mind that certain web apps may only offer full functionality with “premium” paid Wix accounts.
How to build a Wix website – step by step
Here, we’ll cover picking a monthly plan, choosing a template, working with the Wix Editor tools, setting up a custom domain and then publishing your newly created site.
Time: 0-2 hours
Cost: $0-$35/month, varies depending on plan
- Wix account,
- .CA domain
How to build a Wix website
Create an account and pick a Wix Plan
The good news is, if you don’t feel like spending ANY money, you can get by with a free Wix account and keep it for as long as you want. The bad news is, the free plan doesn’t get you access to e-commerce funtionality or allow you to connect a custom domain name. (Squarespace, by the way, offers a 14-day free trial period that eventually forces you to pick from its paid plans).
Wix offers a variety of plans, here is a brief summary. Keep in mind that all prices are in USD:
Summary of Wix paid plans:
For $5/month (USD), you get the bare bones “Connect Domain” plan. This lets you connect your own custom domain rather than using the free, default yourcoolwebsite.wix.com domain. This plan (along with the “free” plan also displays Wix brand ads on your site.
Next up is the “Combo” plan at $10/month, which allows you to connect a custom domain, gives you a free domain for one year (if you decide to register it with Wix), removes the Wix brand ads and serves up more bandwidth and storage. Wix recommends the “Combo” plan for personal use.
One of the most popular options is the “Unlimited” plan at $14/month, aimed at entrepreneurs and freelancers. This plan is ideal if you’ll need a lot of web space for content, such as photos, music or videos.
Next is the “VIP” plan at $29/month, that provides more apps–including a professional logo builder–and access to first-priority support response.
If you want to accept online payments, you’ll have to choose from three Wix Business and eCommerce plans.
At $20/month, the “Business Basic” plan gets you started with accepting online payments and a few other features like Google Analytics support, custom domains and unlimited bandwidth.
The most popular business/e-commerce plan is “Business Unlimited,” at $25/month, which gives you everything included in the Business Basic” plan in addition to a professional logo builder app.
The top end “Business VIP” plan comes in at $35/month and adds priority response and VIP tech support so any questions or issues you might have are automatically pushed to the front of the queue.
A nice feature of all the business and e-commerce plans is that they’re 100% commission-free so you’re not giving up a percentage of your online sales. Get more details on Wix pricing and features.
Choose your Wix template
Get rolling by clicking “Create a new site” from the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of your dashboard.
After clicking, Wix will ask what type of website you’d like to create. Say, for example, you pick “Restaurants & Food”, you’ll then be taken to a page of the most relevant templates to pick from. If none of the options presented work, you can use the search bar to seek out more templates.
Just remember – once you choose a template you can’t go back and change it–you’re locked in. So, be sure you give your template selection a sober second thought to ensure you’re 100 per cent happy.
Start adding pages and content
Once you’ve picked your winning template, you’ll be able to see the Wix Editor dashboard and a preview page. Before we dive into content editing, let’s take a quick look at your editing tools.
- In the middle of the screen is your website. Any changes you make can be previewed in real time.
- The left side of the screen contains all the basic building blocks and design options, such as your background editor, uploads and Wix App Market.
- The right side of the screen houses all the various options for positioning, deleting, duplicating and adjusting all the various pieces of content on your site.
Editing content is done through a straightforward “drag-and-drop” system that lets you click on any element on the page to change its settings, resize, reposition, change colours and more. To edit a text box, simply click on a piece of text and then re-write. You can also tweak the font, size and colour as needed.
If your template comes with stock images, you can always swap them out for photos saved on your computer, use one of Wix’s premium stock images or check out our Canadian stock images.
To add, delete, rename or re-order your website’s pages, click “Menus and Pages” in your left-hand Wix Editor menu. Adding a new page is done by clicking the “+ Add Page” button at the bottom of your screen.
Also, be sure to add other elements to lend your site a truly individual feel. Click “Add” on the left-hand Wix Editor menu and select from a wide assortment of elements, including galleries, video and music players, slideshows, call-to-action buttons and more. Once you’ve selected the element you’d like to add, drag and drop it to the right place on your page.
Lastly, Wix also lets you quickly and easily add a blog to your website. Just click the “Start Blogging” button in your left-hand Wix Editor menu, then select “Add Now,” which adds the Wix Blogging Manager app to your site. Next, select “My Blog” and “Create New Post” to start creating new posts. Selecting “My Blog” followed by “Manage Posts” lets you edit, update and delete already-published posts.
Publish your creation
Once your Wix website is ready to share with the world, simply click the “Publish” in the top right corner of the screen. However, before everything goes live, Wix will prompt you to create a free Wix.com domain (which shows up as yourcoolsite.wixsite.com/yoursiteaddress) or connect a custom domain. Psst – we can show you how to get your very own custom .CA domain connected and working in just a few easy steps! .CA domain connected and working in just a few easy steps!
There – wasn’t so bad, was it? We hope these first few steps should set you up nicely in building a brilliant Wix website!