For anyone who knows what Flash websites look like, they realize the effectiveness it can have on the visitor. Flash is seen on some of the biggest and best websites. In order to create a Flash website, you usually have to pay an expert a lot of money to create what you are after. However, there are now website builders that specialize in Flash and one of the most well established and more popular ones is Wix.
Getting Started with Wix
Wix offers a variety of services, some free and some pay. In order to take advantage of their free service, you simply go to the Wix home page and click ‘begin.’ Once you do you will be asked to enter your e-mail address and a password. Once you enter in that information you get instant access to the free stuff.
Once inside, you can choose to upgrade, or you can see what is offered for free. As with anything in life that is free, it is good to spend a little bit of time messing around with the free service before you decide if you want to pay for the full fledged service or not.
All the Wix pay services start at $4.99 per month and you have to choose what is best for you in the way of services. Some services come with a lot of bells and whistles and some are more plain vanilla, but you should certainly see what package you need before you continue.
Choosing a Template with Wix
Wix allows you to look through their huge selection of templates so that you can get to make a website all your own. Their templates will be fully Flash ready and will only require you to give all the information about your personal or business website in order to make it yours alone.
When searching for your template, you will be able to view a small snapshot of what the the website looks like. You can search one page at a time, or over on the left hand side of their main page, you will see that their templates are broken up by category, such as business, ecommerce, and even Facebook Pages.
Once you find the template you like, be sure it says ‘free’ in the lower right hand corner and if it does, click on it. Now you will be taken to a full version of the sample website with generic information contained in it. At this point, you are ready to begin customizing the template to create the website you have in mind for yourself or for your business. Just click ‘edit’ on the upper right hand corner to start.
Creating Your Website with Wix
With your Wix template in place you are now ready to roll. Once you click on the edit button a whole new screen comes up which displays all the different options you have for editing such as add, background, and files. Every time you mouse-over one of these choices, a whole set of additional choices comes out horizontally. For example, you can mouse over ‘Add’ and you will have choices such as adding text, pictures, and more. You simply click on what you want to add and a box appears on the website. You can then insert what you want, like text and then drag that text anywhere on the page.
After doing this for some time, your website will begin to take shape. An easy method to use is to look at the generic info and use it as a guide. Then, replace the generic info with your own.
Once you have fooled around with the website and added some things to make it your own, you can preview what it will look like. At this point you should save your progress and if you don’t, Wix will give you a ‘YO!’ reminder to do so. You then have the option to have Wix publish your website or return to the editing page.
It is easy to get lost with the sea of options that you have with a free Wix website template and Wix anticipated this. That’s probably why there is a two minute video right there that you can click on and watch which will help you understand a little bit more about the editing process.
The key is to stick with it. Once you try something once, you will see what happens. Remember, you don’t have to save any changes that you don’t like and it is easy enough to make changes even if you don’t like what you have done to your website at any point along the way.
Finding Help with Wix
As well as the initial video you should watch in order to help you understand the editing process a bit better, there are other ways in which Wix offers you help should you need it at any point in your Flash website building process. In order to access their help resources, you need only click on the ‘help’ button at any time.
Once you do you are taken to the help center where you will have a number of options to choose from help-wise. Here you have the following choices:
• Get Started: This resource is the quick intro video that was mentioned earlier and that you may have already watched at this point. If you haven’t yet watched it, then it is a good idea to do so.
• How To: This section offers a variety of video tutorials on a wide range of Wix topics. Here you will find help with such topics as, menus, widgets, HTML, and more. After watching these informative videos you should be able to tackle any problem you have with full confidence.
• Publish Your Site: This section offers you hints and help on how to publish and promote your website once it is complete.
• Ask a Question: Here you have a box where you type in your question. Once you have asked your question, hit go and before you can blink an answer is generated. One nice feature here is that Wix offers many screenshots for you to view when it is giving you directions on how to do something on your website so you can see exactly how to do something with visual aids, not just words.
Wix Ease of Use
The Wix interface is certainly one that can be used by almost anyone. While the process of creating Flash is extremely hard, Wix does all the heavy lifting for you. So, it is true that you will ultimately be creating a Flash website, but in reality, using Wix website builder is not really that much more different than using any other website builder. Even the most technically challenged person should be able to adequately handle the Wix interface.
Advantage to Upgrading with Wix
At any point along the way, Wix will give you the option to upgrade your account from a freebie account to a pay account. If you upgrade to a pay account there are several distinct advantages that you will enjoy such as:
• Use your own domain name instead of the extra long one generated for you by Wix.
• Have all Wix advertisements removed, which looks more professional.
• Get premium VIP customer support and have even more help should trouble arise.
• Be able to install Google Analytics to your website for tracking website traffic.
Additionally, you can get a bunch of extras when you upgrade to a pay account with Wix. To start with you get two advertising vouchers for free. One voucher is for Facebook and is worth $50.00. The second voucher is from Google and is worth $75.00. Finally, you get a full year of website hosting for free.
Again, there is plenty you can do for free with Wix, but in the end to be truly effective, you will more than likely want to sign up for a pay account. With prices that start out at $4.99, it really isn’t that bad of a deal for a full fledged Flash website.
Wix in Review
When it comes to websites, there is no denying that Flash websites are among the best looking. The interactive Flash designs are typically very delightful for visitors. Although only for those who had extreme knowledge or money at one time, now Flash websites are readily available for the masses thanks to Wix.
Because Wix allows you to have free access to almost all of their goodies, they are certainly worth at least trying out. Since there is no time limit on how long you can use the free services, you can really take your time and dig into all that they have to offer. After you have given it some due time and attention, you can then make the decision to use their pay services or look at another Flash website builder.
Another Wix user review…
The idea behind Wix website builder is to help business owners create their own eye-catching site quickly and easily. Wix deals with search engine optimization and has an intuitive drag and drop editor that is designed to make the creation process as easy and fun as possible. Every Wix website has HTML code that can be read by search engine spiders thus ensuring you rank on major search engines like Google. The site was founded in February 2006 by a trio of individuals and continues to expand and innovate.
There is a standard free starter package which has a limited amount of space and options. In order to get the full gallery of prices, you need to log into the Wix site after becoming a member. Their Unlimited package allows you to make as many pages and sites as you wish with unlimited bandwidth. Oddly, you only receive a maximum of 2.5GB of storage space. While this should be more than enough, it seems peculiar to have a limit of any kind on what is supposed to be an unlimited package.
It doesn’t matter if you have zero website design experience, Wix’s web content management system means you will have little difficulty when it comes to creating your masterpiece. Choose between their array of professional templates and adjust the color, size and number of sections while adding music, video, pictures and more. Once you have created your own template, save it for future use.
All files on the Premium version of Wix can be uploaded at once or in various groups. These files are then stored safely in a cloud and be accessed whenever you like. Files can be imported from other sites with easy editing available. This makes the process of making changes a simple task. Wix probably has more widgets than any other website builder which allows you to create a truly unique website.
The Wix support page has sections on how to improve the search engine optimization prowess of your site. Learn how to change the site title and description to be seen by search engine bots. Google Analytics is an excellent tool for tracking website statistics and you are urged to use it.
Aside from the fact that the ‘Unlimited’ package offers limited storage space, the other main concern with Wix is the relatively poor security features. On the plus side, you can preview changes before making them final but the site still needs to be backed up manually and SSL does not work with Wix. One way to get around this is by getting customers to pay via PayPal.
Security issues aside, Wix website builder is an extremely impressive content management system. The interface is so easy to use and will make even the least gifted website designer feel like an expert. The price of the unlimited package is also extremely reasonable and there are an incredible number of options. One problem is that you may spend hours fiddling with the tools available in order to create the perfect website.