WIX is a great platform for both beginners and people who want to make a free website and have it up and running as fast as possible.
WIX allows you to make a website with relatively low risk. They allow you to make a free website using their drag and drop editor. This means you can make a website with little to no money and without writing any code.
They’re also considered all inclusive. Meaning, many of the templates, apps, images and fonts you’ll need to make a WIX website can be found on WIX.
In WordPress or WIX? – we looked at some of the advantages and challenges of using WIX. In this section, we’ll be creating a WIX website. Let’s start by signing up for an account.
Create A Free WIX Account and Log In
For this exercise we’ll create a free WIX account. The free account lets you make as many websites as you wish.
I’d recommend starting with the free plan but if you choose to upgrade to a premium plan, make sure to use the Wix Promo Code. With the promo code you’ll recieve 10 percent off your purchase.
There are some notable differences between the Free vs Premium plans. Free plans:
- Must use a WIX domain name. e.g., https://example.wixsite.com/home
- Will display a WIX Banner.
- Have limited resources – i.e., limited storage space and bandwidth.
- Do not show website analytics.
Creating an Account
To Create A Free WIX Account:
- Go to wix.com and click Sign In.
- From the login screen click Sign Up.
- Enter your email address and a password then click Sign up. Optionally, you can log in with your Facebook or Google account. These services will share your name, email address and profile picture with WIX.
- During the sign-up process you’ll be sent a confirmation email to verify your email address. You’ll need to open the email and click Confirm Email Now to complete the sign-up process.
Log Into WIX
To log into WIX:
- Open the sign in screen.
- Enter your email address and password then click Log In. Optionally, you can also log in with your Facebook or Google account.
Make A WIX Website
WIX provides two tools to help you make a website. Before you make a WIX website, you’ll choose either ADI or The WIX Editor to guide you through the setup process.
With ADI, which stands for Artificial Design Intelligence, WIX will ask you a few questions, present some palettes containing fonts, colors and a design then create your website from your selections.
When you make a WIX website using the Editor, you’ll choose one of more than 500 WIX templates and begin editing the template. Essentially, you have more control over which design template your site will use when you make a website with the WIX Editor.
Make a WIX Website with the Editor
The WIX editor provides a quick way for you to make a website while still giving you control over key parts of the process.
For this exercise, we’ll use the Editor to make a website. If you’re curious how the ADI template works, feel free to go back and make another website with the ADI template.
To make a website using the WIX Editor:
- From the Account Screen click the Create Site button. If you’ve logged into WIX before and don’t have a Create Site option, click the Create New Site button.
- Select the type of site you want to create. E.g. Business, Designer, Blog.
- Under Create Your Website with the WIX Editor, click the Choose a Template button.
- Look through the WIX templates and find one you like. Click View and the template will open in a new window. Click Edit and the template will open in Edit mode.
- When you find a template for your website – open the template in Edit mode and click Save.
- You’ll be asked to enter a name for your website. Enter a name, click Save & Continue then Done. This will complete the website creation process.
- To exit the WIX Editor, click Site on the Top Bar and select Exit Editor. This will take you back to the Account Screen where your new site will be listed under My Sites.
Now that you’ve made your website, we’ll look at some tools you can use to edit it.
Editing Your WIX Website
There are some common functions that you’ll do over and over as you build your website. In this section, we’ll be taking a look at them and working through some exercises that will help you get familiar with WIX.
Editing Your Website with The Editor
The first thing you’ll want to do after you make a website is edit it.
To Edit A Website:
- From the Account Screen hover over the website and click Select & Edit. This will take you to the website Dashboard.
- From the Dashboard click Site Actions > Edit Site.
Menus are like a cookie jar – they store all the goodies or in this case, the main functionality. The first thing I do when I’m trying to learn a new web application is look through the menus and try to find the goodies.
Look through the menus and explore the different options they have. The four menus you’ll want to learn are:
Sidebar Menu (left side): The Sidebar Menu is where you’ll find the tools needed to build a webpage. Its where you can do things like add WIX apps, photos and change the background of a page.
Top bar: The Top Bar is where you’ll find functionality to help you navigate the editor or to do things that don’t apply to a specific page. For instance, you can change the page you’re editing or switch to mobile view. You can also add a favicon and view your site history.
Tool Bar: The Tool Bar is usually on the right side of the screen. If you don’t see it, go to Tools and check Tool Bar. The Tool Bar helps you work with elements. Here can you do things to elements like rotate, resize or reposition them.
Right-Click menu: The right-click menu comes up when you right-click an element on the page. If you want to learn what you can do with different items, right-click it to see which options are available. Generally, you can cut, copy and delete items from the right-click menu.
Without site pages, typically called web pages, you wouldn’t be able to make a website. They hold your content and make it possible for billions of people across the world to see what you have to say. They’re the most important part of your website.
In this section, we’ll take a look at how to create and manage pages. We’ll also look at how to set your home page.
Knowing how to manage your pages will save you time as you build your website. There are two things you should know about managing pages – where to manage them and how to switch between them.
Site pages are created and configured through Menus & Pages on the left-hand sidebar menu. If you’re trying to create, configure or arrange pages on the site navigation bar you can do it under Menus & Pages.
To switch between different pages in the editor, you’d use the Pages Menu. The Pages Menu is located in the top left-hand corner of your screen. From the Pages Menu you can view and switch between the pages on your website.
Adding a New Page
WIX allows you to add as many pages as you wish to your website.
To add a new page:
- Go to the Menus & Pages section of the Sidebar Menu.
- Click Add Page and you’ll see a new page added to your site menu.
- Enter a Name for the page and click Done.
After you add a page, you’ll notice it on the site menu for your website.
Set the Home Page
The home page is the most important page on your site. It’s the page that people land on when they go to your root domain. https://example.com. At some point, you might want to change your home page.
To change your homepage:
- Go to Menus & Pages.
- Click on the ellipsis (the three dots) on the page you’d like to be your homepage then click Settings.
- Where it says Make this your homepage? Click Set.
After setting your home page, go to your root domain https://example.com and verify your home page has been updated.
The Site Menu
The site menu is the navigational menu for your website. It’s usually located across the top of your website, but the location can vary depending on the template you’re using.
No matter where your site menu is located on your website, you’ll manage it though Menus & Pages on the left-hand sidebar menu. Here are a few things you can try to learn more about managing your site menu:
To Re-order links on your site menu:
- Go to Menus & Pages.
- On the right side you’ll see a list of pages to the right. Each page is a link. You can drag and drop the links in the order you’d like them to display on the site menu.
To Hide or unhide links on the site menu:
- Go to Menus & Pages.
- Click on the ellipsis (the three dots) on the page.
- Select either show or hide. One or the other shows up depending on the current status of the page.
When the page is hidden, the page will have an icon that looks like an eye with a line through it.
To Create a subpage of another page:
- Go to Menus & Pages.
- Drag the page you want to be the subpage under the page you want to be the main page.
- Click on the ellipsis (the three dots) on the page and select Subpage.
Note: To see the page when it’s a subpage, hover your mouse over the main page and you’ll see a drop-down menu with the subpage.
Text and Links
When you make a website, you spend a lot of time working with text and links. In this section, we’ll take a look at how to add links and customize text on a web page.
Note: If you’re comfortable working with text and links, feel free to skip this section.
To Add text to a page:
- Click on Add on the left-hand sidebar then Text.
To add a link to the page:
- First add some text to your page then highlight the text you want to use for the link.
- Click Edit Text and select the link icon.
- Select what you want to link too Page, Web Address etc.
- Select the Page or enter a Web Address and click Done.
To learn more about working with text watch: How to Add, Edit, Customize and Link Text.
After watching the video, work through the following exercises to practice your text and linking skills.
- Adding text to your website.
- Changing the size of the text.
- Changing the font of the text.
- Change the character and line spacing.
- Create a link from text.
- Point the link to a page on your site.
- Point the link to a Web Address on the internet.
- Make the link open in a new window.
Images illuminate your WIX website and make it more appealing to visitors. In this section, we’ll look at where to get images and how to work with them in WIX.
Before using images on your website, it’s important to make sure you have permission to use them. Let’s take a look at how to get free images that don’t infringe on other copyrights.
Getting Images Through WIX
WIX provides free images that you can use on your website. You can search through their images and either add them to a page or save them to My Favorites for later use.
To add images to My Favorites:
- Click on Add on the left-hand sidebar then Image.
- Under Image Collections click Free WIX Images.
- Use the Filter by options to filter down to an image you want.
- Click on the image then click the star icon in the top right corner.
- The image should now be in My Favorites.
Note: if you prefer to use illustrations, WIX also has free illustrations under Add > Image < Image Collections > Free WIX Illustrations.
Getting Images from Third-Party Sites
WIX isn’t the only place you can get free images. There are several free stock photography sites where you can get them too. Three popular stock photography sites are:
Note: While most of the images on these sites are free to use for personal and commercial use, it’s always good to double check the license agreement for each image you decide to use to make sure its compatible with how you’ll be using it.
Uploading Images To a WIX Website
After you download an image, you’ll have to upload it to WIX before you can use it on your website.
To upload an image from your computer:
- Click on Add on the left-hand sidebar then Image.
- Under My Uploads click My Image Uploads > Upload Media.
- Click Upload From Computer, select your image and click Open. You can also drag and drop and image to the screen if you prefer that option.
- Your image should now be visible under Site Files.
Learning to Use Images On a WIX Website
Now that you have some images, its time to learn how to work with them in WIX. This short video will show you How to Add, Upload, Customize & Link Images. After watching the video, brush up on your image skills by trying the following:
- Add an image to a page.
- Resize the image.
- Crop the image.
- Make the image a link to another page.
Desktop and Mobile
Your website will look different depending on how your visitors are viewing it. WIX allows you to customize your website for either Desktop or Mobile.
When you open the Editor, you’ll be in desktop mode. As you make your website, WIX will automatically convert the desktop version to a mobile version.
If you want to make specific changes to the mobile version, at the top of the editor, click the mobile icon next to Site. Any changes you make to the mobile version of your site won’t affect the desktop version.
Watch Welcome to the Mobile Editor then try the following:
- Try hiding something.
- Change the font size.
- Change the size of an image.
- Optimize the page layout.
Adding WIX Apps
WIX Apps are applications built by developers that allow you to add functionality to your web pages. WIX provides hundreds of apps, many of which you can use with a free account. Some of the features you can add to your site are:
- Photo and Video Galleries
- Online Stores
- Social Media functions
Note: WIX has hundreds of apps you can choose from. If you’ll like to see some of the most popular here’s a list of Must-Have Apps.
Let’s try adding an app to your webpage from the WIX App Market. For this example, I’ll add the Facebook like popup.
To add an app:
- Click Add Apps from the Sidebar Menu (left side).
- Scroll down to view a list of app categories and click Social.
- Hover over the Facebook Like Popup and click Add to Site.
- In the popup menu Click Add App. This will add the app to the lower right corner of the page.
Now that you’ve added an app to your site, you’ll need to configure it. Many of the apps have a settings menu with different sections. Under these sections you can configure the functionality of your app.
To configure the Facebook Like Popup app:
- On the page you added the app, click the Settings button above the app.
- From the Main section, click Add Page URL.
- Enter the URL to your Facebook page under Add your Facebook Page URL then click Confirm.
If your URL was confirmed successfully, you’ll see a green check box pop up and the number of likes on your Facebook page will appear on the app.
Some other settings you can configure on the Facebook Like Popup app are:
- The Title and Message that appears on the popup.
- Which Page the popup appears on.
- How often its displayed – e.g. Every Visit or First Visit Only.
You might notice that this app has an option to upgrade. You’ll see this on many of the apps. For this particular app, you’ll be able to add your own branding for $1.99 a month.
If you decide that you don’t like the app, it’s easy to remove from the page. Just select the apps and press the delete button.
Note: Not all apps are deleted in the same way. To find out how to delete any app:
- Open the dashboard for the website the app is installed on.
- Click apps on the left-hand menu then manage apps.
- Click on the three ellipse (three dots next to the app) and select How to Delete.
Now that you’re familiar with how to add and configure apps, take a look at the WIX App Market and see if there are any apps that would enhance the functionality of your website.
The WIX Website Dashboard
As you make your first website, you quickly realize there’s more to it than creating web pages. There are items that effect the entire website, not just single pages. These items may include apps, email, your logo and fav icon. In addition, to make your site successful you’ll need to market your site and interact with visitors. The WIX website dashboard provides the tools to manage these features.
In this section, we’ll be looking at Five Main Sections of the management dashboard:
- The Main Dashboard
- Customer Management
- Marketing Tools
Note: If you’re using a free WIX account, some of the tools we cover may be scaled down or only available with a premium account.
Opening the Website Dashboard
Each website has its own dashboard and there are two ways you can open it – From My Sites and from the Editor.
To open the Website Dashboard:
- From My Sites:
- Hover over the website and click Select & Edit.
- From the Editor:
- Click Settings > My Dashboard.
The Main Dashboard
The main dashboard has several tools you can use to manage your website. You can get to these tools through links on the left-hand navigation bar.
When you first open the dashboard, you’ll be on the dashboard home screen. The dashboard home screen shows you how far along you are in the setup process and gives you tasks to complete. You can either do these tasks or choose to skip them.
Below the dashboard link you’ll see a list of apps. The template that you use for your website determines which apps are available. For instance, on a business website you’ll have the Booking Services and Booking Calendar apps. In a Photo Gallery, in addition to the Booking Services and Booking calendar apps you’d have a Photo Albums app.
As more people start to visit your site, you’ll need tools to manage these interactions. WIX provides these tools under the Customer Management section of the dashboard. Under Customer Management you can manage CRM (customer relationship management) through your:
- Contact List
- Form Submissions
- Site Members
Marketing your website and driving traffic to it is important to every webmaster. WIX provides marketing tools for you site under the Marketing tools section of your website. Under here you’ll find tools such as:
- Get Found on Google
- Email Marketing
- Social Posts
- Marketing Integrations
Every website has general settings that need to be setup. These settings are configured under Settings. Under Settings you can find:
- General Info
- Roles & Permissions
The apps section of the dashboard gives you a link to the WIX Apps Market so you can find apps. Once you install apps, you can manage them through the Manage Apps link.
From Manage Apps, you can Open, Upgrade and Find Support for your app. Another feature under the ellipsis or three dots is “How To Delete”. Some apps use different ways to delete the apps. From here you can learn how to delete it.
The WIX Help Center
The WIX Help Center is a library full of information documenting how to use WIX. Out of all the ways to make a website, WIX is one of easiest website builders to use and one of the most well documented.
To learn more, check out: The WIX Editor Help Center.
Step by Step videos
WIX has some Step-by-Step videos that are available from within the WIX Editor. As you build your site you might want to check them out. To view them:
Log into the Editor then click Help > Step-by-Step videos.
If you need to talk to a live agent, WIX has callback phone support. What this means is you can request a call back from an agent via email and they will return your call during support hours.
For more information see Contacting WIX by Phone.
The WIX Arena
In the WIX Arena, you can hire Web Designers to make a WIX website for you. To get to the WIX Arena:
- Log into WIX and click on Help.
- Under Hire a WIX Partner click on the link that says Find a WIX Partner.