Wix website builder

How to create a free website with Wix

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Wix is one of the world's best online website builders with over 55 million sites created, and you can get setup for free in minutes by following our step-by-step guide.

SME Pals previously did a direct comparison review of Wix against another leading site builder tool called Weebly. You can see the results at comparing Wix vs Weebly. We found that because of Wix's focus on rich, HTML5 themes and templates, they are perfectly suited for sites that have a visual focus.

Artists, photographers, designers, and just about anyone who draws, sings, sketches, films, talks, or needs to show off products and services using rich media on a beautiful platform should be using Wix. Best of all, you don't need to know a thing about Internet technologies. No coding, and no special Web design experience required. Ready? Let's get started...

1. Create a Wix account

create a Wix website

The first step is to register an account with Wix by supplying your email address (or your favorite social media account) and a password (Hint: It's a good idea to open this link in a new tab so you can follow on with the rest of the guide here):

Create a Wix account

2. Choose a website type

Wix has a huge range of themes and templates for virtually any type of site, and to make things a bit easier you can choose the "best fit" option right at the start:

choose a website type

You are able to change your mind at a later date, but if you are unsure at this point, read our list of website builders matched to the sites they are best suited to first.

If you are going to sell stuff online then I recommend you go with one of the leading eCommerce website builders instead.

3. Pick a website template

Here's where you can see the real power of Wix in action. By choosing the best website template, you can completely design your site at the click of a button:

choose a website template

There are plenty of great, free templates to choose from, but if you decide to "upgrade" at a later point, it's easy to come back and browse through their high quality professional templates.

Once you have found a template you like, click "Edit" to start working with it.

4. Edit the template

The editor is a complete graphical design interface that can be used to make changes to each and every aspect of the template. For example, click on the site's title in the editor and change the text to the name of your new site:

edit the site template

It's a good idea to play around with the editor to get a feel for what's on offer. Click on any part of the site to bring up a context menu that shows options relevant to that part of the page.

You can change anything - including any clip art, graphics, text, and so on. However, don't get confused by the difference between page design changes, and the content of the site.

As an exercise, click on and explore the functionality in each and every menu item on this page (including the navigation menu items down the left side of the screen, and all the menu items along the top of the screen).

In the screenshot above you can see a few blog posts. These are presented on the front page as you post them - they aren't part of the site's design. In fact, the top blog post provides instructions on how to add content. We'll look at that in a moment.

Once you have made a few changes, you can either "Preview", "Save" a draft copy, or "Publish" the changes.

5. Save the template

Go ahead and click "Publish" to see the changes in action. At this point, Wix will want a name for this site:

save the site template

Provide something meaningful, but bear in mind that it is a good idea to find and purchase a good domain name - rather than using the complicated and unattractive default. You can do this at a later stage by upgrading, once the site is ready to be unleashed.

Once the changes have been saved, you need to decide whether or not to publish the site live, and whether or not to make it visible to the search engines:

publish the site to the Internet

Since you don't have any content yet, I recommend you hide it from the search engines to begin with so that they don't index stuff that isn't going to be part of your site once it is ready.

However, it is important to come back and enable this setting once your site is ready to be indexed in Google and other search engines.

You definitely want a mobile optimized version of your site, so ensure the second option is selected. Mobile sites are rapidly becoming more popular than traditional sites focused on PC users, so you have to cater for people browsing on tablets and smartphones.

At this point, you'll be able to access the site online via the URL provided by Wix - it will be something similar to staff69.wix.com/wix-demo.

6. Add content

Up to this point, we have been concerned primarily with changing the design of a page (you can modify the design of any page by selecting it from the drop-down list in the main menu along the top of the screen), but we need to be able to add new pages and blog posts too.

Click on an article or blog post in the design and select Add & edit blog posts:

add content to the site

From here you can add new content and remove the default articles that won't form part of the site.

Wix provides a great graphical editor to help you format text and add images and other rich media without having to learn any HTML. If you can use WORD, or another text editor, you'll be able to blog and write using Wix with no trouble.

Depending on the particulars of the template you chose, featured posts and articles may appear automatically on the front page, like this:

first content posted to the site

That's it. Pretty quick and easy, right? Not to mention completely free. However, if you intend to run a professional business site it is likely that you will need to upgrade in order to be able to use a custom domain - and take advantage of additional features.

7. Manage your account

It may be that you decide to create more than one site using Wix, and in this case you need to manage your sites from the account dashboard. To get there, click on the Wix logo at the top right of your editor screen to bring up the overview page:

manage your wix account

From here it's easy to choose a site to work on from the main list. You can also explore all that Wix has to offer including their latest blog posts, which can provide some useful info to keep you up-to-date with the latest developments, access to the app market and most importantly, support.

Do you use Wix already? Have you used other website builders? Share your thoughts and experiences on starting a website with Wix in the comments below.

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