This is a guest post by Tara Hornor, if you want to guest post on this blog, please contact us.
For the next portfolio platform review in our series, we examine Wix. To begin with, Wix is not necessarily set up to be a portfolio platform. It has the capability of being a portfolio suite, but some of the problems with using Wix is that it has not been created with portfolios in mind.
Wix is based on Flash for both creation of your content and display. This already creates some concerns since Flash is not supported by the iPhone and other mobile operating systems. Wix compensates by making a mobile version of your site available, but this also means double the work.
On the positive side, Wix has a unique system that gives you near unlimited flexibility in creating custom web pages that look great and load fast. Whether you have a print-based portfolio that includes designs for booklet printing or business cards, create 3D graphics, or sculpt for a living, Wix can help you get an eye-catching portfolio up and running.
Ease of use
I found Wix to be less intuitive at first than other platforms. Once I learned how the tools were laid out, it got easier to quickly add content to the site. Wix is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor, so you drag-n-drop content onto the page and edit the details as you go.
Keep in mind that you have to build your portfolio from scratch using Wix. There are no tools designed for quickly building a portfolio. If a custom portfolio is your goal, then Wix gives you the tools you need to create a lovely design. The learning curve is not steep at all, so do not let that concern you. You can jump in and create pages for your portfolio fairly quickly.
There are a number of easy-to-use templates that can make building a portfolio a lot easier. The downside is that you lose that customized look, but it does make the process of filling up a portfolio less involved.
None is available. While images are displayed in Flash, it’s still very easy to use screen capture tools to steal images. If you want to protect your graphics, keep the images small and add a watermark on your own.
Professionalism/quality of presentation
If a Wix site does not look good, it’s the fault of the designer, not Wix. You can easily control the content on every page and layout the pages as needed. Built-in image lightboxes are available, making it easy for your clients to review your content. Website visitors are initially presented with a loader graphic while your content is downloading. So keep pages lightweight, if possible.
There is no specific community around Wix. You do not have to worry about Wix users commenting on your site at all. You can create comment forms for anyone to leave remarks, but your site is not subject to users who will leave commentary like on other platforms.
Wix does put an ad on your site, but it’s usually a very small logo in the bottom-right corner. You can pay to have this removed. If you’re willing to keep their logo, the site is free.
Wix is fully customizable. You are not limited in any way, but with this comes a lot more work to get your portfolio looking good. If you need a highly customizable portfolio platform, then Wix certainly fits the bill.
Again, Wix lets you do whatever you want. You can drag-n-drop customized contact forms or simply put your email address right on every page wherever you want it. You can include your website, Twitter, email, mailing address, phone number, a map, and any other contact information you want to include.
Wix is a website building tool, not necessarily a portfolio platform, but it can be a wonderful tool for customized, Flash-based portfolios. If you want to quickly launch a portfolio, avoid Wix. While they advertise that Wix makes it easy and fast to get a site up and running, you simply cannot throw a Wix site up. You will need to plan and implement.
Take the time to watch the tutorial videos. You will need some training to get going, even if you are an experienced web designer. The interface is not quite like any other, which offers some strengths and weaknesses.
Overall, Wix can be a killer portfolio platform if you are willing to take the time to plan and build out your site. The options are limitless and a paid version allows you to create unlimited pages and removes ads. Mobile versions are template-based and translate well from desktop layouts to mobile versions.
Correction: While at one point Wix was based solely on Flash, it now also includes HTML5 templates. So, for those of you who love the portfolio features of Wix but are worried about being mobile friendly, you can put those worries at ease. Just be sure to choose from the HTML5 templates. Or click on Support on Wix.com and choose Mobile Site to create a mobile version. I apologize to Wix for the outdated fact/ misinformation.
About the Author!
Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, graphic design, and desktop publishing. She writes for PrintPlace.com, a company that offers online printing services for business cards, catalog printing services, posters, brochures, postcard printing services, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.