Wix is one of the most popular generic website builders out there and the main reasons for its popularity are ease of use and affordable pricing.
As knowledge commerce is booming, more and more people are looking to build online courses and membership sites and many of them want to know whether they should use Wix for the same or not.
My bottom line opinion is that you shouldn’t use the Wix platform to host your memberships or your online courses.
The Wix membership site builder is really basic and it lacks some pretty essential features you need to create and run a successful membership site. Plus there are much better alternatives available in the market.
So, let’s take a closer look at the features that Wix lacks and understand why it isn’t the best platform for building your membership site.
At the end, I’ll also share some Wix membership site alternatives that you can consider using in your business.
1. Building a Wix Membership Site is a Lot of Work
The only membership site features that the Wix platform offers is the ability to add a members area to your site, create members-only pages, and process payments.
There are no prebuilt templates for members area or your content pages. So, you have to design and build everything from scratch which requires a lot of time and effort.
What this also means is that you yourself have to take care of things like end-user experience and mobile responsiveness which can be tricky for an average non-techie creator.
Now, the Wix editor isn’t that user friendly and isn’t ideal for designing members area which makes the matter even worse.
Another issue is that the core Wix platform allows you to just create a members area and for everything else, you’ll have to find and use an app (like an extension) from the Wix App marketplace.
While there aren’t many apps which will be useful for a membership site, there are a few that you’ll be using if you create a Wix membership site.
For example, Wix app store has a Pricing Plans app which allows you to create multiple pricing tiers and access levels for your membership site.
Although adding functionality to your Wix membership site with apps might seem pretty easy, a major problem with this is that most of the apps aren’t true apps. This means that you’ll get to add IFrames instead of a real functionality to your website.
IFrames are widely known to cause issues related to security, usability and even cause SEO problems and that’s probably one of the reasons why a lof of these apps have low user ratings.
Overall, the experience of building a membership site in Wix is far from optimal. It involves a lot of unnecessary work and it feels more like a workaround than a core offering.
2. Wix Doesn’t Allow You to Create Online Courses
As said previously, Wix only allows you to create a very basic membership site that puts your content behind a payment wall, and nothing more. The platform doesn’t have an inbuilt learning management system and so, you can’t create online courses.
You don’t have any pre-designed template for the course player, the curriculum page, the lesson pages, etc. and everything including the navigation needs to be built manually.
Moreover, since define Wix doesn’t let you define an “online course” product, there is no easy way to restrict access to the course content only to paying members. You’ll have to restrict access to the content pages one-by-one.
Since online courses are one of the most commonly used formats to deliver content inside membership sites, this is a huge drawback.
Moreover, you may want to offer online courses to your audience separately which again won’t be possible in Wix.
On the other hand, the best online course platforms just require you to upload your content into their system and put them in the correct order and they take care of the rest.
3. Wix Lacks the Most Basic Learning and Engagement Tools
One of the biggest drawbacks of the Wix membership site is the lack of support for the most essential engagement tools.
Two such commonly used features are content dripping and content locking and both of them aren’t supported on the platform.
So, if you want to produce content en masse and then release it to your members based on a schedule, you can’t do that in Wix.
Similarly, if you want to create learning paths in your membership where your users are required to watch content in a certain order, you can’t do that as well.
On top of that, there are some other features which will be super important for you if you’re creating an online course but they’re missing from Wix completely.
For example, you can’t create quizzes and assignments inside your courses and you can’t send certificates to your students.
So, if your goal is to not just get users to buy your membership or online courses but also to make sure that they actually engage with your content and benefit from it, you’ll find this lack of learning and engagement features a deal-breaker.
4. Wix’s Video Hosting and Storage Capabilities are Limited
Videos are by far the most preferred content delivery format online and the good thing is that Wix allows you to host and deliver videos natively through the platform.
However, there are a couple of significant issues with Wix videos that make them not so usable for premium products like online courses and membership sites.
The first one is that it puts a limit on the amount of video content you can store and deliver through Wix.
The Business Basic ($23/month) and the Business Unlimited ($27/month) plans allow you to store just 5 and 10 hours of videos respectively. This won’t be sufficient for most video creators.
Wix’s top tier, the Business VIP plan ($49/month) gives you unlimited video hours but has a 50 GB overall storage limit. Now, this limit should be more than enough for you when you’re starting out but as your membership grows, you’ll need more storage.
Another issue with Wix videos and a major one is the problems with video delivery and playback. When you go to the Wix Video page in their app store, you’ll find lots of complaints from creators about how their users face issues with watching videos.
Now, you can always use video hosting platforms like Vimeo and Wistia to host and deliver your membership videos.
But then keep in mind that you’ll have to pay separately for video hosting and you’ll need to manually embed the videos to your Wix membership pages which is time consuming and can be an admin nightmare.
Compare this to any modern online course platform (e.g. Thinkific) and they all offer unlimited video hosting as part of their subscription.
Plus these platforms use the capabilities of reputed video hosting sites rather than hosting videos in-house, resulting in a flawless video watching experience for your members.
5. The Overall End-User Experience is Far From Good
Till now, we have mostly talked about the shortcomings of Wix membership site from the point of view of a creator. But even when it comes to end-user experience, Wix has a lot of drawbacks.
Firstly, Wix doesn’t keep track of members’ progress, so your members won’t be able to see what content they have watched, how much they have completed, etc.
This also means that the system can’t remember where they left off, and so, you can’t even bring them automatically to the next lessons in your course.
Secondly, some important features including the ability to offer quizzes, certificates, etc are missing from the platform. This can lead to low engagement in your membership.
Thirdly, there are issues with specific features inside Wix. For example, a lot of users complain about video playback. Similarly, a lot of users face issues with buying a pricing plan.
Finally, Wix’s checkout process isn’t very optimal. In order to enroll in your membership, a user needs to first create an account before they can make a purchase which isn’t great for conversions.
So, the entire membership experience from an end-user point of view, right from completing the checkout to watching content inside your membership isn’t optimal.
6. Wix Membership Site isn’t As Cheap to Create As It Seems
Pricing is a dealbreaker for a lot of creators and at first glance, Wix pricing seem quite affordable and really cheap as compared to other popular online membership platforms.
However, there are a few things you need to consider before making up your mind on Wix membership site pricing.
To start with, if you want to create a paid membership site, you’ll need to be on their Business & Ecommece Plans (starting from $23/month) rather than the Website Plans.
The other thing you need to consider is the amount of video storage you get on these plans. For most creators who use video in their membership sites, they’ll need the Business VIP Plan which costs $49/month.
In addition, you’ll be paying for additional tools to compensate for the features which are missing from Wix.
For example, Wix doesn’t support features for creating coupons as well as affiliate marketing. So in all likelihood, you’ll need to use an external checkout platform like ThriveCart for selling your membership.
However, it’s worth noting that even when you subscribe to the Business VIP plan as well as buy third-party tools, you’ll not be able to create a fully-fledged membership site and deliver a great experience to your members.
So, it’s not really worth your time and money to build a Wix membership site. You’ll be better off using a specialized membership site platform and that’s what I will help choose in the next section.
Wix Membership Site Alternatives
There are many different membership website builders in the market and the right one will really depend on your requirements.
However, I have listed three of the best membership site platforms out there and one of these should work for your business.
Kajabi is an all-in-one hosted platform that lets you create and run your entire membership site or online course business within a single platform.
When it comes to membership creation and engagement, the platform has a lot to offer including an easy to use course builder, inbuilt support for content hosting, several well-designed course player themes, iOS/Android mobile apps, quizzes and assignments, community, etc.
However, what makes Kajabi a standout membership platform is that it doesn’t just allow you to create and deliver content to your members in a professional manner but it also lets you handle your entire sales & marketing on the platform.
So, you can build a website, run a blog, build marketing funnels, automate your email marketing, sell your membership as well as run your affiliate program.
As far as pricing is concerned, Kajabi’s Basic Plan costs $149/month and their Growth Plan costs $199/month. So, Kajabi pricing plans are a little steep.
However, if you want to build your entire business on a single platform, Kajabi offers a range of features that take care of all your membership site needs and in this case, the platform is definitely worth considering.
If you want to explore Kajabi further, you should check out this in-depth Kajabi review that talks about all its features, pros, cons and will help you decide whether or not it’s the right platform for you.
Another popular Wix membership site alternative is Thinkific. It is one of the most popular online course platforms that can also be used to create membership sites.
When it comes to course creation, you get a bunch of features including unlimited video hosting, drag-n-drop course builder, well-designed course player, advanced quizzes, certificates, assignments, pre-requisite lessons, etc.
Apart from online courses, you can also create custom content pages for your membership as well as a standalone community area for your members.
Now, unlike Kajabi, Thinkific primarily focuses only on the core features that you need to create and run a membership site.
So, while it offers an array of membership site features that are clearly missing in Wix, it is certainly not an all-in-one membership platform.
Having said that, it allows you to build your brand website and it also offers the essential selling tools for your membership like payment processing, checkout page, affiliate marketing, etc.
As far as pricing is concerned, Thinkific works on a freemium model. The Basic plan starts at $49/month while the Pro Plans costs $99/month.
Thinkific has the most beginner-friendly pricing of all the platforms in this space. In fact, it’s the only major platform with a true free plan.
Podia is another popular membership site platform that stands out from the competition for its simplicity and ease of use.
Podia allows you to create online courses with videos, audio files, PDFs, text, quizzes, etc. and the same are delivered through a nicely designed course player.
It also supports a “Membership” product type which allows you to create standalone posts for your members apart from the regular online courses.
As far as sales and marketing is concerned, you get complete control over how you want to price your membership. You also have an affiliate marketing tool and basic email marketing automation features.
Now, Podia’s pricing is very reasonable as well. It has two plans – the lowest tier costs $39/month and offers the ability to just create online courses while the top tier costs $99/month and lets you create both courses and memberships.
If you want to learn more about the platform, you should check out this in-depth Podia review.
In this review, we have discussed in detail why I don’t recommend using Wix as your membership site platform, I hope you have a clear picture of what the platform has to offer and its drawbacks.
Wix lacks the most essential membership site creation features and so, you’ll be better off using one of the specialized platforms discussed above.
The first option is to go with an all-in-one platform like Kajabi. In this case, you can let go of Wix completely and use Kajabi not just for your membership and courses but also for your website, blog, and funnels.
I hope you found this guide useful and if you have any questions about any of these platforms, do let me know in the comments section below.
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