Wix Sitebuilder - Knowing When to Upgrade from Free to Paid

You've been using Wix's website builder as a free subscriber for a while, you have a beautiful website with great traffic, and you're wondering -- is it time to upgrade?

As a free subscriber, you have access to professional and beautiful templates, and you've dabbled in the simplest and most advanced of tools. You haven't had to worry about managing hosting services, either, which can be a complicated and technical process.

For most, the upgrading conversation arises out of a desire to present a more professional image on the web. The first benefit of any premium plan is that Wix removes its branded ads in the header and footer, giving you an automatic edge. Another benefit is the custom URL that comes with all of the premium plans. Giving a client or potential customer a custom URL shows a certain level of finesse, not to mention gives you the opportunity to start branding yourself online. With a custom URL, you can land a custom Twitter handle and Facebook vanity URL with the same name.

You also might consider upgrading to obtain more online storage space, especially if you're a photographer building a portfolio. Another deciding factor might be if you are upgrading your business with an emphasis on ecommerce. Adding a shopping cart to your website will cost you a premium upgrade no matter which website builder you opt for, and Wix's option won't break the bank.

Another perk of the premium plans on Wix is that you gain access to Google Analytics, which will better help you manage your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The ability to see where your visitors are coming from and how they're navigating your website will allow you to fine-tune your website for an optimum customer experience.

With four different levels of premium packages, you have options when it comes to special features. The most popular plan is the Unlimited at $12.42/month for the yearly plan. Wix suggests that this plan is best for entrepreneurs and freelancers with its unlimited bandwidth and 2.5 GB of storage, not to mention the other premium features and the removal of Wix ads.

However, if you're looking to upgrade with sales options on your Wix site, your only option is the eCommerce package, which includes a shopping cart, no Wix ads, 2.5 GB of storage, 5 GB of bandwith, and all of the other standard premium Wix goodies. It's also the most expensive plan at $16.17/month for the yearly plan, which is a small price to pay if you're trying to sell your product to eager customers.

If the premium prices are holding you back, remember that the cost to set up your own hosting and hire a professional web developer will run you thousands of dollars, compared to Wix's inexpensive options. You just have to be prepared to devote a bit of time to a slight learning curve with Wix and the upkeep and troubleshooting that come with maintaining your own website.

In the end, there's no reason not to try an upgrade if you're on the fence, because you aren't locked in immediately: Wix offers a 14-day risk free trial period to test out the premium platform, removing any financial risk and worry for you. Experimenting with a premium plan will give you the chance to see whether the upgrade really is for you, or if you can keep your brand moving with the free membership.