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Wix Code (wix.com)
81 points by dna_polymerase on Oct 8, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 70 comments

Man-oh-man did that take a while to load...

You can always tell you've landed on a wix site when you're faced with blank screen for a while.

Edit: 10MB... this page is 10MB. https://i.imgur.com/uAoc05H.png

Wow you weren't kidding. 112 separate javascript files totaling 6 MB.

Scroll down to the bottom... it goes up to 40MB.


On the one hand, at least they're doing progressive loading.

On the other hand oh my god it's 40MB, this is pants-on-head crazy.

That's 20X the average web-page size, which is already bloated. 20X . I'm starting to think those Alexa numbers are just being inflated by Wix sites.

I had the same reaction when I clicked the link. Probably the video is the heaviest part. IMO landing pages should load instantaneously.

People are so desperate for a solution to the problem that Wix is doing an extremely mediocre job of solving, that the market has given them a $3 billion market cap with an annual sales rate that will approach half a billion dollars soon.

A few months ago a friend of mine needed a very simple site that he could update on his own (non-technical person). So I gave Wix a try and set him up on their service. I couldn't believe how horrible it was in every possible regard. I incorrectly assumed that given the scale of their business, that surely they had a great product.

I've been working on integrating a client's platform into other platforms. We looked at Wix. From a user standpoint, Wix is pretty slick. They require all their plugins/addons/apps to fully integrate into their UI. Not a trivial barrier to entry! Way better than some app stores that just let you toss up a redirect link and call it a day.

But man their editor, while neat, is just so damn slow. <generic comment about how shit was faster years back despite slower connections and processors>

I scrolled down to the bottom, and when I scrolled to the top, the tab simply crashed. I think the web has gotten so bad that I need to upgrade from a Chromebook even just to view a simple product page.

Thought you were kidding O.o


I don't know what to say. One one hand 40MB is a lot but on the other hand, this landing page is geared towards developers who are likely on desktop or a notebook with Ethernet or decent WiFi...

Before scrolling:

186 requests 32.56 MB / 26.97 MB transferred Finish: 25,125,172.23 min DOMContentLoaded: 735 ms load: 4.53 s

After scrolling:

208 requests 40.59 MB / 0 GB transferred Finish: 21.89 s DOMContentLoaded: 365 ms load: 4.23 s

(uBlock Origin blocked some 14 requests I think)

Most people just load the page and twitch a bit at the noticeable delay.

Devs are going to run dev tools, take screenshots and scream about it on HN.

Stripe.com's product pages are beautiful examples of how to make gorgeous marketing pages at reasonable size (3MB, <1/4 the size of this Wix behemoth)[0].

[0] https://stripe.com/atlas

But who cares? I don’t think their users do, and Wix is growing.

Everyone here is disgusted by it because, it is in fact disgusting from the perspective of a developer.

I spent a few hours with with wix earlier this year while needing help a family quickly get a funeral site up they could hopefully have some chance of maintaining themselves. Getting started is actually pretty slick. The designer software is easy to use and gets a basic decent looking site up extremely fast.

Towards the end of the few hours I was hitting roadblocks left and right. Artificial limitations, edge cases not supported, things that could have been fixed on a real site trivially.

Still, what they’ve built, what it in turn allows pretty nontechnical people to build quickly, is impressive. I think it may have been possible to do better on performance and flexibility without compromising for other users. My guess is it’s not mostly because they are just not obsessing on that part much.

> But who cares? I don’t think their users do, and Wix is growing.

Do Wix users even realize? If they're building their own website then they probably have enough of the javascript cached that they don't realize the performance issues.

For other end users though, they care, they just don't know what's wrong or they can't articulate the problem. They think their computer is getting to slow, or the networks bad, or they have a virus. They'll use vague terms like that because they don't know there's 20MB of javascript running. If a wix site is slow then they're more likely to blame MS or dell or their ISP than to realize wix is the problem.

I've found that many users of Wix and (shitty) Wordpress themes don't care, and are very happy to get a site for a fraction of the cost to get it made 'professionally' (or free, if they just do everything themselves).

I've also found that there's been a steady uptick in clients who are having some success with/through their site, and who suddenly do start caring, for all the reason that we are all aware of (performance affecting SEO, bad mobile experience, the 'visual page builder' not being able to do what they want, etc.).

While it's not always fun work, I do think there's a huge market there for 'people like us'.

I'm not sure what a good analogy would be in other businesses, but perhaps it's a bit like someone with a limited budget starting a cafe with IKEA furniture, finding success, and now having both the need and (some) means to actually buy furniture that can handle the demands of cafe use.

And that's not even considering the huge number of potential customers whose Wordpress site got hacked and who need a solution NOW.

What I like most about this situation is that it's not even entirely bad. Perhaps sometimes it does make sense to start a bar with IKEA furniture because the chance of success is so small. I honestly tell many potential clients to not bother paying me for a good, fast site because all they really need at this point is a decent-ish Wordpress theme or Wix/SquareSpace site.

EDIT: I'm not saying Wix specifically would be an option I would suggest to clients. My experience with it hasn't been too good, and I'm sure there's similar and better options.

Since this is at a beta testing stage, I would like believe that they will address the performance issues.

In the past, it's been said that Wix has shitty SEO, so they tackled it head on and improved it several levels of magnitude.

Putting aside the performance issues for a moment, I think WixCode introduces a lot of potential for web designers and coders alike. There are a lot of benefits, including cloud hosting, DDoS protection, impressive applications market, etc... All with zero code and no headache. I would love that peace of mind back in the days.

Now, they're taking on the developer market, which is a very demanding crowd. I hope they can live up to the high standards.

Bottom line, I wouldn't rush to decide on the fate of this product just yet.

On the other hand, I've been known to be overoptimistic, so...

I have learned that when I load a site on my mobile and it pauses like this, it is going to be as fat as fuck and eat my data cap. I cancel that shit immediately.

Oh shoot.... I just downloaded 10Mb on my data plan :(

I'd say don't browse the web with your data plan if you're concerned for that...

Even if this is an outlier, the average page is still around 2-3MB.

Yeap. The average homepage of the Alexa top 1M is over 3MB: http://www.httparchive.org/interesting.php?a=All&l=Sep%2015%...

Still, that's no reason not to criticize such bloat, especially when they're still quite above average.

Yup even super simple sites built with Wix are a huge download. You can’t read the HTML easily either to figure out why it’s so horrible.

It's actually over 22MB fully loaded from empty cache...

Wix ad plays atleast 5 times a day on youtube. For all that marketing - they have such bad reviews here..

Clearly, HN users not their target audience.

I also get an XSS warning on the website...

Try viewing the site with uMatrix. It's a completely blank white page until you allow scripts, XHR and an iframe.

Just the background video in the head alone is 15MB.

> "Man-oh-man did that take wix to load..."


Database: some proprietary key-value thing. No performance descriptions. API documentation that looks written for people who are dimly familiar with APIs. "Dynamic Pages": whatevery CMS-ish CRUD frontend. "User Input": forms that dump data into that database. It doesn't get better from there.

This is even more of a lock-in trap than Wix (and its similar competitors, like SquareSpace) usually is. These people want to own you and whatever you're making. Avoid.

Yes, I evaluated a bunch of website creators (including wix and squarespace) and I ended up at wordpress.com because it seemed to be the only system that offered easy(ish) WYSIWYG website creation, while giving me confidence I could get my website out and still edit/host it even if wordpress.com closed tomorrow.

I'd say as long as you avoid installing plugins without careful consideration, that's a pretty good choice. It's trivial to move your site to pretty much any crappy host, and if performance becomes an issue you could always 1) create cleaned-up custom theme version (shouldn't be too expensive) or pay someone for it, 2) add some form of caching.

Obviously it's not for people who know about databases or want to know.

The same way Hypercard was not for C programmers.

That's not exactly an adequate analogy. The world is a different place now than when Hypercard was released.

People have been burned too many times to not be skeptical about using a proprietary piece of technology to power their app.

There are plenty of people even in tech industry rich areas like the Bay Area who don't know or care about that sort of thing. All they want is to just have something that works for them well enough.

Now, my experience trying to use sites built with Wix has been uniformly terrible. If I see "wix" anything I simply leave. But that doesn't invalidate the use case.

Genuinely curious here, are there any similar "WYSIWYG" CMS/Site builders that you could recommend? There seems to be quite a jump between the "know how" to build a simple Wix site, and building the same site on something like Wordpress and the hellhole that is its themes.

Try Webflow. It's especially for people who already know some HTML/CSS.


This tutorial video shows how creating template pages works:


Here's a video that gives you a better idea of how the design tool works:


(Full disclosure: I'm an engineer at Webflow )

You know I haven't touched Webflow since about 2013 I reckon, but damn it's come a long way! Thanks for the reminder!

Keep in mind that their CMS cannot collect form-data.

There are some ways to collect form data in the CMS using our public API, but you're right that the underlying system isn't optimized for "real time" data like this, yet.

I mean, if you actually know how to make and upkeep a website, then, yeah, Wix and SS are bad options. But they’re great for my mom who runs a business but doesn’t have time to learn how to make a website

Your mom doesn't need a database or "dynamic pages". And your mom isn't going to be able to set it up without help.

Nobody running a small business needs a database, or to render pages built from them? I can guarantee you that's not true.

As for help, there's a big difference between someone who "knows Wix" and someone who can install, configure and maintain a full site, even if using off-the-shelf software.

When I see "tables" from a "database" in a web browser, I have a good laugh. I know it's not that impressive but our smallest non-trivial "table" has 100,000 records and our largest over a billion. Good luck trying to use a web UI to manage that. Parse was like this too - and they had a 1000-record limit in their APIs. Good times.

It seems like just about every javascript table library I come across expects the filtering, ordering and paging to be done client side after retrieving all the data. The make for some nice looking demo's but then I have to explain to management (or other devs sadly) why things are so slow.

Interesting. Well, there are many jobs that deal with smaller data. Sometimes they even want the full fat full-stack setup with CDN etc, and it turns out there will only ever be like 300 records.

On a side note... tried to use their beta sign-up page. Form looks very pleasing to the eye, but, sorry to be that guy, it's all sorts of terrible. What annoyed me first was that the tab structure of that form was all broken, instead of going to the next field, it just went to a random field down the road. It also was not responsive, it felt almost as if someone just dragged and dropped it on a visual form designer or something, you see where I'm getting at. I hope that form was not built with Wix Code. *

A quick look at the HTML confirms, all fields and labels seem to be positioned absolute, each. Might be a good workaround for an MVP form builder, dragging on a grid and using absolute positioning is the easiest way to develop a visual form builder I guess... (although I think a tabindex property would have solved the tab issue, and a simple algorithm sorting divs by top / left would have been able to do it automatically, but this is just MVP).

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe nice HTML doesn't matter, maybe they can fix the tab stop problem, maybe responsive forms are not important to most customers. But everything I was taught is wrong in a web form exists in the form that asks me to sign up for a beta to a tool that builds forms without coding.

Maybe this is the way to MVP... maybe that form was built by an intern. Maybe accessibility is not important for a beta (or maybe I'm the only one pressing tab when filling forms) but this just reeks bad web design practice all over it.

*EDIT: Yep, I guess it was, at the bottom it says: "This Website Was Created with Wix Code". Maybe the genius idea was just to build a fixed grid, forget responsiveness, and solve 99% of the problems of a WYSIWYG editor. All in all they built an MVP and I'm just ranting on HN, so perhaps they are onto something...

I once ported a site designed in wix to plain html/css for a friend. Advice from the bottom of my heart: Wash your brain with soap after looking at the markup wix generates. Sandblasting might also be an option.

I replicated wix page once. Their markup is mostly useless, but it was easy to replicate it. As a bonus, I made it with proper responsiveness and entire page was few kilobytes (minus images). I think wix is awesome tool for quick prototyping and if you need more, it's not that hard to replicate it with proper HTML.

Sandblasting doesn't actually work that well with soft, spongy materials.

> Sandblasting doesn't actually work that well with soft, spongy materials.

Is the markup Mythos-level bad? If so, sandblasting might still be appropriate.

Wix is a terrible company filled with some of the most incompetent people.

Once I reported a notorious scammer who was using their platform to their support team. I provided tons of information (including investigations from the press) and explicitly told them not to pass on my details. That was actually a precondition before I had revealed any information, and they ensured me that they will not pass on my details.

What do they do? They treat it as a DMCA request and give the scammer every single piece of information they had on me (which included my phone number). I woke up to a voicemail on my phone from the scammer saying he's "going to find you motherfuckers" and "kill all of y'all".

After asking why the hell they did that, they basically told me to piss off and denied doing anything wrong.

Do you think wix would be legally liable for sharing your personal details to a malicious actor?

Staying away from this service due to their horrible Terms and Conditions. Read carefully before you sign yourself up for something you might regret later on.

In short: All your code and IP belongs to WIX.


-- AS IS from their T&C ---

By participating in the Beta Stage, you hereby assign to Wix without any additional consideration, all right, title and interest to your Feedback and all proprietary rights therein, including, without limitation, all patents, copyrights, trade secrets, mask works, trademarks, moral rights and other intellectual property rights.

You acknowledge that Wix retains ownership of all right, title and interest to the Wix Code, including without limitation, its design and documentation, derivatives and versions thereof, and all intellectual property rights therein and thereto (including without limitation, all patent rights, design rights, copyrights and trade secret rights). If requested by Wix, you agree to execute and deliver any documents, statement, instruments, recordings or filings deemed necessary by Wix to protect and preserve its right, title and interest in and to the Wix Code under applicable law.


"to your Feedback"

Pretty sure that just means that if you submit feedback, that feedback becomes property of Wix [0]. From a laymen's interpretation of that paragraph, your content remains your own.


The second paragraph sounds pretty standard for a SasS company.


[0]: They explicitly define 'Feedback' in their T&C as follows:

> In consideration of the non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable license to use the Wix Code granted to you by Wix subject to the terms hereof, you agree to serve as a “beta tester” of the Wix Code and to provide Wix with useful input on the Wix Code, including on any problems, bugs, failures, deficiencies and other challenges you may have encountered while using the Wix Code, and other input and ideas you may have on how to improve, enhance or upgrade the Wix Code, or any other feedback you may have and deem relevant (collectively “Feedback”).

Unfortunate naming from a German perspective. 'Wixen' translates to 'wank/jerk off' here...

They're actually riding this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKWquxfJPD0

well luckily it is probably based on the surname Wix which is based off the english word "Wicks"

There doesn't appear to be much of a story behind the name.

"Back at the beach, the three brainstormed what to name their new company. Staying true to their idea, they had two requirements for the name: they wanted a three letter word that started with a “W” and something that was easy to remember"


What, like as in candle wicks? I don't think that makes a great deal of sense?

I generally avoid Wix like the plague and that seems like a good reason.

One more reason: https://ma.tt/2016/10/wix-and-the-gpl/

Though this obviously isn’t the kind of thing that will appeal to the average HN reader, Wix does appear to be having success in the realm. How many of us have a friend or three that wants to bootstrap a small business but can’t afford proper web design/dev skills and are smart enough to figure something like this out? You might argue to them “learn how to code and do it properly”, but there is a group of people that are a large subset of the above group of which no matter how you try to educate will have some sort of allergy to writing actual code. This product is for them.

Side anecdote, in college nearly 10 years ago I had an entrepreneurship professor that singled out Wix as one to watch for a good success story. I guess he was right on that bet.

I think the answer these days should be "hire a programmer". Never would I try and do a profession I did not understand, especially if it had something to do with profit/income. While WIX does have a nice community paying for their WYSIWYG, I would advise anyone to pay an experienced developer to create/maintain their site over doing it themselves.

I think the answer these days should be "hire a programmer".

The difficulty with that answer is that the market for web development is becoming bimodal.

On the low end, you have the site builder tools: Wix, WP, Squarespace, and so on. These days you have to include Facebook pages in there as well. You can set up a basic online presence for next to no money with these, and in most cases you can buy a reasonably professional-looking theme to make your site look decent for not much more. Of course you're limited to common features and have few opportunities for customisation, but does a web page announcing your local church events really need any more?

On the high end, you have bespoke development. Someone like me, or no doubt many others on HN, can build you a site that does more or less anything and adopts whatever distinctive branding you need. However, we're going to charge about as much for an hour or two of our time as the whole thing costs with one of the site builder tools, and your final bill is going to have at least two more zeroes on it to do roughly the same job and probably more if we're doing anything that makes it worth using us in the first place.

There isn't much room in between any longer. The days of getting your neighbour's kid's school friend to build your company web site for $500 are gone. The site builder tools have commoditised the low end of the market, and for that kind of money they'll probably offer better results, while no agency nor even any established freelancer is likely to get out of bed for a gig that small.

In short, hiring a professional doesn't really make sense for a lot of small business or community web sites any more. Either you need something truly unique and customised, in which case you need the time and money to match, or you're probably better off just using a site builder if you don't have the resources available to do it in-house.

I know lots of SMBs that use Wix. It's a solid platform to get started but can be kinda slow and hard to work with at times.

For some background they are an Israeli company and a few years back they opened up a Wix Cafe space out near dogpatch area. It was totally free with a focus around the Wix platform (kind of like how Amazon has AWS popup lofts). It went away I think but the idea was pretty cool. Hell I didn't mind the free space.

I'm sorry... can you explain that second paragraph? What is a Wix Cafe space with a focus on the Wix platform? what are Amazon AWS popup lofts?

If you're looking for a website builder that doesn't load megabytes of JavaScript, lock you in to the platform forever, or feel like a Fischer price toy, check out:


Wow, that has to be the worst website I've visited in a very long time. The page was white for about 10 seconds, the videos were laggy/stuttering, the moving content below the first video had random black artifacts popping up.

"Home page was delayed by 14ms due to code" crying emoji

I feel kinda sorry for their German sales/advertising team that has to deal with their own company name. "wix" sounds _very_ similar to "wichsen" which is a vulgar term for "to masturbate. I don't think their service will ever be popular over here because of that name.

When I saw the title "Wix code" my brain automatically translated it into something similar to "jerk off code".

Well they actually try to use that as a marketing gag [0].

"Million people jerk off daily" "Jerking off changed my life."

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AKDZmsy5yo

Hans Söllner's "Oba Olle Samma Wixa" comes to mind ^^


Agreed. I don't think I could make myself ever use this word in public with Germans. reminds me of project we called "Wank" after a mountain. Didn't go well with the Apple people in Cupertino.

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