While the free website is useful when you are getting started, pretty soon you’d want to upgrade to one of the paid accounts. Among other benefits, upgrading will allow you to use your own domain and remove the Wix banner ad at the top.
To upgrade Wix, first click on the Upgrade button from the dashboard or settings page. Then, buy a new domain or transfer an existing one that you already own. Afterwards, select one of the Wix subscription plans and optional add-ons to complete the upgrade.
In my last post, I walked through creating a free blogging website on Wix. As long as you’re happy not using your own domain name, and having the Wix banner ad at the top of your site, Wix will host your site completely free of charge forevermore.
However, if your intention is to make money from your website and build a business around it, you really should consider choosing a custom domain name, and that means upgrading to one of Wix’s paid plans.
Fortunately, if you sign up for a year, all of their plans come with a free domain name. Well, it’s not really free, but I’ll explain more about that later.
Choose a domain name
Before you decide on a domain name, I highly recommend going with a .com address regardless of where you are in the world, unless your content specifically relates to an individual country, or if you’re writing in a language other than English.
I just think having a .com address helps your articles to rank more frequently in Google’s search results.
Secondly, I recommend checking that the name you use is also available on any of the social platforms you intend to use.
To do this go to brandsnag.com and type your preferred name into the box. This will tell you what domains are available but also, if you scroll down, what social media accounts are available in your chosen name.
Once you’ve picked an available name, head back over to Wix.
Now, naturally, there are a multitude of buttons and links available to upgrade to a paid Wix account.
If you’re in the editor, you can click to upgrade now. Or if you’re looking at your Dashboard, you have the options at the bottom of the page and in the menu, or if you’re following the setup steps, the next step after publishing your site is to get a domain.
I tell you this because the process does differ slightly depending on whether you click on one of the upgrade buttons, or choose to Get a Domain.
Simply upgrading to a Premium plan does not automatically give you a domain name. You will need to do that separately afterward, after upgrading. That is why I prefer to click on Get a Domain, which combines both the domain and upgrade process.
So having clicked on Get Domain, I can choose between buying a new domain or transferring an existing one. Transferring a domain still requires you to upgrade to a premium plan.
Since we don’t yet have a domain name, we’ll go with the new domain option. Type in your preferred Domain Name and Wix will tell you whether it’s available.
If it’s taken, you can either search again or choose a domain suffix that is available. Because I already own facultyofapps.com I’ll choose the dot net address for this demonstration, but as I said earlier, in most cases, a dot com address is best.
Choose a Wix plan
Having chosen your domain name, you’re then taken to the upgrade page. But before you upgrade, let’s run through the different plans and what you get for your money.
The first thing to note is there are different tabs and pricing scales depending on whether you’re creating a simple website – say a blog or a news site, or whether you intend to run an online store and accept payments.
The prices displayed are current as of this writing.
Obviously, it’s more expensive to run a store than a blog. If you’re running an online store, I would say unfortunately you almost have to go with the Business Unlimited option, since that’s the entry point to sell on social media and marketplaces.
It’s also the entry point if you’re hoping to dropship using Wix’s own dropshipping platform Modalyst and for selling subscriptions. I would only go with Basic if I was selling info products or I already had an established customer base that knew how and where to find me.
For those of us only looking to host a website and not interested in payments just yet, I would absolutely start with the cheapest option – the combo deal. Especially if you’re just starting out.
Honestly, it’s hard to make money on a website, so keep your costs down at the start. In regard to what you miss out on by going with the Combo plan – well you won’t get the Site Booster app.
But in my experience, the best way to boost a site is to create lots of long-form content, as that tends to rank well on Google.
I’m not sure an extra $4 a month for the booster app is going to help much unless it can create content for you. The Visitor Analytics is definitely useful but you can get much of the same information by installing Google Analytics, which is very straightforward to set up in Wix anyway.
You’ll know whether you need an integrated calendar or not. And, finally, if you’re on a tight budget, you can create a good-looking logo using one of the hundred cheap logo design websites available on the internet. So for those reasons my recommendation is to start with Wix’s cheapest option.
It’s also worth noting, you can upgrade your plan at any time, and if you cancel your plan within the first 12 days you’ll receive a full refund. And if you’re not in any hurry to upgrade, Wix frequently offer significant discounts on their pricing, so you may want to wait for one of those to come around.
Now don’t worry if your pricing looks slightly different to mine, I’m just working in Aussie dollars rather than US dollars. And note that these are the monthly prices assuming you sign up for a year.
On the next screen, you can see we have the option to sign up for either a year, monthly, or for two years. If you sign up for just a month, the cost increases and you don’t get the free domain name, and if you decide to go for two years, the total overall cost is even less.
For this demonstration, I’ll stick with yearly.
Now, all we need to do is fill in our payment details and submit the purchase. Once the payment has gone through, we can link the domain name we chose early to our site. To do this, we have to actually purchase the domain and Wix applies a voucher so we get the domain for free for one year.
Alternatively, if you’re happy to pay, you can secure the domain name for several years. Selecting 1 year sets the total amount to zero and we can continue.
Fill in the contact details for your domain name. Wix will auto-fill most of these fields from the details you provided when purchasing the plan, and then we’re taken to this screen, which frankly has me slightly aggrieved.
Here Wix is charging us to register the domain privately. Registering your domain privately is something you’ll definitely want to do. In fact, it’s so common most registrars now include it free of charge.
Leaving your information public means that anyone who looks up your domain name will be able to see your name and the address you gave when purchasing the domain, most likely your home address.
Here you see, having registered my facultyofapps.com address privately the information provided is that of the registrar and none of my personal details are displayed.
I don’t have a problem paying a bit extra for private registration, but frankly $14.49 a year is way too expensive. If we compare it to Godaddy for instance, I can buy a similar address for $9.99 and privacy is included.
And I imagine I could get it even cheaper if I shopped around. For Wix to charge $14.50 basically negates any saving you make getting the domain for free. It’s just my opinion but I find that really disappointing from Wix.
Having made your payment, that completes the upgrade process and your domain will now automatically be linked to your website.
You have the option to purchase a mailbox if you wish to receive email but it’ll show you how you can get around this and set up your business email address for free in a separate post.
Clicking on Go To Domains will take you back to your Dashboard and if we click on Home, you can see my address has been updated. And finally, if I click on View Live Site, there’s my website using my own custom domain name.
So that is how to upgrade your Wix account. For more tips like this, please check out my Youtube channel. Hope to see you there!