We have covered free blogging and site building platforms on this blog. We have done reviews for Blogger.com, WordPress.com, Zynga and others. As you are already aware, there are tons of websites out there that you can use to create your own online presence. It used to be that you have to spend money on a domain name, raise money on monthly hosting fees and hassle with temperamental designers just to get a website up. The good news is that you no longer have to do this because there’s all these free websites out there.
It’s not exactly a new space since we’ve already covered Geocities here. As you are already aware, Geocities was sold for several billion dollars to Yahoo because of it being a free website building platform. It looks like there is still a market appetite for this type of free online service and it looks like Wall Street would actually put up money to become a part owner of such a company. I am of course describing the recent IPO of Wix: the Tel Aviv, Israel-based free website builder. What makes Wix very interesting is that it employs powerful site building software with tons of templates.
One of the biggest problems with websites like Blogger.com is that the templates are very limited. Sure, they look good but there’s not enough of them and they are not very customizable. Wix is very easy to customize and there are tons of templates and this makes for a wide variety of looks and user experiences. Moreover, Wix organizes their templates in terms of the actual type of website you want to put up. For example, if you want to put up a real estate website, there are templates for that. If you want to put up a law office website, there are also templates for that. This is just one of the things that separates Wix from previous website building platforms.
As for $127M of value raised for the company as well as a nice valuation, those are questions that are better left for another day. Wix’s model still needs to be validated whether it can be a large scale income generating machine or be a fairly specialized type of website. This company is definitely worth keeping an eye on. If anything, its IPO shows that the market believes that the free website building space is not fully developed yet. If it was, then there would be no need for Tumblr but Tumblr existed, Blogger existed and Geocities and others existed. This niche is still in the process of reaching its final form.