The thing I enjoy the most about being an online business owner is this: Nobody can take away what I have built with SBI! - John Shank, SBI! member since 2003

How Do Solopreneurs Really Do at Wix? An In-Depth Look

Written By: Mike Allton in How Solopreneurs Build Their Business | January 24, 2018

How Do Solopreneurs Really Do at Wix? An In-Depth Look.

Success is getting what you want.
Happiness is wanting what you get.W. P. Kinsella

In 1917, the Chicago White Sox achieved the best record in the American League. Having won the World Series that year, they were heavy favorites vs. the upstart Cincinnati Reds two years later.

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson
“Shoeless” Joe Jackson
In that best-of-nine series, the Reds won 5 games to 3. But that’s not what made it so memorable. The story was far from over…

Conspiracy theories grew as more people questioned how such a powerful team could suddenly have played so poorly. They suspected that gamblers had bribed the White Sox players to lose.

After a grand jury, 8 players were suspended from the White Sox. By 1921, all 8 were banned from baseball for life, including “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, whose role in the scandal was never fully confirmed.

Sixty years later, while walking through his cornfield in Iowa, Ray Kinsella heard a deep, distant voice whispering through the stalks…

If you build it, he will come.

 
W. P. Kinsella wrote the book, Shoeless Joe Comes To Iowa, in 1982, and 7 years later it was adapted to film in the famous Field of Dreams. As we all know, Shoeless Joe did indeed turn up, as did Kinsella’s father.

Filled with magical ideas and beautiful references, James Earl Jones extends that phrase, in one of moviedom’s most memorable scenes, to one that has entered our lexicon…

If you build it, they will come.

 
It has become a line oft-used to describe business ventures. If you build that business, your audience will come.

Which brings us to the point of this study.

Previously, we have performed rigorous studies of solopreneur results achieved using Wealthy Affiliate or GoDaddy vs. Solo Build It! (SBI!). We found that a significantly higher percentage of Solo Build It! users (as much as 33X more) were building successful, high-traffic online businesses.

Where you build your online business certainly does have an impact on whether or not “they” (your traffic and customers) will come. Results like this are only magical if the difference in performance can’t be explained. Both studies prove how and why SBI! delivers such strong results compared to poor results elsewhere.

IMPORTANT: The study outlines the methodology in so much detail that anyone can do the study and check the results. We’ve detailed at length why this is so important.

Let’s get right into the methodology and results specific to this study.

Wix — The Focus of This Study

This study has been designed to cut through all marketing claims and get straight to the bottom line — success rates. It’s an unbiased look at how each platform stacks up when it comes to offering solopreneurs the best chance for success.

While SBI! and Wealthy Affiliate users are 100% solopreneurs, Wix likely has some larger customers. So we expect a slight bias in favor of Wix for this reason (larger businesses, overall, have more traffic). We accepted this slight bias rather than complicate the study (which would make it less reproducible).

Ditto for sites that build traffic using pay per click (PPC) advertising to sell products. Few SBIers buy ads, because they build traffic organically. This would also tend to favor Wix sites. Again, it would be too complicated to sort these out of the study.

Overall, Wix starts with some traffic bias in its favor.

The study asks 2 questions:

  1. How successful are solopreneurs who use Wix’s website hosting and its site-building product, as well as related services and information?  
  2. How do these results compare to the suite of services included within Solo Build It! (process and training, domain name registration, hosting, website builder, ongoing education and updating, tools, community)?

Wix claims that with their tools you have, “Everything You Need to Create Your Stunning Website.” The emphasis is on how a site looks (“stunning”) and how quick and easy it is to build.  

What’s the problem with that?

Most people make the mistake of equating website with web business. The difference, though, is huge. It’s clearly not possible to build an effective, traffic-building, income-generating website in an hour. And if the “look” of Wix sites matters, that should show up in its results.

The ultimate goal is to have a successful business. So this study focuses on comparing business outcomes.

Let’s proceed to the study, its data, then the analysis.

Wix Data and Analysis

We selected ten thousand sites at random from a list of 2.5 million Wix domain names listed at BuiltWith. Not all of Wix’s domain names represent online businesses. Many domain names are parked (inactive), while many others point to landing pages or other websites.

Even after filtering out these “non-site” domain names, more than 30% of all Wix-built websites had no content, were in the process of being built, or had setup errors.

If we included those in the Wix sample set, SBI! would have another large advantage. To ensure an equitable test, we created a more stringent definition of “active website” than used in the Wealthy Affiliate study.

We use the term “Real Effort” to designate websites that have a home page and at least five links to internal pages on the same domain name. This indicates a certain level of site-building effort. It also yielded the first surprising result…

We had to parse through 190,077 domain names in order to find 10,000 “Real Effort” websites at Wix. This suggests that only 5% of Wix websites (10K/190K) fulfill the Real Effort definition.

By comparison, SBI!’s Real Effort website percentage was 92%, which is the dataset we used for this study. Conclusion so far?

Solo Build It! members (SBIers) get started more effectively, likely due to the clear, step-by-step Action Guide. They advance through the early steps significantly better. While there are more conclusions to come, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of this finding…

Effective early progress is one of the most important online success factors.

Wix Site Distribution

We conducted a manual review of 500 randomly selected Real Effort Wix websites (out of the ten thousand) to check whether this filter had selected comparable populations for comparison.

The review confirmed that. It showed this distribution:

  • 371 solopreneur content sites (blogs, infopreneurs, etc.)
  • 65 service sites (lawyers, dentists, service sellers, etc.)
  • 26 local sites (local restaurants, schools, etc.)
  • 18 online stores (small to medium retailers)
  • 16 brochure sites (company sites with products/services)
  • 4 junk sites (sites with poor content / no real effort)

The Real Effort criterion successfully narrowed the study’s focus to legitimate, business-oriented, solopreneur-built websites. Some exceeded “solopreneur” size and scope, but we accept that and other skews in favor of Wix in order to keep the study simple and reproducible.

Armed with a sufficient “apples-to-apples” sample of active websites from Wix, we were ready to compare them against online businesses built by solopreneurs using Solo Build It!.

Wix vs. Solo Build It! — The Results

We’ll review how Wix and Solo Build It! Real Effort websites performed for each of the three traffic metric tools. First, we summarize the overall results:

  1. SBI! websites are 115 times (115X) more likely to achieve “Outstanding – Excellent” levels of traffic than Wix.

    “Outstanding – Excellent” is defined as being among the top one million websites on the Internet (<1M at Alexa and SimilarWeb).

  2. SBI! websites are 7.1 times (7.1X) more likely to achieve “Medium” levels of traffic than Wix.
  3. “Medium” level of traffic is defined as websites having traffic that places them among the top one million to ten million websites (1M – 10M at Alexa and SimilarWeb).

  4. 84% of Wix Real Effort websites are Invisible. Solo Build It!’s “Invisible” rate is only 40%.

    “Poor to Invisible” is the lowest traffic category. Wix “beats” Solo Build It! in the lowest traffic range within this category (called “Invisible,” these sites get no detectable traffic).

Note: “Invisible” (the lowest traffic range of the “Poor to Invisible” category) has Alexa rankings of greater than 20 million (>20M). At these levels, sites get zero to near-zero traffic. Previously, Alexa offered a ranking of sites between 20M and 30M, which meant that it was only sites ranked higher than 30M that were “invisible.” The shift in Alexa’s ranking is what accounts for a 3% increase in Solo Build It!’s “Invisible” rate compared to the Wealthy Affiliate study.

How Do We Calculate These Numbers?

We reach those conclusions by averaging the results for each of the three traffic metric tools (Alexa, SimilarWeb, SEMrush) for each traffic range.

Now let’s break down the results of the 10,000 Real Effort Wix websites versus Solo Build It! websites.

Alexa

First, let’s look across the entire range of website traffic according to Alexa. Alexa ranking ranges appear on the Y-axis and the % of sites in each of those ranges on the X-axis.

The bars on the chart below indicate, of the combined total number of websites that fall within each range, what percentage are Wix and what percentage are Solo Build It!.

Wix - Percent of Total Real Effort - Alexa Rank Ranges

Note: Alexa ranking’s lowest numbers have the highest traffic. For example, #1 (Google.com) has the most traffic, so would be included in the 1 to 100K range. Traffic decreases as we move down the graph from the top (i.e., increasing Alexa ranking reflects decreasing traffic).

A clear pattern emerges in the highest traffic ranges. SBI! massively outperforms Wix results at each of these ranges. For example, within the best possible Alexa range, 1 – 100K, there are 21 Solo Build It! websites and only 1 Wix website — 95% SBI! (21/22) and 5% Wix (1/22).

This continues until we reach the Alexa ranking range of 1M – 2M (the higher traffic end of “Medium”). From 1M – 2M until 9M – 10M (“Medium” ranges), SBI! continues to outperform. The gap narrows at a fairly steady rate along these ranges until we reach the “Poor to Invisible” ranges.

As we approach “Poor to Invisible,” the gap narrows, with the percentage of low-traffic SBI! sites decreasing rapidly, while increasing with Wix.

Next, let’s use bar charts to look at the total number of sites that fall within each of the three major categories of traffic (Outstanding – Excellent, Medium, Poor to Invisible).

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1 – 1M “Outstanding – Excellent”

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1 - 1M "Outstanding - Excellent"
Solo Build It! sites are 161X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1M – 10M “Medium”

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 1M - 10M "Medium"

Solo Build It! sites are 8X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

An interesting pattern appears here. The ratio of SBI! to Wix effectiveness is highest at 1-2M (the highest “Medium” range), leveling out at the lower levels of 7-10M. The consistency is striking, with an obvious conclusion…

The SBIer has much higher odds of success, highest for the best results. The difference narrows until we reach poor results, which is where the majority of Wix sites reside.

We can see the continuation of this pattern in the “Poor to Invisible” ranges, where Wix surpasses SBI! in delivering poor results. The worse the result, the more Wix “dominates,” as shown here:

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 10M – 20M+ “Poor to Invisible”

Count of websites vs. Alexa Traffic rank of 10M - 20M+ "Poor to Invisible"
Wix sites are 2X more likely to achieve these poor traffic levels.

SimilarWeb

Here’s how the spectrum of websites ranks according to SimilarWeb:

Wix - Percent of Total Real Effort - SimilarWeb Rank Ranges

Like Alexa, SimilarWeb ranking starts with #1 at the top and goes “down” from there. As you move down the graph, the SimilarWeb rank increases, reflecting sites that get less and less traffic.

The bars on the chart indicate, of the combined total number of websites that fall within each range, what percentage are Wix and what percentage are Solo Build It!.

For example, within the best possible SimilarWeb range, 0 – 100K, we found 20 Solo Build It! websites and 0 Wix websites that fit our criterion for Real Effort. That obviously equates to 100% Solo Build It! (20 websites out of 20 total) and 0% Wix (0 out of 20).

Next, let’s look at the total number of sites that fall within each of the three major categories of traffic (Outstanding – Excellent, Medium, Poor – Invisible).

IMPORTANT: You’ll note identical patterns in the SimilarWeb and Alexa results, strong confirmation because the two metrics systems generate their numbers differently.

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1 – 1M “Outstanding – Excellent”

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1 - 1M "Outstanding - Excellent"
Solo Build It! sites are 60X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.
IMPORTANT: This is less than the Alexa multiple. Still, being 60X more likely to rank in this highest traffic category is remarkable. Only Solo Build It! delivers this level of results at this rate.

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1M – 10M “Medium”

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 1M - 10M "Medium"
Solo Build It! sites are 6X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 10M – 30M+ “Poor to Invisible”

Count of websites vs. SimilarWeb Traffic rank of 10M - 30M+ "Poor to Invisible"
Wix sites are 1.91X more (twice as) likely to achieve these poor traffic levels.

SEMrush

Finally, here’s how the spectrum of websites ranks according to SEMrush:

Wix - Percent of Total Real Effort - SEMrush Organic Traffic Ranges

SEMrush presents counts, not “traffic ranking” (as Alexa and SimilarWeb do). So 0 means no organic search traffic.

The bars on the chart indicate, of the combined total number of websites that fall within each range, what percentage are Wix and what percentage are Solo Build It!.

For example, within one of the highest possible SEMrush ranges, 90K – 100K, we found 15 Solo Build It! websites and 0 Wix websites that fit our criterion for Real Effort. Again, that equates to 100% Solo Build It! (15 websites out of 15 total) and 0% Wix (0 out of 15).

You can see how SBI! dominates at the high-traffic (bottom) portion of the chart while Wix takes an increasingly large share as traffic decreases (top).

Note: In the SEMrush bar charts, traffic decreases as you move down, reflecting less and less traffic from search engines. In our Wealthy Affiliate study, we performed an analysis that correlated SEMrush organic search traffic numbers to Alexa’s and SimilarWeb’s traffic ranking…

  1. SEMrush traffic of greater than 5,000 was the equivalent of being in the Top 1M sites (“Outstanding to Excellent”)
  2. 100-5,000 was equivalent to “Medium” (1M – 10M)
  3. 0-100 was equivalent to “Poor to Invisible.” (>10M).

We don’t chart these here, but search traffic correlates well with the total traffic of Alexa and SimilarWeb. In fact, the above chart shows the same patterns described in the previous line graph at the change from Top 1M – 2M to 10M and with a sudden burst in percentage of Wix sites at 0 (no search traffic).

Next, let’s look at the total number of sites that fall within each of the three major categories of traffic (Outstanding – Excellent, Medium, Poor to Invisible).

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 5,000 – 400K+ “Outstanding – Excellent”

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 5,000 - 400K+ "Outstanding - Excellent"
Solo Build It! sites are 126X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 20 – 5,000 “Medium”

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 20 - 5,000 "Medium"
Solo Build It! sites are 7X more likely to achieve these traffic levels.

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 0 – 20 “Invisible to Poor”

Count of websites vs. SEMrush Organic Traffic of 0 - 100 "Invisible to Poor"
Wix sites are 2X more likely to achieve these poor traffic levels.

Wix vs. GoDaddy vs. Wealthy Affiliate vs. Solo Build It! — Conclusions

As we complete each study, it’s helpful to compare the results to previous studies as there are new conclusions that can be reached.

For reference, here are three of the key charts:

That comparison details the percentage of each platform’s sites within the Alexa traffic ranges.

Clearly, choosing Solo Build It! means that your chances of building a successful site that drives serious traffic are significantly higher than if you use Wix, GoDaddy or Wealthy Affiliate.

Final Analysis

SBI! - The Clear ChoiceNow that we’ve taken a deep dive into the data, let’s come back up for some air. The data (averages of all 3 traffic metrics) shows, in a few different ways, that online businesses started with Solo Build It! get more traffic than those built with Wix.

Let’s revisit the conclusions (average of Alexa, SimilarWeb and SEMrush) that we shared earlier:

  1. SBI! websites are 115 times (115X) more likely to achieve “Outstanding – Excellent” levels of traffic than Wix.

    “Outstanding – Excellent” is defined as being among the top one million websites on the Internet (<1M Alexa and SimilarWeb).

  2. SBI! websites are 7.1 times (7.1X) more likely to achieve “Medium” levels of traffic than Wix.

    “Medium” level of traffic is defined as websites having traffic that places them among the top one million to ten million websites (1M – 10M Alexa and SimilarWeb).

  3. 84% of Wix Real Effort websites are Invisible. Solo Build It!’s “Invisible” rate is only 40%.

    The “Poor to Invisible” is the lowest traffic category. Wix “beats” Solo Build It! in the lowest traffic range within this category (called “Invisible,” these sites get no detectable traffic).

The first two conclusions are based upon the total number of Solo Build It! and Wix sites within each range, averaged across all three traffic metric tools. You are 115X more likely to develop a high-traffic site with Solo Build it! than at Wix, 7.1X for Medium.

If you look solely at SEMrush, Solo Build It! websites outpace Wix sites by a whopping 126X! Why is this so important?

Organic search traffic is important to solopreneurs, who tend to be constrained by money (not just by time!). Whether you monetize passively (where you really need high traffic to earn well) or actively…

More targeted traffic = more income.
 

Final Thoughts on the State of Solopreneurship

We continue to see substantial differences depending on the platform that the solopreneur chooses to build her or his website. Once again, SBI! is the difference between likely failure vs. a solid chance of success.

SBI! is an all-in-one package of step-by-step process, software tools, comprehensive guidance, 24/7 support and “auto-updating” that enables solopreneurs to build profitable online businesses.

The Action Guide is the step-by-step for executing SBI!’s core process. That process has evolved over 15 years but remains based on the concept of C T P M, automatically updated for significant new changes.

CTPMThe beauty of Content Traffic  Presell Monetize is its simplicity and its evergreen nature. The core business concepts are universal to all businesses. They were valid 500 years ago and will remain valid during these fast changing times.

C T P M is so simple and flexible that it easily integrates major changes as the Internet evolves. Therefore, as things continue to grow more complex, we expect the SBIer’s advantage to grow.

It makes sense that a service like Wix would pale in comparison. They offer some great tools and services, but none of the other essential aspects — in particular, the process and the guidance — that help Solo Build It! members achieve so much.

This helps SBIers save an enormous amount of “figure it out” time. Solopreneurs, by definition, have a limited amount of time to invest. They have no time to read extensively (to learn and keep up), for trial and error, nor to make mistakes.

TimeTime is the solopreneur’s biggest enemy. SBI! optimizes its use, giving the SBIer a significant edge over other solopreneurs. Saving time enables SBIers to focus 100% on building their business.

We have also seen how SBI! is especially strong at growing search engine traffic. And yet, we focus very little on SEO, proving that it’s the process, not the tool, that makes a huge difference.

This Study also shows, dramatically, that what a site looks like has very little impact on its success. Clearly, you need more than Wix’s promise of “a stunning website” if you want to build a real online business that generates traffic and revenue.

We’re thrilled with the success that so many of our customers achieve. Those numbers translate into real people. Read these real-life success stories to see what we mean.

It’s more important than ever to help everyday people cut through intense and contradictory noise so that they can focus their time and energy on what’s important — becoming extraordinary.

But what about the tens of thousands of would-be solopreneurs who haven’t yet joined Solo Build It!? There’s a critical decision to make.

Do you want to start a new online business? Have you been tempted by celebrities talking about how “it’s easy” to start a website?

It’s critical to remember this:

It’s not a website you’re starting. It’s an online business.

You need more than a shiny site builder.

You need more than a promise to have your site up in 5 minutes.

You need more than useless specs and features like “unlimited domain names.” One serious business is all that most people ever need or have time for.

You need and deserve more than “being sold.”

You need to be able to see the real differences between platforms — data-supported results.

Who cares which one offers more domain names or storage space?  Which one offers proven processes that are going to help you succeed?

You need to have access to real reviews and real proof about a company’s track record of success.

Not more marketing hype and fake affiliate claims.

You need a business-building platform and a partner that’s going to do everything possible to help you save your most precious commodity…

Time.

We mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth exploring further…

Time is the ever-growing challenge facing solopreneurs today. Content Shock is simply another symptom, right alongside Social Media Overload and News Fatigue.

We bring you only the small number of important changes that will help grow your business. This ongoing auto-updating is critical…

Countless voices scream to snag some of your precious minutes. You cannot afford to waste time on anything less than the proven best.

If you’re serious about creating an online business based on your knowledge and passions, one that offers real opportunities for online business success…

The head-to-head studies, when taken together, start to give us an estimate of how solopreneurs do in general. The answer is that the true status is poor, but the odds of success can be multiplied by 30-100X (and more) with SBI!.

Sign up for the Solo Build It! newsletter to be sure you catch all future studies, plus weekly articles to help solopreneurs like you.

The “solopreneur industry” has created a rosy picture that’s not supported by actual results. We hope that serious companies pick up the pieces and dedicate themselves to truly helping you succeed.

If you insist, they will. If that happens, we’ll enter a new era for solopreneurs — one that fulfills the promise of the Internet.

Yes, that means we’ll see the first serious competition for Solo Build It!. We not only believe in solopreneurs and what they can achieve through online business success, we know that there’s lots of room for way more folks to succeed. In short…

We welcome anything that helps more solopreneurs take advantage of this unique time in history, when the individual can seize control of his/her life by starting a business with so little risk.

If I had my life to live over again, I’d take more chances. I’d want more passion in my life. Less fear and more passion, more risk. Even if you fail, you’ve still taken a risk.W. P. Kinsella

Mike Allton
Mike Allton is the Chief Marketing Officer for SiteSell. He has spent years helping solopreneurs achieve success online through the precepts of content marketing: write great content, share that to social, and drive new leads & sales.Mike’s focus is to reach people who have a passion for something and show them how it’s possible to turn that dream into a real online business and income.

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