Creating a website is not enough anymore. Nor is it enough to have a site that is dynamically updated or mobile-responsive. You need something more.
This “more” is the ability to extend your web presence by providing some cool functionality to your site.So, if you are a Wix user, what can you do to extend the functionality of your site?
The answer is Wix App Market and its apps. And these, my friend, are the topics we are going to cover in this post.
And you may be wondering why I had the word “amazing” followed by a question mark in my post title.
The amazing is a very subjective matter; what Wix says is amazing is not necessary amazing to you. But, knowing that the app market contains a lot of apps, there is probably something that fits your needs perfectly.
Wix App Market: The Intro
To put it simply, an app is just a simple (at least in most cases) way to extend your site. If you have a smartphone, you are already familiar with apps.
For instance, with Apple phones, you go to the App Store to install something useful to your phone (in the form of an app). And if you have an Android phone, you can find the apps in Google Play.
Online site builders have their “app stores” of their own.
For instance, with Weebly, you have the Weebly App Center. And if you are a WordPress user, you have plugins, which can be found on a variety of “centers” around the web.
And a Wix user goes to - you are correct - to Wix App Market, to extend his/her site.
A Cross-Section of an App
There are four types of apps in the Wix world. Let’s look at all of them first, and then I’ll dissect one app (a standard app) to show you what it’s all about.
Four Types of Apps
- Standard app: An app is added to your existing page in Wix Editor:
- Full page app: Some apps are added to your site as full-page applications:
- Dashboard app: An app which is shown on the Dashboard view when you log in to your site:
- Hybrid app: According to Wix, these types of apps can be managed “from both your site’s dashboard and your Editor.”
Ok, so now you know what the main app types are. Next, let’s look at one of the apps through the Wix App Market.
Wix Hit Counter
All the Wix App Market apps share the same characteristics between them. To see these various elements, let’s look at one of the apps, Wix Hit Counter. The purpose of this app is to show how many visitors your site has gotten.To find this app, I went to the Wix App Market’s front page and scrolled down a bit to find my candidate. Alternatively, you can also locate the app by using the search functionality.
Once you hover your mouse pointer over this button, it looks like this:
This looks like the original look. But in this case, you can either install the App by clicking the Add to Site button; by going to the details page; or by clicking at the top of the button (or by clicking the More Info link at the bottom of the button).
We are not going to install the app just yet. Instead, click on the top of the button, to go the details page:
This page shows you the following information (under tabs):
- The screenshot(s) of the app.
- Demo of the app (in some apps this tab is absent).
- Features related to this app.
- Developer Information.
Also, on the top you see the following:
- Add button.
If you decide to install this app, just click the Add button.To see how the installation process goes, I’m going to show it to you later in this post, both in a written tutorial and by using a video.
Four Pricing Models
There are four types of apps when the pricing is concerned. How much you end up paying depends on the app, and that’s something you should check out first before installing an app (I have written a dedicated post related to Wix pricing if that’s something that interests you).
This is self-explanatory: You don’t have to spend a dime to get this type of an app:
his type of app has both free and paid options. While some of the features are free (or they are otherwise limited), you get to unleash the full power of the app by paying for it:
To get the app, you have to pay a certain amount of money:
With a free trial, you can try the app for a certain amount of time for free, until you have to pay for it.
Installing an App on Your Wix Website
These next steps show how to install an app called Facebook Like to your website.
The installation process includes two parts:
- Installation of the app.
- Configuring the app.
Installing the App:
1) Log in to your Wix account, and choose the site you want to edit:
2) Click the Add App button at the top navigation bar:
3) Once the Wix App Market loads, enter Facebook Like to the search box:
4) Choose Facebook Like from the search results and click the Facebook Like image to learn more about the application. Otherwise, click the Add to Site button:
5) Next, Wix Editor loads and you get the message saying: You’ve started to add “Facebook Like” to your site. Click Add to Site button again:
6) After a brief moment, the app, Facebook Like, has been now added to your site!
Configuring the App:
1) Once that you are in the editor view, you can start moving the app around on your page or further configure it to your needs.The settings that can be tweaked depend on the app itself. But in this case, I changed the Like text to be Recommend (by clicking the Gear icon):
I also changed the layout to be different than the default one (by clicking the Layout button):
2) I saved my changes by clicking the Save button at the top-right:
Finally, my site had a Facebook Like app installed and configured!
But What about the Apps on The Dashboard?
You may have noticed that when you log in to your dashboard, there is also an apps view:
When I saw this view, and especially after installing my Facebook Like app, I had a question on my mind:
- Why isn’t my installed app showing this view?
After discussing with the customer support, I learned that the view that you saw in the previous screenshot is only displaying apps that are related to your site’s “infrastructure.” These could be the apps that are gathering your site’s usage data or manage your site’s roles and permissions.
On the other hand, the Facebook Like app is only showing up in the editor, since it’s the page-level app.
I guess you could even jokingly say that it’s not a “serious app” when compared it to these big boys and girls that you see in the dashboard view. But jokes aside; the app does what it promises, and according to many reviews, people like the app.
But there is also an issue with the dashboard view: it’s not showing all the installed apps, no matter how big or small they are. It would make sense to gather all the apps under one view, without sprinkling them all over the place.I hope that Wix will improve matter this at some point.
There can be times when you want to remove an app from your site. The removal process depends on the app you have installed (see the types of apps listed earlier in this post, Four Types of Apps section):
A Standard App
1) Open an app in the editor:
2) Hit the delete key on top of the app (once it’s activated).
A Full Page App
1) Open the editor.
2) Choose Menus and Pages on the left vertical bar of your site. Then hover over the More button and choose Delete:
A Dashboard App
1) Log in to your site to view the Dashboard view.
2) Click Add App button:
3) Go to the My Apps on the left:
4) Click the Delete link under the app.
A Hybrid App
With hybrid apps, you have to delete the app from the editor and through the My Apps view.
1) Delete your app as mentioned in the standard app deletion (see Standard app deletion steps in this section).
2) Open your site’s dashboard and delete the app (see the Dashboard app deletion steps in this section).
If you remove an app, make sure to cancel its subscription too (if you have subscribed to it)! You don’t want to delete an app only to realize later that the (possible) recurring billing is still active!
Working with Wix App Market and installing apps is simple. It’s easy to add new functionality to your site if you find the app that fits your needs.
One thing that I would like to see improved is the way installed apps are accessed. This would allow the app to be maintained easily.Anyways, now you know how to install an app on your site. So, go ahead and start exploring the Wix App Market. It contains plenty of exciting apps – both free and paid - to be added to your site.
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