Wix Is Debuting A New Web Editor, With Some Help From Facebook

Wix, the popular website building and hosting service, rolled out a new version of its web design platform on Wednesday–with a bit of borrowed DNA from Facebook. The new version of Wix’s editor is based on React, an open-source JavaScript library developed by Facebook that also powers much of Khan Academy and Flipboard. Wix’s update signals the exact market it is trying to attract: small businesses that want to build websites in-house and would otherwise look to competitors like Squarespace or WordPress.

In a demo shown to Fast Company, Wix’s new user interface appears to be significantly easier to use than it was in past editions. Wix marketing director Eric Mason described it as “the only real drag-and-drop editor on market,” and noted new features like full-page video backgrounds, parallax scrolling, and diversified templates for small businesses.

One core piece of Wix’s setup, however, remains the same in the new editor: Users cannot export their websites into HTML, or move it to another host. “Exporting to HTML is not part of our philosophy,” Mason said, characterizing the company’s product as a sort of walled garden. In other words, Wix customers who wish to move their site to another service would need to rebuild their website from scratch.

Even with this caveat, Wix has been highly successful in both the U.S. and the larger global market. The company claims over 72 million users, and offers a free web design and hosting product that is particularly popular with the small business market.