Easy to Follow Step-by-Step Process

Running a website is often a fluid endeavor. For example, you might start with one choice of website builder or Content Management System (CMS.) However, mistakes happen, needs change, and at some point you might want to move your site or maybe even just shut it down. If you want to learn 💡 about how to unpublish Wix site, we can help!

👉 This post will do a lot more than show you how to unpublish your Wix site. We’ll also look at what to consider beforehand, and where you might want to take your site after.

📚 Table of contents:

What to consider before you pull the plug

If you want to unpublish 🧹 your Wix site, you’ll likely want to delete it altogether. While this is the focus of the post here, there are other forms to consider. For example, you might want to take the site offline for a while.

What’s more, you’ll want to not only consider what will affect you, but your user base too. After all, there might be a period where your site doesn’t load, and you’ll want to take it into account.

Our advice is to use your social media and email channels to inform potential visitors about the downtime. Even better, you might want to start this article in reverse – sort an alternative platform out and develop your site there. After, you can unpublish your Wix site and keep any transition to a minimum.

How to unpublish your Wix site

We’re going to provide three different phases in order to unpublish your Wix site. How far you get will relate to what you want to achieve. If you want to delete the site in its entirety, you should look at all three phases. In contrast, you might want to switch platforms, but keep search engine recognition.

We’ll cover all of them in the next few sections – and we’ll start 🏁 with the unpublishing process.

Wix’ official instructions on how to unpublish your site

The Wix knowledge base offers a comprehensive set of instructions to unpublish your Wix site. The good news is that it amounts to a few button presses.

To get started, log in to your website in Wix. Then, look for (and click on) the Settings option in the sidebar:

The Wix dashboard, showing the Settings link in the sidebar.

There are a number of options here, but you want to click on Website Settings:

The Wix Settings screen, showing a highlighted Website Settings option.

The next page will display the Unpublish link – it’s at the top of the screen:

The link within the Website Settings to unpublish a Wix site.

Once you click this, you’ll want to read the pop-up box and confirm your choice:

A pop-up dialog asking to confirm that you want to unpublish your Wix site.

From here, the dashboard will reload and this will mean the unpublishing process will be completed. Within four clicks, you’ll have no more to do. However, if you want to take things further and either delete the site or remove it from search engines, there are a few more steps.

Deleting a site 🔨

If you want to delete your Wix site, there are a few more considerations you’ll need to make beforehand:

  • First, you’ll need to cancel your premium plan if relevant. Sites and plans are not permanently tied together, which means you can reassign the premium plan to another Wix site if you wish.
  • For those sites with a custom domain, you will either want to cancel it, transfer it, or reassign it. If you want to move your Wix site to another platform and keep the same domain, it’s important to transfer that domain.
  • Note that if you opted to use a third-party app from the Wix App Market, you won’t be able to delete your site straight away. Instead, you have to wait for the subscription to expire (once you cancel the auto-renew.)

Fortunately, the steps to delete the site from here are simple. First, head to the Site Actions drop-down menu on your Wix dashboard. Here, select the Move to Trash option:

The Wix dashboard, with an expanded Site Actions drop-down menu.

As with unpublishing, you’ll need to confirm that you do want to carry out a deleting through a pop-up dialog:

The Wix dialog asking to confirm you want to move the site to the trash.

Once you click Move to Trash, Wix will do its thing and bring you to the My Sites screen:

The My Sites page within Wix, showing a Trash folder.

If you click the Trash folder, this will show you every site within – including the most recent one. Here, you’ll want to open the dedicated Site Actions menu, and click Remove Site:

The individual Site Actions menu for a deleted site, with a drop-down menu showing the Remove Site option.

There’s another pop-up confirmation to accept here, but once you click this, Wix will remove the site in its entirety.

Removing a site from search engines 🗑️

In some cases, you might want to stop visitors from finding your site altogether. This is just as straightforward as unpublishing the site.

To do so, head back to your Wix dashboard, and to the Settings page again. This time, look for the Marketing & SEO option. If you hover over it, you’ll bring up a sub-menu. Here, you should choose SEO Tools:

The Wix dashboard submenu for the various marketing and SEO tools it offers.

From the next screen, select the SEO Settings option:

The SEO Tools page within Wix.

The final screen you need has a few options, but you’ll want to look to the Set site preferences section. This has the Let search engines index your site toggle switch:

Wix' SEO Settings page, with a highlighted toggle switch to stop search engines indexing a site.

If you select this, you’ll have to confirm that you’re happy to proceed once more:

The Hide Site dialog within Wix.

Once you confirm, Wix will reload the dashboard, and your site will start the process of unindexing. Don’t worry – you can carry out any of the other steps within this article, and don’t need to stick to the page while the process takes place.

Three alternative platforms to publish your website

Once you unpublish your Wix site, you’ll want to move it to another platform. This choice can be overwhelming, as there are lots available. Despite this, other users tend to gravitate towards the following three solutions.

The list below 👇 is in no ⚠ order, so we encourage you to jump around and take in every platform. That way, you’ll know which one is best for you once you unpublish your Wix site.

  1. Squarespace
  2. Weebly
  3. Shopify

1. Squarespace

Squarespace

Squarespace is a popular website builder for all manner of site owners, not just those who want to switch platforms. The figures don’t tell the full story though. It looks as though it has a tiny market share, but this belies the scope and power the platform provides.

In fact, Squarespace is a platform we feature elsewhere on the Themeisle blog. This is because it offers a superb selection of templates to help build your site, and a fantastic visual editor to design the layout.

The Squarespace Visual Editor.

💵 Its pricing is competitive too. You’ll look to spend around $200–600 per year in order to host a site on Squarespace. This should give you all of the functionality you need to run a site to high level. However, it’s not the only option you have available.

2. Weebly

Weebly

If you want to run an ecommerce site, but also offer in-person sales, Weebly could be a top option for your preferred platform.

This website builder platform couldn’t compare to the competition in the past. However, an acquisition by payment merchant Square means it now offers a strong way to host ecommerce. The real draw for Weebly is how you can link in point of sale transactions through unique Square functionality.

💵 We’d suggest that if you handle lots of in-person sales, yet also need a site as an online presence, Weebly could be a good pick. To do this, you’ll only want to look at the Business premium tier. This gives you the entire suite of functionality, for around $300–400 per year.

3. Shopify

Shopify

If you want an experience that focuses on ecommerce more than other platforms, Shopify will be one of your options. This is a longstanding solution to sell products online, that comes with a good community and solid support.

You’ll use themes to design the overall look of your site, but can also use the website editor to tweak things to your liking. One of the key positives from all of these solutions is that they have the user in mind. This means you won’t need code, nor heavy technical knowledge to create a layout.

A selection of Shopify themes.

Even so, we consider Shopify to be the least flexible of the inclusions on this list, in that you’re more likely to need code such as HTML or CSS to create a site to your liking. It’s not obligatory though, and this means you can spend your money on a higher-tiered pricing plan.

💵 Shopify costs more than the competition: $350–3,600 per year, in fact. You’ll want to commit to the platform for this kind of money. However, there is one platform that costs less, yet offers more value with regards to its included features and functionality.

Where you should move your site to after Wix

In our opinion, WordPress can combine almost all of the positives of the competition. That’s why it has an enormous market share of 42.9%, and is the platform of choice for lots of high-profile companies.

A selection of websites that run on WordPress.

WordPress is the primary CMS we focus on at Themeisle, and this is because you get to make all of the choices. For example, there are thousands of themes to choose from – free solutions on the WordPress Theme Directory, and premium options, such as Neve Pro:

Neve

You also get to decide what functionality your site offers. For instance, the WordPress plugin directory offers small, self-contained “plugins” that bolt onto WordPress. It’s much like third-party apps within the Wix App Market. Most plugins are free from the official WordPress site, but premium versions exist too.

Regardless, there are lots of near-essential plugins to help you add contact forms, security, better ecommerce functionality, and much more.

The WordPress Plugin Directory interface.

Given that Wix doesn’t offer you a way to transport your content across to WordPress in an easy way, you’ll need to do this piece by piece by following our Wix to WordPress migration guide. However, once you do, you’ll have the online world at your fingertips, with greater scope, power, and options at your disposal.

WordPress’ pricing 💰

The WordPress platform is free, and always will be. However, you’ll need a number of other connective elements to run a full-featured WordPress site. For example, you’ll want to have a domain name and hosting in place.

We’d recommend you choose a premium theme too, in order to get greater functionality and better support. When it comes to plugins, you may not need any premium options.

ℹ️ As such, you can expect to pay around $150 per year at the most for your site. This is a snip if you compare it with Wix, Squarespace, and almost all other platforms.

Unpublish your Wix site today 🧹

For example, Squarespace and Weebly both feature on the shortlist, because they offer a comparable feature set. However, WordPress is still a standout CMS 🌲 for most use cases. It has a wealth of themes 🎨 and plugins 🔌 to choose from, and a vibrant and vast community. Combined, you have almost everything you need that other platforms aren’t able to match.

Do you have any questions about how to unpublish your Wix site? Ask away in the comments section below!

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