Innovative: Wix Code Massively Accelerates the Creation of Web Applications

It’s nothing short of a revolution. Website builder Wix provides the option to write and edit code. However, this is not even the most significant change coming with the new product Wix Code.

Here at Noupe, we’ve been following Wix, the website builder from Tel Aviv for many years already. Based on what we learned during that time, we can confirm that Wix has come up with innovations year after year since the introduction of the HTML editor in 2012, which spelled doom for the old flash-based editor.

Innovations Are Nothing Unusual For Wix

Wix Code, however, might just be the biggest innovation in their business history, and the foundation of a new way of creating a web app for existing and future Wix customers alike. Wix Code simplifies the construction of a web app so much that the product can possibly tap completely new target groups.

If you considered Wix a simple homepage builder for static web contents, you’ve been misinformed for a while. For a couple of years now, Wix has been offering dynamic content elements, as well as animated presentations. Thus, the website builder has already been a complete solution for all kinds of web presences.

Wix is not restricted to “beautiful websites.” (Screenshot: Noupe)

It doesn’t matter if you had to create the classic business card site or an advanced and extensive shop application. Wix has been able to do that for a long time. Recently, the homepage builder has also simplified the distribution of media, such as music or videos. A short while ago, they released Wix ADI, a site generator based on artificial intelligence, which was capable of creating your custom website based on a few questions and answers.

Create Completely New Kinds of Applications Using Wix Code

So now, Wix Code taps a previously untouched market segment. Wix Code lets you build your very own web application. “Very own” means an app that has not existed to any extent before. This is not about displaying existing use cases, such as restaurant or hotel bookings, member pages, forums, blogs, or selling media files. Wix has been capable of doing that for years already.

Wix Delivers Meaningful Application Examples For Free

Wix Code was created to cover brand-new use cases. To get an idea of what the news is, Wix delivers some impressive examples. You can take a look at the website of an art academy, which processes the entire student application workflow. Previously, given the existing means of the builder, this would’ve been impossible. It’s no exaggeration to claim that Wix Code redefines how to build a website.

JetBite: Useless but Impressive. (Screenshot: Noupe)

However, this becomes even more obvious when we take a look at the second example. JetBite is a – apparently not very serious – search engine for flights, based on the food offer on the plane. This means you could search for flights from London to Paris where you get to eat both breakfast and lunch. The result will be a wild mess, as JetBite will show you a flight with breakfast, and at least one more with lunch. As a result, your journey may take several hours, but you’d be fed to your liking.

While different web applications would be possible given Wix Code’s extensive onboard features, the entire scope of functions is necessary for JetBite, including code parts, which is where the feature set gets its name from.

Does Anyone Remember VBA?

As a veteran, not just in web development, Wix Code clearly reminds me of the VBA development with Microsoft products of the early nineties. Back then, we also built interfaces visually, connected the individual elements with corresponding database contents, and wrote the code right at the respective element, as far as business logic was required. As you might be able to tell from the term VBA, we wrote in Visual Basic.

Wix Code works similarly. However, here, you don’t work in a proprietary system, such as the Redmonder’s VBA environment, but exclusively using web standards like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Wix provides the entire infrastructure behind the scenes.

Thus, you don’t need to worry about server requirements, database installations, performance, security, or scaling questions. Wix Code takes care of all of that. All you need to focus on are the content-related questions, and building your application’s visuals. Where required, insert the business logic as JavaScript snippets.

The Components of Wix Code

The most straightforward use case for parts of the new feature set is displaying content of a database within a standardized layout. Here, we meet two of Wix Code’s functions.

Database Collections

Database Collections are data tables that you create visually within the editor, and either fill with data right away or have filled with input data from your web app. Database Collections store the contents that you want to display in the standardized layout.

Database Collections and Dynamic Pages Speed Up Web Development. (Graphic: Wix)

Dynamic Pages

Dynamic Pages are the layout in which the contents of your database collections are displayed. Instead of copying a design repeatedly, and filling it with as much different data as there is, all Wix Code needs is a standardized layout with its elements connected to respective database fields.

This way, we show our recipe collection in all its glory. Wix Code is capable of more, though.

Custom User Input Forms

are forms that query information from your users, and stores it in a database collection. Whether you use this as an application form, quizzes, online tests, or whatever requires the input of information, is left to your imagination.

Custom Interactions

When it comes to custom interactions, you can adjust your site elements with some JavaScript in a way that makes them react to user interaction. This could affect the display of information during hovering, but also the behavior when clicking.

APIs

To allow for applications that require even more functionality, Wix Code offers several easy-to-address internal APIs to connect your own JavaScript. The access to external APIs by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, Stripe, and many more is possible, too.

Wix Code is Still in Beta Stage

As always, Wix tries its best to not roll out an unrefined new feature, so it tests the product with a group of volunteers. You guessed it, Wix Code is still in beta stage. Wix clients can register for the beta with no strings attached. All that is expected in return is the contribution of feedback on the new functionalities. Wix Code is already extraordinarily well documented. Especially the extensive video tutorials helped me getting started fast.

So, who is Wix Code an excellent choice for? The product definitely is a welcome feature extension for coders, who didn’t think Wix was flexible enough before. Startups will be happy to have functional prototypes online in no time. But even the “normal” web designer can enjoy the fact that many of the “code” functions don’t require coding, and are usable visually. Wix Code also lowers the inhibition level for getting started with coding a lot. Here, you don’t have to create the entire application writing source code, allowing you to focus on the few spots where your specific business logic has to make the difference.

Wix Code will be available as a part of the editor environment, meaning all Wix users will have access to it after the conclusion of the beta. Using the editor won’t be any more complicated than before. Those that don’t want to use Wix Code don’t have to deal with it. You, however, you should do it.

Noupe Editorial Team

The jungle is alive: Be it a collaboration between two or more authors or an article by an author not contributing regularly. In these cases you find the Noupe Editorial Team as the ones who made it. Guest authors get their own little bio boxes below the article, so watch out for these.

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