DIY website creator Wix wants to make starting a career in web design as easy as it’s made building your own site.
Today, the company is launching WixEd, a free online education program that teaches Wix users everything they need to know to launch their own website design business.
The course consists of three parts: Wix Webmaster, which teaches web design with the tools Wix provides, and two business and marketing classes that cover all aspects of running a small business with intros to SEO, e-commerce, accounting, and photography.
A group of Wix instructors are on call to answer questions and review the homework that’s assigned after each section, including building a website for a real small business client.
“It’s not only about building websites, it’s about being the person who is responsible for the online presence of a small business,” says Yuval Finkelstein, who is running the WixEd program for Wix. “All of the strengths that online marketing had two years ago are now available for small business owners, they just need the professionals that can do it.”
The Wix team has been quietly developing WixEd for three years, and after about a month in a small beta, they’re reporting that 80 percent of users watch at least two videos, and 30 percent of all videos are watched all the way through.
To produce the video content, Wix is collaborating with experts in the given industry, whether that’s an attorney to speak about copyright law or a Google employee to teach a lesson on Google Analytics.
Finkelstein says he expects the course to take an average of two to three weeks to complete, although he’s already seen a couple of power beta users blaze through the entire program in the course of a weekend.
With the rise of online education marketplaces like Coursera and Udemy, Wix is clearly not the only place on the Internet where people can learn the basics of web design and small business operation. So WixEd has added a layer of human support, and carefully curated the content to make the course as efficient as possible.
“We are sharing the minimum theory needed in order to explain the practical side,” Finkelstein says. “You don’t need to learn the whole history of the web and how SEO started to understand what you have to do on your own site.”
Aside from the millions of small business owners in the U.S. that Finkelstein identifies as a client base for WixEd graduates, it seems reasonable to expect that some portion of Wix’s 68 million users would rather hire a certified Wix professional than build their own site.
Wix is prepared to scale the program quickly to keep up with demand, and Finkelstein says it will be free forever.