Wix is a popular, relatively new platform for creating a website and publishing content on the internet. If you’ve spent any time on YouTube recently, chances are you’ve seen the Wix ads showing you how easy it is to build a website using the Wix hosted website builder.
While it’s true that Wix is simple, you lose some flexibility and power using Wix, especially compared to WordPress, a web publishing tool that is used by about 33% of websites on the internet. In addition to WordPress, there are other publishing tools that many people decide are better options for them, especially if they have someone technical handy to set things up for them.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that Wix serves a valuable role for people who don’t want to deal with the technical elements of setting up and maintaining a website. However, if you’re one of those people who is ready to go to the next level, you may want to move your website from Wix to something else.
Using the Google Cloud Platform for Web Hosting
For me, I have started moving my websites over to the Google Cloud Platform for several reasons, including that they are currently (March 2019) and for some time to come offering $300 worth of credits that can be used over the first year of hosting with them.
A relative of mine recently told me he’s ready to jump in to the world of blogging and content marketing, so I told him I’d set him up with a WordPress website and start him off on his way to building his blogging empire.
I found out that he had registered his website using Wix.com, which acts as a registrar (meaning you can register a domain through them) as well as a site building and hosting platform.
Transferring a website from Wix to the Google Cloud Platform (which is similar to the process for transferring it to any cloud host, including AWS, Digital Ocean, Azure, and others), is slightly different from other registrars, which don’t normally couple your domain name with a built-in proprietary hosting solution.
The typical process for transferring a domain to be hosted on the Google Cloud Platform via the registrar dashboard includes doing the following:
- Create a DNS zone using the Networking -> Cloud DNS section of Google Cloud Platform
- Add an “A” record to your new DNS zone using the external IP address that corresponds to your VM instance.
- Create a “CNAME” record that spells out the DNS name for your domain (www) as well as the “Canonical Name” for your domain.
- Update the nameserver records with your registrar to point to the Google DNS, which looks something like this:
This process is described in greater detail in a well-written tutorial on OnePageZen.com, which walks you through the entire process with screenshots included.
Wix is Slightly Different From Other Registrars
Updating your Wix-registered domain to point to another host is slightly different from other hosts, because Wix doesn’t allow you to use custom domain name servers (DNS). Instead, you’ll need to follow this process, which is documented in Wix.com’s help section:
- After logging in to your Wix.com account, go to the Domains link under the dropdown menu in the top right associated with your Wix account. Then click on “Advanced” under your domain listing.
- Create an “A” record in your Wix account dashboard that points to the external IP address corresponding to your Google Cloud Platform virtual machine instance. Your external ip address can be found by going to Compute Engine -> VM Instances in the GCP menu.
- Create a “CNAME” record in your Wix DNS dashboard that uses the “www” version of your domain as the “Host Name” and the actual domain in the “Points to” field.
You can see how I set this information up for my buddy’s website, diyguy.tips, below.
Once you have updated these fields, Wix will start the process of notifying the internet that your domain is being hosted elsewhere, in this case on the Google Cloud Platform.
Transferring Domain Management From Wix
If you’ve decided that you’re not looking back, and that you won’t be using Wix anymore, you may decide to go ahead and transfer management (registration) of your domain to a different registrar. You can follow Wix’s guide for transferring your domain to accomplish that. If you’re going to use Google’s Cloud Platform for hosting, you might as well use Google Domains as your registrar.