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Wix: Empowering everyone to create the advanced websites they need, from design to development

About Wix

Wix is a global software company that provides a leading cloud-based web development platform to over 210 million registered users worldwide, allowing them to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag-and-drop tools. Features include social plug-ins, ecommerce, online marketing, and community forums using Wix-developed and third-party applications.

Industries: Technology
Location: Israel

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Google Cloud began as a building block for Wix’s internal infrastructure and developed to transform the services the company now puts into the hands of its users.

Google Cloud results

  • Providing the building blocks of the Wix internal infrastructure
  • Freeing developers to work on even greater products for users
  • Forming the basis for Wix’s Velo serverless software solution
  • Powering the future progress of Velo with new features and tools

Giving everyone the tools to create professional websites

Building your own website is essential to attracting new customers and selling your skills and services. A great website can help grow your company: 79% of entrepreneurs with a business website expect to grow at least 25% in the next three to five years, compared to 64% of those without a site.

Developing and designing a website, however, doesn’t have to be a difficult process and it needn’t be expensive. That’s where global software company Wix comes in. Wix aims to provide the best development and design tools for online content.

"The global presence of Cloud Load Balancing helps Wix to achieve best performance around the globe. With Google Cloud CDN, we are able to serve tens of millions of requests per day seamlessly, while ensuring that our customers get a consistently great web experience worldwide.”

Eugene Olshenbaum, VP Technology, Wix

Unlike other website providers or CMS platforms, Wix offers a full-service website and online business-building platform that helps customers to manage their entire business online, beyond a simple blog or cookie-cutter website. It provides a fully managed solution for building a brand. That’s true whether it’s a community store looking to advertise its local services or a startup seeking to corner the market. Wix is particularly popular among the growing army of professional designers and developers who build bespoke websites for these types of clients, and more.

Like many businesses, Wix relies on Google Cloud to run and maintain its infrastructure and, since Wix’s inception in 2006, the company has increasingly come to rely on the services provided by Google Cloud. The company currently runs on all three major clouds. “Not many software engineering companies have to manage millions of website certificates every day, while ensuring seamless high performance, regardless of where the site is being accessed from in the world,” explains Eugene Olshenbaum, VP Technology, Wix. "The global presence of Cloud Load Balancing helps Wix to achieve best performance around the globe. With Cloud CDN, we are able to serve tens of millions of requests per day seamlessly, while ensuring that our customers get a consistently great web experience worldwide.”

When it comes to user experience, two critical pieces of the puzzle are visibility into the network and fast and reliable troubleshooting to prevent network outages and performance issues. With Network Intelligence Center, Wix can monitor and visualize the health of their network, and as a result troubleshoot network issues quickly. Wix developers also use a host of Google Cloud solutions to provide the functionality for the software platform, while still ensuring optimal quality of service and security for customers.

But Wix wanted to go beyond this, to offer its users the benefits of the tools its developers enjoy. To achieve this, Wix created Velo, a full-stack development solution that began in 2015 and launched in 2019. Velo’s aim is to disrupt the way web development happens, filling the gap between design and development. It does this by combining the benefits of Wix with the tools that developers and designers need, within the same serverless platform.

Velo enables designers and developers to design, write code, and integrate third-party services and web apps to Wix websites, across four cloud data centers globally, with the click of a button. “Velo’s taking all of the advantages of Wix, the same design environment, drag-and-drop tools, the same click-to-publish function, and the same resilience,” says Yoav Abrahami, Chief Architect and Co-Head of Velo, Wix. “On top of that, we're connecting Wix with our compute and database infrastructure, which enables users to start coding and extend their projects in all different directions. It’s the best of both worlds.”

“One of the challenges we have at Wix is creating a seamless infrastructure for each one of our compute services. We’re addressing this by moving away from virtual machines and Chef to containers in GKE. This has enabled us to drop much of our management code.”

Yoav Abrahami, Chief Architect and Co-Head of Velo, Wix

Using Google Kubernetes Engine to enable developers to do more

Wix's internal relationship with Google Cloud began with a migration from its own data centers. It then adopted Compute Engine to power virtual machines, before adopting Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). This happened in two stages. First, Wix moved all of its backend services from VMs to Kubernetes back in 2016. Then in 2019, it built the next generation of the Velo serverless backend on top of GKE and Filestore. The new system relies on GKE APIs for container orchestration. “One of the challenges we have at Wix is creating a seamless infrastructure for each one of our compute services,” explains Abrahami. “We’re now doing many things that didn’t exist as services in the cloud when Wix was established, including running experiments and service toggles, which need implementing in any language we’re using. We’re addressing this by moving away from virtual machines and Chef, to containers in GKE. This has enabled us to drop much of our management code.”

The number of Google Cloud services Wix uses has grown significantly and, given the size of the company in terms of its users and their geographical spread, these complex operations are performed on a huge scale. Abrahami adds: “We're trying every product and feature that Google Cloud has to understand how we can package them, directly or indirectly, as products for our users. It takes a lot of innovation, but when you take away a burden from us to develop or manage something, we use that time to develop something else, adding value to our business or our customers. That's the real business impact for us. It's a direct impact on the way we do R&D and the way we innovate.”

Giving developers the power to start coding in seconds

Velo is the largest and most groundbreaking of Wix’s innovations, and when it was time to find a home for the data needed to run the project, Filestore was a natural choice. It offers low-latency performance for file operations, making it ideal for powering data analytics and media rendering, as well as a host of other data-intensive processes. “With Velo, we combine our easy-to-use design platforms with flawless, serverless, compute and database platforms to create that resilient cloud for you. We built our compute platform using Filestore to offer a complex and challenging solution that allows developers and designers to start coding and creating in seconds,” says Olshenbaum.

The results are a diverse array of creative websites that use Velo to deliver a whole host of services. Abrahami adds: “We see a lot of things happening, from integrating Wix’s ecommerce solution with different providers for shipment and fulfillment, through to people building full-blown startups on our platform. We have one customer who’s tracking a fleet of trucks with GPS sensors, sending that information to the back end, and displaying the information on their Velo site. That’s just one example of people doing amazing things on the Velo platform.“

“When you take away a burden from us to develop or manage something, we use that time to develop something else. That's the real business impact for us. It's a direct impact on the way we do R&D and the way we innovate.”

Yoav Abrahami, Chief Architect and Co-Head of Velo, Wix

Offering users transparency with detailed website metrics

While Google Firestore forms a backbone of the Velo back end, the Google Cloud operations suite enables users of the platform to create a project that seamlessly integrates with Google’s performance monitoring solution. This provides users with out-of-the-box dashboards for viewing and monitoring the performance of their websites and their applications. “We see a great synergy between Velo's offering for Wix users and Google Cloud's offering for all the developers out there,” says Olshenbaum. “We share many of the same values, and the products play well together. We send all of the metrics from a Velo project to the Google Cloud operations suite, and that helps us to give our users transparency on how their website's performing and they love it.”

Using Google Cloud to secure Wix’s future

So what next for Wix? The company has built up a lot of trust in its relationship with Google Cloud solutions, and it seems the future success of the Wix platform will continue to depend on Google Cloud. “Google has helped us, first and foremost, by listening to our feedback, taking it into consideration, and meeting our needs,” says Abrahami. “Now we're looking at expanding our Google Cloud footprint to more services.” Olshenbaum adds: “Our goal is that within the next five to seven years, 50% of what is newly built on the internet will be built on Wix. We have a lot of work to do to achieve this, but that is the vision. We believe that by giving our users the best tools on the market, using Velo’s super high efficiency with seamlessly plugged-in Google Cloud technologies, services, and platforms, we will break all the barriers for our users to fulfill their dreams.”

Powering this progress is a team of Wix data scientists who are experimenting with the solutions Google Cloud has to offer, to deliver even more innovation for its customers. “They are an amazing team, doing some amazing stuff,” says Abrahami. “Our next challenge is to take Google Cloud’s machine-learning solutions and package them in a way that's useful to our users.”

Wix already employs machine learning on Wix applications, including Cloud Natural Language to enable its users to deploy multilingual sites that look and behave the same in multiple languages. And Cloud Vision enables Wix users to label images and find them more quickly. “The next step,” Olshenbaum concludes, “is to figure out the right way to package machine learning, to put it into the hands of our Velo customers.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Wix

Wix is a global software company that provides a leading cloud-based web development platform to over 210 million registered users worldwide, allowing them to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag-and-drop tools. Features include social plug-ins, ecommerce, online marketing, and community forums using Wix-developed and third-party applications.

Industries: Technology
Location: Israel