Wix and WordPress are two of the most popular website solutions available. According to Builtwith, Wix is powering over 4.5 million websites while WordPress is behind over 28 million websites.
The key difference between them is that Wix is a website builder and hosted solution, whereas WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) and not hosted.
One important decision you need to think through when deciding between Wix and WordPress is which one is better for SEO.
In this column, you’ll learn the pros and cons of each platform when it comes to SEO, along with some interesting facts and tips to help you make the right decision for your website.
The Argument for Wix
WordPress’ complete market dominance started to diminish when we began to see new website builders hit the scene. These new competitors began to push the envelope when it came to providing user-friendly interfaces with powerful website features.
Wix was the leader of the pack of this next generation of website builders.
Wix started out as one of the easiest platforms to build a modern-looking website. However, users with more technical knowledge tended to shy away from it because they wanted to maintain complete control over their site.
Over the last few years, however, this really began to change.
Wix has been adding functionality like crazy, and some of the most recent additions have been focused on SEO tools. The tools can get pretty technical, but here are just a few examples of new Wix SEO capabilities:
- The ability to modify default URL structure, customize subdirectory names, edit, remove or add a prefix to URLs and even create a completely flat URL structure.
- Automatic sitemap updates via 301 redirects and by updating canonical and other relevant meta tags.
- Visualization of log files in the form of Bot Traffic Over Time, Bot Traffic by Page, and Response Status Over Time reports.
In the past, you would need to rely on a lot of third-party tools to do all of this, which led to disorganization and usually less-than-optimal results.
The ability to have accurate reporting, in particular, was always a challenge previously. Having this built-in to Wix is a major upgrade.
If you’re new to SEO or unfamiliar with these terms, learn more from Wix here.
Wix for SEO – The Cons
There are several cons when it comes to Wix, and some of these impact important SEO factors.
- Another big downside to Wix is the inability of more advanced users to add custom code. While they offer an HTML code element, it’s quite restricted.
- There is a great deal of code bloat. This can be a problem because it can result in less than ideal page speed scores.
The Argument for WordPress
WordPress was one of the first widely used website solutions that made it relatively easy to get a site up and running. It’s also an open-source program that relies on contributions from the internet community.
Its basic functionality is free, but most modern site functions will require you to pay for plugins.
These plugins provide the functionality needed to perform all types of tasks, and they are also how you gain access to SEO tools. Examining these tools is where you should look when taking SEO into consideration.
WordPress also has more users, which means more forums and more professionals out there to help should you need it.
WordPress for SEO – The Cons
Plugins are built by different companies or groups so they don’t all communicate with each other the same or work in similar ways.
While Yoast is the most popular SEO tool on WordPress, there are many, many more.
These tools can work great at times, but also can conflict with one another and potentially cause problems. Like all plugins, they can introduce vulnerabilities and updates can cause other site elements to break.
Some say that WordPress has grown out of touch with publisher needs, based on built-in code bloat that hinders sites’ abilities to optimize for Core Web Vitals.
Even with that said, the sheer volume of WordPress plugins available has always been a strong selling point. New plugins are being added every day, and it’s entirely possible to create an SEO-optimized site within WordPress because of this.
In fact, Search Engine Journal has an entire guide on WordPress SEO.
Wix vs WordPress for SEO: Compared
If you are looking at basic fundamentals of SEO, both solutions offer the following:
|No Index Tags|
|Connect Bing Webmaster Tools|
Where things start to change is when you get into more advanced needs of SEO features.
At that point, the flexibility of WordPress tends to win out pretty handily. But for many small businesses that just need basic SEO functionality, either solution will suffice.
WordPress vs Wix: Organic Traffic
Ahrefs found in a study of millions of sites that 46% of WordPress sites received at least some organic traffic, while only 1.4% of Wix sites experienced the same.
It should be noted that this data is skewed, even according to Ahrefs, simply based on the volume of WordPress to Wix sites they tested against.
Wix vs WordPress: The Verdict
In the end, if you asked most SEO professionals what their favorite platform is, they’ll probably tell you whatever one they’ve used the most.
People prefer programs they have experience with and will find reasons to discredit other options. This is why you see so many varying opinions on what platform best sets you up for success.
As we look at these platforms today, Wix has made significant improvements to its solution. All the old complaints about a lack of control when using Wix do not apply as much as they once did, and the ease with which you can perform basic SEO optimizations is on par with WordPress.
For small businesses and sites, that might be the ticket. As John Mueller recently said, the content on the site is increasingly important regardless of what it’s built on. Unless you’re dealing with major technical issues, content is where you need to focus.
It all comes down to what you value. If your SEO requirements are minimal and you care about an easy-to-use website builder, then Wix may be your best choice.
For more advanced users seeking the best of both worlds with scalability and customization, as well as those planning to use SEO as a long-term strategy, WordPress wins hands-down.
- Why Website Builders Can Be Terrible for Your SEO
- Wix vs. WordPress? The Data Doesn’t Lie
- WordPress SEO Guide: Everything You Need to Know
Image 1: Ahrefs