There is a long-standing debate happening in the SEO industry between Wix and WordPress: which is the better platform for SEO?
In case this is your first jump into learning about the technical ins and outs of Wix vs. WordPress, these platforms are known as CMSes, or content management systems. Both of them have varying capabilities depending on your level of expertise. If you are more experienced, you may prefer WordPress over Wix.
But, that’s not to say that Wix doesn’t have its own capabilities – it does.
The Argument for WordPress
WordPress is an extremely popular content management system (CMS). It powers about 37 percent of websites, according to envisagedigital.co.uk. This makes it a powerful tool for small businesses looking to build a website without having to invest thousands of dollars. In fact, WordPress is often considered the best CMS because it’s free and very flexible. However, there are some limitations. For example, you’ll find yourself limited to what features are offered out of the box.
In addition, many people don’t realize that WordPress requires plugins to do everything, from displaying social media shares to creating custom email campaigns. You might think that a plugin is just another piece of software, but it actually provides much of the functionality behind the scenes.
If you’re new to building websites, then you might be wondering why you should use WordPress at all. After all, Wix has been around since 2006, so it’s pretty old. But, while Wix is great for beginners, it does lack advanced features like advanced coding support, and extreme customization for e-commerce and URL customization. If you want the greatest amount of control over your website, and want to utilize custom coding, WordPress might be the better option..
So, which platform is better for SEO? Well, both offer their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at how they stack up against each other.
WordPress for SEO – The Cons
The number of WordPress plugins available is staggering. There are literally thousands of plugins that do everything from adding social sharing buttons to creating custom taxonomies. But how does it impact SEO? And what about security?
While some plugins are very good, others aren’t worth the risk. In fact, some plugins can actually hurt your SEO efforts. Here are five reasons why:
1. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is something you want to avoid. If someone else creates a post that looks like yours, it could dilute your brand’s authority. This is especially true if you use a plugin that automatically generates content, such as the All in One Schema plugin.
2. Broken Links
If you rely heavily on the rel=”nofollow” attribute to prevent link spam, you might find yourself in trouble if you update your theme and forget to change the link
For example, if you add nofollow to every internal link, it won’t matter whether you delete those links later because they’re already being ignored.
By itself, WordPress won’t update these types of things. You have to manually go in and do it, or you can install a plugin that can accomplish the task for you automatically.
3. Security Issues
There have been several high profile hacks over the years. Some of them were due to poor code quality, but others were caused by malicious users who exploited vulnerabilities in the WordPress core. What is the WordPress core? These are a group of core files that are common to every WordPress installation. Every version of WordPress aims to resolve incompatibilities and security issues with core and plugin files, but some problems do tend to creep through.
4. Slow Performance
As mentioned earlier, WordPress is incredibly flexible. That means it’s hard to predict how long it will take to load pages. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it can slow down your site. This is especially true if you don’t have a solid optimization plan in place. However, with the right expertise, experience, and planning, you can set up your server and WordPress installation to be something worth writing home about.
5. Customization Can Be Fickle and Costly
It’s one thing to use a template that was designed for millions of sites, but it’s quite another to customize it to fit your needs. When you choose a theme, make sure you understand how it works before you go live. If you don’t, you may find one or two incompatibilities that could throw a wrench into your plans.
While there are some cons, they are few and far between. There is no denying that WordPress offers a level of customization and automation that’s far superior to Wix’s current offerings.
The Argument for Wix
Wix grew into a powerhouse competitor in the web design industry. In fact, it became the go-to choice for many businesses looking to launch a brand new website. But did you know that Wix wasn’t always a popular website builder? Back in 2006, there weren’t nearly as many options as there are now.
Today, Wix offers everything from drag-and-drop templates to responsive layouts, video hosting, ecommerce tools, and more. Its interface makes building a website simple and intuitive. Plus, Wix also supports multilingual options by using Google Translate’s linguistic services.
But what sets Wix apart from the competition is its ease of use. For the beginner, and someone who may not want to spend all that much time on code, Wix is a good option.
Wix for SEO – The Cons
While Wix offers a lot of flexibility, it doesn’t always work well for SEO purposes. And even though it supports a few different languages, it’s still based on English, making it harder for people who aren’t fluent in English to find your site.
Another issue is that Wix uses an unusual link structure. Instead of just linking directly to your homepage, it creates a path that includes a number of intermediate steps. This link structure makes it difficult to track back to the original source of each piece of content.
And finally, Wix doesn’t support adding custom code to your website. If you want to do things like set up a shopping cart, you’ll have to go through another tool.
The cons of Wix include the following:
1. Lack of customization options
Wix is a website solution that’s known as a WYSIWYG (or what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor. With WYSIWYG editors, they perform one function and one function only – to build your site. There is very little one can do to upgrade or choose plugins to alter functionality, hence the term “what you see is…well…what you get, and not much else.”
The customization options you do have are limited to Wix’s customization options. If the existing options are not enough for you, you are out of luck as far as customizing in other ways. WordPress, however, has a wide variety of themes and customization options you can take advantage of by comparison.
2. Poor support for advanced coding
Because of Wix’s out of the box WYSIWYG support, there is not all that much one can do to utilize advanced or customized coding in order to realize their website dreams. As mentioned above, this is due to the lack of customization options.
3. Unusual link structure
Wix did use an unusual link structure which is reminiscent of the former link structure utilized by Geocities. However, there are customization options available. The way the customization options work, though, are more of a workaround rather than a true base URL structure that’s well-optimized.
4. Slow load times
Just like any other site, if you don’t manage your page size properly, Wix will have problems with page speed. The problem here, however, is that beyond initial customization options directly on the page, you don’t have additional plugins or support that can help speed up the loading of your page.
5. Not supported by major SEO tools
There are major SEO tools on the market when it comes to WordPress SEO. The top ones, as of this writing, are Rank Math and Yoast. Other types of plugins include page speed, cache optimization, and a myriad of others that can help you speed up and further optimize your site. If you’re looking for something that supports major SEO tools, you may want to consider WordPress over Wix.
Server Location and Speed
The average web visitor spends about three minutes on a site before moving on to another. To keep people engaged, you must make sure your website loads quickly. There are many factors that contribute to how fast a website loads, including server location and speed.
If your audience heads to your url and sees that it is taking too long to load, they are likely to leave and not return again. In some cases, the servers are located in different parts of the world, causing latency issues.
In some instances, the server location is directly related to performance. A website hosted in New York City will perform much better than a website hosted in India because of lower latency and faster speeds.
Overall, WordPress scores fairly well for speed, though Wix does not.
SSL support is important for websites. The good news is that Wix does include SSL support, and it’s fairly easy to configure compared to WordPress.
SSL is fully managed by Wix, so you really don’t need to know anything about the technical ins and outs of SSL implementation.
However, when it comes to WordPress, you do need to have some technical know-how in order to implement a secure SSL certificate on your site.
It all comes down to what you’re comfortable with, and if this particular issue is important to you.
A sitemap is a file that contains URLs for every single page on your site. Search engines like Google want to know where each of those pages are located, so they can index them properly. A sitemap lets you tell Google exactly what URL to look for. If you’re building a new website, you’ll probably want to start out with a basic sitemap.xml file.
WordPress offers a built-in XML Sitemap function that creates a sitemap based on your current theme settings. Wix allows you to build custom sitemaps, too.
When it comes to sitemaps, both WordPress and Wix offer similar capabilities, and WordPress plugins such as Yoast or Rank Math offer additional sitemap capabilities as well.
WordPress and Wix both come with out of the box URL structures. You have to choose options with both to really customize these structures to your liking.
Both WordPress and Wix are okay in this regard. WordPress can get very complex when it comes to these customization options.
However, Wix has more of a workaround solution to URL structures that may not be the best possible solution for some who need significant customization options.
The biggest difference between the two is that Wix doesn’t allow as much customization. You have to use their platform. But, they still have a platform where you can use your own coding in order to extend the functionality and features of your site.
WordPress vs. Wix: Which is Really Better?
When it comes down to it, choosing Wix or WordPress really boils down to your unique situation and needs: do you need the heavy customization that comes with WordPress, or do you prefer the ease of use and lightweight CMS of Wix?
Both have their pros and cons, so your final decision depends on what is really most important to you and your situation.
For a completely customizable and fully developed solution, in our opinion, WordPress is the way to go. If it’s not currently built into your theme or WordPress core, additional plugins can help provide the functionality your site may need.
While Wix has made leaps and bounds in improvement to their SEO offerings, there are still limits that need to be considered.
Once you weigh the limits, and you decide which platform you want to use, you can make your choice and move forward. Which platform do you plan to use for your next website?