Wix vs WordPress - which is the better website builder from an SEO perspective? As an SEO specialist, the question of recommended website hosting platforms often comes up between my colleagues.
I’ve personally chosen to invest in Wix Premium to build this website with Wix because I wanted to learn a new platform. Before launching this site, I had worked on WordPress sites for several years, but had no experience with Wix. Even though some clients asked me for help with their Wix sites, I had to decline because I wasn’t familiar with it.
At the time of writing, I have now worked extensively on both Wix and WordPress hosted websites, so I now have some insights on both platforms. Please note that this article focuses on the open-source WordPress.org, not WordPress.com.
The first difference is that WordPress is a content management system (CMS), and Wix is not quite a CMS - it’s more of a website building platform. Wix has been growing a lot recently so this seems unlikely, but one thing to keep in mind is that if Wix goes bankrupt or decides to cancel their platform, you’ll have no recourse. However, since that’s pretty unlikely, this mostly just comes down to a matter of preference - some marketing professionals who are not familiar with html/css might prefer Wix, but I actually found it quite frustrating that I can’t code my own website.
The Wix editor has a feature for adding custom html code, but it’s pretty clunky and doesn’t let you adjust the format and placement of your custom component. Although I have not tried it yet, there is also Wix Velo, which adds an open-development platform where you can add scripts to the front and back end of your website through the Wix editor.
One advantage of Wix for technical SEO is during the initial setup, you can submit your XML sitemap and link to Google Search Console automatically. You can also create redirects and mark certain pages as noindex with just the click of a button.
Plugins and Apps
Add-ons for Wix are called apps, and for WordPress called plugins. Both Wix and WordPress have an extensive selection of add-ons. Some of the most popular Wix apps are Wix Stores for building an online store, Wix Chat for instant messaging with site visitors, and Wix Bookings for scheduling appointments. For WordPress, please see my recent article: WordPress Plugins for SEO
For on-page SEO, Wix unfortunately has a bad reputation among SEOs, but it has improved features recently. Ahrefs did an extensive study of 6.4 million domains, and concluded that there is no causal relationship between the platform used (Wix vs WordPress) and a site’s ability to rank in the SERPs. WordPress sites got more search traffic overall, but Wix had more search traffic on domains that get 100+ monthly organic traffic.
At the time of writing, Wix does not support the hreflang tag, and you cannot access the code to add it. There is a Multilingual App that allows you to create translated versions of your website. However, for this reason, I would not recommend Wix if you are planning to have an optimized multilingual site. For WordPress, you can use the WPML plugin to build and run multilingual sites.
If you use WordPress, your theme is most likely already responsive and can adapt to all screen sizes. You can check this in Google Chrome's Developer Tools. Wix also creates a mobile version of your site that complies with Google's requirements. You have the option to disable the mobile version, although it is generally recommended to keep it on. You can edit the design of the mobile version on mobile editor, without affecting the desktop version.
Migrating from WordPress to Wix, or vice versa
Migrations from WordPress to Wix or vice versa are both common, as businesses have different needs and preferences that would be better suited for either platform. Unfortunately, Wix and WordPress are two different platforms and are not compatible with each other, so there’s no quick way to migrate. Wix is getting better at helping their new customers migrate from WordPress to Wix, and they have an option that lets you import WordPress blog posts. For exact instructions see: Importing Blog Posts from WordPress to the Wix Blog. If on the other hand, you have outgrown Wix and want to migrate to self-hosted WordPress, then the easiest way is probably to import your blog posts via RSS.
Whether you choose Wix or WordPress, you can join a helpful community of marketers and web developers. I’ve had a good experience with Wix customer support on several occasions. I just answered a couple of questions in their online customer support chatbot, and got a phone call back within minutes to solve my issue. Wix users can also submit requests for new features and vote on them. WordPress does not have customer support, but since it hosts one third of all sites, the forums and social media are always active with WordPress developers asking and answering questions.