Are Wix websites really bad for SEO?
Updated: 2 days ago
I find myself constantly in 'discussions' on social media with people every time this question is raised in a business support group.
A person, looking for their first website, will come along and ask the question, "Which is the best website builder to use, Squarespace, Wix or WordPress?" and without a doubt, there will be several web-developers who say things like,
"Wix is shit! You should use WordPress!"
"Wix is bad for SEO! If SEO is important you should use WordPress!"
"Wix isn't properly responsive!"
One reason for writing this blog post is to have something I can navigate people to in those discussions without having to repeat myself constantly.
Wix is crap!
So let's start with this one.
What does that even mean? What do these people mean by 'Wix is crap"? They are making a sweeping statement without providing any shred of reasoning for their statement.
If I'm going to say something is bad or crap, I'm going to give my reasons for those opinions. And generally, I will also look into what the industry has to say about it. It may well be that I don't like a particular piece of software, but if I were to do some online research, I'd find that it was very popular.
This is the problem with opinions, they can sometimes cloud fact and reasoning.
I cannot possibly assume to think what reasons there may be for these people to say that Wix websites are crap but I have to assume they have some.
Wix websites are bad for SEO
On countless discussions, I have had these people eat their words (and look rather like a fool) by providing several search terms for which my websites rank for. I get calls from all over the UK from people finding me via Google (other search engines are available).
It's a complete LIE if someone in 2020 (or above) tells you that Wix websites are bad for SEO. This may have been the case many years ago, but it certainly is not the case now! I would highly recommend you question the authenticity of any web developer to still makes this claim today!
So let's have a look at some of the pros and cons of Wix and allow you to make a more educated decision about whether a Wix site is suitable for your business.
Let me just make it clear that I have no affiliation with Wix whatsoever. I am simply sick and tired of seeing people trying to shaft their potentials clients with absolute misinformation.
I'm going to do things a little backwards here. I'm going to assume you are like me and prefer to hear the bad news first, and then the good news?
Wix websites - The Cons
SEO is not the best. Yes, I realise I've just contradicted what I said above, but hear me out.
SEO is not simply about doing site and page SEO when you create a website. It's about so much more than that. I'll get into this later in this blog.
Wix websites provide all the basics a small business owner would need. If you are never going to grow into a large corporate, then a Wix website will be absolutely fine for your needs. The types of businesses that I would suggest consider Wix are coaches, social media managers, personal trainers, authors, models, actors, photographers, chefs, bakers you get the idea.
As stated above, my website does very well in rankings on Google. But it's not simply down to the website SEO (or lack thereof). I do many other activities to get these rankings. Backlinks. High value follow links. And importantly, blogging on a regular basis.
If you are paying your SEO specialist less that £800pm you're not getting SEO work that is actually going to have a positive financial impact on your business. High-quality SEO does not come cheaply I'm afraid.
So a large part of deciding whether Wix is appropriate for your business is realising that site and page SEO is a small part of SEO work and unless your website developer is doing these other bits for you (you're looking at around £5000 for a website that has been professionally SEO'd and then a further £800-£1000pm) considering any other platform isn't going to be beneficial to you.
Therefore, to recap. If you are only ever going to be a small business of 5 or fewer staff, and you don't have £1000s to throw at SEO on a monthly basis, then Wix should be an absolute consideration for you.
The above is what a lot of web developers will not tell you. They will simply say Wix is poor for SEO but not explain that unless you pay those 1000s of pounds, it's AS good as any other platform.
Fewer plugins - it's definitely true that Wix does not have as many plugins available as WordPress for example, does.
However, the plugins it does have should cover any small business users needs. Including calendar and booking functionality, online payments, blog, eCommerce store, members area, subscriptions, social media feeds, Mailchimp integrations etc.
If you'd like to discuss your website requirements and are not sure if Wix has the necessary functionality, feel free to book a FREE 20-minute discovery call and I will be happy to advise.
Wix websites - The Pros
Ease of use - this, for me, and the clients I work with is probably the number 1 reason I recommend Wix to non-technical leads and clients.
Some people may claim that it is 'restrictive in its user design' (generally people trying to sell you on a WordPress site) yet these same people tend to forget that WordPress itself is also a website builder! It is simply a different platform (code) under the hood. Wix has a developer mode which allows more technically adept people to insert code directly. So these claims may be outdated and those proclaiming it simply haven't used the platform recently.
I can train my clients in under 2 hours on how to administer their website once I have designed and built it and performed the initial SEO work. Most of my clients have very little technical knowledge and yet at the end of our training session, they are full of confidence that they will be able to maintain their website themselves.
If you opt for a WordPress website for instance, and you have the very technical knowledge, if I were a betting man I'd bet on you needing to engage with a web developer on a retainer to make updates, install and configure plugins etc. Why do you think so many people push WordPress websites so much?
No coding required - Which is marvellous! Again, for the typical clients, I work with, this is a happy days moment for them.
Someone with some technical skill could build their own website on Wix. It would likely take them 3 - 5 days to get their heads around the editor in their own time to put the site together. The SEO can be far more challenging for those with little knowledge of it.
It is for this reason that I only charge £499 to design and build your website and do the initial site and page SEO for you.
Then once the site is built and the initial SEO work is done, I provide you with details of how you can further enhance your SEO and the continued activities you have to do (SEO never ends!)
Once you have been trained on using the web designer, you will be able to take full ownership of your website without further, ongoing costs to have someone do that for you (unless of course that's your preferred option)
Integration with Google - Another plus in the SEO column is the ability to really easily connect Google Analytics and Google Search to your website with Wix. It's a simple process of hitting a button, entering your code and presto, you're connected.
Price - Wix is very competitive with regards to their pricing and often have offers on with up to 50% off for the first year. I did a price comparison between Wix and WordPress to see which one would be cheapest as a matter of interest. Including all the plugins I would need on WordPress, each of them requiring a monthly or yearly subscription themselves, WordPress worked out to almost 3x the amount for the same functionality.
What's more, if you really don't have a budget for a website, you can have a free Wix website. I don't recommend it personally as you cannot use your own domain so it can look a little unprofessional.
Remember, on WordPress websites, for example, you pay a hosting fee either monthly or yearly. This hosting fee is essentially the fee you pay to Wix. Do be mindful though that the vast majority of WordPress hosted solutions will not provide a free website/hosting once you stop paying their hosting fee.
Functionality - Depending on your business, Wix is likely to have all the functionality that you need as a small business owner or solopreneur.
It has a blog. It has a bookings system ideal for those who have bookable sessions like coaches, personal trainers etc. You can add multiple staff to your booking system and assign different working hours to each. You can also assign different staff to the different services you provide. It has a payment system (integration with Stripe or Paypal). The bookings system has an integration with Zoom and will automatically generate a Zoom meeting and email this to your client when they book online.
My thoughts on why so many web developers are quick to disqualify Wix, Squarespace, Godaddy and other website builders
Not keeping up-to-date - In my experience of getting into these discussions on social media with web developers is that many of them have very little experience actually using Wix/Squarespace etc. Or, they have used it several years ago prior to all the advances Wix have made to their platform. In many of these discussions, these web developers would make statements that are absolutely not true, or no longer true which is why I believe they simply have no recent experience of these alternative website builders. Their experience, skills and knowledge all hinge around WordPress and for this reason alone, they are not really listening to the needs of their clients and providing a website that would be suitable for their needs. Instead they are selling based on their personal preference and experience.
My job as a business mentor, not simply a web developer, is to understand your business now and the future plans and use this information to recommend the most suitable website platform for your website. One that you wouldn't need to worry about moving away from any time soon.
Another argument that Wordpress developers will make is that you can't export a Wix site to Wordpress. Well, the same can be said about moving Wordpress sites to other platforms. This is a particular interesting argument for me. If a web developers argument is that you can't easily move your website from Wix/Squarespace etc, then they clearly can't be too confident that you wouldn't want to move your Wordpress to another host in the future? This doesn't strike me as confidence in their offering.
Fear - Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying Wordpress isn't a good option or platform. I will recommend it to a client if it's the best fit for their business model. What I'm saying that it isn't the ONLY option as some web developers will have you believe.
WordPress makes for a great business model for web developers. They can purchase a server which they can either run from their own home, office or rent space in data centre. They then install an instance of WordPress on that server and 'rent' out websites to you on a monthly retainer basis. Over and above your monthly hosting fee, many will also charge you a support and maintenance fee to administer the site for you.
Website builders like Wix and Squarespace are therefore a tremendous threat to these web developers down to the fact that these other website builders don't need a client to pay monthly retainer fees to maintain their site. With a couple hours of training, they are fully capable of maintaining their site themselves with Wix and Squarespace taking care of all updates etc.
If you are investing under £800-£900 per month on SEO, it really doesn't matter which platform you are using as the SEO work isn't going to have the impact you are hoping for. Wix are constantly improving their platform to improve SEO rankings as it's their aim to take the market share for hosted websites. They currently have just shy for 200 million.
SEO is an ongoing activity on ANY platform that you choose. Do not let people tell you Wix is any worse or better than any of the other options.
Unless you business plan is to turn into a larger SME, with 20+ staff, the chances are Wix and Squarespace will have all the functionality your business will need. Always ensure your chosen website designer is giving you well rounded advise and not simply trying to sell you on the platform they know you will be tied to them in a retainer to manage on your behalf.
If you're not very technical and don't have the budget to pay a web developer a monthly retainer , then Wix and Squarespace are far better options for you as Wordpress and some other platforms require a decent amount of technical ability or the budget to retain a web developer to make changes and update the platform.
I hope this blog has shed some light on which website builder would be best for your business. I will be creating a separate comparison blog post looking at the Top 5 website builders currently available with the pro's and con's for each. I will update this blog with the link once I've completed my research and written the blog.
In the meantime, if you are still unsure which website platform would be best suited for your business needs now and in the future, then please do get in touch and I'll be happy to advise.
Professionals Are Talking about Wix SEO
"Since I moved my site from WordPress to Wix, I’m #1 for ‘SEO Speaker’ and ‘SEO Trainer’. I went from #100 to #10 for ‘SEO Professional’.”
Mark Preston, Global SEO Speaker & Consultant - (Source)
So the question is, if Wix was REALLY as bad as some web developers will have you believe, would an international SEO speaker and trainer be using the platform? What does that say about the authenticity of those telling you otherwise about Wix?