Wix makes changes all the time that I’ll be following to keep this article up-to-date. This article was last updated on 12/4/19. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.
Every new website project starts with a question about the platform it will be built on.
For many small business owners who are anxious to get online but don’t have a lot of technical know-how, user-friendly website builders like Wix and Weebly seem like the obvious choice.
Hiring a professional for WordPress design services also means establishing a budget for web design that can be hard to justify for a scrappy small business owner. After all, if you’re totally unfamiliar with the WordPress dashboard, the prospect of updating a new WordPress website can seem overwhelming.
So if Wix is free (with affordable premium upgrades that allow you to use a custom domain and more) and user-friendly to the point that a person can create a website without having to hire a professional, what’s there to consider when comparing Wix vs WordPress?
Perhaps the most important difference between these two website building platforms is how Wix SEO compares to WordPress SEO.
But before we dig into the differences of Wix vs WordPress, I have an important PSA I’d like to preach from my soapbox:
Jump Ahead to a Specific Section:
No Website Platform Completely Takes Care of SEO Without Your Input
No matter which platform you choose to build a website — Wix vs WordPress or something else entirely — it’s important to realize that you’re going to have to put in some work to show up in relevant search.
The most solid website technical structure can’t tell you what keywords you should use to reach your audience.
It can’t create high-quality content that converts.
It can’t suggest how to continuously update content to stay at the top of the rankings.
Only you (or a trusted SEO consultant) can help you take your website to new heights when it comes to actually ranking in relevant search. But all that said, a solid technical structure can ensure that you’re in the running whereas a bad technical structure can remove you from the race altogether.
Wix SEO: Fixing a Bad Reputation
Prior to 2016, Wix SEO was a complete joke.
According to WebsiteToolTester, the URL structure included strange/unnecessary characters, you couldn’t add ALT tags to images, and you couldn’t add meta data to blog posts. To summarize, the ability to optimize onpage SEO was essentially non-existent. Oh, and Wix used to run on Flash.
But it sounds like many of these Wix SEO issues have been fixed. To support their new focus on proper SEO, Wix announced that Rand Fishkin of Moz was their “SEO hero”.
It seems like the partnership has been mutually beneficial, as Wix recommends Moz’s keyword tool in just about any discussion relating to keyword research:
This all begs the question: if the creator of popular all-in-one SEO tool Moz is willing to stake his reputation on getting behind Wix SEO is willing to trust it, should we?
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this may be a case of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”. But I’ll leave it to you to decide.
In 2019, Wix is testing their new SEO capabilities with a Wix SEO Battle between the Wix SEO Lovers and the Wix SEO Haters. The 6-month competition is to see who can rank highest for the term Wix SEO. The Lovers must build a website on Wix and use their SEO tools while the Haters can use whichever platform we prefer.
Wix SEO: Is it Enough to Rank?
In a word, yes.
Wix has fixed the majority of their platform’s major ranking issues to the point that an experienced SEO shouldn’t have a problem ranking a website built with Wix.
So that’s the thing, though. If Wix’s ideal target market is a small business owner without technical savvy, then it seems fair to assume that Wix SEO features aren’t going to be enough to help someone rank in relevant search all on their own.
If you can’t honestly say that you have experience designing conversion-oriented websites or working with onpage/technical SEO, then using Wix might actually hurt your efforts.
Why? Let’s peel back another layer in the great Wix vs WordPress debate.
Amateur Designers Create a Bad User-Experience
I’ll admit that Wix’s template designs are far superior to what the once were.
For someone who knows what they’re doing — how to communicate with online visitors to encourage them to do business with you — it’s easy enough to customize one of these Wix templates to effectively accomplish goals.
But for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, the prospect of having too many choices can result in something ugly. Yet even if the final result “looks” good, it doesn’t really benefit your business unless it converts visitors to customers. Similarly, your design may be pleasant but if your user-experience (i.e. navigating through your website) is frustrating, then a potentially interested party might leave before getting in touch.
There’s a reason why people pay professional web designers the big bucks — they get results. If you take your business seriously, you should really treat this important cornerstone of your business marketing as an investment.