Comparison of Wix and WordPress in terms of SEO
There is a long standing debate about whether WordPress or Wix is better for SEO. Wix generally has a reputation for not being SEO friendly, and WordPress seems to be a better option.
Even the creators of both systems got involved in this discussion. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, wrote:
So if we’re comparing website creators to abusive relationships, Wix is the one that locks you in the basement and won’t let you leave. I’m surprised the consumer protection agencies haven’t caught up to them. Source: Matt Mullenweg
Avishai Abrahami, CEO of Wix, did not leave the problem unanswered and published An open letter to Matt Mullenweg, Where he claims there are many half. — Facts in WordPress Founder’s Post.
If you are looking for Wix vs WordPress, you will easily find many articles comparing these two content management systems. They usually compare their pricing, ease of use, available plugins, or the support they offer.
But we decided to take it one step further. We collected data and analyzed index coverage for both Wix and WordPress domains. This article summarizes our analysis and explains what we can learn about these CMSs from our indexing data.
The first step in our analysis was to create a database of websites built using Wix and WordPress. To select domains, we used BuiltWith A database of websites and the technologies they use.
Our dataset consists of 1037 domains: 641 Wix domains and 396 WordPress domains. We’ve organized them according to their sizes and divided them into four groups based on the number of pages in those domains:
- micro: 0 – 10 pages,
- small: 10-100 pages,
- Medium: 100 – 1,000 pages,
- Large: 1,000-10,000 pages.
The charts below show the number of domains we searched for in each size range:
As you can see, our data set does not allow a direct comparison of these two CMSs because we could not find similar amounts of domains within the same groups. This is simply because the typical Wix site is small, and WordPress sites are larger in comparison.
After identifying the domains, we started checking their indexing data. We used ZipTie Our Indexing Intelligence platform, which allowed us to check the percentage of URLs indexed on each analyzed domain.
Next, we began analyzing all of our indexing data and did additional research to shed more light on the Wix vs. WordPress discussion. Let’s dive into the results.
Indexing coverage results
Our data showed that, on average:
- WordPress domains have 83% of the indexable URLs indexed on Google
- Wix domains have 84% of indexable URLs.
Domains on both WordPress and Wix were indexed similarly, with Wix winning by a very small margin.
However, this data does not show the whole truth.
As you can see in the graphs in the Methodology chapter, our samples differed in the size of the spheres. Most of the Wix domains were in the micro or small domain, while most of the WordPress domains were large. This may affect average levels of indexing and make it difficult to compare.
That’s why we also analyzed how domains are indexed in each size range. Below is a graph showing how it searches for both CMS.
In the case of Wix, domains with fewer pages were indexed better than larger sites. The percentage of URLs indexed in the minified domain is over 90% and decreases significantly for larger sites.
For WordPress domains, the situation looked different. The percentage of indexed URLs has been roughly constant from small to medium domain, fluctuating around 80% and gradually increasing for domains in the large domain.
It is important to note that the level The indexed URLs coincide with the domain size distribution in our sample. In the case of Wix, most of the domains analyzed were small, and these were also the domains indexed best. In the case of WordPress, the trend reversed – most of the analyzed domains were large, and these were the most indexed.
It is easier to index a small website than a large one. This is why Wix’s large number of small and small domains can affect average results and cause Wix to have better statistics.
Compare the same type of page
Websites differ in the types of pages they contain. It can be more difficult to index one type of page (for example, blog posts or product pages) than another, and this is important to note when analyzing index coverage for any domain. Google is usually keen on indexing content-rich pages, while pages with less content (such as author pages) are less interesting from a search engine’s perspective.
For this reason, to avoid comparing apples to oranges, I decided to repeat the analysis after collecting the pages. For me, the natural benchmark was to compare the indexing of blog posts. The reason is simple: it seems to be the most widely represented neutral category on both WordPress and Wix sites.
Here is the table containing our results:
WordPress is the clear winner here.
naturally, correlation is not causation, Many factors could contribute to these results.
One possible reason is Content quality. Based on our data, we cannot say that the quality of blog posts is equal in both the Wix and WordPress domains. It is possible that, on average, the content on WordPress sites adhered better to Google’s quality guidelines, and Google was more diligent about indexing it.
Or maybe it’s a vicious circle Who is indexing? Meaning: You have to be popular in order to be crawled and indexed? And you are not being indexed because you are not popular?
According to Ahrefs, Only 0.06% of Wix domains bring in more than 100 organic visits per month. WordPress seems to have a huge advantage here, with 8,26% of domains tested having 100+ visits per month.
Google cannot crawl and index the entire web because it would simply outgrow its resources. Logically, Google might want to spend more time on popular websites. If so, that could explain the fact that WordPress domains, which have more organic traffic, also have more blog posts indexed.
Indexing of numbered pages
The next thing we analyze is the indexing of numbered pages. Any indexing issues with pagination can seriously affect the indexing of blog posts, product pages, or any other type of content and negatively affect the entire website. This is because numbered category pages are an important source of internal links for search engines.
Here are the results:
It seems that paginated pages on WordPress domains have 50% more chances of getting indexed compared to Wix.
At this time, it is not clear if Google just decided not to index paginated pages or some technical factors related to Wix make it difficult for Google to access these pages.
Implications of Wix’s Win Over WordPress at Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals (CWV) is a set of web performance metrics. They measure loading performance, interactivity and visual stability. They are ranking factors, so providing a good CWV score out of the box can be a huge advantage of a CMS.
You’ve heard before that Wix sites have a reputation for being slow. That’s why it was especially surprising to me when I came across an article in Search Engine Journal Compares basic web fundamentals in different content management systems, And I noticed that Wix used to work better than WordPress.
In my opinion, the surprising results can be explained by the following factors:
- In terms of web performance, Wix makes a constant effort to improve, hence, huge improvements have been made in CWV.
- The choice of hosting has a huge impact on CWV and can affect your web performance. Wix hosts all websites on its servers, which are known to be relatively fast. WordPress users can choose their own hosting, and if they choose slow hosting, it can greatly affect website speed and indexing.
- Ironically, it may be related to the fact that WordPress is more customizable. Installing too many unnecessary plugins slows down the website. Also, WordPress page designers, such as Elementor or Divi, slowing down the website and affecting CWV.
What does this mean in the Wix vs. WordPress discussion?
With CWV being a ranking factor, Wix definitely puts its domains at an advantage by constantly improving its scores.
Additionally, Wix being hosted on relatively fast servers may have a greater impact on how domains are indexed because it allows Google to crawl more content faster.
Based on our data, we cannot say that WordPress is better than Wix or vice versa.
We should also keep in mind that differences in the sizes in our sample can affect the final results.
It seems that These two CMS are for different clients.
Most Wix sites are small in size, and the percentage of indexed URLs was very high in this group. The typical Wix client that comes to my mind is someone who wants to design and build their own Wix websites on their own and is not planning to build a complex and big website. Look at these examples For domains created with Wix You’ll find websites for artists, personal trainers, and jewelry designers. There are no mega sites in the list.
In the case of WordPress, larger sites performed better in our analysis. You can also see that more and more large websites are being built with WordPress by browsing our WordPress offer .
Furthermore, it is impossible for us to assess the amount of time and effort for each of the tested areas invested in SEO.
Considering that WordPress sites are usually larger, one can assume that they invest more in SEO, which can greatly affect the percentage of indexed pages.