One of the most important questions to ask when taking on a new SEO client is “what CMS is the website built on?” The reason is not all websites are made equal!
Becoming more and more popular within the budget range of the website market are Wix. No doubt you’ve seen their ads all over Facebook. Amazingly, I’ve even has Wix resold by “website designers” to the end client.
Wix are cheap (starting at free) and are adding more and more template designs by the day. But are they suitable for the person or business serious about ranking well?
My advice would be no, if you are serious about SEO, don’t choose Wix. Here are some reasons why:
1. Wix are Ajax based and that is problematic
With Wix each URL uses what is called a hashbang (#!). This means each page on the Wix site is canonical to the home page of the site. In effect, this sends the signal to Google that all the internal pages are duplicates of the homepage, and only the home page matters. Matt Cutts addressed the Ajax issue a few months ago, advising hashbangs require Google to do extra work to understand it properly and recommends using pushState instead.
Wix will tell you their sites are search engine friendly, but as long as their sites are Ajax based, there will be questions about their SEO performance.
2. No 301 Redirection
The use of the hashbang means 301 redirection functionality is not possible with Wix. Why do I need to use 301 redirects on my site? When moving pages or replacing pages on your site a 301 redirect will advise the search engine the page you are looking for is not here (xxx.html) any longer, it is now over there (yyy.html).
What happens to my SEO if I don’t use a 301 redirection? The result is a loss of your pages SEO value, bad user experience, messy site architecture, 404 errors and an overall degradation of the quality of your site’s health and SEO performance.
3. Limited Technical Site Controls
Wix is basically a closed system. You can use the controls they give you to use but anything beyond that is simply not possible. Full meta tag management, robots.txt, sitemaps are not available. The hashbang issue limits your reporting options due to the fact SEO tools and analytics programs will not report as they do on non-Ajax sites.
This limits your ability to fully optimise and manage your site and it’s performance. When it comes to your site’s SEO performance, each small incremental change matters!
4. No SEO-suitable Blog Solution
Many businesses and individuals want to be able to blog on their site for the value to provides to both users and for the content that has great SEO value. This is also another area where Wix sites fail to make the grade.
Perhaps you don’t want to blog. But who’s to say you won’t have this need in the future? The lack of this functionality, means the option is not available to you under Wix; another limitation on your SEO you don’t need.
5. Design Matters in SEO
As the saying goes you only get one chance to make a first impression. A high quality designed site has a much better opportunity to grab the user’s attention and draw them into the site, leading to the possibility of a conversion.
Google uses a site’s bounce rate as indication of site quality (webspam) and where this is high, a site will have it’s rankings diminish. Whilst Wix is not more web spammy than any other CMS, it is a budget product and because of this it will always look “cheaper” than a professionally designed product. When it comes to website quality and SEO this IS a consideration not to overlook.
Wix is Not the Answer for SEO
No matter what the spin the Wix team might put on their product, it does have considerable drawbacks and weaknesses as a legitimate option for SEO and strong organic search results. Investing in a high quality site with high quality SEO is still the best, long-term approach for your business’s organic search acquisition.