WordPress vs Website Builders (eg Wix or Squarespace)

Wix and Squarespace are easy to use site builders with flexible designs, ideal for portfolio-type websites – they are commonly called Website Builders. Building a large site isn’t recommended as these editors tend to become very slow with too many pages. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) and allows you to create much larger websites but requires a little more technical knowledge, however with today’s builders such as Divi, it’s becoming very user friendly.

The main difference between a Website Builder and WordPress is their technical approach: while all Website Builder packages include hosting and tech support, WordPress is an open-source platform and requires you to take care of this yourself. You need to find a web host and install it on your own webspace. Many great hosts such as Siteground will assist you with all things technical, where they will allow you to set and forget.

Is SEO for website builders or SEO for WordPress better?”

It’s a good question and I get asked that a lot.

You probably have similar (yet common) questions, such as:

  • Which website builder is the best for SEO?
  • Does a specific website builder have a natural advantage when it comes to ranking higher in Google?
  • Everybody and their cats tell me that WordPress SEO is the best and is the only way to rank high in search results. True?
  • People say drag & drop website builders are terrible at ranking in Google. Myth?

Want my quick opinion?

  • Don’t know.
  • Probably.
  • False.
  • Totally a myth.

Are you surprised with my opinions?  Maybe?

If you know what SEO (“Search Engine Optimization”) is, then you know it’s one of the main lifeblood to your website. If you haven’t heard of SEO, basically, it’s a process to help your website rank higher in search engines such as Google.

Once your website gains more visibility in search results (ranks higher), then more people will visit your website.

Makes sense, right?

In this post, I want to share my own opinions about SEO and website builders with you.

I can’t tell you which specific website builder is the best for SEO, but I can try to dispel some common myths / misinformation about this topic – based on my own experiences.

Using WordPress does NOT mean you will receive higher search rankings

There is a lot of misinformation about WordPress websites always ranking better than websites built with website builders. This just isn’t the case based on my experiences.

Say whaaaat?

I know some of you are probably going to jump out of your seats because you think I’m hating on WordPress.

I don’t hate, I Love WordPress.

I actually enjoy using it because after years of building websites with both drag & drop website builders and with WordPress, I’ve learned to use it very proficiently and dare I say, I even learned how to write a little bit of code!

In fact, this website is built on WordPress – because it is the best platform for writing blog posts.

But when I first started creating websites, WordPress was a tough beast to tame.

It was confusing, way too technical, and if I wanted to make any design changes or move my content around, I needed to write code or hire someone who can.

I was working a full-time job and just didn’t want to deal with learning all the technical stuff that came with WordPress after I got home from work.

That’s why I turned to drag and drop website builders – which made me feel less dumb!

They empowered me to build websites quickly, cheaply and appeared like a coding rock star during family fireside chats (major drawback: everyone started asking me to build websites for them…)

So why does everyone on the internet who seemed to know something about building websites say using WordPress will help you rank higher in search engines?

Hmmm, excellent question. I have no idea actually.

Maybe they read it somewhere, and so they regurgitated it to others? After a few rounds of that, it sort of morphed into some form of “truth”, you know what I mean?

We’ve all experienced that, and it’s so easy to do so on the internet where people can be less accountable for what they say.

Yes – Drag & drop website builders do have flaws

“With drag and drop website builders, you can’t fine-tune or customize every single aspect of your website. With WordPress, you can have a lot more control over most aspects of your website.”

Drag and drop website builders do have their own sets of flaws when it comes to SEO, though.

The benefit of being able to create a website without writing a single line of code, or being a technical guru, also means you won’t have complete control over every single aspect of the creation process of your website.

For instance, although Weebly (one of the easiest website builders to use) grants you access to edit the HTML and CSS codes of your website, you still can’t control or customize other aspects, such as hosting speed.

Website loading speed is one of Google’s ranking factors.

So if your web pages load really fast, that’s a favorable factor when it comes to SEO as it improves your visitors’ experience (nobody likes to wait for pages to load nowadays).

With WordPress, you can control the speed of your website by upgrading to a faster host (which also means you pay more, though), or fine-tune your servers with the help of capable developers.

Wix Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Everything happens within Wix.com. You don’t have to go anywhere else to set up your site.
  • You don’t have to worry about any technical stuff.
  • There’s a good range of features right from the get-go.
  • It has integrated eCommerce, albeit only on higher-tier plans.
  • The Wix ADI module can build your site for you with the help of AI.
  • You can get started in a couple of minutes.
  • There’s 24/7 customer support.
  • A free plan is available if you just want to build a website for testing purposes.

CONS

  • You’re never in full control of your website. If you break any of Wix’s rules, it can take your site down.
  • You can’t change your site design/template later — you’re stuck with the design you initially selected.
  • The blogging module is sometimes wonky.
  • It’s much more expensive than WordPress in almost all use cases other than free hobby websites.

WordPress Pros & Cons

PROS

  • WordPress — the software — is free and open-source.
  • There are thousands of themes and thousands of plugins available.
  • It’s the most popular content management system on the web — much more popular than Wix — with nearly 40% of the whole web running on WordPress.
  • There are frequent updates and a lively community.
  • It has great content management capabilities and a great blogging module — better than Wix’s.
  • It’s extremely customizable; you have control over every aspect of your website.

CONS

  • Even though the WordPress software is free, launching a WordPress site requires additional costs — domain and hosting.
  • If your hosting company isn’t very cooperative, you’ll have to do all of the technical heavy-lifting on your own.
  • The themes work very differently. Mastering one doesn’t mean you’ll immediately know how to use another.
  • There’s no onboarding, which will make getting started with WordPress problematic for first-time users.
  • There’s no support, per se (there are support forums, but it’s far from Wix’s support).  Google is your friend.

Wix vs WordPress: Who’s the Winner?

Wix vs WordPress
WixWordPress
Price$0-$49/mo.$4-$10/mo. (hosting) + $10-$15/year (domain)
Features9/1010/10
Designs8/1010/10
Ease of use10/108/10

As with most things, whether you should use Wix or WordPress depends on what you need the site for and how savvy you are when it comes to site-building.

  • Use Wix if you’re just getting started with websites and need something basic to either serve as an online business card or let you sell your products online. Wix’s ADI module will give you a website in literally minutes.
  • Use WordPress if you want to be in full control of what’s going on with your site. You can extend the site’s features nearly endlessly through plugins, and you can choose from thousands of themes. You can also change those themes later on. WordPress is a superior platform if you want to build a classic blog, too.

Which do you consider the winner? Are you with Wix or WordPress?