Wix vs. WordPress vs. Squarespace: Which Online Website Builder is Best For SEO?

If you are grappling with which online website builder platform to use, you may want to consider SEO as a leading criterion. When it comes to website platforms, there are distinct differences—especially when it comes to their ability to rank in search results.

Although there are many website building platforms out there, the choices often boil down to a three-way comparison: Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress. While each of these platforms comes with its own pros and cons, this post addresses which content management system solution offers the best SEO support.

Let’s find out!

Starting with Wix

Wix is a well-rounded website builder that offers everything you need to build your website: Domains, hosting, and hundreds of templates with niche-specific designs. Wix features a basic free option and a paid premium version.

Wix’s claim to fame, however, is its ease of use. It features drag-and-drop functionality and a clearly laid out interface that can help you personalize your site without any hassle.

Going back a few years, Wix had a terrible reputation when it came to SEO. However, to the platform publishers’ credit, they have steadily improved its tools and capabilities.

The platform now provides convenient access to SEO add-ons from the Wix App Market, a complete SEO toolkit called “The Wiz” and other SEO features, including:

  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support
  • Automatic and instant indexing
  • Automatic site mapping (applies only to premium accounts
  • Automatic free SSL certification
  • Customizable URLs
  • Integration with Google Analytics and Google Search Console
  • Integrated blogging capabilities
  • Mobile optimization

But there are some drawbacks, particularly for more advanced users. In an August 2019 review, websitetooltester.com expressed some concern about Wix sites’ loading speed.

Loading speed does impact SEO, although Wix is supposedly working on this.

The same review also noted that this platform lags behind WordPress “if you are planning to intensively blog and want to get all the bells and whistles.” For people using blogging as an on-site SEO strategy, that’s not welcome news.

There are also issues with Wix free sites’ URL structure, and you can’t edit the platform’s robots.txt files. This can make it more difficult for search engine crawlers to index sites with dozens or hundreds of pages, thereby hampering the SEO efforts of the site owner.

How Does Squarespace Fare?

Squarespace is like Wix’s more glamorous sibling. The platform offers a wide range of sleek, modern, professional-looking templates suited to any creative industry. With such stunning designs, though, comes a little getting used to.

Squarespace requires a bit more creative and technical effort than Wix. That being the case, this platform is ideal for design lovers who don’t mind a small learning curve.

As for its SEO prowess, Squarespace does incorporate some tools right in its platform without the need for installing additional plugins. These include:

  • Free Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support
  • SSL certification
  • Automatic tagging
  • Automatically generated sitemap and metadata
  • Customizable URLs, titles, and page descriptions
  • Clean URLs and HTML markup
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Mobile optimization
  • Integrated blogging with third-party apps like Google Drive and Evernote.

All that said, Squarespace is more known for its templates than its SEO capabilities. It actually lags miles behind both WordPress and Wix in terms of SEO performance and features. Squarespace doesn’t even have plugins–anything to boost the SEO performance. All native features are built in.

The so-called “plugins” for Squarespace by third parties are really just CSS or other code you add manually to the site yourself—not a real plugin like Yoast for WordPress. Squarespace itself says that it doesn’t support these plugins.

Also, you must know that updating the meta description tag on the inner pages of a Squarespace site is not user-friendly. It requires custom meta description tag—something casual users typically don’t know how to do.

Is WordPress a Winner?

WordPress is one of the most popular and most flexible content management systems today.

With over 50,000 third-party plugins, the platform allows you to customize your site to your heart’s content.

But because WordPress is a self-hosted software, you are required to set up your own web hosting and customize everything with code.

This makes it an excellent choice for tech-savvy users who want total freedom in customization. But, it’s not so ideal for first-time site owners who need a bit more handholding.

When it comes to the richness of features you can add with plugins in WordPress, the sky is the limit–and SEO is no exception. SEO is where WordPress jumps ahead of the competition. The industry’s best SEO plugin—Yoast—only works on WordPress. It is also one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins ever!

WordPress also provides some vital SEO features absent in the other two builders, including content silo creation, breadcrumbs, self-focused keywords, on-page optimization scoring, link anchor text, featured image for social, Twitter open graph and schema and structured data.

What’s our Verdict?

Needless to say, when it comes to SEO, WordPress still has notable advantages over the other two CMS solutions. What makes WordPress lead the pack is that additional features and desired functionality can be added to the system with just a few clicks!

And, while WordPress is naturally set up for successful SEO (it was the original blogging platform), you can choose various plugins to help you fine-tune your site for even better rankings in search engine result pages.