Google’s Mueller On Self-Hosted WordPress Versus Wix

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Google’s John Mueller responded to a Reddit query regarding SMB sites moving from Wix to self-managed WordPress. He basically explained his side on Self-Hosted WordPress Versus Wix. He responded to the question and shed some light on the potential advantages and disadvantages of managed and self-managed WordPress for SMB sites.

What are SMB sites? 

Short for small and medium businesses – SMB sites hold a significant portion of e-businesses. Generally, a business under 100 employees is a small business, and businesses between 100-500 are supposed to be medium businesses. By using the internet appropriately, SMB sites can make the best out of it. Even 1000 employees businesses could be medium businesses. 

Managed and Self-Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is when a web host looks after all the technical maintenance of a WordPress site. The hosting company manages and handles everything from security, caching to updates and backups. This helps SMBs center on their business without hiring web developers for their site’s security and updates. 

For handling technical details of websites, a managed WordPress host can impose restrictions on what plugins can run on their hosting websites to preserve security and upgrade hosting sites. This is essentially a positive thing. 

A Self-Managed or Self-Hosted environment is one where a website is all managed by the publishers only; From security to updates. The gain point here is that publishers have complete control over their sites. This means they can use any solution, plugins, and they’ll have to hire or train developers to maintain their website’s security and updates. 

That being said, managed WordPress hosting is more expensive than Self-Hosted but hiring or training someone for handling a website’s technical issues costs even more. 

See Also: Core Web Vitals Ranking Factor Is More Than A Tie Breaker

Moving From Wix to Self-Hosted WordPress

The Reddit query explained that a neighbor’s SMB site moved from a Wix to a self-hosted WordPress environment. They mentioned that the Wix hosted website performed flawlessly in speed and rankings. 

It said:

“…his current website scores a 98 in SEO on the lighthouse, and clients tell him all the time that he is the first local company that pops up in results.”

From this, it sounds like Wix is managing the business pretty well, and there is nothing unique about SEO beneficiary of self-hosted WordPress. 

John Mueller said what? 

Mueller first addressed the relation between Wix and SEO and then talked about moving to self-hosting a WordPress site. 

Mueller said: 

“Wix is okay for SEO. It wasn’t good in terms of SEO a few years back, but they’ve made fantastic progress and are now an excellent platform for businesses. The reputation from back then lingers on, but don’t be swayed by it.

In recent years, what they’ve done is excellent stuff, including making it trivial to have a high-speed site (as you see in the Lighthouse scores — admittedly, speed is only a tiny part of SEO).

If Wix works for them, and they don’t need more, there’s no reason to switch.”

 According to Mueller, for an SMB without a web support team, moving to a self-hosted WordPress environment may not be a significant step. Mueller’s response was particular to an SMB website with limited web support.

john mueller on wix vs wordpress
John Mueller on Wix vs Wordpres

He further said:

“In particular, do not move to something self-hosted.

Hosting a site yourself comes with a million minor hassles and a business without a dedicated support team. You will struggle to do the right things and end up getting hacked. Then you have to invest a ton in improving infrastructure over time (speed, security, functionality).

Some people like the challenge, but if your neighbor enjoys running a non-IT business, they should not run their server (e.g., host WordPress themselves).

I know running WP yourself is still somewhat popular, but for an SMB that has other things on their mind, it’s absolutely a bad thing to do.

There are hosted & managed WP setups, they cost money, but they do these things for you.

Wix also does all of this for you. Squarespace, etc.–similarly.”

self hosted wordpress vs wix
Self-Hosted WorkPress Versus Wix

Managed hosting or SaaS approach? 

Wix, Squarespace, and many other companies offer a Software as a Service approach. In SaaS, they completely optimized the platform for businesses. So they don’t have to worry about technical issues and focus on their business, which makes it easy for them to run as e-businesses.

Managed WordPress hosting offers the same services as WordPress solution plus some restrictions. They optimize their hosting environment for security and hosting. This is suitable for SEO-mastered businesses. 

Consequently, Wix may have an advantage over managed WordPress hosting. Wix has highly optimized and improved SEO, including speed capabilities. This benefits small businesses. As it does not want to deal with the ranking and maintenance of a website on its own.

John Mueller also said, if Wix is working for an SMB, there is no need to move away to a self-hosted environment. 

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